Indianapolis, IN
Tuition (in-state)
$29,062 ($8,605)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Being located in downtown Indianapolis there are many night life options nearby. Some places can get pricey but there are lots of places that are fun and affordable.

5 College Senior

Nightlife: How could you do better than downtown Indianapolis?

2 College Freshman

Nightlife: There isn't really a campus life because it is mostly a commuter school.

College Junior

Nightlife: Any parties are done at someone's house or apartment. Because so few live on campus and those dorms are off limits.

4 College Student

Nightlife: I have attended a few parties at frat houses and they were a lot of fun


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 86th
    Tamest Party Scenes
  • 304th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1287th
    Biggest Party Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kourtney Forrester
View all previous student authors

There are a few cultural districts around town that are essential to any student’s nightlife needs: Broad Ripple Village, Fountain Square, the Wholesale District, and Massachusetts Avenue (Mass Ave). These are the areas in which most of your barhopping and date-going takes place. Broad Ripple Village is the area that is farthest from downtown Indianapolis (about eight miles), but anyone living in Indianapolis must visit at least once. Broad Ripple has streets and avenues full of great bars and nightclubs that range from hip-hop dance to country dive. More central to the IUPUI area are the Wholesale, Mass Ave, and Fountain Square districts. Mass Ave is probably the most culturally diverse of the three, as it caters to the gay, ethnic, and artistic communities of the city. The Wholesale District is where you’ll find some of the nicest restaurants and steakhouses in town—a great area for a date. It is also the area where the Circle Center Mall and the United Artists movie theater are located. Fountain Square is just a couple of miles from IUPUI, but there are a few classy and historical places there, like Deano’s Vino.

For those students living in the suburbs or on the outskirts of the city, there are several local bars in all corners of Indianapolis. There are lists of taverns in the phonebook, but these places typically are not as nice as most of the Broad Ripple or downtown establishments. In fact, the clientele that occupy the local pubs are usually older, non-college students. For those students that are new to the bar scene, these are not the places that you’ll want to find yourself in.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Broad Ripple
  • Castelton
  • Downtown Indy
Student Favorites
  • 6 Lounge
  • Nicky Blaine's
  • The Rathskeller  
Other Places to Check Out
  • Basey's Downtown Grill
  • Champs
  • Coaches Tavern
  • Deano's Vino Inc.
  • English Ivy's
  • Fusion
  • Guvernment Bar & Lounge
  • Have a Nice Day Café
  • John Wayne's Sports Bar
  • Kelly's Pub
  • Lockerbie Pub
  • The Metro
  • Old Point Tavern
  • Old Pro's Table
  • The Pub
  • Talbott Street
  • Varsity Lounge
  • The Vogue
Local Specialties
Local wines:
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games
  • Century Club
  • Power Hour
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Club Vives (
  • Clubzone (
  • INtake Magazaine (
  • The Nuvo (
Closing Time
3 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Slippery Noodle Inn
Organization Parties
I have bad news for big partiers—IUPUI rarely has an organization party that includes alcohol, or even the night sky. Most IUPUI organization parties take place at lunch time or in the early evening. There will be refreshments, such as Pepsi and pizza. Don’t count on too many huge parties, unless you want to throw one yourself.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

The Slippery Noodle Inn

The Slippery Noodle has got to be one Indy's oldest and most famous clubs of all time. All age groups hang out here and enjoy two stages of loud, live blues that you can dance to. You'll see people dancing at their tables or in front of the main stage, or you'll see them watching the band from a balcony view on the second level of the club. Jimi Hendrix has even been to the Slippery Noodle! This club proves that Indianapolis brings blues to life, night after night.

372 S. Meridian St.

(317) 631-6974

Subterra Lounge

Subterra is a relatively new club that sits beneath the Red Eye Café. There is no other club like this in Indianapolis. It's very modern and sleek, with an atmosphere that makes its patrons feel classy. Usually, if you walk through the door of this club, you can consider yourself well dressed and attractive. Local celebrities hang out here and dance the night away to hip-hop and top-40 dance hits.    

250 S. Meridian St.

(317) 472-8600

Ike & Jonesy's

This is a lively dance club with a somewhat older crowd. If you love `80s music, then you'll really love this place. It's right next to several hotels and other clubs, and its central location draws in crowds from every corner.

