I just spent two weeks in Hanoi and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the nightlife.

When I was living in Saigon, people kept telling me that Hanoi was a conservative town with unfriendly people, a curfew at midnight and a suffocating weather.

In fact, I found barely any differences between the two cities, and particularly at night. Saigon is in my Top 3 party destination in Southeast Asia, and Hanoi is not far behind.

The hundreds of bars, clubs, lounges, spas and karaokes in Hanoi range from extremely basic (4 walls and a stool) to world-class sophisticated venues. You'll rarely pay an entrance fee for any nightclubs and the drinks are usually cheap, even in the more upmarket spots. The crowd is young, with many travelers and backpackers on a budget. They are in the city to have fun, and you'll meet people very easily even if you come by yourself.

This review is a summary of my findings during my stay: The best bars, the best clubs, the best places to stay, and how to socialize. If I forgot something important, please don't hesitate to leave a comment at the end of the post.

Hotels near Hanoi Nightlife

You can read my article Best Hotels near Hanoi Nightclubs for more details about the best places to stay in the city.

If you don't have time to read it, here is a quick summary:

The best location is anywhere near the Saint Joseph Cathedral. It is walking distance from almost everything including the airport shuttle, the train station, the Hoàn Kiếm Lake, the Opera and the Old Quarter. 80% of the bars and clubs listed in this review are also within 2 kilometers.

Some of the best accommodation in this area are
→ More than $100 per night: The 5-star Apricot Hotel
→ Between $50 and $100: The Chi
 Under $30: Splendid Holiday Hotel
→ Backpacker: Mad Monkey and Hanoi Backpacker Hostel are famous for being party hostels. Ideal if you travel solo and you want to meet people.

Nightlife Areas in Hanoi
To make things simple, I would say there are 3 major nightlife areas in Hanoi.

→ The Old Quarter is where most backpackers, tourists and Vietnamese students hang out. It is cheap, cramped and messy.
→ The West Lake is where expats and trendy Vietnamese party. It is naturally more expensive and the crowd is older.
→ The Historical Center, from Hoàn Kiếm Lake down to Tran Hung Dao street, is a posh area, particularly around the Opera House. You'll find mostly bars and clubs targeting rich Vietnamese/tourists.

Old Quarter: Tourists and Young Vietnamese
Old Quarter nightlife
A dense, action-packed district with at least 200 nightlife spots, most often small bars selling cheap draught beer (Bia hơi - as low as VND 5,000 or 20 US cents per glass). It is popular with a young Vietnamese crowd (mostly students) and foreigners (backpackers, tourists). 95% of the venues close at 1AM (official curfew), but if you poke around you'll find hidden bars to party until at least 3AM.

You can start your evening at the intersection of Tạ Hiện and Lương Ngọc Quyến streets, also called "Beer Corner". It is pedestrians-only and from there you can just walk from one place to the other.

Many bars seem to have been inspired by the Communist ideology: Identical design, identical product, no name (only a number) and little attention paid to customer service. That said, getting drunk on those tiny stools is still a fun local experience. You'll notice that a lot of people are breathing into balloons of laughing gas. Those are not illegal in Vietnam and they cost between one and three US dollars. They give a mild euphoria or a feeling of numbness for a few minutes. I have the impression that they make your hangover worse on the next day though.

On your pub crawl, you may include some more proper bars and clubs, for instance:


Factory 47: A foreign-owned, hipster bar. Better music than elsewhere but also more expensive. Open from 10AM to 3AM.


This burlesque-themed nightclub is my favorite in the Old Quarter. It is located in an old theater, built by the French, in the now very crowded Tạ Hiện Street. The venue is modern and features daily live music (usually in Vietnamese) followed by DJs playing commercial EDM and Hip Hop. Mixed crowd of Vietnamese (75%, including many students) and foreigners (25%, mostly tourists). Recommended for meeting new people.

Beware as it closes as early as 1AM on weekdays (by 00.30AM they'll already stop selling drinks) and 3 AM on weekends.

The entrance is free on most nights but if there is a special event you'll have to pay around VND250,000. Drinks are more expensive than average: VND80,000 for a beer and VND120,000 for cocktail/liquor.

The dress code is not enforced as I saw plenty of foreigners wearing shorts. If you can, try to put on a pair of pants, a shirt and shoes. This will prevent you from being labeled as a "backpacker" by the bouncers and the Vietnamese crowd.

Weekend nights are the busiest, but some weekdays are interesting as well. Wednesday is students night (2 free beers for students with valid ID) and Tuesday is ladies night (2 free drinks for girls).

West Lake (or Tây Hồ District): Expats and Trendy Vietnamese
In this neighborhood, trendy and chic venues are spread out, principally on the east side of the Lake. The crowd is mostly made of expats and rich Vietnamese. To go there, I advise you to use Grab (only VND50,000 from downtown).

Some of the best venues are:


Standing Bar: One of the hip bars in Hanoi at the moment. It is built on two floors with an outdoor area from where you can see the lake. They serve 16 types of craft beer, local and imported, for around VND80,000-90,000 per half-pint. You can also eat some tapas. Events include stand-up comedy and live music.

