How to meet people in a new city?
If you’re wondering how to meet people in a new city, you’ve come to the right place. We know moving to a new city can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. Meeting new people in a new place is key to making a successful transition which can help you feel more at home.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to meet people in a new city ranging from joining clubs or classes, using online tools and apps, or simply striking up conversations with strangers. No matter what your interests are, there are lots of ways to make friends when you move somewhere new!
Now, let’s dive into the best ways to engage with others and learn how to meet people in a new city!
FIRST, what kind of friend do you want?
Answer the following questions to find out what kind of friends you’re looking for. We think the kinds of friends you would like are people with empathy, good listeners, non-judgmental, invite you to socialize, and it feels good to spend time with them.
Who do you want as a friend? Ask yourself:
What kind of person do you like hanging out with?
Were there friendships that were special?
Is there anyone compatible with your personality?
What activities would you like to have a partner for?
NEXT, strategize to meet people in a new city
1. Take initiative to introduce yourself and start conversations
Mastering the art of introducing yourself and starting conversations is an essential skill that can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life.
2. Have a general plan on how you want to socialize
If you’re serious about meeting people, organize how you’ll do it. Write ideas and where you’ll go. Also, have a social routine that you perform daily or weekly.
3. Don’t let someone take all your energy
At first, you may want to latch onto the first person that’s friendly. But, keep an open schedule for meeting more people. It also helps to have more friends so if that one friend is busy you have options.
4. Set small daily or weekly goals
Setting a daily or weekly go for your social life can keep you focused. It will also help you track how you’re doing. Think simple, like saying “hello” to a stranger, then go from there.
5. Be consistent and persistent
Consistency goes along with goals. If you’re consistently working at your goals you’ll see your social life improve and have a circle of friends in no time.
6. Consider paying for social groups if you can
If you have the means, make it easy on yourself and pay for a social meetup. Such as a small group tour, private gym classes, sports leagues, and more. It can help you filter out the “weirdos” and narrow down activities you’re interested in, and have more intimate conversations with people.
“Ultimately the bond of all companionship… in friendship, is conversation.”
Finally, Where to make friends in a new city
Finding friends in a new city can be very hard especially if you don’t know WHERE to go or start. Below we have great places to find friends.
7. Make friends at work (easiest by proximity)
If you’ve moved to a new city you’re also likely to be working there as well. So, take advantage of the people you see and talk to every day. Suggest a lunch or happy hour with co-workers, make sure to chat with new people in the break areas, and set up a 15 min chat with other employees you don’t know.
8. Meet people by going to a singles-only event
Singles-only events are a great way to meet people in a new city. These events usually have a relaxed atmosphere and are specifically designed for those without a partner. Attend a speed-dating event, a singles-only party, or a singles-only meetup.
Also, you can even look for singles-only events on websites like Meetup.com or Eventbrite.com. These events are a great way to meet people in a new city and you never know who you might meet.
9. Get your sweat on! Join an exercise group to meet new friends
Social exercise groups are a great way to meet new people and make friends in a new city. Whether it’s a cross fit, hiking, gym classes, running or swimming. Joining any type of fitness group can be fun and healthy! Most importantly, it’s a great way to interact with other people and make new friends. You can find local exercise groups or clubs online.
10. Co-living is a way for people to meet and make friends
Yes, co-living is a great option for making friends and forming connections. It’s especially helpful if you’re new to an area and don’t know anyone or if you want to make friends with people who share similar interests. So, this is a great option if you don’t have living arrangements yet.
Also, co-living spaces can come in many forms from shared houses, apartments or dorm rooms and often offer unique amenities such as communal outdoor spaces, shared kitchens, laundry facilities, and more.
“According to Social Psychology, one of the factors of attraction is “Proximity Effect”
Proximity Effect is related to the time that people spend together…There is a positive correlation between the amount of time spent together and the attraction between people
11. Buy a ticket for a city tour (sometimes they’re free)
Many cities offer free or low-cost group tours. These tours are a great way to meet people in a new city, learn about the city’s history, and explore its attractions. Some popular group tour options include walking tours of city landmarks, food, cultural tours, and guided bike rides.
Also, many cities also offer special-themed tours, such as ghost tours or nightlife tours. Joining a group tour is a fun and affordable way to make new friends while exploring a new city.
12. Take an improv class to socialize and improve social skills
An Improv class is a great way to meet new people and improve social skills. It allows you to practice your communication and collaboration skills in a fun and safe environment. You’ll learn how to think on your feet, be more creative, and work with people in a positive way. Plus, you’ll get to practice your public speaking and confidence so you can make more meaningful connections with others.
13. When bored…try a new activity to get energized
Trying a new activity is a great way to meet people because it provides an opportunity to interact with others who share a common interest. It can be much easier to start conversations with people who have similar interests since you already have a topic of common ground to discuss.
