Delhi Nightlife

Delhi's nightlife is in a constant state of flux, and among the growing set of young people who can afford it, the scene is intense. Various kinds of watering hole are on offer, with the lounge bar emerging as the most successful formula. Though Delhi doesn't rival the cosmopolitan feel of Mumbai, it seems as if a new lounge opens here every week. That said, the city's somewhat stodgy reputation

is still partly deserved: All the major hotels have bars, but most are better suited for a collective nap with a few tired foreigners than a night of Indian camaraderie; they still shut by midnight and many nightclubs close not much later, though there are a few all-night venues.

Hotel bars come in two stripes: those that aim for a British Raj look and an older, quieter clientele, or raucous, late-night dance clubs. Due to high taxes on alcohol, especially imported brands, drinks prices come close to those in London and New York. Those in search of late-night dancing and drinking sometimes head for the suburbs or five-star hotels, which can stay open later.

The disco scene has undergone a transformation in recent years. Select places attract top international DJs and charge cover prices to match. Slowly electronic dance music is overtaking drunk renditions of classic rock and Bollywood favorites at most places. Overly casual attire (shorts, T-shirts, sandals on men) is typically frowned on, and closing times tend to vary with the mood of the city government that month.

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Bars/ Pubs 7

Dance Clubs 2

Piano Bars/ Lounges 3

Delhi Nightlife

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1911

  • Piano Bars/Lounges

The large bar here is a classic watering hole decked out the way it looked in the years leading up to the end of the Raj. The drink menu...

Agni

  • Dance Clubs

Named for the Vedic fire god, the swanky Agni, in the lobby of the Park Hotel, attracts Delhi's party crowd, playing electronic interspersed...

Aqua

  • Piano Bars/Lounges

As the name suggests, Aqua is a giant outdoor space focused on a large swimming pool surrounded with lovely cabanas. It's got a well-heeled...

Baci

  • Bars/Pubs

Baci is a charming Italian-style bistro that serenades with soft jazz. The sophisticated cocktail list has some delicious creamy drinks.

Blue Frog

Blue Frog promises interesting live music from all over the country and internationally almost every night, delivered via a state-of-the-art...

Blues

  • Bars/Pubs

A vaguely Chicagoesque rock bar with occasional live music nights. ...

Golf Bar

  • Dance Clubs

At the dark and pub-like Golf Bar, you're sure to hear cheesy pop and rock hits from the '80s onward (think wedding reception). Some...

Hard Rock Café

  • Bars/Pubs

This isn't especially India, but it does sometimes book some interesting bands (call for the weekly performance schedule). If you're...

Keya

  • Bars/Pubs

Chic, chic, chic, and the cocktails are innovative and delicious: street-food-inspired concoctions include the betel-leaf martini and...

Polo Lounge

  • Piano Bars/Lounges

While very much a hotel bar, this place can be very lively. The wood-paneled room has a curved bar, a leather sofa, a library with newspapers...

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