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Sydney has a reputation for being Australia’s party city and with good reason. The Rocks, which is the fashionable neighborhood in the shadow of Sydney Harbor Bridge starts to come alive after 10PM and there’s every sort of venue you can think of. We will run through five very different night spots in the area in a bid to find something for everyone. Let’s get started with a classic Aussie experience.
Place your bets at the Star Casino
Aussies love placing a wager, and if you want to blend in and look like a local, you really need to play the pokies at least once. There are two world class casinos at The Rocks, The Crown and The Star. These two casino giants have gambling halls across Australia, but Sydney is the only place that has both, and within walking distance of one another.
Either venue offers a great choice of games, but if we had to choose one, The Star would edge it for sheer glitz – and the real possibility of bumping into a celebrity or two! If you’ve never played the pokies before, any one of these top Aussie pokies sites is worth a visit to familiarize yourself with the most popular pokies and how to play them.
Home the Venue – eight clubs in one
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There are literally dozens of legendary nightclubs in Sydney, including Chinese Laundry, a classic basement venue that has been around forever and Marquee, classy club that is conveniently located right under the Star Casino.
But if we can only select one, it has to be Home the Venue. With eight distinct rooms, Home sets out to be just that to all comers. Each room has a distinct vibe, with different styles of music, but on Friday and Saturday night, they are all packed.
Catch some culture at Palace Verona
This boutique art house cinema is on Oxford Street, a pleasant 40 minute stroll from The Rocks or five minutes in a cab. Step through the doors and back through time. Those of us old enough to remember the days of the small independent cinemas that gradually became extinct in the 1980s will savor the nostalgia.
What’s on is of secondary importance, but the cinema typically picks the best indie movies and the occasional old classic. Just turn up, you won’t be disappointed. There are regular film festivals, too.
Classic music acts at Oxford Art Factory
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Like the night clubs, there are dozens of live music venues with everything from jazz to pop to hard rock. For an extra special experience, Oxford Art Factory is just a short walk along Oxford Road from Palace Verona.
Rock music is the theme and 95 percent of the acts are local talent. The other five percent are where it gets interesting. The occasional big name turns up with minimal fanfare to try out new material. Recent visitors have included Mumford and Sons, Lady Gaga and The Dead Weather.
Chill out at the Barber Shop
Sometimes you just want to sit and chill over a couple of martinis in friendly surroundings. The Barber Shop is an old fashioned speakeasy-style bar hidden downstairs beneath a barber shop on York Street.
The bar has won multiple awards, including Australia’s Best Gin Bar for several years in a row. There are 700 gins available, so quantity is assured as well as quality.