Updated: Jan 15
Don’t go to bed early when travelling to Hanoi. The night in Hanoi is not something can be kidding with. Spend one night to explore its beauty hidden from the daytime until the next morning.
Distinct from the daytime when Hanoi is covered by the busy, crowded and hasty scene, Hanoi becomes a gentle and sweet girl when the night comes. Of course, the nightlife activities are different from the daytime experience. During the day, Hanoi is something old, something traditional; by contrast, Hanoi at night is considered as something young, dynamic and quiet.
Then, what should we do to explore the night in Hanoi?
Visit the most peaceful street
When the sunset happens, around 5 or 6pm, you should take time to visit the West Lake (Hồ Tây), especially one of the most peaceful and beautiful street - Thanh Niên Street. Surrounded by plenty of trees, together with the wind from the lake and the colorful sky above, the street is covered by a romantic and peaceful picture where you can have a seat near the lake, enjoy the view and try some light snacks.
Do shopping at night markets
It should be noted that the night market at Old Quarter is only opened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 18:00 - 00:00. It would be nice if you do the trip on those days to visit the most popular night market in Hanoi. If not, no worries since there are other night markets waiting for you to explore like Nhà Xanh night market, Dịch Vọng night market, Lĩnh Nam and Phùng Khoang night markets. The plus point of these places is cheap-price products as they are for students and local people. By contrast, they are located far away from the city center.
Walk around Hoàn Kiếm Lake
At night, the area around Hoàn Kiếm Lake is very crowded as this is the place where people, both locals and tourists usually gather or do a walk around the area. Especially from Friday to Sunday, when cars, buses are not allowed to travel to this area, then you can freely walk or join a group of free-styled dancers… to enjoy the lively night.
Try Vietnamese traditional food
After visiting those places, you might get hungry and want to try Vietnamese traditional food right away. Go back to Đồng Xuân market where you can find yourself stuck in the crowded moving of people choosing a small restaurant to eat. You might not know what you should try and which restaurant is the best since there are tons of restaurants there. You shouldn’t be worried so much each restaurant has its own special things, then just try. There, you can find traditional food such as Phở, Bún thang, Chả cá Lã Vọng. Remember not to eat so much even though how delicious it is, since there are other activities waiting for you.
Visit Big Church
Night comes, light is turned on at the Big Church of Hanoi, also known as St. Joseph’s Cathedral. After eating out, you can do a walk around the area to discover the lightful church and some street foods. During the day, this church is described as something solemn, something ancient but when the night comes, it colorfully brightens in a dark-color picture. Especially at midnight, you can hear the sound of the bell of the church helping you feel restful after a long day.
Drink and chill out
It is time to chill out! Although Hanoi is an ancient city, you can also find some bars or clubs to chill out at night. You can choose to drink beer and cool off at some famous bars such as The Rooftop Bar, Hair of the Dog, Camelia Lounge, 1990 Le Theater or Push Club. Otherwise, just take a trip to Tạ Hiện Street - a beer street of Hanoi where you find yourself stuck in a street full of pubs snuggled close together.
Visit flower market
Sounds like a weird activity ever since some might think that the time after night is for noisy activities, then why should you visit the flower market at that time? It is Quảng Bá, a flower market opens all time everyday; however, from midnight to 3 to 4am, flowers are imported to the market when people walk to and fro making the market busy and noisy. What a contrary picture compared to the quiet city falling asleep at the time.
Eat out at the night food heaven
After visiting the flower market, you should visit the night food heaven of the city, Tống Duy Tân street, where you can find tons of restaurants lately open. If you miss the traditional food sold at Đồng Xuân night market, you can also find them here, of course, not as diversified as Đồng Xuân night market.
Enjoy the coffee at night
There, at Tống Duy Tân street, if you don’t want to eat anything more, you can take a rest at some 24h coffee shops after those activities. Here are some 24h coffee shops at that area you should save for your list, Xofa Cafe & Bistro and Puku Cafe & Sports Bar.
View the sunrise at Long Biên Bridge
Before going home, you should visit Long Biên Bridge to view the sunrise and complete your night trip. Long Biên Bridge is a living historical evidence from the Vietnam-French war. The old, historically long-standing bridge with the weak light of the sun and the well-aired atmosphere, sunrise at Long Biên Bridge is described as a picturesque and breathtaking scene.
It could be nicer to take a motorbike trip around Hanoi at night
Remember to add gas before starting as it is hard to find gas stations opened at that time
You should go with a group for your safety
Be careful of your belongings, if possible, just take the necessary
Don’t park so long at some deserted streets
From 21:00 to 03:00, if there are any problems with motorbikes, you should contact Hanoi Security Group via phone 0866.036.630 or 0963.313.004 or 0934.343.427