If you are new to a city, and the very best way of meeting people is via work or study. Work or study colleagues hold the key to a night out or two and are a good source of meeting people, as they will hopefully introduce you to their friends and their friends’ friends etc, so that before you know it, you are fighting friends off at the door.
However, if you have just plopped off the plane in Barcelona and you don’t know anyone yet or you don’t have a job or study plan, or you have been here a while and are having trouble making friends, then panic not; I have one word for you – Meetup.
Meetup.com is a massive global network of people with shared interests. It doesn’t matter whether you are interested in boozing, dancing, hiking, yoga, Mexican food, kayaking, football, shopping, dog walking, eating sushi, making sushi, learning Spanish, learning English or learning Russian – there is almost certainly going to be a meetup group for you. Or if not, you can start one yourself.
And it’s easy and free to join. Log on and create a profile for yourself, which won’t take you a few moments, and then you can start searching for meetup groups near you. Some of these groups will involve payment and some companies or individuals use meetup.com as a portal for business and charge for their services. But there are others that charge either a very small admin fee of maybe 1 euro, or are completely free.
Related article: The best Meetups in Barcelona
Another good thing about meetup groups is that, even if you don’t make friends, you will almost always get the opportunity to practice your Spanish. Or sometimes French, German, Dutch, Italian etc.
I’ve met lots of people via Meetup.com and a few of them have become close friends here in Barcelona.
So even if you are a bit shy, or socially awkward, you are bound to find a meetup group of interest to you.
Another way of meeting people is by doing language intercambios. A language intercambio is where you spend some time speaking in Spanish to practice your Espanol and then some time speaking in your native language so that the other person can practice their English. Many Spanish and Catalan people are interested in practicing their language skills, so you can generally pick and choose who you interchange with.
Related article: Intercambio – learn Spanish the fun (and cheap) way
The most important thing in a new city, is to get out there and reach out to other people. Even the most antisocial people need to have a friend or two in a big, new city. So don’t be afraid, get out there and start finding people you can add to your contacts list. A city will seem much more like home once you have a few friends under your belt and on your contacts list.
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