Nightlife in Chiang Mai is so varied and interesting that it will keep even the most dedicated party animal entertained for a long, long time. Chiang Mai nightlife is legendary and any type of visitor to the city will find a Chiang Mai bar or club to suit their preferences. Thailand in general is known for its vibrant nightlife but Chiang Mai in particular is special and you’re in for a treat on a night out in this amazing place!
Chiang Mai by day is known as the city of temples, but by night the markets start to buzz, the evening bars and restaurants open, and people start to fill the friendly streets. It’s definitely a different type of party atmosphere than Bangkok – it’s a lot less frenzied and more laid back – so it’s not really a fair comparison, but whether you’re into dancing, drinking, live music, or something else entirely, you’ll find a bar in Chiang Mai that will keep you entertained into the wee hours.
Well, actually, that’s not totally true! Nightlife in Chiang Mai isn’t known for being an all-night affair and police are quite strict about enforcing closing hours. Most Chiang Mai bars close at 11pm or midnight but you can also find some open until 2am and then the city shuts down… unless you’re ‘in the know’, of course. News of after hours places usually passes by word of mouth and changes frequently, so keep your ear to the ground and if you want to party all night, you might just find somewhere!
Generally speaking, the Nimmanhaemin Road area is known for sophisticated, higher-end, and more expensive bars and clubs popular with locals and long-time expats. They often have a focus on cocktails and imported beers and it’s where you’ll find many of the most chic spots. The Old City has a great mix of all sorts of places but it’s mostly known for bars that are more affordable and cater to backpackers. There are lots of reggae bars in this area that are great spots for shooting pool and hanging out in a chilled, bohemian atmosphere. The venues along the River Ping cater to everyone and they have beautiful views, a huge selection of live music, and a mix of bars, restaurants, and hotels to choose from.
If you’re up for something a bit more edgy, head to the red-light district on Loi Kroh Road which is like a toned-down version of the Patpong area of Bangkok – probably not a place for family fun, but there are lots of bars and it will surely be a lively night out for adventurous types! Chiang Mai’s night markets also offer a fun and varied night out with bars intermixed with stalls selling all sorts of interesting things. Covid has closed certain attractions temporarily like the ladyboy shows and Muay Thai at Ansuarn Market, for example, along with many other popular night spots, but hopefully all of the city’s nightlife options will open back up soon enough.
Chiang Mai nightlife has loads to offer any visitor and below is our list of the best Chiang Mai bars and nightclubs. This list should be enough to keep anyone hoping to explore nightlife in Chiang Mai for a long time!
The Beer Lab is a Chiang Mai bar located right in the center of Nimmanheamin that, as the name would suggest, is focused on beer, beer, and more beer! You’ll find a great selection of imported draft and bottled beer from around the world and they even offer beer-infused cocktails! This bar has a menu of pub grub type offerings like ribs, burgers, chicken wings, and sausages that will nicely compliment all the beer you’ll be guzzling. If beer isn’t your thing you can also get cocktails or choose from their wine menu. Prices here aren’t cheap but the service is good and it has a nice atmosphere.
Address: 44/1 Nimmana Haeminda Lane 12
Hours: Nightly, 5pm to 11pm
Phone: +66 97 997 4566
Boy Blues Bar
Boy Blues Bar is a perfect Chiang Mai bar for anyone who loves live blues music expertly performed by talented local and foreign musicians. It was opened in 2010 by a Thai blues fan with the nickname ‘Boy’ and it was the first spot in the city to offer live blues music. You can find Boy playing with his band regularly, or if you’re up for taking the stage yourself, they also have open mic jam sessions. Drinks here are well priced and things generally start to get going around 10pm when the crowd grows, the musicians find their stride, and people get a few drinks in them. The open air bar is set on the mezzanine of the Night Bazaar Kalale Center and if you want to snag a table, get in early.
Address: 2/f Kalare Night Bazaar
Hours: Nightly, 5pm to 1am
Phone: +66 89 192 8527
The Good View
This bar, restaurant, and live music venue sits right on the banks of the Ping River. This excellent Chiang Mai bar opened its doors in 1996 and they serve up a huge selection of international cuisines including Thai, American, Chinese, and European. If you want something a little different for your night out, they also have several private karaoke rooms to accommodate groups from 12 to 30 people. This isn’t a crazy party place but it’s a fun stop before a big night out for a very good meal, some live music, and delicious cocktails. Plus, if you book a table outside you’ll have an amazing view of the river!
