Here are Vietcetera’s top picks of churches and mosques that you should drop by if you plan to visit Ho Chi Minh City. We also provide some activities and nearby places you can visit nearby these religious buildings.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Located in the center of a square reminiscent of provincial French cities, the Notre Dame Cathedral Catholic was completed in 1880 and served as a community center for French colonialists.

Known colloquially as the “Paris Square”, the architecture of the building features tall double spires and a Virgin Mary statue in the foreground. Inside, you’ll find stained glass windows and high ceilings in the prayer hall. On the other side of the square opposite of the cathedral is an equally postcard-perfect colonial post office. On the flip side, there are several modern buildings nearby that help to emphasize the difference between Ho Chi Minh City’s cosmopolitan modernity and its colonial past.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Travel tips for Notre Dame Cathedral

It’s right in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City, you won’t miss it. There are great restaurants within walking distance like Au Parc and Propaganda. It’s one of the few comfortable areas in town to walk. You’ll probably find yourself spending at least 30 minutes in this area surrounding the cathedral.

Location: 1, Cong xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Price: 25,000 VND
Hours: 08:00-11.30 daily and 14:00-16:00 Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun

Tan Dinh Church

The Tan Dinh Church is located opposite to the Tan Dinh Market. Brightly colored in pink, you can’t really miss it. Built in the 1880s during the French colonial era, it features Roman style architecture and is only second in size to the Notre Dame Cathedral. Inside, you can take photos but not during the mass.

Tan Dinh Church
Credit: Richie Chan/shutterstock

Travel tips for Tan Dinh Church

Since it’s so close to Tan Dinh Market, pair it up to make the most of your travel time in Ho Chi Minh City. This area of town is near one of my favorite home-cooked style Vietnamese restaurants, Cuc Gach Quan.

Location: 289 Hai Ba Trung, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Price: 25,000 VND
Hours: 08:00-11.30 daily and 14:00-16:00 Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun

Jamia Al Muslimin Mosque

Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll be hard pressed to find travelers who would go to the Jamia Al Muslimin Mosque in a city more known for its temples and pagodas. If you’re reading this though, you should check it out, especially since it’s so conveniently located in one of the most walkable parts of town.

When you enter the mosque gates, you’ll find the men’s prayer hall to your right and the women’s prayer hall to the left. With respect to Muslim religious prayer etiquette, there are clean long dresses and scarfs to use if you don’t have any.

jamia Al Muslimin
Credit : citypassguide.com

Travel tips for Jamia Al Muslimin Mosque

The mosque is on a small, busy street with no shortage of shops and restaurants. There are a few Halal restaurants just outside the mosque area.
Location: 66 Dong Du, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Price: 25,000 VND
Hours: 08:00-11.30 daily and 14:00-16:00 Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun

Cho Quan Church

This church is the oldest and one of the largest of Ho Chi Minh City. Located in District 5, it has a strong historical background.

During the 18th century, a lot of Catholics came to Vietnam, mainly for trade and business purposes. They gathered in some areas where they started to open their own shops. Then, they used the current location of the church as a place of worship before building the entire church. This construction took place in 1720. But this church has been destroyed twice during wars. The one you can see nowadays on Tran Binh Trong Street has been built by Father Nicolas Hamm in 1882. The official opening took place in 1896.

More than a historical monument, you can enjoy the beauty of this church. Its light color gives to it a youthful impression and its gothic architecture will remind you the centuries of presence of the Church in Vietnam.

The Cho Quan Church is deeply involved in the life of the community surrounding it. The historical building has its own primary school, includes an ossuary, a catechism room and a consultancy for neighborhood residents that have issues to share with the priests.

Cho Quan Church
Credit : Citymonk

Travel tips for Cho Quan Church

This is one of the only churches in Ho Chi Minh City where you can go inside the tower. You’ll enjoy a great view of District 5.

Location: 120 Tran Binh Trong, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
Price: Free
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 04:00-07:00 and 15:00-18:00, Sunday: 13:30-18:00

Cha Tam Church

This well maintained church was built from 1900 to 1902 and placed under the title of the Jesuit Saint François-Xavier. That’s why it is also called the Saint-François-Xavier Church or Nhà thờ Thánh Phanxicô Xaviê in Vietnamese. The church takes place in the Chinese area of Ho Chi Minh City: Cholon.

The biggest anecdote of the Church is with no doubt the kidnapping and the murder of South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem and his Brother Ngi Dinh Nhu in November 1963. It took place right after the morning masse, the day after All Saints Day.

Despite this event,  the church has still a strong activity and there are masses every day. The church gathers a faithful community of 5000 people (3000 Vietnamese and 2000 Chinese).

Like the Cho Quan Church, you’ll enjoy the light colors of the outside architecture and the mix of Gothic and Neo-Baroque architecture. You’ll also enjoy the interior of the church and its statue of François Xavier Tam Assou.

Cha Tam Church

Travel tips for Cha Tam Church

Take the time to go see this church that contrast from what sits around when visiting Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown: Cholon.

Location: 25 Hoc Lac, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Price: Free
Hours: 07:00-12:00, 14:00-18:00 and 19:00-21:00

Cholon Mosque

This Mosque was built in 1932 by a south Indian Muslim community. It testifies to a strong Muslim community which has been present for decades. However, the city has since seen a decline of Muslim activity. Nowadays, it only serves the Malaysian and Indonesian communities.

The monument is outstanding not by its size but by its architecture and colors. The mix of pastel blue and white gives harmony to it, which contrast with the other buildings of the area. So, notice that it is a tiny place when looking for it because you may miss it quite easily. If you enter the Mosque you’ll find in the backyard a very nice pool that is commonly used for ablutions.

Cholon Mosque

Travel tips for Cholon Mosque

Take the time to visit the place while visiting Cholon and combine it with the Cha Tam Church. Don’t forget to remove your shoes and show up dressed appropriately.

Location: 641 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Price: Free
Hours: 08:00-20:00