25 Useful Spanish Phrases Every Savvy Traveller Should Know


How good is your Spanish? If you’re headed to Spain for a holiday, you probably want to brush up on some essential phrases. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world and while it’s true that urban areas like Madrid and Barcelona speak and understand English, it certainly can’t hurt to know a bit of the local lingo. A few Spanish phrases can go a loooong way so here are 25 useful words and phrases to aid you on your Spanish adventures! Empecemos!


The Spanish are generally laid-back, friendly and chatty, so they’ll probably try to engage you in conversation whilst you’re on holiday. Here are some very basic Spanish phrases you should be able to master before your trip.

1. Good day, good morning –Buenos dias

2. Good afternoon, Good evening – Buenas tardes

3. What’s your name? –¿Cómo te llamas?/¿Cómo se llama usted?

4. I’m sorry, I don’t understand –  Lo siento, no entiendo

5. Do you speak English? – ¿Habla inglés? 

6. Can you speak more slowly please? – Hable despacio, por favor

7. How much is this? – Cuánto cuesta ésto?

8. When do you open? – ¿A qué hora abre?

9. I want to go shopping – Quiero hacer compras

10. Where can I exchange travelers checks? – ¿Dónde puedo cambiar cheques de viajero?

Transport and Travelling

If you plan to do a bit of sight-seeing but don’t want to splash out on planned excursions, you can rent a car or make use of Spain’s excellent public transport. Here’s what you might need:

11. At what time does the next bus/train leave? – ¿A qué hora sale el próximo autobús/tren?

12. Which bus goes to Madrid? – ¿Qué autobús va a Madrid?

13. A single/return ticket to Barcelona – Un billete sencillo/de ida y vuelta a Barcelona

14. Where is the best beach/nearest beach? – ¿Dónde está la mejor playa/playa más cercana?

15. Can you mark the station/cathedral on the map?- ¿Puede marcar la estación/catedral en el mapa?

16. Can I take photos?– ¿Puedo tomar fotos?

17. I’d like to rent a car – Quisiera alquilar un coche

Hotels and Restaurants

Staying in a hotel and eating out at restaurants go part and parcel with being on holiday, and whilst most members of staff will be able to speak English, it will go down a treat if you can say a few things in Spanish.

18. I have reserved a room for 4 nights – He reservado una habitación por cuatro noches

19. I would like to reserve a table for 2 people for tonight – Quisiera reservar una mesa para dos personas para esta noche

20. The meal was delicious! – La comida estaba buenísimA!

21. I/We have already eaten, just drinks please! – ¡Ya comí/Ya comimos, solo bebidas por favor!

22. Where are the toilets, please? – ¿Dónde están los servicios, por favor?


Hopefully you won’t need these, but it’s always best to be prepared. In addition, always make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles you to access the state healthcare should you need it when on holiday (please note that this is not an alternative to travel insurance.)

23. I need a doctor who speaks English – Necesito un doctor que hable inglés

24. Where is the nearest chemist? – ¿Dónde está la farmacia más cercana?

25. I’m allergic to penicillin – Soy alérgico/a (m/f) a la penicilina



Passionate about writing, web development and all things related to Spain, Sarah spends her free time blogging, learning Spanish and planning her next trip to Europe!

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