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Opera House Tips (18)

Opera House

Another example of French Colonial Architecture, is the 1897 Opera house. it seats 800 people and was used for the national assembly form 1956 to 1975 before being converted back to a performance hall.

Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
Oct 12, 2016

An Old Nice Building!

Saigon Opera House- Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre. Located in a convenient location in the city center, this is seen as the central and municipal theater where takes place theatrical and art performances and can also be used to organize big events. It is also the oldest theater as a sample of Western European architecture.

Saigon Opera House is an architectural counterpoint to the Hanoi Opera House (built in 1911, as a sample of Opéra Garnier architecture in Paris, 900 seats, architect Broger et Harloy). Saigon Opera House holds its own specific unique features. The author of this architecture is the architect Félix Olivier, Ernest Guichard, and Eugène Ferret. It was built in 1900 in the style of "flamboyant" of the French Third Republic.

Front door was clearly influenced by the art Petit Palais that was built in the same year in France. Modern interior design is described with full facilities for sound and light. Apart from the ground floor, there are 2 upstairs with total seat of 1,800. All decorative samples and embossment in the facade and interior were painted by a famous French painter like samples in French churches in the late 19th century and sent from France through.

However, for façade decoration, the theater also received many criticisms. As Empire style (after being decorated with Beaux Arts style, simplicity as style of Art Deco), the theater façade was decorated with many embossment and sculpted statues; hence it was criticized quite cumbersome and confusing.

So in 1943, some these decorations were removed to rejuvenate architectural styles. In 1998, on the occasion of the 300th of Ho Chi Minh city establishment, the contemporary government recovered its original function as city theater as well as rebuilt decorations such as two art goddess statues, the festoon, the lamp, etc. during the renovation and upgrade the theater. Total cost of restoration is about 25 billion VND.

Saigon Opera House, Ho Chi Minh City is located in Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Theatre is considered the central theater that organizes art theatrical performances, and also be used to organize big events. It is also the oldest theater as a sample of Western European architecture.

In 1863, the troupes from France performed here. At first, they performed at the wooden house at the Clock Work (Place de LHorloge) at the corner of Nguyen Du - Dong Khoi today. Then the theater (Saigon Opera House today) was started construction in 1898. In early 1900, the theater was solemnly inaugurated. The facade of the theater is decorated with statues and embossment.

Between the World War I and the World War II, to bring theater troupes from France to perform, Saigon city was subsidized much. So many people had suggested using theater as a place to perform for the French bands. The amendment project was launched in 1943, then the facade was restored as it today.

With a ground floor, two floors, 1,800 seats, cooling air, wonderful sound and light system, Saigon Opera House are considered the most professional serving place by both domestic and foreign tourists.

Saigon Opera House is one of the oldest theatres showing values of historical ups and downs of Ho Chi Minh City and is considered as a must- visit tourist destination in the city.

Here are comments about Saigon Opera House from Tripadvisor:

“A visit to the Saigon Opera House is a must for visitors to Ho Chi Minh City. It has been beautifully restored to its classical beauty both in and out. We attended a performance of "The Mist" a Vietnamese folk ballet depicting life in a country village. It was a great show. The acoustics in the hall are fantastic and the seats are comfortable. Highly recommend attending a show or at least visit the Opera House for a look-see.” (Mojave from Canyon Lake, Texas).

“Very nice opera house in the centre of the town so you can't miss it...actually we haven't been inside because we had no time but next time I would see this interesting building more properly because i think that definitely worth a visit” (Guevara, Bridgwater, England). Source from

KeithValentina's Profile Photo
May 07, 2015

Municipal Theatre

Also known as the Saigon Opera House, this wonderful example of French colonial architecture lies in the heart of the city's District 1 area, surrounded by new shopping plazas and posh hotels. Built in 1897 by French architect Ferret Eugene, the 800 seat building was used as the home of the Lower House assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. It was not until 1975 that it was again used as a theatre, and restored in 1998 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Saigon.

Willettsworld's Profile Photo
May 03, 2010

Municipal Theatre

Constructed in 1897 to the original design by French architect Eugene Ferret. The building underwent considerable internal modifications after the French withdrawal from South Vietnam in accordance with the 1956 Geneva Agreement when the Ngo Dinh Diem government turned the Opera House into the headquarters of the Lower House.

