Heading to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) soon and thinking of where to stay for a vibrant nightlife scene? The most well-known place that you will hear is Bui Vien Street or Pham Ngu Lao, however, is it the only area with nightlife? What other area can you stay in that has nightlife too? In this article, we will share with you the different areas you can stay at for nightlife. We will also talk about the different nightlife activities that you can do in HCMC. Nightlife is not only about bars and clubs in our opinion, there are other activities and places that you can visit at night as part of your nightlife.
Best Area to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City For Nightlife
There are two areas which you can stay at for the best nightlife as shown on the map above. They are Pham Ngu Lao (Blue) and Dong Khoi (Purple) area and both of them are in District 1. Both are slightly different in offerings but they are relatively close to one another. We will talk more about each area and who is it suitable for.
Pham Ngu Lao For Nightlife and On a Budget
Pham Ngu Lao is a very popular place to stay for nightlife. You will often see accommodations being fully booked if you do not book in advance. There are several reasons why it is a popular choice for tourists.
Firstly, the hotel/hostel in the area is really cheap as compared to other areas. Due to its cheap prices, it is well-known in backpacker circles as the backpacker district. You can get a decent Hostel bed for as low as $7 USD a night. You will not be able to find a 5-star hotel here as most buildings are only shophouses. Due to the many backpacker accommodations, if you’re staying for long, you might get an even better deal. Not only are accommodations prices low, food and drinks prices are equally low.
Secondly, the nightlife scene. Pham Ngu Lao is an area that has many small connecting alleyways that contain many hostels, delicious food stalls and spas. At night, back-alley bars, pubs, dance clubs, and sidewalk beer cafes are open for business. A famous street Bui Vien Street that is in this area is well-known for its nightlife. The whole road is closed at night and filled with bars, street performances and live music that occurs sometimes even till dawn!
Thirdly, it is in a good location. It is in the centre of HCMC and you can reach top attractions by foot or a very short private transport. You can easily reach the Independence Palace, War Remnants Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral. There are also many tour agencies here where you can book tours to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta.
Who is Bui Vien Area suitable for?
If you’re looking for an area where you can find nightlife and parties and not spend a ton of money on food and accommodation then this is it. Best suited for Backpackers and budget travellers.
Best places to stay in Pham Ngu Lao & Bui Vien for Nightlife:
Mid-range Hotel ($$): Jan Hostel Central Point – From its name it mentions hostel, but actually it’s a hotel with only private rooms. The rooms are well decorated with even a washing area in the main area. You can also choose from rooms with a balcony. The pricing is really affordable for the quality it gives. It is in close proximity to Bui Vien Street but it is also a distance away from the crowd and noise. You can be sure of a comfortable stay here. They have a really good review of 9+ from 261 reviews!
Budget Hotel ($): Chez Mimosa Petite – This hotel ranks highly on comfort, value for money, location and cleanliness. You can see why when you look at the photos of their rooms. They are of minimalist design with full panel windows, unlike some hotels without windows. Some additional service that they provide is free bikes and free laundry. You can see why it’s rated value for money.
Budget Hostel ($): SaiGon Gạo Hostel – This hostel is not mainly a hostel but it has also private rooms to choose from. If you’re looking for shared dorm rooms, the cost is only $7 USD per night per pax. The bed also comes with a curtain to block out some of the light. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly place that provides value check this out!
Nguyen Hue Area for Nightlife
Nguyen Hue Street is a great place to stay with vibrant nightlife as well. You can argue that this area is considered even more central than Pham Ngu Lao area. The area here is also more well developed with not only shop houses but larger buildings. Notable buildings are Bitexco Financial Centre and Ho Chi Minh City Hall. You will also be able to find higher-end hotels here.
The night scene here is slightly different as compared to Bui Vien Street. The popular street is called Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street which is visited by both tourists and locals. The street at night is filled with street performers, singers and musicians. Locals or tourists will surround these performers in a circle and watch them. It is a very unique atmosphere that is alive with different activities taking place all in one place. The area is also very spacious although crowded, so you won’t feel so cramped.
