Ask any night owl — Nashville after dark is a blast. With live music venues and bars lining the city’s main thoroughfare and famous attractions like the Grand Ole Opry featuring nighttime performances throughout the week, the city is made to be explored after the sun goes down. As you plan your trip to Music City, check out our top picks for things to do in Nashville at night.
1. Spend a night on the town at the best bars in Nashville
The city’s main nightlife is centered on Lower Broadway between First and Fifth Avenue in downtown Nashville, and this is where you’ll find the best bars in Nashville. The famed honky tonk venues are open (and crowded) every single night of the week, and you’ll hear live music spilling out onto the streets until the wee hours of the morning. If you’re in the mood for some guitar-strumming jams and a party-like atmosphere, head to this area and try one of these activities or bars.
- Head on a downtown Nashville pub crawl where an entertaining guide will lead the way as you sip your way through some of the city’s most popular bars
- Tap your feet to the live music at AJ’s Good Time Bar, Bootleggers Inn, and Doc Holliday’s Saloon with a three-bar combo pass
- Check out Eater’s list of the best bars in Nashville and add a few to your nighttime itinerary
2. Experience Nashville’s live music at the Grand Ole Opry and beyond
Nashville nightlife is all about live music and events. Catching a concert at the Grand Ole Opry is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, where you’ll get to be a part of a weekly country music concert tradition that’s been running since the 1920s. But, it’s certainly not the only place in the city to take in a concert or show. In addition to this world-famous and historic venue, check out these additional spots to catch some live music in Nashville.
- Snag tickets to the Grand Ole Opry for a first-hand experience at one of the city’s most popular attractions
- Explore 60 years of the city’s most memorable songs with dinner and a live show at the Music of Nashville
- Find more live events in Nashville happening throughout the city on any day of the week
- Use this guide to free music in Nashville for a list of venues with no cover charge
3. Take a dinner cruise on the Cumberland River
Nashville nightlife isn’t just limited to bars and concert venues. Tennesse’s relatively warm weather gives way for on the water experiences that are accessible most of the year. If you’re looking to escape the busy city streets, embark on a dinner cruise aboard the General Jackson Showboat. You’ll nosh on some of the finest Southern cuisine and enjoy a live performance as you take in the gorgeous city views from one of the largest paddlewheel riverboats in the country. If you’re headed to Nashville in the dead of winter don’t worry—all of the cruises are climate controlled. Dinner cruises generally board at or around 6:15pm, depart at 7:00pm, and return at 10pm.
4. Explore Art After Dark at the Frist Art Museum
If you’ve had your fill of honky tonk bars and drinking (or you’re just looking to switch it up a bit), the Frist Art Museum in downtown Nashville is open until 9pm on Thursday and Friday nights for Art After Dark. Grab a snack from the food trucks outside and spend some time perusing the museum’s art collection and special exhibitions. Be sure to check out the Frist Museum’s calendar for a full list of current and upcoming events. Admission is free for members and college students.
5. See a show at the Belcourt Theatre
The iconic and historic Belcourt Theatre has a rich past and deep roots within the community. Today, it’s a nonprofit film center that showcases independent movies and cinematic performances. It’s recognized as one of the country’s leading art houses and holds a firm spot at the top as one Nashville’s most vibrant organizations within the art community. If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary to do in Nashville at night, check out the theater’s full schedule of films to find one that piques your interest and head here for a unique evening out.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Nashville at night. From toe-tapping country music and classic dive bars to an enriching art community, the city offers something for everyone after dark. Looking for more things to do in Nashville? PlacePass has unique excursions and experience for all ages, so your whole family can enjoy all that Music City has to offer. Traveling with kids? Check out our tips for fun things to do in Nashville with kids. Headed to Nashville with your significant other? Read our guide for things to do in Nashville for couples.