meet new people

How to Meet New People and Find Friends in 2023

Rachel Sharpe

While it can be intimidating to meet new people, expanding your network will help you make new friends from different backgrounds and cultures and work on your socializing skills. You open yourself up to brand new experiences and cultures when you open yourself to the opportunity of meeting people from all walks of life. It can feel overwhelming and scary, especially if you’re an introvert or struggle with social anxiety, but you get used to the exposure and socialization after a while. In this article, we’ll be talking about the significant ways on how to meet new people.

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25 Ways to Meet New People

1. Volunteer

Whether it’s volunteering in an organization or to charity, this is a great way to meet new friends. One of the benefits of volunteering, asides from meeting many people who want to help others, is the possibility of giving back. If you’ve always wanted to meet people who are as compassionate and selfless as you, this can be your reward for giving back through volunteering. You can support many causes, such as human rights advocacy, disaster relief, or child hunger. Depending on your skill set, you might even find volunteer work based on similar career skills. For example, if you volunteer as an events marketer, you might meet other people who work in event planning like you. So, it can also be a way to meet new people based on career interests. Since doing acts of kindness tends to make you feel good, you’ll notice that you bring out the best version of yourself when volunteering, creating positive first impressions.

meet new people volunteering

2. Book Clubs

You can meet friends by joining a book club. Your local library or community club can be a great way for you to find the best new books, enjoy them, and talk about them. People who are passionate about books will end up meeting people with the same interests. You can also recommend books for others to read. Before the meeting starts you can make personal connections. And by sharing unique thoughts on the book, you might raise awareness on something someone else didn’t notice. It’s a good way to practice your social skills too. Most book clubs focus on positive, non-controversial books, so you can have a friendly conversation instead of one that goes into a debate. So, if you love books and want to meet like minded friends, this could be an avenue for you. You can check out our list of the best meditation books.

3. Join a sports team

If you’re physically active and passionate about sports or athletics, joining a sports team can help you meet new people. While being on a sports team while you’re in school can help you network. You don’t have to play in a league to reap the benefits of meeting new people while playing sports. Many recreation centers have pick-up sports that you can sign up for as an adult as well. You can choose to join a co-ed sport like soccer or volleyball or play on an all female or all male team. Whether you’re competitive or simply playing for fun, joining a sports team is the best way to meet new people who are just as athletic as you. If intensive sports aren’t your thing, you can also find meetups for more casual activities like golf, running, or even mindful walking. The secret to meeting new people in these settings is all about showing up consistently. You’ll find many others who show up each week, so you’ll slowly start the conversation of getting to know them.

make friends playing sports

4. Networking events

Professional networking groups are a great way to make a new friend. However, be warned that most people go to networking parties to sell you something. There’s almost always an ulterior motive. Instead, be a giver. Be the person who tries to help people overcome their imposter syndrome, find unemployed members a new job, and build personal connections by just helping people with their needs. If you want to know how to meet new people, just know that people love talking about themselves. So, ask a lot of questions. You’ll find like minded people at events for networking based on your industry. For example, business people will often go to networking events for business.

5. Travel

Traveling is one of the most adventurous and concrete ways to meet other people. People tend to be in a good mood, particularly when traveling for a vacation, which opens up opportunities to meet new people in a lighthearted way. When you travel abroad, you explore different places, attract new experiences, and create positive memories while meeting new people from different cultures. Meeting new people is often one of the most memorable and unforgettable parts of traveling. You’ll make new friends that during this happy moment in your life. If you do group travel with a bus tour, a guided one-week trip or a meditation retreat, you’ll be much more likely to mingle with others who are in this new experience with you. If it is a group tour, go out of your way to invite people to join you for dinner, chat them up during pit stops, and ask about what they’re most excited about for the trip.

meet people traveling

6. Local bar

The bar scene isn’t for everyone. However, if you’re looking for a place to meet new friends, heading to a local bar can be a great way to socialize with others. Bars with pool tables can be a great way to connect with people and strike up a conversation. The only downside to meeting people at a bar is that some people may think that you’re pursuing them romantically instead of as a friend. Plus, some people don’t drink alcohol, so you’ll be limiting the types of friendships you can make there. However, if you prefer small talk and getting out of the house, you can do this at a local bar quite easily. You may make a new friendship or build relationships while expanding your social circle.

7. Go to the gym

If you find that sports aren’t your thing, joining the gym and reaching your fitness goals could be your key to meeting different people. Going to the gym doesn’t have to feel exhausting, especially with the bonus that you get to meet new people and chat them up before a class or in between sets. The gym is a great place to find new friends, and you never know, you could find yourself a gym buddy just by talking to people in your gym. Thus, keeping you more committed to your fitness goals. There are also exercise classes held at the gym that comes with your membership, so now is a great chance to take advantage of those classes and meet new people. Now and then, you’ll meet people who would rather keep their earphones in, but don’t let that discourage you from saying hi to others. The best time to talk to people in the gym is before or after a workout.

gym friends

8. Group therapy meetings

We all have our vices, sometimes it’s hard to get the support we need. Fortunately, you can learn how to meet new people in your crisis support group. For example, if you suffer from an eating disorder, you can spend time with people discussing how to cope with it, and hang out at events together to help each other. You might do activities like a paint night or a flash mob or any other similar interests. Also, if you’re looking for a new workout partner, you might make a new friend in your support group. You can find a therapist who will recommend the best group therapy programs for you.

