The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is located in the Himalayas, and is bustling with activity. Long a favorite of tourists from around the world, Kathmandu has many nightlife options, with the majority located in the Thamel section of the city.
Jatra is a very relaxed and chilled spot to enjoy a cocktail and some people watching. Either sit in the courtyard or upstairs looking out onto Thamel. They have live music at the weekends, with performances of Brazilian and Indian fusion along with other genres and styles. The music is a welcome departure from the usual choices of live music available in Thamel. There is also a very good selection of cocktails and some decent wines available by the glass. Although not a proper restaurant, the food is rather good. The clientele is an interesting mixture of locals, expats and tourists.
This relatively new addition to the nightlife in Thamel, the Buddha Bar is a lovely place to relax, have a few drinks and meet some local people. They play good music, and is a great option for a weekday outing, as it does get very busy during the weekend. The bar is named the Chillout Lounge, and that is very much the case. I can recommend this bar as a great option for anytime.
Sam’s is a great place to meet other people, travelers, aid workers, etc. It has a lively atmosphere without being overwhelming. The beer isn’t badly priced, and if it starts raining, they are pretty quick putting the roof across. This feels like a typical local bar.
At the end of rainy season, Kathmandu can feel very deserted and depressing. The courtyard garden of the Electric Pagoda can help you to forget all of that. The courtyard is lush with many trees and plants that help to make the air cleaner. The music and decor are tasteful, the cobblestones and wrought iron tables and chairs, with shady umbrellas, remind me of the classy outdoor cafes in Manhattan.
Note that there are many dance bars in Kathmandu, especially within the Thamel area. These dance bars are not obscene but there are many reports of unscrupulous billing practices by the management.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Kathmandu nightlife.