How to make friends in NYC
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How to make friends in NYC

Traveling solo in New York City can feel daunting. Especially if you aren’t sure how to make friends in New York City.

Let’s face it, going solo to any big city can feel pretty overwhelming, especially one as fast paced and seemingly impossible to penetrate as NYC. Although The City may never sleep, people here are always busy, and it’s not so easy to talk to random strangers on public transport without being looked at like a crazy person. So with these odds stacked against you how can you possibly make friends in New York City?

It may seem impossible, but trust me it’s not, I managed it and you can too. New York is one of those cities that if you know where to look, you can find anything you could ever wish for! Including some new friends…

Traveling solo in New York City – How to make friends

On my last trip to NYC, I decided it was time I made some friends and get out more on my own. 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 as my mum lives there I had no real friends in New York.

Well, on my last visit I changed that. I met some super cool New Yorkers and I made them be my friends haha.  So in the spirit of sharing here is how to make friends in New York City guide.

NYC meetups

So simple, but so overlooked. All you have to do is sign up for an account, check your likes and join some meetup groups. And then wait for your inbox to fill up with a tone of invites to cool events where you can meet others with similar interests.

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

New York City Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups have saved me from despair on more than one occasion. I have also met some pretty amazing people who have become my real life friends as well as my virtual friends. Just do a few searches for things like, visiting NYC, Traveling in NYC, Backpacking in NYC or take a chance and post in some of the worldwide groups like these:

Solo Woman Travel Tribe


Grown-up Solo Female Travelers

Just put a cool picture of yourself and tell people you are visiting/ moving to NYC and that you would love to meet some other travelers while you are there. Simple. People will respond, and you will make some friends. I promise!

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

NYC Facebook Events

Just search events NYC and say goodbye to a few hours while you fall down the black hole of reading about all of the cool things you can do while in NYC.


If you like to Salsa | Latin Party

This is for my salsa loving friends. If there is 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 like the idea of partying with NYC’s vibrant Latino community, then I suggest that you sign up for the Latino Party events. Don’t know your Salsa from your Samba? Not to worry almost all of the activities include a beginners dance class.

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

There are events every night of the week. As I mostly went on my own and didn’t like taking the bus home late at night solo,  I always went to their Sunday event. It starts at 5 pm and it is in a studio on the same block as The Empire state building.

Don’t be put off by their names or marketing (which looks incredibly derogatory and sleazy). I went every week on my own and never had any problems. In fact, it was the highlight of my week. I met a lot of really cool guys there. I was able to practice my Spanish and my dancing at the same time. And the best bit? It was totally fine not to drink. I spent the whole night dancing, so I didn’t have to worry about feeling awkward sitting on my own nursing a drink.


How to make friends in NYC


Final thoughts about making friends in New York City

So there you have it, these are just a few suggestions of ways you can get out and enjoy your time in NYC solo and some suggestions of how to make friends in New York City.

On the street, New Yorkers may seem cold and a little bit aggressive. But put yourself in their position. They live there, and while they are trying to get to work, they are always having to navigate lost tourists or people stopping to take photos. Trust me you would get fed up too.


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

Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • – I LOVE especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

Claire Summers

Dancer, producer, traveller, photographer, cake maker, dog lover and knitter of Christmas scarfs.