Nightlife in Norwich is all about getting to know the different areas of the city. As a rough guide, if you want pubs, there is an abundance in the older north side. If you like bars, St. Benedict Street and the surrounding Norwich Lanes are perfect for cocktails and swilling something stylish. Meanwhile, if you want clubbing, look no further than the Prince of Wales Road, where you can literally fall out of one nightclub and into another. Naturally, there are exceptions to the rule; Tombland is home to some top-class bars, and the Golden Triangle out west is well worth exploring for its local pubs.
Nightlife in Norwich
Come with us on a bar crawl to some of the most popular bars in Norwich. We’ll get things started just a five-minute walk from our Norwich City Centre (Duke Street) hotel at Platform Twelve on the always-popular St. Benedicts Street. It’s a piano bar with a relaxed atmosphere, exposed brick walls, regular live music nights, board games, good cocktails and a quite marvellous happy hour offer: buy two glasses of the same wine and you’ll get the rest of the bottle for free. See it off and head three doors down to our next stop.
Whether you want casual drinks or a stylish cocktail experience, Hawthorn offers the best of both worlds. Spread across two floors, the ground floor is a laid-back Scandi-inspired bar area that’s all about draft beers, classic cocktails and wine. It can come as a surprise that upstairs, it turns into a table-service cocktail bar with original in-house concoctions, as well as modern takes on old classics. It’s a popular choice; if you do want to go upstairs, you may want to reserve a table in advance.
Once you’re done, dart straight down St. Gregory’s Alley and bustle your way to the bar in the art-deco building housing The Birdcage. It’s one of the most popular places in Norwich, particularly for the creative community. It’s eccentric – there’s a resident cat called Maraud – and they run regular events ranging from cabaret nights to life-drawing classes. If you’re getting peckish by this point, you’ll find one of our favourite Norwich restaurants – the Grosvenor Fish Bar – directly over the road, where you can place your order and they’ll bring it to you when it’s cooked. You can always wash it down with a craft beer or something from their crazy-cheap cocktail menu.
Next up, continue down Pottergate, cut through Lobster Lane and hunt down Frank’s Bar on Bedford Street. It’s a great little café-bar that’s been serving hungry and thirsty locals for over a decade. The food’s fab, the drinks selection’s good, they play great music, it’s laid-back and is the perfect place to recoup your energy at the midway point of our Norwich bar crawl. If you like it here and you find yourself towards the north of the city at some point during your stay – perhaps paying a visit to Norwich Cathedral – a couple of minutes’ walk away is North, Frank’s Bar’s sister venue that shares similarly laid-back vibes, as well as good eating and drinking.
The last three stops on our crawl come thick and fast, so prepare yourself. Carry on down Bedford Street, turn the corner onto London Street and follow it to the bottom, where you’ll find Gonzo’s Tea Room hidden inside London House. Look for the flashing lights beneath the sign reading ‘Hair & Beauty’. It’s worth hunting down this popular hotspot, which used to be the legendary nightclub Kartel. Today, Gonzo’s is an award-winning burger, wing, wine, gin and cocktail bar with huge portions, banging beverages and some seriously shabby-chic surroundings, although, the furniture gets hauled away on the weekends to make way for one of the liveliest dancefloors in Norwich.
Just over the road on Queen Street is BrewDog Norwich, perfect for topping yourself up with some of the best-loved craft beers in the world. Choose from 25 taps and well over 60 different bottles. There’s also a good G&T menu if beer’s not your thing, plus board games and good grill grub. Just 400 feet down the road is our last stop, Bond No. 28 Tombland, in one of the most picturesque parts of Norwich, just up from The Ethelbert Gate. Bond is a stylish venue with bespoke furnishings, exceptional service and some seriously cool customers. Meanwhile, if whisky and rum are your tipples of choice, it’s also home to Whisky&Rum, which boasts one of the finest drinks selections in the city.
The Plasterers Arms
Norwich knows a thing or two about pubs. Particularly in the historic northern areas of the city, you’ll find some excellent watering holes. We’ve used our local expertise to put together a guided tour of some of our favourite pubs in Norwich.
Along the way, we’ll immerse you in the empire of The Fat Cat Pub, with its sister branches and multi-award winning brewery, which have made it one of CAMRA’s favourite pubs in the country. We’ll also show you places like The Plasterers Arms, where you can swill your way through some of the most exciting small breweries in the business; The Alexandra Tavern that takes the title of our top pub in the Golden Triangle, and The Gardeners Arm; a lovely drinking den with a gruesome moniker (The Murderers) and a gory story behind it.
There’s a famous saying in Norwich: there’s ‘a church for every Sunday of the year and a pub for every day of the year’. They are the favoured drinking den for the folk of Norfolk. Nevertheless, there are plenty of clubs in Norwich for you to choose from if you fancy some late night dancing and dastardly drinks deals. Just make your way to Prince of Wales Road and to any one of Mercy Nightclub, Mantra Club & Lounge, Mojo’s Bar & Nightclub or Loft NR1 Gay Nightclub. All of which are on the same road as our Norwich Nelson City Centre hotel, so you don’t have far to stumble back to the luxury king-size Hypnos bed of your hotel room.