Best Things To Do in Hanoi at Night. Exploring the City After Dark

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a bustling metropolis known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious food. While many travelers visit during the day to see the city’s famous landmarks and attractions, Hanoi also has a lot to offer after the sun goes down. From lively night markets to hidden speakeasies, there are plenty of things to do in Hanoi at night that will give you a unique and unforgettable experience. In this article, we’ll explore the best things to do in Hanoi at night and how you can make the most out of your evening in this beautiful city.

Things To Do in Hanoi at Night

Who Should Explore Hanoi at Night?

Hanoi at night is perfect for anyone looking for a different perspective on the city. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a group of friends, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you’re someone who loves to immerse yourself in local culture, then exploring Hanoi at night is a must-do. The city comes alive with street vendors, live music, and a buzzing energy that you won’t find during the day. It’s also a great option for budget travelers as many of the activities are free or very affordable.

Solo Travelers

Solo travelers will love the freedom and adventure that exploring Hanoi at night offers. You can wander through the streets, try new foods, and meet new people without any constraints. It’s also a great way to get out of your comfort zone and experience something new.


For couples, Hanoi at night offers a romantic and intimate atmosphere. You can stroll hand in hand through the old quarter, take a sunset cruise on Hoan Kiem Lake, or enjoy a candlelit dinner at one of the many rooftop restaurants. It’s the perfect setting for a date night or a special occasion.

Groups of Friends

Hanoi at night is also a great option for groups of friends looking for a fun and memorable experience. You can bar hop through the city, try street food together, and dance the night away at one of the many clubs. It’s a great way to bond and create unforgettable memories with your friends.

How to Explore Hanoi at Night

Exploring Hanoi at night is easy and can be done in a variety of ways. Here are some options to consider:

Walking Tour

One of the best ways to explore Hanoi at night is on foot. You can join a walking tour that will take you through the city’s most popular spots, as well as hidden gems that only locals know about. These tours often include stops at street food stalls, live music performances, and local bars.

Motorbike Tour

For a more adventurous option, you can join a motorbike tour of Hanoi at night. This will give you a chance to see the city from a different perspective and cover more ground than you would on foot. Many of these tours also include stops at popular attractions and street food tastings.

Cyclo Tour

A cyclo is a traditional Vietnamese bicycle taxi, and taking a cyclo tour of Hanoi at night is a unique and leisurely way to explore the city. You can sit back and relax as your driver takes you through the bustling streets, giving you a chance to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Hanoi at night.

Top Things To Do in Hanoi at Night

Hanoi offers a vibrant nightlife with various activities to enjoy. Here are some top things to do in Hanoi at night:

1. Explore the Old Quarter: Take a stroll through the charming streets of the Old Quarter, where you’ll find bustling markets, street food stalls, and traditional Vietnamese architecture.

2. Experience the Night Market: Visit the weekend night market in the Old Quarter, where you can browse through countless stalls selling clothes, handicrafts, souvenirs, and taste delicious street food.

3. Enjoy Water Puppet Theater: Watch a unique traditional water puppet show, which combines puppetry, music, and storytelling on a water stage. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is a popular venue for this experience.

4. Indulge in Street Food: Hanoi is known for its amazing street food scene. Sample local delicacies like pho (traditional noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), egg coffee, and fresh seafood at local street food stalls or night markets like Dong Xuan Market.

5. Take a Nighttime Cyclo Ride: Hop on a cyclo (a traditional three-wheeled bicycle taxi) and take a leisurely ride around the city at night. It’s a great way to soak in the atmosphere while enjoying the city lights.

6. Visit Hanoi Opera House: If you appreciate the arts, catch a performance at the iconic Hanoi Opera House. Check their schedule for operas, ballets, traditional Vietnamese music performances, or international shows.

7. Nighttime Sightseeing: Take a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, a picturesque lake in the heart of Hanoi. The lake is beautifully lit up at night, and you can also visit Ngoc Son Temple located on a small island within the lake.

8. Enjoy Rooftop Bars: Hanoi has a growing number of rooftop bars offering panoramic views of the cityscape. Spend a relaxing evening sipping a cocktail or enjoying a dinner with stunning views at places like Skyline Hanoi or Summit Lounge.

Remember to check the opening hours and availability of these activities in advance, as some may vary.

Pros and Cons of Exploring Hanoi at Night

Like any travel experience, there are pros and cons to exploring Hanoi at night. Here are some to consider:


  • Unique and vibrant atmosphere
  • Opportunity to try local street food
  • Chance to see the city from a different perspective
  • More affordable than daytime activities
  • Great for budget travelers


  • Can be overwhelming for first-time visitors
  • Some areas may not be well-lit or safe at night
  • Limited transportation options after midnight
  • Language barrier may be an issue in some places

Alternatives to Exploring Hanoi at Night

If exploring Hanoi at night doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there are still plenty of other things you can do to experience the city after dark. Here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Attend a traditional water puppet show
  • Enjoy a rooftop dinner with a view of the city
  • Take a sunset cruise on Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Visit one of Hanoi’s many museums or art galleries
  • Watch a live music performance at a local bar or club

Step by Step Guide to Exploring Hanoi at Night

If you’ve decided that exploring Hanoi at night is something you want to do, here’s a step by step guide to help you plan your evening:

  1. Research and choose a tour or activity that interests you.
  2. Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the area you’ll be visiting.
  4. Make sure to have cash on hand as many street vendors and small businesses don’t accept credit cards.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings and stay in well-lit and populated areas.
  6. Don’t be afraid to try new foods, but make sure they’re cooked properly.
  7. Have a plan for getting back to your accommodation safely.
  8. Enjoy the experience and take lots of photos!

Tips for Exploring Hanoi at Night

To make the most out of your evening in Hanoi, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of pickpockets.
  • Bargain with street vendors for a better price.
  • Try to learn a few basic Vietnamese phrases to communicate with locals.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from locals or your tour guide.

FAQs about Exploring Hanoi at Night

1: Is it safe to explore Hanoi at night?
Hanoi is generally a safe city, but it’s always important to take precautions when exploring at night. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, keep an eye on your belongings, and trust your instincts.

2: How much does it cost to explore Hanoi at night?
The cost of exploring Hanoi at night will depend on the activities you choose. Walking tours and street food tastings are usually very affordable, while motorbike or cyclo tours may be more expensive.

3: What should I wear when exploring Hanoi at night?
It’s best to dress comfortably and in layers as the weather can change throughout the evening. Make sure to also wear comfortable shoes as you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking.

4: Can I explore Hanoi at night on my own?
Yes, you can explore Hanoi at night on your own, but it’s recommended to join a tour or have a plan in place for getting around safely.

5: What are some must-try foods in Hanoi at night?
Some popular street foods to try in Hanoi at night include banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), pho (noodle soup), and bun cha (grilled pork with noodles). Don’t be afraid to try new dishes and flavors!


Exploring Hanoi at night is a unique and unforgettable experience that shouldn’t be missed. From the bustling streets to the delicious food and lively atmosphere, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. With this guide, you now have all the information you need to make the most out of your evening in this beautiful city. So put on your walking shoes and get ready to discover the magic of Hanoi at night!