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How to Make Friends in NYC

Taking a New York solo trip can feel daunting, especially if you aren’t sure how to make friends in NYC. Let’s face it: going solo to any big city can be overwhelming, especially one as fast-paced as NYC. After all, it is the city that never sleeps—people in NYC are always busy, and it’s not easy to strike up a conversation with random strangers on public transport without being looked at like a crazy person.

While making friends in NYC during a solo trip to New York might feel impossible, it’s not. If I can manage, you can too! New York is one of those cities that, if you know where to look, you can find anything you like, including new friends. Let’s jump into this guide to how to make friends in NYC.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Best Hostels for Making Friends in NYC

Finding hostels in New York City where you can easily make friends can be a great way to enhance your solo trip to NYC. Here are some hostels known for their social atmosphere and opportunities to meet fellow travelers:

  • HI NYC Hostel: This hostel is one of the largest and most popular in the city. They organize regular events and group activities to help guests connect and make friends.
  • The Local Hostel NYC: This boutique hostel in Queens has a cozy atmosphere and a common area for socializing. They often host events like movie nights and group outings, so it’s the perfect place to stay during a solo trip to New York.
  • American Dream Hostel: Located in the East Village, this hostel offers a communal kitchen and a common area for socializing. It’s in a vibrant neighborhood known for its nightlife.

How to Make Friends in NYC During a New York Solo Trip

On my last solo trip to NYC, I decided it was time I made some friends and started going out more. I’ve been traveling the world solo for years now, and even though I know NYC well and have been more times than I can remember (my mum lives there), I had no real friends in New York.

I met some super cool New Yorkers and forced them to be my friends (kidding, haha). So, in the spirit of “sharing is caring,” here are some fun things to do alone in NYC if you want to meet new people and make new friends.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best NYC ToursClick here to check out the top NYC tours
Best NYC Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in NYC
Best NYC Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in NYC

Meetups

Attending a New York meetup is a simple but often overlooked strategy for making friends in NYC. All you have to do is sign up for an account on a meetup website, check your likes, and join some groups. Then, wait for your inbox to fill up with invitations to cool events where you can meet others with similar interests!

Traveling solo in New York City | How to make friends in NYC

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have saved me from despair on more than one occasion. I’ve met some fantastic people through Facebook who became virtual and then real-life friends. Just do a few searches for things like “visiting NYC,” “traveling in NYC,” “backpacking in NYC,” or take a chance and post in worldwide groups like GoWonder.

Once you’ve found a group, post a cool picture of yourself and tell people you’re visiting/moving to NYC and would love to meet some fellow travelers during your solo trip to NYC. People will respond, and you’ll make friends, I promise!

Traveling solo in New York City | How to make friends in NYC

Facebook Events

To make friends in NYC using Facebook events, search “events NYC” and scroll through all the fun and exciting events hosted throughout the city. Attending events is one of my favorite things to do alone in NYC because I always meet interesting people from different backgrounds.

Latin Party (If You Like to Salsa)

Latin Party is for my salsa-loving friends! If there’s one thing that living and breathing Latino culture for a few years has taught me, it’s that they know how to party south of the border. If you want to dive into NYC’s vibrant Latino community, I suggest signing up for Latino Party events. Don’t know your Salsa from your Samba? Not to worry—almost all activities include a beginner’s dance class.

Traveling solo in New York City | How to make friends in NYC

There are events every night of the week, but I usually attend the Sunday events. Classes start at 5 p.m. and are hosted in a dance studio on the same block as the Empire State Building.

Latin Party was often the highlight of my week as I got to practice my Spanish and dancing skills simultaneously. The best part is that it’s okay not to drink, so you don’t have to worry about feeling like the odd man out if you stick with something non-alcoholic.

FAQs: Making Friends in NYC During a Solo Trip to New York

Is Making Friends in NYC Hard?

While it can be intimidating to make friends during a solo trip to NYC, there are endless opportunities to socialize and meet new people. Be open to trying new things and making new friends, and you’ll have an unforgettable New York solo trip.

What Are the Best Things to Do Alone in NYC?

I recommend going to meetups and social events and joining NYC Facebook groups.

How Do You Make Friends During a Solo Trip to New York?

You can make friends in NYC by attending events, parties, and meetups. Latin Party is an excellent option for anyone who likes to dance.

How to make friends in NYC

How to Make Friends in NYC: Final Thoughts

These are just a few suggestions of things to do alone in NYC during your New York solo trip if you want to make friends in NYC. New Yorkers may seem cold and a bit aggressive at times, but there are plenty of kind and friendly people there, too. Good luck with making friends in NYC—you can do it!

NYC Travel Guide Planning

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in NYC?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in NYC?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are Booking.comHotels.com, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Traveling to NYC? Take a read of my other guides:

10 British-Inspired Places to Visit in New York City

The 11 Most Instagrammable Places to Eat in New York City

How to Spend 5 Days in New York City

How to Spend a Weekend in New York City

5 Ways to Win at Christmas Shopping in New York City

This post was proofread by Grammarly.