With its smaller, more historic downtown, Hanoi doesn’t have quite as many rooftop bars as Saigon. But there are still options… and over the course of 91 days, we discovered some great places to get a birds-eye view of Vietnam’s capital.
The first rooftop bar we visited in Hanoi was, naturally enough, The Rooftop. We just typed “Rooftop” into our phones, and this is what came up. With a location near the train station on the 19th floor, it doesn’t boast the most compelling view, but the atmosphere is chilled, the drinks are affordable, and it’s a pleasant place to spend a couple hours in the evening. [Location]
The northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake is dominated by a massive and unattractive building the size of a block, within which a dozen cafes and bars compete for your dollars. They all have the same tremendous view, so it doesn’t matter which one you pick. We ended up at Avalon Cafe… I think. The truth is, I don’t remember much about the coffee or the decór of the place, because my attention was occupied by the sight of the lake at sundown. [Location
Not the poshest spot in Hanoi for an evening drink, but if you don’t mind a bar where the other patrons are all under 22 years of age, and probably shirtless, then the Chien Hostel is worth visiting for its unparalleled view over St. Joseph’s Cathedral. If you get tired of the view, I’m certain you could organize a game of beer pong without much trouble. [Location]
I have a special place in my heart for this rooftop bar, because it’s where we celebrated my birthday. (Okay okay, it’s one of the bars in which we celebrated my birthday). Found in the heart of the old town, this is one of the more popular and upscale spots in Hanoi for drinks and dinner. With a beautiful dining and drinking area, Skyline is the only bar on our list which is itself as impressive as its view. [Location]
There’s an important and counter-intuitive trick you should keep in mind when visiting Hanoi’s second tallest building, the Lotte Center. Don’t go to its viewing platform! You’ll see the signs trying to direct you there. Instead, head to the hotel (which is in the same building), and go to the top floor. Here, you’ll find an open-air rooftop bar with great views toward West Lake and the historic quarter. The official “viewing platform” is behind glass, charges an entry fee, and isn’t nearly as cool. [Location]
The final viewpoint on our list is at the top of Vietnam’s tallest tower, the Landmark 72. The panoramic view from the Sky 72 Observatory is predictably incredible — we visited at the end of the day, when the lowering sun was fighting through gathering clouds. But the view is the only good thing about this place. It’s just a big, barren room, with horrible music playing on a loop, and almost no other visitors. [Location]
More Photos and Videos of the Rooftops in Hanoi