4 Places in Hanoi to Experience its Hip Art + Culture Scene

Alternative new venues underscore Hanoi’s status as the nation’s capital of understated hip. Hanoi has pop-up cafés in the homes of artists, cafés that strike the right balance between quality coffee and youthful atmosphere. Also, tucked-away you will find Hanoi’s bars and music venues purveying heady cocktails, and soundtracks covering all bases from Thai funk to hip-hop beats sampled from scratchy vintage Vietnamese records.

24b P. Tông Đản, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Owned and operated by journalist and raconteur Nguyen Qui Duc, this Hanoi institution is now in its fourth incarnation near the Opera House. Expect a bohemian crowd, an eclectic music policy and a great selection of wine. Among the other strings in Duc’s bow is a talent for furniture making and his bar is a showroom for some of his exquisite handmade items.
145 Hoàng Hoa Thám, Hanoi, Vietnam
Part exhibition space, part cafe-bar, this gallery is housed in a gorgeous early 20th century villa and is one of the main hubs for Hanoi‘s small but robust art scene. Works by emerging and established Vietnamese artists are shown throughout the airy interior of the villa.
16-18 P. Tống Duy Tân, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Hanoi is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a pulsing all-night city. People rise early and go to bed early here in the northern hub. Nevertheless, unrepentant night owls aren’t totally neglected. This institution doles out passable western and Asian fare 24 hours a day, meaning that it’s easy enough to soak up all those bias with some quality grub. The coffee is spot-on, while the breakfasts are a thing of legend in Hanoi.
T18 Times city, Minh Khai, Khu đô thị Times City, Hoàng Mai, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Every year, the guys behind Hanoi‘s Club for the Appreciation of Music and Art (CAMA) bring some of the finest left-field musical talent from the region to the city’s American Club for a one-day shindig. The event usually takes place in May.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
National Parks