Address: 13 Charoen Raj Road
Hours: Daily, 10am to 1am
Phone: +66 53 241 866
Mix Restaurant & Bar
Mix bar in Nimman has an enormous drinks menu with over 500 beers and wines to choose from and over 80 cocktails (including molecular cocktails) to try. They even offer live cocktail mixing at your table. Their food menu is also huge, serving up a mix of cuisine including Thai, American European, Japanese, and Indian. It’s a stylish, trendy Chiang Mai bar with a nice mix of indoor and outdoor seating.
Address: 36 Nimmanhaemin Soi 1
Hours: Daily, 11am to 2pm and 5pm to Midnight
Phone: +66 53 216 878
Myst Maya Rooftop Bar
Set atop the roof of the new Maya Mall in Nimman, the Myst Maya Rooftop bar has one of the best views in the city. If you want to sip fancy, creative cocktails and shots whipped up by a professional mixologist in a sophisticated setting – then this is your spot to experience nightlife in Chiang Mai. They also do over-sized cocktails in huge glasses if you’re up for sharing with friends… possibly while also enjoying a shisha pipe, if that’s your thing. The Myst Maya has a menu featuring fusion Thai and international dishes and their Thai-style red snapper gets great reviews.
Address: Rooftop, Maya Shopping Center, Huay Keuw Road
Hours: Nightly, 5pm to Midnight
Phone: +66 61 512 6768 / +66 93 498 9393
Northgate Jazz Co-op
This wonderful live music venue near Chiang Puak Gate hosts some of Thailand’s best jazz musicians in its welcoming, friendly space. Though the focus is on jazz, they also host acoustic, rock, and other events and they have a popular (and often fantastic) open mic night on Tuesdays. Northgate Jazz Co-op is popular with locals, expats, and tourists alike and it has a great atmosphere. Drinks here are very well priced, the crowd is engaged and fun, and this great Chiang Mai bar definitely worth a visit, especially if you love live music.
Address: 95/1-2 Sri Phum Street (close to Chiang Puak Gate)
Hours: Nightly, 7pm to 12am
Phone: +66 81 765 5246
O’Malley’s is a great Chiang Mai bar for anyone who wants to enjoy sports and drink beer in a friendly setting. As with any Irish bar worth its salt, O’Malley’s has a great atmosphere and they have Guinness on tap and also offer Kilkenny and a few other international choices as well. They have a menu of gloriously stodgy food to soak up all that beer including roast pork dinner with all the trimmings, beef and Guinness pie, BBQ pork ribs, and plenty more. Items are a bit on the pricey side, especially when compared with local Thai spots, but you’ll be getting some interesting food and beer you can’t find in most places
This place is focused on sports and you can find almost anything here, depending on the time of year, including English Premier League football, NFL, Aussie Rules, NBA, NRL, tennis, Formula One, and lots more! They even host regular golf tournaments, usually in aid of a local charity, so if that’s your sport then be sure to check out the golf page on their website. It’s a wonderful little pub to stop in for a pint, a meal, and a game of pool and it can get lively in the evenings especially when there’s a major sporting event on.
Address: 149, Anusarn Market, 14-15 Changklan Road
Hours: Daily, 2pm to 11pm
Phone: +66 53 271 921
The Red Lion
The Red Lion is an English pub located in the heart of the Night Bazaar. Established in 1997, it’s one of the oldest pubs in the city and it’s a great Chiang Mai bar for watching sports like the Premier League, Six Nations rugby, Formula 1, and more. It’s also the official home of the Chiang Mai FC expats supporters club and it’s a popular meeting place for golfers after they play a round. The Red Lion pub offers international and Thai cuisine along with a great selection of draft beers and probably the largest selection of cider in Chiang Mai.This place is more of a low key pub experience, but during sporting events things will get more lively.
Address: 123 Loi Khro Road
Hours: Daily, Noon to 11pm
Phone: +66 53 818 847
Rise Rooftop Bar
This rooftop cocktail bar sits on the eighth floor of the 5-star Akyra Manor Hotel with a wonderful view overlooking the city at Doi Suthep. It’s a nice place to enjoy a cocktail as the sun goes down. Their mixologists are professionals, staff are friendly, and it’s a sophisticated place with a cozy, chic design. Prices are what you’d expect for a hotel of this caliber, but it’s a fun place to splash out on. There’s even a pool so if a rooftop pool party is what you’re after, this is the place!
