Useful Spanish Travel Phrases

dice forming the word hello (in Spanish)

TLDR? You can learn Spanish in Medellin, but as long as you have a few words under your belt, you should have no problem getting around. 

As you probably already know if you’ve had your eye on a visit to Medellin for a while, the national language in Colombia is Spanish.

Now, if your high school Spanish feels far away, fret not!

There are plenty of ways to travel without knowing the language. Or, if you want to brush up a bit on your Spanish game, check out this guide for a few useful Spanish travel phrases to help you get around. 

Useful Spanish Travel Phrases

tourists following map directions

Medellin is one of the best cities to learn Spanish in Colombia, thanks to the numerous language exchanges, abundant language schools, and friendly people to practice with!

If you want to get a headstart, however, there are a couple of useful phrases to know about. 

Here are a couple of phrases that will help you get around.


greeting between two people

Let’s start with a few basic greetings. 

A couple of the greetings you’ll most typically hear around Medellin include: 

  • Good morning: Buenos dias
  • Good afternoon: Buenas tardes
  • Good night: Buenas noches
  • Hello: Hola
  • How are you?: Como estas? or Como vas?.

These are all easy ways to say hello when meeting someone new!


mom teaching her daughter manners

Besides greetings, it helps to know things like please and thank you. 

Here are a few handy phrases to help you show off your good manners:

  • Thank you so much!: Muchas gracias!
  • Please: Por favor
  • Sorry: Perdon or Lo siento or Disculpe

Getting to Know Someone

Once you’ve got past the basic greetings, it helps to have a couple of phrases to get to know your new friends. 

Here are a few easy phrases to help you get to know someone or carry on a conversation. 

  • What’s your name?: Cual es tu nombre?
  • My name is: Mi nombre es…


people talking in a room

Besides greetings and getting to know you phrases, it sometimes helps to have a couple of phrases to help you navigate a conversation in Spanish. 

A few handy things to know include: 

  • Do you speak English?: Hablas ingles?
  • I don’t speak Spanish: No hablo español
  • I don’t understand: No entiendo
  • Do you understand me?: Me entiendes?
  • Can you speak slower please?: Puedes hablar mas despacio por favor?


couple shopping at the supermarket

One of the best things to do in Medellin is check out the many malls around the city. You can score some great deals and get to know a bit of the culture while you’re at it!

To help you out around the shops, here are a couple of phrases to know: 

  • I want/don’t want this: Quiero/No quiero esto
  • I would like this: Me gustaria esto
  • How much is it?: Cuanto cuesta?
  • Do you have this thing?: Tiene esta cosa?

Getting Around

young people talking about the city while they are on the bus

Although getting around Medellin is pretty straightforward, it can pay off to have a few Spanish phrases under your belt to help you out. 

If you just need some assistance navigating the city, the below phrases can be pretty useful. 

  • Where is this place?: Donde esta este lugar?
  • How do I get to this place?: Como llego a este lugar?

For these questions, the answers usually look something like this: 

  • On the corner: En la esquina
  • On the right: A la derecha
  • On the left: A la izquierda
  • In one block: A una cuadra
  • Turn this way: Gira por este lado 

Hotels and Bookings

doorbell and keys on the lobby table

If you book a room at any of Casacol’s properties, the staff is fully bilingual. They all speak both English and Spanish, so you’ll have no trouble communicating. 

However, if you want to impress the reception team with your Spanish skills, feel free to bust out any of these phrases: 

  • I have a reservation: Tengo una reserva
  • What time is check in/ check out?: A que hora es la entrada / salida?
  • Where can I have breakfast?: Donde puedo tomar el desayuno?
  • Can I see the menu?: Puedo ver el menu?
  • A large/small drink: Una bebida grande/ pequena
  • Is there a children’s menu?: Hay menu infantil?
  • Do you have a tour guide?: Tiene una guia de turismo?
  • What plans do you recommend?: Que planes me recomienda?
  • Where can I rent a car?: Donde puedo rentar un carro?

Note that when checking in and out, you can also use the English words ‘check in’ and ‘check out,’ which are commonly used in Spanish also!

The Best Cities to Learn Spanish in Latin America

a view of the city of medellin and its mountains

There’s been a huge boom in tourism in Medellin and in Latin America in General over the years. Part of that’s because of cheap prices for Western tourists, while others come to brush up on their Spanish. 

If you’re after the latter, here are the best cities to learn Spanish around Latin America. 

Medellín, Colombia

Medellin was recently named the #3 city to visit thanks to the warmth of its people, good parties, ecotourism, delicious food, luxury hotels, international events, and great weather.

However, it’s also a fantastic place to learn Spanish!

Not only are there tons of workshops and events where you can pick up Spanish, but Colombian Spanish is one of the best dialects to learn. 

It’s relatively easy to pick up, and you get exposure to tons of different accents. 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina is known for meat, wine, tango, soccer, and more. Buenos Aires is one of the southernmost countries in America where, in addition to speaking Spanish, they have a very particular and charming accent!

If you head to Argentina, you can learn a pretty unique blend of Spanish with a quirky accent. If you can nail the Argentinian accent, you can nail any accent!

Santiago de Chile, Chile

The capital of Chile is distinguished for being modern and very beautiful. It’s a cosmopolitan city that is constantly on the move.

However, it doesn’t lose that historical, cultural, and enveloping side of Latin American cities, where you can read anecdotes anywhere. 

In Satiago de Chile you can get a unique experience and learn Spanish while you’re at it!

Quito, Ecuador

One of the neighboring countries of Colombia, and more similar in terms of culture, people and accent, is Ecuador.

The climate here is similar to that of Medellin, and there’s a rich history and culture to enjoy. 

In Quito, Spanish is quite neutral, so it’s pretty easy to pick up. 

Where to Learn Spanish in Medellin?

group of young language students

If you’ve chosen to learn Spanish in Medellin (good pick!)

There are plenty of places where you can learn Spanish. 

If it’s language exchanges you’re after, here are the best picks: 

  • Gringo Tuesday – Vintrash Bar
  • Language encounters – Dulce Posion
  • Noah Boutique Hostel
  • Keep Talking – Barrio Sur Bar
  • The Wandering Paisa
  • Dance Free

On the other hand, if you’re after a more formal Spanish class, these language schools are also excellent places to check out: 

  • Elefun language exchange
  • Tandem
  • Escuela de español Nueva Lengua 
  • OLSA Spanish English School

Break Out Some Spanish Travel Phrases in Medellin!

Medellin might just be the perfect place to learn Spanish. The accent is easy to understand, the people are welcoming, and there are tons of venues where you can brush up on your old español. 

With these phrases under your belt, you should have no problem learning Spanish and getting around Medellin like a pro. 

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