Swanky bars are all well and good, but nothing says “cool” like a buzzing rooftop bar. The feeling of being outdoors in the open air, enjoying the breeze high above a busy metropolis somehow adds extra ‘oomph’ to an evening. Perhaps it’s the altitude, or simply the stunning skyline that surrounds; either way a cocktail somehow tastes better when supped 60 floors up.
Here’s our picks for a delicious rooftop drink in Saigon:
Perched on the 27th floor of the AB Tower in District 1, Chill has been open for just over a year and attracts the sleek, sexy and well-dressed upper echelons of Saigon’s elite as well as foreign travelers seeking the best views of the city for their holiday snaps. Chill is the place to be seen splashing the cash in Saigon. Our tip – be sure to dress appropriately or risk the wrath of the maître d’ and an embarrassing U-turn!
Rooftop Garden at Rex Hotel
Rooftop Garden at Rex Hotel still thrives off its reputation as a ‘basecamp’ for thirsty journalists and high-ranking military officers during the war in Vietnam. Due to its history and reputation, Rooftop Garden is an extremely popular destination for travelers. Overlooking Le Loi Boulevard set atop the quirky Rex Hotel, the deck area offers an unpretentious atmosphere, casual dress code (no shorts though) and is slightly more affordable than certain other skybars in the city.
Broma is certainly the ‘new kid on the block’ in Saigon. Having been open just a few months, it’s currently the ‘fresh’ new venue in HCMC and has got tongues wagging with its faux-medieval decor and a three-meter-long fish tank built into the roof dividing Broma’s two levels, making it visible from both. Broma’s location in the center of the city is prime, in the shadows of the Bitexco Tower. The alfresco area on the second floor overlooks Nguyen Hue Street and the Saigon River and feels akin to a secret lair or tree house, where you can enjoy the breeze, some subtle lighting and the carefully crafted selection of Euro treats, beers and wines on the menu.
Saigon Saigon Bar
At ‘only’ nine floors up, Saigon Saigon Bar is a low-rise rooftop option, but still provides beautiful panoramic views of HCMC. Built in the 1950’s, like Rooftop Garden, this dusk-time drinking destination has a rich history and was one of the bars that journalists used to frequent during the Vietnam War, often using the bar as a viewpoint for spotting planes and aerial assaults going on around the city. Well…that was their excuse for being there every day anyway! HCMC is much more sedate now of course, but Saigon Saigon Bar still oozes history from all its nooks and crannies.
As the name suggests, Casbah is an Arabian / Middle Eastern-styled café bar and restaurant, suitably tucked away in a hard-to-find alleyway off Nguyen Du. The warm, conversation-starting décor certainly fits the bill and Casbah serves plenty of middle-eastern mezze (hummus, couscous, falafel, etc.) as well as offering shisha pipes with flavored tobacco and Arabian coffee. Being so easy to miss, Casbah is certainly one for the locals, or those ‘in-the-know’. Intimate and cozy, the café bar a welcoming change from the norm in HCMC and its charming low-rise rooftop terrace provides worthy views of Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica.
Pacharan Tapas Bar
An atmospheric alternative to the hotel-ran skybars is the low-rise four-storey Pacharan Tapas Bar. As well as the roof terrace, the second floor features live music, while the ground floor is a warm and welcoming bar. Located directly opposite Park Hyatt in District 1, the rooftop overlooks the city’s crazy traffic below as well as the Saigon Opera House. People watching is fun, even from four storeys up, and from Pacharan’s terrace you can watch life on the Saigon streets drift by as you quench your thirst with a chilled jug of sangria and nibble on some tasty tapas.
Shri Restaurant & Lounge
Crowning the 23rd floor of the Centec Tower in downtown Saigon, Shri’s modern European menu and bountiful list of imported wines aren’t for those traveling on a budget. As is the case so often in life though; you get what you pay for! Love-struck couples are a common sight here given the laid back romantic atmosphere Shri provides, especially during sunsets. So if you’re looking for a place to impress your ‘special someone’, this could be it!