Starting out life in a new city can often be challenging. You want to get out there and have a vibrant social life but you don’t know anyone. Do you have to do everything alone or can you find people to do things with?
Melbourne is a beautiful city with a great deal to offer, but it’s not always easy to meet people and make connections. Here, we’ll give you some ideas on where to make friends in Melbourne.
Obviously, different people find different things to love about any city. It depends on your age bracket, your favourite activities, where you live, whether you can speak the local language and even what your tastes are in food. Melbourne is a big ‘coffee city’. With hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, laneway cafes and big coffee emporiums, it’s definitely a caffeine-powered metropolis.
Many coffee shops have communal tables where you can sit with your laptop or tablet or even just a book and start a conversation with total strangers. “Pass the sugar please?” Or “wow, you have the latest MacBook Air!”
Pubs and bars are also convivial places to be. Again, Melbourne’s famous laneways come into play but there are also rooftop bars, hidden bars, riverside bars and suburban pubs. Head in and buy a drink and you may find someone else who would enjoy having a drink bought for them in exchange for a hello and some conversation. The cocktails are superb, the craft beers will have your mouth watering and the atmosphere in Melbourne pubs and bars is very lively.
If you’re a fan of nightclubs, then Melbourne has plenty to offer you. Cut loose on the dance floor to any genre you like. There are hardcore techno venues, R ‘n’ B nightspots and even funk clubs. Or break it down and enjoy a smooth whisky over some hot jazz.
It seems obvious but when you’re feeling isolated, it can be hard to remember that where you go to school or uni is a bottomless pit of people. If you’re lonely, chances are, other people are too and it’s just a matter of connecting with the right guys or girls who are also looking for friends. Join a social club, hang out in the library or participate in other activities.
Melbourne’s climate lends itself to outdoor exercise pretty much all year long. Rug up in winter and go for a brisk walk along the Yarra River or put your swimsuit on and go for a dip in the water at St. Kilda. Cycling around the city, joining walking groups and signing up for boot camp, outdoor yoga or tai chi are all good ways to make friends.
Museums, art galleries and exhibitions are fantastic places to meet people and make friends. Melbourne is full of those venues, from the small and quirky to the large and mainstream. Many of them are free to visit and some offer free talks or tours. You can often strike up a conversation with others who have similar interests and before you know it, you’re exchanging phone numbers and arranging to meet at another exhibition.
Have you ever wanted to sing in public? Join a choir! Whatever your age, whatever language you speak, you can find a choir group in Melbourne that will fill your heart with song.
When you get together with other people for a common cause, you can’t help but find likeminded friends. Melbourne has lots of volunteering opportunities across countless categories. You could find yourself helping out at the Red Cross, caring for disabled children on special outings, cooking for an organisation that supplies meals to the homeless or being a ‘leisure buddy’ for adults with intellectual challenges.
Your smartphone can be your biggest friend-seeking match-maker device! Apps exist that can help connect you with potential new friends. Sure, there are lots of dating apps but friendship apps have their very own appeal.
Unless you show people you want to make new friends, they may not think to introduce you around. Tell your neighbours, roommates, colleagues, fellow students and even the cashier at your supermarket that you want to meet new people.
Whatever ‘church’ means to you, there are warm and welcoming people there who would love to meet you. Maybe it’s a synagogue, temple or mosque for you, or a place where people come together to meditate. Religious or spiritual, there are loads of groups and places of worship across Melbourne.
You needn’t ever be alone or lonely in Melbourne. It’s simply a matter of considering what you love to do and the kinds of people you want to meet, then applying some of the above suggestions.