TOURS Top 10 Things To Do in Hanoi at Night

Hanoi, Vietnam, has a vibrant nightlife scene
Hanoi, Vietnam, has a vibrant nightlife scene | © dave stamboulis / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Piumi Rajapaksha
21 September 2021

There is never a dull moment in Hanoi, especially at night. This vibrant city is teeming with fun activities once the sun has set. Here are some of the best, with something new to try each night in the Vietnamese capital.

Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake

Bridge, Buddhist Temple, Park
Turtle Tower, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Asia
© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

Located by the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake is a fun place to walk around and snap some pictures at night. After sunset, the buildings and houses sparkle with lights, which reflect on the water surface, creating a colourful sight. In the centre of the lake is an island – which is accessible via a red bridge – on which Ngoc Son Temple was built. Around the lake is a pedestrian path that becomes popular for health enthusiasts come sundown; you will find joggers, cyclists and even some older people using outdoor fitness equipment.

A mellow evening at Binh Minh Jazz Club

Bar, Vietnamese, $$$

Want something a little more relaxed? Head over to Binh Minh Jazz Club where you can watch the finest musicians in the city play their instruments with love. The interior is dark, creating a mellow ambience that couples well with the style of entertainment. Quyen Van Minh is regarded as the best Vietnamese jazz performer in history, and you may even be able to shake his hand as he still enjoys jamming with his band on some nights. Drinks may not be cheap, but if you factor in the quality of the venue and entertainment, it’s more than worth it.

Watch a water puppet show

Concert Hall
Puppeteers in the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, Hanoi, North Vietnam, Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Asia
© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

Water puppet shows are a favourite among tourists in Vietnam. This ancient art form features puppets being controlled by adept puppet masters, enacting sketches of the local lifestyle and stories of ancient myths and folklore. Located by Hoan Kiem Lake, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre has garnered a reputation for putting on some of the finest shows. Get your tickets early as they sell out fast!

Chug beer at the Bia Hoi Junction

Market, Beer, Japanese
Busy Bia Hoi Junction famous for street food restaurants at night in the Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam
© Bjanka Kadic / Alamy Stock Photo

The Bia Hoi Junction is in the centre of the Old Quarter and is the absolute classic night-time activity in Hanoi. Here, you’ll find several shophouses that have turned their entrances into street-side bars, complete with plastic tables and stools spilling out onto the sidewalk. They serve beer for as little as 10,000 Vietnamese dongs (£0.35). Street vendors walk around selling steamed peanuts, beef jerky and other exotic snacks. If you’re travelling solo, this is where you will make friends, as it’s almost always crowded – by tourists and regulars alike.

Dine at West Lake

Hanoi, Vietnam - February 22, 2016: Bridge at West Lake and Temple in Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam
© Roman Babakin / Alamy Stock Photo
West Lake, called Hồ Tây in Vietnamese, is a popular residential area for foreigners, along with embassy residences. Around the lake, you’ll find many high-end restaurants and bars catering to crowds looking for a lovely night out. Depending on your location, you will get to see the stupa of Trấn Quốc Pagoda standing tall at 15 metres (49 feet). It is the oldest temple in Hanoi, built in AD 544 by Emperor Lý Nam Đế.

Dance the night away at HERO Club

Nightclub, Vietnamese, $$$

HERO Club is an industrial-style nightlife venue with a reputation as one of the best nightclubs in the city, throwing some awesome parties and themed nights. The DJ booth is set within an old Soviet truck, and the walls are adorned with colourful murals of superheroes and propaganda posters. The dance floor gets wild, with dancers in birdcage-like structures hanging above, and the music ranges from hip-hop to deep house and lounge. The cocktails aren’t expensive – they start from as low as 75,000 dongs (£2.60). Despite the low prices, this club attracts an affluent crowd, so dress to impress.

Shopping at the Hanoi Night Market

Night shot of one of the many busy streets that comprise Hanoi's Night Market in the Old Quarter, Vietnam. The popular market takes place on weekend e
© Nando Machado / Alamy Stock Photo

Visit the Hanoi Night Market even if you don’t want to shop. It’s an excellent place to immerse yourself in the lively night-time atmosphere of Hanoi, meet people, snap some pictures and enjoy some delicious street-side snacks. Of course, you might be tempted to buy other things, too.

Visit the Quảng Bá Flower Market

HUE, VIETNAM - NOVEMBER 19,2018: Sellers on the local market in Vietnam. Fresh flowers on traditional market.
© MARIUSZ PRUSACZYK / Alamy Stock Photo

While visiting a flower market at night might seem a little weird, it’s not. Just like the produce markets that supply restaurants, the Quảng Bá Flower Market reaches its peak right after midnight, around 2am. This commercial market supplies all the floral shops and vendors in Hanoi, so to get the freshest flowers, business owners enjoy browsing this market in the wee hours of the morning. There are so many colours and fragrances – it’s a little bit like walking into a giant outdoor garden, but at night.

A drink with a view at Summit Lounge

Bar, American, European, Vietnamese, $$$

Rooftop bars are aplenty in Hanoi, but the Summit Lounge at the Sofitel Hanoi sets the gold standard for the others to reach. Enjoy a cool evening cocktail while looking over not one but two lakes, Hồ Tây and Truc Bach, with one of the most picturesque streets in Hanoi, Thanh Niên, separating them. Opening at 4pm, this is a great place to enjoy some drinks while watching the sunset; afterwards, head over to the Old Quarter where the party continues after midnight.

These recommendations were updated on September 21, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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