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Hanoi is one of the most ancient capitals in the world with over one thousand years old history, traditions and culture. It is always a must-visit destination when coming to Vietnam to explore its various historical relics and cultural values. This makes a lot of tourists think that Hanoi is quite conservative and boring after dark. However, it is not true at all. Hanoi nightlife is very surprising and lively. When the sun goes down, the capital is certainly boisterous with a variety of things to do from interesting street activities to energetic parties in top clubs and bars in Hanoi. Are you ready to discover Hanoi nightlife? Cherish the spontaneity of Hanoi nightlife.
Hoan Kiem Lake is a famous destination in Hanoi which is known as the spiritual and geographic centerpiece of Hanoi. In the daytime, Hoan Kiem Lake looks elegant in its fresh and quiet atmosphere, with a spiritual essence fusing into the air from Ngoc Son Temple in the heart of the lake. However, when the sun sets down, the lake seems to pulse in its the new face which is vibrant and striking. The buildings and roads around the lake are equipped with a system of colorful lights which are reflected on the water surface creating a wonderful sight. Hoan Kiem Lake is the center of attraction of Hanoi tour.
While Hoan Kiem Lake is quite bustling, the West Lake will give you a different aspect of Hanoi nightlife. After dark, West Lake has a gentle beauty with fresh air and peaceful atmosphere. Therefore, a lot of local people and foreigners come to West Lake to take a stroll around the lake. Or you can sit at a street food stall to taste the delicious dishes and enjoy the serene view of the lake.
In addition, West Lake is an ideal place in Hanoi to have a romantic dinner. There are various restaurants along West Lake that can serve all your requirements. Dining in a floating restaurant may be a novel experience that you should not miss. Potomac Restaurant, Hemispheres Steak & Seafood Grill, Da Paolo Westlake, Dieu’s Cuisine, etc are the restaurants having good reviews around West Lake.
One of the attractive places in West Lake is Tran Quoc Pagoda – Vietnam’s oldest temple which was built in the 6th century. It is considered as a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. This pagoda is a stunning place to see the sunset over West Lake. If you have a chance, you definitely come to Tran Quoc Pagoda to enjoy the poetic view of West Lake when the sun comes down.
Dong Xuan Night Market is an ancient market in Hanoi with hundreds of years old heritage, which appeals to both local and foreign tourists. This is a great place for shopping with thousands of products and souvenirs. Maybe, it is not exaggerated to say that you can find almost everything you need here. However, even if you are not interested in shopping, Dong Xuan Night Market is still a must-visit place to explore Hanoi nightlife. Immerse in the lively night-time atmosphere and enjoy various interesting activities at Dong Xuan Night Market.
You can walk along the pedestrian street illuminated with decorative lights, which is a popular spot for snapping photos. Also, tasting the famous street food of Hanoi in one corner of the market and chatting with friends is a great idea to cherish the vibrancy of Dong Xuan Night Market. Especially, on Sundays, there are some traditional music performances organized by Vietnam Musicians Association such as Cheo singing, Tru singing and Xam singing. In addition, this is an ideal place to buy souvenirs from a lot of cute and adorable items sold in Dong Xuan Night Market. Certainly, you can save a lot of money because the price is less expensive than the conventional souvenir shops while the quality is the same.
Dong Xuan Night Market opens on weekends from Friday to Sunday from 18:00 hours to 23:00 hours. Its location is on Hang Dao Street and continues towards the north.
Ta Hien is a small street located in the Old Quarter. Its length is just about 200 meters but Ta Hien is one of the most crowded streets at night. Ta Hien Street also has another name called “International Crossroads” as you can see the harmony between Western and Eastern culture. It is well-known for a kind of beer called “Bia Hoi”. Coming to Ta Hien Street, you can see several shophouses with plastic tables and stools spilling out onto the sidewalk. Each night, Ta Hien Street attracts a lot of foreigners and local people coming to drink beer and chit-chat with friends. Also, it is really an small food heaven with a lot of kind of exotic snacks sold in the super small alleyways that you can explore.
If you come to Hanoi, you definitely come to Ta Hien Street because it is the best place to make friends. Most people coming to this street are really friendly and quite young so it is quite easy to strike up a conversation with them. One interesting thing is that a glass of beer in Ta Hien Street is just under US$1 – so cheap, right? But it is still super delicious. There is no place to experience the vibrant Hanoi nightlife than in Ta Hien Street. Therefore, it’s definitely worth a try!
Long Bien is the first steel bridge across the Red River in Hanoi. It has witnessed the ups and downs of the nation’s history and has become an iconic structure of Hanoi. Today, the bridge is not in its original beauty as after being used for a century, it experienced a lot of maintenance work to ensure the safety and protect its beauty as much as possible.
