Nepal is an early-to-bed country and even in Kathmandu you’ll find few people on the streets after 10pm, especially when the capital’s political situation is tense.

Major sporting events such as English Premier League football and the Formula 1 grand prix are televised in all the major bars.


Kathmandu’s casinos are attached to most of the five-star hotels and are open 24 hours, though they are sometimes closed by the government due to disputes over unpaid taxes. You can play in either Indian rupees or US dollars, and winnings (in the same currency) can be taken out of the country when you leave. The main games offered are roulette and blackjack. Most clients are Indian; Nepalis are officially forbidden from entering.

Music & Dance

Duelling cover bands compete for aural supremacy at various Thamel restaurants on Friday and Saturday nights in the high season – just follow the sounds of Bryan Adams and Coldplay covers.

There are a few cultural performances in the restaurants of the top-end hotels, which generally involve local youths wearing a variety of dress over their jeans and performing traditional dances from Nepal’s various ethnic groups, accompanied by a live band that includes a tabla, harmonium and singer.


Sadly, the video cafes made famous by the title of Pico Iyer’s book Video Night in Kathmandu have disappeared, replaced by fake DVD stores.