How to Speak Spanish When Traveling in Spain

No matter if you’re traveling through Spain or South America, knowing a few basic Spanish travel phrases will make your experience safer and more enjoyable. From accommodation to tourist spots, learn these useful Spanish words for travelers that will elevate your journey!


Visiting a Spanish-speaking country? Knowing some key words and phrases will be extremely useful during your trip, from asking directions to ordering food and discussing weather. Furthermore, familiarizing yourself with some simple travel phrases can help prevent common errors made when speaking Spanish by travelers.

Before traveling abroad, learning a foreign language can save both time and money in the long run. Apps and websites exist that can teach the basics quickly; you could also utilize television series such as Telenovelas as another resource to practice what you’ve just learned!

Basic survival Spanish should be your top priority before traveling to any Spanish-speaking country, including learning alphabet and pronunciation as well as some key words and phrases that will come in handy in almost any situation.

One of the most frequently-used words is hola (hello), por favor (please), and mucho gusto (nice to meet you). Furthermore, learning how to say numbers in Spanish allows you to request directions – for instance a la derecha or izquierda are used depending on whether someone wants you on their right or left side of a street corner! Furthermore, knowing some basic question words like?A que hora? (What time is it?) and?Por cuanto tiempo? (How long have I been) can prove useful.


Learning Spanish will open up a wealth of experiences you would have otherwise never encountered if you weren’t fluent.

Spaniards are proud people with an admirable sense of personal honor and an open communication style which welcomes outsiders. Additionally, their lives tend to be quite structured with long hours spent at work complemented by late evening socialising in nearby bars and cafes.

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Informal interactions typically include men greeting each other by kissing both cheeks with an abrazo (two cheek kisses), while women embrace or pat each other on the shoulder. People are generally addressed using their first names; formal situations offer an opportunity to demonstrate respect by using titles like Don and Doa.

Be mindful that Spaniards tend to be quite discreet about their home life, so it may take them some time before offering you an invitation into their homes during your stay. In order to show respect, avoid flaunting wealth or possessions in public and cover up when transitioning from beachwear into non-beach attire as this could be seen as disrespectful behaviour.


Spain is famed for its Mediterranean diet-inspired cuisine – comprising of fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, nuts, fish and wine in abundance. Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia Andalusia Balearic Islands cuisines in particular boast incredible rice dishes and sea food fare.

Spain is famed for its diverse gastronomy, featuring herbs and spices to enhance flavor. Spain also produces more olive oil than any other nation; cheese is enjoyed throughout its borders as an accompaniment to wines or jamon, for an unforgettable taste experience.

Spaniards tend to graze on small plates throughout the day rather than sitting down to consume a big meal all at once, which makes tapas so popular – they provide an easy way to sample many different cuisines at once!

Tip: Outside tourist areas, local restaurants typically only have limited English menus. To prevent miscommunication and avoid misinterpretations of menu items by the wait staff, it is a good idea to learn some basic Spanish words and phrases prior to ordering from their menus. That way you can point at what you want on it easily!

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Spaniards typically consume lunch between 2pm and 4pm and dinner at 9-10PM – much later than most people in the US and UK eat! When planning activities, take this into consideration as it may alter restaurant opening and closing hours.


Traveling Spain is relatively effortless thanks to a robust multi-modal transportation infrastructure that’s been improved recently, from buses crisscrossing the country, high speed trains connecting major metropolises, regional train lines linking smaller towns, as well as national carrier Iberia providing domestic routes.

Bus travel can often be the most cost-effective mode of travel for many travelers. Major bus operators in the country include Avanzabus, ALSA and Movelia; their premium services offer elegant waiting lounges featuring refreshments like snacks and drinks; plus long distance bus journeys can take advantage of hostesses who’ll provide special attention during their journey.

RENFE operates the trains in Spain and provides an online timetable and network map in multiple languages; additionally, their Atendo service offers guidance and assistance for visitors with disabilities or limited mobility at train stations.

If you prefer working directly with authentic locals rather than combing through blogs and top 10 lists to plan the trip of your dreams, Culture Trip offers authentic local guides who can craft personalized plans according to both your budget and interests. By working together, Culture Trip helps you find guides who’ll show you an undiscovered side of Spain that most tourists miss; such as popular bars, restaurants and museums not featured in corporate guidebooks.

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