Many people who come to Malaga don’t know anyone here. If you are lucky, you have relatives or friends living here already, but for most of us, that’s not the case. If you are a student, then you have several classmates, if you work somewhere then you have co-workers who you can hang out with.
But there are several expats and digital nomads, who don’t fit to any of those groups, therefore their options to find new friends in Malaga are limited. Fortunately for you, there are recurring events, meetings where you can meet other people who are also interested in meeting new people, so it’s not as awkward as going to some random stranger on the street and asking them “Do you want to be my friend?” which would be creepy at best.
One of the best opportunities to find new friends in Malaga is a weekly recurring volleyball event on the Misericordia beach. Don’t worry, you don’t have to play volleyball if you don’t want and it’s not a professional sports club, just a bunch of amateurs fooling around. It’s a fun event where people in Malaga can come together on the beach, enjoy the sunshine and the company of each other. You can meet other people, chat, find new friends and if you are up for it, you can also play volleyball.
Every week new faces come from all around the world, the official language of the event is English, but since about 50% of the attendees are Spanish or Spanish speaking people from other countries (Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay, etc.) you can use this opportunity to learn some Spanish too.
As mentioned earlier it’s not just about volleyball, but about coming together with other like-minded people. If you just want to chat without playing, that is fine. If you never played volleyball in your life, that is also fine. No pressure, no obligations, just fun on the beach!
Why is this the best way to meet new people? Unlike at other events, you don’t have to talk to anybody if you don’t want. You can get familiar with other people and the community in your own pace, while if you decide to play volleyball you can have fun, laugh at yourself and others, be excited, score points, instead of just standing or sitting around a table with a drink stuck in an awkward conversation with strangers.
This is a free, weekly recurring event that you can join every week Sunday at the Misericordia beach, behind the Burger King, next to the Chiringuito Litoral Pacifico.
On the beach, look for the group which has BLUE volleyball nets and where you can hear party music. There might be other groups playing on the beach but they usually have yellow volleyball nets and they don’t have music, so it’s pretty easy to spot the expat volleyball group. Also, here is a map so you can find the event easier:
The event during the summer time starts at 17:00, otherwise the start time is adjusted to the time of the sunset. Here is the monthly schedule for the whole year, so you can see when the event starts:
Jan – 14:00 – 18:00
Feb – 14:00 – 18:00
Mar – 14:00 – 18:00
Apr – 16:00 – 20:00
May – 16:00 – 20:00
Jun – 17:00 – 21:00
Jul – 17:00 – 22:00
Aug – 17:00 – 22:00
Sep – 16:00 – 20:00
Oct – 15:00 – 19:00
Nov – 14:00 – 18:00
Dec – 13:00 – 17:00
Of course, this is not the only option in Malaga to meet other people, there are several language exchange groups too, and on meetup.com you can find several events where you can network. In my personal experience none of these other options work really well, or least not for me. Even if I exchanged contact with people after some networking events, there were barely any who followed up or wanted to meet later for a drink, or anything. I am not saying that you can’t find interesting people or even friends at those places, but I literally didn’t find any long term friend material there. One of the main reasons is that most of the people who go to these meetings are just travelers and digital nomads who won’t stay in Malaga for long term. Many times when I messaged my contacts, asking if they fancy having a beer, I got the reply that yes they do, but they are in China at the moment and they are not likely to come back to Malaga in the next 10 years.
In the volleyball event there are also people who are in Malaga only temporarily, but the majority is living and working here, which means your chance to find long-term friends is higher.