You’ve booked your ticket.
Your bags are packed.
You can’t wait to begin your journey to a Spanish-speaking country.
Now there is a simple thing you can do that can have a BIG impact on your trip:
Learn some Spanish travel phrases!
Your trip will be so much more fun and meaningful if you can communicate with locals.
Below are the bare essentials, the most common survival Spanish travel phrases and words you will need on your trip.
109 Useful Spanish Travel Phrases Every Traveler Should Learn
Before you move beyond greetings, here is a tip for learning the words and phrases in this post: The best way to study them is to hear them in use.
And the best place to find authentic videos hand-picked for learning Spanish is 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 topics, 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.
Plus, 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 studying with the same video.
Spanish-speaking countries are generally very polite and you must always be courteous and say “hello” and “how are you?”
Do not worry about making mistakes: Most people will try their utmost to understand you and to make sure you understand them. Just try your best and they will be happy to reciprocate.
Buenos días — Good morning
Buenas tardes — Good afternoon
Buenas noches — Good evening
Hola — Hi
Use this greeting with people you know.
¿Cómo está? — How are you?
This is the polite version, to be used with people you do not know. To ask someone you know how they are doing, use ¿Cómo estás? (COH-moh es-TAHS), instead.
Bien, gracias — Good, thank you
This is the response to “how are you?” Use it if someone directs the question to you to show that you, too, are a polite person.
Por favor — Please
Gracias — Thank you
Do not ever forget: These are two very important words in Spanish!
Mucho gusto — Nice to meet you
Use this phrase when you are introduced to someone, and they will likely say it back to you.
¿Habla inglés? — Do you speak English?
While it is never correct to assume that someone speaks English, you can ask if they do and they will appreciate that you asked in Spanish.
For even more useful Spanish greetings, check out the FluentU post on the topic.
Basic Spanish Travel Vocabulary for Many Uses
You can go far with some very easy-to-remember travel phrases and words.
You can always use “I want,” “I like” and “Do you have…?” and if you do not know the noun, you can simply point at the object.
Yo quiero, yo no quiero — I want, I don’t want
(yoh kee-EH-roh, yoh noh kee-EH-roh)
Me gustaría — I would like (more polite)
¿Dónde está…? — Where is…?
Since donde 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?
(keh OHR-ah ess?)
¿Tiene…? — Do you have…?
Yo tengo, yo no tengo — I have, I don’t have
(yoh TEHN-goh, yoh noh TEHN-goh)
Yo entiendo, yo no entiendo — I understand, I don’t understand
(yoh ehn-tee-EHN-doh, yoh noh ehn-tee-EHN-doh)
¿Entiende? — Do you understand?
You can say a lot of things with very simple verbs.
I want a hotel, I want a taxi, I need pesos. Where is the train station? The bathroom? The airport? The fact of the matter is that you can say a lot using the verbs we introduced above.
It may not be the sophisticated way you speak in English, but you will be understood. For instance:
Yo quiero un boleto, un hotel, un taxi — I want a ticket, a hotel, a taxi
(yoh kee-EH-roh oon boh-LEH-toh, oon oh-TEHL, oon tahk-SEE)
Asking for Directions in Spanish
If you get a bit lost or unsure of how to get somewhere, you need some simple ways of finding how to find your way. “¿Dónde está?” is the simplest way of asking for directions. For example:
¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril? — Where is the railway station?
(DOHN-des-TAH la ehs-ta-see-OHN deh feh-roh-cahr-REEL?)
¿Dónde hay un restaurante? — Where is a restaurant?
(DOHN-deh eye oon rehs-toh-RAHN-teh?)
A few more locations you might need to ask directions for include:
Un tren — A train
La calle… — The street…
Un banco — A bank
El baño — The bathroom
Here are a few other ways to ask for directions in Spanish:
Busco un hotel — I’m looking for a hotel
(BOO-scoh oon oh-TEHL)
Yo necesito… — I need…
Yo necesito un hotel / un cuarto / un cuarto con baño — I need a hotel / a room / a room with a bathroom
(yoh neh-seh-SEE-toh oon oh-TEHL / oon KWAHR-toh / oon KWAHR-toh cohn BAHN-yoh)
¿Dónde hay una casa de cambio? — Where is the currency exchange?
(DOHN-deh eye OON-ah CAH-sah deh CAHM-bee-oh?)
¿Dónde está el banco? — Where is the bank?
