Most of the central city's dance clubs are along the King Street strip, or near the corner of Queen Street and Little Collins Street. Clubs usually open at 9 or 10 weekends and some weeknights, and stay open until the early-morning hours. Expect to pay a small cover at most clubs—between A$15 and A$20.

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  • 1. Esplanade Hotel

    St. Kilda

    Not only is this hallowed live music venue a great place to see local bands, but the Esplanade, or "Espy," is a historic pub—built in...Read More

  • 2. Gin Palace

    City Center

    Reminiscent of Hollywood's golden era, Gin Palace is a must-visit for gin lovers, with knowledgeable staff and more than enough types of martinis to satisfy...Read More

  • 3. The Everleigh


    One of the city's best cocktail bars, the Everleigh also makes a perfect spot for couples, with dark lighting, soft tunes, and glamorous, 1920s decor....Read More

  • 4. Alehouse Project

    Brunswick East

    Regarded as having one of the best craft beer lists in the city, with a strong emphasis on Australian brews, this local favorite also has...Read More

  • 5. Cherry Bar

    City Center

    This iconic and intimate, this rowdy rock 'n' roll bar is located on AC/DC Lane. The address alone says it all....Read More

  • 6. Comic's Lounge

    North Melbourne

    This comedy club is a good place for a laugh....Read More

  • 7. Cookie

    City Center

    Located in a lofty warehouse-style space with exposed ceiling pipes and a balcony, Cookie focuses on domestic and international craft beer and great Thai food....Read More

  • 8. Corner Hotel


    The Corner Hotel has alternative, reggae, rock, blues, and jazz gigs with an emphasis on homegrown bands. Tasty pub meals can be had on the...Read More

  • 9. Embla

    City Center

    Welcoming but still sophisticated, Embla is a throwback to and an improvement on Melbourne's original small bar scene. An accessible but often obscure wine list...Read More

  • 10. Max Watt's House of Music

    City Center

    This popular venue is known for live local and lesser-known international rock bands, and as a stand-up venue during the International Comedy Festival. ...Read More

  • 11. Melbourne Supper Club

    City Center

    Age-buffed leather sofas, cigars, and an exhaustive wine list characterize this classy club. For views and cocktails, continue upstairs to the rooftop terrace bar Siglo,...Read More

  • 12. Mitre Tavern

    City Center

    One of the oldest pubs in town, pulling pints since 1868, locals love the unpretentious vibe of this British-style establishment in the city's financial district....Read More

  • 13. Ms Collins

    City Center

    A bar from Tuesday to Saturday, with food designed by some of Melbourne's top chefs, Ms Collins turns Latin American on Thursday and R&B club...Read More

  • 14. Palais Theatre

    St. Kilda

    This theater, which first opened in 1927, features film, music festival openings, and concerts by Australian and international acts such as the Soweto Gospel Choir...Read More

  • 15. Polly


    Mix with colorful and quirky clientele in an equally fun 1920s design with red-velvet lounges, gilt mirrors, and chandeliers. Also enjoy a traditional or contemporary...Read More

  • 16. Prince of Wales

    St. Kilda

    For rock and roll, punk, and grunge, head to the Prince Bandroom at the Prince of Wales, which attracts a straight and gay crowd. Ticket...Read More

  • 17. Retreat Hotel


    This expansive pub has local bands performing most nights of the week. It also has one of the city's best beer gardens....Read More

  • 18. Revolver Upstairs


    This bar caters predominantly to young partygoers, with early-morning recovery sessions—a time for revelers around town to keep on partying—that are especially popular....Read More

  • 19. Section 8

    City Center

    A shipping container located in an old parking lot in Chinatown, set in an alleyway filled with street art, Section 8 is all things Melbourne....Read More

  • 20. Spotted Mallard


    In addition hosting live bands, this venue also has trivia nights and serves a range of microbrewery beers....Read More

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