The 10 Best Bars In Chiang Mai's Old City, Thailand

Photo of Lena Blos
9 February 2017

Chiang Mai’s scenic old city is a popular spot that is filled with hotels and restaurants. Set up like a square, the old city comes to life with a bustling bar scene once the sun sets. Next to quality live music, visitors can expect to find reasonably priced drinks and a fun crowd. Here’s the best places in old city to experience its night life scene.

Chiang Mai bar | © Mark Roy/Flickr

The Writers' Club & Wine Bar

Bar, Wine Bar, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
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This bar has become Chiang Mai’s unofficial press club and is the preferred meeting point for local journalists, writers or other media associates. The laid back atmosphere and comfortable interior is the ideal spot for good conversations and stimulating evenings. Additionally it features a quality selection of wine and tasty food specials. From British authors to Burmese painters, the Writer’s Club is an excellent opportunity to connect with the local crowd and get away from the noise of more touristy bars.

The UN Irish Pub

Restaurant, Pub, Bakery, Bar, Fusion, Irish, Pub Grub, Wine, Cocktails, Beer, Thai
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Irish pubs tend to be a staple among tourist areas and Chiang Mai is no different. Unlike other places, the UN Irish Pub manages to keep a skilful balance between being a haven for the foreign crowd while also integrating itself into the tropical city. The bar serves standard pub food and a range of local and international beers and spirits. Next to the ubiquitous pub quiz, the pub shows Premier League football or NFL games. The tropical garden out in the back is an intimate setting in which visitors can enjoy a few drinks and some comfort food. Next to expat crowds, the pub also sees a range of young backpackers and other locals pass through its door, keeping its vibrant atmosphere alive.

Roots Rock Reggae Bar

Bar, Pub, Thai, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
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Roots Rock Reggea Bar
Roots Rock Reggea Bar | © Courtesy of Roots Rock Reggea Bar
The Roots Rock Reggae Bar is located within Chiang Mai’s busy bar complex in the centre of the old city. Live bands provide quality entertainment every night with genres ranging from reggae to ska, roots, rock and contemporary chart hits. The bar is particularly popular with the backpacking crowd as well as the local Thai population, not least due to its sociable atmosphere, cheap drinks and rhythmic tunes. Beverages range from tasty cocktails to Sangsom buckets. Mingle with the dynamic crowd, shake your hips to the incredibly talented musicians and get lost in the magical ambiance.

John’s Place

The scenic rooftop bar with its open architecture is spread out on two levels and is a fantastic place to enjoy a couple of drinks and as the day comes to a close. At John’s Place visitors can relax with a refreshing beer, play pool or just enjoy the company of friends. The music is kept at background volume rather then drowning out conversations. With its elevated setting the bar attracts a mixed crowd who is looking to enjoy a chilled evening with some singha beers and tasty dishes.
Address: 50200, 95/2 Ratchapakhinai Rd, Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

THC Rooftop Bar

Bar, Thai, Pub Grub
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The THC Rooftop Bar is extremely popular with backpackers and one of the most relaxed places in the city. Located on the second floor, visitors can kick back on comfortable cushions spread out on the floor and enjoy one of the incredibly reasonable drinks. DJs take care of the musical entertainment with vibes of reggae to other chilled out tunes. The trendy Rooftop Bar has been an important part of Chiang Mai’s nightlife scene and continues to attract a mixed crowd. Whether you are looking to meet up with friends or get to know other travellers, the Rooftop Bar is the perfect place to be sociable or to recharge your batteries after a hot day.

Zoe in Yellow

Bar, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
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Over the last couple of years, Zoe in Yellow has arguably become the most popular bar for young travellers and locals looking to party. Located in Chiang Mai‘s bustling bar complex, Zoe in Yellow features a covered dance floor, a bar, as well as an outdoor area. On weekends this place is booming with an animated crowd shaking their hips to contemporary chart music. The bar offers numerous quality beverages from beers to cocktails and shots. The surrounding area is filled with a variety of food stalls and bars if you are looking to take a break from the party atmosphere or fancy a different vibe. Zoe in Yellow offers the most vibrant night life scene in the city and guarantees an entertaining evening.

Chiang Mai Saloon

Chiang Mai Saloon with its Wild West theme might seem at odds in tropical Thailand but the friendly staff, the tasty dishes and the refreshing drinks will win over any visitor. One of the busiest bars in the city, the Saloon is always filled with an animated crowd of expats, locals and tourists. With its rustic wooden furniture and woodcarvings, the bar’s unique design gives it a laid-back flair, making it one of the best places to enjoy a drink or two. It is located just down the road from Chiang Mai’s vibrant bar complex, so start your evening in this relaxed atmosphere before heading off to the next party.
Address: 287, Mahidol Road, Padad Muangchiang Mai,Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand, +66 53 812 784

Northgate Jazz Co-op

Bar, Pub Grub, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
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The intimate venue regularly comes to life with animated tunes and rhythmic tunes. The jazz bar is extremely popular with locals and on busy nights the crowds often spill onto the streets. Tuesday nights are dedicated to jamming and all visitors are welcome to pick up an instrument and join the local musicians. Drinks come at reasonable prices and the service is exceptionally friendly. Jazz and blues enthusiasts will not be able to get enough of the quality entertainment and incredibly talented musicians. Despite its dynamic vibes, the bar offers a laid-back flair, making it truly one of the most magnificent places in the city.

The Lost Hut

Bar, Thai, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
Map View
Lost Hut
Lost Hut | © Courtesy of Lost Hut
This small yet enchanting bar is situated in a bamboo hut. In this unpretentious and laid-back setting, The Lost Hut offers tasty cocktails and Thai dishes, as well as wine and other spirits for great value. The bar welcomes foreigners and locals alike and the incredibly friendly staff is happy to assist or engage in a friendly chat. Few places in Chiang Mai have managed to retain the charm of a relaxed traveller’s bar while also setting itself apart from the generic tourist scene. The Lost Hut has a character of its own and continues to delight and welcome new faces and regulars.

Freedom Bar

This snug reggae bar is connected to the Giant Guest House 2 and is known for its relaxed atmosphere. The selected menu consists of standard drinks such as whiskeys and beers and the moderate price means you won’t make you think twice about ordering another round. The bar’s exterior has been decorated with colorful and skilful paintings in tune with the vibes of its chilled out concept. On certain days the upper deck is open so visitors can climb to the higher level and stretch out on the pillows while taking in the view. The low-key Freedom Bar has been an important part of Chiang Mai’s bar scene and continues to attract a wide range of tourists and locals.
Address: 4 Ratpakini Road,T. Prasingha, A. Mueng,Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand,+66 53 280 767

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