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25 Easy Ways to Make Friends When Moving to a New City

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

You’ve made the decision, you’re taking the leap of faith, and now you're finally moving to a new city 🎊! You may feel excited, terrified, courageous, or many other dimensions of emotions. Perhaps you just arrived or have even lived in this city for a while and are looking to create great friendships and community. So wherever you find yourself, making great friendships in a new city can be exciting, intimidating, and challenging in a post-pandemic world. So, whether the decision to move was made by your company, yourself, or a variety of circumstances, we're proud of you and want to help you build a beautiful, rewarding, and thriving community!



Many of these tips will require courage to put into action (and good thing you're part of the human creative club because YOU can do hard things!). You’re about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime! So buckle up, get ready, and remember we’re always here to help!


Your people make the place. So for a baseline of friendship, let's start identifying your ideal friendships by answering these questions:

  • What kind of life do you want to build?

  • How would you want your relationships to feel (heartfelt, relaxing, exciting, deep, etc)?

  • In your own words what is a good friend, what is poor friendship behavior, and what are your boundaries?

A few general guides for navigating this list.

  • Friendships in general are built through common interests, so choose an activity authentic to you or an area of life you genuinely enjoy!

  • There's no pressure for every human you meet to be a lifelong friend. Find joy in the simple conversations and enjoy potential friendships blossoming. Your goal is to find incredible friends with a genuine connection, not just anyone (aka the ones who naturally connect will continue to grow with you)!

  • You're human, and intrinsically have value. Remember, anyone would be lucky to be your friend. 🌿 Don't take it personally when people you hope to be friends with don't fully connect. You'll find your people. 🌿

If you've ever felt like there's no hope for making authentic and lasting friends in your city, we've provided an exhaustive list to encourage you otherwise. So without further ado, we now introduce you to a list of the best ways to make new friends in the hustle and bustle of the city (drumroll please 🥁).



1. Connect With Friends of Friends


One of the best ways to make friends in a new city is through your existing friends. Moving to a new city can be bewildering and it may be near impossible to know how and where to make genuine friends in a new city.


So who are your current friends and humans you enjoy spending time with? Don't be afraid to ask these friends to connect you with people they know in your potential city or even post on Social Media something like "I recently moved to [NAME OF CITY] and I'd love to meet some cool people! Any suggestions?".


Introductions through friends go a long way to making early connections in a new city. Even if you don't hit it off with these particular humans immediately, you may become friends with someone they introduce you to. You may also find fun locations in the city you wouldn't have found without them.


*If you're a little shy, call a good friend before meeting someone new, and then make sure to follow up with the connections your friends give you!

2. Get a Dog


Sounds funny but hang with me. Finding new friends is stressful and when you're moving is exactly the time when you'll need deep and rich friendships. Luckily dog's are a great gateway to meeting people in your neighborhood and city. Plus, dogs can listen to all of your stress and weekly recaps without trying to fix you (😂 JUST JOKING, but I mean they're great listeners aren't they?).

An effortless way to meet new potential friends is by going to dog parks. Dog parks are generally full of friendly animal-loving humans. Fun and lively outdoor environments, small talk is almost expected among dog owners here.


Depending on the neighborhood you've moved to, take your dog for a slightly longer walk! If your pup is friendly, neighbors will generally stop to say hi. Your dog will need to go out each day regardless, so why not build a people-friendly routine? You'll see familiar faces over time and may find yourself with a few new friends!


*dogs are an additional life expense, but would you put a price on companionship? 😄


3. Use Apps to Meet People (Meetup, Bumble for Friends, AirBNB Experiences)


Humanity has reached an era where we are comfortable connecting in the digital world. There are a multitude of apps and opportunities to step into thriving communities online, new friendships, or build community around common interests.

A few apps to help you meet friends in your new city are: Bumble Friends, AirBNB Experiences, and Meetup. These are just three of many apps that create space for communities to be developed and new friendships to be fostered. Below is a brief breakdown of each app (*not a paid ad).


  • AirBNB Experiences: Choose a fun activity and meet other humans at the same time. A few experiences available at this time in Los Angeles, CA - learning to surf, eating with a private chef, horseback riding, hiking, flying plane, helicopter tours, family beach walks with marine biologists, and more. These experiences are a brilliant way to meet more people while they are experiencing something new too!

  • Bumble Friends: Did you know there was a friends version of Bumble? Now you do! If you're a little nervous getting out in the city, this is a great option to swipe and match with potential friends. Although, this is the World Wide Web so we would have to suggest added discernment in the process. Stay safe out there my friends!

