Ho Chi Minh City is the nightlife capital of Vietnam: it is here that you will find the best bars, pubs, live music lounges and beer clubs in the country.

Drinking alcohol is an important part of Vietnamese culture and few people would pass on the opportunity to share a drink with friends or colleagues. Beer is the most popular beverage and also the cheapest. Backpacker bars in Pham Ngu Lao street will sell a glass of Saigon Green/Red or 333 for less than a dollar. In Vietnamese beer gardens, people usually order beer towers containing several liters of their favorite brews. Most often, those venues are located in the open air and feature loud dance music.

For a more in-depth look at the beers of Vietnam, read our guide: Top 10 Vietnamese Beers.

If you are looking for a more relaxing or romantic atmosphere, you can visit the luxurious bars in 5-star hotels or on rooftop bars sitting atop the city’s skyscrapers. Long @ Times Square in Reverie Hotel is ideally located steps away from the Opera House. Expats enjoy sipping a glass of wine after office hours and tourists see it as a nice pause between two shopping sessions. Chill Skybar is one of the most popular rooftop bars in town: you can visit it in the evening for a date, an anniversary or any special celebration requiring an impressive setup. Note that the music gets louder after 11 p.m. The newcomer Saigon’s Lookout serves some of the best cocktails in town and it is the most happening party spot on weekends among artsy, refined crown.

All kinds of live music are available in Saigon’s bars. The posh Catwalk, Maxim’s and Saigon Saigon are top notch in terms of ambiance, service and drinks. Their bands will play an eclectic repertoire of classic pop songs, oldies, jazzy tunes, latin rhythms and top 40 anthems. Hard Rock Café Saigon offers some solid drinks and local bands performing rock hits.

Expats can quench their thirst in a few popular spots located in District 1, District 2 and District 7. The typical expat bar has several screens to watch sports, a pool table, fun games and a crowd of regulars. Red Bar and the Australian-owned Phatty’s are among the best. Some venues are even more wild like Voodoo, Hooters or the Office, with sexy lady hostesses serving drinks.

Girls and guys looking for the best bars in Saigon to hook up and flirt can visit Xu Bar or Blanchy’s Tash. Both draw a hip crowd of executives, socialites, expats and travelers. During special events you might even meet some local celebrities, actresses or models. Blanchy’s Tash has a popular ladies night on Wednesday where all girls can drink free spirits and selected cocktails until midnight.

For more tips on where to drink in the city, you can also read our guide, Saigon Nightlife: The Best Clubs and Bars. You can also read our listings for lounges and nightclubs.