For those expecting the type of nightlife raved about in other Chinese cities: you are in for quite the disappointment. And, no offense, but where exactly do you get your information? It wasn't here. If it WAS here, then it was an oversight, and that guy is definitely getting fired.
Wait. You already know that Lhasa isn't a super-crazy frat party? Well, that's a relief. We really weren't looking forward to that whole awkward “you're fired” moment. We really like our staff.
Back to the point. If you're one to enjoy the typical big-city drinking and dancing, you'll have to temper your expectations. There are a handful of backpacker and expat hangouts (cold drinks and travel conversation), a couple of small live music venues, and the allure of night markets, where the bottom dollar is the primary conversation to be had.
Because of Tibetan customs, there aren't a ton of bars in the city, and the ones they do have tend to be filled with quiet chatter instead of Western pop music. For some, this is heaven. Makye Ame, Ganglamedo, and Dunya are establishments that serve food all day and then stay full once the sun goes down. For a little live music (don't expect big touring acts out here), check out the Music Kitchen, although there are kitschy performances put on with customary Tibetan song and dance at the Crazy Yak, Tanggulafeng Performing Center, and other venues around town. These are probably the biggest tourist draw in Tibet; despite their over-the-top nature, they are a good reckoning of customary dress and dance.
If you're at a loss for what do, it can't hurt to hit up a night market. The most famous is the Tianhai Night Market, which is a great place to grab food on top of being worth a stroll in search of curios, rugs, and Mao bobbleheads. If you're totally afraid to leave your hotel, then head downstairs; there's usually a bar. Then again you made it to Lhasa, so get out and explore both day and night! For further information, consult our activity pages or our community.