How to confidently ask for directions in Spanish

You pop out of the metro station and suddenly realise that you have no idea of where that interesting sounding bar is. City maps and guidebooks are all very well, but why not go straight to the experts, the locals. A couple of simple questions can get you interacting with Spanish speakers in no time, and most people will be glad to point you in the right direction.

If you are one of those people who always end up lost when exploring a new city, print out this Spanish vocabulary list so that you can start a conversation and get yourself oriented as quickly as possible.

a city map
  • Asking where something is.
    1. ¿Dónde está la estación? (Where is the station?)
    2. ¿Dónde se encuentra la estación? (Where would I find the station?)
    3. ¿Puedes indicarme cómo ir a la estación? (Could you tell me how to get to the station?)
    4. Disculpe, ¿para ir a la estación, por favor? (Excuse me, which way is it to the station?)
  • Asking if things are around here.
    1. ¿Hay una farmacia por aquí? (Is there a pharmacy around here?)
    2. ¿Hay una farmacia cerca? (Is there a pharmacy nearby?)
  • Asking about journey times.
    1. ¿Cuánto hay de aquí a la playa, más o menos? (How far is to the beach from here, more or less?)
    2. ¿Cuánto tiempo se tarda para ir a la playa? (How long does it take to get to the beach?)
  • Finding out about the local area.
    1. ¿Cómo se llama esta calle? (What is this street called?)
    2. ¿Qué calle es esta por favor? (Which street is this?)
  • Using public transport.
    1. ¿Este bus va a la plaza España? (Does this bus go to Plaza España?)
    2. ¿Cuál es la estación de metro más cercana? (Which is the nearest metro station?)