WHERE TO DRINK IN SAIGON

As we wrote in our Ho Chi Minh City nightlife review, there are endless options for bars, nightclubs, coffee shops and lounges in Saigon. Hanging out, meeting with friends, relaxing or partying in those venues is a part of daily life for Vietnamese, expats and tourists alike.

Coffee shops are everywhere and they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. You will find both international chains like Starbucks and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and local ones like Highlands Coffee, Trung Nguyen and Phuc Long. You also have some more secret and artsy coffee shops that only a discerning eye can find. Tucked in the corner of an alley or inside a residential compound, you should definitely try them if you want to taste authentic Vietnamese coffee - many source their coffee from family farms in the central highlands. Read our selection: 5 Hidden Saigon Cafés You Never Knew Existed.

Coffee shops often double up as juice bars. With prices generally between VND 15,000 to VND 25,000 for a fresh, healthy juice pressed in front of you, you have no excuses for not kicking your habit of drinking coke/pepsi/7up. While you will find many of the fruits you are familiar with, you must try some more local flavors like the soursop, guava, ambarella, kumquat, custard-apple or sapodilla juices. Their exotic tastes will leave a memorable impression on your mind during your travels in Vietnam.

Once the sun sets, beer bars will start welcoming office workers, students and friends. Also called beer gardens, you could count over a 100 of them in Saigon. They are great meeting places for an after-hour drink with colleagues. Some are super luxurious with loud techno music, sexy hostess girls and strict door policies, while others are much more easygoing, consisting of a few tables in the open air. You could try one of Vietnam's local beers such as 333, Bia Saigon or Biere Larue. For more insights into Saigon’s beers, read our Top 10 Vietnamese Beers.

A more exclusive way to enjoy your evening with a classy drink is to visit one of Ho Chi Minh City's rooftop lounges. Almost inexistent 10 years ago, they have popped up like mushrooms as more high-rise buildings have emerged. Chill Skybar is the most famous of them, just 5 minutes away from most of the city's top attractions. You also have scores of bars, from expat drinking holes to neighborhood dive bars. Live music is available in many locations like Saigon Saigon in Caravelle Hotel, Decibel, Catwalk, The Log at the Gem Center, the Rooftop Garden at The Rex Hotel and more. Our listings below will give you many ideas of where to go for a great night out drinking.

Nightclubs in Saigon will please even the most demanding party-goers. Trendy venues will not look very different from the places you could go to in Europe or in the U.S. They will play the latest music, from mainstream hits in clubs likeLush to minimal techno in joints like The Observatory. Prices are generally low: A cocktail or a glass of wine rarely costs more than $10 US even in trendy venues. Most nightclubs will close around 3 a.m., but you can keep the party going until early morning in several after-hour drinking holes such as Go2 Bar in the backpacker district of Pham Ngu Lao.

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