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The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge during Vivid Sydney
Photograph: Supplied/Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

The best bars and restaurants to see the Vivid lights from

Catch a glimpse of the colourful projections over a glass of wine and some snacks

Written by
Avril Treasure
Alice Ellis
Caitlyn Todoroski

Vivid lights up a lot of Sydney city – the sails of the Opera House, the water at Darling Harbour and the shores of Barangaroo. The city goes mad for this constantly growing festival, so we don't blame you if you'd rather catch the lights from the comforts of a bar or restaurant.

This year, Vivid Food is back with an exciting and delicious line-up (you can read about it over here). Below, we've rounded up the best venues that give you a good look at the lights and more. 

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Want more killer views? Check out these waterfront dining destinations.

Don't mind about the view as long as the food is ace? Try one of Sydney's best restaurants.

The best places to see the Vivid lights

  • Bars
  • Sydney

At Bar 83, you can enjoy a cocktail or three perched above and looking over the illuminated city during Vivid. Think: 83 floors above the CBD ground and a 260-degree panorama almost guarantee you the coolest bird's eye view of all the Vivid lights. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Circular Quay

Throughout Vivid this new-look Cuban-inspired cocktail lounge at the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour will be a hot spot. The glassed in box jutting out over the concourse has excellent views of the harbour from every seat and they will also be shaking up four special Vivid cocktails. 

  • Bars
  • The Rocks

Peruse the projections onto the MCA and the surrounds before stopping off at this rooftop bar with views of Circular Quay. The three-storey venue will be dishing up special cocktails for the occasion on level one and two, and a Vivid platter on the rooftop. This is a prime possie to revel in the Opera House's lights and all the crowds that have gathered to view it. 

  • Hotels
  • Luxury hotels
  • Sydney

From Aster Bar you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House, glittering city skyline and Royal Botanic Gardens all rolling below. This has got to be some of – if not the best – views in Sydney. For Vivid they're offering up a special sitting with cocktails and a two-course meal. 

  • Bars
  • Sydney
  • price 2 of 4

Located right beneath the Opera House's famous sails, Opera Bar offers panoramic views of the harbour and beyond, meaning it's prime Vivid viewing (and people watching) territory. There'll be plenty of live music and three special cocktails available to order.  

Q Dining
  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Sydney

Located within the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour Hotel, Q Dining boasts floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the harbour. They'll be serving up a Vivid-inspired menu, and have a Vivid apertivo hour at 4pm, so you can kick back and watch the sunset and lights turn on.

Ume Burger
  • Restaurants
  • Burgers
  • Barangaroo

This Japanese burger joint with a waterfront possie in Barangaroo is dishing out a delish burgers with signature house-made Wagyu mince sauce, fries with umami salt, spicy special sauce, tomato, onion, beef patty and cheese. They also have an ever-changing soft serve station and house-made sodas on tap, alongside Japanese whiskys and beers.

Need a bite before a Vivid Live gig?

Heading to Chatswood?

Want more Vivid?

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

Vivid Sydney has announced its colourful program for 2017, which will include 23 days of light, music and ideas events taking place around the city. As always, there’ll be light projections to admire around the CBD, as well as Australian-exclusive performances inside Sydney Opera House. It’s a heady program – so we’ve picked out 15 highlights to help you decide how to spend that pocket money during the festival, from May 26 to June 17. 

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