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Hanoi Nightlife Travel Guide

hanoi nightlife travel guide

As a seasoned traveler who has visited many cities of the world, the Hanoi nightlife experience is one that never left my vivid imagination. Each time I reminisce on it, the clarity of the flashbacks always convinces me that the memory may linger for a very long time.

Hanoi is one of the favorite cities to visit in Southeast Asia, and the best to visit in Vietnam. Vietnam has 52 cities spread across 330,000 square kilometers of land with a total population of about 96 million.

Since Vietnam started its visa-waiver scheme for travelers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, it has become one of the most visited places by tourists from these countries.

You need to visit Hanoi for more than 4-5 days but if you are on a tight schedule you should follow this 2 day-itinerary.

See also: When is the Best Time to Visit Vietnam

Getting Around Vietnam

There are many transportation options for you depending on your pocket, time to spend and level of adventure you desire.

Getting Around by Air

hanoi airport landing
Image by Lars_Nissen from Pixabay

Many international carriers to Vietnam land in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) or Hanoi city. For first-time travelers, it is advisable to book your flight to HCMC or Hanoi because you’ll meet foreigners, travelers, and tourists like you.

Also, domestic flights to other parts of the country are readily available from HCMC and Hanoi. If you plan to visit a couple of other cities and you have limited time, traveling by air on the long haul is the fastest and most affordable option.

In 2-hours, you can connect the north and south of Vietnam. Note that National carriers are often the cheapest domestic carriers. This is strange but true; in Vietnam, you need your passport for local flights within Vietnam. Prepare ahead!

Getting Around by Train

hanoi by train
Image by Lars_Nissen from Pixabay

If you are the adventure-seeking type and time permits you, traveling by train is fun. You get a chance to explore the Vietnam forests, countryside, mountains, and beautiful landscapes during your journey.

Vietnam Railways run the Reunification Express with a single rail track of about 2,560 km length stretching from Hanoi to HCMC. Connecting Hanoi and HCMC by train can take as much as 40 hours with popular tourist stops at Hue, Danang and Nha Trang.

The train has a well-organized, air-conditioned coach with a comfy berth that makes your journey pleasant.

Little wonder that train fare is slightly higher than public bus fare. Do not get carried away with the beautiful scenery and tourist stop experience, keep a good watch on your money and belongings.

Getting Around by Bus

busses in asia
Image by 7928723 from Pixabay

If you have the luxury of time and want to explore Vietnam by road, it is also a great adventure to partake in. Be warned that most Vietnam roads are narrow. High speed and overtaking commonly cause accidents.

As a tourist or traveler, it is best to go for privately run open tour buses that are comfortable, air-conditioned, and reserved for tourists. The driver in a private bus is more experienced, calm, and collected, they also yield to caution.

A public bus is the exact opposite of these, try and avoid them unless you have mastered the local language and you are up for the associated risk.

See also: Where is the Best Vietnam Massage

Getting Around by Car and Motorcycle

motorcycle in southeast asia
Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

An international driving license is yet to be acceptable in Vietnam, driving yourself around the city is never an option. It is easier to rent a car with a driver assigned by the company.

If the driver is one of the locals who understand English, this may save you the cost of getting a tour guide. Car rent varies depending on the type of car or SUV and the spec you desire, do your findings very well.

For the courageous ones or travelers on a low budget, renting a motorbike is another option in the major cities. Check the bike and make sure you note the number, also be clear about where you want to be taken to, and always request a helmet.

Please do research on the cost of local transportation before setting out. Most drivers will ask outrageous sums from foreigners, but you should be ready to negotiate and agree on a price before boarding.

Best Party Hostels to Stay in Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam is a common meeting point for backpackers and travelers exploring Southeast Asian countries. If you are looking to spend at least a night in

Hanoi and have a feel of nightlife, checking into a premier party hostel is the best option.  Let us help you identify, in no particular order, the best  party hostels in Hanoi:

Hanoi Party Backpacker Hostel

Hanoi Party Backpacker Hostel

BOOK THIS HOSTEL

This hostel is centrally located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and you can easily link any other part of the city from this hostel – be it pubs, restaurants, or nightclubs.

It is a popular destination for travelers and backpackers alike with a regular flow of beautiful young men and women.

The hostel has an exquisite bar that hosts numerous night parties which are always fun and interesting. All the rooms are well-spaced, air-conditioned, and insulated, sound sleep is always guaranteed.

Guests can choose between dorms and private rooms, there is free breakfast regardless of the hostel package you settle for.

Central Backpacker Hostel

Central Backpacker Hostel

BOOK THIS HOSTEL

This hostel is pretty much similar to the hostel above, it is managed by the same team and also located in the busy Old Quarter part of Hanoi. Here you can book different tours and trips from Hanoi to the nearby attractions.

It is also affordable and perfect for anybody looking for a night party and bar. The bar here also hosts regular parties and there is room to meet and mingle.

In addition, this party hostel has a special desk for travel information and assistance in booking tours or transportation. It offers a range of value additions such as free breakfast, a free walking tour, free Wi-Fi, and access to a computer.

Nexy Hostel

Nexy Hostel hanoi

BOOK THIS HOSTEL

This is a cool and quality hostel for sociable travelers and backpackers in Hanoi. It is located only a few meters away from the ever-busy and noisy Old Quarter.

Their rooms come in dorms and private rooms, fully air-conditioned and comfortable for singles and couples. Once you lodge, you will get linen, a towel, and a locker.

They operate a 24-hour reception and let foreigners know about all the hidden treasures of Vietnam and suggest cool places to visit. The hotel has a café and bar where fellow travelers enjoy chilled local and foreign beer.

The hostel includes free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, luggage storage, female-only dorms, a TV room, pool table, free computers, and airport pickups.

