Bars & Pubs

The Best Nightclubs In Sydney To Dance All Night At

By Sammy Preston – Sammy is the Editor at Urban List Sydney.

The dancefloor at Abercrombie, one of the best nightclubs in Sydney

Between the lockouts and the lockdowns and a literal rule for no dancing back in 2020, dancing feels like a hard-won pastime in Sydney—which makes a great night on the dance floor all the sweeter. Thanks to some groovy planning around the city's nighttime economy and a lot of energy and resilience from our nighttime industries, Sydney's Footloose days are well and truly behind us in 2023. 

Forgotten how to bust a move? Don't stress—there's really no right or wrong when it comes to flying your freak flag on the DF, and honestly, a good dance is pretty much precisely what we all need from time to time, especially after a long week.  So pull out those dusty dancing shoes, channel your inner Britney, and head to these Sydney spots for the time of your life.  Here are the best nightclubs and dance floors in Sydney right now. 

Club 77

Darlinghurst

nightclubs sydneyThere's something about Club 77. This dark, grungy bar has evolved over the years, but to those in the know, those cherry red walls and sticky floor were once upon a time the beating heart of Sydney's alternative electronic and house music scene, with legends like AJAX, the Bang Gang, and Starfuckers DJs ruling the decks and the dance floor.

The club celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, relaunching with a little makeover inspired by NYC-style dive bars. The relaunch included a fresh acoustic treatment and a pumping KV2 Audio system specially tuned by Translate Sound (7RANSLA7E). It also scored a 4am license seven days a week—huge news for Sydney's often lacklustre mid-week options after 9pm. There's even a late-night happy hour, from 2.30am-3.30am. The best part? the dance floor heaves just like the good old days. 

Abercrombie

Chippendale

A crowd on the dancefloor at Abercrombie, one of the best nightclubs in SydneyBroadway has changed a lot since the days of Purple Sneakers parties at the Abercrombie. In 2022 the beloved Chippendale boozer reopened after a mega renovation, now sporting three venues in one.

On the ground floor, there's a performance and club space, a public bar, and a refresher of the original beer garden. With a 24-hour license for special events (yes, you read that correctly), this is a space to see Sydney's best record labels dial up the party vibes—Sweat It Out, Future Classic, Motorik, and, of course, Purple Sneakers. 

Arq

Darlinghurst

nightclubs sydneyArq is Australia's biggest, longest-running purpose-built queer venue. First opened back in 1999, the club has played host to the likes of Lady Gaga while making room for some of the country's best homegrown talent. Behind its iconic revolving doors and beneath its cluster of disco balls and laser beams, this is one of those special venues that means a lot to Sydney. 

In 2022, ARQ reopened complete with a multi-million dollar reno. “The iconic legacy of ARQ lies within our team's passion for the entertainment industry and the overwhelming support from the community, which we are endlessly thankful for,” said Arq's owner, Shadd Danesi. "We believe we are finally in a position to revitalise Australian entertainment, starting with ARQ, reclaiming its position as the jewel in Oxford Street’s crown."

Noir Sydney

Darlinghurst

nightclubs sydneyRemember when Oxford Street, like Kings Cross, used to be one of Sydney's most vibing nighttime destinations? Noir is the latest venue on a mission to reignite the age-old Oxford Street flame. From the team behind Seadeck—the club has had a $1 million refurb and has since played host to The Gorillaz (just casually).

Fitted with three separate bars, a top-line Martin audio system, blue neon lighting, a 3D mural by visual artist Dallas Clark, plush peacock blue velvet VIP bottle service booths—and even its own custom scent—Noir has been dreamt up as a sensory experience that's part high octane nightclub, part ritzy jazz bar. To drink, choose from six signature cocktails, four signature shots, and all the classics you know and love. Throw in a 3am license all weekend long, and it might as well be Friday night back in 2007. 

Kings Cross Pavilion

Potts Point

World Bar nightclub exterior, one of the best nightclubs in sydneyMid-2000s club rats, dust off your Jeffrey Campbells, apply the heavy eyeliner, and don your tightest bodycon dress because World Bar is back (sort of)! From the cocktails served in teapots to the smoky Dubstep room at the back, this spot was the epitome of Kings Cross in its heyday (one of them, anyway). So, yes, we're bloody excited about its reopening, even if under a new moniker. We give you: Kings Cross Pavilion.

Although the World Bar name has been ditched (as well as the old sound system), the club's sticky-floor essence will live on in its new iteration. DJs will take over three distinct rooms, vodka Red Bulls will be flowing, and Sunday sessions will kick on till 3.30am, making fine use of the newly tuned sound system and dazzling DMX lighting program. And, most importantly, the teapots are back. Glorious. 

LABEL.

Brookvale

nightclubs sydneyLABEL. is a multi-purpose warehouse-style spot that's part club, part bar, and part art space, with an in-house recording studio, and an outrageous festival-like sound system unseen anywhere else in Sydney. Inside, there's a sunlit Miami Vice-style cocktail bar pouring seriously good mandarin Tommy's margaritas and rhubarb gin sours alongside craft beers from the club's neighbouring Northern Beaches breweries. 

