A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bucharest vs. Ho Chi Minh City for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Bucharest and Ho Chi Minh City. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Bucharest

Bucharest is a charming, historical, and less touristy city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a diverse, cultural, and chaotic city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the food, shopping, and museums.

Bucharest and Ho Chi Minh City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Scenic old town
  • Good public transit
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Ho Chi Minh City than Bucharest, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Ho Chi Minh City is more popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, shopping, and big city activities, while Bucharest is known for its historical sights. Ho Chi Minh City is more touristy than Bucharest and is popular for its motorbike-filled streets, bustling markets, world-class cuisine, and diverse shopping opportunities. It is also home to the War Remnants Museum. Bucharest is popular for its wide avenues and longstanding religious institutions.

How is Bucharest different from Ho Chi Minh City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Ho Chi Minh City and Bucharest. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for its museums and landmarks. Also, Bucharest is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City are among the most recognizable in the world. It's a day trip outside of town, but the Cu Chi Tunnels are a must-see stop for any visitor. The War Remnants Museum is also a not-to-be-missed spot. Other highlights of the city include Thiên Hau Temple, the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, the Saigon Opera House, and the Reunification Palace.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Bucharest. The city is rich in landmarks and historical buildings. Popular sights include the Romanian Athenaeum, the Palace of the Parliament, Stavropoleos Church, and Curtea Veche.


Is Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City Better for Theater?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a good destination for its theatre productions. However, Bucharest is not a theatre destination.

With some theater and performance venues, you might want to see a show in Ho Chi Minh City. Water puppetry is a traditional art form that originated in the rural areas and was brought to the city. It is a fun cultural experience that kids and adults both enjoy. You can see it at The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre.

Bucharest is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for its restaurant scene. Also, Bucharest is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Eat your way through Ho Chi Minh City, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. This city, arguably, has some of the best food in Vietnam. You'll find everything from food stalls selling mouthwatering street food to luxury restaurants preparing traditional dishes with a modern twist. Banh Mi (a Vietnamese sandwich) and Pho (Vietnamese soup) are the most well known dishes around town, but also try the Bún mắm (a noodle dish) and Bún bò Huế (a beef based soup).

Bucharest is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Many Romanian recipes have been passed down through the generations and they still use traditional flavors. You'll see some German or Hungarian influences, but the flavors are still uniquely Romanian. Popular dishes include ciorba (tripe soup), cabbage rolls, and mici (grilled meat rolls).

Is Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City Better for Nightlife?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for nightlife and partying. Also, Bucharest is still popular, but not quite as popular for its evening party scene.

Ho Chi Minh City is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The city never settles down and you'll find all night parties and dance clubs open into the early hours. Backpackers keep the energy high, but there are also luxury clubs and more relaxed places where you can have a good night out if the backpacker thing isn't your scene.

If you're looking for night time activities Bucharest has a few options to choose from. The city has come to life with its party scene, with many bars and clubs that you can choose from. There are rooftop bars, chic dance clubs, and cozy pubs where you can pass the evening. You'll find most of the upscale clubs in the northern part of the city, with a more casual scene found in the downtown areas around Universitate and Romanā.


Is Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City Better for its Old Town?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Bucharest is very good for its historic old town charm. However, Ho Chi Minh City does not have a historic old town.

Bucharest has an old town worth visiting. The old town dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries, with much of the historical charm seen in the architecture. Many of the buildings have been restored, but others are still awaiting repairs. This gives the area a sense of authenticity that you often miss in other old towns.

Ho Chi Minh City does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, Bucharest is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Ho Chi Minh City make it a world-class shopping destination. The city is filled with a mix of modern shopping centers and local shops selling traditional items. You'll find international brands as well as uniquely Vietnamese products. The city also has some of the best boutique shopping opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Bucharest has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The residents love fashion, and you'll find many shopping centers around town where you can find a good deal. In addition to the many malls, there are also antique shops, flea markets and boutique clothing stores where you might find a hidden gem.

