Spanish Language Blog

Spanish Lesson Beginner 8 Places in town and directions in Spanish Posted by on Nov 17, 2010 in Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?

Today we will see how to ask and give directions in Spanish, some Spanish vocabulary of typical buildings found in a town or city and how to locate them. This is obviously vital information to know for when you visit Spain and find yourself a little lost.

Let´s start with how to ask and give directions. First of all you need to know some basic vocabulary:

Calle (f): Street
Avenida (f): Avenue

In Spanish, we say our street names in a different order to how you say them in English. For example if you want to say: “Bond Street” you will have to say “La calle Bond”. The “high street” or “main street” of a town or city is usually called “La calle mayor”:

¿Dónde está la calle …….?: Where is the street …..?
Todo recto: Straight on
La primera: The first (street)
La segunda: The second (street)
La tercera: The third (street)
La cuarta: The fourth (street)
A la derecha: On the right
A la izquierda: On the left
Al final de la calle: At the end of the street

So, if someone asks you “¿Dónde está la calle Marina?” and you know that is three streets ahead, on the right, you can say “todo recto, la tercera a la derecha”

Let´s see now, some vocabulary of typical buildings:

(m): masculine word
(f): feminine Word

Edificio(m): Building
Tienda(f): Shop
Ayuntamiento(m): Town hall
Comisaría(f): Police station
Oficina de turismo(f): Tourist information office
Estación de autobuses(f): Bus station
Estación de tren(f): Train station
Supermercado(m): Supermarket
Cafetería(f): Café
Restaurante(m): Restaurant
Estanco(m): Tobaconist
Correos: Post office
Panadería(f): Bakery
Carnicería(f): Butcher´s
Pescadería(f): Fish monger´s
Frutería(f): Fruit shop
Zapatería(f): Shoe shop
Librería(f): Book shop
Biblioteca(f): Library
Quiosco(m): Newsagent
Iglesia(f): Church
Teatro(m): Theatre
Cine(m): Cinema
Polideportivo(m): Leisure centre
Centro comercial(m): Shopping centre

El / La: the

Un / Una: a

If you would like to ask where a specific building is located, for example: the town hall, a specific restaurant or pub, you will use the verb “estar”:

Está: It is / Is
¿Dónde está el ayuntamiento?: Where is the town hall?

But if you are asking more generally about, for example, any library, any cinema, any bakery, and you don´t care which one particularly, then you will use “hay”:

Hay: There is/there are
¿Dónde hay una frutería?: Where is there a fruit shop?

Ok, let´s see now how to explain to someone exactly where a building is located in respect to another building:

Al lado de: Next to
Enfrente de: Opposite
Delante de: In front of
Detrás de: Behind
En la esquina: On the corner
Entre: Between

As you see, many of these phrases finish with the word “de”. It is important to know that when you have the word “de” after “el” you should blend them together and say “del”. For example, if you want to say that the fruit shop is next to the restaurant you will have to say “La frutería está al lado del restaurante”. However, if you want to say that the fruit shop is next to the book shop you shouldn’t say “del” as book shop (“la librería”) is a feminine word. You will say “La frutería está al lado de la librería”

I hope all of today’s information has been useful for you. You never know when you are going to get lost when visiting a Spanish speaking country and maybe now you can help someone else who is lost to find their way. These are great opportunities to practice your Spanish.

I hope you have a great week and look forward to seeing you next time with more Spanish tips.

¡Hasta luego!

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About the Author: Laura & Adam

Laura & Adam have been blogging and creating online Spanish courses for Transparent Language since 2010. Laura is from Bilbao in northern Spain and Adam is from Devon in the south of England. They lived together in Spain for over 10 years, where their 2 daughters were born, and now they live in Scotland. Both Laura & Adam qualified as foreign language teachers in 2004 and since have been teaching Spanish in Spain, the UK, and online.


  1. Sagar:

    como se dice : how far is it from here, or how far along this street?

    • David Carmona:

      @Sagar ¿Cómo está de lejos? o ¿A cuánto está de aquí?
      La segunda frase sería: ¿A qué altura de la calle? o ¿A qué distancia en esta calle?

  2. Tom:

    Clear, Concise, and helpful

    Gracias Laura