10 tips to make friends in Valencia
How to meet other expats in Valencia
So you've decided to leave your comfort zone and come to Valencia. Congratulations on the best decision of your life. It's also a bit scary, isn't it? Well, that doesn't have to be the case with these ten concrete tips to make friends and/or meet other expats in Valencia.
Living abroad means a lifestyle change. It can also be a stressful period that involves both challenging moments and exciting experiences. Making new friends is one of the challenges that awaits you.
Do you play Pilota Valenciana, hang a Joaquín Sorolla painting on the wall or push the accelerator before the traffic light turns green, then you are taking good steps towards integration. No matter what, you're still a foreigner. A guiri.
Although some people experience the Valencians as hospitable, others interpret Valencia as a closed society. Valencians don’t often stray far from their local neighbourhood. Having a Spanish romance is the only way sure way to fully integrate. So, you better get used to abuela's paella every Sunday as the highlight of the week. If you’re lucky, sometimes a tortilla takes its place on the table as a change.
The easiest first step to integration is to meet other expats in Valencia, people from your own culture. You know, immigrants who like to call themselves expats. Currently there are around 100.000 foreigners registered in Valencia (roughly 13% of the total population). This means that Valencia is not the most multicultural city in Spain, but you it has large communities of foreign citizens. The four most represented nationalities from the European Union in Valencia are Romanians, followed by Italians, Bulgarians, French and the British.
How to meet other expats in Valencia
Get out there
Sounds simple, doesn't it? It is. Go to the coffee bar around the corner, read the flyers, have a chat with the waiter and the customers. But beware, if the person behind the bar is in a bad mood, he or she won't bother to entertain you. The word customer service is not in the Valencian dictionary. If you're okay with being surrounded by Anglo-Saxon football roar, you can also choose to hang out in Irish pub St.-Patricks while enjoying a pint.
During the summer months, every Friday there's the Flag Tandem Party in one of Valencia's most iconic clubs: L'Umbracle. Upon entry, you'll be pinned with the flag of your country. Want to chit-chat with a Swedish guy or a Hungarian lady? Nice, but we are in Spain, so try to pair up with a local and practice your Spanish. This is the perfect place. Go on over to the Don Juan or the pretty girl with a red-yellow-red pin on their shirt.
Go to intercambios
The organiser of the Flag Tandem, Valencia Language Exchange, coordinates excursions as well as an almost daily language exchange or intercambio. It is the ideal way to meet people, brush up on your languages and "para tomar algo". Don't be deterred by the occasional weirdo.
One of the most popular cafes in Valencia is Ubik Cafe in Calle Literato Azorin in Russafa. They organize lots of intercambios, workshops, events, etc. It is a great place to hang out and meet locals and other expats in Valencia.
If your job allows you to, you can go to co-working places, where you meet like-minded people and exchange ideas about your company. Globexs will soon be offering work places in our new business centre in the heart of Russafa. More info will follow soon. Keep an eye out on our website. At the moment Wayco is the most popular coworking space in Valencia, with 2 locations: El Carmen and Russafa.
Okay, but how? Well, via the app Meet up. Download the app, sign up and join the groups you like. You can sign up for activities or organise your own group or activity. If you are a diver, register in the Buceo group. If you have an active lifestyle, sign up with Valencia Sports and Recreation. Meetup can also be used for professional purposes through the business groups.
Wake up the competitive animal in you. Beachbol is the largest beach volleyball city in Spain with no less than 18 playing fields. If you want to learn how to play tennis, sign up for Peter's tennis classes via Meetup. To play football, there are countless groups. If you haven’t met anyone who plays football yet to invite you to join a Whatsapp group, then it's best to download the app Timpik. The games often start at 9.30pm or even at 10.30pm. Unless you can resist the temptation of the third half, you won't be in bed before midnight.
Take a course
If painting is your thing, go to an art class. If you like cooking, impress your new friends with that delicious paella you learned to make during the cooking class. Todavía no hablas castellano? Take Spanish lessons. Because you don't want to be that guiri in ten years' time, do you?
Hit the events
Every weekend there is some event. A festival for example. Or a feria or exhibition. Events are announced on the website Love Valencia. Internations is also a good place to be for all kinds of activities.
Use the world wide web
Join Facebook groups such as expats and business in Valencia or expats living and working in Valencia. Unless you want to be overloaded with questions like "where do I buy groceries?" or "which hotel should I book for my grandson?", then you should not become a member of the Valencia information exchange. Tinder and Bumble need no introduction. Apps like Uolala! or Amigos Valencia are mainly used by Spaniards themselves.
Are you an animal lover? At the animal shelter they are always in need of volunteers to help stray and abandoned dogs. Or roll up their sleeves at La Cruz Roja. Not only will you help others, volunteering is also a great way to meet others and make friends.
Say yes. To everything. Or at least to almost everything. Not to the weirdo you met at that language exchange. When that handsome guy or that cute chick asks you out: say: si, dos cervezas por favor. Have an open view on things and approach people. You'll be amazed at how quickly you build a social life. Respect and friendliness will take you a long way.
Follow our ten concrete tips and do what you like to do and what makes you happy. You will meet other expats in Valencia and make friends. Go outside. Just don't be that weirdo.
Facebook group to meet other expats in Valencia
Because of the climate, the beaches, and the cultural heritage, Valencia has become a hub for digital nomads and remote workers in recent years. But most of these people can use a little bit of help settling in. Language problems, slow bureaucracy and cultural differences can make a smooth integration challenging. The Facebook group "Expats living and working in Valencia" is the meeting spot for newly arrived and established expats living and working in Valencia. The group was created to help expats help each other. We encourage all foreigners living in Valencia to join the group and share useful information regarding living and working in Valencia. Our philosophy is that foreigners who are moving to Valencia, and who are doing an effort to integrate in the Valencian society can and should help each other and create a positive community.
Every post is moderated by a team of expats who have been living in Valencia for many years. We only accept post that are relevant for the expat community in Valencia. We embrace global mobility and we accept the same from our members.
The Globexs Experience
Well at Globexs we all agree that our main job is making people feel welcome. Globexs is, in essence, a people-company: people working for people. Us working for expats. We sell trust and confidence. We are the little tap on your shoulder and the voice whispering in your ear that everything will be all right. That is the Globexs experience, and that is what distinguishes us from traditional rental companies.
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