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Melbourne Nightlife Guide: Part One

Tags: dress drink
One of the things I love to do when travelling is checking out the local nightlife. It’s always interesting looking at the way people act, Dress and drink compared to home. Having lived here in Melbourne now for 10 months I’ve had the chance to check out plenty of different nightlife areas. The one thing I can say is that generally Australia’s nightlife if pricey compared to other parts of the world. If you’re looking to have a full on night expect to drop $150+ for dinner drinks and cab (and that’s being conservative!) If you’re planning to drop by, here’s a small guide on some of the different areas and my fav bars.

St Kilda:

If you’re backpacking, you’re more than likely going to end up here in St Kilda. Here you have a plethora of bars that cater to backpackers with relaxed dress codes and usually offering at least one night of cheap drinks. As a result, the crowds at certain bars and clubs will be largely backpackers. Singlets, thongs (not the good kind... flip-flops here in Oz), and shorts will be the dress style. I hate seeing flip-flops in a club, and singlets are just as bad - they look good on NO ONE!

Anyways, while you’re here be sure to check these places out:

La Roche Cafe - 185 Acland St, St Kilda
This place offers some of the best prices on pints in town. During happy hours (usually 4-6 then 9-close) you can get $5 pints last I checked. Great place to sit and hand with your mates, maybe even pre-drink before heading somewhere else.

Barkly Hotel - 109 Barkly St, St Kilda
This place is both a bar and club. The club is located on the rooftop of a lowrise building and best known for it’s Friday nights which cater to the backpacker crowd. Fridays they have no cover charge and $10 buckets of vodka red bull. As far as I know, no overt dress code.

The Espy - 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda
This bar is legendary and caters more to a live music crowd. Many acts play here on all nights of the week and is definitely a must visit while in the area. More of a rocker bar, dress code is relaxed but I wouldn’t wear thongs or a singlet. I love this bar but the only downside is that it’s a lot pricier than the surrounding bars ($18 for a jug, which is smaller than a North American pitcher).

Chapel Street

Chapel Street is probably THE place to see and be seen here in Melbourne. This area is easily accessible via public transit, but be sure to have cab fare home. Dress codes here can be quite strict as it is the IN place. Guys be sure to have a pair of dress shoes and a collared shirt, girls I suggest a dress and heels. While there are a few places that have cheaper food & drinks, expect to pay top dollar in a lot of the bars and clubs here.

Lucky Coq - Corner of Chapel and High St, Windsor
If you’re looking for a good cheap feed this is the place. You can get $4 pizzas and hot dogs here which is a great deal. This bar is a lot more lax than the others in the area and has a more sort of hipster vibe. Great place to lounge and have dinner as there are a lot of couches, a few retro arcade machines and a pool table. Drink prices are average, $7 schooners - nothing fancy.

Temperance Hotel - 426 Chapel St.
I’ve stumbled into this place randomly one night and had a great time. The crowd here is dressed really well, saw a lot of suits and dresses. Music is top 40s but with an accent on techno/electro beats as this is the norm for clubs out here. No cover charge, nice dance floor and plenty of room to sit. Can’t remember too much about drink prices as it was a messy night but I still highly recommend this place if you’re looking for a posh night out with some dancing.

Electric Ladyland - 1/265-267 Chapel St, Prahran
If you’re looking for a place to lounge, this is it. This bar has plenty of red leather couches all over the bar and provides a really cool atmosphere. This is a more posh venue, so be sure to dress accordingly - especially you guys as they are strict on shoes and shirts. They play awesome music here, mostly top 40s but also rocked some classic hip-hop which pleasantly surprised me. Drinks here are top dollar, beers are decently priced $6-$11/bottle but martinis can be over $20. No dance floor here as it’s not really a dancing venue but on the plus side there’s no cover.

Revolver - 229 Chapel St, Prahran
If after all the other bars close you’re still looking to party, this is the place to go to. There are 2 rooms (from what I can remember) one lounge area and another dance room. As with most afterhours techno is the music in the dance room. Dress code here is lax, arrived wearing a shirt and tie as I was at an awards ceremony earlier in the night and was told by the doorman to remove the tie for my own safety. He even went to great lengths to show me how my tie could be used against me. Had a laugh but he was serious! Cover is $10-$20 and this place only gets busy after 2am.

This covers part one of my nightlife guide to Melbourne. As you can see there are big contrasts to the clientele and prices depending on the district, but that’s what makes this city so great is that you have so many options. Be sure to tune in next week when I cover Fitzroy/Brunswick St and the CBD/Southbank.

This post first appeared on While Matt Was Away..., please read the originial post: here

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Melbourne Nightlife Guide: Part One


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