6 Apps for Making Friends in a New City

The things in our lives worth doing never come easy — and moving to a different city is high on the list of terrifying decisions we can make. If it’s not the stress of packing your belongings in boxes, it’s the reality of leaving important people behind as you move forward. Regardless of whether you’re excited for your move or dreading it, the transition of settling down in another city is challenging and the opportunities to make new friends can seem limited.

Although we live in a world where we’re constantly checking social media, the problem with this routine is that we sometimes struggle to form connections — because we’re too busy making comparisons. So what better way to challenge this statement than by meeting friends through the use of your phone? To ease the transition of your move and expand your social circle, here are six apps that will help you make friends in a new city.


1. Patook

Deemed a platonic friend-making app, Patook connects people through relying on a points system. Once users create their profile, they’re asked to rank various traits (gender, interests, languages, etc.) on their preference. The app will then match you with those who accumulated the most points based on the traits you ranked. In order to connect to a person, the user can either send an anonymous message or both users must mutually rank each other.

Along with finding people who match with what you consider important, there are also public discussion boards that are seen in reference to your location. This feature, known as “beacons,” allows users to schedule meet-ups and simply share their thoughts. If privacy is your concern, Patook also provides you the option to choose who can see your profile.

Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, PC
Who it’s for:

  • People who want to interact with others without the necessary pressure to meet them
  • People who are looking for specific traits in a friend
  • People who wish to have control over their privacy settings (what profiles can see their profile and vice versa)


2. Meetup

Whether you’re looking for your next kayak partner or wanting to collaborate with other writers, Meetup provides 24 categories of events to choose from (food & drink, music, photography, beliefs, etc.). Decide what dates you’re available and sit back and watch as the app uses your location to pull up relevant events based on the categories you’re searching for. In addition to making an RSVP to these events, you can also message people who are going and join groups to ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities to attend events with people who have similar interests as you.

Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS, Android
Who it’s for: 

  • People who are social and enjoy social gatherings
  • People who wish to explore their city and want to be in the company of others as they do it
  • People who are open to trying new hobbies (or are even looking for a new hobby)


3. Nextdoor

It’s not only the people who make a home, but also the neighborhood it’s located in. After all, where you choose to live can represent who you are as easily as how you choose to decorate. By using Nextdoor, you’re connected to a private social network with those who live in your surrounding area. From finding a nearby babysitter to the next block party, there are different categories on the app that you can post in and gather information from.

Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS, Android
Who it’s for:

  • People who want to feel more connected in the community
  • People who wish to get to know their neighbors
  • People who want to stay informed with what’s happening around the area they live in


4. Bumble BFF

As the next twist to the iconic Bumble dating app, Bumble BFF offers you the chance to find your next friend at the swipe of a finger. Similar to the dating version, you’re able to set up a profile with strings of photos of yourself and a short bio to describe who you are — and whether or not the friend you’re looking for needs to love brunch (the answer’s yes). Through mutually swiping right for each other, Bumble will allow the opportunity for the two of you to message (a 24-hour window) and open the door to a new potential friendship.

Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS, Android
Who it’s for:

  • People who are already familiar with Bumble (but no prior experience truly needed)
  • People who want an easy way to connect without needing to participate in multiple steps
  • People who are interested in using the other two features of the Bumble brand (Bumble and Bumble Bizz)


5. Hey! Vina

Coined as Tinder for (girl)friends, Hey! Vina offers a platform for women to meet like-minded women who share their interests. Along with the familiar idea of creating a profile and swiping right to those who catch your attention, Hey! Vina also provides quizzes for users and articles (on The Vinazine) to encourage women to live their best lives and surround themselves with the best people.

Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS, Android
Who it’s for:

  • People who seek to feel motivated and self-empowered
  • People who want an app that will help them in other aspects that aren’t just friendships
  • People who are passionate about women supporting women and enjoy reading articles about it


6. We3

While we’re told that three is a crowd, it’s the optimal number of people who have the greatest chances of creating a friendship — in the opinion of We3. To be matched on this app, you have to swipe through statement cards and decide if you agree, disagree, or stay neutral on each one. Through your answers, We3 places you into a tribe — three people who have high compatibilities and are the same gender. You can then message your tribe and also be comforted by the fact that the only people who can see your profile are the people who are in the tribes you’re a part of.

Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, PC
Who it’s for:

  • People who don’t want the pressure of a one-on-one conversation
  • People who are specifically looking for a group of friends
  • People who are concerned with privacy issues


How did you make friends after moving to a new place? Have you tried any of these apps?