7 Things You Need to Know About Beer Street Hanoi

Beer Street Hanoi is one of the most popular tourist attractions, in the culturally rich historic Old Quarter. We have been to Beer Street on a previous trip to Hanoi. Yet, this time round we were spending more time in Hanoi. So, we were able to discover a lot more about this iconic place… and have more interesting experiences.

Now, for those of you who are not beer drinkers or who don’t consume alcohol… no problem! you should still keep reading. You’ll discover some fascinating things about this little gem. 

Plus, we’ll share some helpful tips when it comes to visiting this attraction… from the price through to the best time to explore.

So, keep reading this We Drink Eat Travel blog… as we delve into 7 things you need to know about Beer Street Hanoi.

Let’s begin!

1. Hanoi Beer Street History Dates Back to Over a Century Ago

Beer Street has a history dating back to over a century and more… even as far back as the time of the French colonization. Its location is in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter… making it one of the older landmarks in this capital city. 

Known as Phố Tạ Hiện in the Vietnamese language, back in the day this street was a bustling marketplace… where traders would congregate to exchange their wares. Yet,  over time this vibrant street would evolve into a different hub… where people would gather to socialize and enjoy entertainment. And, of course, beer would be a big part of that!

While the function of this lively street did change… it today still boasts the timeless character, that makes it a popular place for locals and tourists alike.

Beer Street spans the length of around a couple of hundred metres, between Hàng Bạc and Hàng Buồm Streets. And, when you reach what we’ll call the halfway point, at the intersection of Lương Ngọc Quyến Street… we believe that each side of Beer Street has a different feel. Keep reading to see what we mean.

2. Beer Street Hanoi is Not Always Vibrant and Bustling

When you look at photos or videos of Hanoi Beer Street… you’ll most likely see how chock full it is, with people spilling out onto the brightly lit street, and drinks in hand. Yet, be aware that this is not always the case. If you want a contrasting experience to the well-known vibrant environment… take a stroll down this street during the day.

And, what you’ll discover is that many of the bars are not open. This is unlike places in Thailand, for example, where regardless off if it’s day time or night time… some bars can be busy throughout.

During the day, you won’t see many tourists around. Yes, there may be a few having some beverages. Yet, this is more likely in the area of Ta Hien Street that crosses with Lương Ngọc Quyến Street. In this section, while there are bars… there are also shops and eateries that you can explore. And, that’s why when you come during the day, there’ll be more activity in this section. 

Then, as you keep wandering towards the heart of Beer Street… you’ll discover that the atmosphere is almost dead. Yes, you’ll see some locals on their motorbikes going about their daily business… but if you’re looking for an afternoon brew in the main section, you might be out of luck.

Even in the evening around 5pm or 6pm, we found that Beer Street was quiet. It comes to life later in the night, after the sun goes down. And, this is when you can fully experience the remarkable transformation of Beer Street from the tranquil day… into the boisterous night.

And, so you know… the section of Beer Street from Hàng Buồm Street is where the biggest concentration of bars are.

3. The Local Bia Hoi is Cheap but Not Always Cheerful

When we were in Beer Street Hanoi, we of course had to try the iconic Bia Hoi. The transformation of this city has seen a wave of microbreweries and craft beers exploding onto the scene… expanding the beer lovers taste offerings. 

Yet, amongst all those fancy beers is the local beer staple of Bia Hoi. And, unlike most of the beers we enjoy… the Bia Hoi is what we would call a “lightweight” beer. And, that’s because the alcohol percentage is only around 3%. So, it’s a light and easy-drinking draft beer. 

We’ve been told that the Bia Hoi is made without any preservatives or additives. So, that makes it a healthy beer, right? More beer, more beer, more beer… ha, ha, ha, ha!

One thing is for sure, is that the Bia Hoi is cheap and affordable for any budget. Depending on where you go, you can get a taste of this brew for 10,000 VND; that’s around 0.40 USD, 0.30 GBP, or 0.35 Euros. So, you could end up having a lot at this ridiculously cheap price.

Now, for us, we prefer our beers cold. And, when we went to a few places they were not cold. And, one place that we went to the Bia Hoi was warm. This did not do the taste of this beer any favors. In fact, we couldn’t even finish it. 

Our recommendation is to wait until later in the night to try it if you’re wanting it to be cooler. Otherwise, if you’re out during the day and want a cold Bia Hoi thirst quencher… you must try this place, Ha Noi Draft Beer & Traditional Food. 

This was our favorite “Mom and Pop” local place in Hanoi Old Quarter. Not only were their beers cold, they had a range of delicious food and snacks. While they can’t speak English they truly are gems. And, don’t worry about if there’s a language barrier. We found that there are many locals in the vicinity who would be able to help… so we didn’t get lost in translation! 


4. Beer Street Hanoi is Not Just About Drinking Beer

While beer may be the obvious main attraction on Hanoi Beer Street… there’s more to discover beyond the brews. Now, don’t worry if you’re not a fan of beer. Many of the bars serve other drinks including cocktails, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages.

While you’re relaxing and having your beverage… you’ll be able to smell the aromas of delicious foods. 

While the Vietnamese banh mi is always popular… you can indulge in a variety of other local and international foods. And, this include flavors from Mexico, to American burgers, Australian beef with red wine sauce… through to Italian pastas.