17 W. Jackson Pl.

(317) 632-4553

6 Lounge & Restaurant

6 is one of they city's newest and most-talked-about nightclubs. The crowd is a professional, upscale, and attractive group of people. Music selection at 6 ranges from top 40 and hip-hop to music from the `70s, `80s, and `90s. You must be 21 years old to enter, and they usually make sure that you are dressed for the occasion. 6 patrons usually wear slacks and casual woven shirts if they are male, and skirts and heels if they are female. Enjoy the many moods in this club as you meander through the rooms and mingle with the party people.

247 S. Meridian St.

(317) 638-6660

Howl at the Moon

Howl at the Moon is an interesting concept: two dueling pianos go at it on the main stage while bringing to life songs of the good old days. "Bye, Bye Miss American Pie," "Sweet Home Alabama," and any other perfect drinking song you can think of. Every hour or so, the pianists sweep the room looking for special celebrations (bachelor parties, birthdays, etc.) and drag the celebrators up on the stage for some classic embarrassment and free-drink requests. This club attracts a very loyal group-you might meet some good friends here.

20 E. Georgia St.

(317) 955-0900

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Nicky Blaine's

Nicky Blaine's is a very classy martini bar where you'll find yourself sitting on plush couches sipping away on a cosmopolitan. On select nights there is a jazz trio playing in the background while you converse with your friends about the happenings of the week. When the music is not live, it is loud and eclectic, stimulating even more interesting conversation. Remember to dress classy and feel good.

20 N. Meridian St.

(317) 638-5588


This bar is not the most visited bar in Indianapolis, but it is definitely a favorite of those who do take the time to visit. Olive's is a relatively small martini bar that is inside the Omni Hotel. Most of the guests are guests of the hotel, but it is also open to the public. Its quaintness and intimacy usually makes it a spot for close friends or first dates to cap off the evening. Don't forget to enjoy the free cashews and peanuts that are at every table, and keep a look out for famous people (they tend to visit Olive's when they come through town).

40 W. Jackson Pl.

(317) 634-6664

The Rathskeller

In addition to being voted best German restaurant seven years in a row, the Rathskeller is also a great bar with an extensive menu of imported wines and beers. It also features an outdoor "biergarten" with a full-service bar and live entertainment in the spring through the fall.  

401 E. Michigan St.

(317) 636-0396

Bourbon Street Distillery

There is never a cover charge at Bourbon Street, and it is the closest off-campus bar that you can go to and enjoy food, beer, wine, a game, or just hanging out. If you are not watching a sports event, you'll probably hear the rock or techno music playing through the speakers. The crowd here is diverse and eclectic-students, corporate professionals, professors, you name it.

361 Indiana Ave.

(317) 636-3316

Chatterbox Jazz Club

Chatterbox is a very laid-back club on Massachusetts Avenue that offers a great wine selection and a very relaxing atmosphere. When you walk into the bar, you feel as if you have entered a tiny, old, smoky, jazz lounge.

435 Massachusetts Ave.

(317) 636-0584

Claddagh Irish Pub

The Claddagh is usually populated with dozens of casual professionals and beer-appreciating students. There is never a cover charge at the Claddagh (except on St. Patrick's Day, when they throw the biggest party in the city). Come here to kick back for a meal or to have a beer with a friend. If you are under 21, you can come here during certain lunch and dinner hours (call for details).

234 S. Meridian St.

(317) 822-6274

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

The Emerson Theater

The Emerson Theater is a popular, all-ages music venueon the east side of Indianapolis. They feature a good number of local bands, as well as several national acts, with an emphasis on punk, metal, hardcore, and alternative rock.

4634 E. 10th St.

(317) 357-0239

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 106 responses

Very poor
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 96 responses

  • 6% There are no good options.
  • 40% Use a designated driver.
  • 5% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 10% Public transportation.
  • 9% Taxis.
  • 29% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 104 responses

  • 44% Parties? What parties?
  • 26% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 16% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 13% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 0% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 24 responses

  • 64% It is not a party school at all
  • 16% Off campus
  • 12% Frats
  • 8% Usually in the apartments

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 19 responses

  • 68% There is none
  • 26% Jagapalooza
  • 5% Satisfaction guaranteed by phi beta sigmas


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