Backpackers in Hanoi tend to congregate near the Old Quarter. Near this historic district, just off Hoan Kiem Lake, is an area full of bars, restaurants, cafes, and hostels called Ta Hien, or simply, Beer Street.
Most of the backpackers can be found socializing on Beer Street. If you’re eager to meet some fellow tourists and engage in some English conversation, then head here. It’s near famous attractions such as the Temple of Literature and the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh.
Ta Hien – “Beer Street”
One of the hidden gems of Hanoi, Beer Street is located in the heart of the Old Quarter and is the ideal place for bustling nightlife, cheap bars, and wonderful street food.
Stretching over 260 meters, Beer Street (also known as Ta Hien) is a short yet, historic street that is sometimes referred to as an international crossroads as it’s where adrenaline-seeking tourists and humble locals intersect. It’s Hanoi’s equivalent of Saigon’s infamous Bui Vien Walking Street.
The abundance of small restaurants, busy bars, and bustling cafes produce an atmosphere that is one-of-a-kind in Hanoi. During the daytime, Beer Street is quiet, almost tame, but it’s a completely different animal at night.
You’ll find bartering locals, laughing tourists, and an overall sense of community spilling out on the cramped, crowded street. A cup of beer is likely to set you back around $0.50-$1.00 – so be careful not to have too many as you’ll need to keep your wits about you in an area as busy as this.
Should you visit on a Friday or Saturday evening, then you’ll be able to witness live music performances taking place between 8 and 10:30 pm. These songs are sung in Vietnamese and provide an immersive experience of the local culture.
Dining and Nightlife on Beer Street
One of the highlights of this area is sampling the broad range of food and drink available. You’ll find glasses of 4% Vietnamese lager and pair them with both local and international cuisine.
Beers range from lagers to ales to even black stouts. Food is mostly served street food style, with various small plates being a common sight on others’ tables. Much like Ho Chi Minh’s Bui Ven Street, all the cutlery, tables, and seats are plastic.
Expect to find dishes like pho, bun bo hue (a spicy broth with pork), and chicken legs on Beer Street. Street food is available easily and for extremely affordable prices.
Beer Street is located in Hanoi’s most popular historic district for visitors, making it very accessible and straightforward to visit. If you’re staying in the tourist area, then getting here won’t be an issue.
If, however, you’re staying a little further away, then it’s recommended you get a taxi as these are often very cheap and relatively, hassle-free. Keep in mind, though, that the street closes to vehicles on weekends so it’s best you asked to be dropped off at Tran Nhat Duat – a road only a few minutes away from Beer Street.
Using a ride-hailing app like GoJek, Grab or Be will typically save you a few dong over traditional taxis, although both are far more cheap than in some western countries, such as the U.S.
Where to Stay
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There are many nearby places to stay in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and some top hotels in the French Quarter, which border each other by Hoan Kiem Lake. Whether you fancy a hostel or hotel, there will be a place near Beer Street that fits your needs.
Hanoi Elite Hotel (Doa Duy Tu Street) – This 3-star hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from Beer Street and its affordable rooms have all the conveniences you could want.
Happy Feet Hostel (Doa Duy Tu Street) – Located down the street from the Hanoi Elite, this affordable hostel is perfect for those on a budget and hoping to interact with fellow backpackers.
A25 Hotel 61 (Luong Ngoc Quyen) – One of the closest hotels to Beer Street, this hotel’s convenient location makes it a terrific option. Rooms are spacious, clean, and affordable.
Make the most of your time in Hanoi with a visit to Ta Hien, the Old Quarter’s bustling Beer Street. Remember to watch your belongings and don’t get too inebriated on all cheap beer. And if you’re visiting southern Vietnam, be sure to check out Saigon’s backpacker district, Pham Ngu Lao.