Wondering where to go and what to do once the sun sets in Ho Chi Minh? We have a comprehensive listing of ideas from hidden cocktail bars and evening joy rides to cultural shows and rowdy nightclubs right here.
As Vietnam’s biggest city (although only just), Ho Chi Minh has no shortage of nightclubs, cocktail bars, casinos, beer corners and cultural shows and activities. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a busy day exploring or party until the following morning, you’re in the right place!
Read our Ho Chi Minh nightlife guide to help you decide what to do and where to go first!
Bui Vien (Walking Street)
This lively part of Ho Chi Minh is a good first stop if you don’t have any specific bars or restaurants in mind. Get yourself down to Walking Street which is also known as Ho Chi Minh’s party street. This lively part of town is busy 365 nights a year with backpackers and locals alike. If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Ho Chi Minh for nightlife, this is it!
While Pub Street Ho Chi Minh is busy throughout the day, it really comes to life at night. Bars and restaurants move their chairs outside so customers can drink and dine throughout the evening and into the wee hours. For a view out over the street, visit Social Club Saigon, one of the best rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh. You can also try Level 23 Wine Bar and Vesper Gourmet Lounge for tasty cocktails and stylish interiors.
For a less sophisticated affair, sit upon red stools on the street and drink Vietnamese beer with the locals. Or if you’re a bit wary about venturing out on your own, join a Saigon Night Tour where they take you around the night markets and suburbs and end with a drink in one of the local rooftop bars.
Night clubs in Ho Chi Minh
Saigon has no end of nightclubs once the bars and restaurants have closed. From Saigon hostess bars to megaclubs, if you still want to drink and dance after midnight, these are the best clubs in Ho Chi Minh:
Located in the busy Ben Thanh neighborhood, Republic is one of Saigon’s biggest clubs. Disco balls and strobe lights are part of the furniture, and Saigon’s young and stylish crowd dance to resident DJs ’til 2 am. Our best Ho Chi Minh nightlife tip? Be sure to dress up, lest you feel like a scruffy backpacker amongst the sylish locals!
Lush is a Saigon institution. Whether you’ve been in town two days or 10 years, chances are you’ll hear about it. Drinks are cheap, the music is loud, and it stays busy ’til 4 am. If you want to guarantee a good night out, you best head to this club.
3. Canalis Club
Keen to rub shoulders with the locals during your time in Saigon? Canalis is where the Vietnamese head to party, making it a prime spot for foreigners wanting to break out of the backpack bubble. This atmospheric megaclub is known for its impressive light effects and live dancers. More like a live show than a club, this is a great place to visit if you fancy something slightly different come Friday night.
Cocktail bars in Ho Chi Minh
Does the idea of strobe lights and house music make you want to run and hide? We get it. If you’d prefer a round of cocktails and hangover-free sightseeing, the following bars are best for a more relaxed HCMC nightlife:
For delicious drinks in ambient settings, Saigon nightlife doesn’t get better than The Alley. This stylish Ho Chi Minh girlie bar boasts an exposed brick interior (every hipster’s dream) with cosy two-person tables perfect for intimate moments. Live acoustic musicians play most nights, adding to the cosy feel. Drinks prices are a little inflated but well worth it for a treat.
For the prettiest drinks in town, Qui Cuisine Mixology steals the show. Located in the heart of District 1, the cocktails come in swan-shaped cups, floral chinaware, and even gold tumblers! Using luxurious ingredients including coconut puree, you can order single cocktails or ‘flowering bowls’ for 4-6 people to share. From drinks to the surrounds, this is one of the most ambient bars in Saigon, so don’t forget to dress up!
3. Firkin Bar
Hidden behind a tiny entrance up a narrow stairway, Firkin Bar is the place to go to get some good whiskey. With more than 250 bottles of whiskeys (and more!), the friendly bartenders can even make you a bespoke cocktail depending on your preference. Sweet, sour, bitter, spicy? Let them know and they’ll craft one you’ll be sure to love. Don’t forget to order from their bar menu too.
Bia Hoi in Ho Chi Minh
It wouldn’t be a Ho Chi Minh nightlife guide without mentioning Bia Hoi! This famed beverage is also known as ‘fresh beer’, brewed onsite at countless restaurants and bars in Vietnam. Bia Hoi is usually priced between VND 3,000-7,000 (less than 50 cents), making it some of the cheapest beer in the world.
If you’re backpacking on a budget or simply want to experience Vietnamese culture with the locals, there’s no better way than grabbing a chair and drinking a glass of icy cold Bia Hoi.
For a busy atmosphere, visit Bia Sai Gon 73 after sundown when the locals will be busy socializing and drinking Bia Hoi. Join them!
Sure, partying and drinking are some of the best ways to have a great time, but if that’s not your scene, there’s still a lot you can do in Ho Chi Minh once the sun sets.
They say the best way to get to know a city is through its food. Do you agree? If so, then go on a late afternoon food tour and hunt for some of the most delicious Vietnamese delicacies Ho Chi Minh has to offer. Think rice and grilled pork, Vietnamese fried pancakes, pan fried rice cakes with dumplings, banana griddle cake and some cold beer. Salivating yet?
Skip the crowds in the landmark sites and explore the city during the afternoon on a scooter. See the popular attractions such as the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, City Hall, Opera House, War Remnants Museum, Jade Emperor Pagoda and the Nguyen Hue Walking Street.
A trip to Vietnam wouldn’t be complete without watching one of their famous water puppet shows. Stage performances executed by colorful characters are accompanied by live music from the orchestra, touching on themes from local mythology to history. Then after the cultural show, ride a cyclo down to the pier and board a cruise ship where you can feast on local cuisine while admiring the city’s lights and silhouette at night.
There you have it! Some of the best watering holes and nighttime activities in Saigon. Have we missed out on any of your favorite spots or activities? Let us know in the comments! Want to know more about Ho Chi Minh City? Check out our HCM City Guide here.
Featured image: @nfu.0708