The most common place to socialise in Sydney is in the pubs and bars. The majority of these are actually part of hotels, but they may as well be bars because they all look the same. With very liberal opening hours (most of the pubs stay open until 4am) you won’t need nightclubs to go to.
This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a good choice of nightclubs, of course. Over the last number of years, the club culture has become increasingly popular with Sydneysiders and there are more clubs in the city centre than ever before.
These clubs don’t simply cater for dance music audiences. Hip-hop, r n b, disco and alternative rock nights are always taking place. Some clubs are bigger than others, particularly Home nightlclub in Darling Harbour.
Best news for those travelling to Sydney with their rucksack is that there are thousands of backpacker nights in the centre and surrounding suburbs. Travellers are well catered for and there are always theme nights with drink promotions making nights out very cheap and very cheerful.
Dendy Cinema, 19 Martin Place, Sydney, Australia
This basement bar has a 24-hour license and will close only when everybody goes home.
Particularly popular with students and twenty-somethings, there is regular live music and on Sunday night short films are shown on a big screen
43 Goulburn Street, Sydney, Australia
City centre Irish bar that’s always packed - you are definitely guaranteed a laugh here! Scruffy’s has a 24 licence and the Guinness lover will find their beloved black stuff served on tap.
Royal Sovereign Hotel, 306 Liverpool Street, Sydney, Australia
Popular meeting place with really comfy seats and sofas. Drinks here are relatively cheap with a mixed and unassuming crowd. Tends to close around midnight during the week and at 10 pm on Sundays.
Courthouse Hotel, 189 Oxford Street, Sydney, Australia
Overlooking Taylor Square, this place is open late most weekdays and at weekends. Don’t go here until around 1am, however, when the place begins to start kicking. Popular mix of music played nightly.
171 Victoria Street, Potts Point, Sydney, Australia
Two bars in one in this trendy Kings Cross watering hole with the Soho bar downstairs and the lounge bar upstairs. The Soho Bar is very popular with backpackers, and if you are in the mood to chill out and play a game of pool you can pop upstairs. Open until 2am during the week and around 5am at weekends.
96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney, Australia
Lively pub with a great rooftop beer garden and wonderful views. Located just opposite the entrance to the Habour Bridge so it is convenient for a drink after visiting the sites.
Mon–Sat 11am–11pm/midnight, Sun noon–10pm.
77 William Street, Woolloomooloo, Sydney, Australia
Popular student haunt with a great mix of music. Expect to pay between $5-10 depending on the night.
Open 11pm-5am Thur, Fri; 9pm-4am Sat; 9pm-2am Sun
89 Georges Street, The Rocks, Sydney, Australia
This pub, one of the Rocks' biggest, is very big and has live bands playing sometimes. Nice beer garden also for relaxing in during the summer months.
24 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia
Extremely popular twenty-four hour American style bar and restaurant. Open every day, featuring a live band that plays from early evening to the early hours of the morning daily and serving a varied and reasonable selection of food including steaks, tex mex, seafood and salads.
81 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point, Sydney, Australia
Despite being extremely popular among visitors to the city, this pub has maintained its historical aura throughout the decades. One of the oldest pubs in the city, the iron shackles remain on the cellar walls as does the secret tunnel leading to the harbour which was once used by drunken soldiers to find their way back to sea.
20 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia
Located right in the heart of the red light district, this bar and club packs them in every night of the week. Open until 6.00am daily, dress code is casual but neat (ditch those trainers for this one) and entrance fee is $5 from Sunday to Thursday and $10 at weekends. Also features the city’s longest running club night, French Dressing, which takes place every Tuesday.
34 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia
Located upstairs in the Exchange Hotel, this was once one of the top gay venues in the city but now caters for a relatively mixed crowd. A popular cocktail dispensing establishment, the Lizard Lounge has a happy hour every day between 6.00pm and 8.00pm and on Tuesday it is two for one drinks all night.
Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia
Sydney's largest nightclub is always packed with clubbers dancing away into the early hours of the night. Plays hosts to some of the world's top dj's regularly.
YHA Basement, 4 Rawson Place, Sydney, Australia
This bar primarily geared towards backpackers is located just under the YHA hostel beside Central Station. Always holding theme nights which are good fun.
Campbell Parade, Bondi, Sydney, Australia
Popular bar with backpackers and locals alike. Best nights are Wednesdays, but is very busy in the weekends also. Open until 4am nightly; 12am on Sundays.