Hanoi nightlife: Top 5 trending places to visit in Hanoi at night

Unveiling a different facet of serene Hanoi when the city transforms into a captivating realm each evening. From intriguing and enigmatic to lively and vibrant, join Travel Sense Asia in discovering the top 5 trending places to enjoy Hanoi nightlife.

1. Revisit history with Hoa Lo Prison Relic’s Night Tour

Constructed during the French Colonial Era and named “Maison Centrale,” Hoa Lo Prison initially incarcerated Vietnamese revolutionaries and political dissidents. Later, during the Vietnam War, it held American prisoners, humorously dubbed the Hanoi Hilton.

The remaining prison structures have been transformed into a museum, offering a series of night tours under the name “Sacred Night.” These tours aim to provide a deeper understanding of the harsh prison life, taking visitors on an emotional rollercoaster. The journey unfolds with horror at the brutality of the colonial prison, admiration for the sacrifices of prisoners, and pride in the unyielding spirit woven into Vietnam’s glorious history.

Equipped with headphones, each visitor embarks on a personal journey, immersed in the guide’s instructions. Through the main gate, the transition from earth to hell symbolizes the harsh conditions endured by prisoners. Cell blocks, featuring bare rooms with bucket latrines, showcase life-sized replicas of shackled prisoners under dim lights, depicting the ravages of starvation and torture. Moving stories recount the struggles of political prisoners to escape, leading to solitary confinement cells for the most troublesome inmates. Emerging into the prison courtyard, visitors experience a musical piece commemorating Hoa Lo’s prisoners.

Other highlights include a preserved French guillotine used for executions and a tropical almond tree (Bang), significant for prisoners who gathered almonds, crafted flutes, and carved chopsticks. The tour concludes at a memorial space dedicated to prisoners who sacrificed their lives, providing a moment for reflection with incense offerings.

Don’t overlook the desserts crafted with Bang leaves after the Hoa Lo Night Tour. The symbolic connection between sacrifice and the restoration of peace is mirrored in the delicate sweetness derived from the Bang tree. It seems as though this sweetness has absorbed the perseverance and bravery of Vietnamese heroes. Through this, a valuable lesson emerges – the importance of finding positivity in the darkest moments. With resilience and positivity, one can construct a beacon of hope whose light guides the way to success.


Time: 7 pm every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

Duration: 120 minutes, for many ages from 8-75 years old.

Location: 1 Hoa Lo, Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

Price of entrance ticket: VND 400,000 – 500,000 (~ USD 16.5 – 20.7).

  1. Enjoy 3D mapping shows with Temple of Literature’s Night Tour

The Temple of Literature, renowned for its daytime tranquility, transforms into a dynamic and unforgettable experience during the night tour. Professional lighting and sound techniques unveil the tradition of respecting teachers and talent, delving into the history of Vietnam’s first university.

Upon entering through the main gate, visitors encounter a magical space illuminated by light show techniques and animation, creating a mesmerizing 3D effect on flat surfaces. The virtual reality system immerses guests in a new world, allowing them to create calligraphy or adapt drawings against the sparkling starry sky.

Vuon Bia Tien Si (Laureate Stelae Garden) offers insights into scholar figures through mapping presentations. Doctoral steles come to life, recounting stories of academic examinations and blessings for new laureates. Dai Thanh, with the aid of virtual reality glasses, showcases the examination hall, transporting guests back in time.

The focal point of the Temple of Literature’s Night Tour is the transformed Thai Hoc Hall, themed “Tinh hoa dao hoc” (Essence of Education). The sparkling lighting system and 3D-mapping technology narrate stories about Confucianism and the formation of the first Vietnamese imperial university.

Finally, the calligrapher’s class provides a cultural experience where visitors learn about traditional customs and rituals. The calligrapher imparts knowledge on writing calligraphy and composing parallel sentences in a neat, orderly manner.


Time: 9:20 – 10:30 pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays

Showtime: The 3D Mapping presentations are available at 20:00, 21:00 and 22:00.

Location: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi.

Price of entrance ticket: VND 200 (~ USD 8.3).

Unveiling a different facet of serene Hanoi when the city transforms into a captivating realm each evening. From intriguing and enigmatic to lively and vibrant, join Travel Sense Asia in discovering the top 5 trending places to enjoy Hanoi nightlife.