  • Meetup: Taken from their website:"Meetup is a platform for finding and building local communities". Jump into a local soccer group, learn to code online, or even find a hiking group. Meetup is a great opportunity to step into pre-built communities. Note, not every potential group is super active on here, so do confirm with the group that they are actually meeting on this day before heading out.


4. Join a Local Volunteer Group


A rewarding way to meet friends in a new city is through serving with a local charity or non-profit. Plus, serving without expecting anything in return is psychologically is shown to grow your personal happiness. ☀️


Take a little time to research about a cause or group you're genuinely passionate about. An added benefit from volunteering is that you'll meet missional people aligned with your vision for life.


For example, the Union Rescue Mission in Down Town Los Angeles has a goal to end homelessness in LA and is the largest privately operated homeless shelter and always is in need of volunteers. Choosing to serve in such challenging locations has an incredible impact and requires a deeper fuel.


Whatever the organization may be, you'll instantly start creating a positive impact on the new city you're moving too!


5. Try A Workout Class


Make friends through the struggle of a HIIT class! Going through a challenging experience with other humans creates bonds for an easy baseline of community. As you continue to show up and see familiar faces, you may find you've developed new friendships while also staying healthy! Workout classes are great place to meet new people. They are generally full of humans who care enough about their physical and mental well being to spend money, time, and effort developing themselves.


A personal favorite for trying out classes, (*not an ad) ClassPass is a great way to try out multiple fitness class options in a new city! They have varied pricing tiers and allow you to find a community and workout location you truly enjoy. Whereas, fully committing to a specific studio generally locks you into a more expensive pricing structure for a few months.


*A few fitness class ideas to get you started in a new city:

  • Boxing

  • Hot Yoga

  • Pilates

  • CrossFit

  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Classes

  • Running Clubs

  • Cycling

  • Bar Classes


6. Dive Into What Inspires You


Inspiration is a powerful fuel source for your life. An inspired you will naturally attract and inspire the people you meet. While growing new friendships, you can easily to lose yourself in the stream of new humans and activities available. Clear sources of inspiration can help to refill your tanks and keep your life-compass calibrated.


Knowing who you are, what you care about, and what drives you naturally attracts humans with similar interests, provides value, and substance to the new friends you meet. Who knows, you may lead your own AirBNB experience, group meetup, run club, book club, coding crew, or another activity for humans to connect through.


*Challenge: Create a list of 8-10 people, places and things ignite the flame of inspiration ❤️‍🔥



7. Connect With Co-Workers


A pre-made path for friendship in your new city! If your work has returned to the office, you get to see your co-workers everyday with ample opportunities to add relational deposits.


If you and your team work remotely, then your co-workers are probably feeling a bit isolated. An easy FaceTime call or post work activity would be a welcome. Be bold, start a group chat, or organize a dinner out with co-workers in your area. Starting small talk, interest groups, or being the first to show some conversational vulnerability, goes a long way to planting the seeds of friendship. Think of these interactions as opportunities for a sunlight and water to grow your new-found friendships. *There's no need to feel pressure to force a friendship from every interaction.


A few other kind ideas to connect with co-workers are: sharing baked goods, inviting co-workers to join you for lunch, starting a fantasy football league, or genuine ways to express praise for a job well done could open avenues for friendship as well.


Finding friends through work will definitely take a bit of courage and time but may be easier than you think!


8. Join a Book Club


When diving into a book club make sure you've read the chapter(s), and be prepared to go deep!


Vibrant book clubs often have witty banter and playful back-and-forth debates. Book clubs naturally provide a topic of conversation, so if you're a little more shy you now have an easier avenue of commonality on which to speak.


Do note, book clubs may specialize in a particular genre. So you may have to try a few before you find a book club that fits you. Once you've found a group to stick with, regularly seeing familiar faces and the depth of conversations will start to make your new city feel like home.


If this is you're choice for finding new friends, the depth of these conversations will create great odds that you may have just found friends for a lifetime.


9. Take An Improv Class


Improvisational acting classes are a fun filled, get-out-of-your-comfort-zone way to make new friends. Everyone is in the same awkward boat of not knowing what will happen next and for this reason improv can be wild.


The more you can embrace the unknown and are comfortable saying "yes, and" the better your experience will be. Even if you get embarrassed in the process of improv, at least you can have a few laughs with your new friends afterward. While you're at it, why not invite the group out to pizza or a nearby ice cream shop and keep the laughter going!


These groups are generally on the loud and boisterous side and may be just the nudge you need to overcome your shyness.


10. Frequent Local Shops


In a financially responsible way, becoming a regular at local coffee shops, grocery stores, or mom-and-pop locations, raises your odds of interacting with the same humans over time.


