With three main nightlife areas – the Gunwharf Quays, Guildhall Walk and Palmerston Road – home to dozens of bars, pubs and clubs, Portsmouth has one of the best nightlife scenes on the south coast, and all a relatively short walk from each other.
Nightlife in Portsmouth
A great all-rounder, the Lyberry covers most bases, with a great alternative music selection, strong cocktails, a popular outdoor garden, pool tables and even beer pong. Drinks are reasonably priced and the atmosphere never settles lower than welcoming, making it a perennial Guildhall Walk favourite and one that’s open until at least 2am seven nights a week.
Heading north of the city centre, Thatchers Bar Lounge is a long-standing favourite in the region, famed for its impressive range of pub grub as much as for its expansive drinks collection. Their Sunday lunch is a thing of legend, with huge portions and tasty food washed down with an impressive selection of craft ales, local ciders, gins, wines and spirits.
Heading further north still close to our Portsmouth (Havant) hotel, Kassia Drayton is a swanky Indian restaurant and bar that serves up a wide range of wines, cocktails, champagnes, gins, craft beers and more, alongside regular live music events.
Back down towards the southern edge of the city, The Fat Fox is a classy cocktail and sport bar just off Victoria Road. With five HD screens and two giant projectors, it’s a great place to catch the big game (be that rugby, football or cricket) with the kitchen open serving build-your-own pizzas and burgers until 9pm daily. Plus, the bar is a popular live music venue, having welcomed Bastille, Sleaford Mods, George Ezra and more to their stage.
Further south on Palmerston Road and a short stroll from our Southsea hotel, Drift Southsea is a lively bar open until 3am at the weekends. Come for their award-winning coffee during the day and stay late into the night for their cocktails, beer garden and funky playlist.
Just next door you’ll find HKC Vodka Bar. Hong Kong Charlie’s Cocktail Bar to give it its full name, it’s a stylish bar packed with every conceivable flavour of vodka largely based on sweets, including a surprisingly large range of chocolate vodkas. The bar gets lively at the weekends with an old-school DJ delivering dance-floor classics.
Just a short walk down Palmerston Road, Three Cocktail Bar is one of the latest additions to Portsmouth’s bar scene. A seafood grill and cocktail bar, they serve over 50 different cocktails and an enticing array of bar snacks – the crispy crackling straws with a hoisin dip sound divine – making this a popular bar.
The Gunwharf Quays is a great spot for a bar or pub crawl, with All Bar One one of our favourites. The modern chain bar does a great range of sharing plates alongside regular cocktail deals, craft beers and wines from around the world.
The King Street Tavern
Be it pop, dance music or alternative classics, there’s a great spread of late-night clubs in Portsmouth.
Part of the Gunwharf Quays area, The Astoria is a four-room club including a terrace, basement and VIP balcony, giving a great range of spaces and soundtracks throughout the club. Fittingly, they put on a wide range of club nights including midweek indie and disco nights and more commercial weekend events including regular drink deals appealing to the young student crowd.
Directly opposite our City Centre hotel, PRYZM is a UK-wide chain of clubs largely open from Thursday to Saturday. The music is a mix of retro classics and modern R ‘n’ B across the bustling main room and the VIP booths, with regular drink deals keeping the dance floor busy and moving well into the next morning.
A short walk from there, Popworld is exactly as the name suggests. A retro, cheese-friendly club where pop is king and queen, expect everything from 90s and ‘naughties’ classics to sing-a-long big hitters from the 70s and 80s. As with the other commercial clubs in town, expect plenty of drinks deals through the night.
A few hundred metres from the Guildhall, Hampshire Boulevard is a slightly more eclectic club that takes in 80s and 90s nights, karaoke sessions, Monday night sessions, drag queen hosts and more. Colourful and popular, the club reopened in 2018 after a refurb with a new bar, stage and strong nautical design throughout.
As pub crawls go, this five-pub session takes only 15 minutes to walk around from our Southsea hotel – but how long it actually takes you to drink your way around, is entirely up to you!
Start at The Hole In The Wall, a very traditional English pub that serves a wide range of local cask ales as well as a huge range of UK and international beers and ciders. Food-wise, they’re best known for their Portsmouth-renowned sausage and mash as well as a vintage-style sweet shop selling jelly babies, fizzy suckers and liquorice allsorts.
100 metres away on the other side of King’s Road, The King Street Tavern is an 18th-century pub in the heart of Southsea. A welcoming pub, they do a drool-worthy range of smoked and BBQ meats cooked low and slow and a varied selection of craft ales, wines, spirits, single malts and boutique gins.
From there, head east down Elm Grove to The Deco, one of the leading alternative pubs in the city. With a metal and rock soundtrack, it’s the best place to headbang in the city, with regular drink deals including their pint cocktails helping lubricate the crowd.
A few minutes’ walk from there and past the Kings Theatre, The Phoenix is a proper English boozer right down to its dart board, its range of local cask ales and its regular quiz and live music nights. Thanks to its association with the Kings Theatre, the pub is littered with signed panto flyers while there’s even a snooker room at the back, perfect for lazy day into night sessions.
Finally, head down towards the coast to The Florence Arms. A popular dog-friendly gastropub, they have a wide range of cask ales, craft beers, wines and cocktails and a food menu that spans sandwiches, vegan and vegetarian dishes, burgers and a popular Sunday roast.