8 Top Things to Do for The Best of Hanoi At Night
Experiencing Hanoi’s nightlife is one of the highlights when you set foot on here. It’s hard to imagine how dynamic the city is once the sun goes down. The capital of Vietnam offers a variety of enjoyable activities for all local people as well as tourists from shopping locations and traditional restaurants to entertainment shows and clubs. Here are 8 top things to do in Hanoi, for a night that is unforgettable.
Bia Hoi (Fresh Beer) on Ta Hien Street
Located in the heart of Hanoi, Ta Hien is known as a sleepless street or the beer heaven with fresh beer, lively music and delicious food. Stop by this street, you are amazed by long rows of hundreds of people sitting on small plastic stools with a cold beer glass in hand.
Bia hoi is on top of Vietnamese favourite drinks, especially in summer, which is a type of draught beer with about 4% alcohol. More surprisingly, bia hoi is at a very low price between VND 5,000 and VND 10,000 for a full glass. You can sip beer with numerous snacks or toppings such as roasted peanuts, Nem Chua and fried tofu.
Ta Hien street is an ideal venue for all local people, tourists and backpackers. Soaking some fresh beer, you are submerged in the animating friendly crowds and the unique local lifestyle. Restaurants and services here are available until 00:00 even overnight.
Shopping at A Night Market: Dong Xuan Market
If you’re a big fan of shopping, Dong Xuan market is an attraction that you absolutely cannot miss. Dong Xuan market is regarded as one of the busiest commercial marketplaces in Hanoi Old Quarter. It is opened from early in the morning till late in the evening including a variety of handicraft, garment and food shops.
The night market is organized from 19:00h – 00:00h every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. It is 3 kilometres long covering from Hang Dao street near Hoan Kiem Lake to Dong Xuan market’s main entrance across the old tube houses.
Most of the goods sold at the night market are incredibly cheap you can freely buy souvenirs, handicrafts and taste traditional foods or simply enjoy the bustling open space.
Explore Street Food
Street food is a quintessential part of Hanoi’s nightlife. You can find dozens of local cuisines almost everywhere. It’s a piece of cake to have convenient, insanely delicious and cheap meals. Just stop over in food stalls on the pavement or grab something yummy from plain vendors. There a list of must-eat dishes to enjoy a memorial night in Hanoi:
- Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) with various types: pho ga (chicken noodle soup), pho bo (beef noodle soup), seafood noodle soup and so on.
- Banh my (Vietnamese bread) is served with pork sausage, coriander leaf, cucumber, pickled carrots and mayonnaise.
- Mixed fruits: many Vietnamese fruits such as watermelon, avocado, strawberry and mango are mixed with condensed milk and ice on the top in a bowl.
- Beef jerky is a familiar snack of street foods with dried beef, the crispiness of pickled green papaya, the pungent flavour of herbs and the nutty taste of roasted peanuts.
- Small doughnuts sold from female vendors: sweet doughnut with sesame, the salty doughnut with honey.
Water Puppet Theater
If you want to discover the beauty of unique Vietnam traditional arts, the water puppet show is the best choice. Located at 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang street, nearby Hoan Kiem lake, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a familiar address for both domestic tourists and foreign ones.
Water puppet dating back to as far as the 11th century takes inspiration from a time when the rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers entertained each other by standing in the waist-deep water to make puppets dance on water. The ideas of water puppet show center on Vietnamese day-to-day living in rural areas, legends and folk tales. In the modern day, shows are performed in a pool of water as a special stage. The puppeteers are hidden behind a screen controlled puppet under the water through a large bamboo rod. A traditional orchestra which plays drums, horns, wooden bells, bamboo flutes and cymbals provides the background music accompaniment.
There are puppet shows every day at 15:30 – 17:00 – 18:30 – 20:00 – 21:15 and Sunday at 9:30. Ticket costs between 100,000 – 200,000 VND ($5 – $10). Please book in advance to have a nice sit.
Lemon Tea at St. Joseph’s Cathedral
Nothing is like ending the day with a glass of iced lemon tea. In recent years, enjoying “Iced Lemon Tea” on the pavement (in Vietnamese, it’s called Tra Da Via He) has become the new culture among young Hanoians. Lemon Tea is a very simple drink: a green tea with subtle fragrance in addition to little sugar and 1 or 2 slices of lemon. It is extremely delicious with an amazingly low cost (VND 5,000 – VND 10,000).