To keep the lively atmosphere pumping, many bars will have music blaring. Some will also have inside their bars… entertainment like dancers showing off moves, while you drink and watch. Or, if you’re keen for a clubbing atmosphere… you can find that too on this bustling street.

Plus, you can even listen to the Vietnamese as they blast out their karaoke tunes right on the street… and even right behind you. Yep, that did happen to us!

Now, if you’re keen to watch live sports, you can do that too. One of the best places to do this is at Sportivo Bar, near the corner of Hàng BuồmStreet. And boy, it sure does draw in a huge crowd, boasting an exciting atmosphere.

And in contrast, during the day time you could take a leisurely stroll down Beer Street… exploring the ancient architecture amongst the new buildings. In need of a massage or pampering? Yes, you can do that on Beer Street too!

5. Beer Street Hanoi is Not a Place to Go If You Hate Congestion

One of the things you’ll notice when wandering the streets and alleyways in Hanoi Old Quarter is… anything goes. Whether it’s cars, motorbikes, rickshaws, bicycles, and even kids on toy cars… you will have to navigate your way with care.

OK, so during the day time… you may be able to have a relaxing stroll down Hanoi Beer Street. But at night time you can forget about that! This is a major hub and as the night goes on… it gets busier. 

As you watch by the sidelines with beer in hand… you’ll see cars crawling down the street to pick up and drop off people. They’ll be slowly reversing, honking their horns… and waiting for a long time in the incredible traffic jam, until they can turn down into another street.

Motorbikes will be amongst this bedlam, trying to weave through, as well as the pedestrians. They’ll be looking for even an inch of space to be able to get through the hustle and bustle. 

Now, in saying that, we did find a place where you could escape the congestion… AND have an awesome view of everything going on. So, the place to do this is at Tiger Crystal corner. BUT, you should make your way upstairs. 

Here, it can seat around 4 people comfortably. You’ll have your own quieter spot, where you can look down and watch all the action of Beer Steet… while having some peaceful brews away from the congestion.

And remember what we said earlier… the section of Beer Street from Hàng Buồm Street is where most of the bars and nightclubs are. You’ll be going at a snail’s pace through this part of Beer Street at its peak time.

6. Warning if You’re Sitting in the Front Row!

There is one thing about Beer Street Hanoi that many people don’t tell you about – it’s one of those “unwritten rules” that just happens. And, interestingly, this event is similar to what happens in Bui Vien Street, in Ho Chi Minh City.

So, one time when we were at Beer Street… we were sitting in the front row outside the The Corner Beer bar on 27 Ta Hien Street . And, as we were at a busy intersection we could watch all the action unfold right before our eyes. 

Then, without warning, the staff were telling us and other customers to get out of our seats and move tables. They were waving us back, away from the street. There was a wave of confusion on the faces of tourists. Some even thought they had done something wrong!

Yet, it was “that time” when the police were coming through Lương Ngọc Quyến Street. So, the vendors had to quickly pack up the tables, chairs and other furniture… that was crossing over what seemed like an invisible boundary line! Then, as the police would go by, checking everything was in order… the staff put all the furniture back and we could return back to our normal seats.

Crazy? Yes! Yet, it was a normal occurrence for the locals.

7. Are the Drinks and Food Expensive on Beer Street Hanoi?

For such a touristy place… the food and drinks on Beer Street is less expensive than what you may think. First of all, if you want real cheap, stick to the Bia Hoi. Otherwise, it’s still affordable drinking the local beers, which start from around 25,000 VND. That’s about $1 USD, 0.75 GBP, or 0.90 Euros.

For cocktails they could be around 120,000 VND and upwards, whereas for mixed drinks… they could cost you around 80,000 VND. 

When it comes to food, if you stick to banh mi, they start from around 25,000 VND. And, if you feel like stir fries, salads or spring rolls for example… they can cost around 70,000 VND per serve. Then, if you’re after seafood or more substantial meals… expect to pay around 100,000 VND plus much more.

Now, if you’re looking to take your dining experience to another level… expect to pay around 150,000 VND for gourmet spring rolls. Or a juicy, upmarket Western style burger could cost around 250,000 VND.

Yet, regardless of if you choose to dine on a strict budget, or go gourmet… you’ll definitely find a range of food and drinks to fill your belly and keep you happy.

Time for You to Explore Beer Street Hanoi

We’ve now run through 7 things you should know about Beer Street Hanoi. From its historic beginnings as a merchant trading street… through to today’s ever popular vibrant drinking culture in a lively atmosphere. 

Whether you’re looking to kick back and relax, drinking local Bia Hoi on small plastic stools… or getting amongst the boisterous environment, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. 

Plus, there’s more to Ta Hien Street and its beer culture. There’s lots of other beverages, shops, and eateries to explore… as well as admire the architecture. So, that’s great news for those of you who aren’t beer lovers.

And, remember to plan your day to make the most of your visit. By day, it’s quiet and laid back. Then, after the sun goes down… people flock to Beer Street and immerse in the bustling environment.

Be sure to book any flights, transfers, accommodation or unique tours in advance… to help make your travels in Hanoi an effortless one. Plus, you could save more by booking in advance. That way, you can spend more money doing exciting things… like living it up in Hanoi Beer Street!  


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