Congratulations on your upcoming travel to Spanish Speaking country! Whether it’s Spain or Latin America, it’s quite handy to have a Spanish travel phrases cheat sheet with you during your trip.
When you are in a Spanish speaking country, you can always use Google Translate, but in order to have a basic conversation in Spanish, you are going to need to learn some new vocabulary.
It won’t take more than one hour to learn these Spanish travel phrases before your trip.
You can also download the PDF file with all the phrases from this article. It might be useful to keep it handy during your holiday.
In this article, I created a Spanish travel phrases cheat sheet for the following situations:
- Asking directions
- Ordering food
- Spanish phrases for shopping
- Small talk with people you meet & asking recommendations
- Spanish phrases for emergencies
If you are traveling to Latin America, you should also check out the most common Latin American Spanish Phrases.
Another great way to prepare for a trip to a Spanish speaking country is to take a few lessons with native speakers.
The session cost starts from as little as $3 – $4 per hour.
Asking directions in Spanish
The most useful expressions from this Spanish travel phrases cheat sheet I believe are related to asking directions.
When you are traveling to a new country, there is a big chance that you will need to ask someone how to find a specific place even though you might have a GPS. Sometimes the direction by the GPS is not clear enough, or sometimes it is even possible not to have a signal or run out of battery.
You might be looking for a specific place, transportation, or asking for help if you get lost.
First thing to remember
When you are stopping someone on the street asking for a direction, keep in mind that if it is a person older than you - the recommended way of addressing this person is Usted.
Therefore, if you want to start asking with the phrase "Excuse me" the polite way to say it is "Perdone".
In other cases, you can say Perdona or Disculpa, which is more informal.
After that, you can ask something like:
Perdone, ¿me puede decir dónde está la calle De Serrano?
Excuse me, can you tell me where the Serrano street is?
If you forget this sentence, you can avoid all these words and simply say the name of the street.
Perdone, ¿la calle De Serrano?
Make sure you make it sound like a question by raising your voice at the end of the sentence.
If you are looking for something less specific, for example, for any pharmacy in the area. You could say:
¿Dónde hay una farmacia?
So, “¿Dónde está…?” is for more specific places, and “¿Dónde hay…?” for less specific places.
Other ways of asking for the directions would be:
Disculpe, ¿cómo llego a la calle Cava Baja?
Excuse me, how do I get to the street Cava Baja?
¿A qué distancia está la Plaza Mayor de aquí?
How far is the Plaza Mayor from here?
Creo que estoy perdido/a. Estoy buscando mi hotel. ¿Sabe dónde está la calle San Bernardo?
I think I am lost. I am looking for my hotel. Do you know where San Bernardo Street is?
If you are looking for a transportation, you might want to use one of the following phrases.
Disculpe, ¿sabe dónde puedo tomar un taxi?
Excuse me, do you know where I can take a taxi?
Keep in mind that we are still using a polite and formal tone because it shows respect. That is why Disculpe instead of Disculpa , and Sabe (usted) instead of Sabes (tu).
¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril más cerca?
Where’s the nearest railway station?
Perdone, ¿sabe dónde está la parada de autobús más cercana?
Do you know where the nearest bus stop is?
To understand the reply, you might want to remember the most common words for direction:
Left => Izquierda
To the left => A la izquierda
Right => Derecha
To the right => A la derecha
Go straight => Ir directamente
Straight => derecho
Around the corner => A la vuelta
Next to => Al lado del/ de
If you don’t understand the reply or if you get confused with derecho, which means both straight and right, some verifying with hand gestures might help.
Other Spanish travel phrases to ask for directions:
- Dígame, por favor, ¿Cómo puedo pasar hacia ese hotel? ― Could you tell me how can I get to that hotel, please?
- ¿Cuánto tiempo va a tomar? ― How long is it going to take?
- ¿Se encuentra ello en esta lado? ― Is it on this side?
- ¿Qué dirección debo tomar para ir al centro? ― What direction should I take to go to the center?
- ¿Donde nos encontramos ahora? ― Where are we now?
- ¿Cómo se llama esta calle? ― What is the name of this street?
- ¿Está cerca de aquí?― Is it close from here?
- ¿Está lejos de aquí? ― Is it far from here?
Ordering food and drinks in Spanish
One of the most fun things to do when you are abroad in Spain or Latin America is to eat! Therefore I am more than sure that you will need these phrases to order food in local restaurants.
Buenas noches, tiene una mesa para dos por favor?
Good evening, do you have a table for two please?
¿Tienes un menú en Inglés?
Do you have a menu in English?
¿Podemos tener un menú en inglés?
Can we have an English menu?
When the waiter comes to take your order, he might ask something like “¿Qué desean comer?“. You can reply Me gustaría or Me quisiera (I would like) followed by your order. For example,
Me gustaría una cerveza por favor
I would like a beer please.
