How to ask for directions in Spanish: Essential words and phrases

How to ask for 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 will make your life so much easier!

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.

How to ask for directions in Spanish

Knowing even a couple of the following phrases will get you a long way if you find yourself lost in a Spanish-speaking country. These are the essential questions for asking directions in Spanish! You may also be interested in our full post on Spanish question words.

English Spanish
Excuse me, can you tell me where … is? Disculpa, ¿puedes decirme donde está …?
Excuse me, do you know where … 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.

Vocabulary for places

Now, let’s see a list of the Spanish words for common places that you may be visiting.

English Spanish
Hotel Hotel
Hostel Posada
Embassy Embajada
Airport Aeropuerto
Bank Banco
ATM Cajero
Hospital Hospital
Pharmacy Farmacia
School Colegio, Escuela
Movie theater Cine, Teatro
Library Biblioteca
Bakery Pastelería
Restaurant Restaurante
Mall Centro comercial
Park Parque
The square La plaza
Beauty salon Salon de belleza
Barber shop Barbería

Essential direction words in Spanish

Once you’ve asked the question, you’ll need to know the following 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

Spanish direction verbs

And now, here are some of the most common verbs to know when asking or receiving directions in Spanish.

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

What about abbreviations?

If you’re asking for an address or directions via text message, or if someone writes down where to go, here are the most common abbreviations to know to understand Spanish directions.

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 Ciudad Cdad.
No number (house or building) Sin número s.n or s/n

Spanish directions: Example scenarios

Let’s finish with a couple of example scenarios to give you some practical context of how to ask for directions in Spanish and how to understand the responses. We’ll start with the English dialogues first, and then show the Spanish translations. Each dialogue includes someone asking the Question and another giving the Answers.

Spanish directions: Scenario 1


  • 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.


  • 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.

Spanish directions: Scenario 2


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


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

Spanish directions: Scenario 3


  • 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.


  • 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.

Spanish directions: Scenario 4


  • 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,  go across the street and then you’ll see it. It’s all green and white.


  • 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.

Spanish directions: Scenario 5


  • 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.


  • 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


  • Q: I need to get to 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 at the park.


  • 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.

Conclusion and further reading: Directions in Spanish

With what we’ve seen so far, you’ve got all the essentials for how to ask for directions in Spanish. You know the basic questions to ask, you know a bunch of the common landmarks and place names, you’ve seen the various Spanish direction words that you might hear in response, and you’ve read through a handful of example scenarios to bring them all together.

Now whenever you find yourself looking for something specific in a new city, don’t hesitate to give some of these a try with the locals as you ask directions in Spanish!

For additional lessons on specifics while traveling, we’ll leave you with a few of our other posts that go into greater detail. Happy travels!

105 Spanish Travel Phrases To Know For Your Next Trip

36 Basic Spanish Sentences You Could Probably Memorize On The Plane

Airport Spanish: A Vocabulary Guide to Catch a Flight in Spanish

Spanish hotel vocabulary: Practical phrases for your next trip

Shopping in Spanish: Vocab for a successful shopping experience

How to order coffee in Spanish: A complete guide

Food In Spanish: Our Full Guide to Spanish Food Words

Gabacho, Guiri, Gringo, or Güero: Spanish Slang for Tourists


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