(DOHN-des-TAH ehl BAHN-koh?)
Dinero — Money
Once you have asked a question, someone will answer you in Spanish. Here are some simple directions that someone may give you in response. Listen for these key words:
A la derecha — To the right
(ah lah deh-REH-chah)
A la izquierda — To the left
(ah lah ees-KYEHR-dah)
Derecho — Straight ahead
En la esquina — At the corner
(ehn lah ehs-KEE-nah)
A una cuadra, dos, tres, cuatro cuadras — In one, two, three, four blocks
(ah OO-nah KWAH-drah, dohs, trehs, KWAH-troh KWAH-drahs)
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.
Yo tengo una reserva a nombre de… — I have a reservation under the name of…
(yoh TEHN-goh OO-nah reh-SEHR-bah ah NOHM-bre deh…)
Estadía de tres noches — Three-night stay
(eh-stah-DEE-ah deh trehs noh-chehs)
Una habitación para dos personas — A room for two people
(OO-nah ah-bee-ta-SYON pah-rah dohs pehr-SOH-nahs)
Una habitación con una cama de matrimonio — A room with a double bed
(OO-nah ah-bee-ta-SYON kohn OO-nah KAH-mah deh mah-tree-MOH-nee-oh)
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?
(DOHN-des-TAH lah pee-SEE-nah?)
¿A qué hora es el desayuno? — What time is breakfast?
(ah keh OHR-ah ess ehl deh-sah-YOO-noh?)
¿Puedo solicitar una salida tardía? — Can I request for late check-out?
(PWEH-doh soh-lee-see-TAHR OO-nah sah-LEE-dah tahr-DEE-ah?)
¿Tiene servicio de habitaciones? — Do you have room service?
(tee-EH-neh sehr-BEE-see-oh deh ah-bee-ta-SYO-nehs?)
¿Cuál es la contraseña de WiFi? — What is the WiFi password?
(kwahl ehs lah cohn-trah-SEHN-yah deh wai-fai?)
Need to make any adjustments to your reservation, or curious about other hotel amenities? Here are a few more terms to add to your hotel vocabulary list.
Una cama supletoria — An extra bed
(OO-nah CAH-mah soo-pleh-TOH-ryah)
Vista del mar — Ocean view
(BEES-tah dehl mahr)
Vista de la ciudad — City view
(BEES-tah deh lah see-yoo-dahd)
Un balcón — A balcony
La terraza — The rooftop, terrace
El gimnasio — The gym
La playa — The beach
El vestíbulo — The lobby
Spanish Travel Phrases for the Restaurant
Probably the most useful Spanish travel phrases you will need are the ones you would use in a restaurant.
Ask for anything by using quiero (kee-EH-roh) or quisiera (kee-see-EH-rah) — “I want” or “I would like.” And remember to say por favor and gracias!
Una mesa — A table
Una mesa para dos, tres, cuatro — A table for two, three, four
(OO-nah MEH-sah PAH-rah dohs, trehs, KWAH-troh)
Un menú — A menu
Sopa — Soup
Ensalada — Salad
Hamburguesa — Hamburger
Con salsa de tomate, mostaza, tomate, lechuga — With ketchup, mustard, tomato, lettuce
(cohn SAHL-sah deh toh-MAH-teh, mohs-TAH-sah, toh-MAH-teh, leh-CHOO-gah)
Una entrada — An appetizer
Un postre — Dessert
Una bebida — A drink
Agua — Water
Vino tinto, vino blanco — Red wine, white wine
(BEE-noh TEEN-toh, BEE-noh BLAHN-koh)
Cerveza — Beer
Un café — Coffee
¡Señor! / ¡Señorita! — Calling a waiter or waitress
La cuenta — The check
Spanish Travel Phrases for the Ticketing Office
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 over, you’ll need to buy some sort of ticket.
If you’re looking to purchase some tickets, these questions, phrases and terms will definitely come in handy.
¿Dónde puedo comprar las entradas? — Where can I buy tickets?
(DOHN-deh PWEH-doh kohm-PRAHR ehn-TRAH-dahs?)
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?
(KWAHN-toh KWEHS-tah OO-nah ehn-TRAH-dah?)
Dos boletos de ida y vuelta — Two roundtrip tickets
(dohss boh-LEH-tohs deh EE-dah ee BWEL-tah)
¿Tiene un pase de un día? — Do you have a one-day pass?
(tee-EH-neh oon PAH-seh deh oon DEE-ah?)
