Every year, the Harbour City transforms into a spectacular canvas of lights, and the 10th Year of Vivid Sydney is no exception, with the 2018 display set to be bigger, brighter and better than ever before! A stellar lineup of A-list acts will headline the epic celebration, with acclaimed Aussie artist Jonathan Zawada lighting up the Opera House, along with Beyonce’s sister Solange, Ice Cube and a plethora of well known artists keeping the crowds grooving during the three week event. To ensure you see the best of Sydney during this year’s celebration, we’ve picked our favourite hot spots and a few accommodation options too, should you wish to book a last-minute vacay or staycation!

With a Drink

Hacienda Sydney

Sitting high above Macquarie Street, the uber Insta-worthy Hacienda Sydney is an an oasis from the hustle and bustle below. Boasting a cuban-esque plantation feel and gorgeous vintage interiors, as well as amazing views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, the trendy harbourside bar is pulling out all the stops this year with a Vivid Sydney-inspired cocktail. The Light’er Up cocktail promises to be lit (quite literally!), with a delicious muddle of vodka, lavender, raspberry syrup and lemon juice mixed together and set on fire! See, we told you it was the place to be!

By the water

Opera Bar

Whether your Vivid Sydney journey starts or ends here, you can’t get much closer to the action than the famous Opera Bar. As well as being right in the heart of all the colourful fun, the menu and cocktail lists feature some delicious Vivid-themed additions, including electric blue, orange and red night cocktails, and a deliciously vibrant dip tasting plate. The only thing left to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the show – don’t forget the camera!

On a rooftop

The Glenmore Hotel

Offering 180 degree views of the harbour and boasting a laid back ambience, the rooftop bar at The Glenmore Hotel is a great spot to pull up a seat, grab a drink and enjoy the show – away from the hustle and bustle! Boasting an impressive drinks list and a knock-out menu, an evening here promises good food, booze and unbeatable views.

On the water

Sydney Harbour Tall Ships

Set sail on a tall ship or coral trekker and enjoy uninterrupted views of Vivid Sydney from the water. Offering a range of different tours and packages to suit every taste, you can expect a delicious dinner, live music and a delightful atmosphere, as well as some unreal snaps, as you cruise around the harbour in style – bon voyage!

From above

The Vivid Climb

Suit up in a flashing vest and enjoy the bright lights of the city from above, with an exhilarating Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. Take in the epic views of the sparkling harbour below as you bust out your best dance moves on the specially-installed 70’s style multi-coloured dance floor at the summit of the climb – it’s a Vivid experience like no other!

On a Ferris Wheel

Luna Park

Watch on in awe as Luna Park comes alive in a dazzling display of lights, music and colour, in their debut addition to the Vivid Sydney spectacular! Immerse yourself in Phantasos, a 5-minute lightshow extravaganza that will see the iconic Luna Park Ferris Wheel dazzle in a sparkling web of over 3,000 LED fairy lights, or dance your heart out in a silent disco and take in the incredible projections of Luna Park’s history on Coney Island.

At a pop-up

Bombay Sapphire x MCA

Take in the spectacular views with a gin-infused cocktail at the Museum of Contemporary Art pop-up bar. Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night from 5pm, Bombay Sapphire will be whipping up delicious cocktails served in glow-in-the-dark glasses to give you all of the Vivid feels. The MCA is renowned for having an incredible light display each year, and this year is no different, with light projections from artist Jonny Niesche featured every night. You can also wander around to Customs House and see the very cute May Gibbs tribute ‘The Complete Works of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’, which is celebrating 100 years of the gumnut babies – it’s a super fun blast from the past!

After work


With amazing water views, and bars and restaurants galore, the streets of Barangaroo offer the perfect spot to enjoy a few after work drinks during Vivid Sydney. Inspired by water, earth and fire, the vibrant promenade will come to life and showcase a radiant display of colour, lights and sounds that are not to be missed. Catch the giant luminescent puppet Marri Dyin as she wanders the streets from 6pm each night, theatrically interacting with those walking by. Whether you’re eating, drinking or just exploring the installations – there are endless highlights at Barangaroo!

With the family

Darling Harbour

To capture all of the Vivid Sydney magic, start at the Enchanted Garden at Tumbalong Park and explore 4 colourful sea gardens, then make your way to Cockle Bay to watch as fluorescent jellyfish dance playfully across the surface in the Fantastic Oceans, before settling in to watch as fireworks light up the night sky. A giant display of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 is also being projected onto the Australian National Maritime Museum – there truly is something for the whole family, every night of the week.

Out of the city

Chatswood Precinct

Chatswood is set to become home to an eclectic collection of interactive art installations, lights, food, fashion and music. Grab a delicious bite at the Light Markets, sip on mystery drinks at Liquid Lies (after you pass the novelty lie detector that is!) and be immersed in the amazing art installations located around the precinct – it’s the perfect place to get in on the action without venturing all the way into the city!