If you’d ask me, the best nightlife activities in Khiva are incomparable with what one can normally do:
(1) - wandering around the empty streets to soak up its mysterious atmosphere and shades
(2) - find a high spot to marvel at the stars on a clear desert night
It may seem strange to include a “nightlife” tip here, as you certainly won’t find in Khiva anything usually described by that term – no discos or night-clubs, no lively bars, cinemas or theatres. But strolling the streets after dark in an atmosphere so redolent of past wonders is a special pleasure, and one that means that an overnight stay here will be so much more rewarding than visiting on a day trip from nearby Urgench.
And if after that you feel the need also for a night-cap, as we did, there is a bar of sorts in the courtyard of the Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah (home to the Khiva Hotel) which is totally in keeping with the special night-time atmosphere here. There is no menu; instead the choice of drinks is set out on the low wall (soft drinks, beer, wine or vodka) and retrieved from the cool of the room below by a willing member of the hotel staff. You can then sit in the cool of this pretty courtyard, surrounded by the old stones and cells of the madrassah, with the stars overhead and little in the way of noise or bustle to disturb your tranquillity.
Don't expect any discos or bars in Khiva's old city. But if you stay for a night, it is nice to sit outside and watch the night world going by.
I can only judge for the plaza around Kalta Minor (in the western part), where I was having dinner in Milliy Taomlar .
Kalta Minor is illuminated in the evening, which gives it even a more mystic touch. When I was there, a big family party was held in the medressa close by, and a lot of kids were running around on the plaza. It was fun, as they approach you, the foreigner, and want to practice their English, they learn in school. Do them the favour and chat a bit with them.
To get an idea how this plaza looks in the night, the link below is another of these panorama views of Kalta Minor at night.