Is Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City Better for Families?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for its family-friendly activities. However, Bucharest is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Ho Chi Minh City is very family-friendly. Kids may feel overwhelmed at first, but they're sure to fall in love with the energy and kid-friendly activities in this city. There are traditional water puppet shows, kid-friendly restaurants, and fun parks. There's also the Suoi Tien Theme Park, smaller water parks, zoos, and art museums to explore.

For families, Bucharest is not always the best place to visit. Kid-friendly activities include kid's play areas, museums such as the Museum of the Senses, and water centered activities like rowing in the park or visiting the wellness center Therme.


Is Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City Better for Couples?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is well known for its romantic activities. However, Bucharest is not particularly known for couples.

Couples visit Ho Chi Minh City frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. If you're looking for a vibrant cultural scene with excellent restaurants, great parks, and countless day trips, this is the ultimate couple's getaway.

Bucharest is not always the best place to visit for a couple. The city has some romantic settings such as wandering down Victory Avenue or exploring the historic Cotroceni Neighbourhood. There are also several gardens and a number of nice cafes to explore.

Is Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for backpackers. Also, Bucharest is still popular, but not quite as popular for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Ho Chi Minh City. It's well established on the Southeast Asian backpacker's circuit and you'll find no shortage of hostels in town. You'll find a good number of backpackers in District 1 of the city, near Ben Thanh Market. Many backpackers also arrange trips to the Mekong Delta or elsewhere in Thailand while they're here.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Bucharest. The city is affordable, but it's often overlooked by backpackers. Part of the charm for many is the sense of authenticity that can often be hard to find in travel these days.

Is Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City Better for Students?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a good destination for students. However, Bucharest is not popular with students.

Ho Chi Minh City is popular with students. Study abroad students appreciate the city's energy and plethora of activities. It also makes a good base for trips to other parts of Southeast Asia.

Bucharest is not popular with students.


Is Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Bucharest is great for times when you don't have a car. However, Ho Chi Minh City is not a good destination for its public transit.

Bucharest offers a very effecient public transportation network. Public transit options include trams, buses, and trolley buses.

Public transit is generally limited in Ho Chi Minh City. There are public buses around town but motorbike taxis and regular taxis are likely your best bet for getting around.

Is Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City a more walkable city?

Bucharest
Ho Chi Minh City

Bucharest and Ho Chi Minh City both are good when exploring on foot.

Bucharest is a somewhat walkable place. Many of the tourist attractions are within a walkable area.

Ho Chi Minh City is a somewhat walkable city. In certain neighborhoods it's fairly walkable, but you may have to dodge a motorbike here or there.

For even more information, also check out Is Bucharest Worth Visiting? and Is Ho Chi Minh City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City or Bucharest?

How long in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

It's fun to spend time in either Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Bucharest, and 3-4 days is enough time in Ho Chi Minh City.

Families should spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City than Bucharest. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Ho Chi Minh City, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City than Bucharest. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Ho Chi Minh City that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City than Bucharest if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Ho Chi Minh City.


  • How many days in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bucharest 1-3 
    Ho Chi Minh City 3-4

One day in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

You'll find food and shopping around the historical destination of Bucharest. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

People visit Ho Chi Minh City because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

You'll find shopping and museums around the cultural city of Bucharest. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities.

People visit Ho Chi Minh City because there is so much to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

Bucharest is a popular choice for travelers. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the cultural city of Ho Chi Minh City. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

Bucharest is a great place to explore. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Ho Chi Minh City is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Bucharest, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Romania, The Best Historical Tours in Vietnam, and The Best 10-Day Tours in Vietnam.


