Philadelphia Nightlife

Philadelphia nightlife doesn’t get enough national credit. Of course the city is known for its historical roots and attractions such as the Liberty Bell, green space in the city, and its famous cheesesteak, but it should also be known for its nightlife. Philadelphia clubs are more diverse than you might expect. From dive bars where hoards of college students hang out to sophisticated wine bars, there is an option for nightlife for almost every visitor. Spread throughout the neighborhoods, from Center City to South Philadelphia, there is a nightclub in Philadelphia waiting just for you.

Bars in Philly take their beer seriously. Many of them brew their own beer, and some even offer brewery tours during the day. If you’re less interested in the process and more interested in the taste, head to one of the breweries for a meal and sampling of the craft beers that have earned Philly bars a reputation as brewmasters. In almost every neighborhood, there is a brewery where you can begin your evening with happy hour and a meal, and afterward, head out to continue the night in one of the many Philadelphia clubs.

West Philadelphia is home to many of the city's universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, and therefore students keep nightlife exciting all week long. A student nightclub in Philadelphia doesn’t have to be a dive bar—in fact, there are options that play great music, both live and DJ, to diverse audiences. Northern Liberties is one popular area for Philadelphia nightlife. This former industrial area of docks has been transformed by low rents and an artsy atmosphere, and it now offers a buzzing nightlife, especially on weekends. Late-night eats and plenty of clubs make it a popular choice for people coming from other areas of town to keep the party going.

Washington Square West is known for being gay-friendly, and it has Philadelphia clubs specifically for the LGBT community and anyone else wishing to join the party. Also home to coffee shops and boutique stores, it’s a fun place to go for a stroll during the day. A rowdy area in Northwest Philadelphia is Manayunk, where students and young professionals cut loose. Many nights start at Manayunk Brewery and continue down Main Street to other nightlife options. If you’re looking for something on the classier side, there are many restaurants in both Center City and Germantown that stay open for music and wine or cocktails during after-dinner hours.

If you’re looking for a nightclub in Philadelphia, there are options that play jazz, hip hop, house, and trance. The summer brings the concert season to Philly, and outdoor performances are a favorite for both locals and visitors. Be sure to book your tickets in advance, as the most popular artists sell out quickly, and hotels may fill up at these times of year. The Mann Center, a great outdoor venue at Fairmount Park, forms the core of Philadelphia nightlife in the summer. After the concert, follow the crowds to the of-the-moment bars and clubs that will keep the party going until the wee hours of the morning.

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