Hanoi is not world famous for its nightlife and some visitors find it outright staid but there are some places worth checking out and – as everywhere – it's all out there if you look for it.
Perhaps the most prolific side to Hanoi's after-work activities is its many beer bars selling 'bia hoi (fresh beer) where a glass costs a fraction of what it would in the west. One famous travel guide claims that US$10 will buy you (and hopefully your friends) 100 beers!
Once again, the Old Quarter of the city is the place to be for night moves.
If the sometimes frenetic pace and crowds of Vietnam starts to get to you this is the perfect antidote. Real live jazz played by Quyen Van Minh, a locally celebrated saxophonist who also happens to own the club and is somewhat of a jazz catalyst. Coltrane and Charlie Parker downtown Hanoi? You bet. Read More...
Address: 65 Quan Su Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam (3rd floor).
Tel: +844 3942 0400
A staple for clubbing Hanoians and a must-try for visitors, Apocalypse Now recently moved downtown and has reputedly lost some of its edge. Smokey and atmospheric it's the sort of place to see people with attitude rather than a friendly watering hole. Perhaps Hanoi's most Gay-friendly bar.
Location: Star Bowl Centre, Pham Ngoc Thach, Dong Da
Tel: +844 971 2783
Bia Hoi or draught beer flows very cheaply at Bia Hoi bars across Hanoi that attract a mostly backpacker crowd. One of the more popular hangouts is 68 Hang Quat Bia Hoi where seating is provided on plastic stools perched on a floor covered in discarded peanut shells. It’s probably not the best beer in town and it’s certainly not a refined venue, but it is lots of fun at a very low price.
Opening Hours: 09:00-Late
Location: 68 Hang Quat
Tel: +844 3933 3533
Young Vietnamese and youthful expats enjoy the hip-hop and dance music played at this laid-back venue. Shishas, foosball and inexpensive cocktails keep the party going in this friendly bar which has a weekly ladies night every Sunday. Stay downstairs to dance or play pool or head upstairs to lounge around and enjoy a game of Jenga and a smoke of apple and mint tobacco from the hookah bar.
Opening Hours: 10:00-23:00
Location: 15 Hang Buom, Hoàn Kiem
Tel: +844 926 2177
Famous for burgers, fresh fruit cocktails and imported beer, Eté is café bar culture at its best. Three levels including al fresco seating and a karaoke room are decked in local art efforts. Expect dancing and a fun, chic ambience with a diverse crowd. Make sure to explore all levels, each of which has its own unique design.
Opening Hours: 08:00-24:00
Location: 95 Giang Văn Minh, Ba Đình
Tel: +849 7675 1331
Cramming in a trendy 20-something crowd, Funky Buddha caters to lounge lizards lapping up tequila weekend specials and Sambuca nights. A live DJ plays nightly, spinning music through one of the best sound systems found in any Hanoi club. The décor is equally impressive, featuring innovative sculptures. Definitely the place to come and just enjoy music as you won’t be able to hold a conversation over the din.
Opening Hours: 17:00-23:00
Location: 2 Ta Hien Street, Hoàn Kiem
Tel: +84 4 32927614
Another popular place with the expats and open until late, Half Man Half Noodle is run by a popular former barman and features an upstairs games room and quite a mellow atmosphere.
Address: 62 Dao Duy Tu, Hoàn Kiếm.
Tel: +844 926 1943
Historic and elegant, The Hanoi Opera House first opened its doors in 1911 and is a breathtaking landmark created by the French in a neo-classical design complete with Gothic themes on the doors and domes. Pillars, shuttered windows, balconies and a glass room all add up to make a beautifully classic theatre in which musicians, actors and dancers play to a 600-strong audience. Expect powerful operatic and classical performances. Read More...
Location: 1 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem
Tel: +844 9330 113
The al fresco terrace on the roof of the Press Club is well known for its buzzing Friday night vibe. Live bands and DJs play a wide range of music to get the ultra-trendy party crowd going. This is the place of beautiful people and fabulous city views and it hosts a big monthly event on the first Friday of every month.
Opening Hours: 11:00-15:00 and 17:00-Late
Location: 59 A Ly Thai To Street
Tel: +844 39340888
Showcasing the slick, contemporary side of Hanoi's nightlife, the cheerily uniformed bar staff tout steeply priced bottles of western spirits while the show is on the burlesque side borrowing heavily from Parisian revues. This is a good place to see the well-heeled locals as they really are when they come out to play.
