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Nightlife in Melbourne

Eccentrically furnished bars are a city trademark, recreating lounges from the 1950s or Hollywood bachelor pads of the 1970s. Theatre and performing arts cluster around the Arts Centre near Southbank. New and established bands perform at Inner North and St Kilda clubs. Roofed venues are smoke-free and open to 3am on Friday and Saturday.

The Espy, Melbourne. Courtesy of Kate Roberts

Bars

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  1. 1. Belgian Beer Café Bluestone - Bars

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    Pretend that you're in Brussels in this atmospheric cafe featuring Belgian beer culture in all its forms. Full-bodied Belgian brews dominate at the Belgian Beer Café Bluestone. While downing your pint, try the traditional steamed mussels. In warmer weather, sitting in the parklike garden is a delight. There's live DJ sets Friday and Saturday evenings and Sundays from 3 to 6pm.

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    Address

    557 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Australia

    Telephone

    03/9529 2899

  2. 2. Madame Brussels - Bars

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    Madame Brussels blends fifties kitsch and country club ambience with astroturf and a quirky trellised bar. Recline on a divan on the garden terrace overlooking city rooftops while sipping Pimm's and grazing on cucumber sandwiches and cupcakes.Show this on map

    Address

    59-63, Bourke Street, Level 3, Melbourne 3000

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9662 2775

    Transport

    Parliament Train Station

    Website

    Madame Brussels Website

  3. 3. Young & Jackson - Bars

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    Melbourne's oldest and most famous pub is a great place to stop in for a drink, with food available in the restaurant and bistro areas. Young and Jackson, which was built in 1853 and started selling beer in 1861, provides a great meeting place in the city centre and offers over 30 beers and ciders on draft in the various bars. 

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    Address

    Corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne, Australia

    Telephone

    03/9650 3884

    Website

    Young & Jackson

  4. 4. Comme Wine Room - Bars

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    Comme Wine Room, Melbourne. Photo by Earl Carter, courtesy of Comme Wine Room

    Tucked down a city laneway, Comme Wine Room focuses on glamour and fine wines. The space is dominated by a central marble bar and cosy ottomans for sharing. Taste the bar menu or head next door to Comme Kitchen bistro.Show this on map

    Address

    7, Alfred Place, Melbourne 3000

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9631 4000

    Transport

    Flinders Street Train Station

    Website

    Comme Website

  5. 5. Tony Starr's Kitten Club - Bars

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    The city's Tony Starr's Kitten Club shrieks fifties glamour with cool tunes, classic cocktails, laidback lounges and powder room. Away from the cocktails, there's cabaret or jazz in the Galaxy Space and a secluded velvet nook called the Love Lounge.Show this on map

    Address

    267, Little Collins Street, Melbourne 3000

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9650 2448

    Transport

    Flinders Street Train Station

    Website

    Tony Starr's Kitten Club Website

  6. 6. Transit - Bars

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    Smack-bang in the middle of the city, Transit is the most central spot in town for a late afternoon pick-me-up or into-the-night good time. Swill drinks overlooking Federation Square or nab a manly wood and leather banquette inside.Show this on map

    Address

    Transport Hotel Level 2, Federation Square, Melbourne 3000

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9654 8808

    Transport

    Flinders Street Train Station

    Website

    Transit Website

  7. 7. Paris Cat - Bars

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    This is an intimate jazz bar that doesn't take itself too seriously. Head down the stairs into an inviting space with warm brick walls, intimate seating and tables, lounges, bar stools, and jazz-themed art on the walls. You might hear local musicians with original music, or top international acts. A very cool place, with a great atmosphere. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 8pm. Cover charge varies.

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    Address

    6 Goldie Place, Melbourne, Australia

    Telephone

    03/9642 4711

    Website

    Paris Cat

Clubs

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  1. 8. The Loft - Clubs

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    Poised above the city's theatre district, The Loft has floor-to-ceiling views, disco glitter balls and a long cool bar. The packed dance floor sways to a friendly mix of Top 40 and RnB on Fridays and Saturdays only.Show this on map

    Address

    117, Lonsdale Street, Level 2, Melbourne 3000

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 425 854 989

    Transport

    Parliament Train Station

    Website

    The Loft Website

  2. 9. Fusion - Clubs

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    Crown Casino's Fusion nightclub on Southbank takes place Thursday to Sunday with top house DJs and live rhythms. Occasional cabaret, 80s cover bands and Top 40 nights round off the entertainment.Show this on map

    Address

    8, Whiteman Street, Level 3 Crown Entertainment Complex, Melbourne 3006

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9292 8888

    Transport

    Free City Circle Tram to Flinders Street

    Website

    Fusion Website

  3. 10. Night Cat - Clubs

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    The Night Cat has been a Fitzroy favourite for more than a decade. There's plenty of room to swing and comfy seats and mood lighting for relaxing. The live sounds are varied, from hip hop to funk and salsa.Show this on map

    Address

    141, Johnston Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne 3065

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9417 0090

    Transport

    Tram 112 to Brunswick Street

    Website

    Night Cat Website

Entertainment

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  1. 11. The Espy - Entertainment

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    The Espy, Melbourne. Courtesy of Kate Roberts

    Once threatened with demolition, today the Hotel Esplanade, colloquially known as The Espy, is a Melbourne institution in the city's St Kilda area. For over 100 years, the bay-side venue has played host to live music from a range of local legends. Various rooms host live gigs by unsigned bands as well as famous names and there's also a restaurant. A definite must to tick off your Melbourne list.

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    Address

    11 The Esplanade, St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia

    Telephone

    +61 (0)3 9534 0211

    Website

    Espy Website

  2. 12. Bennetts Lane - Entertainment

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    Bennetts Lane means one thing - the best jazz in the city. Live acts feature every night of the week, as well as impromptu performances when stars are in town. The club, seating 100, is suitably dimly lit and intimate.Show this on map

    Address

    25, Bennetts Lane, Melbourne 3000

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9663 2856

    Transport

    Parliament Train Station

    Website

    Bennetts Lane Website

  3. 13. Arts Centre - Entertainment

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    Arts Centre, Melbourne. Photo by David B. Simmonds, © Tourism Australia

    Head for the Arts Centre's spire past Southbank for myriad performance and exhibition spaces. Hamer Hall presents orchestras, the Playhouse does drama and the State Theatre hosts opera and musicals. The intimate Speigeltent returns each spring and summer with cabaret.Show this on map

    Address

    100, St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9281 8000

    Transport

    Flinders Street Train Station

    Website

    Arts Centre Website

  4. 14. Forum Theatre - Entertainment

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    Forum Theatre, Melbourne. Courtesy of Marriner Theatres

    The Forum Theatre owes its Florentine decor and flamboyant Moorish architecture to its former life as a cinema. It's one of the city's most atmospheric venues for seeing a live band or film during the festival, with intimate cabaret-style seating.Show this on map

    Address

    Corner Russell and Flinders Streets, Melbourne 3000

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9299 9860

    Transport

    Flinders Street Train Station

    Website

    Marriner Group Website

  5. 15. Prince Bandroom - Entertainment

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    Prince Bandroom, Melbourne. Courtesy of Circa the Prince, © The Prince

    Bands have been playing the St Kilda Prince Bandroom for decades. It's received a scrubdown but is still a favourite for music lovers. There are acts most nights, from Billy Bragg to Sly & Robbie.Show this on map

    Address

    29, Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne 3182

    Telephone

    +61 (0) 3 9536 1168

    Transport

    Tram 16 or 96 to Fitzroy Street

    Website

    Prince Bandroom Website

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