Helpful Spanish Words and Phrases for Your Camino



Written by Gail Delahunt
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Do you need to be fluent in Spanish to walk the Camino de Santiago? Absolutely not! But, it can be very useful to know a few basic Spanish phrases. On some of the less well-walked sections of the Camino routes you will find fewer people who speak English. This is where you are most likely to need useful phrases. The Spanish are very proud of their national identity and language particularly in rural areas. In bigger cities you will still get an extra big smile for making the effort!

Here are some Spanish words, phrases, and sentences that you will find helpful on your Camino journey:

“Buen Camino”

On the Camino, the number one Spanish phrase that you will hear is “Buen Camino”! It basically means have a good way or good walk. It’s a simple and friendly way to wish the best to other pilgrims on their walk. In some places you will also hear “Ultreia!” used in the same way.

pilgrim uses Spanish phrases on the Camino

Common Spanish Greetings on the Camino

  • How are things? – ¿Qué tal?
  • Hello! How are you? – ¡Hola! ¿Cómo está?
  • Good day/ night – Buenas días/ noches
  • What a splendid day – ¡Qué día más estupendo!
  • Goodbye! Until later – ¡Adiós! Hasta luego

Important Spanish Words

  • Yes – 
  • No – No
  • It’s fine or OK – Vale
  • Please – Por favor
  • Thanks – Gracias

Numbers

  • 1 – uno (oo-noh)
  • 2 – dos (dohs)
  • 3 – tres (trays)
  • 4 – cuatro (kwah-troh)
  • 5 – cinco (seen-koh)
  • 6 – seis (says)
  • 7 – siete (syay-tay)
  • 8 – ocho (oh-choh)
  • 9 – nueve (nway-vay)
  • 10 – diez (dyays)

Introductions and Saying Hello

  • What’s your name? – ¿Cómo te llamas?
  • My name is – Me llamo
  • Where do you live? – ¿Dónde vives?
  • I live in London – Vivo en Londres
  • Are you English? – Eres inglés(a)
  • I’m Irish – Soy irlandes(a)
  • I’m single – Estoy soltero(a)
  • I’m married – Estoy casado(a)
  • I have 2 sons – Tengo dos hijos(as)
  • I have no children – No tengo hijos
  • I’m here on holiday (pilgrimage) – Estoy aquí de vacaciones (peregrinación)

Understanding Each Other

  • What did you say – ¿Cómo dice?
  • It’s not important – No importa
  • Do you understand? – ¿Entiende?
  • I don’t understand! – ¡No entiendo!
  • I speak very little Spanish – Hablo muy poco español
  • Do you speak English? – ¿Habla usted Inglés?
  • How do you pronounce that? – ¿Cómo se pronuncia eso?
  • Please write it down – Escríbamelo, por favor
  • What does this mean – ¿Qué significa esto?
pilgrims speaking Spanish on the Camino

Asking Directions in Spanish

  • Here – Aquí
  • There – Allí
  • On the left – a la izquierda
  • On the right – a la derecha
  • Outside the bank – Fuera del banco
  • Beside the cafe – Al lado del café
  • Near the centre – Cerca del centro
  • Opposite the market – Enfrente del mercado
  • Where are you going? – ¿A dónde vas?
  • Where is the pilgrim hostel? – ¿Dónde está el albergue de peregrinos?
  • Where is the bathroom? – ¿Dónde está el baño?
  • Where do I get the taxi to the airport? – ¿Dónde se coge el taxi al aeropuerto?
  • How do I get to the centre of (Léon)? – ¿Cómo se va al centro de (Léon)?

Times and Dates

  • What time is it? – ¿Qué hora es?
  • It’s midday – Es mediodía
  • Five past one – Es la una y cinco
  • Ten past two – Cuatro y dos
  • Half past three – Tres y media
  • Quarter past four – Cuatro y cuarto
  • Twenty to five – Cinco menos veinte
  • Quarter to six – Seis menos cuarto
  • Five to seven – Siete menos cinco
  • Today – Hoy
  • Yesterday – Ayer
  • Tomorrow – Mañana
  • Day after tomorrow – Pasado mañana
  • Last week – La semana pasada
  • This month – Este mes

Phrases for Ordering Meals on the Camino in Spanish

Ordering food and drinks using Spanish phrases is a great way to connect with locals on the Camino. In smaller towns you might find restaurant and bar staff who speak almost zero English, so these are definitely words and phrases that you want to remember.

  • What time is dinner (breakfast) – ¿A qué hora es la cena (el desayuno)?
  • What’s today’s menu – ¿Cuál es el plato del día?
  • Do you have a menu in English – ¿Tiene la carta en Inglés?
  • This food is cold (too hot) – La comida está fría (muy caliente)
  • Where can I find a shop to buy food? – ¿Dónde puedo encontrar una tienda para comprar comida?
  • The bill, please – La cuenta, por favor
  • Food – Comida
  • Menu of the day – Menú del día
  • Menu – carta
  • Breakfast – Desayuno
  • Lunch – La comida
  • Dinner – Cena

Meat – Carne

  • Beef steak – Bistec
  • Fillet steak – Filete
  • Pork – Cerdo
  • Lamb – Cordero
  • Veal – Ternera
  • Chops – Chuletas
  • Ham – Jamón
  • Chicken – Pollo

Fish – Pescado

  • Trout – Trucha
  • Salmon – Salmón
  • Sole – Lenguado
  • Hake – Merluza
  • Prawns – Gambas
  • Squid – Calamares
  • Mussels – Mejillones
  • Seafood – Mariscos

Non-meat and Vegetarian – Vegetariana(o)

We have a full blog on being vegan and vegetarian on the Camino – read that here.

