Café Apartment Building in Saigon – An Insider Guide

The Café Apartment Building, located at No.42 Nguyen Hue Street, is a unique blend of modern and old-world charm. Originally constructed in the mid-1960s, this nine-storey apartment block has undergone various transformations over the years. Today, it houses a vibrant array of independent cafes, workshops, boutique fashion stores, and co-working spaces. Nestled along Nguyen Hue Walking Street, it has become a popular destination for visitors seeking a lively atmosphere and creative experiences.

Short history

The Café Apartment Building, originally constructed in the mid-1960s, initially served as dormitories for government and military personnel, including US advisors in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as naval officers in the post-war period. After the Fall of Saigon, some of the apartments were allocated to shipyard workers. However, it wasn’t until the 2010s that the owners of these buildings began embracing the concept of cafe apartments, which subsequently blossomed into a cultural phenomenon in Saigon.

Café Apartment Building on Nguyen Hue walking Street

Today, the nine-storey apartment block at 42 Nguyen Hue stands as a testament to its history, housing a vibrant mix of cafes, boutiques, and creative businesses.

Exploring the Café Apartment Building

Getting there

To reach the Café Apartment Building, head to Nguyen Hue Street in District 1. As it is in the city center you could check if you are able to walk there, otherwise a taxi will cost you not mare than 5 USD from any other place in District 1.

When you are on the Walking Street, look for the eye-catching building with its entrances on the backside. The best time to visit is in the evening when the street comes alive with its vibrant atmosphere. In addition the building itself and surrounding buildings are nicely illuminated.

Nguyen Hue Walking Street at night

Getting inside

To enter the Café Apartment itself, look for the entrance to the left of the bookstore when facing the building from the Walking Street. Inside the Café Apartment Building, you can access each floor using the staircase or opt for the convenience of the elevator by paying a fee of 3,000 VND ($0.13 USD). Many shops and cafes in the building will reimburse the elevator fee when you make a purchase.

stairs at the café apartment building
The stairs in this old apartment building
elevator in Café Apartment Building
Using the elevator cost 3000 VND (0,12 USD)


The Café Apartment Building spans nine floors, each housing a unique array of shops and establishments. On the ground floor, you’ll find the expansive Fahasa Bookstore. As you ascend the floors, you’ll encounter a variety of businesses including beauty salons, a multitude of cafes and coffee shops, a fashion boutique, an English-style tea house, and even co-working spaces.

Boutique shop in the Cafe Apartment Building in Ho Chi Minh City
Boutique clothing shop
Coffeeshop in the Cafe Apartment Building
A coffeeshop with a view

Navigating inside

When inside the building, take your time to explore the different floors and businesses. Look for signs and menus facing Nguyen Hue Walking Street, and remember that the entrances are on the backside where the staircase and elevator are located. If you’re unsure about the layout, a helpful tip is to identify the café or shop you want to visit from outside before entering the building.

Café Apartment Building

While in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to visit other nearby attractions on Nguyen Hue Walking Street.

Nguyen Hue Walking Street

The Café Apartment Building is one of the eye-catching landmarks on Nguyen Hue Walking Street. However, it is great to explore the rest of this lively street. You will encounter a captivating mix of architectural styles, ranging from the old-world charm of French colonial buildings like the People’s Committee, Rex Hotel, and Opera House to modern marvels like the iconic Bitexco Tower.

Cafe Apartment Building
The view on Nguyen Hue Walking Street from the Café Apartment Building

The street is alive with activity, offering a delightful atmosphere where locals and visitors alike come together. With an abundance of coffee shops, restaurants, and street entertainment, Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a vibrant and lively destination to experience the dynamic spirit of the city.

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