There are many things Sydney does well: beaches, famous landmarks, sunny skies and ‘grammable vistas (when a monster La Niña isn’t drenching us, that is), to name just a few. But according to the latest Time Out Index results, making friends is not one of them. Out of 53 world cities, Sydney was ranked as the third-worst on the planet for making new friends.
Almost three-quarters of respondents said that making new friends was either hard or impossible in Sydney, but there were two other cities that ranked even more poorly than here. Coming in second to last place was the Danish capital Copenhagen, and the world’s worst place for making new mates was just next door, in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Sydneysiders are also starved for more intimate connections, it seems, with 71 per cent of those surveyed saying Sydney was a hard place to hook up, although Singapore, Stockholm and Porto, Portugal's second city, all ranked lower when it came to Netflix but no chill.
For the second year in a row, Sydney was also ranked as having the second-worst nightlife in the world, no doubt a hangover of negative feels from the bad ol’ days of the lockout laws, although this is an improvement on 2020's dire results with Sydney in dead last place when it came to good times after dark. Sydney's nightlife-choking lockout laws were finally repealed in February 2021, so we are glad to see Sydneysiders noticing a marked improvement in late-night offerings.
It wasn’t all bad news for the NSW capital. A whopping 71 per cent of respondents said that Sydney was a beautiful city, and pristine too it seems, with just 11 per cent of respondents saying they thought Sydney was dirty.
However, in the overall rankings of 53 world cities, Sydney did not do well, placing a rather disappointing 46th position. The Index is Time Out’s annual survey of all things urban culture, drawing on the answers of nearly 30,000 people all over the world quizzed about highs and lows of life in the city. Taking the top rank this year is the historic Scottish city of Edinburgh. Sydney’s neighbour to the south, Melbourne, came in at a very respectable 15th place, earning one of the highest scores in the world for its famed food and drink scene. In last place this year is Doha, the capital of Qatar, with Hong Kong and Bangkok respectively filling out the bottom three rankings.