Your guide to Canterbury Nightlife

The who, what and where of nightlife in this historic, student city

Canterbury is one of the UK’s most historically notable cities, which is why it may not automatically spring to mind when discussing buzzworthy, happening nightlife. But this perception of Canterbury as an antique town that is living in the past is completely turned on its head come 11pm, when the city really comes alive. Not to mention the 40,000 students that Canterbury is home to, this urban location attracts visitors from all over Kent thanks to its diverse and exhilarating nightlife. Want to join the party? Here’s all you need to know about Canterbury’s unique clubbing scene…

Club Chemistry

It would be practically blasphemous to begin this article by discussing anyplace other than Canterbury’s biggest and busiest nightclub: Club Chemistry. Spanning three floors, each level is home to a unique mix of genres to suit everyone’s musical taste, from R’n’B and hip hop to EDM and house, with a bit of cheese and some dance party anthems thrown in for good measure.

Aside from the wide array of genres played at Club Chemistry, affectionately branded by local students as “Chem”, the club offers the very best in not only weekend nights-out, but mid-week events too. Every Wednesday is Chemistry Wednesday, which is essentially student night, with each week taking on a new theme (often involving fancy dress, so be prepared!), some of the best so far being Beyoncé night and the club’s celebration of National Fast Food Day (you can imagine the carnage). Each Friday sees in the weekend with an event known as Friday Night Project, usually involving some kind of giveaway and a confetti cannon that will have you unearthing sparkles from your hair for days to come. Saturdays at Chem always go off with a bang as well, with the best variety of music in Canterbury, £2 drinks and 6am close. The best part? Club Chemistry runs its very own free shuttle bus to various points in the city to get you home safely if you’re a little bit worse for wear, or, of course to Canterbury McDonalds which is open 24 hours a day, much to the delight of students! All in all, if you’re after an enjoyable night out with your mates, with a variety of music and the frequent opportunity to make a fool of yourself with some giveaway fancy dress, then Chemistry is the club for you.

Steinbeck and Shaw

Steinbeck and Shaw is undeniably one of the most unique venues in Canterbury, managing to effectively blur the lines between nightclub and bar. There isn’t a dull day at Steinbeck, with Monday to Saturday each playing host to an exclusively themed night out. Monday sees in the week with an event known as Industry Mondays, bringing you the best in house, hip hop and R’n’B. Expect live performances and special guests, with drinks from just £2. Tuesdays at Steinbeck are arguably one of the most anticipated nights of the week, when the venue presents Glitterbomb: Kent’s biggest LGBT+ club event. Look forward to not only an incredible party playlist, but also drag acts and of course the extraordinary resident Glitterbombshells. Tuesday at Steinbeck really is a night to remember!

Towards the latter end of the week, S&S hosts their student night every Thursday, with an event known simply as “Bed”, which sees the venue dotted full of hirable beds. 9am lecture on Friday? Now you can go clubbing and to bed at the same time- win-win! Expect guest performances and look forward to amazing drinks offers, helping you students to save your pennies (y’know, for books and pens and stuff). Fridays and Saturdays at Steinbeck take much the same form, welcoming both guest and resident DJs to entertain you with the latest hits and mixes, ensuring each night is a totally unique experience.

So, if you appreciate the more laid-back vibe offered by bar-come-club venues, as well as the diverse musical styles on offer throughout the week, Steinbeck is the place for you!

The Cuban

The Cuban is without doubt one of Canterbury’s most popular hotspots, boasting a unique array of nightly events from Monday-Friday every week. Monday kicks off the week with what The Cuban has branded “Student Revolution Mondays”: the longest running student night in the city. This event spans two floors and often welcomes TV personalities to make appearances or meet and greet party goers, previous guests including Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing and TOWIE’s Joey Essex (totes reem, innit?). Throughout the week, The Cuban plays host to Shutdown Tuesdays, Cuban Wednesdays and Detox Thursdays, before getting the weekend underway with Cuban Fridays. Expect dance floor hits, delicious cocktails and live performances from the industry’s top artists. But this is only the beginning! Saturday is definitely the night of the week at The Cuban, when the venue goes back to its Hispanic routes with live salsa and percussion performances, made especially enjoyable by the 2 for £10 cocktail offer! So, if you don’t mind a bit of the hustle and bustle that comes part and parcel of being one of the city’s busiest nightclubs, get yourself down to The Cuban for what is sure to be an unforgettable night!

The Old Brewery Tavern

The Old Brewery Tavern is a bar, restaurant and nightclub in a great central location, and if there’s anything that students love, it’s being able to eat a slap-up meal and get their groove on without having to trawl from one place to another. Late nights at The Old Brewery Tavern offers regular live music and DJ sets, with cheap entry and even cheaper drinks: what’s not to love?! With Student Thursdays, Retro Fridays and a live DJ guaranteed every Saturday, why would you want to be anywhere else?


Alberrys is one of the oldest and therefore most established bars in Canterbury, attracting regular punters for over 30 years thanks to its unique atmosphere and surrounds. Alberrys boasts a vast array of drinks, from an extensive wine list and selection of spirits, to cocktails that they promise to rival any bar. However, what Alberrys consider their showstopper is their incredible range of rums, which they reckon is the best you’ll find this side of the Caribbean!

With so many great venues in Canterbury, it’s not hard to see why this city is so popular with students and out-of-towners alike. There really is a place for everyone, and who says you can only visit one place per night? That’s the great thing about Canterbury, everywhere is within walking distance, no matter what height your heels are (guys, I’m looking at you). So, with that in mind, I’ll see you in Chem!


Elise Harvey