Waiting in line or sipping on your pour-over is an easy time to start up a conversation. Overtime, you'll develop community and at a minimum a group of friendly faces will be there to greet you every time you stop in. *There are usually two outcomes from a new conversation with strangers. One, the conversation goes swimmingly and you create a bond. Two, they ignore you or the conversations is brief and fizzles ou. Either way, there's no harm done and you've taken a risk that could pay off.



11. Be A Kind Neighbor


Bring out the grill, we're about to have a house party!


Some of the closest humans, your neighbors could be your future friends! Even if there isn't a strong connection between you and your neighbors, there is an added level of safety and benefit when neighbors know you and are happy you're there.


Creating an immediate community with neighbors could be an incredibly fun a rewarding experience. It'll take some courage as you knock on their doors so here are a few easy ways to get the ball rolling:

  • Invite your neighbors over for a simple house warming party. Provide food and drinks.

  • Embrace small talk. Plan on leaving your house or apartment a little early so if you bump into a neighbor on your way to your car you're able to chat for a moment. These small interactions add up over time.

  • Host a creative and playful competition

  • Keep it natural

  • Be a good neighbor - Nailing the basics of waving when you see them, following HOA guidelines for your lawn, or saving the fireworks for the 4th of July.


12. Check Out Coffee Shops


Known for their function as a 3rd home, coffee shops often have a passionate following, are a great place to work from, meet fellow humans, and break up your work from home day. For the price of a 'cup of Joe' you'll get to enjoy an artisan co-working environment (rather than spending the hundreds on places like WeWork) and free wifi.


If you work from home and simply need a different environment to work out of this is a great option. Plan your day so your more administrative work can be knocked out in one of these locations. Generally speaking, most coffee shops in the city have free Wifi available, but come fully charged as there may not be charging ports due to squatters. In this way, you'll be able to maintain your work flow, enjoy a new environment, and bump shoulders with a few friendly faces. You never know who you might meet or the regulars you'll start to develop friendships with!


*Co-Working environments are a great option for meeting new people in a city as your budget allows


13. Join a Community of Faith


Faith based communities are a great place to meet new humans who care about others and personal growth (*we do of course recommend steering clear of Cults 😳). There are often events, easy ways to serve the local community, and generally humans who are looking to grow their life in healthier ways.


Once you've found a community you like or have a recommendation from a friend, start volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to serve your new city and to meet people who have similar values to you!


14. Use Social Media


Moving to a new city is tough and social Media is an incredibly powerful tool for you to begin building a real community. While sharing about your life, you may bump into someone else online with similar interests and passions. Have the courage to reach out with a simple message and get the ball rolling. Those first few connections translation to a simple real life hang can be powerful!


There are over 500 Million Facebook Groups, a classic location to find humans specific to your new city actively spending time together. Simply go to your search bar in Facebook and click the tab to refine your results to GROUPS.


Whatever your social media platform of choice may be, there will be people in your city who share your passions and pursuits. Be bold and take the first move! The rewards of building a thriving community are countless.


15. Go to Events


A super easy way to both have fun and meet new people is to go to events in your new city. Check out the cultural calendar of the city, or look up events happening at nearby venues. Events out in the open tend to create more friendly environments for connection. Perhaps your city has an art festival, an open air concert venue, or a music festival. These environments are generally:

  • Communally focused

  • Focused on having fun

  • May include group activities



16. Spend Time With the Friends You’ve Made


You're moving to a new city yes, and you still have important people in your life from your previous city. We have the opportunity to easily stay connected with friends we cherish through digital means. Moving to a new city is exciting and has a lot to offer so be conscious to circle back to your friends. Months or even years could easily go by without maintaining the meaningful relationships you've already built in your life.


Maintaining old friendships will also help you go deeper with your new friends. Through this cultivation of deep relationships, you may find yourself finding more friends through the friendships you've developed. As a key, find people you enjoy and chances are you'll enjoy their friends too!


*People make the place and create the experiences we will remember far into our future.


17. Take a Dance Class


The dance world is all about community. In general, most non-professional dance classes are done in groups. Choose a genre you get excited by: Hip-Hop, Salsa, Waltz, Ballet, Breakdancing or more!


Even as a newbie, these are fun and energetic environments where a group activity provides space for you to easily connect with others. What better way to connect with others than to also have learned a new skill you can take with you anywhere you go!


18. Join a Local Sports League


Larger cities often have ample opportunities to offer when it comes to making new friends. From the breadth of people in a given city there are far more diverse options to choose where you would like to develop deep friendships.


If you are into physical activities a local sports league is a great opportunity to build community. Building and moving towards a common goal with others each week will quickly bring a sense of belonging.


There's no pressure to stick with the first team you try. If you need to, take time to check out different groups and sports until you find a good fit for you.


