The Best Backpacker Bars in Sydney

Welcome to the ultimate guide for backpackers seeking the best bars in Sydney! As a backpacker, you’re probably on a tight budget and looking for a good time without breaking the bank. Luckily, Sydney is home to some of the best backpacker bars in the world, offering affordable drinks, live music, and a great atmosphere. In this article, we’ll be exploring the top backpacker bars in Sydney, from O’Malley’s Hotel to Cantina OK!, and highlighting what makes each one unique. So grab a drink and get ready to discover the best spots for backpackers to party in Sydney!

O’Malley’s Hotel

A night out at O’Malley’s Hotel is a must for any traveller on the hunt for a lively, budget-friendly bar. Nestled in the bustling Kings Cross locality, this backpacker-friendly establishment offers daily drink specials, live music, and a sociable atmosphere that welcomes people from across the globe. From solo explorers to groups of friends alike, you’ll feel right at home amongst the lively bustle and friendly staff.

As well as providing a great social space, O’Malley’s Hotel is also easy on the wallet. With daily discounts and budget-friendly food options, you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy yourself. Plus, the bar regularly hosts events and activities such as trivia nights and live music performances that don’t cost a dime. So you can have a great night out without worrying about your budget.

If you’re looking to have a great time while on a budget, O’Malley’s Hotel is the place to be. With its inviting atmosphere, friendly staff, and wallet-friendly prices, you’ll find yourself making new friends and having a great time in no time. And with its convenient location in Kings Cross, you can easily explore the area and visit other attractions once the night’s over.

For a lively and budget-friendly night out, O’Malley’s Hotel is the perfect spot. You’ll have a great time socialising, meeting new people, and taking advantage of the daily deals and free activities. Make sure you don’t miss out on this must-visit bar in Sydney!

Cantina OK!

Cantina OK! is an exuberant and cosy backpacker tavern located in Sydney. It provides an assorted selection of cocktails and Mexican cuisine. The decor is vivid and cheerful, with sombreros and piñatas on the walls. The establishment is famous for its courteous and welcoming personnel, who happily accept visitors from all around the globe.

Cantina OK! is an ideal place to socialise and have a great time. It is furnished with a common seating area, where visitors can mingle. Furthermore, it is often packed with special events and live music gigs. The atmosphere is relaxed and unassuming, making it a great place to destress after a tiring day of sightseeing.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Cantina OK! is the extensive tequila menu. They provide a broad selection of tequilas, including some exclusive and hard-to-find varieties. You can order a flight of tequila to sample different types, or opt for one of the signature margaritas. The bar also serves savoury tacos and nachos, making it an excellent spot for a relaxed dinner with friends. In conclusion, Cantina OK! is a must-visit backpacker bar in Sydney for those seeking an entertaining and true experience.


One of the trendiest and most laid-back watering holes in the city is Sidebar. Located in the heart of Sydney, this lively bar offers tasty cocktails and an impressive selection of local craft beers. Its welcoming environment makes it the ideal place for travellers to socialise and make new friends. With its cosy atmosphere and friendly staff, Sidebar is an absolute must for backpackers looking for a relaxed night out.

In addition to its great drinks, Sidebar is also renowned for its karaoke nights, trivia competitions and live music performances. Such events are the perfect opportunity to have fun and meet new people while taking in the bar’s casual atmosphere. From Kings Cross to Bondi Beach, Sidebar is conveniently located near many backpacker hostels and accommodations, making it easy for all travellers to enjoy the nightlife in Sydney.

When searching for a trendy and laid-back spot in the city, Sidebar should be on the top of your list. With its delicious cocktails, great selection of beers, and fun events, it is the ideal spot for travellers looking to have a good time. And with its central location, Sidebar is easily accessible from most hostels and accommodation in Sydney, making it an ideal choice for backpackers.

Cargo Bar

If you’re searching for a premier nightlife spot, Cargo Bar is a must-see in Darling Harbour. Offering spectacular views of the harbour and cityscape, this modern-industrial venue is the perfect hangout for friends. Boasting top-notch cocktails and craft beers, it’s ideal for those who appreciate a good drink. Plus, with weekly events and live music, there’s never a dull moment.

One of the highlights of Cargo Bar is its outdoor seating area. Here, visitors can sit back and relax with a beverage, taking in the stunning views of the bay. The bar also has a comprehensive menu of delicious food, and their friendly staff ensure a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

For those wanting to keep the night going, Cargo Bar is conveniently close to other renowned backpacker hotspots. O’Malley’s Hotel and Home Night Club can be easily reached with a short walk, making it a great place to start the party. If you’re in search of a superior bar experience, Cargo Bar is the top choice.

Scary Canary

A visit to the Scary Canary is a must for every party-goer in the city. This vibrant and affordable nightspot is located in the heart of the urban centre, making it the perfect place to get the night started. With numerous TVs broadcasting live sports from around the world, a pool table, and a jukebox, everyone can find something to enjoy. And if you’re feeling peckish, you can tuck into a hearty selection of classic pub grub and specialities.

The Scary Canary also has plenty of offers and deals to take advantage of. From $5 drinks to $10 meal specials, there are always great bargains to be had. Plus, the bar hosts regular events and parties for those who want to make the most of their night. Whether you’re looking for a low-key evening or a lively one, the Scary Canary is sure to please.