Which place is cheaper, Ho Chi Minh City or Bucharest?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Bucharest is $140, while the average daily cost in Ho Chi Minh City is $80. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bucharest and Ho Chi Minh City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bucharest $64
    Ho Chi Minh City $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bucharest $128
    Ho Chi Minh City $96
Compare Hotels in Bucharest and Ho Chi Minh City

Looking for a hotel in Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Bucharest


Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Bucharest Hotel Prices and Ho Chi Minh City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bucharest $26
    Ho Chi Minh City $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bucharest

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bucharest:

  • Bucharest to Sofia - Private Transfer: $592
  • Bucharest Airport: Private Transfer To / From Pitesti: $457
  • Bucharest to Sofia Private Transfer: $456
  • Bucharest to Mihail Kogalniceanu - Private Transfer: $351
  • Mihail Kogalniceanu to Bucharest - Private Transfer: $351
  • Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo - Private Transfer: $329
  • Bucharest to Fetesti - Private Transfer: $329
  • Bucharest to Craiova - Private Transfer: $307
  • Transfer From Bucharest Airport To Sofia Bulgaria: $296
  • Transfer Bucharest Airport to Brasov: $293
  • Bucharest to Mihail Kogalniceanu Airport Constanta - Private Guided Transfer : $289
  • Bucharest to Tulcea - Private Guided Transfer - Driver and Car : $289

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.38
  • Taxi From Airport
    $7.87
  • Cyclo Ride (One Hour)
    $1.57

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ho Chi Minh City

Also for Ho Chi Minh City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport Transfer (From Airport - Ho Chi Minh City (Private 16 Seats Car): $70
  • Airport Transfer (From Hotels in Ho Chi Minh to Airport) Private 4 Seats Car: $38
  • Airport Transfer (From Hotels in Ho Chi Minh to Airport) Private 7 Seats Car: $47
  • Airport Transfer From Hotel in Ho Chi Minh to Airport By 4 Seats Car: $35
  • Airport Transfer From Hotel in Ho Chi Minh to Airport By 7 Seats Car: $41
  • Airport Transfers (Airport - Ho Chi Minh,Private 16 Seats Car): $52
  • Airport transfer Ho Chi Minh Tan Son Nhat Airport to Mui Ne: $28
  • Airport transfer from TAN SON NHAT airport to HO CHI MINH: $23
  • Bus transfer between Sai Gon and Da Lat - “City of Flowers”: $27
  • CONVENIENT AIRPORT TRANSFER by PRIVATE CAR or SCOOTERS | KissTour: $28
  • Cam Ranh Riviera to Nha Trang - Private Transfer: $20
  • Can Tho: Bus transfer directly to/from Saigon City: $9.76

Is it cheaper to fly into Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

Prices for flights to both Ho Chi Minh City and Bucharest change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Bucharest $59
    Ho Chi Minh City $14

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bucharest

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bucharest.

  • Dinner and tour inside the Museum of Communism: $51
  • Dinner inside the Museum of Communism & private tour: $54
  • Bohemian Bucharest Markets and Mahallas Traditional Food Tour: $61
  • Cooking Class traditional food: $67
  • Bucharest Historical Food Tour in Old Center: $72
  • Street Food Tour with a Local Guide: $75
  • Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner: $86
  • Unhealthy Food Tour of Bucharest – 4 hours: $88
  • Discover Private Highlights and Traditional Food Tour: $110
  • Historical and Cultural Tour with Romanian Cuisine dinner: $143
  • 4-Hour Walking Food Tour in the Old Town: $206

Typical Food Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Street Food Dinner (for Two)
    $4.21
  • Pizza
    $5.11
  • Sweet Rice
    $1.18
  • Pork Sandwich
    $0.59
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.68
  • Western Lunch (for Two)
    $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Saigon: Street Food Tour and The Local Life: $4.11
  • Saigon Food Tour & Culture Explore Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour: $15
  • Exquisite Mekong Delta Tour & Cooking Class from Ho Chi Minh City: $18
  • Saigon Unseen & Food Tour By scooter w Student | Saigon Adventure: $20
  • Ao Dai Girls Rider: 12 Tasting Food Tour With Beer & Seafood: $21
  • Saigon: City Day Sights & Local Food Tour|Opt: Ao Dai Riders: $24
  • Saigon: Night Sights & Local Food Tour w Ao Dai Rider Option: $25
  • Private Walking Food Tour with Local Students : $26
  • The Coolest Vegan Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City: $26
  • Saigon Food Tour - 10 Tastings With Local Students: $26
  • Super Niche Walking Street Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City: $26
  • Saigon Private/Small-Group Walking Food Tour with 13 Tastings: $27

