Live music in Ho Chi Minh is never far away. Whether you are looking for relaxing background melody or a rip roaring rock session, Vietnam’s largest city has a place for you. Of course, most of the major hotels have live music entertainment, with Rex Hotel and Carravelle Hotel having rooftop bands every night of the week, but if you want to get out of the hotel and see what kind of musicians are entertaining the crowds in Ho Chi Minh then check out our five recommendations of the best live music bars in the city:
1. Acoustic Bar
The Acoustic Bar in Ho Chi Minh is the venue of choice for Vietnam’s up and coming rock musicians. This is the place where legends never die and you can hear amazing renditions of – amongst others – Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and John Lennon. But it’s not limited to the classics; the international roster of musicians is free to rock on with anthems from any era. The place itself is part bar, part cafe, with plenty of sofas for chilling with a coffee in the early evening and standing room for when it heats up at night – there is no food served at The Acoustic Bar though so be sure to fill up beforehand. This place is packed practically every night with a pleasant mix of Vietnamese and foreigners so if you only have one night for live music in Ho Chi Minh we recommend The Acoustic Bar. You’ll have no trouble finding the bar, just look out for an artistically upturned VW Beetle to guide the way.
Opening Hours: 18:00 – 24:00 (live music from 21:00, except on Sunday)
Address: 6E1 Ð Ngo Thoi Nhiem, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 (0) 8 3930 2239
2. Sax n’ Art Jazz Club
Dark and smoky, this live jazz bar is unique in Ho Chi Minh – somewhere to listen to contemporary jazz with subtle Vietnamese influences thanks to the talented owner who plays several traditional instruments on stage. Sax n‘ Art is more expensive than most bars in the city, and some people are put off by the $5 entry free added to their first drink, but that is the price you must pay to listen to Vietnam’s best jazz band in a compact and personal space. The house band weaves between jazz standards and into some more avant-garde compositions, and many touring musicians have been known to frequent the club owned by Vietnam’s foremost jazz saxophone player. This bar is easy to find on Le Loi, not far from Ben Thanh Market, with live music every night of the week.
Opening Hours: 19:00 – 24:00 (live music from 21:00)
Address: 28 Le Loi, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 (0) 8 3822 8472
3. Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe is a bar that needs no introduction – creative cocktails, huge portions of tex-mex favourites, memorabilia on the walls and a kick ass live band to entertain you after dinner. It’s a formula that has won plaudits from New York to New Deli and keeps tourists returning again and again. The live bands at Hard Rock Cafe in Ho Chi Minh are technically excellent and play a varied and middle-of-the-road selection of rock ballads and a few anthems to get people out of their chairs and singing along. Hard Rock Cafe Ho Chi Minh is tourist and family-friendly with a bar menu of Western classics that could quell the hunger of a wildebeest. Particular favourites include the intimidating barbeque rack of ribs and their legendary burgers. The bar is easy to find in Kumho Asiana Plaza, a sparklingly new lifestyle mall with several other restaurants and shops, close to the Botanical Gardens.
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11:00 – 24:00, Weekends 11:00 – 02:00 (Live music from 21:00)
Address: 39 Le Duan street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 (0) 8 6291 7595
4. Yoko Bar
A short moto-taxi out from Ho Chi Minh’s tourist centre, Yoko Bar plays host to an assortment of bands playing rock and acoustic jazz pop in a smallish bar with a unique ‘lived in’ style. This is a true live music bar so there are bands playing every night of the week with a regular crowd of Ho Chi Minh scenesters and expats. Expect to hear some classic rock tunes along with some singer/songwriter type songs – and if the feeling grabs you, you are free to go up and sing with the band! There are plenty of comfy sofas and a small upstairs space with a great view of the performers. Yoko Bar is an authentic Ho Chi Minh venue that doesn’t rely on tourism so it’s the perfect place to sit back with a beer or cocktail and see how the cool kids have fun.
Opening Hours: 19:00 – 24:00 (Live music from 21:00)
Address: 22A Nguyen Thi Dieu, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 (0) 8 3933 0577
5. Seventeen Saloon
Picture this: a Filipino band line dancing in Stetson hats and cowboy boots in a wooden, saloon type bar in Ho Chi Minh City. Sound interesting? Then you have to check out Seventeen Saloon: a two storey live music hall with rock and roll on both floors and a mostly Vietnamese crowd. Bands play all night at top volume so this isn’t the best place for quiet chat but if you’re in the mood for some U2, Bon Jovi and other heavy rock standards then this corner bar across the park from the famous New World skyscraper will give you an amazingly fun – if not slightly surreal – night out. This is an easygoing bar where waitresses are dressed up in sexy country and western garb and the bands play late into the night. Its location halfway between the backpacker part of town and the central tourist area means the foreigners who do make it here are always an eclectic and interesting bunch. Read More…
Opening Hours: 19:00 – 02:00 (live music from 21:00)
Address: 103A Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 (0) 8914 0007