100 Garden: A beer garden, owned by a Danish brewmaster (founder of Furbrew). Small beers (175ml) cost around VND45,000 and a pint (375ml) double this price.

The Republic: Aussie-owned expat bar. Good for eating Western food and watching sports (NFL, AFL, football, rugby, etc). Popular hangout on Sundays. Lake view. Close early at midnight.

Unicorn: A dive bar that you could easily miss, but worth a try for their affordable cocktails. Perfect to start the evening.

The Kneipe: A laid back German bar with reasonable prices, decent pub fare and live music/DJ.


A techno nightclub, bar and lounge in the West Lake area. Amazing sound system. It is owned and managed by 4 French based in Hong Kong. Popular with expats. Closes very late. Good cocktails but expensive. My favorite nightclub in Hanoi.

Hero is a popular nightclub in Hanoi for both foreigners and Vietnamese. It usually get crowded after midnight, when most bars in the Old Quarter close down, and it remains busy until closing time at 3AM.

The entrance is free but the drinks are more expensive than average. It remains reasonable though (VND60,000 for a beer, VND80,000 for spirits, VND50,000 for a laughing gas balloon). Many Vietnamese will buy a bottle (starting VND1,000,000) and share it with a group of friends at a table, with a shisha and a fruit platter.

The club is rather large, with a high ceiling and a mezzanine. The design is not remarkable but I like the set-up as it is easy to meet people (long bar, some narrow spaces). The DJ booth is large, elevated, with an LCD screen behind it. You also have 2 iron cages for sexy dancers to perform.

The music is a mix of Top 40 and commercial EDM/Hip Hop songs. Nothing that you haven't already heard a thousand times before. They have guest DJs once in a while, sometimes foreigners (in that case, the entrance fee might reach VND200,000).

Most customers are well-dressed Vietnamese. I would guess that there are some freelance prostitutes. There are also about 20% of foreigners, particularly young travelers/backpackers looking for a girl to pick up. 

The main alternative event and art space in Hanoi, it features live bands, DJ performances, open-mic nights and exhibitions. Entrance is usually free but drinks are pricier than elsewhere.

Historical City Center: Rich Vietnamese and Tourists
The Historical City Center (excluding Old Quarter) from the northern tip of Hoàn Kiếm Lake until Tran Hung Dao street is filled with upmarket restaurants, lounges, bars, and nightclubs. Many are targeting Vietnamese, and more particularly the high-society (Hi-So). You may see some expats and tourists in some specific venues as well.

Below are some of the current hot-spots:

Polite & Co: One of the best cocktail bars in Hanoi. Around USD 10 per drink.

Kumqat Tree Hanoi: A speakeasy bar on 2 floors with live music or DJ events. Good for cocktails.

Binh Minh Jazz Club: Most famous jazz club in Hanoi. No cover charge but drinks are expensive.

Outside of these areas, there are many nightclubs, KTVs and beer clubs targeting Hanoi's middle to upper class.

Vina House Clubs
Many of these nightclubs have a similar concept. They cater for groups of friends, and the entertainment consists of a DJ playing loud "Vina House", with some sexy dancers performing on a podium.

In case you never hear of it, Vina House, or Viet House, is a specialty of Vietnam which is just as remarkable as Banh Mi or Pho. It is a crossover between Pop Music and Techno with almost the same bassline on every track. Here is an example:
There are at least 15 Vina House nightclubs in downtown Hanoi, and I went to most of them. To be honest, it was a bit repetitive as they are not really different from one another.

Basically, they are all quite luxurious in appearance, with flashy lights, modern LED displays, high tables and a few VIP corners. Vietnamese come in groups, sometimes only guys, sometimes with girls whom I'm not sure if they are their girlfriends or lady companions.

There is a DJ, often a sexy girl, who mixes Vina House, and a male MC who shouts at the crowd between songs. The sound is always deafening (bring earplugs). In most places, you also have sexy dancers wearing a different uniform every night. The larger clubs have live bands, unfortunately singing very boring Vietnamese pop.

Dress code: Guys will be expected to wear shoes and long pants. For girls, high heels and skirts are recommended, but as a foreigner, you'll manage to enter without.

Those clubs are not recommended for clubbers who are 1) alone 2) penniless. Even though the entrance is free, you'll be expected to buy a bottle of alcohol (between VND1,000,000 and VND2,000,000 for the cheapest ones) if you want to get a table. The choice of drinks by the glass or by the bottle is limited and pricey (a beer will cost from VND100,000 to VND200,000). Typically, Vietnamese will also add a shisha and a fruit platter to their table. They don't really need it but it's all about showing off how much money you can spend.

The service is particularly attentive because all waiters expect a tip. Even when you go to the toilet the janitor will do everything he can to get a few dongs, from turning on the faucet to giving you a back massage.

The best Vina House nightclub I've been to in Hanoi is called Fame. It is packed any day of the week and features some of the hottest dancers in Vietnam.