9. Go to the bookstore

If you’re passionate about reading books, then this is your chance to keep going to local bookstores (or even libraries) because there’s a good chance you’ll come across someone who shares a similar passion for reading. The odds of finding someone reading your favorite book might be unlikely. Yet, one of the benefits of reading is how much you can learn from a book. Meeting new people who read regularly gives you an extra chance to meet someone who can teach you a lot. A library or a bookstore is a great way to get to know people with a true sense of curiosity. Meeting new people in the bookstore is lovely because your conversations have substance and depth. You can talk about the different stories you’ve read and share your significant passion for reading and books. It’s also an opportunity to find yourself a good read or share books you’ve read and give one another recommendations.

new friends

10. Through existing friends

The best way to make new connections and meet like minded people is through friends. Making friends isn’t always easy. However, by becoming friends with people through your friends, you’ll expand your social circle. It can be a fun way to meet new people and meet mutual friends. Plus, if you love your friends, you’ll likely meet people similar to them through their own friendships. If you’re starting from zero, you could use friendship apps to help you make close friends. If you join sites, you might still make a connection with someone, but there’s slightly more risk involved since you don’t know anything about them. However, if you’ve moved to a new city, this could be a great way to meet new people.

11. Walk your dog

Walking your dog is another great way to meet new people, especially other dog owners such as yourself. With this activity, you not only get to spend significant time with your dog and play with them, but you also meet different people. A dog park is a great place for socializing, both for people who have dogs with them and for those who don’t. By walking your dog to your nearest park, you open yourself to the opportunity of striking a conversation with someone new. Dogs are also very lovable creatures, and there’s a huge chance this attracts people to your dog, so you don’t have to worry about how to start a conversation without the awkwardness aspect. Most dog owners find the conversation with others starts from others who want to pet their dog or own a curious dog who sniffs around a bit. During a typical walk, you might be stopped multiple times by friendly people in simple exchanges. Doing this could be a great way to get to know the people in your neighborhood.

other dog owners

12. Public speaking club

Many people who don’t know how to meet new people are relatively shy. They might not know how to make new friends nor have the social skills to just go up to someone and start talking. Your local community center might have events like public speaking. You can also check your local Facebook group for nearby events. Other members may also want to perfect their communication skills, so this could be a good opportunity to meet people with a similar goal. You could invite someone out to a coffee shop to practice outside the speaking club, so you both get outside your comfort zone. You can strike up a conversation about why you joined and what you hope to get out of it, so you can help one another get better at public speaking. So instead of wondering “what is wrong with me?” every time you start a conversation, you’ll get actionable advice on how to improve.

13. Visit the beach

Take yourself to a relaxing place by the water: a lake, ocean, or seaside, and you’ll find yourself around people enjoying themselves. There are also opportunities to go to restaurants by the beach, which is a great place to let your walls down and socialize with people you’ve never met before. Another aspect that makes the beach a great place to meet people is that there are many activities to enjoy, such as beach volleyball, kayaking, or even snorkeling. As long as you have an open invitation to strangers who watch you play, you’ll increase your chances of meeting new people.

making friends

14. Hobby classes

Those looking for new friends can find them at hobby classes. Whether it’s your local crafts store, book club, dance class, online forum, or even part-time job, you’ll be able to connect with the same people on a regular basis. And that’s how friendships start. If you live in a new city, you could look for meet-ups or regular classes to brush up on a specific skill. For instance, if you’re looking to learn the language of the city you’ve moved to, you might find others who speak the same language as you. If you love art, you could go to an art class or local museum to find people who enjoy the same thing.

15. Use social media

We live in a digital world. So, there’s no better way to meet new people than by taking advantage of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It’s easy to chat with someone new and strike a conversation since you don’t have to worry about your facial expressions and body language. Joining groups and interacting with people is a great way to find a stranger you can potentially connect and chat with. There are so many Facebook groups you can join, even one that’s limited to your proximity. The great thing about joining groups is that there’s a group for every interest or hobby you have, making it easy to meet people who share similar goals, values, or hobbies as you. Behind a screen, you’ll feel a little less pressure to chat with a stranger or comment on a post someone makes. Be the person who praises people online to make a difference in people’s lives.

meet new people online

16. Cultural events or religious groups

Your local cultural club can be a great way to meet people of the same ethnicity as you. This tends to be popular for immigrants who’ve moved to another country or even refugees who’ve fled their countries. Alternatively, your local church, mosque, or synagogue could also be a place where you make new friends. Making friends is simplified when you know you have a shared interest in something, such as your culture or religion. You might even refer to them as your “Church friends” or your “Italian friends.” Facebook groups might also be a good place to find people of the same culture or religion in your community, so don’t forget to check those too.

