Leave your crampons and carabineers behind as you rappel down tiny alleys and backstreets searching for some evening excitement. You won’t need a Sherpa to enjoy the nightlife of Kathmandu but maybe a rickshaw ride to discover the bustling city that comes to life as the sun goes down.
By day this area is a myriad of shops, sights and sounds of tourists gearing up for upcoming hikes or just returning filled with stories of their adventures. When the shops roll down their shades for the night, bars and clubs light up their patios for drinks and dancing. All along the streets and guest houses you’ll find tiny clubs with music ranging from Brazilian Afro Beats to local bands playing covers of 80’s heavy metal. On madal and sarangi. Kathmandu has broad variety of clubs including Irish Pubs, a Mayan themed bar, Dixieland New Orleans style jazz and ones the play Kollywood indie films while drinking local Nepalese wine.
One of the “never miss” for those going mountaineering is the Rum Doodle. The history behind this place is great, a Kathmandu institution where trekkers from all over the world who have climbed or attempted to climb Mt Everest come over to celebrate their achievement. Yeti footprints cutouts are handed over to the revelers for their signatures as a token memento to be hung with Sir Edmund Hillary and Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mt. Everest.
Garden of Dreams
Located between Thamel and the former royal palace, this garden was opened in the 1920s. It is laid out like a European style garden and contains ponds, fountains, benches and statues. It is a good place to chill out. The garden is open until 10pm nightly and has well lighted pathways, mediation areas and open spaces to do some star gazing.
Where six avenues converge and straddling one of the ancient Tibet – India trade routes, Ason is a local market a bit south from Thamel. It is perfect for buying local goods like the paper masks, Himalayan salt, spices, fabrics or traditional musical instruments. Stroll through the square where traders once traversed with loads of silks and spices. There are cafes serving traditional food and drinks. It is said this is the market where Cat Stevens penned his song “Katmandu” in the 1960s.
Several of the five star hotels have casinos but make sure you bring your passport as locals are not allowed to enter them. Most have a bar and table games.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about nightlife in Kathmandu.