Making new friends in Madrid
One of the best and most difficult things about living abroad can be making new friends. Fortunately, there are plenty of clubs and groups in Madrid which will help even the shyest “guiri” to meet new friends. Here are some of my favourite resources to help you meet new friends, acquaintances, and even business contacts. Some of these groups charge a membership fee, so I’d recommend that you attend at least one event as a guest before joining to see if the group is right for you.
- The INC of Madrid (the International Newcomers Club) is a group which hosts weekly activities for expats living in Madrid. The full year membership will cost you 85 Euros, but they also offer a half year option for 50 Euros.
- Meetup.com helped me to meet great friends when I was new to NYC and has also helped me find people with similar interests here in Madrid. The best part is that if you don’t find the group you are looking for, you can make your own.
- The AWC (American Women’s Club) has been where I have met some of the most interesting and wise women. These ladies will offer a shoulder to lean on, give you guidance when you need it, and are a heck of a good time! There is an annual fee of 88 Euros and they offer various activities to keep you busy throughout the week.
- InterNations is an invitation only web-based organization. The events I’ve attended consisted of a diverse crowd, each time there were between 200-300 attendees in a centrally located venue.
- Globiles is another invitation only group which caters to business professionals. It is a new venture which helps connect international professionals who are currently living abroad or would like to make the big move.
- The American Club of Madrid is a good networking source for established professionals. There is an annual fee of 100 Euros, but check with your company to see if they are already a member. They host monthly events and various special occasion events per year.
- Volunteer your time at your local school or check Idealist.org. They have volunteer opportunities listed in several countries, including Spain.
- Practice your Spanish. If you want to practice a new language with others, check out the language intercambio, Madrid Babel. Each Wednesday and Sunday evening, you can find plenty of people to practice various languages with.
- Get some fresh air! There is a fantastic hiking group in Madrid for people of all skill levels. The hikes take place on the weekends and offer a unique alternative to the usual crowded bar events.