How to make friends when you travel solo

Hello, my dear glittery adventurers, 

this list is what my first-time-ever-solo-traveling-self would find EXTREMELY helpful. And when I talk with girls who consider traveling solo, this is one of the points that often worries them and stops them from solo traveling. 

To be honest, it was not the first, second… or the third time that I discovered all of these, but with time you get a grip on how to meet new people. Trust me when I say this- because I am the most introverted person ever- you can always meet nice people and make friends. My 2 years ago self may not believe me, but people evolve when it comes to meeting-people capabilities.

-Just a side note- 

Not every person you will meet will become your friend for life but a lot of them might. And then, you will have a reason to travel to their country and you will know there someone already. And also learn about their culture and country first hand. 

So let´s begin! You can..

1. Meet people at your hostel

This is the easiest way imaginable, of course. But have in mind, not in every case it is so easy, especially if you stay at a hostel, where there are couples or older people. What is essential to get a very high chance of meeting people in a hostel, is choosing the right hostel. 

If you are looking for young people, often university students, I would advise you to look for „party hostels“ or „social hostels“ when booking. Because these are the kind of hostels which students and young people often go for. 


Even if you book the party hostel, even if you have people of your nationality and your age, it is okay to have difficulties making friends. But don´t worry. You will make new friends.

2. Meet people in other hostels

So, if you are like me and did not realize that party hostels are a thing, you may discover this method which requires a little bit of confidence extremely rewardful. What do you do? Walk into another hostel with a bar in the evening- ring the bell, the reception lets you in, and from then you can meet people sitting in the hallway or walk straight into the hostel bar. The bars are very often open to the public and it is quite easy to socialize when people already have had a drink or two.

3. Meet people through an app (e.g. Bumble BFF)

I have met great people through the Bumble app. I would definitely recommend it. It is meant for travelers as well as people who recently moved to a new country… or live in a country their whole life but still could use new friends. 

You may or may not know that Bumble also offers the „date option“ which works like a regular dating app. It is similar to Tinder or other dating apps, but the women-men ratio is way more balanced than on Tinder. 

I have tried both options while traveling to meet new people, but I prefer the BFF mode more. There are a lot of things you can tell about yourself to give your future friends an idea of you. You can choose to tell your relationship status, zodiac sign, religion, whether you drink or smoke, whether you are new to the area or a local, or write a description of yourself. You can also answer prompt questions such as „do you prefer beach or mountains“, „Netflix or club“ and „what is an ideal friend date?“. It is really cute and informational.

The only downside, people take longer to answer. And sometimes even if they answer quickly, the notification of the message arrives later. 

Don´t be too disappointed when people don´t answer your „Hii, how are you??“. Write to a lot of people. Someone will answer.

4. Meet people in wild

This happens more often than you would expect. In fact, the first person I met and spent a day with in Barcelona (although staying at a party hostel) was a girl who asked me to take a picture of her while sightseeing. I obviously would, then she would take pictures of me, then again, I would take some more, she would take some more… 

Simply put, we clicked and she asked me what my plans are. I said I wanted to go see the Olympic center and then go have lunch at the beach. She wanted to get lunch in the city center and then go to the beach. So we went for lunch, got our swimsuits and then to the beach (she did not have to persuade me much, it is the beach after all). We would stay there until midnight. 

That is one of the examples of how you make friends. 

5. Meet people through a Facebook group

There are 3 types of travel groups to go for when looking for a friend in a new place. 

„People from your country in the city where you are staying in“

It can be very convenient, especially if you are traveling alone for the first time, to look for people from your country. In these groups, you can expect ex-pats from your country who are in the city for a shorter or longer period of time and may already know the place a bit. You can write people who post in the group directly or write a comment on posts about meet-ups and the creator of the post or also other people can reply.


You can simply make your own post stating for how long you are staying, and what you are looking for (coffee/ drink company, city tips, etc…) and wait for someone to answer you in the comment or direct message. 

„Host a sister“ group

Amazing group for female travelers. It warms my heart when I read about success stories on this page- girls meet thanks to the page, travel together, have time of their life and become lifelong friends. 

As in the first option, you can either search up other people’s posts and see if someone is staying at the same place at the same time as you- the posts have clear classification. Or you can write your own (don´t forget to state the travel info clearly as well) and write a bit about yourself. You can also add some pictures of yourself or places where you want to go.

Erasmus students in the city where you stay at

This way of meeting people is more practical when you stay at the place long-term, (doing Erasmus for example haha) and want to meet people who do the same. But not everyone may know about this option (I did not when first doing the Erasmus) so I am listing it here as well.

6. Meet people at a free walking tour

This is the only method I must admit I have not tried, because I have not taken any free walking tour yet. (But it is the first thing on the list for the next solo trip!) But as most of my solo travel girlfriends have taken the walking tour, I assume it is very likely you would meet there like-minded and most importantly SOLO people (because who likes to third wheel a couple or a group of friends who know each other…) 

So all you have to do is search at Google „Free walking Tour +city where you are staying at“. It is free, but you should give a tip to the guide, as generous as you find appropriate. 

And to be honest this feels like a good thing to do to battle loneliness even if you don´t exactly meet new friends there, because you get to be a part of the group for some time, which sounds comfortable.

7. Meet people in a bar

I will not lie. This one is for the bravest ones. But it is possible. Very possible, if you find a student bar, (which you can check through google reviews or Facebook comments). So, what do you do, step by step: You walk in preferably around 12pm. Go to the bar/ toilet/ table football. Start a conversation with people around you. 

Conversation prompts: 

„Heyy can I have a question? Where are you from?“ (3/3 of the times guys I have asked invited me to join their group and have a drink with them right after).

„What kind of drink is that? (which they´re holding) Is it good?“

Or anything that comes to your mind!

8. Bonus tip- Pub Crawl

I promise, not everything is about drinking. But if you drink, you know it is easy to start talking to people in bars. It is also not mandatory to drink in bars, you may get a virgin mojito, vibe with your group, and make new friends. I plan to go for a non-alcoholic pub crawl next time, so I will let you know how it went.


Hope you found these tips helpful and let me know which way you usually use to make friends while traveling solo! 

Have awesome trips and see you at the next post!

Xx Glittery

P.S.: Yes, there is a lot of photos of food and  beverages in this posts, beacuse food always tastes better when you have company to eat it with!

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