Establishing a Social Life in Barcelona – Our Best Tips

Freeda Students are having a social event

Barcelona is undoubtedly one of the most attractive cities in Europe. The people, the culture, and the language captivate students from all over the world. Moving to the capital city of Catalonia is both exciting and scary. There is a lot you can arrange before you leave home but making friends and establishing a social life is something that is usually done once you arrive. Often newcomers find it difficult to make friends – not because people are unfriendly, but because they just don’t know how or where to find them! So, how do we make friends and establish a social life after we have arrived? In this blog we will give you all our best tips for socialising and meeting new people in Barcelona.

How to build a social life in Barcelona

If you are coming to Barcelona for a Spanish Language course, you already have an advantage when it comes to meeting people. Unless you have specifically booked a private course, you will have classmates from different countries and cultures, of a similar age and position also trying to establish a social life in Barcelona. This makes building a social circle easy. They know and understand what you are going through, and this shared experience bonds you to one another.

However, spending all your time with classmates, especially ones with whom you share a language with (that is not Spanish), might be fun, but it will not help you to improve your Spanish or understanding of the culture. For that you need to meet locals!

How do you meet locals?

There isn’t one correct or fail-safe way to meet locals, but there are certain activities that will create opportunities for you to do so and hopefully make the process easier.

  • Apps

If you are afraid of striking up a conversation with a stranger, why not try an App? We are not talking dating Apps; rather Apps that connect people with similar interests for activities. Apps like Meetup, Sharify, Bumble BFF or Couchsurfing Hangouts which can help you to find a language exchange, exercise classes, group activities, excursions, and many other fun things to do.

  • Planned Social Activities

There are several organisations like Internations that organise regular activities for expats and internationally minded locals. From excursions to locations outside the city, to sports leagues and pub nights. Although these activities are usually heavy on expats, there are always a few locals to be found. Additionally, they are often in places popular with a local crowd and can open the door to making friends with other people. Aside from Internations there are a huge number of other expat/international groups to be found like women’s groups or groups for people with a particular interest. Facebook is the best place to find most of these groups. Try searching for your interests + Barcelona and see what comes up!

  • Clubs

Joining a club (sports or otherwise) is a great way to meet locals. You are forced to practice your Spanish and communicate with your clubmates. Particularly in the case of sport, training and playing together can open doors to a large network of people and can teach you about local culture in a very natural and authentic way.

  • Language exchanges

Language exchanges are a great way to meet locals for free! You can find many groups on Facebook or via an app (Reddit communities). In these exchanges you can choose to be one-on-one with a local partner or you can elect to join a small group. Usually, these meetings take place in a café or bar. They are quite informal and as a result, are a great way to practice Spanish while talking about everyday things in a safe space. You should expect to divide the time between your native language (you help you partner practice) and Spanish (they help you practice). These exchanges are usually fun and can lead to friendship and more social opportunities. Moreover, you can download Tandem or HelloTalk app, which are specifically designed for language learners to connect and practice.

  • Going to places frequented by locals

Learning Spanish is extremely important to living and making friends in Spain. Being able to speak and understand the language will not only make communicating with locals easier, but it also signals that you really want to live in Spain. Language and culture are very closely linked; therefore, it is also a great way to learn more about the culture of a place. We offer a range of Spanish courses at our school in Barcelona – find a course that fits your situation and goals here.

Social Activities at Freeda

At Freeda, we understand the importance of social integration, which is why we offer our students various extracurricular activities. Parties, excursions, and outdoor events—all these provide opportunities to make new acquaintances, form friendships, and integrate more easily. Every month, we organize school-wide events that bring together students of all levels. Additionally, we offer exciting weekly workshops on diverse topics such as Spanish cuisine, Spanish slang, board games, pronunciation, and book clubs etc.

Visit our instagram to know more!

Freeda language school students are having fun during social Barcelona meetings

Speaking of language and culture, in Barcelona speaking Spanish will get you far. However, if you want to fully integrate, it is a good idea to also learn some Catalan. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, and Catalonians are very proud of their heritage. Even if you only learn the basics, it will score you big points with the locals and is a great way to show your respect for the Catalonian identity.

If you are interested in learning more about our Catalan courses visit our website.

Establishing a social life in Barcelona is a must if you plan on staying for longer than a holiday. Taking a Spanish course allows you to learn the local language making it easier to communicate, and meet people, and provides you with a group of likeminded classmates which will undoubtedly form your very first social circle. There are many other things you can do to increase your chances of making friends in Barcelona. From using Apps to find activities, to joining a club or simply hanging out away from the tourist traps in more local areas – there are things that everyone can do! If you plan on staying in Barcelona, then taking a Catalan class will help endear you to locals and to fit in in your new home.

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