Where To See The Best Christmas Lights In Sydney CBD 2023

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One of the highlights of the Sydney Christmas season each year for me and my family is visiting the Sydney CBD to view all the spectacular city Christmas light displays and spectacular Christmas trees. Sometimes we make a day of it by indulging in an afternoon Christmas high tea in Sydney city before staying on to view the Christmas lights. Alternatively you could get into the festive spirit at the Tinseltown Sydney Christmas themed bar prior to heading off to see the Christmas lights.

Christmas in Sydney is such a magical time with the city transformed into an absolute wonderland of twinkling Christmas lights. In my opinion the best Xmas lights Sydney wide are found in the CBD.

In this guide we share our comprehensive list of where to see the best Christmas lights Sydney CBD offers.

Check out our list to plan your visit to view the best Christmas lights in Sydney CBD.

You may also be interested to see our list of the best Christmas light displays on the Northern Beaches.

Where To See The Best Christmas Lights Sydney 2023

Martin Place Christmas Tree & Martin Place Christmas Lights 2023

Address: Martin Place, Sydney

Dates: TBC for 2023

The Martin Place Christmas Tree is so spectacular! It is the tallest Christmas tree in NSW, standing 24.5 metres tall including the 3.4 metre 3 dimensional colour changing star on top of the tree.

The tree is decorated with over 110,000 colour changing LED lights and 330 specially created glossy red, white and green hand painted baubles in three different sizes.

The Martin Place Xmas tree’s 800 branches are also dressed with 15,000 flowers representing 9 different Australian flowers, namely the banksia, waratah, eucalyptus gum flower, kangaroo paw, flannel flower, pink wax flower and white wax flower.

In addition to the lights on the tree there are 6 long strings of fairy lights spanning Martin Place consisting of over 4000 warm icicle lights. Each string of lights also has a huge 3D star.

Between 7pm and midnight there is a breathtaking light and sound show every 15 minutes.

Choirs will also be performing at the base of the Martin Place Christmas tree from 6pm to 8pm.

The gigantic Christmas Tree at Martin Place together with the Martin Place Christmas lights are an absolute Christmas season must see! They are the best Sydney CBD Christmas lights in my opinion. They totally transform Martin Place into such a magical and festive spectacle.

This year Martin Place will also be hosting a Christmas market with over 40 stalls every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in December until Christmas Eve from 11am to 8pm.

Martin Place Christmas Markets

25 Martin Place Christmas Tree 2023

25 Martin Place Christmas Tree

Address: 25 Martin Place, Sydney

Dates: TBC for 2023

25 Martin Place features a second spectacular Christmas tree in Martin Place this year, an 11 metre tall Christmas tree decorated with gold and platinum medallions and topped with a 1.4m gold illuminated star. This stunning tree has 20,000 fairy lights programmed to deliver another show stopping lighting experience.

Every day the lighting show is divided into four festive moments taking visitors through a stylised journey of colour and sparkle.

Light Days: 12am – 5.30pm – A dazzling warm day light mode which dances in sunlight and embraces the summertime Christmas vibes.

Bubbles & Shimmer: 5.30pm – 7pm – A palette of golds, platinum, and pearl hues perfect for drinking champagne and toasting the festive season.

Pastel Moments: 7pm – 8.30pm – A high fashion light experience where the tree becomes washed and adorned in the signature 25 Martin Place pastel hues.

Celebration Time: 8.30pm – 12am – A vibrant and colourful lighting experience which is magical and playful! The perfect backdrop for festive celebrations.

In addition, award-winning restaurant AALIA has partnered with world-renowned Champagne house Perrier Jouet to open a pop-up Champagne bar here every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 8pm during December up to Christmas Eve. Visitors can enjoy a glass of French bubbly, a nightly line-up of live music and a selection of Middle Eastern delights.

Noel Sydney 2023 – Botanic Gardens & Macquarie St

Noel Sydney

The Noel Sydney Christmas Lights is such a magical lights display in the Sydney CBD to celebrate Christmas and get festive spirits soaring across 16 nights in December.

The historic buildings along Macquarie Street will be illuminated with captivating light projections featuring a delightful Nutcracker theme creating a striking path to the markets in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Noel Sydney Christmas Lights

The Royal Botanic Gardens gate will also open late and contain light installations, nightly entertainment and an enchanting Christmas market.

As a spectacular finale a Christmas dancing drone show will light up the sky each night. This is another absolute must see Christmas light show Sydney hosts.

Noel Sydney Markets

Address: Macquarie Street & Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

Dates: TBC for 2023

Time: 6pm – 11pm

Website: https://noelsydney.com

Pitt St Canopy of Light 2023

Address: Pitt St Mall, Sydney

Dates: TBC for 2023

Another of the best Sydney Christmas lights locations and a must see wonderland of twinkling festive lights is the Pitt St Canopy of Light. It features 85,000 LEDs and 10 stunning two metre high stars with a light show every 15 minutes. What better place to do your late night Christmas gift shopping than under this canopy of sparkling lights.

The Rocks Christmas Wonderlanes Lights 2023

Address: The Rocks, Sydney

Dates: TBC for 2023

The cobbled streets around The Rocks transform into a festive wonderland at Christmas and are one of the best locations for families to visit during the Christmas season. There are dozens of Christmas photo opportunities here including the following favourites of ours.

