After many years of having the Vivid Sydney festival on our bucket list, we finally managed to make it this year. For 23 nights every year, Vivid transform Sydney in a rainbow of colours with light installations and projections from Australian artists and artists coming from across the globe.
What is Vivid?
Every winter from late May to mid-June, Sydney comes back to life with the Vivid Festival of light, music and ideas. Vivid is the largest festival of its kind and brings over two million visitors to the city every year. It’s a great way to bring tourists back to the city, who is a lot less visited in the winter months.
In 2017, Vivid had over hundred light installations and projections scattered around the city. But it’s not just about the lights. Vivid also had an array of live performances, public ideas programs, conventions and creative industry workshops.
But the light show is what we came for. And it was truly incredible. Seeing one of my favourite cities in the world all lit up and dazzling was a sight to behold.
The highlights of Vivid 2017
Opera House – Lightning of the Sails
The beautiful Sydney Opera House was, of course, the winner of the show!
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Royal Botanic Gardens
Where to stay during Vivid
In my opinion, staying in one of the hotels near the Harbour is the way to go so you can walk to the show without wasting time in public transport. We had a great stay at the Intercontinental which was only a two minutes walk to Circular Quay. It even had a bar on the top floor where you could have a drink with spectacular views over the colourful harbour.
Alternatively, here are the top reviewed places to stay on booking.com which are all close to the action:
- Sydney Darling Harbour Waterfront – Large waterfront apartments in a prime location.
- Apartment Hyde Park – Elizabeth – A beautiful two bedroom apartment in the heart of the city.
Best value: Tiger Hostel Sydney – A recently renovated hostel with capsule beds. Fantastic location in the centre of town.
- Darling Harbour Getaway – A stylish and large two bedroom apartment in a fantastic location. Great views of the city skyline.
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney – A grand hotel in a great location and with super comfy beds!
If none of those suit you, try using HotelsCombined to search across all of the top accommodation sites. We use it all the time.
Tips for an enjoyable festival
- If you can, try and visit mid-week. It gets extremely crowded during the weekends especially the June long weekend!
- Bring a tripod, you will need it for the perfect shot.
- Bring some warm clothes. Vivid is in winter and it gets cold. (Yes, Australia does get a winter too!).
- Bring an umbrella too as the festival is on rain or shine.
- If you think you can see Vivid Sydney in one night, then you are wrong, because no matter how quick you are this is not going to happen. There are so many areas to check out and Circular Quay with the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House is just one of them. One night is not even enough for this area alone! Try to stay for at least two or three nights to make the most of it.
So if you haven’t made it to Vivid yet, you should try and get there next year. The best thing about it, apparently it gets better every year so it’s never too late to go!
More about Vivid
For more information on the Vivid Sydney festival, click here.