Sometimes I don't like staying in hostels (which is a great way to meet people and be social) but then I struggle finding places to meet people. What are alternative ways to find social events or gatherings.

  • what kind of social events ?
    – Max
    Nov 20, 2016 at 21:34
  • 2
    You have posted what seems to be a non-sequitur. Are you asking how to find a social event where you can then get offered a place to stay? Or are you asking how to stay in a non-hostel and meet people?
    – Gayot Fow
    Nov 20, 2016 at 21:45
  • Sorry, my question was not very clear. I should maybe have included the word "önline" and my question relates to "how to stay in a non-hostel and meet people?" - made edits now
    – matthew
    Nov 20, 2016 at 22:21
  • I have retracted my close vote. I suggest changing your title to "Where can I find social connections..." or something similar, but it's a suggestion only.
    – Gayot Fow
    Nov 20, 2016 at 22:26
  • Good suggestion, have included it. I'm just worried people will suggest Tinder like apps or platforms which I'm not exactly looking for. This community is tough but its a good thing.
    – matthew
    Nov 20, 2016 at 22:36

4 Answers 4


Couchsurfing, though not as alive as it once was, is still a reasonably good source for local meetups etc. Meetup.com is another, though tends to be for interest-specific groups.

The other approach I have had some luck with is searching Facebook groups for the name of the place/region I am going, and joining some that look interesting then posting to see if anyone wants to meet up, or if there are already some events planned. Eg I have done this with Burner groups in Colombia and Brazil.

  • I'd like to second this answer - on my long backpacking trip, CouchSurfing and Meetup were my primary online tools for meeting people. Of course, it depends on the place though - some sites will be much more actively used in some countries/cities than others.
    – Eugene O
    Nov 21, 2016 at 1:39

It depends what your interests are, and your locations.

Meetup.com - this is a friendly social networking site that covers everything from hiking to knitting to pub-crawling to socializing: whatever. While it's usually for regular members, you can join, attend, and get to know those people - even if it's just for one day. They are already putting themselves out there, so they'll be happy to help you.

Local rags - Almost all cities have a WhatsOn magazine, or like here, portlandmercury.com, where events are held. These almost always include networking or social events in addition to the usual concerts, etc.

Couchsurfing.com - As mentioned already, this is/was a great site that, in addition to staying places, has social events for travelers.

AirBnB.com - Consider using an AirBnB instead of a hotel or hostel. Almost every one I've stayed in has been nicer than a hotel, the same price, and I got to chat with the owners over a glass of wine. They recommended the secret places to go to, and would I like to join them and their friends at a neighborhood potluck tomorrow?

Hash House Harriers - This is a very social and welcoming group that does a casual run/walk followed by some beers and a few traditions. There is one in virtually every reasonably-sized city on Earth. Be sure to ask their contact on the website first what their walk entails. A few are intense with pretty raunchy beer-guzzling, etc., but most are tame, with a few kids ("brats") and people walking their dogs. ALL, however, are welcoming in my experience, 25 countries and counting.

Religious Institutions - At least in the city I live in, if you're at all religious, there are mosques, churches and others that have community events, just browse the websites and resources.

Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer! - This I found to be the most productive and fulfilling way to meet locals and actually some life-long-distance friends. I've spent an evening at a homeless shelter just scooping food, a tree-survey, a turtle rescue, etc. Be polite and sociable, and not too in-your-face about asking what to do, and you'll likely get invited to hang out later or be shown around town.


Go the town/city websites (either official or affiliated), most of them have activity calendars.

Look at local newspapers, billboards in supermarkets/coffee house.

If there are museums or theaters or music halls, have a look at them (on site or web) for activity calendars.

  • Good suggestions, I normally rely on Google and don't really look for the websites of the town/region. I'm in Chiang Mai and its not the best place to do that here but will try it in my next country that has better english. I have had a lot of luck with billboards and posters actually, thanks for reminding me (sometimes old school ads are the best) - when i was in Phuket there was a drum circle that i went to and had a lot of fun, I should perhaps keep my eyes peeled for things like this more often.
    – matthew
    Nov 20, 2016 at 22:54

What I have done several times when traveling alone is going on a day trip.

The smaller the group, the more likely you will meet people while on the trip, as you are more likely to really meet people in a small group.

It does of course depend on where you are and whom else will be on that tour.

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