Spanish Language: 100+ Spanish Words & Phrases For Travelers

‍The first language I ever learned was Spanish. My parents arrived in Miami from Venezuela in the early 1980s. So my siblings and I grew up in Miami speaking only Spanish, and didn’t learn English until we started school. As someone who’s fluent in the Spanish language, I know how beneficial it is to be able to speak it when you travel abroad. My travels through Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Peru were all greatly enhanced by my ability to communicate with the locals.

Whether you’re heading to the markets of Barcelona, exploring the food culture in Puerto Rico, or exploring the volcanic islands of Nicaragua, knowing basic words and phrases can greatly impact your vacation. Not only can it help you understand the people around you, but it can also make locals feel more open and receptive to you. That makes a world of difference if you’re in need of help or directions, ordering at a restaurant, or greeting someone. These are over 100 Spanish language words and phrases you need to know before traveling to Spanish-speaking countries!

Basic Spanish Greetings and Phrases

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain | Davidsbeenhere

When traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, it’s essential to be polite and greet people in their language. Here are some basic Spanish language greetings and phrases that will help you start conversations and make a good impression:

  • Hola – Hello
  • Buenos días – Good morning
  • Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
  • Buenas noches – Good evening/good night
  • ¿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
  • ¿Hablas inglés? – Do you speak English?
  • No hablo español – I don’t speak Spanish
See also
Best Day Trips From Barcelona

These basic phrases will help you navigate social interactions and make connections with locals during your travels.

Everyday Spanish Language Phrases for Travelers

Knowing the Spanish language helped me when I got a haircut and shave in Nicaragua | Davidsbeenhere

In addition to greetings, it’s helpful to know some everyday phrases that will come in handy while traveling. Here are a few essential Spanish language phrases for everyday use:

  • Quiero / No quiero – I want / I don’t want
  • Me gustaría / Quisiera – I would like (more polite)
  • ¿Dónde está…? – Where is…?
  • ¿Cuánto cuesta? – How much does it cost?
  • ¿Qué hora es? – What time is it?
  • ¿Tiene…? – Do you have…?
  • Tengo / No tengo – I have / I don’t have
  • Entiendo / No entiendo – I understand / I don’t understand
  • ¿Entiende? – Do you understand?
  • Quiero un boleto – I want a ticket
  • No funciona – It doesn’t work

These phrases will help you navigate daily interactions, make purchases, and express your needs and preferences while traveling.

Asking for Directions in Spanish

Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary in Mexico City | Davidsbeenhere

Getting around in a foreign country can be challenging, but knowing how to ask for directions in Spanish will make your journey much easier. Here are some Spanish language phrases to help you find your way:

  • ¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril? – Where is the train 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

By mastering these phrases, you’ll be able to navigate cities, find transportation, and locate essential facilities like banks and restaurants.

Spanish Travel Phrases for the Hotel

David Hoffmann poses on a balcony overlooking the ocean in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, where he spoke the Spanish language to converse with locals | Davidsbeenhere

When staying in a Spanish-speaking country, you’ll likely need to communicate with hotel staff. Here are some Spanish language phrases that will help you during your hotel stay:

  • Tengo una reserva a nombre de… – I have a reservation under the name of…
  • Estancia de tres noches – Three-night stay
  • Una habitación para dos personas – A room for two people
  • Una habitación con… – A room with…
  • Cama matrimonial – A double bed
  • Un balcón – A balcony
  • Una terraza – A terrace
  • Vista al mar / al jardín / a la ciudad – A view of the sea/garden/city
  • La alberca – The swimming pool
  • ¿A qué hora sirven el desayuno? – What time is breakfast served?
  • ¿Puedo pedir un check-out tardío? – Can I have a late check-out?
  • ¿Cuál es la contraseña de Wifi? – What’s the Wifi password?
  • ¿Tienen servicio de habitación? – Do you have room service?
  • Necesito una cama extra – I need an extra bed
  • El gimnasio – The gym
  • El restaurante – The restaurant
  • La playa – The beach
  • El vestíbulo – The lobby
See also
Where to Stay in Salamanca: The Central NH Palacio Castellano

These phrases will help you communicate your needs and preferences during your hotel stay.

Spanish Language Words & Phrases for Restaurants

The volcano surf and turf, a cone-shaped mound of beef topped with shrimp, in coastal Puerto Rico | Davidsbeenhere

One of the best parts of traveling is experiencing the local cuisine. Whether you’re experiencing fine dining restaurants in Barcelona or exploring street food in Mexico City, the food will likely be exceptional. To fully enjoy your dining experience, it’s helpful to know some Spanish language phrases. Here are a few essential phrases:

  • Quisiera una mesa para… – I would like a table for…
  • Un menú – A menu
  • Un menú de bebidas – A beverage menu
  • Una sopa – A soup
  • Una ensalada – A salad
  • Una hamburguesa – A hamburger
  • Un plato principal – A main dish
  • Una entrada – An appetizer
  • Un postre – A dessert
  • Un vaso de agua – A glass of water
  • Una copa de vino – A glass of wine
  • Una cerveza – A beer
  • Un café – A coffee
  • Un té – A tea
  • ¡Amigo!/¡Amiga! – Waiter/waitress (in Latin America)
  • ¡Señor!/¡Señora! – Waiter/waitress (in Spain)
  • ¿Qué me recomienda? – What do you recommend?
  • La cuenta, por favor – The bill, please

These phrases will help you navigate menus, order food and drinks, and communicate with restaurant staff.