Beyond the two recording studios—set up for touring artists to record and collaborate—the space gives way to a jaw-dropping marquee-like dancefloor. Drenched in lasers and bordered with moveable booths, ruling over the space is a state-of-the-art VOID Air Motion system. Pizza from downstairs is available from open til close (that's 3am), ensuring no one goes hungry on the dancefloor. 

Ivy

CBD

nightclubs sydneyA list of Sydney's top dance spots wouldn't be complete without the behemoth that is Ivy. The Ivy precinct brings together the best Sydney has to offer under one roof (and umbrellas, in the case of the rooftop Ivy pool club). It also happens to throw many, many good dance parties, including popular events such as POOF DOOF and Lost Sundays. It's known for a party, so what are you waiting for?

Maali

Potts Point

nightclubs sydneyThe cavernous basement on Bayswater Road that once was Candy's Apartment is now Maali—a Moroccon-inspired nightclub, led by the same crew that also opened Eros across the street. The venue's brick walls and archways have been painted soda orange, and new sunken lounges, a VIP room, and private curtained-off areas line the walls.

Maali's inspiration is "Arabian Nights", and belly dancers, snake charmers, and tarot readers join resident and special guest DJs on the entertainment lineup. The dancefloor has also been jazzed up with a new state-of-the-art light and sound system. 

Universal

Darlinghurst

This two-level bar is where you want to head to catch drag performances and DJ sets. Thanks to its prime position on Oxford Street, just down from Taylor Square, it's usually pumping come the weekend, with tunes ranging from disco to techno. Come February and March, expect to see a heap of Mardi Gras celebrations lined up, so put on your platforms and get ready to dance the night away.  

Taylor's Rooftop

CBD

If it's a rooftop you're hoping to dance upon this summer—make your way up the stairs to the fourth floor of the Republic Hotel. With a vertical garden and a retractable roof, Taylor's is a little city oasis, complete with views of the sparkly city skyline. House music is the vibe here, with local and international DJs hitting the decks on weekends. 

Glass Island

Sydney Harbour

nightclubs sydneySydney’s no stranger to floating parties. Being home to one of the prettiest harbours in the world has meant party boats aplenty are regularly dotted across our sparkly waters. In fact, summer in Sydney isn’t really complete without some kind of sunset at sea, featuring champagne, sweet tunes, and breathtaking views.

Enter: Glass Island. Since launching, Glass Island has played host to Nicky Night Time, Sneaky Sound System’s Sneaky Sundays, Poolclvb, and The One Hit Agency crew. Glass Island sets sail Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with tickets starting at around $40. It's a good time—so book your tickets here

The Imperial

Erskineville

If your idea of a good night out dancing involves a basement club vibe—look no further than The Imperial in Erskineville. This LGBTQIA+ proud mega-pub is a spot to watch a dazzling drag show, do a vegan degustation, and yes, hit the damn dance floor like no one's business. The basement is basically an underground rave and the front bar is all cruisy disco beats. 

Goros

Surry Hills

nightclubs sydneyYou might know Goros for its 20-person karaoke rooms, Japanese fare, and retro arcade games, but this Surry Hills spot also packs out its dance floor with hip-hop beats and max vibes on weekends. Kick your night of 90s-era dancing into gear with Goros' sake shots, and you're sure to have a good one.

Hotel Harry

Surry Hills

This corner pub in Surry Hills is open for lunch, dinner, and drinks seven days a week. Come the weekend, though, Harry's upper level turns up the volume with DJs and dancing till the wee hours of the morning. You can check out who's set to play via its website—or roll the dice and rock up for a night of cutting shapes on the DF. 

Marrickville Bowling Club

Marrickville

From afternoons on the green to nights spent catching a live gig, Marrickville Bowlo is one helluva place to spend some time. You can kick back in the sun and play a spot of lawn bowls, get a good feed, and dance the night away all in one day here. For its line-up of live music, head to the website—then get ready to move to the tunes.

The Soda Factory

Surry Hills

Sydney bar The Soda Factory is always a good idea. The door is a literal retro vending machine and everyone inside is in such a good mood the low-key "let’s just get merry" atmosphere means your toes will be tapping to the local live acts and DJs. The queue is for a reason so get in quick or be stuck outside in the heat.  

The Cliff Dive

Darlinghurst

One of Sydney’s best bars for dancing well into the wee hours, The Cliff Dive is a transformed former nightclub turned Papua New Guinean dance hall and tiki bar. With DJs on most nights of the week, the dance floor sure heats up, so get tropical and dive on in. 

Oxford Art Factory

Darlinghurst

Someone fun is always playing at Oxford Art, so you can’t really go wrong here. Drawing anyone and everyone from all over Sydney to see some of the best live acts means that there’s always a great crowd and a bustling dance floor to match. Check out what gigs are on the horizon, nab a ticket, and get yourself down there for dance-inducing tunes. 

Thirsty? Check out Sydney's best bars. If you're looking for live music, head over here

Image credit: Abercrombie, Club 77, Abercrombie, Arq, Noir, LABEL., Merivale, Pat Stevenson, Glass Island, Goros, The Soda Factory,, The Cliff Dive, Oxford Art Factory

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