Indianapolis, the capital city of Indiana, is recognized for its profound cultural heritage, dynamic arts scene, and engaging sports events. The city offers a diverse and vibrant nightlife, catering to a wide array of tastes and preferences.
From bustling sports bars in the popular Broad Ripple Village to tranquil wine bars in downtown Indianapolis, the city presents numerous options for late-night enjoyment. A mix of time-honored establishments and exciting new venues ensures both residents and tourists can find a nightlife scene that matches their interests.
Whether it’s sampling a locally-brewed craft beer, enjoying live music performances, or immersing yourself in the high-energy atmosphere of a sports bar during a game, Indianapolis provides these experiences. The city’s nightlife scene is continuously evolving, introducing fresh and unique experiences to keep locals and tourists engaged.
In this guide, you’ll find detailed information about top places for nightlife in Indianapolis, useful tips for a safe and enjoyable outing, and an overview of expected costs. So, gather your group, dress appropriately, and get ready to experience the exciting and diverse nightlife Indianapolis offers.
Where to Party in Indianapolis
Broad Ripple Village: Known for its energetic vibe, this area is home to a variety of bars, pubs, and nightclubs. The district also hosts various music and art events throughout the year, adding to its lively atmosphere.
Mass Ave: This cultural district is full of theatres, restaurants, and boutiques during the day, and becomes a hotspot for night revelers with its array of bars and lounges at night.
Fountain Square: This area is renowned for its vintage feel and houses various unique venues, including a retro duckpin bowling alley and a variety of lounges and live music venues.
Wholesale District: Located downtown, this district boasts some of the city’s most prestigious venues and is a great place to experience the city’s high-end nightlife.
Indianapolis Nightlife Tips and Advice
Indianapolis is a safe city, but it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings. Keep your belongings secure and stay with your group.
The legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21. Be prepared to show ID at any bar or club you visit.
Tipping is customary in the U.S. It’s generally recommended to tip your bartender or server 15-20% of your total bill.
Public transportation in Indianapolis includes buses and the BlueIndy electric car sharing service. Alternatively, you can use taxi services or rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft.
Dress codes vary from venue to venue, with some establishments requiring more formal attire. Generally, smart-casual is a safe bet.
Cost of Partying in Indianapolis
Drinks: Expect to pay around $5-7 for a beer, $7-12 for a glass of wine, and $10-15 for a cocktail at most bars and clubs in Indianapolis.
Cover charges: Many nightclubs in Indianapolis charge a cover fee, usually ranging from $5-15. Some venues offer free entry on certain nights or before a specific time.
Taxis and rideshares: Fares depend on the distance and time of night, but generally, a short ride within the city center should cost around $10-15. Fares may be higher during peak hours or special events.
Best Bars in Indianapolis
Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery
The first distillery in Indiana to be owned by a service-disabled veteran, Hotel Tango crafts exquisite spirits that reflect the hardiness of military life. Their cozy, rustic atmosphere is as captivating as their beverages, which range from whisky, gin, rum to vodka, and more.
Nestled in the Athenaeum Building, The Rathskeller brings the charm of German beer halls to Indianapolis. It features a huge beer garden, perfect for a summer evening. It serves an impressive selection of German and American beers along with authentic German food.
This is a local favorite in the SoBro neighborhood, known for its comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. Their list of craft beers is extensive and eclectic, making it a must-visit spot for beer connoisseurs. Pair your favorite brew with their signature burgers or other delicious menu items for a laid-back evening.
Tappers Arcade Bar
Offering a unique combination of arcade games and craft beer, Tappers is a paradise for those who love to mix play with their drinks. The games are free, and the beer selection includes local and regional favorites.
Tomlinson Tap Room
Located within the historic Indianapolis City Market, Tomlinson Tap Room boasts a tap list exclusively dedicated to Indiana’s craft beers. The cozy bar provides an intimate setting overlooking the bustling market below.
Best Nightclubs in Indianapolis
This Broad Ripple staple has been entertaining Indianapolis since 1977. The Vogue hosts a variety of live performances ranging from concerts to stand-up comedy. Its spacious dance floor, first-rate sound system, and eclectic music styles ensure there’s something for everyone.
Located in the heart of the Broad Ripple neighborhood, Landsharks is a dynamic nightclub known for its lively atmosphere. With a spacious dance floor, daily drink specials, and theme nights, it’s the perfect place to party in a laid-back environment.
On Saturdays, the club often hosts its signature “beach party,” complete with a DJ playing a mix of classic hits and current chart-toppers. Whether you’re there for a special event or just a regular night out, Landsharks offers a fun-filled nightlife experience that keeps patrons coming back for more.
The Patron Saint
This subterranean nightclub in downtown Indianapolis is known for its high energy and thrilling live DJ performances. The venue’s decor adds a touch of whimsy and intrigue, making it an exciting place for an adventurous night out.
The Red Room
Situated in the Broad Ripple Village, The Red Room offers a blend of upscale sophistication with a casual atmosphere. It caters to diverse music tastes, with DJ sets that span different genres from electronic, hip-hop, to Latin music.
Below the popular Broad Ripple pub, Connor’s Pub, you’ll find The Casba, a vibrant basement club that’s been a hotspot for dancing since 1985. Known for its welcoming atmosphere and great music, it’s the perfect place to let loose and dance the night away.
Indianapolis Nightlife Conclusion
The Indianapolis nightlife scene offers a wide range of options to suit every taste. With its combination of historical charm and modern energy, there’s no doubt that a night out in Indianapolis will be a memorable experience. From cozy beer bars to energetic nightclubs, this dynamic city has something for everyone.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, make sure to explore the best that Indianapolis nightlife has to offer. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the city’s vibrant nightlife and create lasting memories in the Hoosier State’s capital. So, get ready to sip, savor, and dance the night away in the captivating city of Indianapolis.