Sydney Travel Guide
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NIGHTLIFE

Bars

ARQ
16 Flinders St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9380-8700
Bar (Gay)
Darlinghurst
ARQ, Sydney's biggest, best looking, and funkiest gay nightclub, attracts a clean-cut crowd who like to whip off their shirts and dance. There's a bar, multiple dance floors, and plenty of chrome and sparkly lighting. It's open from 9 PM 'til whenever Friday through Sunday, with a cover charge of A$5-A$20. www.arqsydney.com.au.


BEAUCHAMP HOTEL
267 Oxford St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9331-2575
Bar (Gay, Lesbian)
Darlinghurst
Beauchamp Hotel is a gay and lesbian pub mostly remarkable for what it lacks. There's no floor show, cruisy lighting, dance floor, or cocktail bar -- just a comfortable, unpretentious, traditional Australian pub that appeals mostly to older gays. It's open daily 10 AM-1 AM, and is especially sociable on weekend afternoons.


ETTAMOGAH BAR & RESTAURANT
225 Harbourside, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9281-3922
Bar, Music Club
Darling Harbour
Ettamogah Bar & Restaurant, based on a famous Australian cartoon series depicting an Outback saloon, has three bars and an open-air restaurant. The pub varies from family-friendly by day to nightclub by evening. Hours are weekdays 11 AM-midnight, Saturday 11 AM-3 AM, and Sunday 11 AM-11 PM, with a cover charge of A$5-A$10 Thursday to Saturday.


HEMMESPHERE
Level 4, 252 George St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9240-3040
Bar
City Center
Hemmesphere is where Sydney's hippest pay homage to cocktail culture from low, leather divans. The mood is elegant, sleek, and cultish, and the guest list is usually sprinkled with whichever glitterati happen to be in town. Club members, who pay A$1,500 a year, get priority.


MERCANTILE HOTEL
25 George St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9247-3570
Bar, Music Club
The Rocks
Mercantile Hotel, in the shadow of Harbour Bridge, is Irish and very proud of it. Fiddles, drums, and pipes rise above the clamor in the bar, and lilting accents rejoice in song seven nights a week. Hours are Sunday-Wednesday 10 AM-midnight and Thursday-Saturday 10 AM-1 AM. There's no cover charge.


MIDNIGHT SHIFT
85 Oxford St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9360-4463
Bar (Gay)
Darlinghurst
Midnight Shift is Sydney's hard-core party zone, a living legend on the gay scene for its longevity and its take-no-prisoners approach. If anything, the upstairs nightclub is a little quieter than the ground-floor bars, where most of the leather-loving men go to shoot pool. Opening hours are daily from about midday to 6 AM.


THE NEWTOWN HOTEL
174 King St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9557-1329
Bar (Gay)
Newtown
Though the look, music, and decor of The Newtown Hotel do not approach the gloss and sophistication of Paddington's glamorous gay scene, you can't beat the laid-back attitudes and the bawdy, in-your-face drag shows.


THE OAKS
118 Military Rd., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9953-5515
Bar
Neutral Bay
For a northern Sydney landmark, The Oaks encapsulates the very best of the modern pub. The immensely popular watering hole is big and boisterous, with a beer garden, a restaurant, and several bars offering varying levels of sophistication. It opens at 10 AM and is packed on Friday and Saturday night.


ROSE, SHAMROCK AND THISTLE
193 Evans St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9810-2244
Bar, Music Club
Rozelle
Rose, Shamrock and Thistle, popularly known as the Three Weeds, is a friendly, boisterous pub 5 km (3 mi) from the city center. It's one of the best places to hear live music, generally from Thursday through Saturday for a moderate cover charge of A$5-A$10. Otherwise, come for free noon-midnight Monday-Wednesday and noon-10 Sunday.


SOHO BAR
171 Victoria St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9358-6511
Bar
Kings Cross
Soho Bar is the most civilized cocktail bar in the neighborhood. The mood of this upper-story lounge is relaxed and funky, and still stylish despite its age. The adjoining pool room is rated one of the city's finest. The bar is open daily 10 AM-3 AM, later on Friday and Saturday.