Lemon Tea shops at St. Joseph’s Cathedral are perfect spots for newcomers who expect to find a super local thing. There are no chairs, no tables and no big space. Just sit on small stools, drink a glass of iced lemon tea and chat with friends till the mid-night. What’s more, you can observe the picturesque cathedral blending with melodious music. This is an opportunity for you to make friends with the young to explore more about the Vietnamese culture.
Hanoi Opera House
Situated in No.1 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi Opera House is a peaceful place for classical music lovers. The theater was built by the French colonial administration between 1901 and 1911. Moreover, it was modelled on the Palais Garnier which is one of the two oldest opera houses in Paris. The theater was designed following the Gothic style under the Renaissance period with the Italian marble floor, copper chandeliers and French murals on the ceiling.
In the past, Hanoi Opera House was dedicated for the entertainments for French officials and well-off Vietnamese. Nowadays, it hosts traditional folk music, Vietnamese opera, international concerts and dance performances. There is no fixed price. The average price is about VND 200,000 – VND 3,000,000 which depends on what the show you choose. Due to the limitation of tickets for each performance, please book in advance for the sake of meeting your expectations.
Lang Toi (My village) is the current Vietnamese culture show that may just be worth your time and money. The show concept is the early Vietnamese village life, the elegant merger of tradition and innovation. Scenes of cottages, farmers’ ploughing, children playing, family gathering and so on are illustrated through bold, yet graceful strokes of bamboo movements and sensual choreography. You are kind of melted into the tranquil and poetic beauty of Vietnamese village on the stage. The show begins at 18:00 every Monday and Tuesday. There are 3 types of tickets: VND 700,000; VND1,150,000; VND 1,600,000 which are reasonable under the Western standards.
Chilli out around Hoan Kiem Lake
Amid the flow of Hanoi’s history of 1000 years old, Hoan Kiem Lake has maintained the ancient and spiritual features from its foundation. Ngoc Son Temple and Huc Bridge seems to be so more fanciful and sparkling at night that you can’t take your eyes off. Strolling by Hoan Kiem Lake is fascinatingly cool to release stress, breathe and recharge. Or simply, taking a rest on a bench with some drinks is to watch people passing by.
On the weekends, some old streets are cordoned for a broad walking promenade. The walking street nearby Hoan Kiem Lake is the strikingly gathering zone of young Vietnamese and tourists. There are lots of music bands and dance clubs. Regardless of skin colours, nationalities or languages, everyone joins the dancing, singing or playing Vietnamese traditional games. Don’t miss this fabulous attraction, come and immerse yourself in the cross-cultural life.
Fly high in some clubs
Some nice bars in Hanoi Old Quarter are smart options for anyone to change their mood with the cocktail, wine or beer and music.
- The Bank Hanoi:
Located on the 6th floor of Hanoi’s Capital building (at 41 Hai Ba Trung, Tran Hung Dao), The Bank Hanoi is one of the most luxurious and biggest nightclubs in Hanoi. This nightclub is a perfect mixture of Viet-style and western clubs. Music varies from Vietnamese pop and house to International Hip Hop, EDM and Top 40. You can order a cocktail, then go around and dance. It operates from 20:45 to 00:45.
- Minh’s Jazz Club:
Minh’s Jazz Club is home to fans of live music. Although space is minimal, you can enjoy the cosy atmosphere with warm lighting and professional service. The menu consists of classic cocktails, imported beers, whiskies, and coffee. The club is set behind Hanoi Opera House and runs from 8:00 to 24:00.
- Press Club:
If you wanna catch a club where you can enjoy delicious dinner while enjoying melodious tunes, Hanoi Press Club (at 12 Ly Dao Thanh Street, Trang Tien) meets your demands. Besides, it is especially suitable for a chit chat among friends with world-class wines and cocktails. More specially, the club provides customers with a collection of rare book and famous magazine of the world and a weekly meeting of the Journalisms Club in Hanoi. The service is available from 11:00 – 15:00 & 17:00 till late.
- Legend Beer:
Legend Beer is a great site for you to overlook downtown Hanoi and Hoan Kiem Kiem Lake. It’s famous for wheat beer and German-style dishes such as pork knuckles and sausages. Travellers, especially those who love photos, arrive here to snapshots of the non-stop flow of people and vehicles. It opens daily from 11:00 until 23:00.