Spanish travel phrases are a great way to feel more comfortable when you travel. Today, we will focus on how to use specific travel phrases for the Camino de Santiago and I will also give you the recording so that you can practice the pronunciation. They will help you communicate with locals in the Camino de Santiago.
Are you planning on walking the Camino de Santiago soon? Do you want to learn Spanish travel phrases that might be useful for you in your trip? Let’s review some specific travel sentences that will make your life easier. Some of them are quite specific, so you might not find them in regular travel books. We will also include the pronunciation so you can listen to them and repeat.
Two magic words
When asking for something in Spanish, here are the two most important words to say. You can add them before and after each request and they will open any door:
Before you start your Camino, you will have to buy the credencial. It is a document that will allow you to sleep in public hostels. It will also prove you have completed the Camino to get the compostelana once you arrive to Santiago de Compostela. Every day, you will have to stamp the document. That’s when this sentence comes in handy:
The cheapest place to sleep in the Camino de Santiago is the albergues municipales (public hostels). There is usually one in each main village, but in summer it my be difficult to find a spot. These kind of hostels are generally held by volunteers. They cost around 5 euros, and sometimes you pay la voluntad, which means you set the price for the night. If you cannot find them, you can ask:
Once in the hostel, you will notice that the accommodation is usually in bunk beds. Before you choose your spot, you might want to ask your neighbor whether s/he prefers to sleep on the bunk bed above or below.
An important note for all of those who have trouble sleeping: snoring is common in dormitories, so don’t forget your earplugs (los tapones).
In the bar
After a long walk, the usual meeting place for pilgrims are bars. Spain’s most common drinks are beer and wine. To to order a small beer, simply say:
Cultural notes: In Spain, it is quite common to order using the imperative with tú (me pones…). However, in many other Spanish-speaking countries, this is considered rude and you should order by saying ¿me podría poner una caña, por favor?
If you want to eat something, you can ask:
Cultural note: in some places, tapas are free and you don’t need to ask for them, they will come with the drinks.
When it’s time to pay, it is usually useful to remember this sentence, especially if you don’t want to carry cash with you:
Cultural note: not all places accept credit cards as they might charge the shop/restaurant for each use, so it is safer to check before you order.
Linguistic note: You will often hear some people abbreviate words such as “por favor” by saying “porfa”.
In the restaurant
When it’s time to eat, you can ask about the pilgrims’ menu:
Cultural note: daily menus such as “Menú del Peregrino” have three courses: Primero (first course), segundo (main course) and postre (desert). It can be quite difficult to find vegetarian options in Spain as the segundo usually consists of meat or fish, and even the primeros generally include some kind of ham or tuna.
If you’d like to try typical food, simply ask the camarero (waiter):
Cultural note: sometimes you might not know what’s a certain dish is made of. To find out, use ¿qué lleva este plato? (what ingredients does this dish have?).
Another important thing about Spanish food is that many of the traditional dishes include casquería (callos, patas, morros..), they are the “leftovers” from meat: stomach, feet, mouth…
Finally, when you its time to pay, just say:
Cultural note: It’s not mandatory to leave tips in Spain. Usually people leave around one euro per person if the service has been good. Another way to leave a tip is just to say Quédese con el cambio ( keep the change).
Greetings in the camino
The last sentence I want to share with you is one you will hear very often, both to say hi or bye in the Camino:
I hope this entry was useful and that you’re practicing your pronunciation and you’re useful sentences, is there anything else you’d like to know how to say in Spanish? Comment below and follow us on Instagram for more Spanish for the Camino.