Bournemouth is one of the best places in Britain for a great night out. Located on England’s south coast, the beach vibes along with a wealth of great bars and clubs means that the nightlife in Bournemouth is pretty epic. A popular spot with tourists, around five million people visit Bournemouth each year. Thanks to a diverse array of nightspots as well as a large student population a night out in Bournemouth is guaranteed to be a good one.
Unsurprisingly the core of Bournemouth’s nightlife scene is mostly found in the town center as well as along Old Christchurch Road and Holdenhurst Road towards Bournemouth Station. Here you’ll find a huge array of the town’s very best restaurants, bars and nightclubs for the ideal night out in Bournemouth.
Including the perfect bars with chilled-out vibes for hanging out with friends to banging nightclubs for an all-night rave, here are seven of the best places to enjoy the incredible nightlife in Bournemouth.
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Sixty Million Postcards
Right in the heart of Bournemouth’s town center, Sixty Million Postcards is a great place to spend a night out. Based on a classic American diner, Sixty Million Postcards is a staple of nights out in Bournemouth having been around since 2006. The bar’s super chic interior grabs your attention as soon as you walk through the door. Beautifully designed with a gorgeous bar, fabulous lighting, bold artwork and, as the name suggests, walls awash with postcards from all over the world, Sixty Million Postcards is one truly one of a kind.
The food here is well worth digging into, especially the super-stacked burgers that more than match anything you’d find in the USA. There’s a great range of veggie and vegan food too, though the drinks menu is where the real action is. Here you’ll find everything for a great night out, from a huge range of craft and specialty beers to a great selection of perfectly poured cocktails.
Chaplins & the Cellar Bar
Certainly a contender for the most unique bar in Bournemouth, Chaplins has something for everyone. Located in the suburb of Boscombe to the east of the town center, Chaplins and The Cellar Bar is a one-of-a-kind pub, restaurant and live venue. With a tremendously eccentric and ornate style, much of the bar’s eye-popping artwork is inspired by the bar’s inspiration, Charlie Chaplin. If you’re looking for bucket loads of character and some of the best atmosphere in town Chaplin’s is the place to come.
Besides the fabulous main bar, Chaplin’s beer garden is one of the most impressive you’ll ever find. Voted the best beer garden in Britain, the space is adorned with quirky artwork including massive painted murals and stained glass windows. There’s a great range of local beers and ciders and fantastic food on the menu, but it’s down in the Cellar Bar that you’ll experience some of the best nightlife in Bournemouth. Chaplin’s Cellar Bar hosts entertainment every night of the week, from comedy, open mic nights and plenty of live music.
Crank everything up to 11 at Smoking Aces, a rocking speakeasy-style whiskey and cocktail bar famed for its ultra-cool décor and loud live music. The staff at Smoking Aces are super-friendly and have created a positive and inclusive bar open to all. They’re also experts at knocking up killer cocktails. Don’t be afraid to go off menu either because there isn’t one. Smoking Aces’ expert bartenders will concoct any cocktail you ask for, from the classics such as an Old Fashioned or a Negroni, but they’ll also be more than happy to create any kind of cocktail your heart desires. Just tell them what you like and leave the rest to them. If you fancy something a little less complicated then pick a drink from the extensive whiskey list.
As well as the main bar there’s the fantastic Rogues’ Gallery bar downstairs. A fabulously cozy and intimate lounge bar, this is one of the best spots to spend a night out in Bournemouth, though after a cocktail or two you might be convinced you’re in Nashville or New Orleans. Besides the booze Smoking Aces also host regular and raucous live music and DJ nights.
The Old Fire Station
While it won’t win any prizes for imaginative naming the Old Fire Station is without doubt one of the best venues in Bournemouth. As the uninspired name suggests, this bar/nightclub/gig venue is housed inside a Grade II listed former fire station and is essentially the Student’s Union venue for Bournemouth University. While some of the events held here are for students only many are open to all.
