Raleigh, NC
Tuition (in-state)
$21,661 ($8,206)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There is commonly a big weekly party. But, there are plenty of other things going on too.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Right near downtown raleigh and all the nightlife

4 College Senior

Nightlife: Campus is right next to downtown so it's not too far of a distance to walk or get a cab! There is a wide variety of bars and clubs in downtown that there's no need to ever have a boring night!

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: The nightlife is amazing. There is always something going on throughout the week and there is always a party during the weekend. The clubs are popular during special events but not on the regular basis.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: So since I don't drink I don't know much about nightlife, but I hang out with my friends a lot, even at night, and we are able to find something fun to do on any given night.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 152nd
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 680th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1221st
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Matthew J. Cote
Teaneck, NJ
English: Language, Writing, and Rhetoric
View all previous student authors

Nightlife in Raleigh is raring to go as soon as Thursday night rolls around. There are many fraternity and house parties going on for "Thirsty Thursdays." With plenty of bars and clubs open with specials, college kids are calling cabs left and right. If you do not want to drop any money on a cover charge or cab, friends will just get together and throw down together nearby. Alltel Pavilion is a huge concert venue near campus where big shows are played by people like the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, and the Allman Brothers.

The only real complaint is that sometimes it is hard to go see an open-mic night or a local band play if you're not 21. That is just a tough break with the law; everyone has to go through it. Bars and clubs are making gestures to help change the underage discrimination by staying open for those under 18 certain nights of the week. The dating scene is popular, and there are many options for a date, whether it is a trip to the park, a romantic dinner at Frazier's (on Hillsborough Street), or just going to a bar to hang out and have a few drinks.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
Downtown Raleigh
Student Favorites
  • The Flying Saucer
  • Hi 5 Restaurant & Sports Bar
  • The Player's Retreat
  • Rum Runners
Other Places to Check Out
  • Alltel Pavilion
  • Brewery
  • Cat's Cradle
  • Club Oxygen
  • Rialto
  • Stool Pigeons
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer Die
  • Beer pong
  • Card games (A$$hole)
  • Century Club
  • Circle of Death
  • Flip cup
  • High or Low
  • Power Hour
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Raleigh Independent
  • The Technician (NCSU student paper)
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
East Village Flying Saucer
Organization Parties
Occasionally, colleges within the University will have formals or parties. The College of Design is known to have a really fun Halloween bash. The College of Textiles hosts a formal called Lint Dodgers every spring.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

The Office

The Office is a nightclub for those 21 and up. College kids will gather here for a night of dancing.

310 S. West St.

(919) 828-9994

Red Room

This is a very trendy club where students come to hang out, whether it's by lounging around or dancing.

510 Glenwood Ave.

(919) 835-1322

Hi 5 Restaurant & Sports Bar

Hi 5 is a restaurant where students will gather to watch the game or go out late at night for food, drinks, and dancing.

510 Glenwood Ave.

(919) 834-4335

Lincoln Theater (Raleigh)

This is a very popular venue that plays all sorts of music. Be sure to keep an eye out for when the local favorite Who's Bad, a Michael Jackson cover band, comes to play. It's a small venue, so be prepared to be surrounded by dancing, singing, and drinking people. Underagers are permitted.

126 E. Cabarrus St.

(919) 821-4111

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

The Cantina

Located on Hillsborough Street, with an outdoor patio upstairs and downstairs, this is a smaller bar and not quite as popular as East Village, but it's still crowded on the weekend. The décor of the bar, with fun colored lights, makes it a nice place to just hang out.

3011 Hillsborough St.


(919) 832-4541

East Village Grill & Bar

Its location off of Hillsborough Street makes this a popular destination for those on and off campus, since it's in walking distance of campus and other local bars. An outdoor patio makes it nice to come for dinner or just drinks.

1 Dixie Trl.


(919) 821-9985

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

The Flying Saucer scene is laid-back, and you'll find yourself surrounded by local students. While the bar is popular on the weekend, the Saucer is mainly a hotspot on Mondays for $2.50 pint night. Loyal customers come back with the goal to drink every beer the bar has to offer in order to get a saucer on the wall with their name on it.

328 W. Morgan St.


(919) 821-7468

Metro Café & Lounge

309 Blake St.


(919) 926-8796

The Players' Retreat

105 Oberlin Road


(919) 755-9589

The Pour House

The Pour House dances to its own beat, literally, as this bar is known as a venue for local artists to play for college students. The live music is usually along the lines of alternative rock.

224 S. Blount St.


(919) 821-1120

Rum Runners

Very popular for the college crowd around Raleigh and located downtown, students often gather here on Wednesday night for specials on liquor pitchers.

208 E. Martin St.


(919) 755-6436

Tir Na Nog Irish Pub & Restaurant

A fun local Irish bar with a mixture of people. This bar is located in downtown Raleigh and attracts both college students and young working adults-especially on weekdays after work.

218 S. Blount St.


(919) 833-7795

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

If you're not 21, it's really not so bad. Even though it seems like forever when your friends are all 21 and you're still waiting, there is still plenty to do. It helps if you go check out bars like Mitch's Tavern (right on Hillsborough Street), because it's a bar that admits those 18 and up, and there is no cover charge. Also, Helios Coffee Company on Glenwood is a great place to chill and take in a local band.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 94 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 86 responses

  • 2% There are no good options.
  • 51% Use a designated driver.
  • 17% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 5% Public transportation.
  • 12% Taxis.
  • 13% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 92 responses

  • 16% Parties? What parties?
  • 5% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 32% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 42% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 4% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 15 responses

  • 40% You got to know the right people
  • 25% Frats
  • 20% Where ever your friends are
  • 15% Mirage.

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 25 responses

  • 60% Football game
  • 24% Homecoming or Pan-African Week
  • 16% Welcome Week
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