Once you step onto some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and indulge in some of the best brunches around, it's hard to believe that Sydney can get even better. The days in Sydney are amazing, but the real fun begins once the sun goes down. Luckily, Australians have the Sydney nightlife down to a science. Not only are there tons of cool bars and clubs to explore, but with this guide, you will also know exactly when to go to each one.
Scubar: This is study abroad student central. Basically, you will feel like you’re back at school in a frat house. With its Hawaiian style interior and chill atmosphere, people always go back for more. They have themed parties, awesome music, and fun drinking games, including crab races, which usually take place at 11 pm. The best drink is the skittles shot. The line gets pretty long after 11 pm, so get there early.
Sidebar: This is the alternative to Scubar. It’s right around the corner, so it’s easy to get to (especially if you don't get into Scubar). They have happy hour specials, themed nights, and alternating DJs.
(People don’t tend to go out much on Tuesday nights, so we eat instead.)
Frankie’s Pizza: Frankie’s has great food and even better vibes. Definitely a great place to go for a chill night if you want to just grab a beer with friends. They often have live music, which makes the spot even more enjoyable.
Golden Sheaf: Sheaf is absolutely awesome, especially when it’s warm out. People usually go here on the earlier side to take advantage of the really cheap drinks. They play great music and everyone dances. There’s a garden room, terrace and a deck, as well as a room with a bar.
P.S. They serve shots past midnight!
Mrs. Sippy: This restaurant is right around the corner from the Golden Sheaf. It has amazing food and a really cool courtyard bar in the back if you want to go for dinner or drinks beforehand. The atmosphere here is one of a kind with a colorful, modern decor. This is always a fun place to start off your night.
El Topo: People frequent this spot after Sheaf. In the basement of this delicious Mexican restaurant, lies the place that was the award winner for best Entertainment Venue in 2014. This cool space is always crowded and the atmosphere is awesome. The music is mostly techno, and the DJs are always having a good time. There are weekly food and drink specials in the basement, and birthdays are celebrated in a huge way here.
World Bar: This is another place to go after making your way to the Sheaf. There are a couple of rooms, all featuring different types of music. In one of the rooms upstairs, they serve their drinks in cute teapots, which is always fun for your Instagram page.
Ivy: The Ivy is the only place people go on Thursdays because there’s no cover. It’s an awesome venue with multiple levels and different bars, even including a pool bar! Definitely the place to go if you want to meet hot Aussies in bathing suits.
Soda Factory: This is 100% the best bar in Sydney. It’s a speakeasy that has great throwback music, crazy good drinks and hot bartenders. Pro-tip: the line takes forever, but there is a promoter who stands outside and will let groups of girls in if you act like you’re not with any guys.
Cargo Bar: Cargo Bar is right on the harbor, so the views are amazing. They serve great food and a cheap happy hour. It’s a little bit more high-end than other local spots, but still features a dance floor inside.
Standard Bowl: This place is awesome. Right below it is a smaller bar called Lo Fi, but Standard Bowl is definitely the place to be on Saturdays. There are fun bowling alleys, a huge dance floor and unreal music. Highly recommended.
El Loco: This is a cool spot to visit for good drinks before going out. They serve tacos all night long and have amazing jalapeño margaritas.
The Argyle: This bar is a smaller version of the Ivy. The upstairs is all rave music, but downstairs is more chill. Grab a drink on their outdoor courtyard.
Cliff Dive: This is a cool bar with good music and unique, fun drinks from all over the world.
Palmer & Co: At this speakeasy, the waitresses are dressed like flappers. You might think you are living in the roaring twenties. The vibes here are more relaxed, and this is an awesome place to go for drinks before going out.
Because Australia has extremely strict liquor laws in place, here's what you need to know about going out:
1) They stop serving shots and doubles at midnight, so nights tend to start much earlier.
2) You WILL NOT be allowed to enter a bar or club if you look too drunk, so be careful.
3) The bartenders also reserve the right to stop serving you if they think you’ve had enough.
4) Lockout law at most places is at 1:30 am.