Long Bien Bridge has a special beauty when the sun sets. In the late afternoon, the bridge is a great place to watch the sunset. At this time, if you are on Long Bien Bridge, you will enjoy the fresh air and the antique architecture under fading sunlight. You should capture the sunset scenery of Long Bien Bridge. In the evening, the bridge becomes comparatively quiet and romantic. Therefore, it appeals to a lot of couples and groups of friends to stroll around. You can take a seat at a stall on the bridge, drink a cup of lemon tea in the summer or eat a hot grilled corn in the winter and enjoy wholesome river atmosphere. Each night, there are some trains, crossing the bridge with their familiar sound. Many people say that this sound brings to them the peaceful feeling of nostalgia that makes their soul beautiful.
Thang Long Theater is one of a famous attraction in Hanoi specializing in water puppet shows. Water puppet is an ancient folk art form of Northern Vietnam, originating from Red River Delta that dates back to the 11th century. The performance includes stories that are acted out by the puppets in the water accompanying with Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional music using bamboo flutes, wooden bells, and drums. Most stories are Vietnamese folk tales and legends which narrate the Vietnamese farmers’ daily life in the 11th and 12th century in a humorous fashion.
Each puppet water show lasts about an hour with 17 short skits. You can have a chance to understand more about the ancient Vietnamese culture, an entertainment time with humorous stories while experiencing a unique kind of Vietnamese ancient art. The first show of the day is at 15:00 and the final one is at 20:30. The ticket price is reasonable at about US$5 per person.
Thang Long Theater is located just by Hoan Kiem Lake so you can come to the theater after visiting the lake. However, the tickets are sold out pretty fast, you should book the ticket in advance to make sure you have a seat at the theater.
Hanoi Opera House is the biggest theatre in Vietnam which was built in 1911. It has a unique style of the neo-classical French architecture featuring Gothic themes on the doors, glass rooms and domes. The interior is even more magnificent with the ancient French designs, which is often compared with the Paris Opera House. Therefore, Hanoi Opera House is a must-visit place even if you do not want to watch the show. Of course, if you want to go inside the house you have to buy the visiting ticket.
At night, you can enjoy the enchanting image of the beautifully lit-up Hanoi Opera House. You may imagine being back to the time when elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen came to opera houses for classy entertainment. Performances in Hanoi Opera House are quite diverse including opera, ballet, musicals, and modern dance. Usually, there are many famous Vietnamese and international artists holding the live show in this theater. You can check the official website of Hanoi Opera House for more details about the shows and ticket bookings. Most performances are held at night so watching a show at Hanoi Opera House is a great choice to enjoy Hanoi nightlife.
Hanoi nightlife becomes more bustling as the number of bars in Hanoi increased significantly. Most bars have its own themes and architecture or forms of entertainment that differentiate them from each other. Here are some recommendations for top bars in Hanoi:
– Location: No.47 Hang Buom Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
– Opening hours: 22:00 hours – 02:00 hours (except Sunday 22:00 hours – 24:00 hours)
– Price: US$3 – US$25
If you are seeking a nice bar with the Western vibe, Factory 47 is a great choice. Its architecture with comfy sofas, pool tables, the long bar and brick walls creates a cool vibe which helps you to chill out after a long day traveling or working. Factory 47 serves you with nice drinks some cold beer and the bar’s creative cocktails. Also, Western bar food at Factory 47 is pretty good with burgers and other yummy bites that you should taste.
– Location: No.170 Tran Vu Street, Truc Bach Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
– Opening hours: 16:00 hours – 24:00 hours
– Price: US$3 – USUS$5
Standing Bar is the must-go destination for craft beer lovers. It is well-known with an impressive tap room featuring 19 taps. Each tap has a kind of brew from Vietnamese craft beer brands throughout the country. Therefore, you can try the different tastes from different taps and also create the new taste when mixing beer from different taps. Moreover, the bar has a great view of Truc Bach Lake and highly spacious for you to chill out with your friends.
– Location: No.3B Tong Duy Tan Street, Hang Bong Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
– Opening hours: 19:00 hours – 02:00 hours
– Price: US$10 – US$25
Ne Cocktail Bar is an ideal place for those who are fond of cocktails. Coming to Ne Cocktail Bar, you will fall in love immediately with the innovative creations that the bartenders offer. You definitely try the Nê’s signature Pho Cocktail which is a complete combination of pho, cardamom, star anise, lime, fresh coriander and of course, your favorite drink. If you prefer a quiet space, it is better to come to Ne Cocktail Bar early because the bar is quite bustling at the midnight.
– Location: No.24 Tong Dan Street, Trang Tien Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
– Opening hours: 08:00 hours – 24:00 hours
– Price: US$3 – US$15
Tadioto is located on a tranquil street which is far away from the bustle of the Old Quarter. Therefore, when coming to Tadioto, you can have a peaceful and comfortable feeling like hiding away from the busy city. The architecture is the combination of Vietnamese and American culture. The drinks are great and beautifully presented. The seating is extraordinarily comfortable with a nice view and a list of the finest Hanoi songs plays as background music. All of these create a unique and gentle ambiance for Tadioto and you should come once to experience it.