How to Make Friends in a New City | The Top 10 Tricks!

A diverse group of friends made in a new city with their arms around each other

One of the hardest parts of graduating college and entering the “real world” is having to make friends in a new city. Luckily, it’s not as hard as it seems! We’re spilling the tea on how to make friends in a new city- with plenty of ideas for any personality!

Let’s be real: making friends in a new city is intimidating and awkward. But— guess what— it’s supposed to feel that way! It’s all part of the process. Don’t let a little awkwardness trick you into thinking you can’t make friends in your new city!

I promise, with creativity, confidence, and commitment, you’ll have a brand new batch of friends in no time!

Let’s dive into the top 10 ways to make new friends in a new city! 

Group of friends made in a new city high fiving

How to Make Friends in a New City 1: Ask Friends & Family

The best way to start making friends in a new city is by reaching out to the ones you already have- even if they don’t live anywhere close to your new home!

Have you heard of “six degrees of separation”? It’s the idea that we’re all only 6 connections away from any other person on earth.

Whether or not it’s 100% true doesn’t matter: the point is we’re all more connected than you think! So, begin by reaching out to the people closest to you, no matter where they live, and ask if they know anyone in your area.

You never know whose roommate’s cousin’s best friend is living in your neighborhood, and they could become your new bestie!

Make Friends in a New City 2: Coworkers

Like I said, starting with the people you already know is the best way to make new friends in a new city. 

Once you’ve reached out to your friends and family, it’s time to tackle your workplace! You talk to your coworkers regularly and, because you work together, you already know you have things in common!

Coworkers who became friends in a new city chatting on a stairwell

Try moving one of your office friendships into the real world by asking a coworker for lunch or coffee one day! Remember, when it comes to work friendships, you should be clear on your professional boundaries beforehand.

So, even though you might complain about work to your college bestie, I’d steer clear of that topic with a work friend- even when they become IRL friends!

Another way to connect with your coworkers is forming a team for a local bar trivia or weekend event! Then, ask everyone to bring one of their friends from outside of work and— BAM—you’ve got a group of new people to hang out with! 

Remember to keep track of everyone by uploading your new contacts & pics from the night into Connexions!

Once you’ve connected with the people you already know, it’s time to find some new people in your city!

Making Friends in a New City 3: Websites

If we’re going to use the internet to order food, date, and work full time, then we should use it to make friends too!

There are plenty of websites to help you make friends in a new city! Here are 3 great ones to start with:

Btw, if you’re going out to meet brand new people, make sure someone in your circle knows where you’re going. It’s important to still stay safe when you’re making new friends!

The best part about using a website to make new friends in a new city is customizing your search to your interests. You can find people who have similar tastes in books, music, games, and whatever else you can think of!

An empty, classy bar in a restaurant

Making Friends After College 4: Bars & Restaurants

In college, a former coworker who’d graduated came back to our office for a visit. She’d move to NYC after graduating and had done amazing things in just 1 year of living there.

So, we started asking her how she’d done it and her strategy totally shocked me! She told us that every Wednesday, she takes her business cards and goes to eat an early dinner by herself at a restaurant. Instead of sitting in a booth by herself, she sits at the bar and talks to every person that sits next to her.

Okay, on some level, that terrifies me! Then, she started naming the different VPs, executives, and friends she’d make from just that weekly ritual! 

Yes, sometimes making friends in a new city is scary, but the reward is so worth the fear!

If you’re stuck on what to try after moving to a new city alone in your 20s, then start by sitting at a restaurant bar (without getting drunk, of course) sometime between 5 and 7 o’clock, setting a timer for 1 hour, and seeing who you can connect with while you’re there. 

The more you do it, the more people you’ll meet, and the more natural it’ll feel!

Remember to add your new friends into Connexions, so you remember them all!

How to Make New Friends in a New City 5: Local Events

One of the best parts about living in a city is the number of unique, exciting events always happening! 

