5 Easy Ways to Make Friends in a New City

A move is an exciting chance for a fresh start! However, moving is hard, and making friends can be difficult. But, there’s hope.

Here are 5 personally-tested ways to make friends after a big move.

1. Be the Friend You Seek

Moving is a perfect time to reevaluate who you want as a friend. Then, be that person. If you want friends who prioritize fitness, join them in the gym. If you desire friends who chill over a beer, seek out a happy hour and be open to new conversations. If you hope for friends who share your faith, attend services regularly. Or all three! Be the person you want as a friend, and this investment will pay off in new relationships and personal growth.

Woman tying shoelaces at gym.

2. Frequent the Same Places 

It may feel monotonous but routinely visiting the same places makes an otherwise big city shrink to a small-town feel. Think of establishments you would regularly visit, like the grocery store, gas station, coffee shop, gym, or pub. Seek out places near your home (more opportunity for conversation starters) and stick to these, preferably on a schedule. You will soon spot familiar faces, and that is the beginning of a new place feeling like home.

Point of view of a man getting a cup of cappuccino from a barista in a coffee shop

3. Join Clubs, Groups, or Organizations 

One of the fastest ways to meet people and make friends is by participating in active groups in your area. You will regularly mingle with the same people who share your interests. And, when fun, service and hard work are involved, friendships are formed! Examples are running clubs, volunteer groups, sports teams, dance classes, or school activities. Seek these out before your move and reach out to the leaders. You will most likely find people waiting to greet you with open arms.

Volunteers with garbage bags cleaning up garbage outdoors - ecology concept.

4. Say Yes to Every Opportunity 

Say a big YES to every opportunity and invitation that comes your way, especially the first few months after a move. Even if the event is inconvenient, you are exhausted or are uninterested in the people who extended the invite. You never know who you will meet or what doors of opportunity will open for you by networking. Seize all the options while you are still the new kid on the block. 

Young people with backpacks stand in the forest from behind. Tourists on the tourist route.

5. Embrace Photography 

It may seem odd to wrap up this list with photography, but pictures are huge for social connections! Snap photos while around town, tag your location, then post on social platforms. Your tribe will be interested and start to take notice. When out with people, join in pictures and take some yourself. You will create conversations and opportunities to connect and tag on social media. Soon, you will look back on these photos and realize how many friends you have made since moving to your new city. 

Social media. Man holding smartphone, connecting to internet and chatting

Meeting people in a new city can seem overwhelming, but if you be the friend you want, visit the same places, get involved in groups, seize opportunities, and join in group photos, you will have that new circle of friends in no time.


I am a freelance creative passionate about building community. I’ve “started over” in several cities, including a year as an ex-pat in Japan and I have made numerous friends using these tips!

If you would ever like to collaborate on anything at all, please reach out. Thank you for visiting The Jar. 💙 


Cover Photo by Marina Khrapova on Unsplash. Embed photos Adobe.

2 Comments on “5 Easy Ways to Make Friends in a New City

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