Each May through June Sydney is taken over by the largest light festival in the country: Vivid Sydney. But with events taking place all across the city, how, where and when exactly is everything happening? Here’s our round up of what not to miss for Vivid Sydney 2019.
When: 24 May - 15 June
See The Light
The main attraction, Vivid Light illuminates iconic Sydney landmarks each evening during the festival. From the grand sails of the Sydney Opera House to landmark buildings in the city, Darling Harbour, Chatswood and even Taronga Zoo, 3D projections and light displays turn Sydney into an outdoor gallery.
So how do you make the most of it? The Vivid Light Walk weaves you past more than 50 works of art, including the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Customs House, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and more.
When: Daily from 6pm*
*Taronga Zoo from 5pm,, Chatswood 5:30pm
NB: Taronga Zoo is closed on Monday and Tuesday throughout Vivid Sydney.
Listen To The Music
A true feast for the senses, Vivid Sydney also hosts an eclectic calendar of musical events throughout the festival. Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House will present a diverse range of contemporary music, including UK act The Cure, while Carriageworks will host Rufus Du Sol, alongside electronic showcase, ‘Curve Ball’. Outside of these major venues however, visitors can enjoy music in unexpected venues around the city, from small bars to outdoor venues.
Explore The Ideas
One of the most exciting components to Vivid Sydney is the Ideas program. The 2019 lineup will include a range of debates, talks and workshops that explore love, loneliness and belonging, and the impact of technology on human relationships and society. Running throughout the festival, these talks will bring together leading thinkers and creators across various fields from tech and design to entertainment and culture.
And while you’re in town...
There is plenty more happening in Sydney this time of year, so don’t stop at Vivid Sydney!
Wine and Dine
As Australia’s largest and one of its most diverse cities, Sydney is home to an eclectic dining scene. From award-winning restaurants overlooking the harbour to quirky hole-in-the-wall cafes and wine bars, every budget and taste is catered to here. Winter is the ideal time to hop from wine bar to wine bar, grab a hearty ramen in Chinatown, or opt for a long lunch at a sophisticated eatery - the choices are endless.
Shop Til You Drop
Sydney is home to Australia’s best shopping, from designer boutiques in the CBD to independent brands lining the streets of Surry Hills, Paddington, Balmain and Mosman. No trip would be complete without exploring the heritage Queen Victoria Building and Strand Arcade, or a visit to Pitt Street Mall, home of the high street brands. When the weekend rolls around markets call, from Bondi Beach to The Rocks, Glebe, Kirribilli and Carriageworks just to name a few.
RELATED: Sydney Travel Guide
Sydney has long played host to both local and international artists with its varied exhibition spaces, museums and galleries. Increasingly the city’s stunning outdoor spaces are an exciting canvas, with interactive and inventive artworks popping up across the city. Whether a wander through the independent galleries of Surry Hills and Redfern, or a visit to the larger Art Gallery of NSW or the Museum of Contemporary Art, there’s plenty to explore. You can expect street parties, pop-up installations, live theatre and music performances and a wider array of arts festivals and innovative productions too.
Fun For The Whole Family
Have little ones in tow? Lucky you because Sydney has a grand array of attractions and events that will keep the whole family happy. Don’t miss out on a trip to Taronga Zoo (which will also light up with Vivid from 5pm daily during the festival), Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Wild Life Sydney Zoo, the Australian Maritime Museum, Madame Tussauds, Luna Park, the Sydney Tower Eye, the Australian Museum and even BridgeClimb Sydney!