If you’re totally lost on how to make friends in a new city, then local events are another great starting point! Even if you don’t meet anyone—which you will!—you’ll learn something new too!

Here are a few ways to find local events in your new city:

  • Public spaces like museums and libraries have a variety of classes, exhibits, and events
  • Classes, like photography or cooking, at a local college or adult education center
  • Events put on by your apartment building or favorite coffee shop

The easiest way to make new friends in a new city is putting yourself out there, especially when you’re following your interests! That way, you’ll find other people with similar values and passions!

A large nice coworking space as a place to make friends in a new city

Making Friends After College 6: Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces have become the hottest new workplace, especially since a large percentage of the workforce switched to remote work. And, for good reason, since a lot of them include excellent wifi, comfortable seating areas, and local coffee!

Research coworking spaces in your new city and see which ones are in your budget. Make sure you check out their social media and calendar too, to see if they put on events for members! Here are some of our favorite coworking spaces in NYC.

That’s another great way to find friends in a new city!

Looking for fun fall things to do with all your new friends? Check out our 5 favorite fall activities!

How to Meet Friends in a New City 7: Become a Regular

One of the first friends I made when I was moving to a new city alone in my 20s was the owner of the coffee shop next to my apartment. 

Sure, we weren’t going to be hang-out-on-the-weekend friends. But, after 3 weeks of going there consistently, ordering the same drink, and making kind small talk, he knew my name, my order, and a little bit about me! 

Yes, it was small, but it was the first thing that made me feel connected to my new community. It’s a super simple way to have a place where you know you’ll be greeted with a warm smile and a cheery “good morning” in your new city. And, you’re supporting a local business when you do!

Becoming a regular, whether it’s at a coffee shop, diner, or furniture store, is one of the easiest (and tastiest!) ways to feel like you’re a part of your new city. Then, start asking your new coffeeshop friend for local recommendations and event ideas!

A groups of friends taking a hike together

Make Friends in a New City 8: Join a Local Community

There are so many communities within one city—way more than you’d expect! With a little research and determination, you’ll definitely find a group of likeminded future friends to connect with!

The answer to “How to make friends in a new city?” is in one of these local communities!

  • Join an Intramural Sports League, either in a sport you’ve played before or in a brand new game you’ve always wanted to try!
  • Find clubs based on your interests, like a book club or board game club, and become a regular attendee.
  • Audition for Community Theater—as a former theater kid, I promise this isn’t as scary as it sounds. A lot of community theaters don’t reject people, and even being in the ensemble is a super fun way to make a lot of friends in a new city!

By finding circles of your people in places they’re already hanging out, you’ll make your search for new friends way easier! Then, you can add them to your Circles in Connexions!

Find Friends in a New City 9: Volunteer

If you’re trying to make friends in a new city, then you’re pretty much guaranteed to find like minded people by volunteering for a cause you care deeply about!

Whether it’s working with people experiencing homelessness, assisting those with marginalized identities, or mentoring children, cities have plenty of volunteer opportunities! 

This is another great way to feel connected to your community on a deeper level, too, since you’ll be improving conditions for others while making your own friends!

Enthusiastic sports fans watching a game

Making Friends After College 10: Watch local sporting events

If playing in an intramural sports league isn’t for you, you can still get in on the fun of local sports!

In many cities, local sporting events— from high school to college to minor & major league teams— are a big part of social life.

Research the schedules of any local teams you might be interested in seeing play. Then, push yourself to attend a game and talk to as many people as you can! The game makes starting any conversation super easy, so you’ll always have something to talk about!

How to make friends in a new city isn’t something we’re typically taught in high school or college, so it’s up to you to find them on your own. Which can be totally intimidating! These 10 ideas, from asking people you already know to attending local events to volunteering, are the perfect place to start to make friends in a new city. Remember, don’t let a little awkwardness stop you from feeling confident and putting yourself out there!

Looking for an easier way to keep track of your new friends and photos? Download Connexions to start your digital daybook today!

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