Updated Jan 1, 2023
Whether you’re an Australian who’s moved interstate, an expat who’s taken the leap to move overseas or just wanting to expand your social circle, the idea of meeting people and making friends in a big city can be daunting. Sydney has a bad rap for being cliquey and hard to break into, and for anyone who’s been here through the lockdowns, it’s definitely been more difficult than normal to create those intimate connections that we all genuinely need.
We’ve got some solutions, though! You may not know it, but there are some amazing small businesses out there that are doing great work to cultivate connection, community and social well-being in Sydney. Here are some unique ways to meet people and make friends in Sydney (besides the basic Meetups and Internations)!
Join a secret bar crawl with Local Sauce Tours
Small group tours are also a great way to learn to get out and meet people!
Whether you’re new to Sydney or you were born-and-bred here, we designed all of our tours with solos and single guests in mind. Our Secret Bar Crawl is the best way to meet people, with a maximum group of 12 guests and an expert guide to facilitate connections as we weave our way around secret bars in Sydney. On this tour, around 75% of guests come on their own – that’s 6 to 8 solos on every tour!
If you’re not big on drinking, that’s cool too – the night is all about having fun in safe, comfortable setting, and the bar crawl attracts a range of ages and backgrounds. Most of our guests are in their (mid to late) 20s, 30s and 40s, but everyone is welcome – provided you’re over 18, and you’re to keen to explore, connect and have a good night out!
Find mates, not dates
A brilliant way to meet people with similar interests, Foura matches you with three ‘like-minded legends’ for a fun night out in Surry Hills. Tam, the brains behind the algorithm, created Foura after moving to Sydney six years ago and is passionate about bringing people together. If not to create special connections, then to have a fun night out with a story to tell afterward!
After going on one myself, I can definitely confirm Tam does a great job organizing it all and I had a lot in common with my pod. Thanks, Tam!
Laugh, drink and learn some lingo
If you’re into the international scene and love to speak or learn languages, there are several language exchange groups in Sydney that meet regularly at pubs around town.
The first group is “Aloha“, who meet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. Their events get over 200 people with a wide mix of nationalities and backgrounds. The second group is “Sydney Sonder” and their groups meet on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. So you’ve got options pretty much every night of the week!
Rise and shine for a sunrise social
More of a sunrise, swim and coffee person? Then you’ve got to join a Sydney Sunrise Social! Put on by A County Down Under, every Saturday morning a group gets together at the Life Saving Club to watch the sunrise over beautiful Bronte Beach.
We recommend a coffee or hot chocolate during Winter, but swimmers are a definite go during Summer! Everyone is welcome so it’s worth checking out if you’re in the Eastern Suburbs.
Sign up for a sports team
Love to play sports but not sure where to start? JustPlay has created an awesome platform that connects you with others interested in playing the same sports. Whether you’re into Basketball, Netball, Cricket, Volleyball or Touch; JustPlay has a wide variety of sports to choose from. They even offer multi-sports options!
Sign up, fill in your preferences and let JustPlay do the work for you. Their FAQ provides answers to common questions like skill levels, when seasons start, locations and more.
Find your Facebook groups
This recommendation isn’t as straightforward but we think it’s just as important to find and cultivate community in Sydney. If you haven’t already, find Facebook groups that relate to you. These groups are really useful when you’re new, can help you get familiar with your surroundings and provide another way to connect with similar people.
Members are generally super helpful and happy to answer questions you may have. Here are some ideas for example:
Suburb where you live: “Glebe Locals” “Pyrmont & Ultimo Locals“, “Bondi Junction Local Loop”
Country of origin: “Americans in Sydney“, “English around Sydney”
Interests: “Crazy Indoor Plant People Australia”
General: “Sydney Girls Meet-ups 2022”
Hang out with Sydney Working Holiday Girls
If you’re a girl spending some time in Sydney on a Working Holiday visa, you should definitely check out Sydney Working Holiday Girls. What Bonnie started in March of 2022 has quickly caught fire amongst the Sydney Working Holiday community. With 7,000 girls on Facebook and 26 events put on in their first year such as boat parties, BBQs and trips to the Hunter Valley, there’s surely more fun to come. Check out their FB and Instagram below.
Picture from @sydneyworkingholidaygirls
Join a Lost and Found Sydney Event
After saving up money, moving to Australia from Ireland, and focusing on her career for a few years, Rachel realised she hadn’t gotten to know her local community as much as she wanted to. So in 2022, she started the Lost and Found to create a community for other like-minded people living in Australia. A “social club” for new Sydney arrivals and/or expats, Lost and Found hosts meet-ups and fun events in Sydney to foster connection. They host ski trips, Christmas in July parties and bottomless brunches – what’s not to love! Check out their Website and Instagram below to join their next event.
Picture from @lostandfoundsydney
Get out of your comfort zone
While it can be scary to meet people and make new friends, there’s no shortage of options available to make it happen. These ideas are just a few examples of how businesses are investing in the importance of cultivating social connections in Sydney.
You’re not alone in this, so we hope these unique ways to meet people in Sydney help encourage you to get out there, make some friends and have an awesome time! If you’ve found this article useful or have any other great ideas, send us a message on Instagram, we’d love to hear from you.
About Local Sauce Tours
Local Sauce Tours offers Sydney’s “funnest” small-group experiences, bringing together locals and visitors to make friends and discover the city from a different perspective. Launched in 2018, walking tours explore vibrant inner-city pockets including Chinatown, Surry Hills, Newtown and Pyrmont, along with an annual calendar of special events and exclusive dining experiences. Passionate and entertaining guides host groups of up to 12 guests on tours that blend foodie experiences with stories of the city’s history, culture, nightlife and street art. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay in the loop.