How To Ask For And Give Directions In Spanish

Lost in a Spanish-speaking country? Check out our helpful guide!
Directions in Spanish represented by two tourists sitting on a bench on the Barcelona Esplenade looking at a map.

Are you looking for a sense of direction? Not in the metaphorical sense: we mean…are you lost? Learning how to ask for and give directions in Spanish is probably one of the best things you can do early on, especially if you’re planning a Spanish vacation.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled some words and phrases you’ll need to know to get around. Plus, we’ve included pronunciations for all of these terms. You may also want to check out our printable guide filled with useful vocabulary, so that you can supplement these phrases with vocabulary you’re keeping literally in your pocket.

Asking For Directions In Spanish

The two hardest parts of asking for directions in another language are getting the confidence to speak to someone and understanding what they say when they respond. These simple phrases should help you with both of those. You can substitute the parts in bold with whatever you’re specifically looking for.

  • Disculpe, ¿dónde está la estación de tren? — Excuse me, where is the train station?
  • ¿Donde están los monumentos? — Where are the monuments?
  • No entiendo. — I don’t understand.
  • ¿Puede repetir más despacio, por favor? — Can you repeat that slower, please?
  • Estoy perdido. — I’m lost.
  • ¿Cómo llego al Hotel Milenio? — Where is the Hotel Milenio?

Giving/Getting Directions In Spanish

While we can’t account for every possible direction you might receive, here are the most common words and phrases you’ll need to know.

Basic Directions

  • gire a la derecha — turn to the right
  • gire a la izquierda — turn to the left
  • siga todo recto — go straight ahead
  • En la siguiente calle gira a la izquierda, allí está. — On the next street turn to the left, and there you are.

Prepositions Of Place

One of the key ways to identify where something is located is by using prepositions like “next to,” “under,” “behind” and so on. Here are some of the prepositions that will come in handy.

  • delante, detrás — in front of, behind
  • encima, debajo — on, under
  • dentro, fuera — inside, outside
  • al lado — next (to)
  • entre — between
  • El colegio está delante de la librería. — The school is in front of the bookstore.
  • La cafetería está detrás del gimnasio. — The café is behind the gym.
  • El cine está al lado de la panadería. — The movie theater is next to the bakery.
  • El supermercado está entre la biblioteca y el banco.  — The supermarket is between the library and the bank.

Directions And Locations

Here are a few more useful terms that can orient you in a new place.

  • aquí — here
  • ahí — there (something that is visible but not within reach)
  • allí — over there (something that is not within view)
  • El escritorio está aquí en el salón. — The desk is here in the living room.
  • Tu libro está aquí en la mesa. — Your book is there on the table.
  • La silla grande está allí en la terraza. — The big chair is over on the terrace.

And if you need help with the cardinal directions in Spanish, here are the main ones.

  • norte — north
  • noreste — northeast
  • este — east
  • sureste — southeast
  • sur — south
  • suroeste — southwest
  • oeste — west
  • noroeste — northwest

With these phrases on hand, you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way, whether you’re learning for a quick vacation to a Spanish-speaking country or making a longer-term commitment. Safe travels!

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