Collected by Duncan Forgan , AFAR Local Expert
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.
24 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...
Mai Hắc Đế, Bùi Thị Xuân, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam
One of the hippest joints in Hanoi, this speakeasy-style venue combines effortless conviviality with excellent cocktails. Regular live events run the gamut from eclectic DJ sets to more straightforward nights of live music.
22 Hai Bà Trưng Tràng Tiền Hoàn Kiếm Tràng Tiền Hoàn Kiếm Hà Nội, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Hanoi's multiplexes actually have a reasonable range of the latest movie releases, but if it is something more left-field you are looking for, this is the place. Run by film buff volunteers, the 89-seat theater screens everything from European...
14 Phan Huy Ích, Nguyễn Trung Trực, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, 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...
16 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...
32 Điện Biên Phủ, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Coffee shops are everywhere in Hanoi, but few strike the right balance between quality coffee and a hip, youthful atmosphere. Cong Caphe now has several branches in the city -- as well as in other big cities in Vietnam including Ho Chi Minh City...
34C Cao Bá Quát, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Both Bar Betta and Tadioto were among the stalwarts in the now-defunct Zone 9, an arty area which revolutionized Hanoi's nightlife for a short time before being shut down. The original Bar Betta, however, is still a sterling choice for a drink...
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. Photo...