News Locals’ top tips for experiencing Vivid Sydney

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Locals’ top tips for experiencing Vivid Sydney

Travel blogger Nicole Smith of Bitten by the Travel Bug gets the low-down on making the best of Vivid Sydney this 2015.

Vivid Sydney is back and brighter than ever! From May 22 till June 8, the festival will be illuminating Sydney with music, lights and ideas. Thinking of heading to Vivid Sydney? Skyscanner speaks to Nicole Smith of travel blog Bitten by the Travel Bug for some top local Sydneysider tips.

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1. Have a plan of attack

"There are so many amazing sights to see and things to eat at Vivid that you may get a little overwhelmed when you arrive," Sarah from Love Swah shares. "Have a strategy in place before you arrive, so even if things go awry, you can still see your favourite installations."

Read more: Secret Sydney: 5 places the locals love

Sydney Opera House all dressed up in multi coloured projection art

Photo credit: Nigel Howel

2. It’s more than just lights!

"Vivid seems like it’s just about the lights but there are so many great events as part of Vivid ideas," Christina from Hair Romance answers.

A host of speakers, including mutli-Emmy award winning writer, Matthew Weiner – most famous for his work on ‘Mad Men’ or ‘The Sopranos’ – will present talks about topics ranging from script-writing to online gaming; engineering to innovations in science. There’s a wealth of knowledge being presented.

The Sydney Film Festival and TEDxSydney also run during Vivid.

Read more: 10 Game of Thrones film locations fans must visit

Courtesy AMC. From Matthew Weiner's Mad Men at the Museum of the Moving Image NYC

3. Consider timing

"Come early (it starts at 6) or arrive late, missing the peak time of 8pm," Sarah shares.

Not a fan of crowds? The festival precincts are bustling with light-seekers on Friday and Saturday nights.

"Go on a Sunday or another night of the week when it’s less crowded," Lawrence ‘Champy’ Champness, a producer at 702 ABC Sydney adds.

This year Vivid is expanding to Central Park with a night market and silent disco, or visit Martin Place to see new Media driven lighting shows!

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Children playing at Vivid 2014

Photo credit: Paxtons Camera & Video

4. Make it a romantic escape

Treat your loved one to a romantic getaway at one of Sydney’s hotels with views of the festival. Right in the heart of the festival, The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney’s Harbour View rooms will not only dazzle you with the view by day, but you can watch the lights changing on the Opera House’s sails come night from Harbour View rooms and suites!

Planning a date to Vivid? "We love to take in the lights after dinner in the city. It’s a bit quieter later in the night," shares Christina. "Go on a midweek date to avoid the weekend crowds."

Read more: World’s Weirdest Hotel Requests and Complaints Revealed

Pick the right room for a Vivid Sydney view like this

Photo credit: Nikki Mannix

5. If you get hungry

"Give the expensive restaurants a flick and track down one of Sydney’s many food trucks that descend on the area specifically for Vivid," Sarah suggets. Check the website or app for which trucks will be open.

Lawrence has an alternative option. "Check out the MCA Cafe for an amazing view of the Opera House." A great view and good food, if you’re feeling peckish try one of their reasonably priced shared plates or a classic burger and salad.

Read more: Best places for food and wine in Australia

Grab a taste of one of Sydney's legendary food trucks during Vivid

Photo credit: Newtown Grafitti

6. Want to get great photos of the Vivid lights?

Sarah shares her top photography tip. "Don’t forget to pack a tripod. A tripod means you can use longer exposures without camera shake, producing sharper and more light-filled images."

If you leave your tripod at home, consider using other items. A flat pole, the ground, a seat, even your bag can all turn into effective makeshift tripods.

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Take a tripod to help take bright and sharp images like this one - Customs House Sydney during Vivid

Photo credit: MD11

Thank you to Christina, Sarah and Lawrence for sharing their Vivid Sydney tips!

Splitting her time between travelling the world and her home in Melbourne, Nicole Smith is the writer and photographer behind popular Australian travel blog Bitten by the Travel Bug.

Can’t wait to explore Sydney? Book cheap flights, great hotels or rent a car now with Skyscanner, the world’s travel search engine.