The Nurses Walkway is magically lit up with fairy lights and is so Instagrammable while the Wells Courtyard features the entire Rocks precinct re-made as a lit up mini Christmas village in stylish white and gold. There is something just so joyful about teeny-tiny things!

The Rocks’ towering seven-metre-tall Christmas tree is back, complete with extravagant decorations and lighting. You’ll find the tree in the heart of The Rocks at the top of Jack Mundey Place, covered in gorgeous golds, silvers and champagnes as well as warm white fairy lights. 

There are also loads of other fairy lights throughout The Rocks precinct with mini Christmas trees and much more. 

A giant light up snow globe complete with a Christmas scene inside it and playing a classic holiday soundtrack sits in Playfair Street delighting both children and adults.

The Rocks Christmas Markets, which are on again every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in December, are absolutely legendary and the perfect place to finish off your Christmas shopping.

Christmas movies are essential viewing in December so Laneway Cinemas in The Rocks have stacked their line-up with holiday classics for you to enjoy with cosy seating and free popcorn under the stars. 

Plus check out the roving Christmas elves and angels plus live musical entertainment on Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays in December.

Last year there were even Christmas themed activities for your dog at The Rocks including free Santa Paws photo sessions, Christmas themed pet market stalls and a best dog trick and Christmas themed costume competition. Hopefully these dog themed activities will be back in 2023. You can see our Dog Christmas outfit guide for dog costume inspiration HERE.

The QVB Christmas Tree & Lights 2023

Address: 455 George St, Sydney

Dates: TBC for 2023

Every year the iconic QVB displays a huge Christmas tree under it’s central dome area towering over multiple floors. It is the largest indoor Christmas tree in the Southern hemisphere.

This spectacular Christmas tree replaces the previous Swarovski encrusted fir tree. The new Christmas tree chosen was a Wollemi Christmas Pine inspired one. This Christmas tree was chosen because the Wollemi Pine is a symbol of strength and resilience and is uniquely Australian. It has been adorned with over 130 ornaments inspired by native flora.

This year there is a new chapter of the QVB Wollemi Pine Christmas Tree with an important addition of a First Nations artistic overlay in collaboration with the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative.

There is also a spectacular immersive experience at 1.30pm and 5.30pm daily featuring a programmed light show and bespoke Christmas soundscape that you can view in between your Christmas gift shopping. Guided tours of the tree and it’s history are also available and the main entrance of the QVB is be pinned with over 7000 lights. This grand old building in the Sydney CBD is definitely worth a Christmas visit.

Darling Harbour Christmas Lights & Decorations 2023

Darling Harbour Giant Christmas Bauble

Address: Darling Harbour

Dates: TBC for 2023

Darling Harbour’s gigantic 6 metre high colour changing Christmas bauble is back in the Convention Centre Forecourt again creating the perfect backdrop for your festive selfies.

There are also 13 large large floating Christmas baubles in the water off Cockle Bay Wharf that light up at night.

For a touch of pure whimsy and Christmas magic at Darling Square you’ll find a festive golden tunnel of lights where you can make a wish for a golden year to come. This is such an enchanting Christmas light installation that is sure to delight everyone.

Darling Square Golden Tunnel of Light

Barangaroo Bells 2023

Barangaroo Bell

Address: Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo

Dates: TBC for 2023

Last festive season Barangaroo was home to three gigantic interactive Christmas bells with inbuilt swings as they lit up Sydney harbour. Hopefully they will be back in 2023.

Listen while you swing and you’ll notice the bells sound and light up every time you reach the top.

Visit each of the three musical bells along the stunning Barangaroo waterfront light walk.

David Jones Christmas Windows 2023

David Jones Christmas Windows 2022

Address: Elizabeth St, Sydney

Dates: TBC for 2023

Another must see Sydney CBD Christmas display and one of the best places to visit in Sydney during Christmas is usually the traditional David Jones Elizabeth St store annual animated Christmas window display. Families flock to this display annually moving from window to window to follow the story portrayed within. Last year I must admit I am a bit underwhelmed by the David Jones Christmas windows.

Last year’s Christmas theme was ‘A World of Wonder’. It was founded on the poem ‘There’s a world of wonder in every gift’ with the animated Christmas windows being a playful depiction of the joys of giving, receiving and dreaming up gifts for friends, family and loved ones at Christmas time.

As I mentioned before I was a bit underwhelmed by last year’s David Jones windows. I think young children wouldn’t have been as captivated by them as usual although they would have enjoyed the couple of animated windows. There was no story for them to follow and the animation was limited to only a couple of the windows. These David Jones Christmas windows were still worth seeing for yourself but definitely didn’t have as much of a WOW factor last year compared to previous years.

I hope the above list has answered all your questions about the best places to see Christmas lights in Sydney CBD. If you have any additional recommendations about Christmas displays Sydney that you believe deserve a place on this list of where to see Christmas lights Sydney CBD then please let me know in the comments below so I can add it to this list.

Merry Christmas & enjoy the festive lights!

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Ingrid Norris - Christmas Enthusiast & Christmas Planner

Ingrid is a lover of all things Christmas who has been helping make Christmas time easier and less stressful for her family and friends all her life with Christmas tips, Christmas gift suggestions, Christmas recipe inspiration and Christmas event planning.

Ingrid now shares all this Christmas information here on her Christmas Time Made Easy website. She also shares information about the best Christmas events and activities happening in her home town of Sydney, Australia.

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