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Where to see art at night

Explore the city's galleries after hours at these regular events

MCA Artbar photo supplied 2019
Photograph: Sam Whiteside MCA Artbar
By Time Out editors |

Sydneysiders are famously busy. We've got a million things on every week and can't afford to skip work (thanks property market) to spend a few hours at one of Sydney’s art galleries.

Thankfully plenty of our favourite venues open after hours – and that's when they really come to life. The Art Gallery of NSW and Museum of Contemporary Art both stay open on Wednesday nights, but there are other options for up-late culturing around the city.

Here’s Time Out’s guide to art in the evening.

If you'd rather go during the day, here's our tips for the best art to see this month.

Art, Paintings

Art After Hours

icon-location-pin Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

What you'll get: The Art Gallery of NSW's late-night Wednesday feature free films, guided tours, ‘celebrity’ talks, live music and the odd spot of performance.

Museum of Contemporary Art 2014 exterior twilight photographer credit Victoria Baldwin
Photograph: Victoria Baldwin
Art, Digital and interactive

Lights on Later

icon-location-pin Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), The Rocks

What you’ll get: The MCA stays open on Wednesday nights for workshops with artists, ‘mystery tours’, a sketch club with killer views and live music.

MCA Artbar 2013 © Museum of Contemporary Art photographer credit Michael Wholley
Photograph: Michael Wholley
Art, Digital and interactive

MCA Artbar

icon-location-pin Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), The Rocks

What you’ll get: The MCA's formerly monthly late night parties feature a dance floor, activities with artists and live art.

Nick Cave "Until" 2018 at Carriageworks
Photograph: Daniel Boud
Art, Installation


icon-location-pin Eveleigh

What you'll get: Carriageworks is both a performance venue and an exhibition space, so on nights where there are shows you can explore major installations after hours and enjoy the occasional pop-up bar or restaurant.

Art, Galleries

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

icon-location-pin Haymarket

What you'll get: The Haymarket gallery has a fabulous line-up of exhibitions by Australian and Asian artists, and stays open every Thursday night until 8pm.

Art Month Sydney 2019 photograph supplied
Photograph: James Ambrose. Courtesy: Art Month Sydney.
Art, Galleries

Art At Night

What you'll get: This popular Art Month Sydney series usually happens every week in March and features a DIY tour of different art precincts before a party with performances, a pop-up bar and art installations.

Looking for art every minute of the day?

Jenny Munro
Photograph: Ken Leanfore
Art, Public art

The best public art in Sydney

Public art – in any city – is a notoriously fraught business. No matter how hard you try to make everyone happy, every work will have its detractors.