Best Sydney nightclubs
So you wanna dance?
Sydney’s got plenty of nightclubs, but where’s the party really at? Which venues have groovy dance floors?
To help you find your groove, here’s a selection of Sydney’s best clubs catering to the dance music scene.
The Slip Inn, owned by Justin Hemmes’ Merivale Group, includes the basement club The Slip Inn that focuses on quality underground music.
There are three eclectically designed indoor areas including the small Laundry and the even smaller Cave. It’s intimate and often hot, but always fun. With summer here, you can take a breather in the Tuscan-themed Garden Bar, which becomes another dance floor for special events.
Chinese Laundry at The Slip Inn, 111 Sussex St.; Friday 9 p.m.-late, Saturday 10 p.m.-late; $20 on the door for Saturday nights, www.merivale.com.au/chineselaundry
Hugo’s Lounge is a touch of class in the heart of Kings Cross.
Upstairs from Hugo’s BarPizza, glamorous revelers perch on the balcony and settle in with a well-mixed cocktail.
The liquor industry has awarded it Best Nightclub in Australia for the last three years. Tasty $5 pizzas balance out expensive drinks, but Hugo’s isn’t a place to count pennies.
While it’s mostly about looking, the mingling starts at 11 p.m. when tables give way to the dance floor and the house music amps up.
Hugo’s is a bit of an institution on Sundays, the home stage of local legends Sneaky Sound System from 10 p.m.
Hugo's, Level 1, 33 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, Saturday till 3 a.m., Sunday till 2 a.m., www.hugos.com.au
In a heritage building, Soho is a Kings Cross institution dating back over 20 years and consistently attracts party people with high caliber DJs and funky décor.
As a mark of its stature, it often hosts official after-parties for dance music festivals such as Stereosonic and Future Music.
With two small bars and minimal seating, the downstairs dance floor has surreal 3D wall/ceiling installations.
On Saturday nights, the club hosts cutting-edge DJs from around the world. For a complete change of music and mood, just head upstairs to the Lounge level where tunes range from disco to hip-hop.
Soho Bar, 171 Victoria Road, Potts Point, entry $15-20. Free before 11 p.m., cover charge $15-20 after, open until 3 a.m., www.sohobar.com.au
A favorite on the gay scene, Arq jives late on Saturday nights and early Sunday mornings when people of all persuasions get loose.
On big nights, Arq’s two separate venues combine into one club enabling you to sample the Vortex downstairs or head up to The Arena where most of the action takes place. Here, the atmosphere gets super-charged with a world-class sound system, incredible acoustics and one of the best lighting rigs in Sydney.
You can experience the fleshy gyrations on the dance floor or be a voyeur from above on the wrap around balcony.
Arq, 16 Flinders St., Darlinghurst, entry is typically $15-20, more for special events, open until 8 a.m. Sundays, www.arqsydney.com.au
Ivy is a palace of decadence that absorbs a huge range of people who pose and mingle at a plethora of bar and dining venues. The question is whether the opulence is worth queuing for.
On a hot summer Sunday, a dance party is held in the water at the exclusive Pool Bar. Access is not as tough as it used to be, but it helps if you’re a model, a celebrity or exude wealth.
For mere mortals, the real dance floor action happens on Saturday nights with pure ivy luring an all ages crowd to dance under the stars in the courtyard of ivybar.
The Ivy, Level 1, 330 George St., entry to pure ivy is $20, open until 3 a.m., www.merivale.com.au/ivybar
In the underground of grand art deco Civic Hotel, lies a former cabaret, once a live rock venue that helped to launch INXS and Midnight Oil.
Since then it’s become a dance venue compelled by a brilliant sound system, a sunken dance floor and pulsating ceiling tiles.
The classy house beats being dished out by promoters like Future Classic and House Your Soul get an eclectic crowd gyrating among the booths and along the bar.
The parties can be irregular, so stay tuned and book tickets well ahead.
Home: The Venue
This mega club that can soak up more than 2,000 partygoers across four dance floors.
It fills up on a typical Saturday night with a young crowd who are happy dancing to unashamedly commercial R&B, dub-step and house.
Refuge can be found in the smaller rooms where you can also soak up some amazing Darling Harbour views.
Home’s main arena is at its best when it hosts international acts, so keep a look out for those.
For a more intimate experience, consider Home’s Wharf Bar on Friday nights, where Digital Therapy spin some quality electronica that guarantees dance floor fun for the small but enthusiastic and friendly crowd.
Home, 101 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour, $15, www.homesydney.com