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Nightlife in Hanoi: Best Things To Do

Nightlife in Hanoi is an experience like no other. From glamorous nightclubs to laid back pubs to puppet theatre, there is a little bit of everything in the city. No matter what kind of night owl you are, there is something you can find to enjoy in Hanoi, Vietnam. Hanoi’s nightlife is split into 3 main areas: Bia Hoi Junction, West Lake and the Historical Centre. Bia Hoi has a more relaxed vibe, while the other two areas are glitzier.


Hanoi nightlife has many choices for both solo travellers and families, making it a fantastic city to visit. This list covers a mix of the best things to do in Hanoi when the sun sets. Trust us, the fun doesn’t have to end when the night comes in this magical city in Vietnam. Let’s get into the list!


What is Hanoi nightlife like?

Hanoi is a colourful city full of wonderful cultural attractions during the daytime. When night comes, the locals get off work and have some fun! There is a unique mix of young students, locals and tourists, all enjoying a good time on the Hanoi streets.


Depending on what area you go to, you may have a different experience. Many locals enjoy going to a local pub or Beer Hoi (beer spot) for a pint of Vietnamese beer. It’s a great way for them to release stress from their busy workday while chatting with friends. Vietnamese people are very kind and will gladly chat with you at these Beer Hois.


If you don’t want something so casual, nightclubs in Hanoi can be very exciting! Put on your nicest clothes and dance your heart out to the hottest music.


Hanoi is big on live cultural events like water puppet theatre shows and circus displays. So, if you are going with young children, Hanoi has plenty of nighttime activities to enjoy.


Nightlife in Hanoi

hanoi-nightlife
Photo credit: Rogier Schutte

Go on a Bar Hopping Adventure

When you want the full, local experience of nightlife in Hanoi, you have to try bar hopping. Hanoi nightlife closes quite early compared to other cities, so many young locals opt for hanging out with friends while sipping on a beer. It’s definitely a good way to beat the Vietnamese heat! There are a variety of beers you can try at most Hanoi bars, ranging from local beers to imported Belgian beers.


Going to a bar in Hanoi is a much more laid-back experience than clubbing, but you should still dress relatively nice. If you want a more upscale atmosphere, there are plenty of fancy wine bars you can check out as well. Some of the best bars to visit in Hanoi are: Hair of the Dog, Legend Beer, and Tadioto. But, there are plenty of other bars to check out while in Hanoi.


Visit a Beer Hoi

What if you want a drink with friends, but without all the frills? Check out a local Beer Hoi then! A beer hoi is an area where various small shops sell beer and snacks. At beer hois, you will find plastic chairs outside to sit on, and plenty of locals chatting and laughing. The dress code here is casual, so there’s no need to put on your nicest clothes.


Visiting a beer hoi is a wonderful way to enjoy the nightlife in Hanoi. Vietnamese people are very kind and sociable, so try and chat with some of the locals when you’re visiting these beer hois. Bia Hoi Junction is probably the most famous beer hoi in Hanoi, but there are others around the city you can check out.


Club the Night Away

Like many other major cities, Hanoi has some awesome nightclubs. Most Hanoi clubs have a spacious dance floor and play the latest EDM beats. Grab a cocktail and dance the night away at any of the clubs in Hanoi. There are plenty of clubs to choose from, so you can find a nightclub that fits your nightlife Hanoi wants.


If you are going to visit a nightclub in Hanoi, it’s best to dress well as some places have dress codes. Visiting a nightclub in Hanoi can be an exciting and fun way to spend a night while in Hanoi!

nightlife-in-hanoi
Photo credit: Raphael Schaller

Watch a Unique Live Event

One thing many may not know about when it comes to Hanoi nightlife, is how many unique live events there are. Below are some of the most interesting activities you can do during the night time in Hanoi.


Hanoi Rock City: this space hosts live music, karaoke, and local art performances. The best part is that the entry is free!


Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre: if you want to see a cultural event while in Hanoi, take the family to watch a traditional water puppet show. As the name suggests, it’s a puppet show where the puppets are over water! This tradition began a long time ago when paddy fields would be so flooded, that farmers would jump into the water and tell stories with puppets.


The performances became so popular that they became a large part of Vietnam’s culture. Watch classic Vietnamese folktales told in this creative art form at the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre! You will fall in love with this special artform. It’s best to book your tickets ahead of time, they sell out quickly!


Hanoi Opera House: this gorgeous opera house is close to Hoan Kiem Lake, and has a truly outstanding design. Built by the French, the Hanoi Opera House has a lot of European influence in its design. To witness some of the best performances of Vietnamese opera, traditional music shows, and ballets, this opera house is a must-see destination. It’s a great way to venture into nightlife in Hanoi if you’re with young kids, or don’t want to party.


Central Circus: Hanoi nightlife has many exciting activities, but what if you are with your family? Then, take a trip to the Central Circus for some family-friendly fun. Watch two hours of fun acrobatics, animal tricks, and more! The circus also has plenty of games around the area for some extra joyous times.


Minh’s Jazz Club: there is no place more famous for live music in Hanoi than Minh’s Jazz Club. Some of the best live musicians come together to perform incredible music shows that will take your breath away. It will definitely be a memorable way to celebrate the nightlife in Hanoi.


Have a Shopping Spree in the Night markets

There is no experience more “local'' than visiting a night market in Hanoi. Night markets in Hanoi are filled with colourful tents selling everything from cheap clothes to souvenirs to electronics! Don’t forget to haggle while you are visiting these night markets, so you can get the best deal.


Though there are many wonderful stalls on the main streets of the night markets, check out the smaller alleys as well. You will be sure to find plenty of unique goods while exploring the best night markets in Hanoi.


Whenever you get hungry, no worries. Most night markets in Hanoi have some of the most delicious street food stalls in the city. Make sure to give the local foods a try while at the night markets. It will be an unforgettable time exploring the nightlife in Hanoi.


Eat your way through Hanoi’s nightlife

As previously mentioned, Hanoi is famous in Vietnam for its incredible street food scene. But, you can find food stalls outside of night markets as well! There are plenty of street food stalls open throughout the city. Most food stalls have a few stools or tables outside, but the food is so delicious, that you probably won’t mind eating while standing sometimes! At night, many of these street food stalls open up around busy areas and bars, so keep your eyes open!


There are many different types of food to try in Hanoi, but the most popular snack amongst locals is likely BBQ. Give all the different snacks a try, and see which food you enjoy the most to celebrate Hanoi nightlife.

hanoi-nightlife
Photo credit: Alexander Sinn

Nightlife Hanoi tips

  • Hanoi is an incredibly safe city, but wherever places get busy there will be some people trying to pickpocket. It’s best to keep a close eye on your belongings when out and about in Hanoi’s nightlife scene.

  • Taxis tend to overcharge during the night time, so it’s best to take a taxi from Mai Linh or CP Taxi. These taxis will provide more reliable prices. However, if you can, you may want to walk home instead.

  • Have your hotel’s address written on paper, so the taxi driver has an easier time knowing where to take you.


Summary

Whether you want to watch a live jazz performance or dance through the night, Hanoi has something for everyone to enjoy. Take the time to explore all the wonders that Hanoi nightlife has to offer. You will have plenty of fun stories to tell after your travels!


Hotels in Hanoi

After exploring Hanoi at night, consider staying at one of the quaint hotels in Hanoi's Old Quarter. They are right in the heart of everything, making it easy to continue your adventure at dawn.


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