Showing up in a new city can be intimidating. You don’t know how to use the public transportation, you don’t speak the same language, and you likely don’t have a large group of friends to hang out with.
When I arrived in Berlin for a long overdue visit with my friend, I fell in love with the city immediately and couldn’t wait to see and experience as much as possible. I was staying with Candice in her apartment but I also booked one night in Circus Berlin Hostel. I wanted to experience what staying in the city without a place to call home was like as well.
I say I booked myself into a hostel, and that’s partly true, but what I really mean is, I booked the top floor apartment suite because I’m way past the sleeping-beside-eight-strangers phase of my travels even though this was just a short trip to Berlin.
From the moment I approached the reception desk to the time I checked out, I was all smiles. Everyone was friendly, the guy checking me in handed us beer (not standard practice so don’t show up expecting freebies – it was my friend’s birthday and he was feeling generous) and the man beside me was wearing a blonde wig and high heels. I love bachelor parties.
The room itself was modern, spacious, and clean. I still have the body lotion from the bathroom.
I’m rationing it.
It’s spa quality.
All you need to do to convince yourself that this is the place to stay is follow their Twitter account and see how much fun they have.
After appreciating the view and posting snapchats of us oogling the room, we decided to go downstairs to check out the most important room in the building; the bar.
A drink or two later and a time too many asking, “what should we do tonight?”, we hopped into the elevator and there, right in front of us, was our answer.
I didn’t expect to host a party. It just kind of happened.
I had people from Canada, Portland, England, Italy, Argentina, and Africa all mingling together, talking about travel, talking about world events, great beaches in the world, having a good time, and talking about things tourists should and shouldn’t do in Berlin. Eventually the party came to an end (we got a wee noise complaint and within seconds the room had cleared out. Sorry, Circus, and thank you, new friends!).
Making friends in a new city doesn’t have to be difficult or awkward. There are even apps to help you out in your time of friendship need! Take advantage of events, outings, and resources specifically put in place to help you out.
Some other tips for making friends that worked for me in Berlin:
When someone asks you to walk up to their friend and tie his beard into a ponytail, you say yes. I love bachelor parties.
When someone asks if you want to go on a pub crawl, you say yes.
When the person announcing singers at karaoke mentions your home-town, you completely freak out, run up to them, and give them a hug.
When you’re playing trivia and can’t think of any movies that Jennifer Aniston was in, you make one up, assure everyone that you are correct, and enjoy your free shot with all the people who actually got the correct answer.
Grab a couple beer and go sit in the park. Trust me on this one.