Hanoi, the bustling capital city of Vietnam, may not be known as a top destination for LGBTQ+ travelers, but it has a thriving gay scene that is worth exploring. From lively bars to underground clubs, Hanoi offers a diverse range of options for those looking to experience the city’s LGBTQ+ nightlife. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top gay bars in Hanoi and provide you with all the information you need to have an unforgettable night out in this vibrant city.
- 1 Who are the Top Gay Bars in Hanoi?
- 2 How to Experience the Top Gay Bars in Hanoi?
- 3 Pros and Cons of Visiting Gay Bars in Hanoi
- 4 Alternatives to Gay Bars in Hanoi
- 5 Step by Step Guide to Visiting Gay Bars in Hanoi
- 6 Tips for Visiting Gay Bars in Hanoi
- 7 FAQs about Gay Bars in Hanoi
- 8 Conclusion
Who are the Top Gay Bars in Hanoi?
Hanoi may not have as many gay bars as other major cities in Southeast Asia, but the ones it does have are popular among locals and tourists alike. Here are the top gay bars in Hanoi that you should definitely check out:
1. GC Bar
Located in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, GC Bar is one of the most popular gay bars in the city. This cozy bar has a laid-back atmosphere and is known for its friendly staff and affordable drinks. It’s a great place to start your night out in Hanoi, as it often hosts events and parties that attract a diverse crowd.
On Fridays and Saturdays, GC Bar is often bustling with customers. This establishment welcomes both gay and lesbian patrons. The most sought-after beverages at this bar are beer and cocktails, which are reasonably priced between 60,000 VND and 100,000 VND.
- Address: 5A Bao Khanh, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi.
- Opening hours: (Sunday – Thursday) 17:00 – 0:00; (Friday & Saturday) 17:00 – 2:00
The owner of Birdcage is a homosexual male and the establishment is only operational on Fridays and Saturdays. Its appeal lies in its enchanting outdoor area, which sets it apart from other venues. The interior is adorned with eco-friendly decor, featuring vintage elements and an abundance of bird cages. This welcoming space welcomes both gay and lesbian individuals, as well as locals and expats seeking a place to spend the night. Customers have praised the high-quality sound system and diverse selection of music, particularly the drum beats.
- Address: Alley 264 Au Co, Quang An, Tay Ho, Ha Noi.
- Opening hours: (Friday & Saturday) 11:30 – 5:00
3. Bar 1900
If you are looking for a spot to relax in Hanoi, do not overlook Bar 1900 situated on Ta Hien street in the heart of the city. This establishment was once a folk theater adorned with one-of-a-kind mural paintings depicting the rich heritage of ancient Hanoi. As a result, guests will be captivated by the distinct atmosphere here, blending contemporary and vintage elements. For those seeking to experience Hanoi’s nightlife and delve into Vietnamese traditions, Bar 1900 comes highly recommended.
The beverage selection at this establishment is quite varied and offered at affordable prices, ranging from 80.000 VND to 120.000 VND. Options include Tonic, Long Island, Tet Bar, Budweiser, and more. On weekends, Bar 1900 tends to be crowded, especially during special events featuring renowned DJs.
- Address: 8B Ta Hien, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi
- Opening hours: (Monday – Thursday) 20:00 – 1:00; (Friday – Sunday) 20:30 – 3:00
If you have a passion for underground electronic music, Savage is the place for you. This establishment, owned by a homosexual French man, boasts a contemporary European atmosphere with two distinct areas: the Red Room and the lounge room. The Red Room features a DJ booth and a spacious dance floor, while the lounge room offers a more sophisticated ambiance for those seeking a relaxed setting to engage in quiet conversations. Savage welcomes individuals of all sexual orientations, including members of the LGBT community and heterosexuals. Their extensive bar menu includes cocktails, wine, beer, spirits, and more, all at reasonable prices.
- Address: 112 Xuan Dieu, Quang An, Tay Ho, Ha Noi
- Opening hours: (Wednesday) 18:00 – 0:00; (Thursday – Saturday); 18:30 – 4:00
5. IP Club
IP Club, formerly known as Toilet Pub (2005), Loo Pub (2007), The Bank (2013), and The Toilet (2017), is one of the oldest gay bars in Hanoi. After a brief hiatus, the club has reopened in 2019 with a new name and appearance. Known for its top-notch sound system, IP Club is a popular destination for discerning visitors. The club also hosts a variety of exciting events such as Let’s House on Tuesdays, Ladies’ Night and buffet on Wednesdays, Pride Night on Thursdays, and Trance Session on Fridays.
The expansive space consists of two sections – the main room for those who enjoy a lively atmosphere and the IP LAB (open on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays) for fans of underground music. All individuals, particularly members of the LGBT community, are invited to visit IP Club. The establishment offers premium beverages with a focus on cocktails, priced between 200,000 VND and 500,000 VND.
