Live music in Ho Chi Minh City

What we say: 3.5 stars

After a few nights out on the Saigon club scene, you may grow tired of the recycled house beats and ringing in your ears. An alternative? Checking out one of the many live music venues the city has to offer. Live bands, classical music, jazz: Ho Chi Minh has something for everybody.

I feel like he's looking right at me!

If you’re in the mood for rock ‘n roll, follow the music down to Acoustic, located close to the border of Districts One and Three on Ngo Thoi Nhiem, a no-cover hotspot that hosts Vietnamese and foreign bands nightly. With well-priced drinks and a great atmosphere, this has become a favourite of locals and tourists alike. Due to its popularity, and limited space, you can expect a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd nearly every night, but braving the crowd is certainly worth it.

Real underground rock.

Real underground rock.

For a little more breathing room, and a proper stage, head over to the Kumho Asiana Plaza where you will find Saigon’s Hard Rock Café. Here you will not only get a bigger table, and plenty of elbowroom, but generally somewhat more professional bands. Premium bands and extra space do however come with a higher price tag; expect to pay drink and food prices closer to what you would in the West.

If you’re looking for something a little quieter than a full rock band, Saigon still has you covered. The Street Pub, on Do Quang Dau in the Pham Ngu Lao are, hosts acoustic jam sessions, as well as live hip-hop, funk, and reggae, while serving up great nightly drink specials. Also in the backpacker area, Thi Café, on De Tham, is a regular performing ground for local acoustic artists.

For those looking for an alternative to rock or hip-hop, try Sax N’ Art on Le Loi, one of the few places in Saigon to find live jazz. There’s a 60,000 VND cover charge to get into this small, intimate club featuring nightly performances by local jazz musician and owner, Tran Manh Tuan. Occasional international artists also perform here.

Meanwhile the Saigon Opera House on Lam Son Square is an option for those keen on classical performances. This beautiful amphitheatre, built in 1899, doesn’t just host opera — it also hosts the HCMC orchestra and ballet, as well as other dance and cultural shows. Check their website to plan ahead.

You'd think that since it's called the Opera House ...

Acoustic Bar
6E1 D Ngo Thoi Nhiem
(08) 3930 2239
Hard Rock Cafe
39 Le Duan
(08) 6291 7595
Sax N’ Art
28 Le Loi
(08) 3930 2239
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