See also: Things to Learn about Vietnamese Culture

What are the Best 20 Things to Do in Hanoi?

What are the Best Places to Enjoy Nightlife in Hanoi?

Hanoi has lived up to its expectations over the years as a fun capital city. Whether you love to dance in a nightclub or relax at a bar and sip your beer down your throat, Hanoi has got something for you within your budget.

There are hundreds of places where you can enjoy the nightlife in Hanoi, but we are going to help you narrow the search down. Among the best places to go at night are:

Bia Hoi Junction

Bia Hoi Junction

Also known as “Beer Street Hanoi“, this place represents the life of Hanoi at night, housing over 200 exciting bars, clubs, and myriads of makeshift stalls selling varieties of snacks.

Most students, tourists and backpackers frequent this junction to enjoy the Vietnamese beer called “Bia Hoi” more than any other place.

There are several bars that sell soft drinks and international beer brands as well. If you visit Hanoi, you cannot afford to miss the Bia Hoi junction atmosphere at night.

The 1900 Le Theatre

1900 le theatre

When you set your foot into this exotic and classy nightclub, you won’t know when the time has passed because it is full of fun, excitement and enjoyment.

1900 as it is fondly called is envied for its good music, intriguing ambiance, amazing music atmosphere, and enthusiastic staff. The inner design of the nightclub is influenced by history and art with a mix of styles and themes.

There is a raised central 360-degree access podium for DJ to blast good music all night, and a dance stage for clubbers who are feeling the pulse.

Big artists enjoy playing regularly here and you may be lucky to attend a live performance of an A-list artist. You don’t want to miss this place even if you’ve got to spend “half” of a night in Hanoi.

Camelia Lounge

Camelia Lounge Hanoi

This luxury nightlife party venue sits on the third floor of the Melia Hotel with a beautiful city view.

Over the years, the Camelia lounge has been notable for attracting travelers, backpackers and classy party-freaks from different parts of the world. This place prides itself as the nightlife destination to beat and it has the best cutting-edge environment.

International DJ plays at Camelia and the parties are up-scale with elegance, style, and class in every detail, with special drinks and cocktails to delight moments, fashion events and celebrities.

The music quality here is very good, the staff is warming and the atmosphere is glam. Be here!

Hanoi 88 Lounge

88 Lounge Hanoi

88 Lounge is a leading top-rated wine and cocktail bar since its opening in 2013 at the bank of Hanoi’s West Lake.

The decoration of this place exudes quality, the vibe is unparalleled, and their wine collection is exceptional. The lake-view setting is relaxing for a deep appreciation of fine wines and various delicacies.

The ground level has a bar for regular drinks while the upper floor level has much more privacy. When I got the hint that 88 Lounge is owned by an architect, it was no surprise that the building has a blend of oriental and modern design.

Wine specialists at 88 Lounge are specially trained to satisfy your taste, each wine is a product of extensive research with details of the taste published on every wine they have. If you are a wine lover or want to try it out in Hanoi, 88 Lounge is recommended.

The Hanoi Legend Beer

The Hanoi Legend Beer

For beer enthusiasts, this place sells the most beer varieties in all Vietnamese bars from larger, dark stout to wheat beers. The bar is beautifully located in the heart of Hanoi on the third floor of a building downtown.

This is a place to enjoy your evening because of its open-air terrace that gives you a virgin view of the city’s hustle and bustle. The bar is within the proximity of a Hoan Kiem Lake and you could instantly feel the fresh breeze as you start your evening here.

Most tourists and backpackers come here for the view and also have a taste of locally brewed beer.

Hanoi Safety Tips

Hanoi is generally a safe city for travelers, visitors, and backpackers. However, it is better to be aware of the necessary precautions in order to have a hassle-free stay in the city.

  • Do not keep excess Vietnamese dong with you. It also may be hard to exchange them back to your country’s currency after leaving Vietnam.
  • Don’t carry too much cash around, and keep the little cash and passport on you well tucked. The best advice is not to carry the passport with you.
  • Always be careful with crossing roads because Vietnam has loose traffic laws.
  • Always have a specific place you are going before setting out, especially in the evening. Wandering around at night can make you a theft or violence victim.
  • Beware of the language barrier and always take your time to explain yourself and gesticulate if needed.
  • Avoid visiting infamous places like the Titanic or Phuc Tan Bar, especially at night.
  • Be cautious of the food you eat, always check if it is fresh. Vietnamese cuisine is very different and has a lower safety standard than western cuisine.
  • Always drink and carry bottled water along. Be careful with using ice for your drinks because the tap water from which it is made is not so great.
  • Dengue fever and malaria are common as a result of a mosquito bite. Always go out with mosquito repellant because mosquitoes are more active at night.
  • Always keep your valuables locked in a safe and also lock the room before going out to enjoy the Hanoi nightlife.

In conclusion, Hanoi city is a peaceful and perfect destination for anyone going to Southeast Asia and I 100% recommend it for its nightlife and its tours and activities.

If you plan to visit Vietnam soon, I suggest you visit not only Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. I really enjoyed the time while I was in Hoi An and Da Nang.

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Catalin Geangos
Catalin Geangos is the founder and previous owner of TravelTrained. He has been to more than 35 countries and lived in a few more before. He was a digital nomad travelling and backpacking extensively in Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and others parts of South East Asia from 2020 to 2023. He wrote about many articles about his first hand backpacking and partying experiences in these countries. He stayed in many hostels and hotels, met many other backpackers, travelers and locals whom he partied and shared his story with. His articles have inspired travelers, mostly single backpackers, around to world to take the leap to explore South East Asian countries from grassroots and not just the tourist attractions but also the real and happening life on the streets after the sun sets down! He now writes about outdoor gear and hiking.