As the sunsets, Hanoi is glamorized with colorful city lights and shining stores, turning the capital from graceful and elegant charm into an ideal bustling entertainment center with so many activities and places to make your night in Hanoi the best one ever. This article provides a comprehensive guide on where to go and what to do including some helpful tips. Exploring the Old Quarter will be a whole different experience for international tourists to learn about a new aspect of the capital of Vietnam.
WHERE TO GO?
Hanoi offers you a wide range of fun activities for you to choose from chilling vibe to cultural or even dynamic that you will never forget. So where can you enjoy all of these activities? There are 3 main areas including the Old Quarter, the French Quarter and West Lake.
The Old Quarter
Hanoi Old Quarter
Needless to say, Hanoi Old Quarter is the top attraction among visitors coming to Vietnam and it also concentrates all upbeat nightlife activities you can imagine: street food, bars, theatres, etc. you can name it. The ultimate tip we have for you is that you had better get yourself fueled up, wear something casual and comfortable before enjoying the night in the Old Quarter because it is gonna be a fun ride. Normally, the Old Quarter becomes more crowded from 9 pm during weekdays and at weekends, it gets busy very early as there is Walking Street around Hoan Kiem Lake and Vietnamese people would flock to the area to enjoy their weekends there as well.
The French Quarter
Hanoi Opera House
The French Quarter is home of many notable 5-star hotels, colonial buildings and definitely elegant yet hectic spots for travelers to enjoy the night in this historic capital at its finest. The pedestrian-friendly area will certainly give you a blast of culture and French-infuse architecture as the lights pop up vibrantly. You can immerse in a musical performance in a classical opera theatre or hang out and chill with your friends in a posh café and lounge.
As it was named after, the area surrounds the biggest lake in Hanoi to the West and it is also a favorable resident area for ex-pats who are currently working in the city. Accordingly, you can find various Western-style stores, cafés, and restaurants here.
ACTIVITIES TO DO
Hanoi is the northern food gem of Vietnam and truly a street food lover’s paradise. Each dish has its own unique flavor that will definitely make you crave for as soon as you leave. Where on earth can you find a place with more than 10 kinds of noodle soup and countless types of rice cake? Only in Hanoi can you can this spectacular range of street food diversity.
Hanoi Street food offers a wide range of delicious dishes
Walking through winding lanes and streets, discovering original and delicious food stores is a MUST-TRY activities. Moreover, evening is the perfect time to go out with your friends and family, immersing in the energetic vibe of the city and have a blast of Vietnamese cuisine. This lifestyle is common not only in Hanoi but across the country where people bond in the most genuine and simple way.
Street food in a local market in Dong Xuan lane
You can go and explore the food heaven by yourself and a city map as Hanoi streets is like a spiderweb and have many small lanes. But do not hesitate to ask the locals for directions because they are very friendly and welcoming to all visitors.
Or you can easily book a street food tour where your Hanoi local friends will drive you on a motorcycle around the city to try out various dishes from well-known restaurants. This will save a lot of your time researching which dish to try and where to go.
Beer Corner is probably the representative of a chaotic and energetic nightlife in the Old Quarter. You will be overwhelmed at first by the crowd of people sitting on blue plastic stools with a beer in their hands, a unique atmosphere that you can’t find anywhere in Hanoi. But let’s try getting a seat, get yourself a beer and some Vietnamese snacks like Nem Chua Ran, it would be a whole different experience from what you expected by just looking at it in the first place.
Ta Hien Street is always crowded with foreigners and locals
Almost all restaurants in the Beer Corner are similar so you do not have to wonder which one to choose when receiving tons of invitations from these places’ staff. The street does not close until 2.00 in the morning so don’t worry about running out of time having fun.
Address: Ta Hien Street
Taking place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Hanoi Weekend Night Market is a busy, bustling gathering of roadside stalls and local food vendors that brings huge crowds of locals and tourists. The market starts from the beginning of Hang Dao to the end of Dong Xuan Market. It’s like a weekly festival gathering hundreds of street food in Hanoi you can try a very reasonable price. But make sure you keep an eye on your belongings as the whole scene is very crowded.
Night Market at the weekend
Address: Hang Dao, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
In recent years, lemon tea has become famous, even though not traditional, refreshing drinks among youngsters and tourists. It is simply a glass of iced green tea lightly scented with jasmine flavor with lemon juice and some honey to sweeten. This is a kind of beverage that you will easily fall in love with in the first try. Moreover, it is the atmosphere that is important to make lemon tea such a favorite drink of so many. No proper tables or service but only blue and red plastic stools. Sitting on the roadsides on these chairs, eating some sunflower seeds, drinking lemon tea, looking at the busy streets with vehicles passing by is a pretty cool activity to do.
There are many spots around the Old Quarter where you can try lemon tea such as Dao Duy Tu, Ta Hien, Cho Gao or Nha Tho Street. As you can see, Vietnamese people do not need nice places to have interesting conversations but only the very simple things around their lives.
No.8 Cho Gao Street
No.31 Dao Duy Tu Street
In front of Joseph’s St. Cathedral
Price: 15.000 - 20.000VND
Concert/ Cultural Show
Water puppet show is a Vietnamese traditional art performance dating back in the 11th century. The main characters, the puppets on water, are controlled by puppeteers behind a bamboo curtain led by traditional folk songs and the story-telling by the puppets themselves. The music is live and performed by many traditional musical instruments: drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes, and cymbals. Most of the water puppet performances are a recreation of Vietnamese tales and historical legends so this will be a great experience for travelers to travel back in time and learn of Vietnamese history and culture in such a unique art form.
Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening Hours:every day at 15:30 - 17:00 - 18:30 - 20:00 - 21:15 and Sunday at 9:30
Ticket Fee: 60,000 - 100,000VND/person
Located in the heart of Hanoi, The Opera House proudly presents its timeless monumental appearance dated back from the French colonial period. It is truly the art of French architecture featuring a Gothic theme indoors and domes with pillars, shuttered windows and glass rooms. The Opera House is the host of many notable art performances, cultural shows, and concerts with the capacity going up to 600 people.
Address: 1 Trang Tien, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening Hour: 10:30 AM every Monday and Friday
The activity you anticipate the most at night in Hanoi: clubbing. Hanoi surely offers you a wide range of bars and clubs from mid-range to luxurious. People come here with a company of friends for a drink after work or for any celebrating occasions. Bars are usually crowded during weekends and open till midnight or early morning. Old Quarter concentrates most of the famous clubs and would recommend you to come to feel the non-sleep, hectic vibe of Hanoians at night.
1900 Le Theatre
Le Theatre 1900
Sunset Rooftop Bar
Hanoi Rock City
Walking Street Hanoi officially operates every weekend. Walking street time starts from 19 pm from Friday to Sunday 24 hours in the area around Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter. Here you can experience several interesting Vietnamese traditional games taking place around Hoan Kiem Lake with the locals and there are sometimes concerts taking place as well.
Walking area around Hoan Kiem Lake
If anyone says that Hanoi nightlife is dull and boring then they have definitely not visited it yet. Hanoi nightlife illustrates how Hanoians enjoy their life after a hard-working day and once you’ve been there, you’ll never want to say goodbye. So let’s come and enjoy the unique experience by yourself!