Nightlife

Location
Philadelphia, PA
Undergrads
10,324
Tuition
$43,738
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews

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4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There's something to do, almost always guaranteed, Thursday through Saturday. A lot of the party scene centers around Greek life, but you don't necessarily have to be in fraternity or sorority to go to the parties.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: There are frat parties, house parties, parties with extracurricular groups, and a bunch of bars if you're old enough or have a fake. Going downtown to a club is only a short bus ride away, although I never did that. I think it's probably pretty great especially compared to non-city schools. Work hard, play hard.

College Junior

Nightlife: Being an older student at UPenn and in a non-traditional program, I am not intricately involved in the undergraduate nightlife.

4 College Student

Nightlife: Lots of options on campus and usually downtowns as well.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Nightlife: I am an underage freshman so I have not enjoyed the club scene yet. As for on campus parties I have been to a few and they were fun.

4 people found this useful Report
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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 75th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 131st
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 1244th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Perry Petra-Wong
Hometown
Pasadena, Calif.
Major
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
View all previous student authors

Students really enjoy the endless array of nightlife possibilities that Penn's location has to offer. Nearby Bars like Smoke's and Blarney Stone are a staple for many students, while others venture further into the city to dance to every type of music from disco to techno. For a change of pace, some students enjoy karaoke or concerts, but no matter how you choose to spend your weekend nights, being under 21 years of age can definitely narrow your options.

If you are into the bar or club scene, then going to school in Philadelphia is probably a smart decision. There are a number of bars scattered around University City, and there are clubs all over Center City and downtown. Most fraternities and sororities will have an event at a city club at some point, so if you are planning to join the Greek system, plan to experience this part of city nightlife as well. Because most Greek organizations strongly encourage their new members to attend all the events (even at over-21 venues), and because bars and clubs tend to be strict about carding, some students say that a fake ID is a very useful thing to possess.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Center City
  • University City
Student Favorites
  • Blarney Stone
  • Cavanaugh's
  • Copa Banana
  • Smokey Joe's
Other Places to Check Out
  • Laff House Comedy Club
  • Sisters Karaoke
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Beirut
  • Card games (A$$hole, Kings)
  • Flip cup
  • Power Hour
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Flyers
  • School newspaper
  • www.digitalcity.com/philadelphia
  • www.philadelphia.citysearch.com
  • www.phillymag.com
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Blarney Stone
Organization Parties
Clubs and organizations often throw parties. Sometimes they are for members only and their guests, but other times, they are theme parties open to the public, in which case, the organization will usually hand out flyers to alert people to the event.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Evolution

Evolution attracts a more mature crowd that most Delaware Avenue clubs. The 3:20 a.m. closing time keeps the nightlife going long after the other bars and clubs end their nights.

1517 N. Delaware Ave.

(215) 634-0100

Shampoo

Dance to hip-hop, classic house, and techno on Shampoo's three dance floors, and drink up at one, or all, of it's five bars. You only have to be 17 to get in on Sundays, although the club is open Thursday-Sunday for 21-year-olds.

417 N. Eighth S.

(215) 922-7500

Transit Nightclub

An old bank-turned-nightclub, Transit has a party vibe to liven up any Philly night, with different sounds pounding different areas of the dance floor. Transit sometimes hosts theme nights like Goth Night.

600 Spring Garden St.

(215) 925-8878

Envy

Envy boasts "1 club, 2 DJs, 3 levels, 4 dance floors, 5 bars, and 6 rooms." This one club can be the hotspot for people looking to add some variety to their nights of drinking and dancing.

27 Bank St.

(215) 922-3020

Brasil's

This club plays Brazilian, Latin, and Caribbean dance music. Discounted cover prices if you eat downstairs. Specials: Wednesday - Latin Night with dance lesson ($5) from 9 p.m.-10 p.m., Fridays - Latin night from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. ($10), Saturdays - International Night with different bands, Latin-Brazilian-Caribbean, ($10) from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

112 Chestnut St.

(215) 413-1700

Egypt

On college nights at Egypt, discounted admission is granted to students with a student ID ages 17 and up, 21 to drink. Music is dance, house, and hip hop. Dress code is normal club attire, no athletic clothes or work clothes allowed. Specials: Drink specials

520 N. Delaware Ave.

(215) 922-6500

www.egypt-nightclub.com

The Eighth Floor

This club is a touch nicer than your run-of-the-mill college dance club. The $7-$10 cover change gives you access to a more adult-oriented dance atmosphere, with beautiful views of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

800 N. Delaware Ave.

(215) 922-1000

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

The Rotunda

Stop by the Rotunda for a drink and some great live music. Local bands play here often, so you may end up going to support a friend or, if you're any good, playing there yourself. Specials: Live music

4012 Walnut St.

(215) 573-3234

New Deck Tavern

Considered by some to be the best bar in University City, New Deck Tavern continues to draw a large portion of its crowd from Penn's student body. Specials: Karaoke, Quizo

3408 Sansom St.

(215) 386-4600

www.newdecktavern.com

Woody's Bar

Rated the `Best Gay Neighborhood Bar" by city search, Woody's is a great place to dance away the night to top 40s dance in Center City. Specials: Lounge and cyber bar

202 S. 13th St.

(215) 545-1893

Smokey Joe's

Penn students and faculty make up the bulk of this bar's clientele. Affectionately called "Smoke's," bar-going students flock here for a drink and an active social scene. It was rated "best college bar" by City Search in 2001. Specials: A "Pennstitution," there are pictures of Penn athletes on the walls and the bar is steeped with red and blue.

208 S. 40th St.

(215) 222-0770

Mill Creek Tavern

This bar is quite popular among students on Monday nights because of the Monday night special. From 8 to 10 p.m. you get unlimited beer and wings for $12.

4200 Chester St.

Cavanaugh's Restaurant

You only have to be 18 to get into this neighborhood restaurant/bar. Students enjoy the friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices. Specials: Pitcher specials beginning at 4 p.m. every weekday

119 S 39th St.

(215) 386-4889

Blarney Stone

Blarney Stone is a great place to get cheap drinks and have a good time, at least until 2 a.m. Specials: Karaoke, Quizo

3929 Sansom St.

(215) 222-5340

Fergie's Pub

If you're looking for the Old World feel of a tradition Dublin pub, Fergie's is your best bet. The extensive Irish beer listing makes this the perfect spot for a relaxed beer break.

1214 Sansom St.

(215) 928-8118

Copa Banana

Thirsty students can grab a beer here, while hungry students can obey their appetite with a great Philly cheesesteak or hoagie at this popular Penn stop. Practically always packed with Penn students on weekend nights, Copa Banana is a fun place to go to start off a night of frat-hopping.

4000 Spruce St.

(215) 238-1512

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

The following places permit students ages 18 and above either regularly or for special events (details can be found on previous pages): Cavanaugh's, Egypt, Shampoo, Smokey Joe's, and Woody's.

Student Polls

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 41 responses

  • 0% There are no good options.
  • 2% Use a designated driver.
  • 2% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 10% Public transportation.
  • 24% Taxis.
  • 61% Walk.

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 42 responses

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

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 42 responses

  • 5% Parties? What parties?
  • 7% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 29% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 50% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 10% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
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