21 Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City or Town

21 Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City or Town

You made it—you’ve just moved to a new city or town. It’s exciting and maybe a little intimidating at the same time. Aside from locating nearby shopping and healthcare providers, you’re probably wondering about the best ways to meet new friends!

Sound about right?

If you are looking for the best ways to meet new friends in a new city, first think about the hobbies and activities that are enjoyable for you.

Best Ways to Meet Friends in a New City ChecklistBONUS: Discover 50+ best ways to meet new friends!
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It can be fun to get out of your comfort zone in a brand new activity. However, starting with one you already know and love will give you the confidence needed to start up a conversation with someone who shares that interest.

Make a quick list of the activities you are most comfortable with.

Need some good ideas first? Take a look at our list of fun ways to meet new friends in a new city, as well as ways to meet friends online.

The Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City

1. Volunteer in the community

When you have a passion for giving back, it is easy to find others who share that passion.  Sharing a few hours of your time each month will benefit both your organization of choice and you.

Of all the great places to meet new friends, volunteering for a cause you care for ranks very high!

Find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you on VolunteerMatch.org by entering your city and your areas of interest.

Consider some of these worthy causes:

  • Human rights and advocacy
  • Children and youth
  • Animal welfare
  • Arts and culture
  • Education and literacy
  • Crisis support or disaster relief

[clickToTweet tweet=”#MakeFriends by finding a volunteer opportunity for you on VolunteerMatch.org. #volunteer” quote=”Make new friends by finding the perfect volunteer opportunity for you on VolunteerMatch.org.”]

Join an amateur sports team | 21 Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City

2. Join an amateur sports team

Whether you are highly athletic or just enjoy having fun, there is a sports league for you. From competitive softball to flag football, to “just for fun” dodgeball leagues, sports leagues create great ways to meet new friends in new cities.

Find a league in your area with sites like ZogSports or Sportsvite.

3. Join a gym and try an exercise class

Joining a gym is a great way to stay fit and get social. Add an extra layer of social to your membership by taking one or more of the offered exercise classes.

You may find something you really enjoy, and a new workout partner could become a friend outside the gym as well.

Pump up your chances of making strong bonds (and muscles) by joining a specific kind of gym like:

4. Join a dance class

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be an experienced dancer to join a class later in life! If you enjoy great music and staying active, dance classes provide one of the best ways to meet new friends.

Pick a genre you enjoy and then consider practicing outside of the classroom in social settings like clubs or bars.

You can try dancing without breaking the bank; search for dance lessons on Groupon to get a great deal.

5. Run a local road race

Every runner will tell you that road races are fun, communal events. Races and running clubs offer fun ways to meet new friends, see your town from a new perspective, and break a sweat.

Experienced runners and novices alike can enjoy the benefits of getting involved in the runner community (don’t worry, it’s not an elite club!).

Use an app like Nike Run Club to link up with, compete against and/or cheer on other runners in your area.

Work when and where you want. Learn more!

6. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or a Professional Networking Group

If you own your own business, joining the Chamber of Commerce is a highly effective way to meet new people and build a network of referrals.

People who start off as network acquaintances can turn into lifelong friends.

The passion shared by business owners and dedicated professionals is contagious. If you don’t own your own business but take great pride in your profession and want to meet new friends who share that drive, networking events are the number one way to do it.

SEE ALSO: Travel Nursing for New Grads: 5 Reasons to Just Go For It

7. Join a religious group or cultural club

Certainly one of the best ways to meet new friends is through a shared love of religion or culture. Becoming active in a local church, synagogue or mosque will ensure that you engage with a community of like-minded people who will support you.

If religion isn’t for you, but you have strong ties to your culture, consider seeking out the local club or chapter that represents your culture in your city.

Join a wine club | 21 Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City

8. Join a wine club

If you enjoy a nice glass of wine and good conversation, it won’t be hard to make new friends in a wine club.

Many cities have wine clubs that tour the local wine bars and wineries (where applicable). Learn more about wine and make friends on the journey!

9. Join a book club

Not only are book clubs one of the best ways to meet new friends, reading is widely known to be excellent for the brain and overall emotional health.

Unwind with a new book each month and join a club where you can find new friends and enjoy a discussion. Finding the right book club is easy with websites like My Book Club and Reader’s Circle.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Book clubs are one of the best ways to meet new friends! #makefriends #bookworm” quote=”Book clubs are one of the best ways to meet new friends, and good for your health!”]

10. Join a sports team fan club

Do you love your team? You aren’t alone! It doesn’t matter where your team is from or what sport they play, chances are there are others in your city who also love them.

