I have been to a number of the nightspots in Dushanbe and preferred Port Said. Some of the others try to be yuppie euro clubs and they suck at it. Port Said plays western club music and has a dance floor. There is no heat in the winter so you will be partying with your coat on.
For the best time, tell the bartender that you want a table. You pay extra for the table but the waitress will keep the drinks coming and you can tab out at the end of the night. The women dress in tight clothes and you will see men dancing together. Not a big deal, just what they do.
I don't like the Russian beer. I think they juice it with grain alcohol. It is filling and gives you a killer hangover. If you want real Tajik women at you table, get cognac by the bottle. Not terribly expensive but for this old beer drinker...definitely the way to go. Or vodka. Beer is a sometimes drink for Tajiks.
There are few prostitutes that hang around, they will try to approach you by the eastern style toilets up front. Tell them you are with someone and they won't bother you again. My Tajik friends' warnings...many of the prostitutes have relatives in law enforcement so you will pay the girl at night and have to bribe the cops in the morning. If second and half world prositutes aren't scary enough for you, perhaps this will wave you off.
Dress Code: It is pretty laid back, wear jeans and shirt..no problem. There won't be any women here in the traditional flowing garb.
You will some expats here. You can always spot an American by looking for the ball cap.
Someone said shorts on another post. Go ahead and wear shorts if you want everyone laughing at you and questioning your masculinity. Women certainly shouldn't. Despite the alcohol and prostitutes, this is still a Muslim country. Try to dress like the locals.
If you wear a ballcap, brown shoes, or glasses, you will stick out like a foreigner.
The Club People's is one of the best clubs in Dushanbe. People who go there are pretty different from the rest of those who go to nightclubs.
But most importantly have a Tadzhik friend and you'll sure enjoy your time in Dushanbe
Nightlife : There are no restaurants operating in the evenings except for the one in the Hotel Oktyabrskaya which shuts at 2200. There is a dollar bar in the basement of the Hotel Tajikistan which is open some evenings. The Ayni opera and ballet theatre on Prospekt Rudaki is still operating, albeit with a reduced programme of matinees. The streets of Dushanbe are deserted after 2000.
This is a breezy, Persian style restaurant right on Rudaki Prospekt. Very open to the elements, basically a monumental roofed structure, it is a pleasant place to sit and let the evening pass by. This is also an excellent place where the food is good and your Tajik partners are comfortable with everything.
Sometimes music is played in the courtyard, or a wedding or some other celebration takes place, considerably livening up the place. Not a good place during blistery winters, I presume, they might hibernate...
Dress Code: Nice and summery for the climate, then consider your fellow table partners. Flowing garbs for women is the thing in Tajikistan.
This is more a karaoke bar, than a night club. It's not a big place, but ok for a few late night beers. If you're a guy you'll probably be hit upon by some local prostitutes with gold teeth. Not too many foreigners.
Dress Code: Smart casual.
The only place to be seen out and about in Dushanbe, every Friday night is the big night there.
Pronounced "Port Sayeed" (as in the city in Egypt), all the taxi drivers know where it is, basically up the hill about a kilometre from the Presidential Palace.
Very popular with both ex-pats living in Dushanbe, and the most beautiful Tajik girls around! Look out for Johhny (who speaks English quite well), one of the waiters, who's studying Diplomacy and want's to work in the German embassy (you never know, you might need another visa some day!).
Expensive by Tajik standards, but still only about US$1.50 for a half litre of beer (Baltica 3 is recommended).
Dress Code: None, but quite a trendy spot, so shorts would probably be a little underdressed, but sandals, etc are fine. A lot of the clientele are NGO staff on holidays from Afghanistan, so they're generally quite scruffy, and have no problems.
Just walking the Rudaki Prospect is nice in the evening. Pastel colors fading in the dark, give an new life by flood lighting, warm breeze during the right season.