Making Friends in Stuttgart

Friends in Stuttgart

As an adult in a new city, mak­ing friends always pos­es some­thing of a chal­lenge. If you’ve moved to a new coun­try and haven’t mas­tered the lan­guage, it’s even more dif­fi­cult to build up a social cir­cle. For­tu­nate­ly, there are plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties for mak­ing new friends in Stuttgart.

There’s a stereo­type that says it’s hard to get to know Ger­man peo­ple. Some say that it’s because Ger­mans are more reserved or even unfriend­ly. The truth is that most Ger­mans are very loy­al friends and take friend­ship seri­ous­ly. They often have friend groups that date back to their time in kinder­garten! Hold­ing onto friends for so long means that Ger­man adults often have full social cal­en­dars and lit­tle time to devote to mak­ing new con­nec­tions. But if you do make a Ger­man friend, you’ll real­ly be able to count on them!

And you aren’t lim­it­ed to Ger­mans – Stuttgart’s pop­u­la­tion is about 25% for­eign­ers, and an addi­tion­al 15% have a for­eign back­ground. There’s also con­sid­er­able migra­tion from with­in Ger­many. That means you have plen­ty of peo­ple around you who are famil­iar with the chal­lenges of being new in town and far away from their old friends.

Let’s take a look at some prac­ti­cal exam­ples of how to find friends in Stuttgart!

1. Join a group for newbies or expats

Since so many new peo­ple are moving to Stuttgart all the time, mul­ti­ple groups have formed to help them meet each oth­er and con­nect with locals. New groups pop up all the time, but a few have estab­lished them­selves as reli­able places to meet peo­ple. Neu in Stuttgart has a week­ly meet­up in the evening. Stuttgart Expats orga­nizes a wide range of events, from club nights to fes­ti­val vis­its to pic­nics. You can also reg­is­ter on Spon­tacts to find peo­ple look­ing more spon­ta­neous­ly for oth­er par­tic­i­pants in var­i­ous leisure activities.

2. Work on your language skills together

Improv­ing your Ger­man will pro­vide plen­ty of advan­tages to your expe­ri­ence in Stuttgart. Plus, in-per­son lan­guage class­es and dis­cus­sion groups are great ways to meet peo­ple! You can find a huge range of lan­guage cours­es in Stuttgart, but the Goethe Insti­tute, the Ger­man Insti­tute, and Inlin­gua are a few well-estab­lished schools. There are also a num­ber of dis­cus­sion groups where you can join for spo­ken prac­tice, includ­ing the Ger­man Con­ver­sa­tion Group and the Deutsch Lan­guage Study Group.

Of course, you can also make friends while prac­tic­ing oth­er lan­guages! There’s a pop­u­lar prac­tice in Ger­many of exchang­ing lan­guage prac­tice help with a bud­dy known as “Sprach­tan­dem”. With a lan­guage tan­dem part­ner, you each help the oth­er with a lan­guage you’re good at and they’re try­ing to learn. Ger­man-Eng­lish exchanges are most com­mon in Stuttgart, but you’ll find plen­ty of inter­est in oth­er lan­guages as well! You can reg­is­ter on or the VHS’s tan­dem por­tal to find oth­ers who want to swap lan­guage skills.

3. Register for a sport

Being part of a team is a great way to fos­ter friend­ships, as is striv­ing togeth­er to improve your phys­i­cal per­for­mance. Sports in Ger­many are often orga­nized through reg­is­tered clubs, and Stuttgart has a num­ber of pop­u­lar ones. Con­sid­er becom­ing a mem­ber of a large Sportvere­in like MTV Stuttgart, tus Stuttgart, Sport­fre­unde Stuttgart, or SportKul­tur Stuttgart. There’s also Abseitz, a club espe­cial­ly for LGTBQIA+ folks and their friends. Or you might pre­fer to check for a small­er local club near your residence.

You can also use a tool offered by the city of Stuttgart to find sports offer­ings, providers, events, and loca­tions. You can fil­ter based on a vari­ety of fac­tors, includ­ing your loca­tion, age, sched­ule, and pre­ferred sports.

4. Find an interest group

Stuttgart is a large enough city that for pret­ty much any inter­est, you can find oth­er peo­ple who share it with you. There is an incred­i­ble vari­ety of meet­up groups, and they offer the advan­tage of allow­ing you to join when­ev­er works well for you, with­out any long-term com­mit­ments. Search for what­ev­er inter­ests you, from fur­ni­ture mak­ing to inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics to bird­watch­ing. Attend a spe­cial­ized net­work­ing event, for exam­ple for female entre­pre­neurs or queer pro­fes­sion­als. Get placed in a group of 10 to play board games via Social Match. Stuttgart Expats also has a num­ber of sub­groups orga­nized around inter­ests, gen­er­al­ly acces­si­ble via WhatsApp.

5. Take a class

Learn­ing is a life­long prac­tice, and attend­ing a class means repeat­ed inter­ac­tions with a group of peo­ple who share at least one inter­est with you! The Volk­shochschule (VHS) has cours­es across a huge num­ber of cat­e­gories, includ­ing health and well­ness, tech­nol­o­gy, phi­los­o­phy, his­to­ry, music, dance, and of course lan­guages and sports. Stuttgart’s Street Uni­ver­si­ty offers work­shops in areas like cook­ing, hand­i­crafts, sus­tain­able liv­ing, cre­ative projects, sport and well­ness, and cit­i­zen­ship. You could also con­sid­er sign­ing up for week­ly class­es at a local stu­dio for art, dance, or yoga.

6. Participate in collaborative community events

Stuttgart is a large city that is also an assem­bly of for­mer vil­lages whose com­mu­ni­ty life remains vibrant. Check your local town hall or vil­lage cen­ter for fly­ers about com­mu­ni­ty offer­ings. These offer excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ties to make local con­nec­tions. Become a mem­ber of to find activ­i­ties tak­ing place near­by and get to know your neigh­bors. You can also just try search­ing Face­book Events for col­lab­o­ra­tive activ­i­ties like a Kochabend (cook­ing meet­up), group hike, sin­ga­long, or vol­un­teer­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty in your area.