We first stumbled upon Salon Saigon when we interviewed the art center’s director, Sandrine Llouquet, during its construction and pre-opening phase. Set on one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most historic alleyways, Salon Saigon aims to be a hub for heritage and contemporary arts in Vietnam.

Salon Saigon, a heritage and contemporary arts center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Founded by John Tue Nguyen, a long time advocate and collector of Vietnamese art, Salon Saigon’s main function is to host art exhibitions and to serve as a library for knowledge about Vietnamese heritage and culture. The name refers to the salons that existed in France throughout Europe’s Enlightenment Period during the 17th and 18th centuries. They served as meeting places for people interested in the arts. The salons were commonly associated with literature, scientific discoveries, and philosophical movements.

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Why We Like It

Aside from government-run museums and traditional gallery spaces, Salon Saigon’s casual and intimate setting is a welcome introduction to Vietnam’s art and cultural scene.

The first floor has generous and comfortable seating for guests, set amidst a collection of books. There is a stage set to the side for speakers and exhibitions. Upstairs is an open space where guests can walk around to view works. Right outside the French doors is a balcony overlooking the grounds where guests can enjoy a drink or smoke. To my pleasant surprise, the Salon has a casual and welcoming feel to it, nothing stuffy or pretentious. On event days, typically held twice a month, you’ll find an upbeat vibe to the crowd.

Tips for a Great Experience

I would recommend subscribing to their newsletter or Facebook page to keep up to date on their events. Some events will get overbooked and require an RSVP, so be sure to sign up in advance. Even better, get to know the management team led by Sandrine Llouquet to better understand the Salon’s mission and upcoming exhibitions.

Don’t be afraid to chat with people at the Salon. I found most of the people to be very approachable and open to conversation. It is a salon after all.

Need to Know

Location: 6D Ngo Thoi Nhiem, Ward 7, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hours: Tuesday 09:00 – 18:00, other days by appointment. Select events, hours vary.
Price: $$
X-factor: Tucked down a hem and right across from Acoustic Bar. Elegant groundskeeping and a spacious interior
Online: Website, Facebook