Congratulations! If you’ve just booked a trip to Spain for the first time, you’re in for a treat. This beautiful country is home to history, Mediterranean coastlines, and amazing culture. Incredible art is one of the things Spain is most proud of, as the birthplace of Dali, Picasso and Gaudi. With Roman ruins and Islamic architecture, you’ve got a destination that is perfect for any traveller. Despite its popularity among western tourists, you’d be surprised to learn that the vast majority of Spaniards speak no English at all, whilst very few speak it well. To help you navigate this gorgeous country, we’ve compiled a list of the must know Spanish phrases for traveling to make your trip more smooth.
Must-Know Spanish Phrases for Traveling
Once you’ve mastered Hola (hello) there are a few other Spanish phrases for traveling you should keep up your sleeve to ensure you stay in the local’s good graces. Whether you’re in a restaurant, in a store, or on the street, it never hurts to be polite.
• Buenos Dias – Good Morning
• BuenasTardes – Good Afternoon
• BuenasNoches – Good evening
• ¿Cómoestá? – How are you?
• Bien, gracias– Good, thank you
• Por favour – Please
• Gracias – Thank you
• Mucho Gusto – nice to meet you
When you need something
Once you’ve greeted someone, you may want to ask them for something. While there are many verbs that you could learn if you were attempting to become fluent in Spanish, the main verb you’ll need for your holiday is querer, to want. When you’re using it in first person, it becomes quiero, I want. Or, if you’re trying to be more polite, consider saying quisiera, I would like.
• Yoquisiera un menu – I would like a menu
• Yoquisiera un taxi – I would like a taxi
• Yoquisierauna sangria – I would like a sangria
Asking for Directions
Getting out and about is one of the most important parts of travelling, so it’s important that you’re able to ask for directions unless you have a tour guide to help you. That way, when you get lost, instead of panicking, you can just ask a local! Here are some useful Spanish phrases for traveling when you need to ask for directions:
• ¿Dóndeestá un restaurante? – Where is a restaurant?
• ¿Dóndeestáel baño? – Where is the restroom?
• ¿A que distancia? – how far?
• A la derecha – right
• A la izquierda – left
• Estoyperdido – I’m lost
While we can’t tell you exactly what every item on every menu means, we can make it a little easier to order. Just remember, the best food will usually come from places that don’t have English menus designed for tourists, so be prepared to try your luck.
• ¿Cuanto cuesta? – how much is it?
• La cuente, por favour – the bill, please
• Soy vegetariano – I am a vegetarian
• Agua – Water
• Un café – a coffee
• Pollo – Chicken
• Carne de vaca – beef
• Mariscos– Seafood
Learning to count
Knowing your numbers is incredibly helpful, no matter which country you go to. You’ll be able to say how many servings you need, what street number your hotel is, understand how much something is. If all else fails, you can always put pen to paper or use your fingers, but if you want a more authentic experience, knowing one to ten can come in handy.
• Uno – one
• Dos – two
• Tres – three
• Cuatro – four
• Cinco – five
• Sies – six
• Siete – seven
• Ocho – eight
• Nueve – nine
• Diez – ten
If You are Stuck
If you ever get yourself into a conversation that you don’t understand while visiting Spain, or you’re not sure what is being said to you, you can always use these phrases to be polite.
• Yo no entiendo– I don’t understand
• ¿Hablainglés?-Do you speak English?
Once you know the basics, you’ll find you feel far more comfortable than you would if you were just relying on your own English. Spend a couple of months before your trip rehearsing these key phrases – the locals will appreciate it, and you’ll have an even better holiday!