Additionally, by participating in a new activity, you can expand your social circle and even make new friends.
14. Google “museum group tours near me”
Pay for a group tour at a museum in the city. You’re likely to meet others who want to talk about art on the tour. Or, strike up a conversation with someone standing near you while looking at an exhibit. You can ask someone what they thought of the exhibit they just saw or comment on something they bought at the shop.
When participating in an organized tour or workshop. You’ll be surrounded by other people interested in the same topic, which can make it easier to strike up a conversation and make friends.
Check out museums you can go to with people from all over the world. Click here or below.
15. Sign up for a “club” at a local community center
A local community center is a great place to make friends and meet new people. It is often a hub of activity and offers a variety of activities and programs that can help you find people with similar interests.
So, you can get involved in clubs, classes, and workshops that offer the opportunity to interact with others who share your passions. Additionally, many community centers offer social events like potlucks and movie nights that can be great for meeting new people.
16. Try sports leagues if you want to meet competitive friends
Sports leagues are a fun way to get active and become more social to meet new people. If you do have anyone to join with you can just join a random team usually. These social sports leagues are an easy way to catch up once a week without having to make plans.
Most importantly, you can meet new people or expand your existing friend group. Lastly, you get to know different teams every week and meet up at the bar after your game with everyone.
What else can you do to meet people in a new city
Beyond the basic locations to find friends, you can meet people near you. This is much easier than you think. This is how to meet people in a new city and not make it too hard for yourself.
17. Meet the friends of your acquaintances
One of the best ways to make friends by meeting the friends of your acquaintances is to start by introducing yourself to them and expressing an interest in getting to know them better. Ask questions about their interests, hobbies, and background, and be sure to listen attentively to understand their perspectives.
Remember, show genuine interest in learning more about them, and be open to making new connections. When appropriate, suggest getting together in person or virtually to chat, hang out, or do an activity together.
18. Organize a group get-together to make friends
Group get-togethers can be a fun way to turn acquaintances into friends. You can get to know people and build relationships by planning a game night, holiday party, having a potluck dinner, or attending a local event as a group, which can be easier.
Also, group get-togethers can also be used to discuss fun topics and personal lives. It provides an opportunity for people to get to know each other and to build trust.
Organize a get-together in 5 steps:
- Plan a Theme/location: Everyone knows what to expect.
- Think about who to invite: Keep in mind the space and who will vibe.
- Ask for favorite foods/drinks: Get everyone’s opinions.
- Have music ready: Make sure you include a variety of music.
- Use board games: Board games get everyone involved.
- Be ready for conversation: Have conversations starters ready
19. Explore using social forums or online groups
There are many ways to make friends with online groups. You can join existing groups on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. You can also join discussion forums or message boards related to your interests or hobbies.
Additionally, you can join virtual communities created specifically for making friends, such as Meetup or Couchsurfing. Finally, you can use specialized apps or websites to find people with similar interests.
20. Do you see your barista daily? Befriend them!
You can start by simply saying “hello” or “hi” to the people you see regularly at work, when you grab coffee, or a neighbor. Ask them questions about themselves and let them get to know you. If you share similar interests, suggest doing an activity together such as going for a walk or grabbing a coffee.
21. Be a group organizer for a Meetup
Starting a Meetup group connects you with passionate people looking to share experiences in real life. It’s simple to start a group and schedule events, and meetup.com helps promote your group to interested people who are ready to join you. check it out here.
22. Find free or cheap things to meet people in a new city
- Visit a local park or public square and join in on any free activities or events taking place.
- Attend free concerts, lectures, or classes at a local university or college.
- Check out a local farmers market and strike up a conversation with a vendor.
- Participate in a volunteer activities such as beach clean-ups, tree planting
23. Ask for advice or help
Asking a question is a great way to start a conversation. Doing this not only gives you a reason to engage the other person—but it also gives them a chance to be helpful. For example, asking for directions to a particular location or what they suggest on the menu, or what they suggest to do in the city since you’re new. Ask many friends and people for different advice and help!
24. Go to the same social activity every week
If you go to the same social activity or café or bar at the same time each week, you may end up talking with the same people. This will give you more time to chat and help you build friendships.
Get 8 Free Tools to Become Socially Confident
Subscribe to our community and get a HUGE discount on our course, Next Level Conversation
25. Follow up on new connections you’ve made
Following up on new people you’ve met is half the battle when making friendships. Say “Hey, great meeting the other night! Want to grab a coffee Saturday?”
26. Talk to the most positive person in the room
An easy way to meet a new friend is by talking to the friendliest person in the room. They’re usually positive and have great vibes. Also, they’ll likely introduce you to other people. This is an easy tip on how to meet people in a new city.
