Sydney is definitely a city that loves to sleep. However, Sydney has begun to embrace the night despite the long stretch of years that saw the night and the city locked down. If you’re a night owl, this is welcome news because slowly but surely the city is coming alive when the streetlights are turned on and there are more fun late-night activities now than in the past decade. Here are some of our very favourite.
When it comes to live music venues, there’s a bunch to choose from in Sydney and you’re sure to find that a number of them will be open later than your average bar. However, if you’re really keen on staying out late and busting a move on the dancefloor, then all you have to do is make a move for Club 77 in Darlinghurst—open until 4am every night it’s open.
The easy option for late night is to hit up one of Sydney’s great small bars, generally open till at least midnight from Thursday through to Sunday. The majority also happen to make a damn-good drink and there’s nothing better than a well-crafted cocktail to move the night into an entertaining direction.
3. Hijinx Hotel
Open until midnight on Friday and Saturdays and open until 10pm every other day, Hijinx Hotel is a pretty decent late-night activity in Sydney (if you consider 12am late). There’s a bar, but you don’t need to get drinks to unleash your inner child in one of the 15 challenge rooms. Test your wits and see how many points you can rack up by the end of the night.
4. Fireworks at Cockle Bay
When does an evening activity become a late-night activity in Sydney? For the city that’s more morning person than anything else, some would say as soon as dinner is finished while others would claim that it’s as soon as darkness descends. Either way, the fireworks over Cockle Bay go off at 9pm on Saturday nights throughout the year and we think that a bang is a great way to kick off your late night festivities in the city. See the fireworks schedule for 2023 here.
5. La Di Darts
A game of darts has leveled up at La Di Darts in Darlinghurst because Funlab (the crew behind Hijinx Hotel as well as Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq) have made the favourite pasttime digital. This means that scores are now kept electronically and players can create personalised avatars. Open till 11pm from Tuesday to Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday, La Di Darts hits the target for a late-night activity in Sydney.
Closing at 10pm, Entertainment Park might not be open as late as other venues or places on this list. However, where else can you speed around a 3500-sqm karting track after dinner?
Actually, you can hit the track at Villawood’s Extreme Indoor Go Karting as late as 11pm on weekend.
7. Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq
Open till midnight on Friday and Saturdays, Archie Brothers Cirque Electrique will bowl you over with games at night. With bowling, laser tag and arcade games plus special nights throughout the year, it’s got you covered for fun late-night activities with friends.
8. Axe Throwing
Hurling hatchets is not as easy as one would think. However, it’s plenty of fun and both Maniax and Lumber Punks in Sydney can help you achieve your goal of thwacking wood, having a laugh and a good time.
9. Walk across the Harbour Bridge
This isn’t necessarily a night-time activity but the views from the bridge look a lot different at night. Especially the glittering skyline in the background and the Opera House standing tall on the harbour.
10. Pancakes on the Rocks
Pancakes on the Rocks is a Sydney icon and known for its many sweet and savoury pancakes, ribs and brekkie options. Better yet, The Rocks’ location is open 24/7 and it’s almost always filled with a buzzing atmosphere and friendly people even at 4am in the morning.
11. Amble around Darling Square
Darling Square is an absolute delight at night, especially its many nooks and bylanes that are lit-up by light installations and artworks. Go for a wander and you’ll lose yourself in the light at night.
Walking tours are a great way to explore Sydney’s past and what life used to look like in the bygone eras. We recommend the Sydney Razor Gang True Crime Tour for a bit of history and a lot of spookiness.
13. Explore the Chinatown Night Markets
Chinatown Markets has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for authentic Australian souvenirs, local brands or some seriously amazing Asian food, this is the hot spot to head to. It’s open every Friday from 4pm-11pm.
14. Visit the Sydney Observatory
This heritage-listed meteorological station and the astronomical observatory is a must-do activity for stargazers. See the city skyline from one of Australia’s most iconic sites while the world sleeps.
15. MCA and Powerhouse Late
On Friday nights at the MCA and Thursday night at the Powerhouse, you can get in after dark and take a looksie at the exhibitions as well as the special programs in place. It ain’t super late but it is later than normal and that’s more than fine by us.
16. Hit up Mary’s Newtown
Mary’s is a popular fixture on the late-night scene in Sydney and has remained so for as long as we can remember. Known for its delicious burgers and craft beers, the bar embodies a classic rock ‘n’ roll vibe and the general aesthetic is as hectic as it gets but in the best way possible.
17. Stay overnight at Taronga Zoo
Roar and Snore at Taronga Zoo Sydney is a classic Sydney bucket list. Allowing you to camp in safari tents in the heart of Australia’s most beloved zoo, you can have close encounters with the animals while taking in stunning views of the city and the harbour.
Whether on your own, with a mate, a group of friends, or a special someone, there’s a Candlelight concert to entertain everybody. From classical to jazz, rock to pop, catch one of the later sessions for late-evening performance by some of Sydney’s most talented musicians.
19. Pyrmont Bridge Hotel
The Pyrmont Bridge Hotel is another 24/7 hotel sitting comfortably between Darling Harbour and The Star. Serving classic bar grub and drinks, head to the rooftop terrace for all the views and vibes.
20. Take a stroll across Circular Quay
This one truly never gets old. You’ll find a lot of your very favourite Sydney icons in and around Circular Quay and they take on a life of their own at night. Be it the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge, the historic laneways of The Rocks or the Royal Botanic Gardens—Circular Quay is the main access point to them all.