¿A qué hora es el embarque? — What time is boarding?
(ah keh OHR-ah ess ehl ehm-BAHR-keh?)
¿A qué hora sale el próximo tren? — What time does the next train leave?
(ah keh OHR-ah ess ehl prohk-SEE-moh trehn)
¿De qué plataforma sale? — Which platform does it leave from?
(deh keh plah-tah-FOHR-mah sah-leh?)
¿Qué puerta? — Which gate?
Here are a few more terms 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
(BYAH-heh deh EE-dah)
El asiento de pasillo — The aisle seat
(ehl ah-see-YEN-toh deh pah-SEE-yoh)
El asiento de ventanilla — The window seat
(ehl ah-see-YEN-toh deh behn-tah-NEE-yah)
La primera, segunda, tercera, cuarta fila — The first, second, third, fourth row
(lah pree-MEH-rah, seh-GOON-dah, ter-SEH-rah, KWAHR-ta FEE-lah)
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?
(DOHN-des-TAH lah fahr-mah-SEE-yah?)
¿Dónde hay un hospital más cercano? — Where is the nearest hospital?
(DOHN-deh eye oon ohs-pee-TAHL mahs ser-KAH-noh?)
Seguro de salud internacional — International health insurance
(seh-GOO-roh deh sah-LOOD een-tehr-nah-syoh-NAHL.)
No me siento bien. — I feel sick. / I don’t feel well.
(no meh see-EHN-toh bee-EHN.)
¿El doctor habla inglés? — Does the doctor speak English?
(ehl dok-TOHR AH-blah een-GLEHS?)
¿Necesito una receta? — Do I need a prescription?
(neh-seh-SEE-toh OO-nah reh-SEH-tah?)
¿Qué medicina necesito? — What medicine do I need?
(keh meh-deh-SEE-nah neh-seh-SEE-toh?)
La cita médica — Doctor’s appointment
(lah SEE-tah MEH-dee-kah)
La cita de seguimiento — Follow-up appointment
(lah SEE-tah deh seh-gee-MYEN-toh)
If you need help explaining your symptoms, these terms will help you out. Start off by saying Yo tengo, followed by any of the below:
Un resfriado — A cold
Dolor de garganta — Sore throat
(doh-LOHR deh gahr-GAHN-tah)
Tos — Cough
Fiebre — Fever
Dolor de cabeza — Headache
(doh-LOHR deh kah-BEH-sah)
Dolor de estómago — Stomachache
(doh-LOHR deh eh-STOH-mah-goh)
Dolor de espalda — Backache
(doh-LOHR deh eh-SPAHL-dah)
Resaca — Hangover
But if you want to express that you have a runny nose, then say this:
Me gotea la naríz. — I have a runny nose.
(meh goh-TEH-ah lah nah-REES.)
Counting is good if you can spend a half-hour or hour learning some basic numbers. It really is just some simple memorization and you can find numbers in any book on Spanish or use our guide to counting in Spanish.
But, if all else fails, pull out a pen and paper and write down the number you want and encourage the other person to do the same.
Credit cards. Many places in smaller towns still do not take credit cards so make sure you have enough cash with you. You can ask if you can use a credit card — una tarjeta de crédito (oo-nah tar-HEH-tah deh CREH-dee-toh).
If you have questions, you can always use a noun with a question. For example, you can pull out your credit card and say: ¿Tarjeta de crédito? They will understand.
An all-purpose word: No funciona (noh foon-see-OH-nah) — It doesn’t work! You can use this for a million circumstances! Just point at the shower or whatever and say “¡No funciona!”
Practice saying everything aloud so that you will remember some of the phrases without looking, and learn how to say these phrases relatively quickly and smoothly. Just hearing them spoken aloud will also help in your comprehension when people are speaking to you.
Take a small pocket dictionary with you. While you don’t want to try to look up verb declensions in the middle of talking with someone, you can look up nouns quickly.
Better yet, take a phrasebook. There are tons of incredible phrasebooks (some that are partially travel guides) offered by Lonely Planet which are perfect for traveling and pulling out at a moment’s notice. This way, if you ever forget one of your most important travel phrases, you’ll be able to remind yourself.
And if you find a regional Spanish phrasebook that focuses on your travel destination, you’ll find even more useful phrases that locals love to use.
Do you feel more prepared for your trip, now? Pack these Spanish travel phrases and words with the rest of your essentials and you will be sure to get the most from your vacation.
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