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Two women dancing in a club.
Photograph: Frankie Cordoba

The best nightclubs in Melbourne

Hit the dance floor and bust a move at these bumping nightclubs in Melbourne

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier
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Sometimes you just need to break a sweat and get loose on the dance floor. If you've been wanting to plan a big night out, here are our favourite clubs for electronica, dance, house, trap, disco, hip-hop and everything in between. Put on your best dancing shoes and an Instagram-worthy outfit and get ready to paint the town red. 

Looking for dancefloors? Here's our list of the best bars with dancefloors in Melbourne. Need some food to fuel all that dancing? Here are the best late-night eats around Melbourne

Best nightclubs in Melbourne

  • Nightlife
  • Melbourne

When beloved Melbourne club Lounge closed in 2018, it sent tear-streaked eyeliner running and club kids scurrying to find a new space for an all-night boogie. Lounge had operated on the site for 29 continuous years, which is longer than many of its patrons had been alive. But hospitality veteran Maz Salt came to the rescue, taking over the Swanston Street site and giving it new life as Radar. Radar focuses on catering to the dance music community, with a Function-One rig blasting until 6am on weekends. It’s kind of like Lounge, but Radar has its own personality. Reapply that eyeliner. 

Chaise Lounge
  • Clubs
  • Melbourne

Renowned for being one of Melbourne’s top hip hop bars, Chaise Lounge is the place to be to hear everything from classic hip hop, RnB and trap. Friday’s are the night to get your groove on, with DJs from Culture King DJ Rcee, DJ Kahlua, DJ Shook and DJ Angel Jay keeping your feet moving to the early hours of Saturday morning. Bring out the Henny, it’s Friday.

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Revolver Upstairs
  • Clubs
  • Prahran

Revolver, better known as Revs, will take you in on a Friday evening and treat you to a bit of soul-tinged deep house and then spit you out onto Chapel Street Sunday morning, ears still ringing with throbbing techno. You often hear about ‘the cage’, which sounds terrifying but in reality, it’s a booth that hosts local and international dance DJs in a dining room. The bar/club goes all night and is often responsible for the sort of behaviour that is best forgotten by morning. A great night out, in other words.

  • Clubs
  • Collingwood

After an illustrious 12 years in the CBD, New Guernica made the move to Collingwood. The new venue features soaring 7-metre ceilings, a balcony high above the dance floor and a world-class lighting and sound system. Some elements have been brought over from the original location, including the well-known disco ball. Get ready for a weekly rave on Thursday nights complete with drink specials, Friday parties run by organisers like the Operative and upcoming events by established electronic artists, emerging talents and international touring acts. 

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The Night Cat
  • Music
  • Collingwood

The vibe is electric in this darkly red-lit boudoir of a live music venue and it's not hard to see why. The Night Cat has become a bit of a Fitzroy institution, with live jazz, funk and reggae among its diverse line-up. It's probably best known for its circular stage in the centre of the venue that gives all punters a great vantage point for watching their favourite acts. 

  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Music is front and centre here, with a collection of records pumping out of Funktion One speakers specifically installed to fill the room. DJs play the likes of John Coltrane, Susan Wong, Esther Phillips and Ute Lemper with scatterings of David Bowie downstairs, or you can head upstairs to the 80-room black box venue and party to events put on by Animals Dancing, Crown Ruler, Cool Room and Pelvis. It’s super dark in the room, with a singular light that projects onto a disco ball that casts an eclipse shadow above the DJ booth. And we're not kidding about the speakers – those Funktion Ones really pack a punch.

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  • Bars
  • Fitzroy

A red neon sign in shouty capitals marks the entrance on Brunswick Street. The cleaved head of American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman greets you as you walk up the stairs. In the cavernous room above, dismembered mannequins dangle from the ceiling. This Fitzroy establishment is many things, but subtle isn’t one of them. The venue features exposed brick, lofty ceilings, ruby-hued booths and red lights behind the bar, all paying homage to the hedonistic social scene of 1980s New York. 

  • Clubs
  • House, disco and techno
  • Carlton

Located on Queensberry Street in Carlton, Colour is run by Liam Alexander, Ben Rausa and former Lounge owner Carlo Colosimo. The venue itself has quite the history. Once a former church, this 1835-built building was also home to short-lived club Yours and Mine and 1990s S&M club Hellfire.