At the Scary Canary, you’ll also find a delicious food menu. From burgers and fries to loaded nachos and chicken wings, there’s something to suit all tastes. Generous portions mean you can fill up before hitting the clubs, with the Scary Burger – a towering burger with all the trimmings – being a popular choice.

From its lively atmosphere to its great deals, the Scary Canary is one of the top places to be for backpackers in the city. With its welcoming vibe, it’s easy to meet new people and have an unforgettable night. So if you’re looking for an enjoyable, affordable evening out, the Scary Canary should be at the top of your list.

Ivy Bar

The Ivy is an exquisite rooftop restaurant/bar in the heart of the CBD that oozes chic sophistication. An ideal destination for globetrotters seeking a luxury evening out, the venue has a broad selection of signature cocktails, beers, wines, and a tantalising menu of modern Australian cuisine. The terrace provides a marvellous outlook of the cityscape, creating a chill vibe. The Ivy is the perfect place to experience Sydney’s vibrant nightlife in an elegant and stylish setting.

For an opulent and upscale atmosphere, the Ivy is the place to be. Its plush furnishings, subdued lighting, and tasteful decor make it the ideal spot for a nice date night or an evening out with friends. And with regularly organised parties, the night gets wild after dinner. The staff at the Ivy strive to ensure that guests have a truly exceptional experience. Unwind and take in the city’s most upscale and trendy crowd, all while enjoying the best of Sydney’s nightlife at the Ivy.

Helm Bar

Helm Bar, nestled in Darling Harbour, offers stunning city skyline and harbour views, making it the perfect spot for socialising with friends or getting to know new people. This laid-back establishment is renowned among travellers for its hospitable staff and lively atmosphere. Visitors can savour a variety of beers, wines and cocktails, as well as pub-style fare such as burgers, pizzas and sharing platters. Alongside its music and DJ sets, Helm Bar also hosts quiz nights, karaoke, and sports and comedy shows, making it a popular destination for gatherings like birthdays, corporate events and hen parties.

If you’re looking for an entertaining night out, look no further than Helm Bar. With its unbeatable location and unbeatable vibes, it’s the ideal place for travellers to experience the best of the city’s nightlife. Whether you’re in the mood to relax with a drink or let loose on the dancefloor, Helm Bar is the ultimate destination for a night to remember.

Home The Venue

If you’re looking for a vibrant, high-energy clubbing experience, then you won’t want to miss Home Nightclub. Situated in the heart of Darling Harbor, this superclub is a mecca for locals and tourists alike. With multiple dance floors, cutting-edge sound and lighting systems, and abundant bars, Home The Venue is the perfect place to dance until the wee hours of the morning. Whatever your music preference — techno, house, hip-hop — you’ll find plenty of tunes to move your body to.

For a more exclusive experience, the Home nightclub has plenty of options available. They offer bottle service and exclusive booths, as well as a VIP balcony overlooking the dance floor. And for those special occasions, you can book a private event space at the club. Whether it’s a birthday celebration, business gathering, or bachelorette party, their experienced event staff will work with you to make it unforgettable.

Home also hosts a variety of events throughout the week, from student nights to international DJ sets. They offer discounted entry on certain nights, as well as regular drink deals, for those on a tighter budget. With its central location and electric atmosphere, Home Night Club is a must-visit destination for nightlife enthusiasts.

Bounce Sydney – A Legendary Spot Now Closed

Bounce Sydney, once a staple in any traveller’s journey through Australia, left a rich legacy in its wake following its closure. Recognized globally as one of the top hostels, this establishment was perfectly positioned in the city’s hub and offered an abundance of amenities for an enjoyable stay. From its rooftop terrace boasting panoramic views of the skyline, to the cosy cinema room, Bounce Sydney provided the ideal backdrop for a memorable visit.

Despite its closure, memories of nights spent at Bounce Sydney’s bar continue to echo in the hearts of many adventurers. Renowned for its vast selection of drinks, including cocktails, beers, and wines, this watering hole was a lively meeting spot for visitors from all walks of life. It effortlessly fostered a sense of camaraderie among both solo travellers and groups, marking it as a timeless venue in Sydney’s nightlife scene.

Bounce Sydney was more than just a bar and hostel; it was a hub that prioritised comfort and convenience for its guests. The establishment provided a range of services from laundry facilities to a fully equipped kitchen, allowing travellers to feel right at home. The staff were the true heartbeat of Bounce Sydney, their friendliness and willingness to assist were highlights that many guests fondly recall.

Even though Bounce Sydney has since closed its doors, its place in Sydney’s backpacker culture remains undisputed. This iconic hostel not only played host to unforgettable nights, but also offered a slice of home for those wandering far from theirs. If you are planning a trip to Sydney, the spirit of Bounce Sydney will live on in other vibrant hostels and bars in this exciting city.


In conclusion, Sydney offers backpackers a diverse range of bars and clubs to experience. From the lively atmosphere of O’Malley’s Hotel and Scary Canary to the fancy rooftop experience at Ivy Bar, there is something for everyone. Cantina OK! also offers a unique experience, being one of only two Sydney bars listed on the World’s 50 Best Bars. Additionally, Sidebar, Cargo Bar, Helm Bar, and Home Night Club all have their own unique features and are definitely worth checking out at least once during your time in Sydney. Overall, Sydney’s backpacker bars and clubs are sure to provide unforgettable memories for travellers from all over the world.

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