Sydney Vivid

Complete Guide to Sydney Vivid Festival (2023)

Are you looking for things to do during the winter season in Sydney? Or are you looking at the information needed to visit Sydney Vivid? Then you are at the right place! One of the most beautiful things about Sydney winters is the Sydney Vivid Festival.

Celebrated at the beginning of the winter season in Sydney Central Business District (CBD), Sydney Vivid Festival is the festival of lights and music. In this post, you will find all the information about the spectacular Sydney vivid festival.

Sydney Vivid

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What is Sydney Vivid Festival?

Recognised by International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA), Sydney Vivid Festival is an annual festival of light projections and music. These light displays are shown on some of the important and historical buildings in Sydney CBD. It is a festival where technology, art and creativity comes together.

Also read | Annual events and festivals of Sydney
Sydney Vivid

Why is Sydney Vivid Festival celebrated?

Showcasing the best of art and technology, the Sydney Vivid Festival is celebrated by bringing in the popular local and international artists. The festival comprises of these projections, music concerts, food, and

When is Sydney Vivid Festival celebrated?

Starting from end of May till first week of June, Sydney Vivid Festival is celebrated for two weeks (23 days). The festival is hosted every year and each year there are more illuminations and projections added making it more grand than the previous year.

Sydney Vivid

How much does it cost to see Sydney Vivid Festival?

All the display of lights around Sydney CBD are all free to watch. This festival is one of the things that you can do for free in Sydney. There is no cost involved other than the transportation cost to get to the CBD.

Also read | 10 days itinerary in Sydney

However, during the Sydney Vivid Festival, there are many special events and musical concerts that are hosted during the festival and they have entrance fees to attend.

How can you see Sydney Vivid Festival?

Best places to see Sydney Vivid Festival

Around Sydney CBD, there are many viewpoints where you can see these colourful display of lights. The projections and displays are at many places such as Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Pylon Lookout, and Royal Botanical Garden. At the Rocks, there is an information centre where you can get an interactive digital map that you can follow to see the displays.

Sydney Vivid Cruise

Another great way to enjoy Sydney Vivid Festival is by taking a cruise. Every night for the two weeks, cruises operated by various agencies take the guests on an hour to two hours cruise ride along the harbour. The prices for these cruises start from AUD 40 per person and varies depending on what kind of cruise you are taking. It is best to book them in advance and they can easily be booked on Viator website. Some of these cruises offer dinner as well along with the ride.

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 walks or Meetups

During Sydney Vivid Festival, many locals conduct guided walks or photography meetups. You can find them either on Airbnb experience or on meetup website. Some of these walks and meetups are free and you can join other locals to explore.

Sydney Vivid

Things to remember before visiting Sydney Vivid Festival

Sydney Vivid Festival is one of the popular festivals in Sydney. So Sydney is very busy at this time with locals and tourists flocking into the CBD areas during these two weeks. There are a few things to remember before visiting Sydney Vivid Festival:

  • It is better to travel by public transport as most of the streets around CBD are closed in the evening.
  • Plan your visit well in advance. The trains and the public transport is very crowded during these two weeks, especially after sunset.
  • Avoid weekends and try to visit Sydney Vivid during the week nights as it is less crowded.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as you need to walk a lot to see the exhibits and displays.
  • Try to stay at hotels that are a bit away from Circular Quay such as the Fullerton hotel or Sydney Central YHA for affordable prices.
  • Be at the Circular Quay or Darling Harbour early at around 6 PM so you can finish before the entire crowd arrives.
  • Carry cash so you can purchase food quickly. Sometimes the vendors do not accept the cards.
Also read | Top 5 things to do in Sydney

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 travelers7.7/10
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, Four Seasons Hotel is a luxurious hotel to stay with spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Click here to check for prices on

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel

Located around 15 minutes walk from Circular Quay, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is a luxurious hotel in the historical 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 views of the city. The hotel is located 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 to Central station, the Sydney Central YHA is a great option for budgeted travelers. 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

Another great place to stay at really affordable prices is the Sydney Harbour YHA. With amazing views of the harbour, this accommodation is perfect during Sydney Vivid festival.

Click here to check for prices on

Safety for solo female travelers

Sydney is very safe for solo female travelers. I have lived in this beautiful city for more than 10 years and I have not had any serious concerns whatsoever. However, I have faced a few issues here and there depending on the suburb I am at. Overall CBD is safe and not to be worried. But as any other place in the world, be cautious, especially at night.

Sydney Vivid

Closing Notes

Sydney Vivid Festival is one of the happening festivals in Sydney and it is worth visiting and enjoying these beautiful light projections on the landmarks and buildings. If you are visiting Sydney during winters, then surely try to visit Sydney Vivid.

Sydney Vivid

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