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  • Nightlife
  • Melbourne

Sub Club is a basement nightclub in little-known laneway Flinders Court, and its programming is as underground as its location. The club is carved out of the old ANZ bank vault, which gives it that Tresor vibe. Line-ups reflect forward-thinking curators and subcultures, so no one is left out here. You can expect to hear loads of bass, techno and left-field electro transmitting out of a 10,000-watt sound system.

  • Clubs
  • South Yarra

One Melbourne’s biggest and best nightclubs for international and special events, featuring Melbourne’s top-class DJs every Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm till late playing a variety of music styles including funky house, vocal trance and R&B. It's probably best known for being the home of Poof Doof, an LGBTQIA-friendly club night that's been around for many years. 

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The Toff in Town
  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Curtin House is frankly ridiculous, brimming over as it is with a host of outstanding bars and club spaces. The Toff in Town is one of the swankiest joints in the building. Climb the stairs and you'll find a private booth bar to the left and the excellent band space to the right. This cosy little red-curtained room has hosted a wealth of talent, both from home and from far away. It's a decadent haunt and one that reeks of character in an already vibrant Melbourne scene. Get right up and sweaty at the foot of the stage or sit back and sample their menu of delicious eats and the extensive range of drinks on offer.

Khokolat Bar
  • Bars
  • Melbourne

If you love R&B music, step inside this bar tucked away on Hardware Lane for a night filled with old-school hits and contemporary favourites. The vibe here is funky but calm, making it perfect for those nights where you'd like the option to boogie as well as the option to sip drinks, chat with friends and enjoy a well-curated playlist. 

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  • Bars
  • Collingwood

On any given night at this Collingwood bluestone stalwart, punters of all ages, genders and sexualities are sinking $6 pints of Vale Lager at happy hour by the roaring fireplace, smashing beer burgers and parmas or veg, vegan or gluten-free meals, and standing shoulder-to-shoulder watching gigs on the mezzanine level of the 350-person bandroom. In the warmer months, the bandroom’s huge moon roof pulls back, so that the sun streams in or, by night, party people dance under a canopy of stars. The sky’s the limit for the Gaso – an evolving project that represents a welcome cultural shift in Melbourne’s pubs scene towards a future where everyone is invited to the party, and has a bloody great time.

  • Bars
  • Fitzroy

Who says disco is dead? Certainly not the party animals at the Lame Duck, who wear the term 'dive bar' with pride and are committed to living in the '70s no matter what the calendar says. The décor is, well, tacky. There's a shrine to Cher, a vintage purple pool table, a Playboy pinball machine and huge 15-person booths adorned with hot pink palm trees. Music is funk, soul and disco classics, and the food is what your mum likely served at dinner parties in the '70s: baked camembert fondue and cocktail onions, plus hot dogs and toasties. 

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Rubix Warehouse
  • Bars
  • Brunswick

Nestled in the industrial back streets of Brunswick, Rubix Warehouse is a creative and cultural hub that feeds from the inspiration of the artists, locals and fun-seekers that fill the space each week. Since opening its doors in 2009, Rubix transformed an empty warehouse into an exclusive underground venue boasting high ceilings, a quality sound system and a fully licensed bar, all set to the decor of urban street culture.

Onesixone
  • Clubs
  • Prahran

Onesixone is a nightclub with history. While the big clubs of the '90s were dwindling, Onesixone was just getting started. With an aim to encourage positive and creative thought, the atmosphere switches from heavy dance (including state of the art German sound systems) to quiet lounges and couches to talk to friends in. Many facets of this club make it unique, and standing out is the hard work that the owners and staff put in to make it great every time you visit.

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Brown Alley
  • Clubs
  • Melbourne

Despite its giggle-eliciting name, the three-level Brown Alley is one of the best clubs in Melbourne. Weekly entertainment spans techno, R&B, electro, indie and breaks. The downstairs room feels like a superclub while the upstairs room is long and rectangular with DJs at one end in a darkened alcove. The open rooftop bar is the smoking area.

And afterwards...

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