Your visit to Newfoundland wouldn’t be complete without a visit (or two!) to the world renowned George Street.
George Street is the predominant home to St. John’s nightlife, and its claim to fame is having the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America. It is two blocks worth of nothing but nightclubs, bars, pubs and restaurants.
This area isn’t the only part of downtown St. John’s where you can find bars or go out at night, there are various other bars and restaurants throughout the downtown St. John’s area, including a great place for fish & chips called The Duke.
Visiting George Street
The prime time for a real George Street experience is at night on weekends. During the busy summer months, you’ll always find places open to grab a drink or bite to eat any night of the week, but you’re likely to only see the biggest crowds from Thursday-Saturday nights, unless there’s a special event happening. On a nice day there are plenty of outdoor decks as well for your vacation drinking and dining needs.
Aside from a short period in the mornings when bars are allowed to restock their goods, George Street is normally only open to pedestrian traffic. This means you can’t drive on George Street itself. If driving, you can park in one of the metered spots nearby or in a parking garage and then walk to the street itself. If you’re staying in a hotel close by, you may simply walk, or if you’re staying farther away, hop in a taxi. Note: Metered parking is only in effect until 6pm weekdays, and is free on weekends.
If you’re visiting as a family with children, paying a visit during the daylight hours is perfectly fine. If you’re looking to get wild, or at least see some of the fun, night time is when you’ll want to show up!
George Street usually becomes crowded approaching midnight on the weekends. You may choose to head down for a meal first, and then continue your night partying. If you’re only going to drink, then heading down for 9 or 10pm is a good time, if you want to catch a glimpse of the buzzing crowds later in the night.
On weekends, most bars will make last call around 3am. If you’re in need of getting a taxi home, it’s advisable to leave before last call to avoid the crowds and standing on the street for hours waiting!
What to do on George Street
George Street has a variety of bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants. You’ll find that some charge a cover and some do not. Most of these places only start charging cover at a certain hour, meaning if you go a little earlier you wouldn’t have to pay.
You’ll want to do a little research first (or at least ask around) to figure out what type of places you might enjoy visiting. There are bars with local musicians performing, some with loud dance music, others with quieter background music, etc. Figure out what might be of interest to you! You’ll almost certainly want to take in some traditional Newfoundland music at a place such as Shamrock City or O’Reillys. Most establishments with live entertainment have their music playing outdoors as well, so even before entering you’ll get an impression of what awaits you inside.
While you’re on the street, you may want to…
George Street Events
When visiting Newfoundland during the summer months, there’s a good chance you may be here during a special event, such as George Street Festival or Canada Day.
George Street Festival is a 6-day event leading up to the first Wednesday in August, known as Regatta Day in St. John’s, the only weather-dependent municipal holiday in Canada!
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During George Street Festival, there’s a different music lineup each night with an outdoor stage. The street is gated, and a single admission fee gets you inside to see the live show and also wander from bar to bar with no additional cover charges! Over 120,000 people make there way through the gates each year! Past lineups have included bands like Trooper, The Arkells, and always a couple of local music nights including the Kitchen Party!
We’re sure you’ll have a great time on George Street during your visit! Click to learn about more things to do in Newfoundland!