131 Useful Spanish Travel Phrases Every Traveler Should Learn
Have you been dreaming about your upcoming vacation to Spain?
Eagerly awaiting your backpacking trek through South America?
Whatever the case, your trip to any Spanish-speaking country will be so much more fun and meaningful if you can communicate with locals.
But what kind of Spanish travel phrases do you even need to know?
Below are the essentials—the most common Spanish phrases for travel to help you upgrade your trip from “goodw” to “great.”
- 1. Basic Spanish Greetings and Phrases
- 2. Basic Spanish Phrases for Everyday Use
- 3. Asking for Directions in Spanish
- 4. Spanish Travel Phrases for the Hotel
- 5. Spanish Travel Phrases for the Restaurant
- 6. Spanish Phrases for the Airport and Ticket Offices
- 7. Medical Emergencies in Spanish
- 8. Spanish Phrases for Having a Bit of Fun
- And One More Thing…
1. Basic Spanish Greetings and Phrases
Spanish-speaking countries are generally very polite and you must always be courteous and say “hello” and “how are you?”
Don’t worry about making mistakes. Most people will try their utmost to understand you and to make sure you understand them. Try your best and they will be happy to reciprocate!
- Hola — Hi
- Buenos días — Good morning
- Buenas tardes — Good afternoon
- Buenas noches — Good evening
- ¿Cómo te llamas? — What’s your name? (informal)
- ¿Cómo se llama? — What’s your name? (formal)
- Me llamo… — My name is…
- Mucho gusto — Nice to meet you
- ¿Cómo estás? — How are you? (informal)
- ¿Cómo está? — How are you? (formal)
- Bien, gracias — Good, thank you
- Por favor — Please
- Gracias — Thank you
- Perdón — Sorry
- ¿Habla inglés? — Do you speak English?
- No hablo español — I don’t speak Spanish
2. Basic Spanish Phrases for Everyday Use
You can go far with some very easy-to-remember travel phrases and words.
You’ll likely use “I want,” “I like” and “Do you have…?” quite often. If you don’t know the noun, you can simply point at the object or show a photo.
You can also say a lot of things with very simple verbs we’re about to introduce. It may not be the sophisticated way you speak in English, but you will be understood.
/ No quiero
— I want / I don’t want
- Me gustaría
— I would like (more polite)
- ¿Dónde está…?
— Where is…?
Since dónde ends in e and está starts with one, these two words flow into each other, almost like they were a single word.
- ¿Cuánto cuesta?
— How much does it cost?
- ¿Qué hora es?
— What time is it?
— Do you have…?
/ No tengo
— I have / I don’t have
/ No entiendo
— I understand / I don’t understand
— Do you understand?
- Quiero un boleto
— I want a ticket
…un hotel — …a hotel
…un taxi — …a taxi
- No funciona — It doesn’t work
That last one is an all-purpose word. You can use this for a million circumstances! Just point at the shower or whatever and say “¡No funciona!”
What we’ve seen so far is basic survival Spanish, so even if you can only remember these words and phrases, they’ll still help a great deal.
3. Asking for Directions in Spanish
If you get a bit lost or unsure of how to get somewhere, “¿dónde está?” is the simplest way of asking for directions. Here are a few more phrases, locations and other directions in Spanish that will be helpful on your trip:
- ¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril?
— Where is the railway station?
- ¿Dónde hay un restaurante?
— Where is a restaurant?
- Un tren
— A train
- La calle…
— The street…
- Un banco
— A bank
- El baño
— The bathroom
- Busco un hotel — I’m looking for a hotel
- Necesito un hotel
— I need a hotel
…un cuarto — …a room
…un cuarto con baño — …a room with a bathroom
- ¿Dónde hay una casa de cambio?
— Where is the currency exchange?
- ¿Dónde está el banco?
— Where is the bank?
Once you have asked a question, someone will answer you in Spanish. Listen for these key words:
- A la derecha
— To the right
- A la izquierda
— To the left
— Straight ahead
- En la esquina
— At the corner
- A una cuadra
— In one block
…dos cuadras — …two blocks
…tres cuadras — …three blocks
…cuatro cuadras — …four blocks
4. Spanish Travel Phrases for the Hotel
You’ve finally found your hotel and you’re ready to check in!
Staff at international chains will probably be able to communicate in English with you, but these phrases and questions will come in handy for local hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, etc.
These will also be helpful when you need to make adjustments to your reservation or are curious about other hotel amenities.
- Tengo una reserva a nombre de…
— I have a reservation under the name of…
- Estadía de tres noches
— Three-night stay
- Una habitación para dos personas
— A room for two people
- Una habitación con una cama de matrimonio
— A room with a double bed
As you can see, habitación is a synonym of cuarto. You can use either term when booking a room.
- ¿Dónde está la piscina?
— Where is the pool?
- ¿A qué hora es el desayuno?
— What time is breakfast?
- ¿Puedo solicitar una salida tardía?
— Can I request a late check-out?
- ¿Tiene servicio de habitaciones?
— Do you have room service?
- ¿Cuál es la contraseña de WiFi?
— What is the WiFi password?
- Una cama supletoria
— An extra bed
- Vista al mar
— Ocean view
- Vista a la ciudad
— City view
- Un balcón
— A balcony
- La terraza
— The rooftop / terrace
- El gimnasio
— The gym
- La playa
— The beach
- El vestíbulo
— The lobby
5. Spanish Travel Phrases for the Restaurant
Probably the most useful travel phrases you will need are the ones you would use in a restaurant. Let’s go over some basic restaurant vocabulary in Spanish:
Ask for anything by using quiero or quisiera — “I want” or “I would like.” And remember to say por favor and gracias!
