Directions In Spanish: Words And Phrases To Learn

directions in spanish

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We have all been there – you’re in a new city, on the way to visit a famous landmark, or perhaps finding a restaurant that your friend recommended when suddenly, you realize that you are completely lost. Depending on where you are, knowing how to ask for directions in Spanish could be key to saving you a few wasted hours.

In this post, we’ll tell you the most common vocabulary and phrases to learn so that you’ll be able to understand (and even give) directions in Spanish.

Common Places in Spanish

First, let’s recap the Spanish for common places that you may be visiting.

English Spanish
Hotel, Hostel Hotel, Posada
Embassy Embajada
Airport Aeropuerto
Bank, ATM Banco, cajero
Hospital Hospital
Farmacy Farmacia
School Colegio, escuela
Movies, Theater Cine, teatro
Library Biblioteca
Bakery  Pastelería
Restaurant Restaurante
Mall Centro comercial
Park Parque
The square La Plaza
Beauty salon, Barber shop Salon de belleza, Barbería

How To Ask For Directions In Spanish?

Learning even a couple of the below phrases can be a lifesaver if you find yourself lost in a Spanish speaking country.

English Spanish
Excuse me, can you tell me where (place) it is? Disculpa, ¿puedes decirme donde está…?
Excuse me, do you know where (place) is? Disculpa, ¿sabes dónde queda…?
Can you explain how to get to this place? ¿Me explicas cómo llegar a este lugar?
Where is..? ¿Dónde está..?
How can I get to…? ¿Cómo puedo llegar a…?
Where is there a…? ¿Dónde hay un/una…?
I don’t know where that place is No sé dónde está ese lugar

Directions in Spanish: Essential Vocab and Verbs.

Once you have asked the question, you’ll need to know the below vocabulary to understand where to go.

English Spanish
Left Izquierda
Right Derecha
Straight Derecho
To the left A la izquierda
To the right A la derecha
North Norte
South Sur
East Este
West Oeste
In front of Al frente de
In back of Detrás de
At the corner of En la esquina de
Next to Al lado de
In the middle of En el medio de
The next block La siguente cuadra
Count XX blocks and then … Cuenta XX cuadras y luego …
A map Un mapa
Here Aquí
There Ahí
Street Calle
Avenue Avenida
Highway Autopista
Alley Callejón
Neighborhood Barrio, urbanizacion

And now, some of the most common verbs to know.

English Spanish
To follow Seguir
To go Ir
To walk Caminar
To take Tomar / Coger
To continue Continuar
To turn Girar
To turn to / To cross Cruzar a / Cruzar
To arrive Llegar
To need Necesitar

What about abbreviations?

Just in case you are asking for an address or directions via text, here are the most common abbreviations to know.

English Spanish Spanish abbreviation
Avenue Avenida Avda.
Street Calle C/ or Cl.
Right Derecha Dcha.
Left Izquierda Izq / Izqda
Postal code Código postal C.P
Street crossing Cruce Peatonal C/C
Library Bliblioteca Bibl.
Neighborhood Vecindario Bo.
Bank Banco Bco.
City Cidad Cdad.
No number (house or building) Sin número s.n or s/n

Now, some example scenarios. 

Let’s finish with a couple of example scenarios to make sure you fully understand directions in Spanish.

(Question – Q  / Answers –  A)

Scenario 1

English:

  • Q: Hi, can you help me? I need to get to this address.
  • A: Yes of course
  • Q: Which train should I take?
  • A: You must take the train that goes south. Four stations after this, you will get off and take the first exit on the right

Spanish:

  • Q: Hola, ¿Puedes ayudarme? Necesito llegar a esta dirección.
  • A: Si, por supuesto
  • Q: ¿Cual tren debo tomar?
  • A: Debes tomar el tren que va hacia el sur. Cuatro estaciones despues de esta, vas a bajarte y tomas la primera salida a la derecha

Scenario 2

English:

  • Q: Where is the TM?
  • A:  It’s very near, turn to the left, keep walking straight and in the next corner you will see it

Spanish:

  • Q: ¿Dónde está el cajero?
  • A: Es muy cerca, cruza a la izquierda, sigue derecho y en la siguiente esquina lo vas a ver

Scenario 3

 English:

  • Q: There is a concert in the main square and I want to go. But I don’t know where that place is
  • A: You must take the bus to the main avenue. The square is in front of the museum we visited yesterday. Just tell the driver to let you know when you are near the museum

Spanish:

  • Q: Hay un concierto en la plaza principal  y quiero ir. Pero no se dónde esta ese lugar
  • A: Debes tomar el bus hasta la avenida principal. La plaza esta frente al museo que visitamos ayer. Solo dile al chofer que te avise cuando esten cerca del museo.

Scenario 4

English:

  • Q: Do you know where there is a vegan restaurant?
  • A: Yes, there is one very close to the hotel. You will go up two blocks and when you see the pharmacy,  get across the street and then you’ll see it. It’s all green and white

Spanish:

  • Q: ¿Sabes donde hay un restaurante vegano?
  • A: Si, hay uno muy cerca del hotel. Vas a subir dos cuadras y cuando veas la farmacia cruzas al otro lado de la calle y enseguida lo verás. Es todo verde y blanco

Scenario 5

English:

  • Q: Can you tell me how to get to public toilets?
  • A: Yes, you must go to the Mall. Just go to the end of this block, turn to the right and go upstairs. The bathrooms are next to the movie theater.

Spanish:

  • Q: ¿Puedes decirme como llegar a los baños públicos?
  • A: Si, debes ir al Centro Comercial. Solo ve al final de esta cuadra, cruza a la derecha y sube las escaleras. Los baños están al lado de la sala de cine.

Scenario 6

English:

  • Q: I need to get to the San Francisco park. Can you explain how to get there?
  • A: You must take the Bus at this bus stop, and at the fifth stop you will get off, you just have to cross the street and you will have arrived to the Park.

Spanish:

  • Q: Necesito llegar al parque San Francisco. ¿Puedes explicarme como llegar ahí?
  • A: Debes tomar el Bus en esta parada, y en la quinta parada que haga el bus vas a bajarte. Solo debes cruzar la calle y habrás llegado al Parque.

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