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How to Make Friends in a New City |

It’s easy to make friends when you’re surrounded by people who share your interests and values, but what about when you’re in a new city? How can you find people with similar backgrounds and interests to connect with, without having to resort to social media?

The how to make friends in a new city 2021 is about how to make friends in a new city. It includes tips on how to approach people, what to do with your time, and where to find groups of people who are interested in the same things as you.

How-to-Make-Friends-in-a-New-CityWing (Ta) Ho of Canary Grey provided the photo.

Note from the editor: This piece was assigned and written months ago, before the epidemic became well known. Even if you’re currently at home, you can do some of these actions from the convenience of your own sofa (and you can keep the rest in your back pocket for later). Drinks on the town may be on hold for the time being for some of us, but it won’t be for long. Here’s to strengthening some of our most essential connections.


Moving to a new city, whether for business or personal reasons, may be daunting. You find yourself cut off from your once-close social group, trustworthy coworkers, and close family members. And, depending on where you relocate, it may also include navigating a whole other culture, mastering public or private transportation, and even learning a new language. 

As an American who has spent the majority of her adult life overseas (the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany, respectively), I understand what it’s like to go someplace new and have to start over socially. Even if you made the choice on your own (i.e., it wasn’t dictated by a relationship or a job), starting a new chapter may be tiring rather than exhilarating. 

Don’t become disheartened, no matter what you do. Recognize that what you’re doing is extremely courageous, even if it takes a bit longer than you expected to start establishing a new network of friends. You’re going out of your comfort zone, and here is where you’ll find your real strength. 

So, without further ado, here are a few ideas I’ve come across for making new acquaintances in your new city. 

First and foremost, consider your network.

Have you recently received word that your job move has been approved? 

Did your spouse just tell you that due of their work, you’ll have to relocate across the ocean? 

Have you recently made the decision to bite the bullet and relocate to the city (or nation) you’ve always wanted to live in?

Whatever your motivation for relocating, now is the moment to tap into your personal network. Begin by informing your friends, coworkers, and family members about your plans to relocate, and don’t be afraid to ask whether they know anybody in the region. Whether they say yes, ask if they’d be willing to introduce you. (Remember, this is not the time to be scared—you can do it!) Consider it this way: by reaching out, you may be able to begin building a social network for yourself even before you arrive in your chosen city. 

Begin by informing your friends, coworkers, and family members about your plans to relocate, and don’t be afraid to ask whether they know anybody in the region. Consider it this way: by reaching out, you may be able to begin building a social network for yourself even before you arrive in your chosen city. 

But don’t depend only on your family and friends. Make contact with everyone in your network, whether they are acquaintances or not, to throw a broader net. Unless you’re going somewhere very distant, at least one person in this network will be able to connect you with a prospective contact (or two). 

I met one of my German pals here in Hamburg by “casting a broad net.” Last summer, a close friend of mine from the United States (who now lives in Switzerland with her husband) went on a surf and yoga vacation in Portugal, where they met another couple from Hamburg. They got along swimmingly, swapped phone numbers, and when my American friend found out I was going to Hamburg, she immediately put me in touch with her German buddy through WhatsApp. We met for coffee shortly after connecting, and she even asked me to her birthday celebration the next weekend. Sometimes all you need is one person to assist you in spreading your social butterfly wings. 

Become a member of a group for newbies like you.

This is something you may do before you move or when you first arrive in your new city. 

I was worried about how I would meet new acquaintances after moving with my partner from the German countryside to the large metropolis of Hamburg. As a self-employed writer who mainly writes from home, I knew I’d have to put myself out there in some way if I wanted to have any sort of a social life (apart from spending time with my wonderful partner). Previously, when I went to the United Kingdom and then to Sweden, I struck the social jackpot since I met great individuals via my education (I completed my master’s degree in London) and job (I initially moved to Stockholm for a copywriter role with a branding agency). 

Facebook Groups aren’t to be overlooked.

So, before coming to Hamburg, one of the first things I did was join the official Expats in Hamburg Facebook page. Sure, there are some strange Facebook groups for newcomers, but many are surprisingly useful—particularly for asking questions (e.g., Can anybody suggest a dermatologist? ), navigating a new place, and, perhaps most importantly, establishing new friends. 

That is, in fact, how I met my British buddy in Hamburg. I responded to someone else’s query in the Expats in Hamburg Facebook group, and she messaged me privately, introducing herself and said that she and her partner had just relocated to Hamburg as well. We exchanged a few messages on Facebook Messenger before agreeing to meet for a glass of wine in the city, and I’m pleased to say that we got along swimmingly. (In fact, we’re getting ready to go on a double date night.) 

Join the Meetup group.

However, Facebook isn’t the only place where you may make new friends. Try Meetup if you want to meet people in person. You just need to join up with your email address, name, and city to choose from a broad variety of interests/hobbies (e.g., yoga, movies, cooking, meditation, etc.). Meetup offers you a selection of events that are taking place in your city once you’ve established an account and chosen what you’re interested in. So why don’t you give it a shot? You never know whether your new bestie will be sitting next to you on the yoga mat. (As a side note, this is how I met another German buddy.) 

