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An Expat’s Top Tips on How to Make Friends in Sydney

Moving to a new city can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be a bit daunting, especially when it comes to making new friends. As an expat living in Australia, I’ve experienced the challenges of building a social circle in a foreign country first-hand. So I wanted to share my ideas on how to make new friends in Sydney.

Luckily, Sydney is a vibrant and multicultural city with plenty of opportunities to meet new people and forge meaningful connections. Here are just some of the ways to make friends in Sydney and navigate your way through this diverse and friendly city.

How to Make Friends in Sydney

Making friends in Sydney is relatively easy thanks to its friendly and welcoming vibe. As a melting pot of cultures, Sydney attracts people from all over the world to foster a culturally diverse environment where friendships and connections are easy to form. All you have to do is:

Embrace the Local Culture

One of the best ways to connect with people in Sydney is by immersing yourself in the local culture. Australians are known for their friendly and laid-back nature, so make an effort to engage in activities that locals enjoy. 

Join a sports club, participate in community events, or take up a hobby that allows you to interact with like-minded individuals. This will not only help you meet new people but also provide you with a deeper understanding of Australian culture.

Attend Meetup Events

Meetup.com is a fantastic platform for finding social groups and events based on your interests. Whether you’re into hiking, photography, book clubs, or even learning a new language, there are numerous Meetup groups in Sydney catering to various hobbies and interests. 

Joining these events not only allows you to pursue your passions but also provides an opportunity to meet individuals who share similar interests.

Personally, I really recommend Lost & Found in Sydney as a place to meet new people. Rachel, the founder, is an Irish expat and regularly organises meetups and events for everyone. It’s an incredible community to be a part of and it would be amazing to see you there someday! To hear more about the Lost & Found in Sydney community, listen to the podcast episode which featured Rachel.

You can stay up to date with all the upcoming events on the Lost and Found in Sydney website or Instagram.

Utilise Social Media and Expat Forums

In this digital age, social media has become an invaluable tool for connecting with people. Look for Facebook groups and online forums specifically dedicated to expats in Sydney. These platforms are great for seeking advice, finding fellow expats, and attending meetups specifically designed for internationals.

Don’t be afraid to engage in discussions, ask questions and take part in events organised by these communities – this is a fantastic way to expand your social circle.

Explore Local Neighbourhoods and Cafes

Sydney is a city of diverse neighbourhoods, each with its own unique charm and character. Take the time to explore different areas and frequent local cafes and hangouts. 

Strike up conversations with locals or other regulars and you might find yourself forming connections with people who live nearby. Engaging with the local community is an excellent way to discover hidden gems and make friends in your new neighbourhood.

Enrol in Classes or Workshops

Learning something new not only expands your skill set but also introduces you to like-minded individuals. Consider enrolling in classes or workshops that align with your interests. Whether it’s cooking, dancing, painting or yoga, these group settings provide an opportunity to bond with others over shared experiences and mutual passions.

Volunteer

Volunteering is not only a great way to give back to the community but also an avenue for meeting new people. There are numerous volunteering opportunities in Sydney, ranging from environmental conservation projects to charity initiatives. 

Find a cause that resonates with you and dedicate some of your time to making a positive impact. Through volunteering, you’ll meet individuals who share your values and passions.

Stay Open-Minded and Proactive

Making friends takes time and effort, especially in a new city. It’s important to stay open-minded and be proactive in your approach. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone, initiate conversations, and attend social events. Remember that everyone is in the same boat in terms of seeking connections, so don’t be afraid to reach out and make the first move.

How to make friends in Sydney

Where to Make Friends Sydney

Remember, making friends takes time and effort, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient, stay open-minded and seize the opportunities presented to you. 

With the diverse range of social settings and activities available in Sydney, you’re bound to find your tribe and create meaningful connections in this vibrant city. Here’s where to make friends in Sydney:

Local Pubs and Bars

Sydney is known for its lively pub culture, making it a great place to socialise and meet new people. Head to popular pub and bar areas such as The Rocks, Surry Hills or Newtown, where you’ll find a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of opportunities to strike up conversations with locals and fellow expats.

Here’s some of my favourite rooftop bar recommendations, if need ideas of good places to go.

Social Sports Clubs

Sports are a big part of Australian culture, and joining a local sports club is an excellent way to make friends while staying active. Whether you’re into soccer, rugby, cricket, or any other sport, there are numerous clubs and leagues in Sydney catering to different skill levels. Participating in team sports not only provides a chance to meet new people but also fosters a sense of camaraderie and community.

Language Exchange Groups

If you’re interested in learning a new language or want to improve your language skills, joining a language exchange group can be a fantastic way to meet people from different cultures. These groups typically organise regular meetups where participants can practise speaking different languages, share cultural insights, and build friendships based on mutual language interests.

Networking Events and Professional Associations

Sydney boasts a thriving business and professional scene, with numerous networking events and industry-specific associations. Attending these events related to your field of expertise or interest can not only enhance your professional network but also help you connect with like-minded individuals who share similar career goals and aspirations.

Cultural Festivals and Events

Sydney is a multicultural city that celebrates diversity through various cultural festivals and events. From the vibrant Chinese New Year celebrations to the colourful Diwali festival, there are numerous opportunities to immerse yourself in different cultures and meet people from diverse backgrounds. Check the city’s event calendar for upcoming festivals and make it a point to attend and engage with the festivities.

University Clubs and Societies

If you’re a student or live close to a university, consider joining clubs and societies on campus. Universities in Sydney have a wide range of student organisations covering diverse interests, including sports, arts, music, and more. Engaging in these clubs not only connects you with fellow students but also provides a platform to pursue your passions and make friends with shared interests.

At Work

If you’re working in Sydney, the workplace is an unexpectedly excellent place to make friends. Engage in conversations with your colleagues, join social events organised by your company or even suggest grabbing lunch or coffee together. Building connections with your co-workers can lead to lasting friendships and also make your work environment more enjoyable.

How to make friends in Sydney

How to Make Friends in Sydney

Making friends in Sydney – or indeed any new city – can seem challenging, but with the right approach, it’s an opportunity to forge meaningful connections and create a fulfilling social life.

Embrace the local culture, utilise online platforms, explore neighbourhoods, and engage in activities that align with your interests. 

By following these tips, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a diverse group of friends who will make your expat experience in Sydney one that you’ll never forget.

Check out my list of fun things to do with Friends in Sydney once you’ve found your group!

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