Canberra Nightlife • A Complete Guide

Canberra is the capital city of Australia with loads of remarkable nightife venues to visit, drink and parrrtay!

The city was founded following the federation of the colonies of Australia as the seat of government for the new nation. Moreover, it is Australia’s largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory.

Canberra has many venues for live music and theatre: the Canberra Theatre and Playhouse which hosts many major concerts and productions, and Llewellyn Hall (within the ANU School of Music), a world-class concert hall are two of the most notable.

Canberra at Night
Canberra at Night

Just like the above remarkable places to visit in Canberra city, there are nightlife places which the tourists and locals can enjoy feeling the true sense of nightlife of the city. There’s been a massive shift in Canberra’s nightlife, people have turned more towards the bar culture. There are some great bars around now, some that rival anything in the bigger cities; on the other side of things, the underground music scene is on the rise.
Here in this article, we are going to explore the nightlife of the Canberra city by highlighting its major features such as bars, restaurants, and night clubs, when combined the best of above locations will provide you a true feel of nightlife entertainment and fun.

The Nightlife in Canberra

No matter you have visited Canberra before or not, are a local or a tourist to the city there’s always something to discover in the city. At night, the city comes alive with cultural events, atmospheric bars and clubs, and lively restaurants. Following are some of the romantic activities that you can do while in the city to experience the true nightlife of Canberra.

The Nightlife of Canberra
The Nightlife of Canberra

Take a night tour

Take a night tour
Take a night tour

For something new, try a night-time tour to get to know this historical city. Canberra offers a range of night tours, whether you’re looking for a spooky experience or a chance to get close to wildlife and nature. Tim the Yowie Man runs Weird Canberra Ghost and History Tour where you’ll visit sites of crimes, hauntings, and murders. Alternatively, you can opt for the National Film and Sound Archive Ghost Tour to find out more about the disturbing stories about the NFSA.

Enjoy a night out

Enjoy a night out
Enjoy a night out

Experience the wonders of the night sky with a Scope by Night evening at the famous local observatory Scope Mount Stromlo. You can check out the stars through the telescopes on-site and mingle with members of the Canberra Astronomical Society Members. Follow up your stargazing with a delicious buffet.

Have a cultural night out

Have a cultural night out
Have a cultural night out

Australia’s capital city has a busy schedule of cultural events throughout the year, so check out what’s on to plan your cultural date night out. Theatre events, film festivals, live music, concerts, and art exhibitions regularly feature in the city’s event calendar, so you’ll have plenty to do or see whether you’re a visitor for the weekend or a local resident.

Best Bars in Canberra

Mint Garden Bar, Braddon

Mint Garden Bar, Braddon
Mint Garden Bar, Braddon

Summer-loving Canberra folk gather among the climbing vines and flower pots at Mint Garden Bar in Braddon. Only open in the warmer months, this bar has a Turkish-tiled bar front staffed by bow tie touting ladies and gents. It sits outside fine dining restaurant Sage in the Gorman House Arts Centre, an art deco-style building with open-air courtyards. Perch at one of the bar’s high tables. Or take a seat around the fairy light festooned tree with a rose and lychee sangria and a plate of pulled pork croquettes to keep you company.

Parlour Wine Room, New Acton

Parlour Wine Room, New Acton
Parlour Wine Room, New Acton

If you’re after a drink in a sumptuous space, Parlor is for you. This wine bar was one of the original foodie occupants of the New Action precinct, and while it’s had a makeover following a fire, its timeless and lavish feel remains untouched. Quilted leather adorns the bar area, velvet chairs, and chesterfield couches dot rooms, and a leafy terrace out the front carries views over New Acton and beyond. Parlour’s inventive food, especially its tapas, matches the quality of its wine list – the handiwork of Peter Bell, a sommelier previously engaged at lauded restaurant Aubergine.

Playground

Playground
Playground

This place is based on an original concept and a good spot for meeting friends, keeping the tone light, and the Martinis are pretty good – being one of their raison deters. The outdoor lounge in Garema Place is great in summer for people watching. Overall it’s a nice place to have some drinks and light plates to enjoy the evening.

Honkytonks

Honkytonks
Honkytonks

Whiskey bars seem to be all the high rage at the moment, but Honkytonks does things a little differently – here it’s all about the Tequila! If too many ‘lip, sip, sucks’ have put you off it for life, we urge you to try again…this is a different experience entirely. Combined with some truly amazing Mexican food, moreish Sangria, and a ‘cantina’-like atmosphere, the incense-filled interior of Honkytonks is great for a chilled after-work drink, or something a little noisier.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch
Hopscotch

This Amazingly spacious and inviting casual eatery merged onto the Braddon scene in August and immediately became the neighborhood’s ‘local’. With its massive outdoor area, Hopscotch may win the title of Canberra’s ‘biggest beer garden’ and on warm weekend evenings it swells with merrymakers lured by the promise of hops, scotch or the kitchen’s ‘wood-fire wizardry’. But the crowning glory is its selection of inventive, delicious cocktails – perfect for any time of year!

Best Restaurants in Canberra

The Front

The Front
The Front

Nowadays this Café and art gallery is the place to head for ricotta hotcakes topped with more fruit than a Carmen Miranda headdress; a classic brekkie roll beefed up with cheddar and zucchini in addition to your egg, bacon, aioli and barbecue sauce combo; and a litter of mixed mushrooms adorning your toast. Come nightfall, cheese, charcuterie and beef tartare are on the menu, as well as the possibility of some after-hours entertainment that could be local musicians one night, and a poetry reading, or comedy set the next. Overall, it’s a nice place to have some delicious food with entertainment.