Joining a fan club is one of the great ways to meet friends online! If you are up for cheering on games together, you can probably find a local bar dedicated just to your team!

The easiest way to find these clubs is through your team’s official website. Be sure to grab your favorite team’s hat or jersey from Fanatics.com.

Take your dog to the park | 21 Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City

11. Take your dog to the park

A shared love of pets is an instant conversation-starter. If you love dogs and the outdoors, taking your dog to the dog park is definitely one of the best ways to meet new friends.

No dog parks nearby? If meeting people in a new city is on your to-do-list, walk your dog in a popular place like downtown to run into potential new friends.

12. Go to the beach or lake

Relax and soak up the sun with a great book on the sand, or join a pick-up volleyball game. Spending time at the beach or lake is a fun activity by yourself, but it creates lots of opportunities to meet new friends.

Consider taking a water-based class like paddleboarding or snorkeling and use these activities to meet friends.

13. Join local Facebook Groups

One of the best ways to meet friends online is to join Facebook Groups. Use the search bar at the top of the home page and select “groups” to narrow down results to your liking.

Try using your city’s name as part of the search to see local results.

Are you a traveling health professional? Check out our Inspired Traveler Facebook Group to gain access to a community of like-minded friends.

14. Go to bars with events like Trivia Night

If you enjoy a competitive round of trivia, consider making new friends by joining a team at a local bar or brewery.

Most players will join these events with a full team. For those without a group, the trivia managers can place you with a team of people who are new to the game like you.

Need ideas for a creative or funny team name? Browse through suggestions here.

SEE ALSO: Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

15. Visit a museum, zoo, aquarium or national park

Spending time at one of these public places can be a great way to enjoy the day and meet new friends who share your interests.

Many cities offer a variety of museums featuring collections of all kinds. If you are more inclined to spend the day with animals, many zoos and aquariums offer walking tours or wildlife classes.

There are 58 national parks in the U.S. If you happen to be in the area of one or more, consider purchasing an “America the Beautiful Pass”. It will give you access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as day use fees at national forests and grasslands.

Go to a local music, food or art festival | 21 Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City

16. Go to a local music, food or art festival

Attending festivals is one of the best ways to meet new friends. Festivals are very communal, centered around having fun, and often include group activities like games, competitions, and demonstrations.

Your local city or town newspaper’s website may have a calendar of events to peruse.

17. Take a foreign language class

Learning a new language is a fantastic way to continue your education and open yourself up to a new culture. Learning in a group setting makes it easy to form new connections, but it can also be a great way to meet friends online.

You can always use the popular online language system Rosetta Stone, which offers access to groups and “co-ops” where you practice with others.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Learning a language in group setting makes it easy to form new connections. #makefriends #travel” quote=”Learning a language in a group setting makes it easy to form new connections.”]

18. Shop at local businesses

Local business owners are eager to meet and serve their community.

Spending time in the local boutiques and restaurants in your town ensures that you can build relationships with the hard-working people who own the shops.

Patronizing these businesses also create opportunities to meet other members of the community who “shop local” and could become shopping buddies.

SEE ALSO: 9 Things You Need for a Complete Travel Nurse Packing List

Go to a farmer's market | 21 Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City

19. Go to a farmer’s market

Many towns offer monthly farmer’s markets full of great produce and local products. Like shopping locally, farmer’s markets create a fun way to support your community and surround yourself with neighbors who are interested in doing the same.

If you enjoy healthy living, farmer’s markets are one of the best ways to meet new friends in a new city, because of the diverse group of people who attend.

20. Take a local brewery tour

Craft beer has exploded onto the scene in recent years and almost every town has at least one local brewery. In addition to great beer, these breweries often offer tours and classes making them a great place to meet new people and have fun.

Cities with large collections of breweries even see new tours popping up like Brew Bus, a bus tour that takes you to multiple breweries over the span of a day.

21. Join MeetUp.com

Perhaps one of the very best ways to meet new friends is to join MeetUp.com. This online forum allows you to enter your city and interest to view endless numbers of “meetups” near you.

If you’re interested in doing some of the activities above, but want to make a friend to take first, consider using MeetUp.com to build a group of friends to do activities together.


Adjusting to a new city can be difficult, but always remember that you’re not alone! If you’re wondering, “How do I meet new friends?”, try some of the ideas in this article.

Be confident, be yourself, and be open to new social connections. Before you know it, you’ll feel settled in and establish genuine friendships with like-minded individuals.

➡ Do you have any other tips for fun ways to meet new friends in a new city?

Share with us in the comments below!

Best Ways to Meet Friends in a New City ChecklistBONUS: Discover 50+ best ways to meet new friends!
Download Our Checklist!



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