  • Is there a vegetarian restaurant? – ¿Hay un restaurante vegetariano?
  • Vegetables – Verduras
  • (Tomato) Salad – Ensalada (de tomate)
  • Fruit – Fruta
  • Sandwich – Bocadillo
  • Cheese – Queso
  • Dessert – Postres

Ordering Alcoholic Drinks in Spanish on the Camino

These are some of the most important Spanish phrases for your Camino! Make sure to try some of the delicious wine that Spain is famous for.

Most drinks can be ordered by simply stating “Una (whatever drink you would like), por favour”. If you would like two – “Dos … , por favour”, and so on.

  • A red wine, please – Una vino tinto, por favor
  • I want a glass of Rioja – Quiero una copa de Rioja
  • Two more, please – Dos más, por favor
  • What wines do you have by the glass? – ¿Qué vino tenéis por copa?
  • A bottle of…  – Una botella de…
  • Red Wine – Vino tinto
  • White Wine – Vino blanco
  • Rosé wine – Vino rosado
  • Sparkling wine – Cava
  • “Summer wine” (similar to sangria) – Tinto verano
  • Cider (alcoholic apple cider) – Sidra
  • Beer – Cerveza
  • A small draft beer – Caña
  • Larger draft beer – Doble
  • Pint of beer – Jarra
  • Bottled beer – Botellín
  • Shandy (beer with lemonade) – Clara con limón
  • Gin and tonic – Copa de gin-tonic
  • Rum and coke – Copa de ron cola
  • Wine and coke (a common drink in Spain!) – Calimocho

Hot Drinks

  • Coffee with milk – Café con leche
  • Tea with milk – Té con leche
  • Black coffee – Café negro
  • Espresso coffee – café espresso 
  • Black tea – Té negro
  • Green tea – Té verde
  • Chamomile – Manzanilla

Cold Drinks

  • Milk – Leche
  •  Juice – zumo
  • Orange juice – zumo de naranja
  • Coca-Cola – Coca-Cola
  • Lemonade – Limonade
  • Water – Agua
  • Sparkling water – Agua con gas

Are You Vegan Or Vegetarian? Download our Ebook!


Our Vegan on the Camino Ebook is full of tips for our plant-based clients, from restaurant recommendations to useful phrases!

Download

Accommodation

  • Do you have any vacancies? – ¿Tienen alguna habitación libre?
  • I’d like a room for one night – Quería una habitación para una noche
  • There’s a problem with the room – La habitación tiene un problema
  • It’s too hot (cold) – Hace demasiado calor (frío)
  • There is no hot water – No hay agua caliente
  • Where can I wash my clothes – ¿Dónde puedo lavar mi ropa?

Medical

  • I need a dentist (doctor) – Necesito un dentista (medico)
  • Where is the health centre? – ¿Dónde está el centro de salud?
  • I have blisters – Tengo ampollas
  • I have a tendinitis – Tengo tendinitis
  • My leg / knee / foot / toe hurts – Mi pierna / rodilla / dedo del pie
  • My ankle is swollen – Mi tobillo está hinchado
  • My lower back is in spasm – Mi espalda tiene una contractura
  • Where is the pharmacy? – ¿Dónde está la farmacia?

Transport on the Camino

  • Train – Tren
  • Bus – Autobús
  • Have you a timetable? – ¿Tienen un horario?
  • What time do we get to León? – ¿A qué hora llegamos a León?
  • How much is a single (return) ticket? – ¿Cuánto cuesta el billete de ida (y vuelta)?
  • I want to cancel my reservation – Quería anular mi reserva
  • When does the bus arrive at Arcos? – ¿Cuándo llega el autobús para Arcos?
  • When is the next train to Bilbao? – ¿Cuándo sale el próximo tren para Bilbao?
talking to pilgrims in Spanish on the Camino with useful phrases

We hope that you find these Spanish phrases and words useful on your Camino! Spanish people are very friendly and they will always try their best to understand you. Showing that you have made a little bit of effort to learn basic Spanish before you arrive is a great way to respect the locals and make friends.

Give it a go, and don’t worry about making mistakes!

If you want to take your Spanish phrases to the next level for the Camino you could also try some online courses, or apps like Babbel or Duolingo.

Practice Your Spanish Phrases on the Camino!

One of the best ways to learn a new language is to speak it! Try out all your new Spanish words on your own journey through Spain. The Camino de Santiago is a fantastic collection of walking routes through Spain, and Follow the Camino has been sending people on The Way since 2007!

Our experts craft custom made itineraries for every client. We incorporate you interests, preferred comfort level, and your ideal route into each journey.

Our Camino de Santiago tours can be guided or self-guided, with bag transfers, added rest days, longer or shorter distances, and more.

Contact our Camino experts now for more information on Camino de Santiago tours or our services, or request a free quote!

Buen Camino!

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Originally published on 28th November 2021

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