How to Make Friends When You Move to a New City

how to make new friends when moving to a new city

So you’ve made the decision to uproot your life and move to a new city – first of all, congratulations. Making the move was probably one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to do, but sometimes change is just what you need to find out what you’re really capable of. It’s exciting! If you’ve moved somewhere completely new, then the chances are you don’t really know anyone. Things can seem pretty scary when you don’t have anyone to go out for dinner with, or even ask for advice about the local area, so here are our tips on how to make friends when you move to a new city.

Join the local gym:

Come on, you’ve been saying you need to get that spandex back on for months now – this is as good a time as any! Pop into your local gym and ask for a tour to see if you like the place before you sign up. This will give you a chance to explain your situation and you can get a feel for whether the gym has an inviting social aspect too. A lot of privately owned gyms make a big deal about knowing all of their customers by name and will often hold parties for special events on the premises or organise Christmas nights out. Many even have a café area too which is a good place to bump into people who work out around the same time as you. Make sure the gym offers group classes and book yourself in for a light aerobics session or a relaxing yoga class – nothing too strenuous – and introduce yourself to the instructor and a few members too. The “I’m new” card works perfectly here, simply ask someone if they’ve attended the class before and what you should expect. Before you know it you’ll be sharing a post-workout protein shake on the way home.

Bring in back up:

If you’re not quite ready to talk to complete strangers on your own, why not invite a few of your closest friends over for a weekend and see if they can help you out? Not only will it cheer you up to see the pals you love the most, but it will give you a confidence boost when you are out and about with your main squad. It’s always easier to enter the unknown with someone you know, and you’ll naturally get talking to other groups of people. Once you’ve bought a round for a few of the regulars they’ll certainly talk to you every time you pop in for the odd gin and tonic. Befriending the bar staff is also a good tip, and not only will you get good service but they’ll probably fill you in on any gossip that’s been going around the area. Just remember to graciously keep it under your hat.

Say yes!

It can be really tempting after a long day at work to head straight home and get into hair up, sweats on mode almost instantly. Once you’ve had a week or so of settling in we urge you to start saying yes when people ask you out to social events. Even if it doesn’t seem like you and Janice from accounting have much in common, it’s really important to be out socialising in situations where you might bump into other people who you have mutual interests with. No one has ever made friends sitting on the sofa with a pint of cookie dough ice cream, so take the plunge and get out there.

Invite people:

Instead of waiting around for strangers to ask you to do something, take the initiative and reach out to the few people you do know. If it makes you more comfortable then do it in a setting where you have full control, like making them dinner at your own house or going out to watch a movie. Alternatively, plan something fun so that you will both be distracted and have loads to see and do. For example, try a busy farmer’s market or a fairground where there are lots of visual cues and experiences to act as conversation starters. Just make sure in advance that your guest is OK with fairground rides!

Take up a hobby:

We’re not suggesting you start knitting or scrapbooking (although personally these both sound like fun to me) but you can definitely use a hobby as a way to meet new people. Why not look on Facebook and find a local book club, running club or even start one yourself doing something you’re passionate about? If you want to learn something new, then enrol in an evening class where you can brush up on a new language or improve your painting skills whilst getting to know people who are into the same thing as you. If you’re feeling particularly helpful you could even volunteer at a local soup kitchen, charity shop or arts and crafts events. Check out to find a diverse range of opportunities in your area.

Fiona Reid

Fiona Thomas is a lifestyle blogger based in Birmingham. She graduated with a degree in Commercial Music where she snuck into several journalism classes and realised her real passion was writing. She had a successful career in management for several years before returning to her calling and started developing Fiona Likes to Blog, whilst working freelance for other websites. She is a keen advocate of positive body image, mental health awareness, fitness and wellbeing.