17. Visit a museum

If you’re fond of looking at and appreciating masterpieces of all forms, the museum is the perfect place to visit. Not only can you enjoy art up close, but you never know if you come across someone appreciating the same artifacts as you. The museum is an overall chill atmosphere where you can casually walk around with no time pressure mounting. You can chat with museum curators to ask questions or attend an event, which often draws a small and engaging crowd. The museum is one of the most underrated places to meet new people and connect with people interested in history, science, or cultures.

meet people

18. Local hike

If you’re looking to know how to meet new people, you can find like minded people by going for local hikes. You might create a meetup where other members can join you on your hikes. Whether you go to dog parks, trails, or near lakefronts, you can find time out of your busy schedule by spending time getting fresh air outdoors. You can discuss your similar interests, such as work, life, family functions, favorite local businesses or coffee shop. If you’re in a new city, you can learn how to meet new people by checking out a Facebook group or Facebook events for hikes nearby. You can start a nature fan club. Some communities have local clean-up events too that you can partake in to help keep nature clean for everyone to enjoy.

19. Attend a music festival

If you’re an extrovert, love positive songs, or generally love being in huge crowds, attending a music festival is the perfect option for you. This way, you really can’t escape meeting new people since you’re surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of people in one venue, enjoying the live music. Music festivals are entertaining and memorable events you’ll never forget, so there’s a massive chance that the people you meet in this event are connections you’ll remember even after it ends. If the event is several days long, you might notice that you hang out with those strangers for a couple of days. After the event, you might choose to stay in touch by following them on social media. The excitement of the event and atmosphere can create lasting friendships.

new friends

20. Take a course or class

There’s no better way of making new friends and meeting people than taking a class. Even after you’ve completed your lessons, you can still take courses such as learning a skill you’ve always wanted or signing up for an advanced class. An in-person seminar is one of the best ways to meet new people, which is why it’s easy to make friends when you’re in school. By taking a course or class you’re interested in, you gain knowledge and expertise, and you get to socialize with a brand new set of people. Remember, even if you’ve graduated from school decades earlier, learning a unique skillset, language, or activity can help you make new friends.

21. Take a brewery tour

It’s always fascinating to learn the brewing process, whether it’s beer, coffee, or another beverage entirely. If you’re passionate about that or you’re simply curious about the brewing process, taking a tour is great for that purpose. You also get to meet different people who are just as interested as you, and you might even learn a lot from the people you talk to on that tour. You get to see how a particular beverage is made, including the history, where it comes from, and other significant pieces of knowledge. And remember, you don’t need to limit your tour to a brewery. You can sign up for a tour of your local city or a nearby attraction. Conservatories or gardens may also have enjoyable sightseeing experiences.

22. Join dating apps

Contrary to popular belief, you can join dating apps to meet new people even if you’re not looking to date. The way a dating app works is you swipe right to the people you’re interested in getting to know. Dating apps are underrated ways to form new friendships as it lets you talk to people you would never have met otherwise. If you’re looking for one of the easiest ways to meet new people, dating apps are the answer you’ve been looking for. Many shy or introverted people turn to apps as they might not be as outgoing to strike up a conversation naturally in person. If you tend to be reserved, a dating app can be a way to help you build some trust with someone behind a screen until you feel confident and excited to meet them in person.

dating apps

23. At a friend’s wedding

You can find other friends or even a romantic partner at a friend’s wedding. At a wedding, people are often in the mood to dance, party, and enjoy a good meal. Everyone looks their best, so you’re seeing a good version of everyone. You can meet a solid group of people at a wedding, particularly if the newlyweds are young. You’ll be able to make new friends, especially if you’re at a single’s table or if you’re a friend of the couple. Often, when you attend a family event, you’ll be seated with other family members. However, if you’re a friend of the couple, you’ll have more opportunities to make new friends. Take some dance classes beforehand and bust a move to impress people. Or start a flash mob at the wedding to surprise the bride and groom.

24. Play video games

Believe it or not, it’s possible to form strong friendships even in the gaming industry, so if you’re someone who loves playing video games, you can meet new people in a Twitch chat or playing an online multiplayer game. There are voice channels in video games that allow you to chat with and befriend someone, whether during the game or just before it starts. You can even potentially find yourself a gaming best friend to message every time you want to play video games with friends. Choose an anxiety relief game with multiplayer and kick back and meet some new people.

online friends

25. Online forums

Finally, if you want to know how to meet new people and are too shy to join sports leagues or chat people up at an art festival, consider using your search bar to find online forums in various niches of interest. You can use a pregnancy forum to make new mom friends, or join Reddit to find forums on every topic. If you’re looking for a friend to go to a concert with, you can find forums for that band or singer and find locals in the area to go to the concert with.


We covered many ideas on how to meet new people, but you can look beyond this list to find friends in other ways too. Even as an introvert or a shy person, you don’t necessarily have to close yourself off with the possibility of opening your circle. These friend-making ways mentioned above can help ease you into putting yourself out there, no matter how comfortable you are in meeting different varieties of people. By meeting new people, you can enjoy sharing your hobbies and interests with others to create unforgettable experiences you’ll remember for a lifetime.

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