Planning your Vivid Sydney experience

As a centrepiece of Vivid Sydney – the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas – Sydney Opera House is home to the stunning Lighting the Sails, which this year features Ash Bolland’s ‘Audio Creatures’ on the outside, and the Vivid LIVE contemporary music program inside.

Vivid Sydney will run from 26 May – 17 June featuring more than 90 installations and events across 12 precincts, including the Opera House and the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens. Lights will be switched on each day from 6pm until 11pm.

Not only a popular vantage point for the city and harbour lights, the Opera House is also a place for visitors to explore festival-themed food and beverage experiences across the site’s many eateries and bars, including the pop-up Soft Future Piano Bar presented by Goodgod.

Food and drink

Our restaurants at the Sydney Opera House are the perfect spot to grab a bite before or after your Vivid LIVE show and during Vivid Sydney.

For a full listing of food outlets and available menus, please visit Eat and Drink.

Transport

Public transport should be used wherever possible. Additional bus, train and ferry services will be in operation throughout the festival.

Plan ahead and please allow plenty of extra travel time when arriving for a show. Large numbers of people visit the Opera House during Vivid Sydney, particularly on weekends. The Circular Quay precinct and buses, trains and ferries will be crowded during peak times. If the site reaches capacity at any point, managed pedestrian access will be in place for show patrons.

For real-time updates about public transport during Vivid Sydney, please visit Live Traffic NSW or call 131 500.

Road closures

City road closures will be in place during the festival, which will impact passenger drop-off and parking on site at the Opera House.

On Saturday 10 June and Sunday 11 June, Macquarie Street will be closed from St James train station to the Opera House (5pm – midnight). Please be aware that large crowds may also lead to unplanned road closures on Macquarie Street on other nights during the festival. 

There will be no vehicle access to the Opera House when Macquarie Street is closed. If you are required to drive, plan to travel outside of the road closure times or expect delays and allow plenty of additional travel time.

For real-time updates about road closures during Vivid Sydney, please visit Live Traffic NSW or call 131 500. 

Parking

The Sydney Opera House Car Park will remain open on most evenings during Vivid Sydney but it is likely to reach capacity very quickly, so we strongly advise using public transport wherever possible and allowing plenty of additional travel time. 

The car park is located at 2 Macquarie Street (Northern end), with vehicle access adjacent to the Opera House Forecourt. There are 11 accessible parking spaces on Level 1, and 12 accessible spaces on Level 6 of the car park for RTA Mobility Parking Permit holders. Car spaces on Level 6 also have direct wheelchair access to lifts. 

Please note, on Saturday 10 June and Sunday 11 June, Macquarie Street will be closed from St James train station to the Opera House, which means there will be strictly no entry or exit to the Sydney Opera House Car Park between 5pm – midnight.

Passenger drop off

On the nights when Macquarie Street remains open, visitors and patrons with accessibility requirements arriving by taxi or private car can be dropped at the designated point near the Gatehouse. Opera House staff will be on hand to arrange transfers to the building via a wheelchair-accessible shuttle service or via an underground drop-off and pick-up point (as required, based on performance schedule).

All other taxis and private vehicles will continue to drop-off at the designated area near the Gatehouse and people leaving the precinct will be directed to the taxi rank on Macquarie Street.

Please note, on the nights when Macquarie Street is closed to vehicles there will be no passenger-drop off available at the Opera House. 

Accessibility

The Sydney Opera House offers an accessible viewing area and thoroughfare for people with disability and mobility support needs. The accessible viewing area will be located along the Opera House Lower Concourse at the southern end of Opera Bar (see map). Access is via the East Circular Quay promenade. Accessible toilets and food vendors are located nearby. The area offers excellent views of the Lighting the Sails – a centrepiece of Vivid Sydney – and other harbourside lighting attractions. 

An audio-described tour for vision-impaired patrons will also be available during Vivid Sydney on Monday 12 June starting at 6pm. Registration is essential. Book by calling +61 2 9250 7752 or email your details to: accessibility@sydneyoperahouse.com.

Sydney Opera House Shuttle Bus

The complimentary Sydney Opera House shuttle bus service for elderly and less mobile patrons and visitors will be in operation weekdays Monday – Thursday (as required, based on performance schedule) during the festival. 

Please note, due to extensive road closures in place throughout Vivid Sydney, the courtesy bus will not operate on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays or the public holiday on Monday 12 June.

Photography

During the festival, hand-held photography equipment is encouraged to capture your experience. However, no large and intrusive photography, filming equipment or permanent set-ups will be permitted on any part of the Opera House precinct.

For further enquiries when planning your visit to the Opera House please call +61 2 9250 7111.