Friendship can be a beautiful and powerful thing. Whether you’re from Spain or just visiting, the country offers amazing experiences in culture, nature, cuisine, and socializing. Although forging meaningful friendships in a foreign land can initially feel intimidating, understanding Spanish customs and language makes it possible to form real connections that can last beyond your time there. This blog post will explore 7 tips for friendship in Spain. Let’s begin your journey toward meeting new friends and creating unforgettable memories.
7 Tips for Friendship in Spain
1. Become conversational in Spanish
The first step to making friends in Spain is to learn Spanish. Most Spaniards are friendly, welcoming people and if you can speak Spanish with them, it will open many doors for conversation and the potential to make some wonderful new friends. Even if you don’t become fluent, having basic conversation skills will increase your ability to talk with locals and make friends. It is possible to speak English and make a few hand signals, but speaking Spanish is an advantage.
If you talk Spanish you will gain access to opportunities for deeper relationships. Also, people tend to be friendlier when they feel understood. If you aim to converse with the locals like a native, simply relying on grammar books won’t suffice. Listening to podcasts and vlogs featuring natives speaking in their own accents is an ideal way to immerse yourself in Spanish culture.
2. Meet people in different places
Once you’ve started learning the language, it’s time to make some new friends. There are various ways to meet people, depending on where you live. Depending on the city, small towns or large cities can offer different experiences and different opportunities to meet people.
If you live in a small town, there may be larger gatherings such as festivals or events where you can introduce yourself to people. Often, small towns are more receptive to newcomers and you may find more easily that people are willing to talk with you and introduce themselves, creating more potential for friendships.
In larger cities, it may be harder to meet locals due to the chaotic nature of city life but there are still plenty of opportunities. You can join language exchange groups, go to bars and clubs, attend cultural events, or simply talk with someone in a cafe.
3. Look for people with common interests
When you meet someone, looking for shared interests to form a relationship is important. This can be anything from music to sports, food, books or films – anything you both have in common.
Shared interests can form the basis of a strong friendship. It doesn’t have to be something you both love. It could be a hobby or pastime that one of you has an interest in and isn’t familiar with. Introducing each other to new things and teaching each other can help form a strong bond.
It’s also important to remember that friendships don’t have to be strong from the outset – often it takes time for a friendship to bloom and take shape.
4. When in Spain, do as the Spanish do
Although learning the Spanish language is a vital part of immersing yourself in Spain’s culture, you also need to comprehend its customs and traditions. After all, it would be rather embarrassing to commit social blunders that might offend your companions! Furthermore, knowing what sort of behavior to anticipate from people will help ensure smoother social interactions with them.
Spanish people are usually warm, friendly and sociable. Easy conversation and making small talk is a regular part of everyday life in Spain – so it’s wise to come prepared with some topics you can chat about. It also helps to be aware of social norms, such as being punctual for appointments, using proper manners when dining, and making eye contact when talking.
5. Say Yes
Try to say yes when friends invite you to join any social gatherings. It’s so easy to make excuses and stay in, but the people you meet at these events could be your new friends. You may not have anything significant in common with them initially, but friendships are built over years of shared experiences, not just from having similar hobbies or interests.
6. Be Yourself
The key element of making friends abroad is to be authentic and open. Don’t forget that you are in a foreign country, and the locals could also be trying to understand your culture just as much as you are trying to understand theirs. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes – Spain has a rich and welcoming culture that embraces diversity, so don’t hesitate to try new things, eat the local food, and converse with strangers.
Be open-minded when you meet potential friends, as they may have different interests or come from entirely different cultural backgrounds. Share your stories, ask questions, and most importantly, remember not to take any rejection personally.
7. Don’t be shy
Making friends in a foreign country is the same as making friends anywhere. You just have to meet one friendly person that you click with, who will introduce you to their friends, and then suddenly you have so many friends you will have to start knocking back invitations. In the beginning, though, you have to say yes to any valuable (and safe, of course) opportunity you are confronted with.
If you want to improve your Spanish skills, talk with as many people as possible – from the people in your gym class to the bartender. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable at first when speaking a language that is not native to you. However, don’t let shyness prevent you from trying because it won’t get you anywhere! You should also never be too hard on yourself for mistakes during conversation since no one will truly judge or criticize them.
Where can I make Spanish friends?
Making good friends and forming strong relationships in Spain can be one of the most rewarding parts of your experience there. Friendship in Spain will help you adjust to a new life. It is important to have someone to rely on if something goes wrong and it is an essential support system during homesickness or mental health issues.
One of the best ways to make friends in Spain is by joining local clubs and events that match your interests or discovering cultural differences through language exchange activities. In addition, you can join dance classes or sports clubs, and attend events where you can introduce yourself to more people and potentially make friends with similar interests. Another great way to meet people is by attending events in small towns and big cities since many Spaniards are known for their outgoing nature and social gatherings.
Get out of the house
You can’t make friends if you never leave your room. Even if you don’t feel like it, make an effort to get out and about – whether it’s for a coffee or just to take a stroll in the park. If you go somewhere regularly, such as a cafe or a sports club, you will start to recognize familiar faces and this can also help break the ice when it comes to introducing yourself and making friends.
Another great way of meeting people is through a language exchange program, where you can practice Spanish with native speakers and get to know them better. This can be a Spaniard who wants to learn English or a fellow expat who would like to practice Spanish. Either way, it’s a great chance to get to know someone and make a good friend.
Stick to diverse, populated areas
It may sound obvious, but if you’re trying to make new friends, staying away from isolated or rural areas is a good idea. Look for places with lots of people in them – cafes, bars, clubs and other social spaces are all great options. You can also look out for festivals, concerts, or cultural events in the area.
These settings give you plenty of opportunities to meet people, talk and get to know them better. It might feel a little intimidating at first, but if you try to start conversations and be open-minded, you’ll find it easier to make friends abroad.
Get online and search for the closest expat community in the area. Chances are there will be one, and joining expat communities can give you access to a wealth of advice and support from experienced expats who have traveled the same path before.
In addition, many bars and cafés host Intercambio nights so that both Spanish natives and foreigners can mingle while practicing different languages – all through a fun activity like drinks or trivia games! Navigating events for the first time can be intimidating, but remember that you are not alone in your unfamiliarity.
Join a Club
Join a club or join a class depending on your interest. Whether it is Spanish language classes, dance, yoga, football – anything you enjoy and are passionate about. It will allow you to meet like-minded people with similar interests who are also likely to be looking for friendship. If signing up makes you anxious and nervous, try going with a friend or find an online platform that helps you find classes and meet people. A great way to connect with locals is by participating in their cultural activities, as it’s always a plus when you can show enthusiasm for the local customs.
A word from SpainDesk
Overall, establishing friendships in Spain can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. By observing local customs and maintaining proper behavior, you can easily develop meaningful relationships with the natives. From engaging in interesting conversations over tapas to exploring exciting cultural festivals during your travels, you’ll surround yourself with genuine human connections and have plenty of stories to tell once you get home. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango — open your eyes and heart to all Spain has to offer, and you may just find a lifelong friendship waiting for you around every corner.