<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to France Magazines today click here

How to make new friends when you move to France

PUBLISHED: 16:40 18 April 2017

Cafe in Place Francois Rude in Dijon

Cafe in Place Francois Rude in Dijon


Moving to a new country can be daunting and feel lonely, but follow our tried and tested tips for making new friends in France and your social calendar will soon be packed

Get out and about

Make sure you shop at your local stores and markets as well as the big supermarkets and visit the local cafes, bars and restaurants. Be friendly with the waiters and owners and chat to other shoppers/diners and you could soon have friends for life (and your favourite type of baguette waiting for you every morning!).

Meet your neighbours

Go for a stroll around your village and say ‘bonjour’ to your new neighbours and people you meet and you will soon strike up conversations. If you’re feeling brave then invite your new neighbours round for an aperitif or dinner – it’s always useful to be on good terms with your neighbours and hopefully they return the favour and introduce you to their friendship circle. This is also a great way to improve your language skills.

Join a club

Ask your neighbours, at the mairie and look online for clubs and associations in your area – you will soon find one that suits your interests and this is a great way to meet like-minded people. Kate Stear moved to Charente a year ago and has quickly found a number of clubs to attend: “Since I arrived last July I have met some lovely people who enjoy similar activities to those I enjoy. In my immediate area alone there is a gardening club, a sewing club, an indoor bowls group, a writing group, a book club, a walking group and there are various workshops offered to learn new skills. My husband joined a group of amateur beekeepers to learn what is required in order to keep bees and enjoy some locally produced honey!”


Working a few hours a week as a volunteer can be highly rewarding and a great way to make new friends. There are many charitable organisations to get involved in, from local sports clubs, historic tourist attractions and animal shelters to local fundraising events. Expat Kate Stear says: “I am involved with Cancer Support France, a national charity that offers support to the English-speaking community in France. Our branch, Charente Plus, is busy raising funds to train active listeners and purchase equipment for the local hospital. At the end of the summer, we held a boot sale hosted by one of our members. It was a warm, sunny day and the local English-speaking community came out to support us by buying books and cakes that had been baked by our members. We had a tombola with prizes donated by our kind supporters. A very successful day for the charity and some new friendships were made too.”

Connect with other parents

If you have children then join in with local groups and school activities to meet other parents. Take your kids to swimming sessions, reading groups or sports clubs and consider joining the Association des parents d’élèves, the equivalent of a parent and teacher association in the UK, to help organise events and go on school trips. Encourage your kids to invite their new friends round and maybe suggest outings with the children and parents.

Get online

There are plenty of online social networks that can help you meet other people. Try joining Facebook groups focused on your local area to find out about events and connect with people or try expat forums and websites to speak to other people who have moved to France and get their advice.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Living in France

British couple Nigel and Claire moved to France to run a glamping business in Tarn-et-Garonne after visiting a property exhibition in the UK two years ago

Read more
Thursday, April 19, 2018

From pruning to planting, there are plenty of jobs to be done in your French garden this spring to make sure it is ready for the summer

Read more
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Taking the car to France is a preferred option for many British homeowners, but paying for fuel and road tolls can quickly add up. Here are six ways to cut the costs of driving in France

Read more
Sunday, February 4, 2018

Make a note of these French emergency numbers and what to say when you ring them in case you need help while in France

Read more
Friday, April 6, 2018

Understand the home-sharing website Airbnb, including the latest French rules, and follow our top tips for using it to rent out your property in France

Read more
Running a business
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Taking the leap and renting your French holiday home to guests for the first time can be a confusing experience, but some of Holiday France Direct’s property owners have provided us with the top tips they would give to someone just starting out with their letting

Read more
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

With its unbeatable wine and cheese and laissez-faire attitude, there’s nowhere better to retire than France. But which cities are best for growing old in? Here’s the top 10

Read more
Pays de la Loire
Thursday, January 25, 2018

If you are buying in or moving to France you will need a French bank account but before you open one make sure you read these 11 things you need to know to avoid making a costly mistake

Read more
Friday, March 9, 2018

If you’ve just moved to France then you will need to get to grips with the French welfare system. Here’s our guide to the system including healthcare, benefits, social contributions and the changes Macron intends to make this year

Read more
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The French pharmacy is so much more tham a place to pick up your prescriptions. Here are 11 things you might not know about pharmacies in France.

Read more
Healthcare in France
Subscribe today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now