Join a Club for Expats

I can also strongly suggest joining an expat club for those of you living overseas. When I lived in Sweden, I didn’t do this since I was fortunate to have made so many wonderful friends via my job, but when I came to Hamburg, I chose to join the American Women’s Club. It’s a great opportunity to get engaged in your new city and become a part of a large expat community, with anything from monthly reading groups to weekly cinema screenings.

Allow Your Colleagues To Participate

If your employment requires you to relocate to a new location, make the most of your built-in social network, aka your coworkers. 

Feeling a bit self-conscious about inquiring about their plans after work? Start by taking the person(s) with whom you get along the best out to lunch. This can help you figure out whether they’re someone with whom you’d want to make real plans outside of work and away from your workstations. If not, why not? There is no need to be concerned. What matters is that you put yourself out there. There may be someone else at work who you haven’t met yet who will become your newfound soul sister. 

Personally, employment was the source of many of my long-lasting connections. Perhaps it’s because I’ve worked for a number of multinational corporations (one of the businesses I worked for in Sweden had over forty different nationalities represented!). But here’s what I discovered: if you’re upfront and honest about your relocation, wonderful things seem to come your way.

In other words, if a new colleague asks how your experience has been thus far relocating to your new city, and you respond with, “Fantastic!” (even if things aren’t so great), your colleague is likely to invite you out after work hours. They’d believe you’d made a good impression. 

Good things seem to come your way if you remain open and honest about your moving experience. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, it frequently connects with others who have been in your shoes at some time. That’s when the social invitations start to trickle in.

When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, it frequently connects with others who have been in your shoes at some time. That’s when the social invitations start to trickle in.

Keep it local. 

Take the time once you’ve moved to your new city to thoroughly investigate your local surroundings. This allows you to not only see all of the surrounding attractions, but also to meet some of your fellow residents. 

Frequently Visited Local Businesses

My partner and I reside in Eppendorf, a beautiful area in Hamburg with adorable shops, cafés, bakeries, and hairdressers, among other things. I needed a manicure when we first relocated, and I saw (thank you, Google!) that a new beauty shop had just opened across the block. I discovered the proprietor was born in Chicago after reading their website. Because my German isn’t excellent, I began following the salon on Instagram and sent a direct message asking if I could schedule a manicure appointment. The salon’s owner responded quickly and said that speaking in English was not an issue. What if we fast forward to now? This shop has been my go-to for manicures, and yes, the owner always greets me with a hug. Okay, so we’re not best buddies or anything, but simply seeing a familiar face in the neighborhood makes me feel like I’ve been here for a while. 

Make Friends with Your Neighbors

I realize it may seem odd, but don’t underestimate the importance of getting to know your neighbors. To be honest, I never truly knew my neighbors in any other place I’ve lived in except Hamburg, other for the odd “Hi” and “Have a good day” when I passed them in the hallway or on the stairs. 

Hamburg, on the other hand, is a whole different tale. Our next-door neighbors are not just an English-speaking couple (he’s American and she’s Dutch), but they’ve also become good friends of ours. Plus, since a box of hers was left at our apartment while she was at work and she stopped by to pick it up, our German neighbor one level below has become a new buddy. Real-life situations like these are uncommon, but they do occur. What’s the takeaway? Even in your apartment complex, new friendships may develop. 

Accept the invitation (To Every Invitation)

A relocation, regardless of where you’re going, is a long and stressful process. When you’re weary or perhaps jetlagged, the last thing you want to do is go outside your new quarters and mingle. (Netflix and takeout sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?) 

My suggestion is to take advantage of any social opportunity that comes your way, at least while you’re initially settling here. In the early days of your relocation, if someone asks you to an event or out for coffee, simply say yes and don’t think twice. 

You’re well on your way to creating a new life for yourself—new pals included—by making the deliberate decision to be open to all that is available to you and around you. 

Of course, it’s conceivable you won’t get along with them or that you’ll decide it wasn’t the greatest use of your time. That’s simply the way things are. Just remember that if you don’t accept an invitation, you may lose out on making a fantastic new friend.

You’re well on your way to creating a new life for yourself—new pals included—by making the deliberate decision to be open to all that is available to you and around you. 

If you are looking for friends in a new city, the how to make friends in a new city is an article that will help. It covers topics like how to make friends in your 20s and what places to go to meet people. Reference: how to make friends in a new city in your 20s.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to make friends in a new city?

It is difficult to make friends at first, but it becomes easier with time.

How long does it take to make new friends in a new city?

It takes a long time to make friends in a new city. But it is worth the effort!

How do I make friends when I move to a new place?

The best way to make friends is to be yourself and try to be open. If youre shy, then ask people if they want to play a game or do something on your day off.

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