Meeting people in Edinburgh

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Updated on 15 October, 2019

Moving to Edinburgh promises an excellent quality of life, exciting work opportunities, and a vibrant culture full of things to see and do. Making friends at any age is tricky, but don't let this put you off! Scots are inherently friendly people, and by putting yourself out there, you are sure to make a great social circle. Here are some tips to get started.

Meet the locals

It's tempting when you move somewhere new to stick with others from your country or who speak the same language, but if you want to make a diverse friendship circle its important to branch out as soon as possible.

It is likely when you move to Edinburgh that you will be staying in a tenement building or block of flats. While the British culture is generally to keep to oneself, usually your neighbours will be friendly and receptive if you are willing to make the first move and introduce yourself. Be sure to frequent your nearest pub. Many have a schedule of events, including quizzes, music nights, and more. If your bartender is friendly, he or she might be able to introduce you to people or suggest meetups you might enjoy.

The most common way to make friends as an adult in Edinburgh is through work or friends of friends. The work culture in Edinburgh means that it may take some time to get to know your colleagues well. Be consistent and friendly, and make an effort to ask about other people. If your workplace doesn't regularly have after-work drinks or meetups, then don't be afraid to suggest one: usually, Scots can be won over by a visit to the pub!

If you have children at school, then try to meet other parents: inviting your children's friends round for a playdate with their parents is a relaxed way to make new connections. It is likely the school will need volunteers throughout the year, so try to make yourself available when you can.

Sports clubs are a good way to meet new people in Edinburgh. Even if you aren't particularly sporty, attending a weekly gym class will introduce you to a regular group of people. If you live near either the Hibs or Hearts football stadiums, then you could start supporting your local team and attending matches.

Finding friends online

Websites like Meet Up, Drinking Partners, and City Socializer offer events and groups organised by people living in Edinburgh. You will likely find both events tailored to expats and catered to specific interests. Even dating apps can help you expand your social circle, with Bumble offering a ‘BFF' mode to meet other people of the same gender as friends.

Facebook groups can also be a good way to meet new people. Try searching for ‘Edinburgh' in the groups tab, and you will find a wealth of pages created by like-minded individuals. Remember to always be savvy when meeting people from the Internet, and keep your safety a priority.

For more formal events, the website Eventbrite is a hub of crafting, networking, discussion, and other events run by businesses that offer a chance to meet people with similar interests.

Stop looking; start exploring

Edinburgh offers a wealth of things to see and do. Make your focus exploring your new home, and friendships will happen naturally along the way. Say yes to as many opportunities as you can, and try things you might not do in your own country.

Remember, it will take time to make meaningful connections. However, Edinburgh is a city full of expats, and with perseverance and a positive attitude, there is no reason you won't make a great network of like-minded people.

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