  1. Travel back time with Thang Long Citadel’s Night Tour

Thang Long Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO cultural heritage site at the heart of Hanoi, holds a rich history spanning thousands of years. It showcases unique monuments and relics that narrate the heroic past of Thang Long – Hanoi and the Vietnamese people.

The advent of the night tour, “Decoding the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long,” offers visitors a glimpse into Vietnam’s history from the 7th to the 19th century, spanning prosperous dynasties such as Dai La, Ly, Tran, Mac Le, and Nguyen.

Within the sacred space of Thang Long Imperial Citadel’s thousand-year history, academic music harmonizes with the sounds of the times, providing visitors with a serene and prideful experience.

The night tour commences at Doan Mon, the gateway to the Forbidden Citadel, the former residence and workplace of kings. Visitors immerse themselves in the ancient Imperial Citadel, pay respects at Kinh Thien Palace to honor the 52 former kings, and witness royal dance performances right on unique archaeological vestiges.

The tour concludes at the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site, where years of excavation have unearthed millions of artifacts dating back 1,300 years. A rare underground complex with overlapping relic layers contributes to this historical site’s uniqueness. Exploring these centuries-old relics under the midnight sky feels akin to being in the movie “Night at the Museum.”


Time: 7pm on Friday and Saturday.

Duration: 90 minutes.

Location: 19c Hoang Dieu, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.

Price of entrance ticket: VND 300,000 (~ USD 12.4) per adult and VND 150,000 (~USD 6.2) per child.

  1. Watch Tuong Classical Opera at Hanoi Walking Street

Tuong Classical Opera, also known as Hat Bo or Hat Boi, represents a refined, classical, and highly scholarly form of theater art in Vietnam. Within Tuong, the paramount stage props are the facial paintings, intricately crafting the soul and persona of each character. These “masks” serve as visual cues, swiftly communicating the character’s personality and societal standing to the audience.

In the current milieu, the traditional art of Tuong faces the risk of fading into obscurity. To bridge this gap and establish a connection between Tuong and the audience, the Vietnam Tuong Theater organizes free Tuong shows on the Hanoi Walking Street during weekends.

Nightly, from Friday to Sunday, the Luong Ngoc Quyen – Ma May intersection transforms into a venue where artists from the Vietnam Tuong Theater showcase traditional musical performances and present excerpts from well-known Tuong plays. In addition to these performances, the Tuong Theater caters to the entertainment preferences of tourists by offering supplementary activities and services. This may include interactive sessions with the artists, enabling guests to immerse themselves by transforming into characters from Tuong plays.


Time: 8 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Location: Intersection of Luong Ngoc Quyen and Ma May, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 


  1. Meander through blooms at Quang Ba Flower Market

Renowned markets in Hanoi, like Dong Xuan and Hang Be, bustle from dawn to dusk. Yet, a uniquely lively market emerges in the quiet midnight and predawn hours—Quang Ba night market. Quang Ba Flower Market is one of the perfect venues to acquire fresh flowers at moderate prices.

Quang Ba Flower Market presents a captivating spectacle with its enchanting surroundings and the alluring fragrance of blossoms permeating the air. As darkness descends, the market transforms into a vibrant exhibition, adorned with trucks brimming with flowers. Among the commonplace roses, lilies, and chrysanthemums, you’ll discover an array of exotic blooms. It’s only when immersed in this floral abundance that the true beauty and uniqueness of the market come to life. The kaleidoscope of colors provides an ideal backdrop, making it a photographer’s paradise.

The market not only showcases flowers but also the industrious vendors, engaged in lively trade during midnight. To witness the market in full bloom, the early morning hours, particularly between 2 am and 5 am, are recommended. During this time, florists flock to the market to select the finest flowers for their establishments. Notably, many wholesalers carry flashlights with them, utilizing the subdued lighting to discern the optimal floral choices. Observing these meticulous buyers provides insights into the art of selecting the most exquisite flowers at the best prices.


Time: 11 pm – 6 am daily

Location: 236 Au Co, Quang An, Tay Ho, Hanoi


Beyond the highlighted destinations mentioned earlier, Hanoi’s nightlife offers a plethora of other enchanting places waiting to be explored. This article aspires to guide you in unlocking the full spectrum of nighttime delights in Hanoi.


With 15 years of local expertise, Travel Sense Asia stands as your trusted guide to uncovering the best of Hanoi, whether it’s the vibrant daylight or the enchanting midnight hours. Explore our curated tours or engage with our experienced travel consultants to craft a remarkable journey through the captivating streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.

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