The building regained its original function after reunification in 1975 and today provides 559 seats for orchestral concerts, opera, theatre and ballet. The air-conditioned Opera House boasts state-of-the-art sound and lighting with four dressing rooms and additional areas catering for about 100 performers.

Highlands Coffee is directly behind the Opera House in Lam Son Square.

JohanIsWeg's Profile Photo
Dec 17, 2008
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Hotels Near Ho Chi Minh City

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Another stop in HCMC tour

On your daily tour in HCMC, if you start from Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral and moving to City Hall, Opera House will be your stop in the middle. It is located at the start of the famous Le Loi Avenue and its elegant architecture will attract you.

muratkorman's Profile Photo
Nov 07, 2008

The Opera House

The Opera House is naother French colonial building in Ho Chi Minh, it's three floors high and can seat 1800 people... although it was built as an opera house, it didn't stay that way all the time. In 1955 it became a shelter for refugees, South Vietnam's National Assembly building and today, after some restoration works, functions as a theatre... with a bit of everything: plays, concerts, ballet, opera, and even Vietnamese traditional dances.

Today, it seems, it's most famous as a meeting place, especially at night... if you stroll nearby you'll see many local youths hanging about, meeting up with friends, chatting the night away... and more basically people-watching.

call_me_rhia's Profile Photo
Jul 26, 2007

Opera House in the Evening

I was so tempted to walk in as they were having a concert within the building. Chose not to in case I get shot at...Kidding!

Historical building built by the French in the 1900s. It fortunate that the picture came out clear as I took it without a tripod nor flash. This means that I really have to keep my hands real still. Oh boy!

Aidy_p's Profile Photo
Apr 28, 2007

opera house

Built by the French at the end of the 19th Century and renovated in the 1940's this is a fine example of colonial architecture. It is no longer used for operas but for occasional performances of vietnamese music. It is a central landmark in the city.

stalks's Profile Photo
Sep 11, 2006

Top 5 Ho Chi Minh City Writers

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"Saigon Saigon !"
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"Former Saigon"
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"Ho Chi Minh City 29/3/08 - 3/4/08"
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Theatre and Opera

The National Theatre (also called Opera House) was built in 1900 to cater for the cultural cravings of the French colonialists. Today, it still caters for cultural buffs, and is another fine example of beautiful French architecture.

maria_hz's Profile Photo
Jul 21, 2006

aka Municipal Theatre

This building is beside the Continental Hotel, and right in front of Caravelle. It is one of those many buildings in HCMC that reflect its colonial past with its architecture.

We took this photo across the street. In this picture, you'll see cars and motorbikes (modern mode of transport), and yet catch a glimpse of old Vietnam (the old lady wearing a traditional conical hat, peddling coconuts on the street).

chatterley's Profile Photo
Jul 01, 2005

Opera House

Built by the French at the end of the nineteenth century and renovated in the 1940s, this fine example of colonial architecture is a landmark in the centre of Saigon. It is no longer used for European opera, but there are occasional performances of Vietnamese music.

iwys's Profile Photo
Mar 06, 2005

Saigon Opera House (Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater)

This magnificent building was built at the turn of the century and renovated in the 1940s. Three stories and 1,800 seats are inside. Today it does very little in terms of performances, but it is a stalwart atmospheric holdout amid steel and glass downtown.

xiquinho's Profile Photo
Oct 07, 2004

Things To Do Near Ho Chi Minh City

Things to Do

Bitexco Financial Tower

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Post Office

This 19th century building is another great example of the legacy of French colonial architecture left in the City. its still an active post office and the inside is as ornate as the outside and not...
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Cholon Mosque

The Cholon Mosque in Saigon's Chinatown is representative of the city's small Malaysian and Indonesian Muslim communities. Built in 1932, the blue and white house of worship is an island of simplistic...
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Diamond Plaza

Not exactly a classic Saigon landmark, but it's a favorite with expats. Inside is a mall that's indistinguishable from an American mall, until you look closely at the products on the shelves. Upstairs...
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Temple in Cholon (Chinatown). Thien Hau, the lady of the sea is known as Matzu in China and is the chief diety of this temple which sits in the Chinatown of Saigon near the benh thanh market area in...
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Fito Museum of traditional Vietnamese medicine

While I confess I'm in the Minchin school when it comes to 'alternative' medicine, the Fito Museum of traditional Vietnamese medicine is worth a trip away from the centre. Set over four floors of an...
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Getting to Ho Chi Minh City


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