There’s nothing scarier than moving to a new city and worrying about making friends. London may seem a bit daunting because it’s Britain’s biggest city, but just think how many people there are waiting to meet you – more than 9 million, actually.

No matter where you’re from, the good old southern charm is always welcoming. If you’re struggling to make friends, then here’s a few tips on how you can change that:

1. Where’s Your Local?

Nothing epitomises Britain more than knowing your local pub. Here you’ll meet people from the area, those who work in the borough, or people just passing through. You’ll get to know the owners, the workers and the regulars – and soon you’ll become one of the latter.

You don’t have to drink, either. Going down to your local to socialise is a great way to meet people, and it will give you a good first introduction to the area. You can bond over playing a classic game of pool or darts, quaffing craft ales or soft drinks, or even just over chit-chat about the weather.

2. Let’s Get ’appy!

Known for its hustle and bustle, London is always on the move and sometimes it’s a little too hectic to stop and meet people. This is where the introduction of apps and online platforms help us to socially integrate better.

You’re not alone in thinking it’s scary going up to people and striking up a conversation, which is why apps such as MeetUp, CitySocializer and Excuses to Meet are great ways to get over that conversation-starting fear.

MeetUp is as it suggests: an app that brings together thousands of people from thousands of cities to do exactly what they love. Set your location as London and off you go. You can either join meetups or create your own. There are no boundaries with this app, with activities ranging from fitness, languages, tech and even pets.

Similar is CitySocializer, which connects you to like-minded people with the same interests as you.

The mainly London-based app Excuses to Meet is about exactly what the name reads: excuses to meet. The app provides you with an interface of various excuses you could use to strike up a conversation about hobbies – for example, if you like attending live music events. Those who click the same or similar excuses as you are then recommended as possible friends to connect with.

Stay away from social media sites such as Facebook, because they’re the online platforms that you use to stay connected with people you already know. So, next time you’re on the Tube or jumping on the 390 from Archway towards Oxford Street, have a go on one of these apps, because you never know who you might just meet.

3. Friends Friends Friends!

Friendship circles are similar to communities: they stick together, they’re always around and they keep growing. It’s important to socialise with your friends’ friends. This way your friendship circle will expand and you’ll get to meet a lot more people. Plus, they’ll probably introduce you to their friends and so on, and at that rate you may be stuck with too many friends.

Don’t be afraid to socialise and put yourself out there, either. If they’re friends with one of your friends, then you already have something in common. You may be pleasantly surprised at just how many people like and care for the same things as you! There’s nothing stopping you throwing a party to get to know your new friends a little better either and introduce them to your community and lifestyle.

4. Become a Part of Your Community!

Now, we’re not talking about going to the same bar every weekend (unless that’s what you want to do) – we’re talking about becoming a local in your community. It could be in your local gym, local coffee shops, or even the local library. Regularly attending places of interest is where you can meet like-minded people and will make it easier to strike up conversation.

5. Get Outside!

You’re new to London, right? So, how about tackling two issues at once? Get yourself on a walking tour to explore the capital and get to know your new home. Here you’ll have the chance to meet lots of people from various backgrounds who are also new to London.

You’ll get to take in the sites, learn the shortcuts to the bus stops, and mingle with people who are in the same boat as you. It won’t be scary, either, because you’ll all be going through the same experience. You’ll be at ease knowing you’re with fellow new Londoners.

6. Homes Is Where the Friends Are

The Best Ways to Meet New People in London | Essential Living

If you’re thinking of moving to London then we suggest looking at built-to-rent developments, because guess what? They’re designed for making friends. No, really, they are! Developments such as these attract people from all walks of life, creating your very own diverse communities.

You’ll often find many social spaces in your development, and you should take advantage of these. Socialising in your building’s open spaces gives you the chance to meet your true local community and to then begin creating your own friendship community.

Purpose-built developments are always created with the intention of their residents being able to freely socialise – and we’re no different. We believe in connecting you to a group of people you’re proud to be a part of, and we’re committed to creating spaces where friendships go beyond our four walls.

Don’t forget to stay connected to us. Catch us on Twitter (@EssLiving), Facebook and Instagram.


Living With Us - Essential Living

Amy Hirst


Championing brand ambassadorship, Amy builds relationships with the coolest bloggers across London, mixing her own love for the capital with that of each blogger's experience.