Party for Less in Sydney – Australian City’s Best Free Nightspots

in Australia, Trip Locations

We all know that Australians love to party, but enjoying an evening out in Sydney can often cost you much more than your cocktails. Hefty cover charges are instituted at many of the top nightspots, and they can put a serious dent in your vacation budget. However, with a bit of know-how you can avoid those sneaky fees and save some cash for an extra drink or two! In this article we round up some of the city’s best free club nights for partygoers of all tastes.

They start the party early in Sydney with AND waiving the cover charge on Wednesday nights. The crowd is very young, which can get tiring if you’re a bit long in the tooth. But that junior clientele keeps the drink prices down. Hit the dance floor or lose your inhibitions in one of the karaoke booths!

Why pay $25 to party at ARQ on the weekend, when you can do it for nothing on Thursday nights? It’s Mardi Gras all year round here with some of the best drag talent the city has to offer. Arrive early to see the amateurs strut their stuff before the main show, You Are Soul, an extravaganza of glitter and glamour!

If you prefer something a bit more traditional you’ll find it the Lansdowne Hotel. This pub is opposite Sydney Uni, so it’s used to catering for folks living on a shoestring. It’s also the venue of choice for some of Australia’s best independent musicians. It might just become your local while you’re in town, as there’s free live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.

Music lovers will also appreciate the Excelsior Hotel in the trendy inner-city suburb of Glebe. The place is a local institution famous for nurturing Sydney’s talented singer-songwriters. There are free live bands from resident musicians and acoustic artists every Thursday and Friday night.

As locals and tourists prepare to usher in the weekend, you’re spoiled for choice on Friday nights. The folks at edgy underground promotions company Niche Productions are behind Movement, Friday night’s entertainment at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel. A revolving door of DJs pumps dubstep, future beat, and leftfield house music until the early hours.

If you prefer something a bit more retro, step into Yo Grito! Every Friday night Sydney’s GoodGod Small Club converts its front bar into an authentic rock’n’roll mess hall. Expect an eclectic mix of guitar-driven surf music, punk, garage rock, and soul.

If you enjoy your beats thumping, Strange Fruit at Ultimo’s Abercrombie Hotel is the place for you on Saturdays. The sound system is far from perfect, but the techno tunes sound better after a few of the bar’s reasonably priced drinks.

Don’t confuse the Abercrombie’s Strange Fruit for the goings on at Freda’s in Chippendale. This restaurant and bar caters for a totally different crowd with its own Strange Fruit night every Sunday. It’s a much mellower affair, with calypso, jazz, reggae, soul, and other cruisy choices to help you wind down after a boozy weekend.

Fireworks over the Sydney Opera House (Australia)

And no matter what day of the week it is, you can enjoy free live music at the Opera Bar near the iconic Sydney Opera House. Don’t let the name fool you; the cool jazz, funk, and soul sounds ensure this place is far from stuffy. The drinks are pricy, but it’s worth paying a premium for those enviable harbor views.

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