The Opera House is a Gothic-style architecture. This is not only a place to host major art shows, but also an interesting tourist destination, attracting visitors.

Location of Saigon Opera House

Standing magnificently at the heart of Ho Chi Minh City is the Saigon Opera House, which is also known as the Municipal Theater. The building stands as one of the most impressive sights in Saigon – both night and day.

The facade of Saigon Opera House in District 1 faces Lam Son Square and Dong Khoi Street. The Opera House  is only about 1.2km from Ben Thanh market. With a convenient location in the city center, the Theater is not only a venue for many major events but also an attractive tourist destination for tourists when coming to Saigon.

Saigon Opera House is located at 7 Cong Truong Lam Son street, Ben Nghe ward, district 1, HCMC.

History of Saigon Opera House

Saigon Opera House was built in 1898 by the French architect – Eugene Ferret, following the “flamboyant” style of the French Third Republic. It was set to be two meters higher than the street surface with two door layers, in order to prevent traffic noise.

January 17th, 1900: The first show of the Opera House was performed by French actors and actresses.

November 18th, 1918: The first time Vietnamese organized a performance at the Opera House, which is a play mixed with Cai Luong, a theatrical genre from Southern Vietnam, often known as Vietnamese Opera.

1945 – 1955: The Opera House was closed during World War II and reopened in 1955 – after the Geneva Convention (1954), and became the Southern Vietnam’s Assembly House.

May, 1975: it is officially named the city’s opera house.

1996: Saigon Opera House is closed for renovation.

December 18th, 1998: Inauguration ceremony of Saigon Opera House after 2 years renovation. The event marked the 300th anniversary of Ho Chi Minh City.

2012: The Opera House is certified a National Relic.

What’s interesting inside the Ho Chi Minh Opera House?

Unique architecture

Ho Chi Minh City Opera House was started in 1898 and completed 2 years later with Gothic-style architecture that flourished in France at the end of the 19th century. This work was designed by a group of French architects, characterized by a skillful combination of architecture and sculpture. From the outside to the interior of the Theater, there are many reliefs and statues.

The facade of the Opera House is influenced by the decorative arts of the Petit Palais Museum (built the same year in Paris, France). The interior of the Opera House is modernly designed with a full system of lights and lively sound. In addition to the ground floor, there are 2 floors, so this place can accommodate up to 1,800 seats.

Experiencing many historical events, the City Theater was also somewhat damaged. In 1998, this place was restored but still preserved the original architectural style. Decorative motifs such as artistic goddess statues, flower strings, … were restored to their original state nearly 100 years ago.

Artistic concerts

With 1800 seats, open air and modern sound and light system, the Opera House is the venue for professional theatrical performances such as drama, cai luong, opera, ballet,… Here are a few shows:

  • A O Show: The name ‘A O’ derives from ‘Lang Pho’, which means ‘village and city’. The show depicts the charming beauty and cultural richness of Vietnamese life in the countryside, in contrast with the nation’s racing urbanization. The show is a unique mix of bamboo circus, acrobatic acts, dance, and theatrical visual art. The live music echoes Vietnamese Southern work songs. All in all, this beautiful blend of genres creates a unique stage language, which well captures the essence of Vietnam’s fascinating culture.
  • TEH DAR: Teh Dar invites the audience on a venture into the enchanting world of Vietnamese highlanders. Wild animal hunts, moonlit romance, jungle’s tales of death and reincarnation, are all recreated with stunning Vietnamese Bamboo Circus, daring acrobatics, and hypnotizing melody from exotic tribal instruments certified cultural heritage by UNESCO. Meaning ‘going in circle’ in the highland tribe K’ho’s tongue, Teh Dar embraces and preserves beautiful and diverse Vietnamese tribal cultures. As the artists keep inspiring, the circle of tribal life keeps going, the cultures shall remain.
  • The Mist: The Mist tells a story of Southern Vietnamese farming life, expressed through neo-classic and contemporary dance by skilled artists. Using rice cultivation as a metaphor to appreciate farmers’ dedication, from their misty dawn on the fields, their hardship and will power to rise up from humble muddy soil, to brace storms, to the moment they arrive joyously like shining pearls at harvest. The Mist is an hour of emotions, with myriad ups and downs, painted by sensational live music, splendid visuals, and colorful lighting effects.
  • Opera Gala Symphony Nights: The City Opera House is also an interesting destination for visitors who do not know where to go when Saigon is at night. Here regularly organize symphony nights of famous composers such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, …
  • Classical musicals and dances: here, the audience also has the opportunity to enjoy classic musicals and dances, performed by professional actors and talented orchestras. Surely this exciting experience will make visitors unforgettable.

Opening hours and ticket fee of Saigon Central Post Office

Opening hours:

  • From Monday to Friday: 9:00 – 16:30
  • Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 – 12:00

Ticket prices are not fixed but will depend on the show. There are two types:

  • 150,000 – 900,000 VND/ticket for a special show
  • 80,000 – 650,000 VND/ticket to watch periodic shows.

You can see the performance schedule at the ticket counter or on the website of the Opera House. At the end of the performance, take the opportunity to admire the most unique architecture in Saigon and take lots of amazing check-in photos here!

*Tips for visiting the Opera House

  • You should check the performance schedule of the Opera House in advance to buy tickets and arrive on time;
  • Because visiting the Opera House will be attached to each performance, it is best to arrive about 15 – 30 minutes before the show time to find a seat, take a photo to check-in or take advantage of the tour before starting;
  • At the end of the program is the time when the artists will interact with the audience, so you can prepare your camera or phone in advance to take souvenir photos;
  • Do not bring smelly food or drinks into the Opera House to avoid affecting the general atmosphere;
  • When entering the Opera House, you have to dress politely and avoid wearing offensive costumes.