27. Put yourself in situations to socialize
If you’re introverted and uncomfortable with starting conversations, place yourself in the “path of conversation.” Put yourself in daily situations where you’ll have to talk to people.
- Seek out leadership positions at work
- Sit in the middle of the table if you’re having dinner with friends or acquaintances.
Try social apps to meet people in a new city
28. Use one of the many social apps
- The Meetup app is the perfect way to connect with like-minded people.
- Tinder for Friends: Bumble BFF
- For Women and non-binary: Hey! VINA
- Online Chatting: Wink
- New Homeowners: Nextdoor
- Pen Pals: Slowly
- Extroverts: LMK
- Language Learners: Tandem
- New Moms: Peanut
- Finding Shared Interests: Friender
- Hobbyists and Travelers: Skout
- Gamers: Twitch
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
– Dale Carnegie
How to talk to people you meet in a new city
If you’re not able to talk or hold a conversation with someone it’s likely you won’t make new friends easily. So, this can be a big hurdle but we have suggestions below and free social tools.
29. Learn to have “mini conversations”
It’s not easy to start a conversation but you can start small first. Start conversations that are less risky by having “mini conversations” AKA short conversations. These “mini conversations”, are a conversation you can start that is short, and easy, with small moments where you don’t have to say too much.
Pro tip: Having mini conversations is how to meet people in a new city without overwhelming yourself too quick.
For example, if you’re at the grocery store bagging your groceries, ask the cashier how the day has been. Or, if you’re at a bar, grabbing a drink at the bar, ask the bartender what they recommend. Also, I’m sure a lot of us drink coffee or tea. So, you can mention something (weather, how’s their day, etc) to the barista when waiting.
Lastly, if you want to learn more charming tips, check out our post here about how to start a conversation.
Get 8 Free Tools to Become Socially Confident
Subscribe to our community and get a HUGE discount on our course, Next Level Conversation
How to ask someone to meet up later
It’s important to ask to meet up or ask for contact info when meeting someone you see as a potential friend. But, it depends on the context and vibe.
So, if the two of you were just introduced and are getting to know each other better, it would be appropriate to ask for their contact information and see if they are interested in meeting up in the future. This is very important on how to meet people in a new city.
30. Know the vibe to ask a friend to meet up or exchange info
The vibe you should use when asking a new person to meet up and exchange info should be friendly, open, and inviting. You want to make them feel comfortable and welcome. Show that you are interested in getting to know them and that you value their time.
What kind of person to avoid
31. Not everyone is a good friend
People who don’t let you speak or try to one-up you are usually not great to hang with. Remember, it’s important only to allow people into your life who bring good energy. Try to create space for people with the qualities of a good friend to enter your life.
Here are a few people to avoid:
The gossiper: If you have a friend that tells you someone else’s secrets without even blinking, they’re probably sharing yours with the same ease.
Passive aggressive: They use mixed messages to confuse and manipulate people. If you insist on the matter, they’ll just become defensive, find excuses or deny everything.
The critic: If someone criticizes you no matter what you do, it becomes a big problem.
What not to do when making friends
32. Don’t assume friendships will happen immediately
Understand it might take more time to get settled and build solid friendships, a routine, and confidence. Have fun and enjoy the new experiences. Try not to force new friendships, quality friends take time. Forcing something will not get you to where you want to be quicker.
33. Negativity can ruin the momentum to find friends
Having a positive outlook on your experiences will always benefit you. Try to not dwell on days you feel lonely or if you didn’t make a solid connection with someone. Try therapy if you need a place to vent.
34. Don’t over socialize…be aware of social burnout
Remember to always take care of yourself no matter what. You won’t be your best self if your social batteries aren’t fully charged. Take a break, get some solo time, and self-care.
Go from acquaintance to good friend
35. Get some one-on-one time
It can be difficult to spend enough time talking with one person if at a party or in a group to really open up to each other and get beyond the surface-level conversation. So, the best way to go from acquaintance to friend is to spend quality time talking and/or doing an activity together.
Try to focus on cultivating one or two relationships at a time.
Going out and meeting lots of people is a good idea to broaden your network and hone social skills, but making good friendships it’s best if kept small. Especially if you’re more introverted and think social interactions are exhausting. But remember, this is the goal of what you’ve been saying, “How to meet people in a new city?”
How to maintain the friendships
36. Keep in touch and do things together regularly
Keeping friendships is simple. Reach out regularly and meet up often enough to catch up on your lives. This is easier said than done especially when you get busy. But, if you want good lasting friendships, it takes effort and communication. Just like all other relationships in our lives.
What you can do right now
Download our Tool Kit for free (mini-course, social blueprint, and more) Prepare more when you go out to socialize. We think if you join our community or read a few more blog posts, you won’t be saying, “How to meet people in a new city.”
But, you’ll feel more confident, and prepared and you’ll know what to do next, especially, when it comes to socializing.