Ask the Expert: Uncovering Sydney During Vivid

Mark Anderson, chief concierge from InterContinental Sydney, offers his top tips for exploring Sydney during Vivid.

What are your top three must-do places for the first-time visitor to Sydney?
It’s great to see Sydney from different perspectives—from above, by helicopter flight or journeying to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb; from the water either by ferry or cruising around the harbour; or from within the city itself by taking a stroll through neighbourhoods such as The Rocks or Surry Hills.

What’s an undiscovered gem that a seasoned visitor to Sydney might enjoy?
The rejuvenation of the old brewery site in Chippendale is one of my favourite areas of Sydney. With boutique galleries, fantastic formal dining and the unique Spice Alley, there are choices for all tastes. The area is also an architectural marvel featuring great contemporary design including Central Park and the Frank Gehry designed Dr. Chau Chak Wing School of Business at UTS.

What do you consider the city’s best photo op?
For the best postcard views of Sydney, it’s hard to beat Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair—a great place for a photo (or a selfie!) with the city skyline framing both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

What are your tips for visitors heading to Vivid Sydney?
Vivid is such a wonderful time in Sydney, and every year it seems to be growing both in size and in popularity. Make sure that you make a plan of what to see before heading out as it’s easy to get caught up in the crowds. If you have time, allow for more than one evening so that you can experience all the precincts.

What’s your favourite part about Vivid?
The city absolutely comes to life during Vivid—restaurants are always popular and have their own interpretation of the event. But personally, I love seeing our city from on the harbour and being up close to the Sydney Opera House during the festival. Entering Circular Quay by ferry is a spectacle in itself.