Casinos

STAR CITY CASINO
20-80 Pyrmont St., Pyrmont, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9777-9000
Casino
Darling Harbour
Star City Casino is a glitzy 24-hour Las Vegas-style casino with 200 gaming tables and 1,500 slot machines. Gambling options include roulette, craps, blackjack, baccarat, and the classic Australian game of two-up. www.starcity.com.au.



Comedy Clubs

SYDNEY'S ORIGINAL COMEDY STORE
Shop 102, Bldg. 207, Fox Studios, Bent St., Moore Park, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9357-1419
Comedy Club
Centennial Park
Sydney's Original Comedy Store, the city's oldest comedy club, is found in this plush 300-seat theater in a huge movie production facility. The difficult-to-find theater is at the rear of the complex, close to the parking lot. Shows are Tuesday-Saturday at 8, and admission runs A$15-A$27.50. www.comedystore.com.au.

Dance

BANGARRA DANCE THEATRE
Wharf 4, 5 Hickson Rd., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9251-5333
Dance
The Rocks
Bangarra Dance Theatre, an Aboriginal dance company, stages productions based on contemporary Aboriginal social themes, often to critical acclaim. www.bangarra.com.au.


SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY
Pier 4, Hickson Rd., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9221-4811
Dance
The Rocks
Sydney Dance Company is an innovative contemporary dance troupe with an international reputation from its many years under acclaimed director Graeme Murphy. The company generally performs at the Opera House when it's in town. www.sydneydance.com.au.


SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Bennelong Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9250-7777
Dance, Music, Opera (Ballet)
Circular Quay
Sydney Opera House showcases all the performing arts in its five theaters, one of which is devoted to opera. The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company, and the Australian Opera Company also call the Opera House home. The complex includes two stages for theater and the 2,700-seat Concert Hall, where the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra perform. The box office is open Monday-Saturday 9-8:30. www.soh.nsw.gov.au.

Dance Clubs

DCM
31-33 Oxford St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9267-7380
Dance Club
Darlinghurst
DCM revels in its reputation as one of Sydney's hottest dance clubs. "Dress to impress" is the prevailing ethos, and minimalist, clingy apparel shows off the gym-hardened crowd to best advantage. The club is also popular with Sydney's gays and lesbians. It's open Thursday and Friday 11 PM-7 AM, Saturday 10 PM-10:30 AM, and Sunday 9 AM-7 PM. The cover charge (up to A$12) varies throughout the week.


GLOBE NIGHTCLUB
60 Park St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9264-4844
Dance Club
City Center
Globe Nightclub mutates from a business-district bar by day to a dance club after dark. The fake velvet and chrome decor is a bit faded, but the club still draws elbow-to-elbow crowds to its state-of-the-art sound system. It's open Thursday-Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 8-4. The cover charge hovers around A$12.


HOME
Cockle Bay Wharf, 201 Sussex St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9266-0600
Dance Club
Darling Harbour
Home is Sydney's largest nightclub, a three-story colossus that holds up to 2,000 party animals. The main dance floor has an awesome sound system, and the top-level terrace bar is the place to go when the action becomes too frantic. Outdoor balconies provide the essential oxygen boost. Arrive early, or prepare for a long wait. It's open Thursday-Sunday 10 PM-4 AM, with a cover charge of up to A$20.


TANK
3 Bridge La., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9251-9933
Dance Club
City Center
Tank is the grooviest and best-looking of all Sydney's nightclubs, with a polar-cool clientele and a slick dress code rigidly enforced at the door. Be prepared for expensive drinks. The interior is plush and relaxed, despite its space-capsule setting. Hours are 10 PM-5 AM Friday and Saturday.


Music

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Bennelong Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9250-7777
Dance, Music, Opera (Ballet)
Circular Quay
Sydney Opera House showcases all the performing arts in its five theaters, one of which is devoted to opera. The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company, and the Australian Opera Company also call the Opera House home. The complex includes two stages for theater and the 2,700-seat Concert Hall, where the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra perform. The box office is open Monday-Saturday 9-8:30. www.soh.nsw.gov.au.

