Simple Spanish Words and Phrases for Traveling in Spain

Being able to say some simple Spanish words and phrases will help you connect with locals more easily. When you attempt to use their language, it shows a level of respect for their culture. It’s also a lot easier to start a conversation with a local if you can say hello and introduce yourself in Spanish.

Simple Spanish Greetings

These words are simple enough for everyone to master.

  • Hi/Hello Hola
  • Good morning Buenos días
  • Good afternoon Buenos tardes
  • Good evening Buenos noches
  • Bye Adiós
  • Do you speak English? ¿Habla usted Inglés?

Polite phrases

Learn all of these – nobody likes to be rude.

  • Excuse me Perdóneme
  • I’m sorry Lo siento
  • I only speak a little Portuguese Yo solo hablo un poco de español
  • Can you repeat that please?  ¿Puede repetir eso por favor?
  • Please Por favor
  • Thank you Gracias
Flowers and Spanish menu in Andalusia on yellow wall
Spanish menu in Andalusia

Shopping and dining in Spain

  • How much does this cost? ¿Quánto cuesta este?
  • I’d like to make a reservation Me gustaría hacer una reservación
  • I’d like to book a table Me gustaría reservar una mesa
  • Do you have a table for 2? ¿Tienes una mesa para 2? (just substitute “2” for the number of people you need a table for).
  • The menu, please El menú, por favor
  • Do you have a vegetarian option? ¿Tienes una opción vegetariana?
  • Could you bring me some …… (towels, bread, sugar, etc.) Puedes traerme un poco (más) … (add ‘más‘) if you want to add the word ‘more.’
  • We’d like….. Nos gustaría…..
  • A bottle una botella
  • Water agua
  • Wine vino
  • Beer cerveza
  • I’d like a beer  Una cerveza, por favor
  • Could you bring me the bill, please? ¿Me podrías traer la cueta po favor? (or just, “la cuenta, por favor.”)
  • Where is the bathroom? ¿Dónde está el baño?

Spanish words to use for travel and tickets

  • Where does this train/bus go? ¿Adónde va este tren/autobús? 
  • How do I get to…? ¿Cómo llego a?
  • Could you tell me how to get to the ___ ¿Puedes decirme cómo llegar a la_____ ? 
Information signs at the train station in Portugal without people

Of course, these words and phrases are only a tiny number of those used in everyday greetings and conversations. But depending upon which other languages you speak, it can be easy to pick up a lot of Spanish quickly.

If you would like to learn some more Spanish before you visit, there are plenty of options from printed language guides to websites and apps.

Learn Online

Convenient, simple, and provided to you in little bites – modern online learning apps and courses are often free – or at least to start out with. They are also created like games are -to quickly reward you for your successes to motivate you to keep learning.

Here are a few great options if you’d like to feel a little more comfortable in the Portuguese language before your trip:

  1. Duolingo – This is always where I start with a new language. Duolingo is free and it makes learning a language fun.
  2. Memrise – Also free, Memrise has tiny videos of people speaking the words so you can see their expressions and the way they say the words. It’s also true to the speed that Portuguese speak.
  3. – there are lots of free lessons to get you started with this well-structured course and you can then pay a small amount to keep learning.