The Old Fire Station hosts a huge variety of entertainment throughout the week, including live music, DJ sets and live comedy. Individual music nights at the Old Fire Station include DJ sets blasting out everything from techno, indie rock, house, hip hop and R&B. A massive venue featuring a young crowd of mostly students and known for its friendly staff and lively atmosphere, this is one of the best places to sample the nightlife in Bournemouth. With a very late license (open as late as 4.00 am on weekends) and student-friendly drinks pricing you’re guaranteed a great night out.
Taking up a huge chunk of space amongst the many pubs, bars and restaurants on Old Christchurch Road is Revolution. With a beautifully styled interior, Revolution is a chilled-out restaurant and cocktail bar by day, yet also stays open late into the early hours when the music takes over. Revolution has a busy calendar of late-night events throughout the week, including theme nights, club nights and a great range of music played by a range of in-house DJs.
Revolution is also known for its cocktail masterclass lessons, where you can be taught the fine art of making kick-ass cocktails by one of the bar’s very own bartenders. Once you know how to make the perfect mix stick around and try out a few concoctions from Revolution’s massive cocktail menu made by the professionals. Then head up onto the dancefloor underneath the disco balls and dance the night away.
Just over the road from Revolution is DNA Bar, a bar and nightclub that parties hard well into the small hours of the following morning. A stalwart of the Bournemouth nightlife scene, DNA Bar is possibly the best place in Bournemouth for urban music, especially R&B and hip hop, along with plenty of old-school classics and big party anthems and live MCs. Popular with the young crowd, DNA Bar is well-known for its chilled-out vibe and super friendly staff, making this a great place to enjoy some of the best nightlife in Brighton.
As well as the great tunes, DNA Bar also has a karaoke room you can hire installed in a converted former World War II air-raid shelter. If you fancy unleashing your inner diva during the night, you can book the karaoke room by the hour. Grab your mates, pick your tunes and become a star for a night. Besides the quality music DNA also has a fantastic drinks menu, including classic cocktails and shots to make sure your night goes off with a bang.
Topping out our list of where to find the best nightlife in Bournemouth is Bar So, one of the most popular night-time spots in town. Bar So has a little bit of everything, including a fancy restaurant, a swish and snazzy contemporary bar, and a great nightclub, called Club So. Located right in the heart of town, Bar So’s resident DJ’s regularly keep the dancefloor packed with the best selection of party tunes and big club classics.
As well as the standard array of fantastic cocktails, Club So also offers a range of VIP and private packages for those who really want the night to go off in style. If you fancy a massive (and potentially messy) night out with your mates push the boat way out with the Royal Flush private package which includes 15 bottles of Ciroc vodka, three bottles of Jagermeister and another three bottles of Champagne. If that won’t set you up for one hell of a night, nothing will.
Does Bournemouth have good nightlife?
Absolutely. After Brighton, Bournemouth has some of the best nightlife in the south of England thanks to its huge range of pubs, bars and nightclubs.
What night is student night in Bournemouth?
There are a few nights of the week that could count as student night in Bournemouth. On Tuesdays there’s Toast Tuesdays, a huge student night event held every week at Revolution. Toast Tuesdays events include DJ sets, cheap drinks and prize giveaways. On Wednesdays a student night is also held in Cameo, one of the biggest clubs in Bournemouth. Of course, it’s also student night every night of the week at The Old Fire Station.
Is Bournemouth good for a stag do?
Bournemouth is great for a stag do (as well as a hen do). Bournemouth is well-known as a destination for stag dos and they’re a common sight on a night out in Bournemouth. Many of the town’s bars and clubs even have specific stag and hen do packages, including Revolution and Bar So from our list. To be on the safe side, if you want to guarantee entry for a stag group into a specific bar or club, it might be worth calling ahead a few days in advance to check with the venue that you’ll be allowed in.