See also
A Taste of Galicia: Ourense’s Oldest and Finest Restaurants

Spanish Phrases for the Airport and Ticket Offices

David Hoffmann and Mariel de Viaje riding in a speedboat in the shallow waters off the coast of Farjado, Puerto Rico | Davidsbeenhere

When traveling by air or public transportation, it’s essential to know some Spanish language phrases for the airport and ticket offices. Here are a few useful phrases:

  • ¿Dónde está el aeropuerto? – Where is the airport?
  • ¿Dónde está la terminal de salidas/llegadas? – Where is the departure/arrival terminal?
  • ¿Dónde puedo comprar un boleto? – Where can I buy a ticket?
  • ¿Cuánto cuesta un boleto a…? – How much does a ticket to… cost?
  • ¿Hay un vuelo directo a…? – Is there a direct flight to…?
  • ¿A qué hora sale/llega el vuelo? – What time does the flight depart/arrive?
  • ¿Dónde está la taquilla? – Where is the ticket office?
  • Quiero un boleto de ida y vuelta – I want a round-trip ticket
  • ¿Cuántas paradas hay hasta…? – How many stops are there until…?
  • ¿A qué hora sale/llega el tren/autobús? – What time does the train/bus depart/arrive?
  • ¿Dónde está la estación de tren/autobús? – Where is the train/bus station?

By using these phrases, you’ll be able to navigate airports, purchase tickets, and find transportation.

Dealing with Medical Emergencies in the Spanish Language

David Hoffmann and his guide Carlos eating steak at a restaurant in Managua, Nicaragua | Davidsbeenhere

While we hope you won’t need it, it’s always good to be prepared for medical emergencies when traveling. Here are some Spanish language phrases that may come in handy:

  • ¿Dónde hay un hospital? – Where is a hospital?
  • ¿Dónde hay una farmacia? – Where is a pharmacy?
  • Necesito un doctor – I need a doctor
  • No me siento bien – I don’t feel well
  • Tengo un seguro – I have insurance
  • ¿Habla inglés el doctor? – Does the doctor speak English?
  • Me puede dar una receta para… – Can you give me a prescription for…
  • ¿Pueden darme una inyección? – Can you give me an injection?
  • La cita médica – Doctor’s appointment
  • La cita de seguimiento – Follow-up appointment
  • Rayos-X – X-ray
  • Toma de sangre – Blood test
  • El yeso – Cast
  • La tos – Cough
  • La fiebre – Fever
  • Me duele… – I have a pain in…
  • La garganta – Throat
  • El estómago – Stomach
  • La espalda – Back
  • La cabeza – Head
See also
Where to Relax in Madrid: Touring the Central Park Buen Retiro

Knowing these phrases will help you communicate your symptoms and seek medical assistance if needed.

Spanish Language Phrases for Having Fun

A fortress along the coast in San Juan, Puerto Rico | Davidsbeenhere

Finally, let’s not forget to have fun during our travels! Here are some Spanish language phrases to help you enjoy your trip to the fullest:

  • ¡Adiós! – Goodbye!
  • ¡Hasta luego! – See you later!
  • ¡Nos vemos! – See you!
  • ¡Buen viaje! – Have a good trip!
  • ¿Dónde está la playa? – Where is the beach?
  • ¿Puedes recomendar algún lugar interesante para visitar? – Can you recommend an interesting place to visit?
  • ¡Qué hermoso! – How beautiful!
  • ¡Qué divertido! – How fun!
  • ¡Me encanta este lugar! – I love this place!
  • ¡Vamos a explorar! – Let’s explore!
  • ¡Qué delicioso! – How delicious!
  • ¡Qué increíble experiencia! – What an incredible experience!
  • ¡Disfrutemos el momento! – Let’s enjoy the moment!

By incorporating these Spanish language phrases into your conversations, you’ll be able to connect with locals and fully immerse yourself in the culture and spirit of your destination.

And One More Thing…

David Hoffmann walks down a colorful street in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where it's important to know the Spanish language | Davidsbeenhere

Learning a new language is an ongoing process, and practicing regularly is key to improving your skills. Take advantage of opportunities to speak the Spanish language with locals, use language learning apps, and consider taking formal Spanish classes to further enhance your language proficiency.

Remember, even if you’re not fluent, making an effort to communicate in Spanish will be appreciated by the locals and make your travel experience more enjoyable. So, embrace the adventure, have fun, and don’t be afraid to practice your Spanish! Have a good trip, or as they say in Spanish-speaking countries,¡Buen viaje!

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