…tres — …three
…cuatro — …four
- Un menú
/ Una carta
— A menu
- Con salsa de tomate — With ketchup
…mostaza — …mustard
…tomate — …tomato
…lechuga — …lettuce
- Una entrada — An appetizer
- Un postre
- Una bebida
— A drink
- Vino tinto
/ Vino blanco
— Red wine / White wine
- Un café
— Mister / Miss (when calling a waiter or waitress)
- La cuenta
— The check
- Una tarjeta de crédito — A credit card
- Una tarjeta de débito — A debit card
- Pagar en efectivo — Pay in cash
Note that many places in smaller towns still don’t take credit cards, so make sure you have enough cash with you.
You can ask if a place takes credit cards by using the noun with a question. For example, you can pull out your credit card and say: ¿Tarjeta de crédito? They will understand.
6. Spanish Phrases for the Airport and Ticket Offices
It’s time to soak in some culture! Whether you want to go see a show, check out an art exhibit, watch a local movie or visit the next town (or country) over, you’ll need to buy some sort of ticket.
We’ll start with some airport-specific vocabulary—bearing in mind that many of these phrases are versatile and can be used in various situations—followed by more general vocabulary.
- Su pasaporte, por favor
— Your passport, please
- Quisiera cambiar mi reserva — I would like to change my reservation
- ¿Podría elegir mi asiento?
— Could I choose my seat?
- Quisiera cambiar mi asiento
— I would like to change my seat
- Este es mi equipaje de mano
— This is my carry-on luggage
- ¿Se ha cancelado el vuelo?
— Has the flight been canceled?
- ¿Dónde está la terminal internacional?
— Where is the international terminal?
- ¿Dónde está la puerta de embarque?
— Where is the boarding gate?
- ¿A qué hora es el embarque?
— What time is boarding?
- ¿Dónde puedo comprar las entradas?
— Where can I buy tickets?
Earlier we defined entrada as an “appetizer.” Entrada has multiple meanings related to “start” or “entry,” so you can also use it to say “ticket.”
- ¿Cuánto cuesta una entrada?
— How much does a ticket cost?
- Dos boletos de ida y vuelta
— Two roundtrip tickets
- ¿Tiene un pase de un día?
— Do you have a one-day pass?
- ¿A qué hora sale el próximo tren?
— What time does the next train leave?
- ¿De qué plataforma sale?
— Which platform does it leave from?
- ¿Qué puerta?
— Which gate?
For more specific situations, here are some words and phrases you might need when purchasing tickets:
- El espectáculo
— The show / performance
- El teatro
— The theater
- La exposición
— The exhibit
- El cine
— The cinema
- Una película
— A movie
- Un vuelo
— A flight
- Viaje de ida
— One-way trip
- Viaje de ida y vuelta — Return trip / round trip
- El asiento de pasillo
— The aisle seat
- El asiento de ventanilla
— The window seat
- La primera fila
— The first row
La segunda fila — The second row
La tercera fila — The third row
La cuarta fila — The fourth row
Also, as you’ve likely noticed, for anything dealing with money or quantities, you’ll want to be familiar with numbers in Spanish.
7. Medical Emergencies in Spanish
A smart traveler always comes prepared with some emergency over-the-counter meds. After all, you never know what could happen when you’re overseas.
But when those aren’t enough, these are the phrases that will help with your health-related concerns when in a Spanish-speaking country:
- ¿Dónde está la farmacia?
— Where is the pharmacy?
- ¿Dónde está el hospital más cercano?
— Where is the nearest hospital?
- Seguro de salud internacional
— International health insurance
- No me siento bien
— I feel sick / I don’t feel well
- ¿El doctor habla inglés?
— Does the doctor speak English?
- ¿Necesito una receta?
— Do I need a prescription?
- ¿Qué medicina necesito?
— What medicine do I need?
- La cita médica
— Doctor’s appointment
- La cita de seguimiento
— Follow-up appointment
If you need help explaining your symptoms, these terms will help you out. With the exception of the last phrase, start off by saying tengo , followed by any of the below:
- Un resfriado
— A cold
- Dolor de garganta
— Sore throat
- Dolor de cabeza
- Dolor de estómago
- Dolor de espalda
- Me gotea la nariz
— I have a runny nose
8. Spanish Phrases for Having a Bit of Fun
Of course, a trip to a Spanish-speaking country wouldn’t be complete without a little ¡fiesta! (carnival; party). If you’re keen to hit the town, here are a few phrases to help you get your groove on.
- ¿Hay algún bar por aquí?
— Is there a bar around here?
- ¿Dónde están las discotecas?
— Where are the clubs?
- ¿A qué hora abren las discotecas?
— What time do the clubs open?
- ¿Me recomienda un lugar para bailar?
— Can you recommend me a place to dance?
- ¿Quieres bailar conmigo?
— Do you want to dance with me?
— Let’s dance!
Of course, to use all these phrases successfully, you’ll need to practice! You can save and print this post as a PDF or even create your own flashcards. You can also use a program that creates flashcards for you.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Do you feel more prepared for your trip now? Pack these Spanish travel phrases with the rest of your essentials and you’ll be sure to get the most from your vacation!
And One More Thing…
If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.