Sydney has a long history with nightlife. It’s progressed through stages of live music to dangerous streets, strict laws and now a thriving niche bar scene. These days the city is catching up with Melbourne as a home to trendy back alleyway bars. So here is a short guide to some of the best night spots in Sydney so you can find somewhere good to have a drink during your trip. I’ve done my best to categorise them so you can find something that’s your style. If you have some other genre in mind comment below and I’ll let you know where to head.
Sydney has it’s fair share of nightclubs but I have never been incredibly impressed by nightclubs in Sydney CBD compared to other international cities. But with any city there are exceptions and here are my picks for two of the best night spots in Sydney.
Home Club Sydney sits on the edge of Darling Harbor and is really a centre piece of the club scene down that way. They often have big acts and are always packed. The venue itself is great with a number of floors and I have been lost in there a number of times after a drink or two. It’s recommended to book tickets, expect it to be expensive and expect to stand in line/get searched head to toe on entry.
Alright so there are much better clubs in Sydney than the Ivy but no trip to Sydney would be right without stopping by this icon of the city. Set on a rooftop in the central city with a swimming pool and palm trees this bar is spectacular. Stop by for one drink, be seen and leave poor. It’s the Ivy way.
Australia culture was born in a pub and there is no shortage of them in Sydney CBD so of course they make a list of best night spots in Sydney. Although you can find a beer almost anywhere two of my favourites are the Slip Inn and the Argyle.
The Slip Inn, from memory having its claim to fame being the place that the Prince of Denmark met his wife, is a great place to spot for a beer after a hard day exploring Darling Harbor and China Town.
The Argyle on the other hand has a slightly younger crowd. It attracts the after 5pm work crowd for drinks in the Rocks Precinct and becomes a night club later in the evening. Great place for a beer.
High end bars are definitely a speciality of Sydney. If you want to see and be seen with the beautiful people you won’t be short of places to go. There’s a lot that could go on a list of best night spots in Sydney but here are two you should check out if you have time.
The rooftop bar at the Intercontinental Hotel will have you running into celebrities and feeling the pain in your wallet. But in classic Sydney style you certainly won’t be let down by the view of the yacht dotted harbor.
If you venture a little out of the city and you want to see one of Sydney’s most famous landmarks – Bondi Beach make sure you stop by Icebergs for a cocktail. This amazing venue takes Bondi in its stride.
Although not a famous city for Jazz the best night spots in Sydney list wouldn’t be complete without a couple of Jazz bars. Two of the best in the city are Venue 505 and the Basement. They both inhabit different ends of the jazz spectrum.
Venue 505 is a relaxed modern jazz bar that periodically hosts an eclectic mix of jazz ranging from South American groups to piano solos. The bar itself is decked out in mismatched Ikea furniture and really takes the ‘whatever’ jazz attitude seriously.
The Basement on the other hand is fairly high end and frequently hosts international acts. They are tucked away in an intimate underground bar and also do great food. Make sure to book tickets ahead of time if there’s an act on.
If you looking for something a bit different in Sydney you can’t go past the York/Clarence Street area of the city. The fairly unassuming looking streets actually hide a lot of Sydney’s best bars if you looking for something out of the ordinary. Two of my favourites are the Lobo Plantation and The Cuban Place.
The Lobo Plantation is a rum bar with a Caribbean Estate feel to it. Set in a basement with a spiral staircase this place is a great little bar to get the night started.
The Cuban Place is one of the best places in town for live music. During the weekends they always have a live Cuban/Salsa/Jazz ensemble playing and the people that go here know how to dance. If you’re not a dancing fan there’s a great little outdoors area to chat the night away.
Comment with your favourite bars, wherever in the world they may be, just in case we make it there one day. Interested in showing travellers your city? Became a guide and be passionate about your work!