Address: 32 Pho Le Thai To, Hoan Kiem Lake
Another beer-swilling classic, Lan Chin is a pavement beer hall with plenty of tables and chairs under a corrugated iron roof. You can get good food here and the beer is markedly superior to the sometimes watered-down brew in the more average Bia Hois. Lan Chin has established itself as the place where locals head to.
Address: 2 Pho Trang Tien, French Quarter
La Salsa tapas bar is a great place to meet friends and enjoy some pre-dinner bar snacks and a few cocktails before heading out for a big night. The drinks list also features fine wines. If you want more than tapas then head to the restaurant on the second floor which also serves classic French cuisine.
Opening Hours: 08:30-23:00
Location: 25 Nha ThoHoan Kiem District
Tel: +844 3828 9052
Cuisine: Tapas Bar, French restaurant
Situated a short stroll from Hoan Kiem Lake, Le Pub is superb place to sit and people watch from the outside terrace. There is an extensive wine list, local and imported beers and plenty of Western and Vietnamese pub food from roast dinners to spring rolls and even poutine. Drinks promotions are available according the day including tequila specials, vodka and gin nights and cocktail discounts.
Opening Hours: 07:00-Late
Location: 25 Hang Be, Hoàn Kiem
Tel: +844 3926 2104
Upstairs is super chic with brightly coloured sofas and divans with the heady scent of fresh flowers and live piano and violin music. Here you can indulge in fine dining. Downstairs, order a vodka martini and check out some of the best cabaret acts in Vietnam.
Address: 51 Pho Ly Thai To, French Quarter
Tel: +844 936 3069
A sports bar complete with foosball and pool tables. Loud and laid back with plenty of low-cost drinks to be enjoyed over a game of pool, although be warned that some of the regulars are pool champions! Happy hour drinks promotions run from 17:00-20:00 daily.
Opening Hours: 17:00- 02:00
Location: 5 Bao Khanh Lane, Hoàn Kiem
Tel: +844 825 0959
An older expat crowd frequent R&R (Rock & Roll) Tavern for a chance to catch up and relax to classic rock. Live music packs the tavern out every Thursday and Saturday. Drinks include cocktails, draft beer and the usual selection of spirits. There’s also a Tex-Mex bar menu and regular ‘all-you-can-eat’ specials.
Opening Hours: 08:00-23:00
Location: 10 Tho Nhuom St, Hanoi
Tel: +844 6295 8215
Featuring a Filipino band churning out old favourites, Seventeen Saloon takes its Wild Western style very seriously. There are cowboys and Red Indians galore entertaining a mostly tourist clientele. Drinks can be pricey but the ambience is certainly different and is always buzzing.
Opening Hours: 17:00-Late
Location: 98b Tran Hung Dao Street, Hoàn Kiem
Tel: +844 39426822
Heavy house and techno music entertain weekend revelers whilst wannabe DJs have a go on the turntables through the week. Solace is a converted boat and good place to dance the night away as it quickly fills up with a young vibrant crowd. This is the place to come post-bar and pre-bed and is considered one of Hanoi’s best dance clubs.
Opening Hours: 08:00-06:00
Location: End of Chuong Duong Do, Hoan Kiem Lake
Tel: +844 174 730
Quirky and eccentric, Studio is a sublime spot set in the midst of Hanoi’s downtown area. Black and white minimalist décor complements the laid-back lounge music and set the pace for a chilled out evening. Mixologists are on hand to deliver a superb cocktail as you sit back, relax and enjoy.
Opening Hours: 10:00-24:00
Location: 32 Ma May
Tel: +844 3926 3882
Punters recline on the plush daybeds and woven couches on Sunset Bar’s chilled-out wooden deck complete with serene views overlooking West Lake. Nestled inside the InterContinental Hotel, this is a superb designer spot to enjoy a cool afternoon Martini far away from Hanoi’s crowds.
Opening Hours: 16:30-24:00
Location: 1A Nghi Tam St, InterContinental Hotel, West Lake
Tel: +844 6270-8888
Sporting events rule at The Spotted Cow with drinking, darts, football and rugby the order of the day. TV screens blast out English Premier League and Rugby games to a mostly male crowd. A friendly, casual watering hole, it’s also a top spot to make new friends.
Opening Hours: 11:30-Late
Location: 23C Hai Ba Trung
Tel: +844 824 1028
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