Sukhumvit is one of Bangkok’s best areas for nightlife. From the classy bars of Thonglor and clubs where you can dance the night away, to the go-go bars of two of the city’s red light districts, Sukhumvit offers something for everyone. A veritable playground for adults after dark, here are some of the area’s best bars.
Step into a frozen wonderland and sip a refreshing drink in temperatures of -10 degrees Centigrade. Titanium Club & Ice Bar is one of Bangkok’s premier ice bars, serving cool drinks—literally—and offering an experience a bit different to the norm. Visitors are given jackets to stay warm, though the chill is often quite welcome in the Bangkok heat. Vodka aficionados will be impressed by the immense selection. If you’re up for partying, thaw off in the club and rock out to the sounds from the all-girl band.
A laid-back rooftop bar within the Le Fenix Hotel, Nest is a great place to relax while soaking up great city views. The vibe is relaxed and the music adds to the ambience. The colourful and unique seating combined with plenty of lush foliage helps to create an attractive space. If the humidity and mugginess outside get to you, there’s also an air-conditioned indoor area. The drinks menu is extensive and the food menu includes Thai favourites and tapas.
One of Bangkok’s most elusive bars, Havana Social Bangkok takes you back to the times of prohibition. The speakeasy-style bar is so secretive that you need to telephone the bar in advance to obtain the password to get in! There are no signs outside, just a retro telephone box where you dial the password for a door to open. Once inside, the Cuban-themed décor is fantastic. At weekends, chill to the sounds of live jazz and then tap your feet to the cool tunes from the DJ. As well as a wide selection of fancy cocktails, including Cuban favourites like the mohito and Cuba libre, there’s also a selection of Cuban cigars that you can enjoy in the separate smoking room. The bar attracts wealthy locals and tourists and you’ll need to dress smartly.
With plenty of seating on each level and unobstructed views of Bangkok’s skyline, Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar is one of the best rooftop bars in Sukhumvit, if not the whole city. There are three floors to choose between. One has a succinct selection of food and drinks, a laid-back atmosphere, funky lighting, lots of plants, and an injection of the industrial. The middle level provides the quietest vibe, while the top floor is a top place for partying. Cocktails are mixed and shaken with zest, the music is diverse, and the panoramic views are breathtaking.
One of the coolest go-go bars in Sukhumvit (and, there are many to choose from!), Tilac Bar is modern and larger than life. It’s located on Soi Cowboy, one of Bangkok’s infamous red light areas. In addition to regular bar girls there are also amazing coyote dancers who keep the energy levels high. There’s lots of gleaming metal, cool lighting, and an abundance of mirrors, along with TVs that show sports (though, why anyone would watch them is a mystery!). The music is loud and the atmosphere is buzzing. Attracting a predominantly male clientele, it’s not all that uncommon to see a few groups of women and couples scattered throughout the bar. Drinks prices are reasonable and there’s relatively little hassle compared with other go-go bars. There’s one more reason to visit: even though Silom’s Sky Bar at Lebua usually gets all the attention for The Hangover II, lots of scenes from the cult movie were shot here too!
A lively bar with live music, dancing, and cabaret performances, Check Inn 99 is a fun place to spend an evening in Sukhumvit. The resident band can play a staggering selection of songs dating from the 60s right up to the present day. The food menu includes Thai dishes, Spanish tapas, and oven-baked pizza, while the drinks menu has a large selection of wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails.
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Boasting the biggest assortment of beers and ciders in Bangkok, Brew is the ultimate bar for any true beer lover. There are local and imported beers, including bottled and draught varieties and myriad craft beers. Located in Thonglor, the fancy bar is in keeping with the trendy neighbourhood. Inside you’ll find beer barrels for tables and TVs that show sports, though many people tend to congregate outside in the courtyard. Guests can also order from the neighbouring cocktail bar, ideal for a group that prefers different tipples, and shisha pipes and bar snacks are also available.
A classy rooftop bar, Above Eleven enjoys a lofty position on the 32nd floor of Fraser Suites. The views are great, but there’s much more to marvel at too—the bar has an unusual theme that combines elements from Japan and Peru! It’s certainly out of the ordinary, with delicious food from different continents listed on an iPad menu, salsa music, and interesting decorative features. Reservations are recommended to ensure you get a seat by the edge for the best vistas. The dress code is a little more relaxed than other sky bars and the prices aren’t quite as steep.
Iron Fairies is a stunning bar in Sukhumvit and is the work of famous designer Ashley Sutton (also responsible for Maggie Choo’s in Silom, The Bookshop Bar and A.R Sutton Engineers Siam, both also in Sukhumvit, and others). Themed like a blacksmith’s forge, the dark bar has many fascinating details that cannot help but impress. Enter a magical world and nibble on free peanuts provided on the tables, order a juicy steak or burger, quaff cocktails, sip beers, and have a night to remember. And, if you want to take home a memento from your evening, the small iron fairy figures are available to purchase.
Another spectacular creation from Ashley Sutton, A.R Sutton Engineers Siam is a romantic bar where you’ll feel as though you’ve entered a fantasy realm. The interiors feature plenty of dark wood, secluded nooks, iron staircases, and other cool features, and there’s also an intimate courtyard if you’d rather drink al fresco. The overall atmosphere is one of an old colonial bar. The cocktail menu is concise and there is a strong focus on gin, which is distilled onsite.
After moving to a new location, Cheap Charlie’s continues to be one of Sukhumvit’s premier dive bars. It’s an ideal place for budget travellers looking to have fun without needing to get glammed up and spend a fortune. The wooden bar, kitsch fairy lights, foreign number plates, wooden signs, and animal skulls are more what you would expect to find in a beach shack rather than in the heart of Bangkok, but the quirkiness just adds to the appeal. Popular with expats and tourists, this is one of the cheapest places to drink in Bangkok.