Spanish is a beautiful language that most of the time sounds extremely musical and joyful! So whether you’re planning on visiting Spain or not, why not learn a few useful Spanish words to travel? On top of your luggage and passport, bring along some useful phrases to get around more easily! What? You think you won’t remember? Trust us, it’s easy, at the end of the article you will find a test, take that test a few times before you come to visit us and you will remember everything!
Keep in mind that we’ve simplified things a little, the goal is for you to be able to get what you want or go where you need to go even if people don’t understand a word of english, for instance, we think it’s okay if you say “el” to say “the” all the time, even if sometimes you should use “la” (the feminine version) people will still understand what you mean. Plus, if you need to hear a word pronounced, just click on the word, and your browser will download an audio file with the right pronunciation.
Lastly, when you do come visit us in Seville, Spain, consider taking a Walk and Talk Tour of the city! Enjoy a unique experience exploring Seville’s most famous historical neighborhood, whilst learning some Spanish!
To say hello you could say:
- Holà – Works in any situation!
- Buenos días – to be used until 3pm
- Buenas tardes – to be used until until 9pm
- Buenas noches
To say goodbye say:
- Adios – if you think you won’t ever see the person again; but works in any situation!
- Hasta luego – literally means “see you later” but works in any situation!
- Hasta ahora – if you’re likely to person again in a very short amount of time
- Hasta mañana – if you plan on seeing the person again the next day
To meet someone:
- Me llamo John Smith
- Mucho gusto – which means “nice to meet you”
- Como esta? – the polite way to ask “how are you?”
- Como estas? – this is a more informal way.
- Qué tal? – Roughly translates to “what’s up” but can be used in almost all situations, unlike Como esta? or Como estas?
Forms of politeness in useful Spanish words to travel
To say please you say:
- Por favor
To say thank:
- Muchas gracias
To ask for forgiveness:
- Lo siento
- Lo siento mucho
- Pido disculpa
To make your way in a crowd or to ask something to someone:
Speaking of crowds, if you’re ever coming to Seville during the wonderful celebrations of La Feria de Abril, you might want a guide to come along with you, so you can experience it properly and avoid saying “disculpa” every two seconds!
- Soy – I am.
- Voy – I go; to say “I go to” use voy a.
- Quiero – I want, can come off as a bit rude in the wrong context, but no one will take offense if they notice you’re a foreigner
- Me gustaría – I would like, if you’re afraid of seeming rude when asking for something, use this instead of quiero; another way would be to simply state what you want and adding por favor, for instance un café por favor.
Otherwise, what you could do, is go on a tapas tour, you will get the chance to try Seville’s best tapas and ask your guide all about the proper way to order food in Spain!
- Necesito – I need
- Necesito ir a – I need to go to
- Esta – means “is” very useful when used with donde, which means “where”. For instance you can say “donde esta el hotel” and you will be told where the hotel you’re looking for is. Definitely part of the most useful Spanish words to travel
- Cuesta – means “costs”, if you pair it with cuanto which means “how much” you will be able to ask the price of anything.
Useful Nouns and Pronouns in useful Spanish words to travel
- Un – means “a”; If you want to order a coffee, you can therefore say “me gustaría un café”
- El – means “the”
- Quien? – Who?
- Qué? – What?
- Donde? – Where?
- Cuando? – When?
- Por qué? – Why?
- Como? – How? – Can also be used to say “excuse me, could you repeat what you just said?”
- Cuanto? – How much?
- Treno – train
- Autobus – bus
- Taxi – taxi, certainly the most difficult word on the list!
- Baño – Toilet
- Cajero – ATM, careful in Spanish the j is silent, so cajero is pronounced something in the lines of “cahero”
- Aquí – here
- Allí – there, the double L in Spanish is pronounced like a y, therefore it’s better if you pronounce this word like “ayi”
- Comida – food
- Cerveza – beer
- Agua – water
- Bebida – a drink, could be alcoholic or not
- Cocktail – a sophisticated alcoholic drink
- Sopa – soup
- Ensalada – salad
- Vino – wine
- Vegetariano – vegetarian, just like the j, the g is pretty much silent.
- Alergia – allergy
- Qué me recomienda? – probably the most useful Spanish words to travel in this article, at a restaurant, do ask a waiter what he would recommend, and use this sentence to do it! He will appreciate your effort in trying to speak Spanish and he will recommend you the best food the restaurant has to offer!
- Cuanto cuesta? – How much does it cost?
- Donde esta…? – Where is…? For instance you could say donde esta el flamenco? or even better, you could embark on an evening of flavors and music on one of our flamenco and tapas tours!
- Como llegar a….? – How can I get to…? Hey, careful, remember that the double L is pronounced a bit like the “y”; say “yegar” instead of “legar”
- La cuenta por favor? – The check/bill please
- Habla usted ingles? – Do you speak English? (By the way, our guides speak perfect English!)
- No entiendo – I don’t understand
- Estoy perdido – I’m lost
- A que hora abre? – What time does it open?
- A que hora cierra? – What time does it close?
Well, with all of this you should be good to go! If you don’t feel like learning all of this, don’t worry, just a few useful Spanish words to travel will be enough to get a smile from the people, smiles are a universal language! If you do want to study and test yourself, try our quiz!
Lastly, if you’d like to go beyond the language to immerse yourself in the culture, you could try taking a Tapas Cooking Class to learn all about traditional Andalusian cuisine or take a Flamenco Dance Lesson to discover the art that makes Seville famous in the whole world!