Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam is a popular destination because of its beautiful landscapes, rich culture and history, and mouthwatering food. Vietnam is also a popular destination for its nightlife. Whether you feel like slowly sipping the local favorite beer Saigon Red or feel like indulging in a few more, you will be able to find the right environment somewhere.
Ho Chi Minh City is a giant and sprawling city that boasts an exciting nightlife. Heavily influenced by American GIs during the war, the number of beer bars in this southern city is truly remarkable.
District 1 is home to high-end establishments and rooftop bars. District 3 is home to the famous Pham Ngu Lao Street and has a more raucous atmosphere. No matter what you are looking for on your night out, Ho Chi Minh City is sure to provide.
If you travel with Asia Highlights on one of our tours, you will have most evenings after 5pm free to yourself. This can be a great time to see what the nightlife in Vietnam has to offer.
Like our tour packages, the nightlife of Vietnam has something for everyone, from the most adventurous to those seeking quiet comforts.
A Family Friendly Dinner Cruise Down the Saigon River
Perhaps more suitable for a couple than a full family, there are numerous companies who run riverboat cruises down the Saigon River. Depending on the level of service and accommodations you desire, the prices of these cruises can range from the surprisingly affordable to the somewhat shocking ($20 a person to upwards of $150).
If you are traveling as a couple, you can seek out a candlelit ride with live jazz music and a sunset view of the city. If you plan on bringing the children along, there are educational options that offer cooking lessons and are more informative than romantic trips.
On these trips you can expect a knowledgeable English-speaking guide who will provide information about the river, its history, and more about the rich history of Vietnam.
These boats are not only family friendly but boast a wealth of educational activities for children, such as opportunities to view birds and other wildlife, and in some cases a chance to drive the boat!
Trips vary in length so you can find an option that suits your needs. Expect snacks and finger foods on most boats but be ready to pay more if you desire a full meal or beverages.
Unlock the Secrets of Vietnamese Cuisine on a Street Food Tour
In some countries, you need to pay a fortune and wait months for a seat in a prestigious restaurant if you want to unlock the secrets of that nation's cuisine. In Vietnam, all you need to do is locate the iconic pink plastic chairs that signify and symbolize Vietnamese street food vendors.
Consider a guided street food tour of the city to end your day. You can expect to sample over 30 dishes on the average tour. Guides will explain how the foods are prepared, where the ingredients come from, and how the dish is unique to HCMC.
You can sample street food on your own but a guide will allow you to truly appreciate some of the mysterious concoctions you might not be brave enough to try on your own.
Ho Chi Minh City has a food culture all of its own, distinguished in part by its vibrant street food scene. French and American influences can be felt all over the country in its cuisine and culture. However, the street food you will find in HCMC is quintessentially Vietnamese.
Enjoy a Quiet Cocktail at a Sky Bar
Ho Chi Minh City is the proud home of every type of nightlife establishment from cheap beer bars to high-end VIP lounges. One of the most relaxing and unique ways to experience the nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City is at a rooftop bar taking in the view. Below are a few of our favorites.
Rex Hotel Rooftop Bar
Located on the roof of the historic Rex Hotel, this bar is easy to find. Head to District 1 and you cannot miss the colonial era building. Once you make it to the roof, you can enjoy views of the city and a modern yet comfortable atmosphere.
The rooftop is partially covered making this an excellent destination for rainy evenings.
With an extensive menu of finger foods and entrées, you can also make Rex Hotel Rooftop Bar your dinner destination.
141 Nguyen Hue Blvd | District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam
Cobalt Wine Bar and Restaurant
There is little disagreement among the locals about which restaurant has the best views in the city as the answer is surely Cobalt Wine Bar and Restaurant. Cobalt has a full Western menu and a curious, friendly staff.
Try the Canadian lobster or the famous French fries while you look through the surprisingly dense wine menu. You can find imported and local wines at almost all price levels.
Pullman Saigon Center, 148 Tran Hung Dao | Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam
Drink Vietnamese Coffee in a Quiet Café
The Vietnamese coffee culture is as rich as a bold cup of Robusta and Vietnam is also a major producer of Robusta coffee. Bitter and strong, a traditional cup of Ca Phe is served with a few spoonfuls of sugar. Ca Phe Sua Da (or coffee with milk) can be a gentler approach for less seasoned coffee drinkers.
Typically served in small metal drip filters over ice, Vietnamese coffee will keep you alert and full of energy on a long trip.
The cafés in Vietnam are as diverse as the rest of the nightlife. You can find some that are ultramodern and boast free high-speed Wi-Fi but you can also find quiet local holes-in-the-wall where you will not hear a word in English.
No matter what you expect to find, be prepared for anything. Below is a list of a few of Asia Highlights' favorites.
Voted as one of the best cafés in HCMC, The Workshop features local and international coffees and a quiet yet productive atmosphere. This is a good choice for travelers who need to work while they are on their trip.
27 Ngo Duc Ke Street, District 1 (2nd Floor), Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam
The Vintage Emporium
As much a restaurant as it is a café, The Vintage Emporium has a full Western menu in addition to coffee. Expect to find this place busy as it is very popular with locals and tourists, and makes a good destination for travelers resting before a night on the town.
95B Nguyen Van Thu Street, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam
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