Address: 22/2 Nimman Road Soi 9
Hours: Daily, 7am to 11pm
Phone: +66 (0)2 514 8112
Located right next to the River Ping on the eastern bank near the Kaeo Nawarat Road bridge crossing, this excellent bar and restaurant is handy for anyone staying in Riverside and not too far from either the Night Bazaar or Old Town. The Riverside is a popular Chiang Mai bar and it’s a mecca for tourists, locals, and long-term residents alike. The Riverside has been going strong since 1984 and continues to offer up excellent food, views, and fun. The menu is made up of a mix of Thai and Western food, complemented by creative cocktails and a large choice of beers on tap. If you’re lucky enough to snag a table by the water you’ll be rewarded with some amazing views.
The Riverside is one of those places where you can start off with a relaxed dinner and then see the venue transform as the night goes on into a prime party spot with an eclectic mix of revelers and live music nightly from around 8pm until close. They have two different stages and over 30 artists cycle their way through the venue to keep you entertained any night of the week.
Address: 9-11 Charoenrat Road
Hours: Daily, 10am to 1:30am
Phone: +66 (0) 53 243239
The Roof at Sala Lanna
This stunning rooftop venue located at the Sala Lanna hotel has amazing 360 degree views of the Ping River and the surrounding Chiang Mai area and Doi Sothep temple. The Roof has a great selection of wine and cocktails and, although prices here are higher than at many other places, this is a classy, upscale spot and the view and service both make it worth it. Come in the evenings to see their beautiful space lit up with lanterns and candles.
Address: Sala Lanna, Charoenrat Road
Hours: Daily, 6pm to 11pm
Phone: +66 53 242 588
Roots Rock Reggae
This low key Chiang Mai bar is an awesome place to come if you’re looking for affordable drinks and excellent live music. They have bands every night playing international and Thai hits. Roots Rock Reggae serves up some tasty food along with surprisingly good cocktails at great prices. It’s a chill place with nice staff, a friendly crowd, and a great atmosphere and if you’re into live music you’ll need to check it out.
Address: Ratvithi Road, Mae Rim
Hours: Daily, 4:30pm to 11pm
Phone: +66 94 606 2323
The UN Irish Pub
This pub in the Old City originally opened its doors in 1992, starting its life as a bakery and quickly evolving into a popular restaurant and meeting spot. It has a casual atmosphere and serves up Thai and Western food and a great choice of drinks. The UN Irish Pub is a popular venue for watching sports (everything from NBA to rugby to UFC to cricket) and they also host regular live music, including a session every Sunday.
Address: 24-24/1 Ratchawithi Road
Hours: Daily, 9am to Midnight
Phone: +66 53 214 554
Warm Up Cafe
This legendary Chiang Mai bar has been going strong now for over two decades! It’s one of the most popular places for experiencing nightlife in Chiang Mai. It’s especially popular with the young Thai university crowd. Warm Up Cafe is divided into three separate sections – the main indoor area with live music (it gets very busy on the weekends), and a large outdoor area that often has a live acoustic band to keep the atmosphere relaxed, and a smallish lounge room with a DJ spinning all sorts of tunes including hip-hop and house.
Address: 40 Nimmanhaemin Road
Hours: Nightly, 6pm to 2am
Phone: +66 53 400 676 +66 53 400 677
The Writer’s Club & Wine Bar
As the name would suggest, this bar is a favorite stop for journalists and some other media types and it’s sort of become the unofficial press club of Chiang Mai. It’s a sophisticated place with an excellent choice of wine and it’s a Chiang Mai bar that’s worth a stop if you’re more into good conversation as opposed to raging on a dancefloor.
Address: 141/3 Rachadamnoen Road
Hours: Daily, Noon to Midnight
Phone: +66 53 814 187
Zoe in Yellow
This sprawling bar in the Old Town near Pae Gate is one of the most well known and best party spots in Chiang Mai. It’s known for its cheap drinks and it caters to a young Western crowd, especially backpackers, but it’s popular with locals as well. It’s a beer garden, a live music venue, and a nightclub all rolled up into one fun and chaotic package. If you’re looking for some serious Chiang Mai nightlife, Zoe in Yellow is your place! It has four bars serving spirits, buckets, cocktails, and all the usual local and international beers. Drinks are affordable but they also have a happy hour on Tuesdays from 8pm to 10pm. The music here is varied with rock, pop, hip-hop, reggae, house, techno, and dance and they also host regular parties and events like with the music choices and vibe. This is a very busy place so keep a close eye on your belongings.
Address: 40/12 Ratvithi Road
Hours: Nightly, 5pm to Midnight
Phone: +66 84 222 9388