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Sydney Nightlife

Sydney’s nightlife canvas is wide and varying. Oxford Street, the heart of Sydney's gay area, buzzes with cafes, bars and clubs (gay, straight and mixed) while the established red-light district spills out from Kings Cross. The Rocks and King Street Wharf are more upmarket; drinks at the harbourside terraces are expensive but worth it for the views. A large number of small Melbourne-like bars have sprung up across the city.

As with its bars and clubs, the city’s cultural life is equally diverse, from high classical at the Sydney Opera House to cutting-edge contemporary and experimental performance art.

Nightlife and cultural listings appear in Metro, the Friday edition entertainment section of the Sydney Morning Herald and in Time Out. Tickets are available for purchase from Ticketek (tel: +61 2 9266 4800; www.ticketek.com) and Ticketmaster (tel: 136 100, in Australia only; www.ticketmaster.com.au).

Bars in Sydney

Café Sydney

This café offers one of the most spectacular views in Sydney. Atop the historic Customs House with views of Circular Quay, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Sydney Opera House, it's hard to ignore. Enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or glass of wine from the extensive wine list. And although you may start with a beverage in mind, if the view draws you in, you can also enjoy a fine dining experience. Bookings recommended.

Address: Circular Quay, 31 Alfred Street, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9251 8683.
Website: http://www.cafesydney.com


This sensationally Melbourne-esque "laneway bar" is typical of the 'small bar' trend in Sydney and one not to be missed. At first it may seem like you're being led down a dark laneway to be mugged, but fear not—this gem is a delightful surprise. Enjoy a cocktail from their quirky list or a sensational vino from their wine list; it's a perfect spot for a pre-dinner beverage.

Address: , 1 Temperance Lane, Sydney, 2000
Telephone: +61 2 9947 9025.
Website: http://www.thegrasshopper.com.au

Opera Bar

Unrivalled in terms of location, with uninterrupted water views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and in the shade of the Sydney Opera House, Opera Bar is a spectacular place for a sunset beverage and a casual bite with friends.

Address: , Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9247 1666.
Website: http://www.operabar.com.au

Clubs in Sydney


Boasting one of the city's best sound systems and lighting rigs, this spacious, two-level club is by far the best decked-out club in the GLBT scene. Expect a mix of house, dance and trance – along with commercial music downstairs – and a bevy of pretty shirtless boys and carefree, straight women enjoying a hassle-free night out. No cheese, no shirts and no attitude.

Address: Darlinghurst, 16 Flinders Street, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9380 8700.
Website: http://www.arqsydney.com.au

Chinese Laundry

Tucked underneath the Slip Inn, Chinese Laundry is one of Sydney's largest and oldest clubs. The venue's three floors cater to a variety of music genres—from electro to RnB; house to hip-hop. And if the low ceilings, packed crowds, and pounding bass inside become too much, head outside to the courtyard garden bar and outdoor dance floor.

Address: , 111 Sussex Street (underneath Slip Inn), Sydney, 2000
Telephone: +61 2 9254 8088.
Website: http://chineselaundryclub.com.au


A self-proclaimed 'super-club', Home is definitely one of the most popular clubbing haunts in the city. And with four different 'rooms' playing a variety of music, including funk, techno, two-step and disco, it's easy to see why. There are also chill-out areas, balconies and a great VIP lounge. Though drinks err on the side of pricey, if you're in the mood for a big night, then this is the place to go.Address: Darling Harbour, 101/1-5 Wheat Road, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9266 0600.
Website: http://www.homesydney.com

Live music in Sydney

Annandale Hotel

The Annandale Hotel is one of the best centrally located venues for up-and-coming bands. Since opening its doors in the 1930s, this Aussie pub has played host to a plethora of bands spanning genres. Numerous artists have graced its stage including The Cat Empire, The Dandy Warhols, Sarah Blasko and Newton Faulkner. This is a true Sydney rock 'n' roll institution.

Address: Annandale, 17 Parramatta Road, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 9550 1078.
Website: http://www.annandalehotel.com

Qudos Bank Arena

Originally built for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Qudos Bank Arena has established itself as one of the most well-known live music venues around. Here bookings from luminaries such as Beyoncé, Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga are common week-to-week. With these international pop stars come the legions of fans happy to pay top dollar for a night of high-energy arena spectacular.

Address: Olympic Park, Edwin Flack Ave & Olympic Blvd, Sydney,
Telephone: +61 2 8765 4321.
Website: http://www.qudosbankarena.com.au

The Basement

One of the country's foremost clubs for live jazz, acoustic, folk, funk, blues, world and soul, this place has an adventurous regular line-up of local and international musicians. In this intimate venue, you'll never be far from the action, but choose how close with cabaret-style tables (for a pre-show supper or snack perhaps?) near the stage or an elevated bar at the back. Acts appear every night, so it's best to book ahead.

Address: Circular Quay, 7 Macquarie Place, Sydney, 2000
Telephone: +61 2 9251 2797.
Website: http://www.thebasement.com.au

Classical music in Sydney

Dance in Sydney

Theatres in Sydney

Music and Dance in Sydney

Culture in Sydney

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Featured Hotels


The Woolbrokers Hotel

In the heart of Darling Harbour, Woolbrokers Hotel is located near some of Sydney’s main attractions, including the Sydney Aquarium, Harbourside shopping complex, and Sydney Wildlife World. The heritage building has been redesigned with 27 rooms to accommodate groups, families, or solo travellers.


King’s Cross Backpackers

 Located in vibrant King’s Cross, KXB is popular among travellers looking to be in the heart of Sydney at a cheap price. Newly renovated in 2017, the hostel holds weekly rooftop barbecues, day and night activities, and free breakfast.

Cambridge Hotel

Close to the restaurant and shopping areas of Oxford and Crown Streets is this moderately priced hotel with 149 modern rooms and an on-site Italian restaurant. Adjacent to the hotel is an area that used to be a notorious no-go zone in the 1920s frequented by the city’s worst criminals.

Park Hyatt

Occupying a unique position on the water's edge of Sydney's Harbour, The Park Hyatt has a wide range of rooms to choose from all offering deluxe amenities including shoeshine, turndown, robes, gym access and 24-hour butler service. The hotel's restaurant, the Harbour Kitchen & Bar, offers incredible views of the harbour and opera house through floor-to-ceiling folding glass doors. This Sydney hotel also features a spa, fitness centre and rooftop swimming pool.

Four Seasons

The original luxe Sydney hotel the Four Seasons boasts one of the best views around. Located in the historic Rock’s area overlooking the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge the hotel’s 531 luxurious guestrooms and suites all feature a 42- inch LCD television iPod/MP3 player connectivity and wireless internet access. The spa is one of the best in the city and facilities include steam sauna and Sydney’s largest heated outdoor pool.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

One of the most boldly conceived hotels in Sydney, Ovolo Woolloomooloo (formerly Taj BLUE Hotel) occupies the renovated interior of an old loading wharf, jutting out into the harbour at Woolloomooloo Bay. Retaining the original exterior and many of the interior beams, the refit is an ingenious exercise in industrial chic. Business travellers are well catered for with luxury meeting spaces with amenities such as AV equipment, TV screens, and other high tech features.