5 Ways how to meet people and make friends in a new city
Moving to a new city can be a daunting experience, especially if you don’t know anyone where you’re heading to.
As you know, I try to have as local an experience as possible avoid tourist traps when I’m traveling. For that reason, in part, is why I rarely stay in hotels or hostels preferring apartments instead.
So many people fear that by doing this it will be hard to meet people in an unfamiliar city (where as a short stay visitor if you move there for a longer period).
Whether I’m staying in the new city a week, a month or a year, I always take the initiative to go out and meet new people whenever I have the opportunity.
Connecting with People
What’s key for me is to meet people that I can connect with others (whether they are local or foreign).
Here are 5 of the strategies I employ to meet people when I’m traveling:
1. The first step I’ll take is to ask the host of the apartment for a list of cafes, restaurants and bars where I would naturally hang out and where I’m more likely to meet like-minded people.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be these places, in particular. It can also a meeting for a weird hobby or attending a cultural event – somewhere where there’s a likelihood of you connecting with people.
2. Always look for places that are reasonably intimate so that you’re going to have contact with the people around you. So cafes or bars, restaurants with communal tables are great because you sit beside people.
At the very least you’ll probably have to pass the salt – even something that simple can start an amazing conversation. So choose somewhere where you’ll have contact with the other people naturally.
Extra kudos if you’re traveling and can at least start the conversation in the local language. 😀
3. When I’m traveling, technology now gives us a few extra options. For example, I always look for things that I really have an interest in and as you’ve probably guessed from this website, I love learning languages. 😀
And what I do is I look for Facebook groups or maybe other social networks, like Couchsurfing and I often write there that people who are looking to practice their languages and would love to show a traveler around their hometown.
Friends I made by being open to new people – Paris, France
4. You should always look at your own social network. See amongst your friends who has already been to the city. Normally in Facebook, it shows you who’s been there. Ask them for tips!
Maybe they have local friends. They will also be able to tell you exactly where should go to meet people easier. What’s cool, what works. What doesn’t work.
5. Finally, you can go to a party, bar or club, in much the same way as you would in your home town. I’ve befriended long term friends and even the occasional girlfriend in many an establishment over the years. You don’t need to drink or get trashed with people to do that … although in Russia or Ireland that can be hard to avoid … 😂
So that’s how I am meet people when I’m traveling. What’s really key is being open minded and stepping out of your comfort zone. Sometimes even I still struggle to overcome my shyness and take initiative to meet people (even if I have my own YouTube channel).
Have you ever had to move to a city where you didn’t know anyone? How did you overcome the difficulties you faced in meeting new people? I’d love to hear about your adventures and experiences. Write them in the comments section below this article! 🙂