Sydney's nightlife is all go, with everything from pubs and jazz bars to rock venues and nightclubs. For live music listings and free weekly entertainment guides look out for publications like Time Out, Metro and Drum Media.
The best party areas include Darling Harbour, Oxford Street and The Rocks. Oxford Street is the epicentre of the LGBT nightlife scene in the city, though there are many straight bars and clubs as well. Kings Cross is the reputed Red Light District of Sydney, an area which has seen some improvement over the last few years, attracting an increasingly diverse and arty array of visitors, but it remains a gritty nightlife centre, as one would expect for an area once dominated by sailors and brothels. The Rocks and Kings Street Wharf offer more upmarket entertainment options. Sydney is also renowned for its performing arts, the most notable venue being the iconic Sydney opera House.
The legal drinking age in Australia is 18. There are some lock-out and last drinks laws in effect in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct, with no drinks served after 3am at hotels and registered nightclubs, but some smaller venues are exempt from these rules.