Viet-Style Beer Gardens and Beer Bars
Unlike the ones in Thailand that are often laid-back, beer gardens in Vietnam resemble nightclubs and usually have a DJ/loud music. The only difference is that they are cheaper, they serve food and they are partially in the open-air.

The New Spinx Beer Bar is one of the most impressive I've seen in the whole country. It has a massive entrance resembling a temple, a staff dressed up with Egyptian costumes and a huge stage featuring live music acts, DJs and sexy dancers. Beer costs from VND40,000 for a glass of Tiger up to VND120,000 for imported Belgian beers. Sparta is similar, but with a Greek/Roman theme.

Meeting People in Hanoi
Online dating is your best friend for meeting new people  up in Hanoi as long as you use the appropriate websites/apps. Read my article Top Dating Apps and Websites in Vietnam.

Tinder and Bumble: These popular apps work well in the city with younger people, whether they are Vietnamese or foreign.

Vietnam Cupid: This website is the best for those who want to meet a Vietnamese girl but who are not yet in Vietnam. They have 500 to 1,000 girls online at any time, most of whom do not mind if you are staying abroad.

Seeking.com: The most beautiful girls are on Seeking.com, but they are looking for sugar daddies. If that's your thing, you'll be in heaven there.

You can also read: 15 Best Online Dating Apps and Websites to Meet Asian Girls.

13 comments to '' Hanoi Nightlife - Best Nightclubs and Bars (Updated 2023) "

  1. Many thanks for your excellent article

  2. omg , i think he know abt vietnam so well :))

  3. Just came back from an awesome 2 day trip from Hanoi. Wish I could have the chance to go back there again. The nightlife scenes in Hanoi is unbelievably lively. It’s truth that Hanoi is not as chic n hip as HCMC but it has it’s charm on it’s own. The drink prices are relatively cheap and the djs doesn’t play too much ‘vina’ house in clubs. I find 1900 Le theatre, hero bar are superb. It’s unbelieveble that they are packed even on Sunday and Monday as I was expecting for just a quick drink but it quickly turned out to be a full fun night out till 3 in the morning. Headed to craft beer pub for drinks to kick start the night. Beers are cheap with the lowest(35k) for a mug of Saigon beer. Then headed to 1900 Le theatre and was lucky that there’s a international dj spinning, hence was packed(youngsters mostly). Then headed to hero bar which I believe Is the most happening place in Hanoi after 2am. I do notice that most of the girls are out to have fun(not sure if they are freelancers) doesn’t need too much game to start talking and drinking with them. I would say that Hanoi is a fun place and it just added to my list of places of great nightlife, the list will go(if u guys even care): Bangkok, hcmc, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, chiang mai, Lombok,

  4. If many vietnamese girls could not speak english,how can we commnicate with them?It also happened in bangkok.

    1. Google Translate works very well. You just speak/write in your own language, and it translates well enough.

  5. >Those clubs are not recommended for clubbers who are 1) alone

    So you weren't alone? Or drank one bottle..

  6. Just visited Hanoi for a week, was looking for some girls in Hanoi and found that it is extremely difficult to have some fun. Those girls are only willing to dance, drink and chat with you in the bar/club, if you ask for phone number to contact, they normally wont give.
    Have tried the escort too, has a very bad experience. The escort service is vietnamdolls.com.
    Told them would like to have a girl that can stay overnight, I promise to take overnight if only the girl providing good services. However, when they girl arrive, she says not staying for overnight. After some argument, agree that she will stay until 12am and she will go back.
    After paid the money, have some fun, drink and the girl keep saying wanted to go back as early as 10pm. ( she came at 7.30pm) Fed up with those escort, my purpose writing this is to let more people know, vietnam escort service is not ethic. They will always ask for money first, once they have money, they will have a lot of excuses to go back, beware

    1. Why do you bother looking for prostitutes or escorts in clubs? You will only find Vietnamese girls who can't speak English and with no education... I come to Vietnam 3-4 times a year, and each time I find a sugar baby on Seeking.com. This site has cute, young, university-educated girls who are willing to spend a weekend or holiday with you as long as you help them a bit financially. Try it and then thank me!

  7. thanks for that very good introduction into the world of Hanoi. over the last three days i have seen most of the clubs mention above (club-hopping is very easy because you find everywhere taxi and clubs are closed by). compare to Saigon girls are shy and it takes a while to find and start talking. Out of all clubs the worse i have seen was INFINITY in Hanoi (very small club, no dance floor and the crowd is sitting on theis booked tables the whole time). the club what you call the THE BANK doesnt exist anymore and now you will find the club THE TOILET in this place. AND the Playboy Club doesnt exist anymore. HERO was definitely the best club i have visit in Hanoi

  8. where to find the best girl in Hanoi for over-night?

    1. If you want a pretty girl for a few nights in Hanoi, it's best to find a sugar baby. Check Seeking.com to find one, there are many many Vietnamese girls using it to find a foreign guy.

  9. Tinder can be used on a Laptop and you need to include Bumble, it's a goldmine.

  10. Thanks for the excellent article. But one question. Most recommendations are for young people. But if you are 40up and you like to go out, what is your advise?