As one of the most metropolitan and liveable cities on the Australian map, Melbourne matches such a status with a booming nightlife to match. With hundreds of bars, pubs, music venues, and clubs, the issue with Melbourne, especially if you don't have friends who live there, is finding the type of places that will pique your interest. Hey, isn't that why you're here?
If you're looking for a catch-all of Melbourne nightlife, you should start in the Central Business District, where you'll find anything from cozy watering holes to unique alleyway pubs to superclubs that cater to both the best in dance and live music (the Billboard Nightclub, Silk Road, and tons more). There's even excellent jazz to be found here at the Paris Cat. Just be aware that a number of places have strict entrance policies and that, during the summer especially, the party doesn't get going until around midnight.
If it's a foregone conclusion that you're spending all of your money in Melbourne, then you should probably do a crawl of Chapel Street, which runs through South Yarra and Prahran, and caters to the most sophisticated, appearance-oriented sect of Melbourne. Then again, you could head north of city center toward the university and the neighborhoods of Colingwood, Fitzroy, and Carlton for a more relaxed nightlife experience. Here you'll encounter a more Bohemian crowd and lot of smaller cafes, bars, and live music venues; the perfect recipe if you're into a low-key night without having to yell over music you hate. Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, Smith Street in Colingwood, and Lygon Street in Carlton will put you in the center of the action.
Finally, St. Kilda is a quality neighborhood for a little fun, particularly for those who enjoy their nightlife within sight of the ocean. You'll find the gamut of bars, pubs, lounges, and beyond along Fitzroy Street, while institutions like the Local Taphouse will sate your craving for multitudes of microbrews.
At this point, if you're not sold on the Melbourne scene, you may as well forget about late nights and fuzzy memories and just join the seminary. Check our listings for more specific establishments, travel pictures and videos, and many more selling points for a travel destination that sells itself.