Nightclubs and Nightlife in Philadelphia

If you’re looking to cap off a day in Philadelphia with a great night out on the town then you’ve got some good and bad news coming. The good news is that you’re certain to find something that totally fits your mood and party attitude. The bad news you’ll find so many different clubs that it might be hard to say good night.

The city of brotherly love simply loves a good night on the town. Philadelphia is full of great nightclubs and an exciting nightlife so get ready to rev up and wind down in the late hours of Philly.

Johnny Brenda’s

Johnny Brenda’s is a great place to start your night on the town in Philadelphia as you get a little bit of everything packed into one place, restaurant, bar and music venue. Johnny Brenda’s was born in 1967 and named after its original owner, local boxing hero Jon Imbrenda, or as he was known in the ring, Johnny Brenda. The building retains its late 19th century charm, still feeling like an old burlesque club or theater. Check their calendar before heading to the club as they draw incredible local and national live acts.

Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus

If you want to hear jazz then you’ve got to go to Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus, the best jazz club in the city. Nestled into a corner of the newly hip Northern Liberties (NoLib) area, about a mile from Independence Hall, Ortlieb’s is not a high class establishment with the latest in décor but you’re there to hear jazz, right? So who cares? In addition to great jazz by up and comers and some legendary musicians, Ortlieb’s also serves up a pretty good menu. Chef Michael Suminski trained at the Four Seasons in Montecito, California before moving to Philly. Sticking to the original Cajun-American themed menu, look for cayenne flavored Louisiana crab bisque, blackened catfish fingers, golden friend calamari, and some amazing crab cakes.

Silk City

With a 1950’s look and a modern feel it’s easy to see why Silk City is attractive to visitors, in fact it’s so attractive that it was featured on an episode of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives in 2008. This revamped dining car has gone through a few different crowds through the years and its current fan set includes a slew of scantily clad 20-somethings. Silk City is one of the hottest, happening spots around, at least right now.

Bob and Barbara’s Lounge

Bob and Barbara’s Lounge is a must see nightclub location if you’re looking for something out of the norm or your night on the town in Philly. Bob and Barbara’s is rip roaring fun for everyone with bingo games that provide porn to winners and losers walk away with a can of meat. Not into bingo, how about a good alcohol fueled spelling bee, ping pong tournament, or a rousing game of rock-paper-scissors? If you’re not really interested in participating then the weekly drag show is probably just your cup of tea.

Fluid Nightclub

Moving away from the dive bar night scene, Fluid Nightclub is a hip and happening club full of the glitz, glamour and slamming base you’d expect. A clubbers paradise, Fluid considers itself part of the underground music scene and holds to type with a dark and intimate atmosphere infused with local and international DJs playing new electronica, funk, house, soul, trip hop, trance, progressive, jungle, break beat, hip hop, punk rock and, of course, rock n roll. Get ready to dance because it’s basically required at Fluid.

Transit Club

Go to Transit Club dressed to be seen because this is the place for a glamorous night out on the town in Philadelphia. This tri-level club once housed the PNC Bank which means the bank vault is still onsite, but now serves as a billiards room. The mezzanine is where the beautiful (and wealthy) people hang, as the VIP rooms give them a great view of the dancing action below. If you’re ready to break the bank, go ahead and rent a VIP room for the night and put on the airs of someone famous. While the vault and the mezzanine at Transit attract a crowd it’s the dance floor that is the main star, with hundreds of young bodies writhing and DJ spun club mix thumping its an energy oasis.


Another NoLib club, Shampoo is an exciting stop for those who just want to dance all night long. Rooms in the club have themes and the 80’s themed room is a crowd pleasing favorite but the Goth room is sure to bring out a few people that make the experience something to talk about. Weekends at Shampoo are reserved for theme nights to enhance the fun so look for a luau, foam party, or other fun with a twist.

The Khyber

If you’re headed to the Old City section of Philly then The Khyber should be on your list of places to stop, especially if you like beer. Khyber is known for their huge variety of beers and the Sunday $10 all you can drink open bar specials, but be prepared, its sometimes difficult to get up to the bar to get a drink through the crowds. The upstairs bar is always free but the downstairs area usually has a cover, but with good reason. Downstairs The Khyber draws some great local bands and once in a while a well-known national act hits the stage.

This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of great nightclubs and incredible nightlife in Philadelphia, there’s still Lounge 125, 700, Woody’s Bar & Nightclub, Brasil’s, Ulana’s, Pure, 105 Social, 12th Air Command, Bamboo Lounge, Club Flow, Club Risqué, Club Wizards, Dirty Franks, FridaySaturdaySunday, Locust Bar, Show & Tel, Tattooed Mom and The Cave just to name a few. Seriously, this list doesn’t even begin to tell you the story of how many happening nighttime hot spots there are in the Philadelphia region. A trip to Philly just isn’t complete without at least one really late night full of dancing, drinking and partying. When it comes to Philly there just aren’t enough hours in the night.