This list of the best nightlife in Pham Ngu Lao Street proves that this vibrant locale is not just limited to dive bars, local pubs and bia hoi stalls for budget-conscious travellers. Set on the western edge of District 1, this iconic backpacker’s district is divided into numerous lanes and back alleys, but you’ll find that the busiest bars and pubs are located on Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham, Bui Vien and Do Quang Dao streets. Backpackers will love the attractive happy hour promotions and lively dance parties at neighbourhood bars, while stylish rooftop establishments with views of the city are perfect those with a little extra cash to splash during their holiday in Ho Chi Minh City. Pham Ngu Lao Street’s most popular nightlife spots are also great for meeting friendly expats and locals, who are more than happy to share a few tips about Vietnam. Read on to discover our top picks in Pham Ngu Lao Street.
1 The View Rooftop Bar Saigon
The View Rooftop Bar is located on the ninth floor of Duc Vuong Hotel, one of the tallest buildings in Bui Vien Street. Well-known among backpackers worldwide for serving some of the cheapest drinks in Ho Chi Minh City, you can enjoy a glass of beer for as little as VND 20,000. Apart from its tranquil garden setting (complete with colourful neon lights), service at The View Rooftop Bar is also excellent, with English-speaking staff who more than happy to chat and recommend the best places to go in Ho Chi Minh City. You can also enjoy a selection of western and Vietnamese delicacies, but it’s the cheap cocktails that attracts a loyal following.
Opening Hours: Daily 17:30 – 02:00
Location: 195 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 83 827 2372
2 Cobalt Wine Bar & Restaurant
Cobalt Restaurant & Bar is an all-day establishment that’s located on the 30th and 31st floor of Pullman Saigon Centre. Attracting a clientele of affluent travellers and sophisticated locals, the rooftop bar is furnished with unique pieces by famed local designer John Reeves, silver flooring and a massive open bar that serves innovative tapas and drinks, such as oxygen foam cocktails and spilled homemade lemonades. There’s also a resident DJ spinning deep house and techno music from Wednesday to Saturday.
Opening Hours: Daily 16:00 – 01:00
Location: Pullman Saigon Centre, 148 Tran Hung Dao, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 83 838 8639
3 Seventeen Saloon Saigon
Picture this: a Filipino band line dancing in Stetson hats and cowboy boots in a wooden saloon-style bar in Ho Chi Minh City. Sounds interesting? Then you have to check out Seventeen Saloon, a two-storey live music hall where you can catch bands playing rock and roll all night at top volume. While it isn’t the best place for a quiet chat, if you’re in the mood for some U2, Bon Jovi and other heavy rock standards, this corner bar across the park from the famous New World skyscraper will give you an amazingly fun – if slightly surreal – night out.
Opening Hours: Daily 19:00 – 02:00 (live music from 21:00)
Location: 103A Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 99 301 7017
4 Crazy Buffalo Nightclub
Crazy Buffalo Nightclub stays open every day, attracting travellers who want to enjoy vibrant dance parties with die-hard partygoers in Ho Chi Minh City. Located along De Tham Street, this three-storey nightlife spot is rather pricey compared to most bars in Pham Ngu Lao, but you get to enjoy an extensive alcoholic offerings and bar snacks, as well as Vietnamese and western fare at all times. The main dancefloor is located on the highest level but, if you’re not a fan of crowds, Crazy Buffalo Nightclub has an open-air section on the second floor that overlooks one of District 1’s busiest intersections.
Opening Hours: Daily
Location: 212 De Tham, Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 120 887 2248
5 Universal Bar Saigon
Universal Bar Saigon caters to a western clientele, featuring pool tables, reasonably-priced drinks, TV screens airing the latest rugby matches and an upstairs terrace overlooking the bustling backpacker district. If you’re visiting on a Friday, head to Reggae & Rum on the third floor to enjoy its resident DJs spinning golden era hip-hop and funk tunes, as well as free-flow rum between 21:00 and 23:00. You can also opt for the al fresco section, which is fitted with a large awning to shield you from any unexpected downpours.
Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – Late
Location: 90 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 120 887 2248
6 The Penthouse Rooftop Lounge Saigon
The Penthouse Rooftop Lounge Saigon is both a modern nightlife venue and an art gallery with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Ho Chi Minh City. Set along Nguyen Trai Street, resident DJs spin mostly hip-hop and pop tunes during the weekdays, while trap and twerk parties on the weekends attract a huge crowd of late-night revellers looking to party. The drinks menu comprises the usual array of beers, cocktails, spirits and whiskies, but its speciality is its extensive range of flavoured shishas.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 03:00
Location: 208 Nguyen Trai Street, Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 94 184 8009
7 Vespa Sofar Bar
Vespa Sofar Bar Saigon serves a wide range of cocktails, spirits and imported beers at relatively affordable prices, as well as a Vietnamese coffee, snake wine and local cuisines until late. Exuding a laidback retro vibe (complete with a working jukebox), this quaint establishment is part of a tour company of the same name, where you can join a half-day city tour on a 1960s Vespa. A must-try here is its signature Vespa Sofar (VND 100,000), which is a blend of rum, Grenadine syrup, orange, pineapple and lime juice.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 02:00
Location: 99 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 93 880 1498
8 Thi Bar Saigon
Thi Bar Saigon attracts budget-conscious travellers and expats with its attractive drinks promos, attentive staff and chilled-out vibes. Set within Pham Ngu Lao Street, live performances by a Filipino band are held from 22:00 onwards, covering a wide range of genres (but mostly covers of pop tunes). You can get two-for-one cocktails, shots and beers between 17:00 and 21:00 daily but, for the best value for money, visit on a Wednesday as this promo is available all night long. Beers normally cost VND 60,000 for a Saigon Green or Tiger Draft, whiskies at VND 90,000 upwards and shots priced at VND 60,000.
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu & Sun 17:00 – 01:00, Fri – Sat 17:00 – 03:00
Location: 224 De Tham, Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Address: +84 82 210 2929
9 New DC Club Saigon
New DC Club Saigon’s clientele consists of trendy youths and expats looking to enjoy a fun night out, making it a popular choice for travellers looking to mingle during their holiday in Ho Chi Minh City. This rather upmarket nightclub is fitted with impressive strobe lights, a good sound system and plenty of lounge chairs and sofas surrounding a massive dancefloor. Drinks aren’t exactly cheap, by Pham Ngu Lao’s standards, but New DC Club Saigon’s lively atmosphere, talented DJs and prompt service makes it well worth the extra splurge.
Opening Hours: Daily
Location: 148 Cong Quyn, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 90 800 4404
10 T&R Tavern Saigon
T&R Tavern Saigon is an underground bar just off Bui Vien Street in District 1. Established in 2008, this compact nightlife venue features a pool table, reasonably priced drinks and an iTunes console where you can select your favourite songs to play. Every Sunday, ladies get to enjoy free drinks between 22:00 and 24:00, while daily happy hours are from 20:00 till 24:00 where Saigon Draft or Huda beers cost VND 20,000 per bottle. The bar owner is also a talented DJ, spinning drum and bass, UK garage, hip hop and disco classics on Thursdays.
Opening Hours: Daily 20:00 – 05:00
Location: 57 Do Quang Dau, Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City