Must-see nightlife in India

  • Sixteen69

    Shimla

    After dark, pulsating DJ sets add to stylish decor, dimly lit by back-lit carved panels and a glowing marble bar.

  • The Shack

    Visakhapatnam

    The Shack, a breezy beach bar right on the sands at the Park hotel, is a popular place for a beer or cocktail.

  • Diggin Cafe

    Delhi

    Cute cafe with shaded terrace seating, serving pizza, pasta and salads in this serene garden shopping complex.

  • BNC

    Bhubaneswar

    An air-con-cooled cafe with good-value coffee (₹90), plus sandwiches, muffins and ice cream.

  • Cafe Brownie

    Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Cute little cafe for an email catch-up, espresso in one hand, brownie or muffin in the other.

  • Café Coffee Day

    Mt Abu

    A branch of the popular caffeine-supply chain. The tea and cakes aren’t bad either.

  • Trophy Bar

    Jodhpur

    For cocktails and imported liquid refreshments, pull up a stool at the Trophy Bar.

  • The Foundry

    Nashik

    Nightlife is scarce in Nashik – it's primarily a spiritual city, despite the surrounding vineyards – but this new, small club inside multipurpose BLVD …

  • Bar Stock Exchange

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    Though a tad gimmicky, this Bandra hot spot is filled to the brim almost nightly with mingling 30-somethings with one eye on the drink ticker – prices…

  • Couchyn

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Rust-red walls, cushy sofa booths and sports screens set the scene at this cosmopolitan bar at Ernakulam's art deco Grand Hotel, where beers, cocktails…

  • Nainital Boat Club

    Uttarakhand

    This club is a classic remnant of the Raj era. Temporary membership is outrageously overpriced, but drinks are relatively cheap and its atmospheric bar –…

  • Saqi Bar

    Kashmir & Ladakh

    In the J&KTDC-run residency building, this overwhelmingly male drinkers' retreat is either authentically historical or dark and dingy, depending on your…

  • Om Cafe

    Mcleod Ganj

    Savour great yet inexpensive coffee from a Faema espresso machine or fresh squeezed fruit juices on a sunny, sunset-view terrace lined with potted plants.

  • Tito’s

    Calangute & Baga

    The long-running titan of Goa’s clubbing scene, Tito’s has done its best to clean up its act and organises regular event nights that take on a distinctly…

  • LPK Waterfront

    North Goa

    The initials stand for Love, Peace and Karma: the whimsical, sculpted waterfront LPK across the Nerul River from Candolim is the biggest club in the area,…

  • Brew Room

    Chennai (Madras)

    Decked out in neorustic style, Brew Room does coffee like you've never had in Chennai, from espressos and cappuccinos to Turkish coffee, French press,…

  • Hut

    Kozhikode (Calicut)

    The laid-back bamboo bar at the Beach Hotel delivers light snacks, chilled beers and respectable pan-Indian cuisine (mains ₹150 to ₹300).

  • Café Coffee Day

    Chennai (Madras)

    Reliably good hot and cold coffees and teas. Also at Egmore, Khader Nawaz Khan Rd, Express Avenue Mall, Alwarpet and Phoenix Market City.

  • EOS Bar & Bistro

    Lucknow

    This chic bar on the rooftop of the Levana Hotel is Lucknow's attempt at a genuinely trendy bar. It draws the young and restless, especially for Saturday…

  • Lloyds Tea House

    Chennai (Madras)

    Teas from across the globe collide in fabulously refreshing hot or iced concoctions at this soothing, contemporary teahouse. Pick from green teas, herbal…

  • Shiva Tea Stall

    Manali

    Manali's best ₹10 masala chai. The tea comes richly suffused with ginger and cinnamon at this ultra-basic shack-shop, where just a handful of plastic…

  • Casaluxo Bar

    Diu

    Most Diu bars are wholly unappealing places full of Gujarati men downing whisky and falling over, but at the almost pub-like Casaluxo Bar, facing the town…

  • H₂O Bar

    Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh

    This small but trendy bar downstairs in the Gwalior Regency does good cocktails (₹250 to ₹375) set to choice tunes. A DJ spins nightly and there are theme…

  • SinQ

    North Goa

    The SinQ entertainment scene, almost directly opposite Taj Holiday Village, is one for the cool people but it has expanded to include the Showbar…

  • Mangi Ferra

    Varanasi

    This colourful, laid-back lounge in the garden at Hotel Surya is a relaxing place where you can sip an espresso (₹90), a cold one or a cocktail in the…

  • Pasha

    Chennai (Madras)

    A stylish, early-20s bunch packs into this sparkly, two-level, Persian-themed club, where Bollywood night takes over on Wednesdays and big-name…

  • The Shed

    Manali

    This seasonal cafe has an excellent coffee machine, a semicircular bar zone (try the apple martinis) and a fire pit between sacred rocks.

  • 7 Degree Brauhaus

    Delhi

    A thigh-slapping Bavarian-themed restaurant and brewery, Brauhaus was one of the first bar-restaurants to open on Golf Course Rd and is enduringly popular…

  • Space Out

    Dharamsala

    Relax on floor cushions beneath basket-lamps watched over by a mesmerising 'life flow' mural. Sip inexpensive macchiatos, nettle teas or sophisticated…

  • Trafik

    Guwahati

    Dim and buzzy, this bar is a hit with the city’s office workers and, true to its name, attracts heavy traffic after sundown. There’s a vast TV screen for…

  • Prinsep Bar

    Varanasi

    For a quiet drink with a dash of history, try this tiny bar named after James Prinsep, who drew wonderful illustrations of Varanasi’s ghats and temples …

  • My Bar

    Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    A dark but lively bar, this place is loud and fun, with a cheery, mixed crowd of backpackers and locals, who may even start dancing… There are several…

  • Leopold Café

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    Love it or hate it, most tourists end up at this clichéd Mumbai travellers’ institution at one time or another. Around since 1871, Leopold’s has wobbly…

  • Dugout

    Kolkata (Calcutta)

    If you don't mind the somewhat cheesy decor (cherry-red sofas and a giant neon football motif lighting up the ceiling), this sports-themed cafe is a…

  • Cafe Ravi View

    Himachal Pradesh

    HPTDC's small, viewpoint snack house is a good place to sip an icy-cold beer with panoramas of the river valley below. You can also dine on a similar if…

  • My Bar

    New Delhi

    With branches across Delhi, this divey, cheap and cheerful bar is hugely popular, and this CP outlet sees crowds of local men and women shouting over the…

  • Bread Cafe

    Shillong

    A friendly coffee halt in the Police Bazar area, Bread Cafe brews respectable latte, cappuccino, macchiato and frappé in shiny red and black surroundings,…

  • Joey’s Pub

    Darjeeling

    Joey's has suffered from the eponymous owner's passing but if your preferred beverage comes in a pint not a pot, this long-standing pub near the post…

  • Wink

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    Friday and Saturday are thumping here, but it’s a classy place most nights with its sophisticated decor (low beige sofas, intricately carved iron screens)…

  • Midpoint Hotel

    Himachal Pradesh

    Climbing to the Padmasambhava Caves, the stairway crosses the road beside this isolated pink house which serves drinks and simple meals with a superb…

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