How to make friends in New York as an adult

Find out how to make friends in New York, from the spots where you can meet New Yorkers to the activities you can do with your new friends.


5 minute read
12 Jun 2024

You’re probably familiar with the saying that New Yorkers aren’t friendly. Well, according to a recent study, the Big Apple is the 5th friendliest city in the world! New Yorkers have a strong community spirit, are open to making new connections, and are active individuals, making it the perfect city for newcomers.

Yet, the study also ranked New Yorkers in the 2nd place for searching “how to make friends” online. To help you answer this question and meet your new besties, we will guide you through how to make friends in New York. We will tell you where to meet people in NYC and how to form long-standing friendships in the Big Apple.

How to meet people in New York

You’re probably done exploring homes for rent in New York and are ready to take the next step in making a life for yourself in the Bid Apple. We meet people every day, but how do we find those we would like to be friends with? Read on to find 7 ways and places to meet people in New York.

1. Set weekly activities

The only way you can meet people in New York and make friends is to stay active and find weekly activities you like doing. Doing something weekly lets you practice a hobby you love, meet people with similar interests, and explore the Big Apple. This can be going thrifting or to a farmer’s market, painting, dancing, fencing, playing chess, or training for a marathon.

You can find what the city has to offer by searching for your hobby online, on social media, or even exploring what your neighborhood has to offer. Any hobby you have, New York has a club or an interest group for you. You can sign up for classes too! Learning a language or how to paint is a wonderful way to bond with others.

2. Give yourself a task to accomplish

Exploring New York on your own can be daunting, and you need to go outside to make friends. So, a way to trick your brain into making it easier is to give yourself little tasks you need to accomplish.

For example, Central Park is a great place to meet people. Yet, going to the park with the intention of making friends can psyche you out from going. This is why you should give yourself the task of going to Central Park to see the Bethesda Fountain.

Once you’re there, you can ask someone to take a photo of you or strike up a conversation about the trees or the weather. You can even help the people feed the birds!

3. Try out social media groups or friend-finding apps

If doing activities on your own isn’t your cup of tea, you can try out meeting people from the comfort of your couch. Social media is the perfect way to break the ice with someone you don’t know. You can join groups on Facebook related to things you like, NYC subreddits, and join New Yorktok on TikTok to find meetups of people in the city. Bumble’s BFF feature is also a very popular place to make friends in New York, especially for girls.

One drawback of making friends via social media is that it might take longer than meeting through an organized activity. You’ll need to find something that connects you with the other person and plan it yourself. With weekly activities, you already have a space to meet and something you both like.

4. Date yourself (& other people)

Going on dates in New York alone is one of the best things you can do for yourself. As you’re new to the city, you should explore bars, restaurants, and museums to find your spots. Don’t feel insecure about trying things out by yourself. Spending quality time alone will remove the urgency of making friends and put you at ease when meeting people.

Another type of dating you can try out is going on romantic dates. While this might seem counter-productive, going on dates in a new city is a great way to meet people. You get the chance to get to know someone very well and learn about NYC hotspots from locals. And you never know, you might find more than friendship.

5. Go to different events

Similarly to joining a team or doing a hobby, going to different events allows you to meet new people. And there is no better city than New York to go to events. One of the perks of living in New York is the hundreds of events you can attend daily. From art shows and pub quizzes to improv and sporting events, there is something to do 24/7.

The best way to find out what’s happening in NYC is to check online. You can use websites like Eventbrite, Meetup,,, or Other places to find events are library websites, like the Brooklyn or Queens libraries, the websites of different museums and cultural societies, and the New York Times website.

If those don’t fit your taste, you can search for events related to your interests or try out social media. Look up hashtags related to NYC (e.g., #nycevents) and train your algorithm to show you what’s happening around you.

6. Volunteer

Volunteering allows you to meet people in New York and give back to your new community. Depending on how you want to help, you can volunteer at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter or help with cleaning the city. New York has a very active and involved community of volunteers. You can join them via websites like The Bowery Mission and New York Cares, which list volunteering opportunities throughout the city.

7. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation

The best advice we can give on how to make friends in NYC is to talk to people. You can participate in all the activities we’ve mentioned, but if you don’t put yourself out there, you won’t be able to form meaningful relationships.

You can compliment the barista at the neighborhood coffee shop about their hair, share a joke with your colleague, or complain about an assignment with your classmate. Striking up a conversation with a stranger can be daunting, but the worst thing that can come of it is that you won’t make a connection. And if that’s the case, there are millions of other New Yorkers who are waiting to be your friend.

How to make friends in New York

Now that you’ve met people in New York, it’s time to make friends out of them. The key to making friends in New York is consistency. To build a lasting friendship, you need to put effort into spending quality time together. When we were younger, we had school, so it was easier to stay in touch. As adults, we need to continuously prioritize and make time for our friends if we want these friendships to grow.

The easiest way to make friends in NYC is to choose a day of the week to meet and do something. It could be grabbing dinner at a new restaurant, cooking for each other, watching a specific TV show, or starting a book club. If you choose something different than the typical grabbing coffee, you’ll be more motivated to see it through. You won’t only look forward to spending time with your new friends but also be excited about the activity.

How do I make friends when I move to NYC?

Making friends in New York is an adventure, from signing up for yoga and going to stand-up to volunteering and walking tours in some of NYC’s best neighborhoods. Now that you know the best ways and places to meet people in NYC, all you have to do is go out and find your new besties!

This article is for informational purposes only.

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