You can also use “¿Me trae?” ( Could you bring me), followed by your order. For example,
¿Me trae un té por favor?
Could you bring me a tea please?
If you are not sure what to try, you can ask the waiter what he can recommend
¿Qué me recomienda?
What can you recommend?
If you are a vegetarian or have an allergy, make sure to tell your waiter so he can help you best:
I am vegetarian
Tengo alergia a (mostaza)
I have an allergy to mustard.
To ask if there is a specialty of the day, you can say:
¿Hay algún plato especial hoy?
To ask for the bill:
La cuenta, por favor.
¿Nos puede traer la cuenta por favor?
Could you bring us the check please?
In the United States, if the waiter asks whether you would like anything else and your answer is no – he will bring you the bill straight away. In Spain and Latin America, on the other hand, it is considered to be rude, so the waiter will not bring you the bill unless you ask for it.
Shopping Spanish phrases cheat sheet
For many tourists shopping in a new country is a must-do activity. Whether you are going to a local market, supermarket, souvenir shop, or shopping center – this list should make the task easier.
One of the most favorite words to remember is “Discounts“. If you see it on the shop windows or on the clothing tag you will know that prices are reduced.
Rebajas => Discounts
If you are looking for something in s store you can use different phrases, whatever it is easier for you to remember.
Estoy buscando …
I’m looking for …
Do you have..? are there...?
Do you have?
Follow by whatever you are looking for.
¿Hay gafas de sol?
Do you have sunglasses?
"Estoy buscando una camisa"
I am looking for a shirt.
When you found a cloth that you like and you need to ask for the right size you can say:
¿Tienes ésta en talla chica?
Do you have this one in a small size?
Remember the name of your size for your future shopping:
chica = small
mediana = medium
grande = large
extra grande = extra large
¿La/Lo tienes en otro color?
Do you have it in a different color?
Use “la” for feminine nouns such as “la falda” and “lo” for masculine nouns such as ” vestido“.
Sólo quería mirar => I'm only looking.
¿Cuánto cuesta eso? => How much does it cost?
¿Cuánto cuestan? => How much do they cost?
¿Dónde puedo comprar ...? => Where can I buy ...?
¿Se aceptan tarjetas de crédito? => Are credit cards accepted?
¿Me la puedo probar? => Can I try it on?
¿Me puede dar un recibo? => May I have a receipt?
Asking for recommendations
When you are traveling, you will have plenty of opportunities to practice your Spanish. You might want to get to know someone better or ask recommendations on the best places to visit. Locals always know the best and the least touristic places which you might not heard of.
Before you jump right into asking questions, you might have a short conversation with the locals.
You can use both “tú” (informal) and “usted” (formal) depending on the situation and who you are talking with.
The polite way to speak with a new acquaintance is to use “usted”.
¿Cómo se llama? (formal)
What is your name?
Me llamo Elina
My name is Elina
¿De dónde eres?
Where are you from?
Soy de Rusia
I am from Russia
¿Y tú? ¿Eres local?
What about you? Are you local?
Estoy aqui de vacaciones
I am here on vacations
¿Me puede recomendar un buen restaurante para cenar?
Could you recommend me a good restaurant for dinner?
¿Podrías decirme cuáles son los mejores bares de la ciudad?
Could you tell me what the best bars in the city are?
¿Hay buenas discotecas en la ciudad?
Are there good night clubs in the city?
¿Cuál es el mejor club nocturno para visitar el viernes?
What is the best nightclub to visit on Friday?
¿Dónde está el mejor lugar para probar la comida local?
Where is the best place to try local food?
¿Me podría decir dónde está el lugar más barato para ir de compras?
Could you tell me where is the cheapest place for shopping?
Don’t forget to check out the most common Latin American Spanish Phrases if you are heading that way.
Spanish Phrases for emergencies
Unforeseen situations can happen to everyone, no one is safe from this. You or your friends may need help, as well as a person on the street.
You wouldn’t pass a person in trouble simply because you do not know how to call a doctor in Spanish?
Emergencies often require a quick response and finding the right phrase in the phrasebook or online translator will greatly complicate the solution to the problem.
What are the main phrases you may need to find help:
Necesito un doctor/ dentista/ oficial de policía.
I need a doctor / dentist / police officer.
¿Hay una farmacía cerca?
Is there a pharmacy close by?
¿Puedo utilizar su teléfono?
Can I use your phone?
¡Llame a la policía/ ambulancia/los bomberos!
Call the police / ambulance / fire department!
Me he perdido.
I am lost!
These Spanish phrases will be enough to ask passers-by for help in an emergency. If you know them by heart, then perhaps this will save someone’s life or health and make your trip much calmer and safer.
You’re All Set For Your Spanish Adventure!