Sydney is hands down my favourite city. With beautiful beaches, great restaurants, iconic buildings and an all year round event calendar which many would struggle to beat. You can’t go wrong visiting this epic second city at any point during the year.
One of the most impressive and my favourite event they host is Vivid Sydney, which comes in the winter months (being a Brit, calling May/June winter takes some getting used to). It is a perfect way to break up the sometimes rainy days as the whole city comes alive with art installations, music performances and some seriously fascinating creative workshops.
Vivid Sydney 2018: 25 May to 16 June
Lasting nearly a month, Vivid Sydney is one of the highlights in New South Wales event calendar. A few years ago it was constrained to relatively central locations, but gradually it has spread out to further flung parts of the city. Areas such as Chatswood and Toranga Zoo, offering some damn awesome views back to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, even get in on the action.
Whilst there is no doubt the crowds are at their busiest around Circular Quay and Darling Harbour, there are plenty of smaller installations and events dotted around the city for all ages. You can find a map of Vivid Sydney locations here.
Vivid Sydney for Travellers
Sydney isn’t a cheap city (read: dammmmn my wallet’s empty already?!?) at any time of year, and during special events such as new year, certain concert, or indeed Vivid, prices can take a hike for accommodation. This makes a bit of forward planning essential and booking your Sydney accommodation as far in advance as possible recommended.
If you are only planning a few days in Sydney during the festival, aim for mid-week when not only can the prices be slightly lower, but the crowds are also likely to be smaller. Check out this post for the best areas of Sydney to stay, even near the centre of the Vivid action you have various price points depending on location.
Whilst some of the ‘Ideas‘ events, such as scientific exploration and creative collaborations are free, others are ticketed and need to be booked in advance. The same goes for many of the music concerts that are put on throughout Vivid Sydney.
One of my favourite ways to enjoy the lights is to take the famous ferries of Sydney harbour which are running at regular prices and give you great views of everything in Circular Quay, hopefully without having to fight through the crowds.
Getting There and Around
Sydney is well served by its International airport both internationally and domestically. Once in the city, much of Vivid Sydney can be accessed on foot. For the parts of Vivid Sydney slightly out of the CBD the bus service is regular and reliable. Ferries from Circular Quay and Darling Harbour are also a great way to see the display from the waterways or over at Taronga Zoo. Get an Opal card and top it up so you can make the most of the slightly cheaper fares when tapping on and off. Some Sydney buses and routes are peak times will not accept cash fares so Opal is the easiest solution.
TIP: Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flight
If you aren’t set on a date, enter in which month you want to fly and let it find the best value dates to fly on – set up an alert and get a message when the price drops!
Where To Stay for Vivid Sydney
For Vivid Sydney I would highly recommend staying as close to Circular Quay as possible and luckily there is accommodation for any kind of budget, though do expect a price increase over the Vivid Sydney event.
Budget – YHA Sydney Harbour
Offering Dorm and Private options the popular hostel chain has a prime position in Sydney Harbour, including a roof terrace with views over the bridge and Opera house which gives you prime viewing opportunities without having to fight the crowds. See Prices + More Info
Mid-Range – Holiday Inn, The Rocks
This standard reliable chain hotel is located in the rocks, one of the oldest parts of Sydney and has amazing views across the bridge and opera house. The added bonus here is the outside rooftop pool which also comes with those epic vantage points. See Prices + More Info
Luxury – Shangri-La Sydney
This luxury hotel has prime position in the harbour and offers a range or rooms and suites which without a doubt, offer some of the best views Sydney has to offer. The restaurant and bar on the higher floors are the ideal place to take a drink even if you don’t stay here. See Prices + More Info
Got any more Questions or want to chat adventures? Find me over on Instagram and ask away! Safe travels, Dan