You will be able to find a wide range of sophisticated bars, clubs, entertainment options and bustling street markets. The variety of activities and offerings is sure to captivate visitors of all ages.
This area is also in close proximity to many famous attractions. You can walk to the Ho Chi Minh City Museum and take a look at Ho Chi Minh Statue. It is also close to the Saigon Central Post Office, a fully functioning post office that is built in the late 19th Century.
Visit 42 Nguyen Hue Apartment Building that stands out from the other buildings at night. It is considered to be one of the trendiest place in Ho Chi Minh City. It houses many independent cafes, boutique stalls and food options that you will be spoilt for choice. The place is busiest during the night where the cafes will switch on their balcony and decorative lights. You will definitely notice it when walking along Nguyen Hue Walking Street.
Who is Nguyen Hue Area suitable for?
Nguyen Hue Area is suitable for those who prefer an area that is well developed. It is also an area that will cost more in terms of food and accommodation, so you should have a higher budget. It is a very nice nightlife area to stay for families or couples.
Best places to stay in Nguyen Hue & Dong Khoi for Nightlife:
Luxury Hotel ($$$): Caravelle Saigon – This is a 5-star hotel that is located in the heart of the city center and known for its proximity to the iconic attractions. Not only is their location great, but they also have really nice architecture with modern and luxurious rooms. They are highly rated for comfort, facilities, location and cleanliness.
Mid-range Hotel ($$): Amanaki Saigon Boutique Hotel – This 4-star boutique hotel will give you a really historic vibe when entering due to its antique designs. It is also centrally located and you will be awed by the design of the rooms. If you’re staying for more than 3 nights you can get free laundry service too.
Budget Hotel ($): TN Central Hotel – For those who do not want to spend so much on hotels, be sure to check out this 2-star hotel. It has all the basic necessities you need and is highly reviewed for having clean rooms. The rooms are decorated with classic wood finishings to give you an olden Vietnam look. It also features a spa and business centre where you can do some work if necessary.
Nightlife Activities to Do in Ho Chi Minh City
Bui Vien Street
If you like a happening nightlife experience with loud music Bui Vien Street is the place to go. It is a well-known backpackers area that is very crowded during the night or at weekends. It has many interesting nightlife food options and activities which will give you an unforgettable experience. You can head to the pubs or clubs to party or just find a street food stall and get some local delights while people-watching. You can also buy a pint at one of the bars while watching live music and street performers.
You will be able to feel the energy here, so just let loose and have fun. It is often compared to Khao San Bangkok and it is sometimes called Khao San Saigon. It is one of the main attractions that all tourists will visit when coming to Ho Chi Minh City.
Rooftop Bars and Clubs
If you have only heard about Bui Vien Street to go at night you’re missing out. Do you know that there are many great rooftop bars in the city? Rooftop bars can give you a bird’s eye view of the cityscape at night. It is also a good place to get a well-crafted cocktail and take a breather in the atmosphere. Whether you’re out with friends or looking for a romantic setting, a rooftop bar can satisfy your needs. Some rooftop bars also have live music and a dancing area in which you can also party.
Other than rooftop bars, HCMC boast a huge selection of nightclubs and bars. There are chill bars or high-energy loud music bars. You can easily find a bar or club at Bui Vien or Nguyen Hue Street. Choose from well-established nightclubs to hipster music bars. Drinks are also relatively cheap so grab one and soak in one of Southeast Asia’s best nightlife destinations.
Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a 670-meter-long pedestrian walkway that is located right in the middle of the city centre. It is very spacious and you will have a unique feeling there as compared to the rest of Ho Chi Minh City. The walking street is beside beautiful French colonial buildings and skyscrapers which makes it very Instagrammable. The place comes alive during the night when street food stalls, live music, street performers and cultural display takes up the space. You can see different performances when walking down the street at night. It is a must-visit for everyone of all ages!
Night markets might not be that popular in Vietnam but they do exist. They are also a popular nightlife attraction of HCMC. Night markets are a great place to have delicious street food while immersing in the lively environment.
