Last updated 16 November 2011By Mark Bowyer
While Hanoi has warmly embraced BMWs, Bentleys and Louis Vuitton as welcome signs of the capital’s emergence from the gloomy days of centrally planned everything, the development of nightlife has been more fraught.
Not so long ago, some of the most regular visitors to Hanoi’s late night establishments were the local police, usually to shut things down. It was near impossible to get a drink after midnight. Things have improved lots in recent years but Hanoi’s nightlife is still a more mellow affair than its racy counterpart in the south, Saigon. That’s not such a bad thing though.
Weather permitting, the garden in the grounds of Hanoi’s spectacular Opera House is a very special spot for a glass of wine and a chat pre or post dinner. 1911 restaurant provides the service - and of course they’ll happily welcome you into their upscale restaurant beneath the Opera House ...Read more
This place doesn't require much explanation. Each night, hundreds of travellers and a handful of locals descend on makeshift outdoor bars in the Old Quarter to sit on plastic stools, drink beer and watch the city rush by. Especially busy during the hot nights of summer. This is not the ...Read more
Newly opened CAMA-ATK is an alternative music and art space that the owners also describe as a speakeasy.Read more
Buzzing space over two floors that's especially busy on weekends. A late night favourite with a mix of young locals and foreigners. Small dance floor.Read more
Lounge style bar that’s popular with young Hanoians and expats. A step up from the friendly grunge of many other Old Quarter venues. Small dance floor kicks along on weekends.Read more
One of the longer running Hanoi late night establishments, it’s had several addresses over the years. Popular with young locals and expats. DJs and parties on weekends.Read more
A no-frills expat institution in the Old Quarter with cheap food and drinks. Recently had a facelift. Popular late night haunt on weekends.Read more
A very cute cafe in a colonial era space with plenty of original touches. A nice place to grab a quiet evening drink. Basic drinks menu but great vibe. Upstairs opposite the cathedral.Read more
Hanoi Rock City, in Hanoi's West Lake area about 10 minutes from downtown, is a mix of outdoor bar, club and live music venue - it all depends on the night. The emphasis is on edgy local and international live acts and DJs. The lineup sometimes includes exhibitions and performance ...Read more
A Vietnamese take on cabaret with singers doing Viet pop and Western tunes, dancers clad in very little moving to the beat, with a mainly local crowd spending up big on cognac, whiskey and anything else the highly persuasive waitresses are offering. Take your sense of humour and catch a ...Read more
One of Hanoi’s nicest restaurants, set in a beautiful French colonial villa, is also a nice place for a quiet drink.Read more
Friendly pub in the middle of the old quarter with reasonably priced drinks, pub food and a steady crowd of travellers. Not easily missed with its distinct deep red colouring. Outdoor area great for Old Quarter people watching.Read more
The sidewalk cafe at the historic Metropole Hotel is a perfect spot for a quiet - if expensive - Hanoi drink. The colonial era building is one of Hanoi’s finest. A favourite with Hanoi’s nouveau riche.Read more
Small, grungy, smoky and friendly, lounge space. Cheap drinks. A favourite with expats. Old Quarter.Read more
Phuc Tan is the place you’ll end up when the night has spun out of control. Down narrow lanes about 10 minutes from downtown Hanoi and overlooking the Red River, this is where partying masses descend when the Old Quarter bars wind up. And the party goes well into the ...Read more
One of the original early 90s expat hangouts, the Polite Pub still attracts a small band of local and expat loyalists. Also a popular spot for sports viewers.Read more
A trendy new spot for Hanoi’s pretty people. Great views across the city, hip, modern decor - pricey drinks.Read more
One of Hanoi’s newest restaurants also features a cool bar space. Good vibe on weekends and great for a quiet chat, a cocktail or a glass of wine.Read more
Taboo is a lounge / club style venue floating by the shore of West Lake that's popular with glamorous young Hanoians. Very tall bottles of vodka are the preferred symbols of status here and other similar establishments. The less sophisticated who merely drink by the glass are also grudgingly tolerated. ..Read more
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