Whether you’re travelling alone or you’ve moved to a major city like Sydney with your family, it can be really difficult to find your bearings. Plus, the loneliness can sometimes be challenging. When you’re trying to find your way around and get to know the area, the best people to talk to are locals.
Of course, that can be especially hard when you don’t know anyone. So how do you know where to make friends in Sydney? We’re about to give you some tips.
Capitalise on people you already know and ask for introductions to others. In planning your move to Sydney, you may have dealt with an agent or maybe you have met an English teacher, a friendly shop assistant or you’ve had lengthy chats with the owner of your favourite restaurant.
Ask them where they recommend you go, where the social events are happening or when the next community festival is on.
If you’re working in Sydney, there’s every chance you will meet fun new people at your job or even on public transport as you commute. Smile, say hello and introduce yourself.
Sydneysiders are a pretty friendly bunch. Find out when the next work social gathering is happening, talk to people at break time and take an interest in their lives.
One of the best social environments where you can meet people and make new friends is church. Whatever your faith, you’ll find a church, temple, mosque or other place of worship in Sydney. Go along and ask for introductions. Shake some hands, stay for morning tea and get involved in the community events organised there.
Wherever you’re from, there’s bound to be an expat social group in Sydney. You can look them up on www.meetup.com or you might find notices posted in public places like shop windows, the post office or local library.
Go along to one of their social events and you’ll meet others who feel – or felt – the same way you do. From there, it’s a simple matter of extending your network by extending or accepting invitations to go out for dinner or drinks, or to local events in the area.
Do you like rock climbing? Fishing? Table tennis? How about cooking, swimming, painting or dancing? There are tons and tons of social groups for these kinds of activities which you’ll also find at www.meetup.com.
Simply search for your particular interest and you’ll be spoilt for choice. It may be uncomfortable going along alone at first but you’ll soon meet others and you’ll have your interest in the activity in common.
Volunteering your time is a brilliant way to make friends in Sydney. You could chop vegetables or deliver food for Meals on Wheels, join the Clean Up Australia Day event on the first Sunday in March, help out at an animal shelter, be a guide at a museum or lend a hand at your community gardening co-op.
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of volunteering opportunities across the city and not only will you meet new friends, but you’ll also be fulfilling a worthwhile role. Have a look at www.govolunteer.com.au/volunteering.
You knew there had to be! Dating-style apps exist for people to find new friends, not just romantic partners. Try Bumble which has three separate sections; dating, business and BFF. It’ll even show you how far away your potential new friends are.
Facebook Groups exist for any possible interest and many are geographically specific. Type what you’re looking for in the search bar and you’ll be shown an abundance of possibilities. Or, simply type in ‘Sydney social groups’ and you’ll find everything from jetski social clubs and dancing enthusiasts to groups of people who are nannies, backpackers, fitness fanatics, photographers and travellers, all looking for others interested in the same thing. Join a Group, introduce yourself and go along to any events they organise.
Are you studying English? Doing a degree at university? Wherever you go to learn, there are other people who probably looking for friends too. Find a way to strike up a conversation such as asking if someone completely understood the lecture or if they could help you find your way around the campus.
Don’t be shy, everyone has been in the same situation at some time. Sometimes, all it takes is for you to make the first move for people to know you want to make a connection.
You probably won’t meet any new friends at the movies, but you’ll have more luck at a bar or café. Many cafes in Sydney have communal tables to take a seat at one of those and strike up a conversation. Choose a bar that has a spectacular view of the harbour and there you have it … an instant ice breaker. “Isn’t the view amazing?” How can anyone resist answering that? Before you know it, you’ll offer to buy your new friend a drink and the conversation will flow.
Sometimes, locals may know a lot about their city, but they may not have been to the major tourist attractions. Lots of Sydneysiders have never been inside the Opera House or swum at Bondi Beach. As a visitor to the city, you may have experienced these things and more, and you can enlighten your new friends when you get together!
Maybe you’re visiting Sydney for an extended period, or maybe you just like meeting new friends, even on a quick trip. Or, perhaps you’re living or studying long-term in Sydney. Everybody wants to be social, to whatever degree. Sydney is a very friendly city so be open and approachable and you’ll soon find others looking to show you around.