Spectacular Views: Where to Stay to Make the Most of Vivid Sydney

Submitted by Vivid Sydney

18 Oct 2023
Park Hyatt Hotel Room During Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney is a spectacular annual festival of lights and culture. Every year visitors from across Australia and around the world converge on Sydney for the 23 days and nights of illuminations, art, music and events.

Whether you're planning a holiday in Sydney or you're a local seeking a front-row staycation, here's our guide to some of the best hotels to experience Vivid Sydney and where to stay for Vivid Sydney to make the most of the festival.

Hotels with the best views of Vivid Sydney

For an iconic view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, be sure to book your stay in Circular Quay. There are approximately a dozen hotels surrounding the quay, each offering stunning views over Sydney Harbour, allowing you to choose the perfect view for you.   

If you’re treating yourself

If you are looking to splurge, consider the Park Hyatt which is located directly under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and situated on the Vivid Sydney Light Walk. From your room, or any of the three bars and dining rooms, you'll enjoy an incredible view of the Sydney Opera House, as well as all the lights along Circular Quay.

Park Hyatt Hotel Room Sydney during Vivid Sydney
View from a Park Hyatt hotel room. Photograph by Daniel Tran

Further around the quay, both the Four Seasons and Shangri-La, each towering over 30 floors, provide breathtaking harbour views from above, making it the ideal sight to wake up to or say goodnight to.

Set just back from the wharves, the higher floors of the Marriott Circular Quay also offer excellent views of the Sydney Opera House and the city lights, as well as being surrounded by some of Sydney’s best bars and restaurants which offer special Vivid Sydney dining experiences during the festival.

View of Vivid Sydney from Four Seasons Hotel
View from Four Seasons Hotel room.
(Destination NSW)
View of Vivid from Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
View from Shangri-La Hotel suite.
(Destination NSW)

Step right into the Light Walk

The Vivid Sydney Light Walk spans about 8 kilometers, so you don’t have to be directly on the quay to experience the lights. Consider accommodation in The Rocks and Walsh Bay, such as the Harbour Rocks Hotel or Pier One so you can step straight on the path of the Vivid Lights.

Other great locations along the way include Barangaroo, where you can stay in the tallest building in Sydney - The Crown Sydney. Even if you don’t stay there, you can visit their Sky Deck on the 83rd floor for incredible panoramic views of the city skyline. Alternatively, book an Adina Apartment along King Street Wharf, allowing you to step out onto a whole strip of waterfront bars and restaurants.

Crown Sydney view of Vivid Sydney from suite
Views from Crown Sydney hotel Suite.
(Destination NSW)

Every year Tumbalong Park is a hub of Vivid Sydney events with installations and live music. Many hotels line the park, including the Novotel Sydney Darling Square and Vibe Sydney Darling Harbour to name a few. Staying here also gives you quick access to Darling Harbour and Darling Quarter which play host to a myriad of Vivid Sydney events and installations each year.

The best views for backpackers

You don’t need to stay in a Penthouse to catch the views. For a more budget-friendly stay during Vivid Sydney, The Sydney Harbour YHA rooftop has a stunning panoramic view of Sydney Harbour so you can still get the 5-star experience for under $100 a night.

Alternatively, Wake Up! Sydney or the Space Q Capsule Hotel (yes, you can stay in a futuristic sleep pod!) are both conveniently close to Central Station, situated at the end of the Light Walk and within walking distance of other Vivid Sydney event locations such as Carriageworks and Powerhouse.

View from YHA Sydney of Vivid Sydney
YHA Sydney rooftop views.
(Destination NSW)

Dinner with a view

If you’re a Sydney local and would prefer to sleep in your own bed, or you’re staying a little bit further out of the city. You can always book yourself a table at one of the many hotels bars and restaurants with a view of the lights.

Enjoy a cocktail or two at Aster Bar in the InterContinental Sydney, set right on Circular Quay with expansive harbour views and views across the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney - it’s a prime position.

Aster Bar at the Intercontinental Sydney
Aster Bar at InterContinental Sydney.
(Destination NSW)

The Hotel Palisade atop Barangaroo Reserve isn’t as well known for its boutique accommodation, but it is famous for the sophisticated rooftop cocktail lounge with breathtaking views over the Sydney Harbour.

For a view of the lights on Darling Harbour, try Atelier Bar and Restaurant in the 5-star Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. Enjoy a modern twist on classic French cuisine, while taking in the ambiance of Vivid Sydney below.

Sofitel in Darling Harbour at Vivid Sydney
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour overlooking the Vivid Sydney lights.
(Destination NSW)

Lights on at 6pm, every night

Remember, the lights go on every night at 6pm, and stay on until 11pm, so be sure to secure your prime spot in time to enjoy the show. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check our list of deals and experiences, for Hotel deals during Vivid Sydney and Vivid Sydney hotel packages.



Related Blogs
It’s almost time for the skies above Circular Quay to be painted with 700+ drones for Love is in the Air, this year’s heart stopping drone show. Universal symbols of love will light up the night on the 8, 9 and 15 June at 9.10pm – it’s one of the festival’s most popular events so read on below to make the most of this stunning show directed by our Vivid Sydney Festival Director, Gill Minervini.
View more
As Vivid Sydney 2024 lights up Sydney again for 23 nights of brilliance, the city welcomes some incredible installations to the harbour foreshore. This year, prepare to be wowed by light projections and installations that are truly larger than life, both in terms of size but also imagination and ambition. Evoking a sense of wonder and awe, these works are amongst some of the biggest we’ve ever showcased at Vivid Sydney. Read on below for our top picks of the large-scale light works that you can’t miss.
View more
Located within Darling Harbour, Tumbalong Park is one of the Sydney CBD's most iconic public spaces. During Vivid Sydney, the area transforms into a dazzling playground of Light and Music for the 23 nights of the festival. Whether you visit for the lights, music, or near-by mouth-watering eats, there's something magical for everyone — families, friends or first dates — at every turn. Join us and be part of Sydney’s most vibrant cultural showcase with our top-Tumbalong highlights below.
View more