Where to watch Vivid Sydney from 10 great bars

Photo: Brook Mitchell /Getty Images

The world’s largest celebration of lights, music and ideas is on now in Sydney CBD and surrounding areas until Saturday, June 17.

You might want to take a break from taking great shots of the installations, and there’s a whole bunch of dinner deals on at restaurants around the CBD especially for Vivid if you need a solid feed.

However if you’re on a budget and looking to do Vivid in the CBD on the cheap, here’s 10 bars around the CBD that will give you a spectacular view of the sights for the price of a drink.

Blu Bar on Level 36 of the Shangri-La Hotel

Photo: Shangri-La Hotel Sydney Facebook

This bar 36 levels up will give you a different angle from which to get some great snaps.

There's an extensive list of cocktails, wine, beer and spirits.

If you really want to impress your date, splash out on the 'Martini on the Rock' cocktail. A cool $10,000 gets you a cocktail featuring an ultra-premium vodka or gin, and a sparkling diamond ring swimming in the glass. The price includes an overnight stay in a room at the hotel.

Blu Bar at the Shangri-la Hotel, 176 Cumberland St, Sydney

Photo: Opera Bar Facebook

This half-inside-half-outside spot is one bar you need to pop on your bucket list even if you happen to miss Vivid. It's got great views of Circular Quay, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Plus, they make a mean espresso martini.

They've also got 3 specially-made cocktails for Vivid for $18 each, as well as a video booth to capture your escapades and send the footage straight to your phone.

Sydney Opera House, Macquarie St, Sydney

Photo: Hacienda Sydney Facebook

Cuban-inspired cocktails are the star of the menu here. Hacienda is only relatively new, but already has a huge client base thanks to the beautiful pastel decor, delicious drinks like the gin-based 'Agua Bendita' (the 'Holy Water') and stunning views.

61 Macquarie St, Sydney

Graze at MCA pop-up bar

Photo: GRAZE MCA Facebook

Graze at the ground level of the Museum of Contemporary Art has made a special new menu just for Vivid which includes a delicious, warming spiced apple cider hot toddy and an aromatic mulled red wine.
They also have a great snack menu from $7 should you get a little peckish.

140 George St, The Rocks

The bar on-board tall ship Southern Swan

Photo: Vivid Sydney Facebook

You may have seen the tall ship sailing around the harbour, or docked at Campbell's Cove Jetty. Built in 1922, she was originally traded as a grain carrier from the North Atlantic to Denmark via Greenland.

You'll need to purchase a ticket for a dedicated Vivid cruise to hop on the ship, but you won't get such an original experience elsewhere.

If you're lucky, you might even be able to climb the mast (but that's before the first round).

39 George St, The Rocks

Photo: Manly Fast Ferry Facebook

The fast ferry has a licensed bar on board, so you can sip on a drink while you enjoy sights during the 19-minute trip to Manly.

This ferry is privately owned, so you won't be able to use your Opal card. The ferry trip costs about $7-$8 one way, but will you give you great views all the way to Manly.

If you're going to sit in the open area upstairs, make sure you rug up because it gets particularly windy.

Wharf 6, Circular Quay Wharves

8bits&bytes pop-up bar in Martin Place

Photo: Vivid Sydney Facebook

Games and burgers? Yes please! These temporary food and beverage stalls are an installation in their own right. A giant, overscale pixel LED light wall 3 metres high and stretching almost 30 metres long lights up the CBD corridor. A giant setup of black-and-white video game pong using motion capture makes you the digital racquet, to battle it out with a friend.

If you've worked up an appetite, get your fill with one (or more) of the specially-created burgers created especially for Vivid by one of 5 popular Sydney burger joints. Mary's, Pub Life Kitchen, Milk Bar by Cafe Ish, Sammy's Burger Bar and Bangbang Cafe feature.

Martin Place, Sydney

Photo: Cafe Del Mar Facebook

Grab a jug of red or white sangria and nab a spot out on the terrace at this beautiful Mediterranean styled bar.

Tuck into some tacos for $5 apiece, and $5 Peroni, Corona, house wine and spirits between 4-7pm each Monday to Friday.

DJs will hit the decks on the terrace from 6pm Friday and Saturday too, if you're keen for a boogie.

Rooftop Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, 35 Wheat Rd, Sydney

Cruise Bar at The Overseas Passenger Terminal

The view from Cruise Bar. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Cruise Bar spans over 3 levels which means you're bound to find a perfect nook to grab a drink and watch the lights.

The bottom level is family-friendly with a full kids menu and entertainment until 10pm. The Junk Lounge on level 2 has an Asian-inspired cocktail and snack menu.
If you make it all the way up to the rooftop, there's often live music playing.

3 Circular Quay West, Sydney

Photo: The Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf Facebook

Don't let the name fool you, this hot spot isn't just for theatre-goers.

The walk down to Walsh Bay will you take you through some quieter areas of Vivid, and the drink at the end of the walk will be worth it. House cocktails start at an enticing $12.

Handy tip: No reservations are taken here so make sure you arrive before or after the dinner rush hour to grab a spot.

Pier 4 Hickson Rd, Dawes Point

NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.