Ben Thanh Night Market
Ben Thanh night market is popular as it is right beside Ben Thanh market which closes at 6 pm. The night market itself is open from 6 pm till around 10 pm. They do sell street food, souvenirs, clothes, dried goods and more. Similar to Ben Thanh Market, you need to bargain in order to get the best pricing, as the pricing is set for tourists.
Ho Thi Ky Night Market
Ho Thi Ky Night Market is one of the best night markets that are lesser known by tourists. If you’re looking for a traditional local market then visit this market. You will be able to experience the real perspective of Vietnam’s street cuisine and markets. Choose from a wide range of street food stalls selling Banh Mi, Pho, and seafood. You can also shop for fresh fruits and vegetables. There are also household products and flowers which you can buy. The market is open in the evening and closes at midnight.
Ba Chieu Night Market
Ba Chieu Night Market is popular for its street food, however, it is slightly away from the city centre. You might want to visit if you’re in the area. You will be able to enjoy traditional Vietnamese dishes and do some shopping for souvenirs and clothing. As it is catered to locals, you will be able to taste and experience the local’s culture instead of what is catered for tourists.
Saigon River Cruise
A river cruise always gives a different perspective of the cityscape. Hop on the Saigon River Cruise at night to have a relaxing dinner while looking at the city lights. The whole trip will take around 1.5 hours and you will be served with a 5-course meal. It is a luxurious experience with a live band which is suitable for couples and families. There are two main river cruise dining experiences in Ho Chi Minh and you can book them in advance below.Klook.com
Final Thoughts on The Best Place to Stay for Nightlife
If you’re on a budget and with friends, staying in Bui Vien area is the best choice. If you’re travelling as a couple or with family and have a better budget then Nguyen Hue area is a better choice. Both areas are quite close to one another so no matter where you stay you still can visit both areas to get the best of Ho Chi Minh City nightlife.
Where to Stay in HCMC For Nightlife FAQs
Where is the red light area in Ho Chi Minh City nightlife?
Bui Vien Street is the red light district in Ho Chi Minh City. You will be able to see ladies near the end of Bui Vien streets that might touch or speak to you. Even in bars and clubs, you will be able to find some of the ladies. They are just part of Bui Vien Street which compliments the vibrant nightlife scene.
Does Ho Chi Minh City have good nightlife?
Yes, Ho Chi Minh City has the best nightlife in the whole of Vietnam. The most famous is at Pham Ngu Lao, Bui Vien Street where the whole street is closed during the night for bars and live street performances.
Where is the best party street in Ho Chi Minh City?
The best party street is Bui Vien Street which has the most number of bars, pubs and clubs that create an exciting nightlife atmosphere. The nightlife there can start from evening all the way till dawn.
Where is Pub Street in Saigon?
Pub Street is also known as Bui Vien Street which is 1,400 meters long and located in District 1. It is a backpacker area that has many pubs and bars.
Which part of Vietnam has the best nightlife?
Almost every city in Vietnam has some sort of nightlife, however, the best cities are Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Danang, Hoi An and Nha Trang. With Ho Chi Minh ranked the top in terms of nightlife. When the sun sets, you can walk along the streets, and head to local bars and clubs or visit their night markets.
What is the biggest party city in Vietnam?
Ho Chi Minh City the largest city in Vietnam is the biggest party city in Vietnam. It is seconded as the most dynamic nightlife area in South East Asia just right behind Bangkok, Thailand. The nightlife scene in HCMC is improving and booming ever since the past.
Which city is best for nightlife Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh?
Both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh offer a different form of nightlife experience. It really depends on what you’re looking for. For Ho Chi Minh City nightlife scene is more energetic and loud, it can also get luxurious with rooftop bars. While Hanoi nightlife scene is more relaxed with night markets and street food stalls which can be found in Hanoi Old Quarters and Train Street.
Which is better for nightlife Thailand or Vietnam?
Overall Thailand has a better nightlife than Vietnam. Thailand parties are one level up from Vietnam parties. However, we are seeing that Vietnam’s nightlife is continuously improving and cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are filled with pubs and clubs. Also, Vietnam nightlife activities are usually cheaper than Thailand’s.
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