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bucharest $15
    Ho Chi Minh City $20

Tours and Activities in Bucharest

Here are a few actual costs in Bucharest for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Bears Sanctuary, Dracula's Castle, Brasov Day Trip Private Tour from Bucharest: $254
  • Bucharest Panoramic Sightseeing - Private City Tour: $105
  • Dracula's Castle & Peles Palace Tour from Bucharest Including Brasov Old Town: $189
  • Transylvania Heritage Tour at Peles Bran and Cantacuzino Castles: $94
  • Walking Tour - Delightful Bucharest (Old Town & Victory Avenue): $14
  • 1 Day 4x4 Tour in Carpathian Mountains: $176
  • 1 Day ATV Tour in Carpathian Mountains: $211
  • 10 h Ceausescu Communism Private Tour in Bucharest plus Dracula's Grave : $244
  • 10 hours Private Apiary Tour in Romania - From Bucharest: $278
  • 10h Bucharest City Tour & Snagov Monastery (Dracula's Grave): $263
  • 14 Days Private Tour in Romania, Moldova & Transnistria: $4,820
  • 2 Days Private Tour - The Romanian Caves from Bucharest: $570

Typical Entertainment Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Massage
    $5.51

Tours and Activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Explore Mekong Delta Tour With Local Guide: $0.82
  • Ho Chi Minh City Free Walking Tour: $1.00
  • Ho Chi Minh City private walking tours with young local volunteers: $1.86
  • Ho Chi Minh City Free Walking Tour - Architecture, History & Food: $1.86
  • App self-guided: Tour Ho Chi Minh - Vietnam: $2.18
  • Ho Chi Minh Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $3.94
  • Saigon Sites and Stories - Walking Tour: $4.11
  • Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Saigon City Tour By Walking: $5.13
  • Walking tour to Chinatown in Saigon: $5.13
  • Saigon: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $7.00
  • Saigon: City Sightseeing 45-Minute Panoramic Night Tour: $7.00

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bucharest $9.33
    Ho Chi Minh City $7.86

Sample the Local Flavors in Bucharest

Also in Bucharest, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Weekend Pub Crawl: $24
  • Bucharest Pub Crawl in the Old Town: $25
  • Bachelors Party in Custom Bar Crawl: $38
  • Pub Crawl in the Old CIty and Rooftop Hopping in Bucharest: $48
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience: $49
  • Private Romanian Wine Tasting in Urlați: $52
  • Bucharest Guided Pub Crawl: $53
  • Guided Pub Crawl in Bucharest: $57
  • Bucharest Old Town Pub and Bar Crawl with Guide: $58
  • Bucharest VIP Bar Crawl in Lipscani 'Old Town': $60
  • Private Bar Crawling in Bucharest Old City: $61
  • Wine Tasting in Bucharest long version: $65

Typical Alcohol Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Beer
    $0.39


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bucharest and Ho Chi Minh City, we can see that Bucharest is more expensive. And not only is Ho Chi Minh City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Bucharest is in Europe and Ho Chi Minh City is in Asia, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Ho Chi Minh City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ho Chi Minh City and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bucharest would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bucharest than you might in Ho Chi Minh City.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Bucharest Expensive? and Is Ho Chi Minh City Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Bucharest or Ho Chi Minh City?

Ho Chi Minh City has a larger population, and is about 85% larger than the population of Bucharest. When comparing the sizes of Bucharest and Ho Chi Minh City, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.