C.Frim & Friends at Club 77, Photo by @seviiiiinnnn

The VICE Guide to the Best Clubs in Sydney

If you're in search of an actual dance floor in Sydney's CBD, Inner West and West, here's where you can find them.

Say what you want about Sydney clubs—you can still find a solid dance floor if you know where to look. Even the best clubs in Sydney have had a rough few years: between lockouts, shut downs, and early close times, the city hasn’t exactly gained the best reputation for nightlife. But there’s a reason it was once known as an international dance capital—and why new waves of hip hop and South-Asian creative collectives are energising the music scene once again. 


People have and will always find a way to dance. Sometimes it takes wading through the worst bars you can find just to feel something, but if you don’t have the time and/or the will to make that expedition, we’ve got you covered with this guide to the best nightclubs in the Sydney CBD, Inner West and beyond.

1. Club 77, Darlinghurst

It’s an icon partially just because it’s so old. Club 77 has been around for 25 years, hosting AJAX, the Bang Gang, and Starfuckers DJs—as well as basically every other alternative electronic act that’s graced Sydney since 1999. It’s a gritty space, with bathroom walls plastered in cut-out shoe ads and banana stickers, but the grunginess doesn’t reflect a lack of care. Last year, Club 77 relaunched with an updated acoustic set-up—which is perfect if you’re one of the freaks who actually go out for the music. Due to its late night licence, Club 77 is also allowed to operate until 4 am.

77 William St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

2. El Pazo Lounge at Alcatraz, Annandale

Hot people go to El Pazo Lounge on the weekend. El Pazo is a saving grace in Sydney’s “real” nightclub sparsity, hosting some of the city’s stickiest club nights, all of which have been curated by prolific Eora-based DJs and music acts. El Pazo Lounge at Alcatraz is one of the only nightclubs in Sydney where ass shaking is both guaranteed and embraced. Alcatraz as a venue has always been rooted in transforming the culture of Sydney’s nightlife, and within the first year of opening, they’ve made a gigantic stamp on the city. If live sampling, jazz and neo-soul are more your speed, check out their Sultry & Sample events on Thursdays.  Be early to the hype.

74/76 Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Annandale NSW 2038


3. Civic Underground, Sydney CBD

When you look at the Civic as a whole, it’s kinda random. There’s Ni Hao Bar up top, the Civic Hotel on ground, then Civic Underground lurks below. But outside of it’s convenience for alcohol, Civic Underground’s parties will leave you with at least one moshpit bruise. Over the years, Civic Underground has hosted DJs like Virgil Abloh, Kerwin Frost, Saliah, Jyoty and when they’re not opening the decks to some of the world’s most iconic selectors, they’re throwing regular party nights full of  electronic, house and techno music. The hack is to stay tapped in to what is going one every weekend, don’t just go in on a whim. Make the effort, and it’ll pay off.

388 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000

4. Commonhouse, Western Sydney

Sometimes the best clubs in Sydney have concrete slabs for a dancefloor. Sometimes, they’re situated in between a Christian centre and a mechanic. And sometimes, they’re not even clubs at all. If you’re looking to venture outside of the CBD and into the West, you should hear (and feel) the bass thumping out of Commonhouse’s speaker system before you get the chance to tap your Opal off at Doonside station (or not, there’s no train gates there….I don’t endorse fare evasion). Commonhouse is a studio space for all disciplines, music, art, photography, fashion. Over the years, it’s transformed into a reliable music venue, scratching the itch for many Westies who can’t be assed to travel into the city for a good party. Commonhouse also famously birthed the Hotter Out West parties, which has gone on to become a staple in Sydney’s nightlife. Be sure to keep tabs on Commonhouse’s socials or events that have their location as ‘Secret Western Sydney Location’.


5/171 Power St, Glendenning NSW 2761

5. Sussudio, Potts Point

Named after the Phil Collins’ song—which allegedly came from a word he invented while messing with a drum machine—this venue is inspired by retro Parisian disco clubs. If you’re out on a Friday or Saturday in the Kings Cross area, you can head over for techno and house music either on the dance floor or in private booths.

2 Kellett St, Potts Point NSW 2011

6. Abercrombie, Chippendale

Abercrombie, famously the birthplace of Purple Sneakers, has been long beloved as one of the most prominent indie dance clubs in Sydney, hosting big-name indie acts like Vampire Weekend and Bloc Party. After large-scale renovations, it reopened a few years ago as a triple venue, featuring a late-night wine bar and bottleshop, a rooftop overlooking the skyline, and a nightclub with a licence to host 24-hour events. 

100 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008


7. Stonewall Hotel, Darlinghurst

Named after the 1969 uprising led by LGBT activists in New York, Stonewall has made its venue a home for the queer nightlife community in Sydney for the past 22 years. It’s located on Oxford Street, which is historically Sydney’s central gay district, and hosts some of the city’s most beloved drag queens, karaoke performances, and Chaps Leather shows.

175 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

8. Universal, Darlinghurst

While you’re on Oxford Street, you might as well make the most of the night and pop into Universal, another fixture to Sydney’s LGBTQ nightlife scene. Longtime Sydneysiders may remember this venue as the iconic gay bar, The Midnight Shift, which Universal Hotels acquired back in 2018. The new owners have stayed true to the club’s original mission and now host drag shows, disco and funk dance parties in a pink and gold tiled space.

85-91 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010


9. Marys Underground, Sydney CBD

Mary’s Underground describes itself as “the club that keeps on giving”. You can go to Mary’s on any given weekend night, and walk into an emerging Australian artist’s launch party, Lana Del Rey Appreciation night, or their resident Basement techno club night. Every night is a surprise, and if you’re someone who’s willing to roll with the punches and go with the flow, take a chance on Mary’s.

29 Reiby Pl, Sydney NSW 2000

10. Candeleria, Elizabeth Street

Sydney’s Latin disco club was formed by two of the biggest DJs in Australia’s hispanic music scene. If you’re tired of EDM and House music, you can head over here for salsa, bachata, merengue, reggaeton, and tropical pop. It’s conveniently located, and hosts student nights and rumba raves until 3 am. And, unless you have great drugs, who really wants to be up past then anyway?

58 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000

11. The Bearded Tit, Redfern

The discrete and delightful Bearded Tit is an underrated queer nightlife space in the outskirts of Sydney’s CBD. If the bustle of Oxford St tires you out, The Bearded Tit will revitalise you. This small bar pocketed among flowershops and local grocers on Redfern’s Botany Road acts as a gallery, exhibition space, performance space, and dance bar. Some of the most memorable parties I’ve been to have been at the Tit. Once you’re done taking in the cabaret/burlesque, vintage feel of the decor, and need a breather – there’s a caravan out back to punch a dart or two in with your fellow patrons. What more could you ask for?

183 Regent St, Redfern NSW 2016

12. Honourable mention: Resident Advisor/ H.A.T.S. Group on Facebook

This one is obviously not a specific place, but it’s worth noting that Sydney’s dance scene is largely centred around events rather than specific venues. So, go reactivate your Facebook and join the 29.6 K member House And Techno Sydney group, or just head to the Resident Advisor website—there’s stuff going on, you just have to look for it.