Nightlife & Entertainment in Canberra

Although many visitors may be tempted to visit Sydney or Melbourne for a weekend getaway, there are many places in Canberra where travellers can simply relax or party hard at night. Many of Canberra's best pubs, clubs, and cocktail bars can be found near City Walk, Garema Place, the Melbourne and Sydney buildings, or in the suburbs in Manuka and Kingston. Fyshwick is the red-light district of Canberra.

Undoubtedly, the most popular pub in town is the Wig & Pen. This is a British-style pub in the city centre, at the corner of Alinga and Limestone streets. With the owner's motto being, “Life is too short not to enjoy the finest quality beers”, it is no surprise that the Wig and Pen is famous for brewing its own delicious beers. They have 10 different beers on tap which is brewed on the premises. It has won awards for its beers both in Australia and New Zealand. Food served is traditional pub grub.

If you prefer the Emerald Isle across from England, then P.J. O'Reilly's is the Irish pub that you should definitely check out. This pub is on the corner of Alinga Street and West Row. You can truly experience the craic in this traditional Irish pub, which prides itself on great food, delicious beers, and fantastic service. Beers here include Guinness. The pub was actually designed in Dublin, so fans of Ireland will definitely enjoy the atmosphere with a nice cold glass of beer or a nice glass of wine in the Harp Bar, Olde Bailey Room, or in the beer garden. Trivia night is on Monday and Wednesdays, and there are free jugs of beer to be had. Karaoke night is on Saturday night, and they also have a 2 for 1 cocktail special.

The Phoenix is another Irish-style pub, which is on East Row. Beers here include both local and foreign brews. These include Murphys, Magners, Kilkenny, and Guinness. There is also a wide variety of cocktails, wines, and spirits. Cigarettes and cigars are also sold here, although they have to be smoked outside due to Australian smoking regulations. Although there is no mad jukebox to drown out the talk, there are local and interstate bands that play here. Bootleg Night occurs on a regular basis, and this is where stand up comedians entertain every Monday. Trivia nights are every first Tuesday of the month, and there are poetry slams every 3rd Thursday of the month.

Another famous pub is the Moosehead's Pub and Nightclub. Although this may sound like something that should be found in Canada, its name originates from Canada's Moosehead beer which is actually not affiliated with, especially as it is very hard to get this beer in Australia. Its logo may be familiar to visiting Canadians however, as its logo was derived from the Manitoba Moose's team logo. This unique pub is known for its drinks, such as the Moose Juice, Murder in Paradise, and Smooth Pussy. It is also the home to a mini bike signed by the famous Crusty Demons as well as a motorbike which is actual memorabilia from the blockbuster smash hit movie from 1982, An Officer and a Gentleman. Moosehead's Pub consists of 4 floors, and each feature a different type of music, from top 40, golden oldies, R&B, rock, and more.

If you enjoy live music, King O'Malley's is the place to be. Although it was named after the man who prohibited alcohol consumption in Australia for about a decade, this award winning pub is a great place to get to know Canberra. There is live music at least 4 nights a week, ranging from folk music to rock music.