Local Press Cafe

Local Press Café
Local Press Cafe

Everyone restaurant has different ideas about what makes the perfect café breakfast, which is why this sustainable, free-range loving, gently industrial café provides the building blocks of your morning meal so that you can construct your own. Toast is the foundation, and you can opt for simple spreads, or customize with eggs, goat’s cheese, broccolini, kale, ham, salmon, avo or a tomato medley. Throw a salted peanut butter caramel smoothie in there for good measure and it’s a strong start to your day.

Morning Glory

Morning Glory
Morning Glory

Apart from the dinner scene, If you like your breakfast in as many styles as backpackers like passport stamps, head here for a morning meal that could start in China with chicken xiu mai, followed by a Nordic hit from smorrebrod with potato and mushrooms. India is represented in a paratha with cauliflower; Japan’s offering is a black sesame waffle with milk tea; and Vietnam’s famous street food sandwich, the banh mi, also gets a look in. And in a move that’s more New York than anything else, they have three breakfast cocktails, including a Café Toddy that mixes bourbon with chai tea and cold brew coffee. Overall, it’s a great place to have international cuisines.

Akiba

Akiba
Akiba

This buzzy pan-Asian bar and restaurant are big enough that you can walk up on a whim, but it’s also popular, so worth booking ahead for. Inside it’s decked out a little like a cabin in the woods by way of a Tokyo karaoke bar. There’s lots of warm timber lining the room and decorative wood piles as room dividers, but there’s also a whole lot of rainbow neon too. Pull up a stool to a high table and get snacking, though be mindful that serves aren’t small, so you can fill up quick. Their dumpling game is on point, and they don’t get lazy on the veggo front, grilling a whole half eggplant with sweet miso and then adding some snap, crackle and pop with pepitas, puffed rice, and seaweed.

Mezzalira

Mezzalira
Mezzalira

Mezzalira has been serving food which is being liked by the people since quite a long time and it has stuck with the essence of it, leaving experimentation and more fleeting dishes to the specials board. This place is classic and elegant, like the bones of the Melbourne Building in which it holds a corner spot. Don’t get the wrong impression here, it’s not elegant in a chandelier and brocade way, weighed and dulled by tradition. It’s elegant in a sparkling modern way, with blond wood and leather furniture, classic Italian approaches in the food, and a decidedly upmarket tone. Sardines with pinenuts, currants, and vinegar – very simple and beautifully done – is just a favorite dish here.

Best Nightclubs in Canberra

Cube

Cube
Cube

This place is just more than a nightclub. As Canberra’s premier venue for clubbing, it’s a home-away-from-home. Complete with ARIA accredited DJs, this vivacious club brings together people from all walks of life with one goal in mind: to have an incredible time. Cube’s décor includes beds, two-way mirrors, mosaics, and more.

Treehouse

Treehouse
Treehouse

Treehouse is a bar, nightclub, and restaurant positioned in Canberra’s city center. With live music and a lively calendar of events, Treehouse is the perfect venue for dance, drink, or a chilled night out. Make sure you try out this place in order to have drinks food and nightlife entertainment all under one roof.

Polit Bar

Polit Bar
Polit Bar

Hang out with the friendly Canberra locals at Polit Bar. This Canberra staple offers a tasty selection of pizzas and bar nibbles, plus a popular range of favorite drinks. With a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, Polit Bar is the perfect place to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

The Basement Canberra

The Basement Canberra
The Basement Canberra

For more than three decades, The Basement has been one of Canberra’s premier live music venues. Located in Belconnen, this institution brings a wide variety of musical styles and local, national, and international artists to Canberra residents. With a focus on creativity and self-expression, you can enjoy top-quality performances with your favorite drink in hand.

Knightsbridge Penthouse

Knightsbridge Penthouse
Knightsbridge Penthouse

Looking for a perfect place to hang out with friends late at night? Explore the classic drinks menu, quirky weekend parties, and relaxed atmosphere of Knightsbridge Penthouse. The team behind ‘Knightly’ are connoisseurs of funk and hip-hop, so this bar is ideal for a good old-fashioned boogie.

Mooseheads Pub and Nightclub

Mooseheads Pub and Nightclub
Mooseheads Pub and Nightclub

Mooseheads Pub and Nightclub are just simply enormous – spread across four floors, you will surely find a party atmosphere that ticks all your boxes. The Basement, Nightclub, Top Level, and Pub all have their own bar deliver top quality service and delicious drinks. So whether you are out for a good dance, a good feed and drink or two, or a catch-up, you must give this place a fair chance to bring you some premium nightlife entertainment.

Conclusion

Let us sum up things, here in this article we went through a brief introduction of Canberra along with a brief introduction of city attractions. We also went through different activities and place to enjoy the nightlife. We then went through a comprehensive list of bars available in the city. These exotic and swanky bars are just awesome and worth visiting. No doubt, Canberra has some of the classic and cozy bars to cater to your boozing needs. To fulfill your food craving we also looked at a list of bar-restaurants which provide delicious and exotic culinary experience along with a touch of booze. This delightful and amazing combination of food and booze pushes the limits of Nightlife entertainment and adds a great value to your journey and enriches your overall visit to Canberra.

And finally, we explored a detailed list of nightclubs of the city that provide premium night-time entertainment for your optimum satisfaction. Make sure to try the above recommendation which will add value to your tour, so that you won’t regret yourself choosing bad options.

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