Music Clubs

THE BASEMENT
29 Reiby Pl., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9251-2797
Music Club (Jazz)
Circular Quay
The Basement is a Sydney legend, the city's premier venue for top jazz and blues musicians. Dinner is also available. Expect a cover charge of A$15-A$20. www.thebasement.com/au.


ETTAMOGAH BAR & RESTAURANT
225 Harbourside, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9281-3922
Bar, Music Club
Darling Harbour
Ettamogah Bar & Restaurant, based on a famous Australian cartoon series depicting an Outback saloon, has three bars and an open-air restaurant. The pub varies from family-friendly by day to nightclub by evening. Hours are weekdays 11 AM-midnight, Saturday 11 AM-3 AM, and Sunday 11 AM-11 PM, with a cover charge of A$5-A$10 Thursday to Saturday.


MERCANTILE HOTEL
25 George St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9247-3570
Bar, Music Club
The Rocks
Mercantile Hotel, in the shadow of Harbour Bridge, is Irish and very proud of it. Fiddles, drums, and pipes rise above the clamor in the bar, and lilting accents rejoice in song seven nights a week. Hours are Sunday-Wednesday 10 AM-midnight and Thursday-Saturday 10 AM-1 AM. There's no cover charge.


ROSE, SHAMROCK AND THISTLE
193 Evans St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9810-2244
Bar, Music Club
Rozelle
Rose, Shamrock and Thistle, popularly known as the Three Weeds, is a friendly, boisterous pub 5 km (3 mi) from the city center. It's one of the best places to hear live music, generally from Thursday through Saturday for a moderate cover charge of A$5-A$10. Otherwise, come for free noon-midnight Monday-Wednesday and noon-10 Sunday.


SOUP PLUS
383 George St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9299-7728
Music Club (Jazz)
City Center
Soup Plus, a small, subterranean jazz venue, hosts mainly contemporary jazz. Although it's is too small to attract big-name artists, the cozy club has a loyal clientele that helps maintain this as Sydney's longest-running jazz venue. Hours are Monday-Saturday noon-10, and there's a A$5-A$20 cover charge.



Theater

BELVOIR STREET THEATRE
25 Belvoir St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9699-3444
Theater
Surry Hills
Belvoir Street Theatre has two stages that host innovative and challenging political and social drama. The smaller downstairs space is the home of "B Sharp," Company B's upstart company of brave, new Australian works. The theater is a 10-minute walk from Central Station. www.belvoir.com.au.


CAPITOL THEATRE
13 Campbell St., Haymarket, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9266-4800
Theater
Chinatown
Capitol Theatre, a century-old city landmark, was redone with such modern refinements as fiber-optic ceiling lights that twinkle in time to the music. The 2,000-seat theater specializes in Broadway blockbusters.


LYRIC THEATRE
20-80 Pyrmont St., Pyrmont, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9777-9000
Theater
Darling Harbour
Lyric Theatre, at the Star City Casino complex, is Sydney's most spectacular dedicated performing arts venue. Despite its size, there's no better place to watch the big-budget musicals that are its staple fare. Every seat in the lavishly spacious, 2,000-seat theater is a good one. www.starcity.com.au.


STABLES THEATRE
10 Nimrod St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9361-3817
Theater
Kings Cross
Stables Theatre has long been known as a proving ground for up-and-coming talents and plays. The avant-garde works of this small theater sometimes graduate to the big stage.


STATE THEATRE
49 Market St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9373-6655
Theater
City Center
State Theatre is the grande dame of Sydney theaters, a mid-city venue that demands a dressed-up night to pay homage to a golden era. Built in 1929 and restored to its full-blown opulence in 1980, the theater has a Gothic foyer with a vaulted ceiling, mosaic floors, marble columns and statues, and brass and bronze doors. A highlight of the magnificent theater is the 20,000-piece chandelier that is supposedly the world's second largest.


THE WHARF THEATRE
Pier 4, Hickson Rd., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 02/9250-1777
Theater
The Rocks
The Wharf Theatre, on a redeveloped wharf in the shadow of Harbour Bridge, hosts the Sydney Theatre Company, one of Australia's most original and highly regarded performing groups. Contemporary British and American plays and the latest offerings from leading Australian playwrights such as David Williamson and Nick Enright are the main attractions.

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