Guides

Nightlife & Entertainment in Canberra

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While it may not rival Sydney as an international partying mecca, Canberra’s nightlife is as diverse and vibrant as you’d expect from a cosmopolitan capital city. From scruffy pubs to show-stopping cocktail bars, intimate dance clubs to cavernous casinos, you’re sure to find a nightspot that’s perfect for you.

 

Perfect pubs

 

The clichéd image of Canberra is that of a smart, serious, and ever-so-slightly stuffy city, but this is a place that knows how to let its hair down and have fun. Sure, you’ll find upscale bars serving fine wines to smartly-dressed after-work crowds, but there are just as many cosy, informal pubs, where you can enjoy locally-brewed beers in laid-back surroundings.

 

The Phoenix

 

The Phoenix is a grungy, bohemian hangout spot that exudes character and charm, and attracts an eclectic crowd of hipsters, intellectuals, and creative types. There’s an extensive range of draught beers and whiskeys, all at great prices, and performances by hot local bands most nights of the week. There are also extremely popular regular quizzes and spoken word events.

 

23-27 East Row, Canberra ACT 2601. Tel: +61 2 6169 5092

 

The Phoenix website

 

King O’Malley’s

 

King O’Malley’s is one of the city’s biggest and best-loved Irish bars. Its homely, wood-lined interior is packed with antiques and quirky trinkets, and behind the bar you’ll find a tempting array of craft beers from all over the world - in addition, of course, to the ubiquitous Guinness. There’s live entertainment every evening, and a huge beer garden, so you can soak up some of that glorious Aussie sunshine with a pint in hand.

 

131 City Walk, Canberra ACT 2601. Tel: +61 2 6257 0111

 

King O’Malley’s website

 

Cocktail bars

 

If you’re after a slightly more glamorous drinking destination, you’ve come to the right city. Canberra has a sleek selection of elegant bars, where you can sip on a perfectly mixed cocktail while taking in your seductive surroundings.
Kremlin Bar & Tapas

 

This award-winning cocktail bar is the perfect destination for a hot date or special celebration. Let the expert mixologists whip up show-stopping signature drinks made with luxury spirits and fresh juices, while you graze on moreish tapas dishes like spiced calamari with orange and sweet chilli, or braised pork arancini with ginger and hoisin.

 

65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra ACT 2601 . Tel: +61 2 6257 7779

 

Kremlin Bar & Tapas website

 

Nightclubs

 

Canberra’s clubbing scene is small but perfectly formed. Take your pick from stylish DJ bars, rowdy student venues, vibrant and inclusive gay clubs, or sprawling super-clubs.

 

Academy

 

A serious contender for Canberra’s premier nightspot, Academy is a cavernous club housed in a converted cinema. Come on a Thursday for the hottest weeknight party in town, with amazing drinks promotions and free entry. On weekends it plays host to Canberra’s best house DJs and some of the biggest names in world dance music, all accompanied by jaw-dropping visuals projected onto the full-sized cinema screen.

 

50 Bunda Street, Canberra ACT 2601. Tel: +61 2 6253 2091

 

Academy website

 

Casinos

 

Feeling lucky? Then give one of Canberra's casinos a spin, and see if you can beat the odds. Even if you don't, a fun and decadent night out is assured

 

Casino Canberra

 

This gleaming venue is equipped with everything you need for an evening of thrill-packed gaming, including an elegant poker lounge and an area for casino classics like blackjack. You’ll also find a refined cocktail bar, an upscale restaurant serving dishes from all corners of the globe, and even an on-site nightclub for when you want a break from the games.

 

21 Binara Street, Canberra ACT 2608. Tel: +61 2 6275 7074

 

Casino Canberra website