Vancouver Bars & Clubs

Vancouver city officials have made sure that most of the city's nightclubs and lounges are concentrated in two entertainment areas: on Granville Street and Water and Pender Streets in Gastown.

You'll find a few bars sprinkled throughout Yaletown, such as Bar None (1222 Hamilton Street), but the majority are located in those two districts. If you're looking for a casual space where you can chat with friends, get to know a date, or order food, going to a lounge is a better idea. However, if you're looking for a party atmosphere and want to dance, head to a Vancouver bar.

The bars on Granville Street are all dance clubs, and the crowd that flocks here on Friday and Saturday nights is young. Most Granville Street bars have a dress code, prohibiting clothing like ripped jeans, hats, or flip-flops. You'll see a range of fashion choices, but while some girls do get dressed up in heels and short skirts, there are just as many in tank tops and capri pants or jeans. Most guys dress casually, in jeans or khakis with t-shirts.

The majority of the Granville Street nightclubs look very similar inside and play top 40 music, such as:

> Tonic (919 Granville Street)
> Caprice Nightclub (967 Granville Street)
> The Roxy (932 Granville Street)

The clubs in Gastown are slightly more eclectic. You'll find a few live music venues like the Columbia (303 Columbia Street). Others like Shine (332 Water Street), are intimate downstairs clubs that are very close to being lounges, and play house and hip hop music.

Every nightclub in Vancouver charges cover, although if you arrive before 10 pm at many spots, you can get in for free. The disadvantage is that even though you save anywhere from about $5 and $15 in cover charges, Vancouver bars don't really start to get busy until about 11. If you can gather around 10 of your friends, you're often eligible to sign up for VIP lists. This free service allows you to skip the line and pay no cover, but again, you'll need to be inside the velvet ropes by about 10 pm.

One phenomenon that frustrates both locals and visitors alike is how some downtown clubs make you stand in line when there's hardly anyone inside. Clubs want to appear trendy and popular, and will use a lineup to create the illusion that they are the hottest place to be.

Ginger 62 (1219 Granville Street) is one example of a bar/lounge that is notoriously bad for making patrons wait outside, while the inside sits virtually empty.  

The bars in Vancouver close at 3 am, and when you spill out into the streets, you will see a lot of police officers walking around, making sure nobody gets violent. There have been stabbings and shootings in Vancouver bars in the past, mostly gang-related, and there are occasional drunken fights. While Vancouver is by no means an unsafe city to go to a bar in, it pays to be aware of your surroundings and avoid getting into confrontations.

If you want to find info on Vancouver clubs, pubs and lounges, get on guest lists and see nightlife photos and videos, visit Club Zone.


Our selection of local bars & clubs in Vancouver

Aubar Nightclub Top 40 & Techno Downtown Vancouver

Aubar is especially popular with international students, and there's a rotating lineup of local and international DJ's here each week. Music is mixed depending on the night, mainly hip hop, top 40 and techno.

The best part: Lots of room inside, with 22-foot-high ceilings.

The worst part: A strict dress code, so make sure you leave the hats and jeans at home.

Location: 674 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC - Close to Harbour Centre Tower

Activities near by:
Harbour Centre Tower | Pacific Centre

Celebrities Nightclub Gay Club Downtown Vancouver

Celebrities Nightclub is a gay club, but at least half the people there on any given night are straight; both sexes go to drink, dance, and watch go-go dancers on the stage. Tuesday's are "straight night," which is always packed.

The best part: Girls will love that they can hang out here and avoid being hit on by men; cheap drinks on Tuesday night.

The worst part: The floors are often really sticky and the washrooms are not clean; needs to be remodeled.

Location: 1022 Davie Street Vancouver, BC - Close to Stanley Park & English Bay

Activities near by: Shopping on Davie Street | English Bay Beach | Stanley Park

Bar None Trendy Club Downtown Vancouver

Bar None attracts young professionals, many from the film and fashion industry. The crowd is mostly over the age of 25, dancing, lounging in dim corners, or chatting at long.

The best part: Very cozy, with exposed brick walls and lots of couches.

The worst part: Drinks are expensive, so have a few cocktails before coming here if it's a party night.

Location: 1222 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC - Close to False Creek

Activities near by: Shopping on Granville Street | Yaletown Seawall (False Creek)

Lotus Hotel House & Techno Downtown Vancouver

The Lotus is popular with people who want to get away from the beer-drinking bars on Granville Street and hang out with friends. The Lotus is a cross between a nightclub and a lounge: you can dance upstairs and relax on couches downstairs.

The best part: The line-up always moves fast, if there even is one.

The worst part: If you don't like a mix of house music, techno, 80's and 90's beats and hip hop, stick to Granville Street.

Location: 455 Abbott Street, Vancouver, BC - Close to Harbour Centre Tower

Activities near by: Harbour Centre Tower | Pacific Centre

The Cellar Live Music Downtown Vancouver

The Cellar is something different for those sick of the top-40 nightclubs along Granville Street. Doolin's is the pub above the Cellar, so you can always go in early for a few drinks and then head downstairs without having to pay cover.

The best part: The drinks are cheap, and the crowd is young and casual.

The worst part: The space can get hot and muggy once it becomes crowded.

Location: 1006 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC

Activities near by: Shopping on Granville Street

The Blarney Stone Live Irish Music Downtown Vancouver

There are often live bands playing a mix or Irish music and rock covers at the Blarney Stone, which is consistently voted Vancouver's Best Irish Bar. The mood is casual and festive, and the crowd is mostly college kids enjoying the weekend.

The best part: Lots of space: there are two floors and lots of tables in front of the stage.

The worst part: The stairs are high and steep, so avoid climbing to the second floor after you've had a few drinks.

Location: 216 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC - Gastown District

Activities near by: Gastown Steam Clock | Shopping on Water Street

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