19. Go to the Local Farmers' Market


You're health conscious, earth conscious, or maybe you simply enjoy the buzz of human activity! Lucky for you, farmers' markets abound in most cities. Los Angeles for example has a farmers' market in almost every pocket of the city on weekends.


Take time as you stroll through different booths that interest you to open up a conversation with owners or those you bump elbows with. A majority of individuals at farmers' markets will be people who share similar values and interests.


If you've already connected with your neighbors or friends from other communities you've stepped into, the farmer's market is a low pressure meetup with new friends in the city. Everyone could grab a pastry, juice, coffee, or kombucha, and stroll together without any preparation on your part.


Additionally, you'll enjoy knowing you're supporting local farms, families, and small businesses in your new city. Who knows, you may even want to start your own booth!


20. Cheer On Your Local Pro Team!


Your new city's football team may be your arch-rival or perhaps their team is your favorite. Either way, sporting events an a great way to meet new friends in a spirited environment. Even if the professional team isn't your favorite, perhaps there is a pro team in another sport you can root for.


Be it a Basketball, Football, Hockey, Baseball, Tennis, Golf, Soccer, or another professional sport, you’re bound to bump elbows with humans rooting for the same team. The camaraderie and common goal of the crowd means you'll easily be able to strike up a conversation.


There’s no pressure that every person you converse with has to be your next best friend. After the brief chit chat though, you may have discovered yourself with a new friend! A sporting event is also an easy way to shift great and create your first hang with a group of friends in a new city. Bringing them all together or a potluck at your place to watch the game or keep it simple a go cheer on your team live!



21. Register For An Art Class


Art classes are all about growing with others. Jump in on community painting nights, pottery classes, and more are an easy way to grow in a new skill in the context of community. Most humans in these classes are not professionals but are all there to learn and have a good time.


This low pressure environment and attitude encourages people to connect and compare their art in a non-judgmental way. You can both laugh at and admire what you've created while starting small talk with others.


*An added bonus of the art class, you'll be able to film and share the experience to social as well as have a physical reminder of a good memory for you home!


22. Join The Young Professionals Group


A local young professionals group is designed for connection and collaboration. If you're an entrepreneur what better place to make friends than one designed for networking. We can't control the way others choose to approach networking but we can choose to step into these spaces with authenticity.


Friendships are an incredible resource both personally and professionally. The young professionals network is already a curated group of individuals looking to grow. This arena can be an additional source of encouragement and accountability as you make friends.


*Here are a few reasons why joining a young professionals group is beneficial:

  • Networking

  • Professional Development

  • Personal Development

  • Making a Difference (through non-profit connections)

  • Having Fun

  • Exclusive Services & Benefits

  • Building Your Resume/Experience

  • Becoming a Mentor


23. Learn a Foreign Language


Making friends through leaning a new language is more accessible than ever. Leaning a new language in a group setting can be fun. You'll easily meet other humans as you start study groups, language exchanges, and practice sessions.


See the mistakes as you go as beautiful laughable moments along the journey. Not only will this alleviate self-pressure but you'll give your fellow classmates a subliminal permission to have fun as well.


In addition to growing new friendships, there are incredible benefits of learning a new language. For example, your public speaking ability will grow, bilinguals posses greater intellectual flexibility, more job opportunities, increased cultural awareness, and learning a language can increase your decision making skills.


24. Go to Yard Sales (A Gary Vee Favorite)


Every item has a story and you're connecting with the life story of locals. Asking genuine questions about items you're actually interested in can spark a conversation with a homeowner who has lived in your new city for years. You may bud a new friendship with them or learn some valuable information about your city in the process. At minimum, you'll have made another fun human interaction.


A few added benefits of yard sales is that you know you'll save money you would have spent on an item if it were brand new, you may save things from going to a landfill, and when someone compliments you on a clothing item you may now have a fun story to tell.


25. Go on a Guided Museum Tour


FOR REAL, making friends on a guided museum tour is a real thing. The right tour guide can bring out historic drama surrounding the art piece, have the group roaring with laughter, and giving you a deeper understanding for conversations outside of the Museum.


Even with a more placid tour guide, you're walking the museum with humans who care about art, beauty, history, and will have time to easily create interactions over commonalities.


*A few additional benefits to museum tours:


 

We hope that after reading this blog, your life bursts with even greater color and possibility! If anything here has been impactful for you, we want to know! Message us on instagram (@humancreativecoaching)!


Looking for a Life Coach? click the link for a free intro call with one of our professional and trusted Life Coaches!

1 comment

1 Comment


Makenzie Cook
Makenzie Cook
Nov 05, 2022

I really enjoyed all of the information available here and the friendly, encouraging perspective the information was delivered through. :)

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