Sydney Vivid

Complete Guide to Sydney Vivid Festival (2024)

Are you seeking winter activities in Sydney or planning your visit to Sydney Vivid? You’ve landed on the perfect spot! The Sydney Vivid Festival shines as a standout among Sydney’s winter delights.

Set against Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD) backdrop, the Sydney Vivid Festival illuminates the city with a mesmerizing blend of lights and music. This guide provides you with all the essential details about this captivating event.

Sydney Vivid

Also, Read Things To Do in Sydney Winters.

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What is the Sydney Vivid Festival?

Sydney Vivid Festival, accredited by the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA), is an annual extravaganza featuring stunning light projections and musical showcases. These captivating light displays adorn significant historical buildings throughout Sydney’s CBD, harmonizing technology, art, and creativity into a unified celebration.

Also, Read the Annual Events and Festivals of Sydney

Sydney Vivid

Why is the Sydney Vivid Festival Celebrated?

The Sydney Vivid Festival, a showcase of cutting-edge art and technology, unites acclaimed local and international artists in celebration. This vibrant festival encompasses captivating projections, electrifying music concerts, and delectable culinary delights.

When is the Sydney Vivid Festival Celebrated?

From late May to the first week of June, the Sydney Vivid Festival spans a glorious two-week period, totalling 23 days of revelry. This annual extravaganza continually raises the bar, with each passing year witnessing the addition of new illuminations and projections, further enhancing its grandeur from the year before.

Sydney Vivid

How Much Does it Cost to See the Sydney Vivid Festival?

All the dazzling light displays throughout Sydney’s CBD are free to enjoy. The Sydney Vivid Festival offers a delightful opportunity for budget-friendly entertainment in the city. There are no admission fees for admiring the illuminations; the only expense is the transportation fare to reach the CBD.

However, numerous exclusive events and musical concerts take place amid the Sydney Vivid Festival, some of which require entry tickets.

Also, Read | 10 days Itinerary in Sydney

How Can You See the Sydney Vivid Festival?

Best Places to See the Sydney Vivid Festival

In and around Sydney CBD, numerous vantage points offer splendid views of the vibrant light displays. The city is adorned with captivating projections and displays from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour, Pylon Lookout to the Royal Botanical Garden. Visitors can also stop by The Rocks, where an information centre provides interactive digital maps, guiding you through the dazzling array of installations across the area.

Sydney Vivid Cruise

An excellent way to experience the Sydney Vivid Festival is by embarking on a captivating cruise. Various agencies operate nightly cruises for two weeks, offering guests a scenic journey along the harbour for one to two hours. Prices for these cruises typically begin at AUD 40 per person, with rates varying based on the type of cruise selected. It’s advisable to book in advance, and convenient online booking is available through platforms like Viator website. Additionally, select cruises provide the option for a delightful dinner experience during the voyage, adding an extra touch of indulgence to the evening.

You can also take a public ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour or Barangaroo to get incredible views of the Sydney Vivid.

Guided Night / Photography Walks or Meetups

Numerous locals organize guided walks and photography meetups throughout the Sydney Vivid Festival, allowing visitors to delve deeper into the spectacle. These events can be found on platforms like Airbnb Experiences or meetup websites. Some of these photography walks and meetups are complimentary, providing an opportunity to join fellow locals in exploration.

For optimal enjoyment of the Vivid Festival, you should equip yourself with a reliable camera and sturdy tripod. Cameras like the Canon DSLR 7D Mark II are renowned for their ability to capture intricate lighting displays. Additionally, modern mirrorless cameras made for travel have gained popularity for their lightweight and convenient portability, making them ideal companions for capturing the vibrant scenes of the festival.

Sydney Vivid

Things to Remember Before Visiting Sydney Vivid Festival

The Sydney Vivid Festival is one of the city’s premier events, drawing locals and tourists to the CBD in droves over its two-week duration. Before venturing to experience this vibrant celebration, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Also. Read | Top 5 Things To Do in Sydney

  1. Opt for public transport: With many CBD streets closed in the evenings, relying on public transportation is advisable.
  2. Plan: Given the high influx of visitors, particularly after sunset, planning your visit well in advance is essential to effectively navigate the crowded trains and public transport.
  3. Choose weeknights: To avoid the largest crowds, consider visiting Sydney Vivid during weeknights rather than weekends.
  4. Wear comfortable footwear: Be prepared for extensive walking to explore the various exhibits and displays throughout the city.
  5. Consider alternative accommodations: To escape the bustling crowds around Circular Quay, consider staying farther away, such as the Fullerton Hotel or Sydney Central YHA, which may offer more affordable rates.
  6. Arrive early: Aim to arrive at Circular Quay or Darling Harbour around 6 PM to enjoy the festivities before the crowds swell.
  7. Carry cash: Ensure you have cash on hand to purchase food quickly, as some vendors may not accept cards, facilitating smoother transactions amidst the bustling event atmosphere.
Sydney Vivid

Best Places to Stay in Sydney at a Glance

Hotel NameSuitable forRating on
Four SeasonsFamilies, Couples9.1/10
Radisson Blu Plaza HotelFamilies, Couples8.9/10
The Fullerton HotelFamilies, Couples8.8/10
Sydney Central YHABudgeted travellers7.7/10
Sydney Harbour YHABudgeted travelers8.6/10
Best places to stay in Sydney at a glance

Best Places to Stay in Sydney


Four Seasons

Located on George Street, the Four Seasons Hotel is a luxurious hotel with spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Click here to check for prices on

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel

Located around a 15-minute walk from Circular Quay, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is luxurious in the historic Rocks district. With granite and marble flooring, the hotel is ideal to get city views.

Click here to check for prices and availability on

The Fullerton Hotel

Situated next to Martin Place, the Fullerton Hotel provides luxurious and spacious rooms with lovely city views. The hotel is in the heritage-listed Sydney General Post Office (GPO) building.

Click here to check for availability on

Budgeted Stay – Sydney Central Youth Hostel Association (YHA)

Located opposite Central Station, the Sydney Central YHA is a great option for budgeted travellers. The hostel is clean and centrally located. And they provide complementary Wi-Fi to the guests.

Click here to check for availability on

YHAI Central Sydney

Budgeted stay – Sydney Harbour YHA

The Sydney Harbour YHA is another great place to stay at really affordable prices. With amazing harbour views, this accommodation is perfect for the Sydney Vivid Festival.

Click here to check for prices on

Is Sydney Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Sydney offers a safe environment for solo female travellers, as attested by my decade-long residency in this beautiful city. I have encountered minimal concerns throughout my time here, with the CBD particularly standing out as a secure area.

However, like any destination globally, exercising caution, especially at night, is prudent. While occasional issues may arise in certain suburbs, Sydney maintains a reputation for safety and security, providing peace of mind for solo female explorers.

Sydney Vivid

Closing Notes

The Sydney Vivid Festival is one of the city’s most vibrant and captivating events, offering a mesmerizing display of light projections adorning iconic landmarks and buildings. For those visiting Sydney during the winter season, experiencing the enchanting spectacle of Sydney Vivid is an absolute must. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of this unforgettable festival.

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