Chinese for Travel: 30 Useful Mandarin Phrases for Your Journey
Are you currently in or planning on traveling to China?
Then you’ve come to the right place.
This post will provide you with the most helpful travel phrases in Chinese to ensure a smooth 旅游 (lǚ yóu) — trip.
Here are 30 useful phrases that you should know for your travels, or 旅行 (lǚ xíng), when in China!
- In the Airport
- Taking a Taxi
- Busses and Trains
- At the Hotel
- Asking for Directions
- Tips for Using Chinese Travel Phrases
In the Airport
Pinyin: dēng jī shǒu xù guì tái zài nǎ li?
English: Where is the check-in counter?
To name the specific check-in counter, add any of these words to the beginning of the phrase:
(jīng jì cāng) — Economy Class
公务舱 (gōng wù cāng) — Business Class
头等舱 (tóu děng cāng) — First Class
Pinyin: __ hào dēng jī kŏu wăng nă biān zŏu?
English: Which way is boarding gate number __?
Pinyin: qǐng bāng wǒ ān pái kào chuāng hù de zuò wèi.
English: Please arrange a window seat for me.
Pinyin: qǐng bāng wǒ ān pái kào zŏu láng de zuò wèi.
English: Please arrange an aisle seat for me.
Pinyin: wǒ xiàn zài dào qǐ fēi de shí jiān hái yǒu duō jiǔ?
English: How long do I have until departure time?
Taking a Taxi
Pinyin: di shì zhàn zài nǎ ér?
English: Where is the taxi stand?
Pinyin: nǐ qù nǎ ér?
English: Where do you want to go?
Pinyin: zhè ér, zhī dào ma?
English: Here. Do you know where that is?
Pinyin: zhī dào.
English: I know [where that is].
Pinyin: bù zhī dào.
English: I don’t know [where that is].
Pinyin: duō shǎo qián?
English: How much?
Pinyin: zhè ér tíng chē.
English: You can stop here.
Busses and Trains
Pinyin: __ hào dào zhè ér ma?
English: Is this the stop for the __ route/line?
Pinyin: xiè xiè nǐ bāng wǒ.
English: Thank you for helping me.
Pinyin: dì tiě zhàn zài nǎ ér?
English: Where is the subway station?
Pinyin: zài nǎ lǐ mǎi piào?
English: Where can I buy a ticket?
Pinyin: gōng jiāo chē zhàn zài nǎ ér?
English: Where is the bus stop?
Pinyin: jǐ zhàn?
English: How many stops?
Pinyin: xū yào zhuǎn chē ma?
English: Do I have to transfer?
At the Hotel
Pinyin: wǒ yù dìng le liǎng jiān ___.
English: I have made a reservation for two ___ rooms.
You can obviously replace the number of rooms with however many you booked. To indicate the type of room, fill in the blank with one of the following:
(biāo zhǔn fáng) — Standard room
套房 (tào fáng) — Suite
Pinyin: wǒ xiǎng yào ___ fáng.
English: I want a ___ room.
To say the type of room you’d like, fill in the blank with:
(dān rén) — Single room
双人 (shuāng rén) — Double room
Pinyin: diàn tī zài nǎ ér?
English: Where is the elevator?
Pinyin: wǒ men xiàn zài yào tuì fáng le.
English: We’re going to check out now.
Asking for Directions
Pinyin: qù ___ zěn me zǒu?
English: How do I get to ___?
Pinyin: xià chē de shí hou, ___.
English: When you get off, ___.
Pinyin: chū qù de shí hou, ___.
English: When you exit, ___.
Pinyin: huí qù
English: Go back
Pinyin: yī zhī zǒu
English: Go straight
Pinyin: nǐ kàn ___ de shí hou, ___.
English: When you see ___, ___.
Tips for Using Chinese Travel Phrases
- Pronunciation is way more important than grammar. If you’re concerned about how to structure your “How do I get there?” question, forget it. Pronouncing the name of the place you’re going to is enough to get you there.
- Listen to how natives use these phrases. You can use the FluentU app on iOS or Android as it provides hundreds of authentic Mandarin clips that will show you how natives actually speak. There are also plenty of learning tools to help you retain information.
- Complete sentences are often not necessary in conversation.
- Learn the names of a few landmarks that are close to where you’re staying. Banks, parks, intersections, restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, shopping malls, hotels and schools can all serve as points of identification.
- Ask the bus driver if they pass your destination before you get on the bus.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most people are happy to be of assistance.
- Download an app or e-Book for travel phrases. This way you have a reference to help you out when you forget how to say something.
- Record the phrases as voice notes. Not only is this great for pronunciation practice, but it’s also extremely helpful as backup, in case the nerves get to you in the heat of the moment and cause you to say the phrases incorrectly.
Now you have all the Mandarin Chinese travel phrases you need to get around. Use them as much as you can and enjoy your trip!