Melbourne’s city lights keep blazing till dawn and there’s a watering hole to please everyone in this big, buzzing metropolis. Live music is massive in Melbourne, and while there are plenty of proper nightclubs to try out, it’s the gigs that really make this city legendary by night.

Bars in Melbourne

Whisky and Alement (££)

270 Russell Street, +61 3 9654 1284

An atmospheric little bar with bar staff who really know their potions. And this place isn’t just great for scotch and whiskey – you can have a relaxed beer here and will more often than not end up deep in conversation with someone interesting at the bar.

Boss Karaoke Bar (££)

Level 1-3, 195 Little Bourke Street, +61 3 9662 2688

For something completely different, try this elegantly decorated bar and karaoke lounge, situated smack bang in the middle of central Melbourne. It’s got touchscreen karaoke machines in the private rooms so you and your pals can croon away without an audience of strangers.

Cherry (££)

AC/DC Lane, + 61 3 9639 8122

If you’re looking for the best rock n’ roll bar in Australia, you’ll find it off Flinders Lane on aptly named AC/DC Lane. Here you’ll find live music from local bands, spot members of touring bands at the bar, and get your fix of rock n’ roll every night of the week.

Clubs in Melbourne

Alumbra (£££)

Shed 9, Central Pier, 181 Harbour Esplanade, +61 3 8623 9666

One of Melbourne’s top megaclubs with a love of funky visible in its decor, Alumbra is one spot not to be missed. Come on Saturday for house music, and Sunday for the epic Soul Sessions in the Docklands, booth bookings recommended.

The Night Cat (£)

141 Johnston St, + 61 3 9417 0090

Live music venue and cheap and cheerful club in one. The Night Cat also hosts salsa nights during the week, and its performance space is in the round, ensuring a great view of the action from any spot in the room. A well-known good-time haunt amongst Melbourne locals.

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Events and shows in Melbourne

The Comics Lounge (£)

26 Errol Street, +61 3 9348 9488

A good value night out where even the bar staff are funny guys and gals. Book in advance to secure a good table as some can give a limited view of the fun. Proudly promoting both homegrown and international stand-up comedians, Mick Molloy and other eminent Aussie funny men (and women) are often billed to perform here.

Hi Fi Bar and Ballroom (££)

125 Swanson St, + 61 3 9654 7617

A three-tiered arena devoted to live music, the Hi-Fi also has venues in Brisbane and Sydney. Hosting both home-grown and international acts, it’s also an academy for budding musicians and sound engineers. Tickets for gigs at the Hi-Fi can be bought at most of the independent record stores in Melbourne.

The Butterfly Club (£)

Carson Place, +61 3 9663 8107

Melbourne has plenty of theatres and opera houses for that traditional evening culture fix, but The Butterfly Club offers something a little different to the mainstream. Whether a bit of cabaret or burlesque floats your boat, this intimate venue has a delectable menu of cherry-picked and quirky entertainment. Oh – and great cocktails.

Now that you’re sorted on the best nightlife in Melbourne, why not take a look at our job hunting guide so you can pay for these nights out with other Melburnians.