Sydney is definitely a city that loves to sleep. However, Sydney has begun to embrace the night once more, after emerging from a – let’s say frustrating, to be polite – long stretch of years that saw the night and the city locked down. If you’re a night owl casting about for what to do at night, this is welcome news because the city slowly but surely comes alive when the streetlights are turned on, and there are more fun late-night activities now than at any other time in the past decade. So, let’s seize the night as intended; here are some of our very favourite things to do in Sydney at night.
1. Perfect your aim at La Di Darts
A game of darts has levelled up at La Di Darts in Darlinghurst because Funlab (the crew behind Hijinx Hotel and Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq) have made the favourite pastime digital. This means that scores are now kept electronically and players can create personalised avatars. Open till 11 pm from Monday to Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday, La Di Darts hits the target for a late-night activity in Sydney.
2. Get your groove on at these Sydney live music venues
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 – it’s open until 4am every night from Thursday to Sunday.
3. Let loose in the Hijinx Hotel
Open until midnight on Friday and Saturdays and open until 10pm every other day, Hijinx Hotel is one of the best places in visit in Sydney at night (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. Catch the free 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. Speed around a go-kart track
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?
Alternatively, you can hit the track at Villawood’s Extreme Indoor Go Karting as late as 11pm on weekends.
6. Belt out the hits at a karaoke bar
Oh you better believe there’ll be singing when the sun goes down. Whether your style is more Blackpink or Meatloaf, you’ll find a full complement of karaoke bars to serenade the masses at; we love K Square, which handily happens to be open until 4am most nights.
Meanwhile, you can pay per song at Hama Film & Kono Karaoke, Sydney’s first coin-operated karaoke booth, which is open until 2am every day and until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. There’s also a very cute photobooth to remember the night by, if your performance isn’t indelibly etched into everyone’s memory.
7. Stroll 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.
8. Dig into a stack at Pancakes on the Rocks
Pancakes on the Rocks is a Sydney icon 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 – just when post-club hunger might strike…
9. Explore the Chinatown Night Markets
Chinatown Markets have 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, and you can easily make it an early and delicious food stop on a tour of places to visit at night in Sydney.
10. Take a tour of the Sydney Observatory
This heritage-listed meteorological station and the astronomical observatory is a must-do activity for stargazers. Their one-hour tours run every day between Wednesday and Saturday, with the day’s final tour kicking off at 9:30pm (pre-booking is pretty essential, mind you). It’s an unforgettable way to see the city skyline from one of Australia’s most iconic sites while the world sleeps.
11. Challenge your mates to a night of friendly competition at Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq
Open till midnight on Friday and Saturdays in both Alexandria and Penrith, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq is one of the most fun things to do in Sydney at night. The range of games on offer will bowl you over; with bowling, laser tag, arcade games, and crazy golf from the team at Holey Moley, plus special nights throughout the year, it’s got you covered for fun late-night activities with friends.
12. Immerse yourself in music at a Candlelight concert
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 (usually starting around 8:30pm) for late-evening performance by some of Sydney’s most talented musicians. You can see the full range of upcoming concerts here.
13. Sharpen your skills at an axe throwing range
Hurling hatchets is not as easy as one would think. However, it’s plenty of fun and Maniax – which is open until 9pm every day, with the last rounds starting at 8pm – in Sydney can help you achieve your goal of thwacking wood, having a laugh and a good time.
14. 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 – it’s an excellent spot for amateur photographers looking for a fun new angle on the city, too.
15. Go on a ghostly walking tour of the city
Walking tours are a great way to explore Sydney’s past and what life used to look like in the bygone eras, and you’ll get even more history and spookiness if you tackle them once night falls.
16. Get your evening art fix at MCA and Powerhouse Lates
Post-work art sessions with party vibes? Count us in! 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, as well as the chance to listen to live music. They don’t tend to run super late but it’s a later night than normal and that’s more than fine by us; check their websites for the upcoming themes.
17. 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. Our best suggestion is to pair their 12am closing time (Weds to Sat) with Thursday’s $10 margarita deal for the ideal combo.
18. Stay overnight at Taronga Zoo
Roar and Snore at Taronga Zoo is a classic Sydney bucket list item. 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.
19. Survey the skyline, drink in hand, from the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel
The PBH 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, especially on the weekends.
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.
21. Hole up with a mezcal at Cantina OK!
One of the best margaritas in Sydney, in a cosy and welcoming laneway spot? We’re sold; grab a mate or a date and soak up the friendly vibes at Cantina OK!, which stays open until 2am every night.