- Address: 6th Floor, 41 Hai Ba Trung, Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi
- Opening hours: (Tuesday – Saturday) 20:25 – 2:00; (Sunday) 20:25 – 0:00
6. Up Club
At the moment, Up Club is one of the most popular bars for the LGBT community in Hanoi. This establishment is highly regarded for its top-notch lighting system and impressive lineup of renowned DJs such as Kiddy, Dat, Tee Jay, and KeeBin. The majority of patrons at Up Club are gay individuals from Western nations who thoroughly enjoy the lively atmosphere and vibrant lights. When you visit Up Club, you can expect a wide selection of drinks, including cocktails priced between 200,000 VND and 500,000 VND.
- Address: 119 Phung Hung, Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi
- Opening hours: (Daily) 20:00 – 2:00
How to Experience the Top Gay Bars in Hanoi?
Now that you know which bars to visit, here are some tips on how to make the most out of your experience at the top gay bars in Hanoi:
1. Be Respectful
While Hanoi may have a relatively open-minded attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community, it’s important to remember that Vietnam is still a conservative country. As such, it’s important to be respectful of the local culture and customs while visiting gay bars in Hanoi. Avoid public displays of affection and dress appropriately, especially when visiting more upscale establishments.
2. Know the Local Laws
Homosexuality is legal in Vietnam, but same-sex marriage is not recognized. It’s also important to note that there are no specific laws protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals in the country. As such, it’s best to avoid any confrontations or public displays of affection that could potentially lead to trouble with the law.
3. Make Friends with Locals
One of the best ways to experience the top gay bars in Hanoi is by making friends with locals. Not only will they be able to show you around and introduce you to the city’s hidden gems, but they can also provide valuable insight into the local LGBTQ+ scene. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation and make new connections while out at the bars.
Pros and Cons of Visiting Gay Bars in Hanoi
As with any destination, there are pros and cons to visiting gay bars in Hanoi. Here are some things to consider before planning your night out:
- A chance to meet and connect with the local LGBTQ+ community
- Affordable drinks and lively atmosphere
- Opportunity to experience Hanoi’s vibrant nightlife scene
- Safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ travelers
- Limited number of gay bars compared to other major cities
- Potential language barrier with locals
- Conservative attitudes towards LGBTQ+ individuals in certain areas
- Lack of specific laws protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals
Alternatives to Gay Bars in Hanoi
If you’re not a fan of the bar scene or simply want to explore other options, here are some alternatives to gay bars in Hanoi that you may enjoy:
- Attend a drag show at one of the gay-friendly hotels in Hanoi, such as the Sofitel Legend Metropole.
- Check out the local LGBTQ+ events and parties happening around the city, which are often advertised on social media.
- Join a walking tour or pub crawl specifically catered to the LGBTQ+ community, such as the Hanoi Rainbow Walking Tour.
Step by Step Guide to Visiting Gay Bars in Hanoi
To help you plan your night out, here is a step by step guide to visiting gay bars in Hanoi:
- Research the top gay bars in Hanoi and decide which ones you want to visit.
- Familiarize yourself with the local laws and customs to ensure a safe and respectful experience.
- Make friends with locals or join a walking tour to get insider tips and recommendations.
- Dress appropriately and arrive at the bars early to avoid long lines.
- Have some cash on hand, as many bars in Hanoi do not accept credit cards.
- Be open-minded and ready to have a good time!
Tips for Visiting Gay Bars in Hanoi
To make the most out of your night out at the top gay bars in Hanoi, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:
- Check the dress code before heading out, as some bars may have specific requirements.
- Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with locals and other travelers.
- Take advantage of happy hour deals and drink specials to save some money.
- Be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers and always keep an eye on your belongings.
- Have a plan for getting home safely, whether it’s by taxi or with a designated driver.
FAQs about Gay Bars in Hanoi
What is the best time to visit gay bars in Hanoi?
The best time to visit gay bars in Hanoi is typically after 9pm, as this is when they start to get busy. However, some bars may have events or parties that start earlier, so it’s best to check their social media pages for updates.
Are there any lesbian-specific bars in Hanoi?
Unfortunately, there are no lesbian-specific bars in Hanoi. However, many of the gay bars in the city are welcoming and inclusive of all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Is it safe for LGBTQ+ travelers to visit gay bars in Hanoi?
Hanoi is generally a safe city for LGBTQ+ travelers, but it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and follow the local laws and customs. Avoid public displays of affection and be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers.
Are there any gay saunas or bathhouses in Hanoi?
There are a few gay saunas and bathhouses in Hanoi, but they are not as popular as the bars. Some of the most well-known ones include T-House and T-Hotel Sauna.
Can I find drag shows at gay bars in Hanoi?
Yes, many of the top gay bars in Hanoi host regular drag shows and themed nights. Check their social media pages for event schedules and updates.
Hanoi may not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking about LGBTQ+ travel destinations, but it has a vibrant and welcoming gay scene that is worth exploring. With its diverse range of bars and clubs, friendly locals, and affordable prices, Hanoi offers a unique and unforgettable experience for LGBTQ+ travelers. So next time you’re planning a trip to Southeast Asia, don’t forget to add Hanoi’s top gay bars to your itinerary!