Bars & Nightlife
Despite its considerable history, the city of Sydney is very much young at heart. With plenty of classic pubs and hotels, sophisticated clubs, cool live music venues and low-key bars, there’s no shortage of interesting places to explore on a night out in Sydney. Although recent alcohol-related laws have somewhat curtailed Sydney’s nightlife, there are still lots of amazing venues operating within the city.
Top 5 Waterfront Bars
This famous venue enjoys unrivalled views of the Sydney Opera House with a huge outdoor seating area and an extensive wine list. Located right on the water, there is no place to get closer to Sydney’s icons while sipping on your favourite beverage. Opera Bar is open seven days a week from 11.30am, with live music on weekends.
Blu Bar on 36
This New York-inspired bar is a beacon of sophistication located high above the Sydney CBD. Blu Bar on 36 features a cosmopolitan lounge with expansive windows and expansive harbour views. Try its selection of fine wines, classic cocktails and liqueurs.
The Island Bar
This funky bar is set in a shipping container with decor that includes deck chairs, umbrellas, AstroTurf, and miscellaneous shipping paraphernalia. With chilled tropical music and cocktails like the Hello Sailor, the Island Bar is the best place to unwind on Cockatoo Island. Its wood-fired pizzas are also well worth sampling.
Theatre Bar on the End of the Wharf
Theatre Bar on the End of the Wharf is quite literally perched on the end of a wharf in Walsh Bay. As well as offering dramatic views of Luna Park and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, this theatre bar features an ever-changing cocktail menu, billiards and ping pong tables, and fantastic tapas. Grab a drink either with a Sydney Theatre Company performance or just for the sake of it.
On the eastern side of Circular Quay, ECQ Bar manages to mix a chic interior with Italian furniture and a relaxed atmosphere to create an ideal bar and dining experience. Enjoy its wines, tapas and cocktails with striking views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
We Recommend ...
The Marble Bar
Located within The Hilton on George Street, this ornate, 19th Century bar has been beautifully restored into a world-class venue with old-world charm. With an exquisite interior featuring marble arches, stained glass, and carved mahogany, it’s no wonder The Marble Bar is one of Sydney’s favourite haunts.
Camelot Lounge & Django Bar
Just a stone’s throw from Sydenham train station, Camelot Lounge is marked by the groovy murals that completely cover its external walls. With mismatched furniture, incredible musicians and the friendliest atmosphere around, Camelot Lounge and the adjoining Django Bar form one of the best night-time spots in Sydney.
Don’t be put off by the name; this semi-secret basement bar heralds itself as a “retro-sexual haven of cosmopolitan kitsch and faded granny glamour”. As if that wasn’t enough, Grandma’s Bar also offers brilliant cocktails, old-school jaffles, and an atmosphere so cosy it’ll put your nanna to shame.
The Comedy Store in Moore Park is the best place to forget your troubles as you laugh the night away. Grab a drink and spend a side-splitting evening at Australia’s No.1 stand-up comedy venue. Comedy Store performances start at 8.30pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.
Lazy Bones Lounge
Another great live music venue in Marrickville, Lazy Bones Lounge is an eclectic mix of colourful murals, chandeliers, and button-tufted leather couches. Comfortable and relaxed, Lazy Bones Lounge is a cool little venue with free weekly performances from local and international artists.
Kings Cross is both a notorious red-light district and the heart of Sydney’s nightlife. Sleazy, sexy, and more than a little trashy, Kings Cross is a mecca for university students, office workers, and anyone looking for a truly memorable night out.
Central Business District
Sydney’s CBD also doubles as a central party district after business hours. The area is filled with great pubs, hotels, bars, lounges and clubs – basically, everything you could possibly need after a long week at the office.
Newtown’s nightlife is colourful, grungy, and lots of fun. This is where you’ll find low-key bars with live jazz, mismatched furniture, art-covered walls and seriously unique cocktails. Artistic but unpretentious, Newtown is also home to a lively LGBT scene.