All Aboard! Essential Train Vocabulary in Spanish for Navigating the Rails in Spain



Whether I’m rolling along the Costa Brava on a little cercanías (regional rural train), or speeding in between Barcelona and Madrid on an AVE (high-speed train), I can’t get enough of train travel!

It’s a lot more comfy than an aircraft, and for Spanish students there’s another bonus offer– something about being on the rails makes individuals more talkative, therefore this is a fantastic method to practice your language skills.

Read on to discover some vital train vocabulary in Spanish to get ready for your next journey!


A Quick Background on Train Travel in Spain

Before we begin taking a look at train vocabulary in Spanish, it’s crucial to cover the fundamentals of train travel in Spain.

Spain’s nationwide train business is Renfe, and it runs the formerly discussed modern-day and stylish AVE trains to much of Spain’s significant cities along with going out to a couple of other nations. More cities are covered by conventional long-distance trains (consisting of some over night sleeper trains), and there are short-distance connections on the cercanías

Ready to begin finding out train vocabulary? Let’s get going!

Buying Tickets for Spanish Trains

In Spain, tickets can be purchased personally at ventanillas
( ticket windows) at train stations, at the official train site of Renfe or by means of personal websites that are more practical however might have less alternatives (like seat choice): Trainline and Rail Europe.

Some complicated path info can likewise be discovered on the German train business’s site,

If you’re not prepared to attempt Renfe’s complete Spanish website, you can alter the language to English. The train-geek hero at Seat 61 has a guide to the quirks of Renfe and offers more information like seat convenience and alternatives.

However you purchase your tickets, here’s a few of the vital vocabulary to understand:

— ticket

— referral number

todas (estaciones)
— all (stations)

You’ll see the term todas after some city names, like Madrid (todas)
This choice is generally more effective. It enables you to see alternatives for all trains going to Madrid, and not simply to a particular station in Madrid.

City names on the Renfe website aren’t equated, so you have to get in


rather of Seville.

— departure city

— arrival city

The tickets readily available on trains can depend upon the path, however are normally:

— fundamentalhere— “choose & & blend” (lit. “select”)

— premium tarifas
You can see more info about the kinds of seats readily available with these tickets


elección de asiento
There are numerous

sin elección de asiento
, or fare rates, for each class and path. These permit various alternatives with regard to exchanges, refunds and ticket choice.

Once chosen on the site, you can discover the conditions of the ticket. A few of the most crucial conditions to comprehend are:

— option of seat

indemnización por retraso
— without seat option

— modifications yo quisiera
— cancellations por favor
— refund in case of hold-up

If you’re buying from a ticket window, forget the

Un billete para Madrid, por favor.
( I would like) that you might have gained from a book or phrasebook. The most basic method to purchase something is to simply state the name of the important things and add a

( please) at the end.

Spanish individuals are most likely to interact in this manner themselves (frequently ending the please, however if you’re a fumbling immigrant it never ever injures to be additional respectful).

ida y vuelta
— A ticket to Madrid, please.

el próximo tren
— outgoing journey

Voy a pagar en efectivo.
— return journey

Voy a pagar con tarjeta de crédito.
— ticket with return

— the next train

— I’m going to pay with money.

— I’m going to pay with a charge card.

— Thank you.

Note that foreign charge card and specifically American cards might not operate at Spanish train stations. You’ll be able to discover a money maker at lots of bigger stations.

Spanish You Need for Finding Your Train and Your Seat

Got your ticket in hand and prepared to board the train? Here’s the signs vocabulary and a few of the expressions and words you may require in order to get there.

— train station

— departures

— arrivals

— platform

¿Dónde está … ?
— track

— automobile

Cierre del acceso al tren dos minutos antes de la salida.
— seat (followed on the ticket by your seat number/letter mix)

sala de espera
— Where is …?

¿Cuándo sale el tren a Sevilla?
You might see the following caution printed on your ticket. Exist a bit ahead of time!

— Access to the train closes 2 minutes before departure.

— waiting space

— When does the train to Seville leave?

In a congested location like a train station, it’s important to understand what to vocalize in order to clear a course and let individuals understand that you ‘d like to make it through.

Hola, ¿qué tal?
— Excuse me/watch out/coming through

Bien, gracias.
Words and Phrases for a Smooth Ride

¿De dónde vienes?
Plopped into your seat and prepared to take pleasure in the trip? Do not do it in silence! Spaniards are, to put it slightly, a talkative lot, and this is all the much better for your language abilities. Do not hesitate to talk to your next-door neighbors.

¿Adónde vas?
— Hello, how is it going?

Voy a Barcelona.
— Well, thanks.

Soy de Francia.
— Where are you from?

¡Qué guay!
— Where are you headed?
— I’m going to Barcelona.

— I’m from France.

— Awesome!

bar móvil
( As in English, you can and ought to use this freely, specifically if you do not comprehend a discussion however it appears slightly satisfying and you would like it to continue.)

la carta
If you do not wish to run the risk of beginning a rambling discussion that you’ll never ever have the ability to get away from, roam down to the café/ bar automobile for a treat and attempt your Spanish out there. Here’s some helpful vocabulary:

el menú
— café/ bar automobile

un café solo
— “mobile” bar, a staff member who comes through the cars and trucks on some cross country trains with a more restricted choice of food and beverages

un vino
— the menu

un agua
— a food/drink combination offer, frequently a packaged sandwich and a beverage

una cerveza
— espresso

una tortilla
— red wine

un plato caliente
— water

un plato frío
— beer

— omelette with potatoes— a hot meal— a cold mealan informative video guide One of the most helpful methods to discover Spanish train vocabulary is by hearing it utilized in context. FluentU España Total


about high-speed train travel in Spain. You might likewise attempt looking for a few of the terms noted in this post on

to hear how they are utilized by native speakers.

A number of things to bear in mind

Remember that a few of the areas or nations served by Renfe speak other languages. Attempt not to presume that individuals will talk in Spanish with you. This uses to the Renfe trains that distribute in Galicia, the Basque nation, France and Catalonia.

At the really least, discover “hey there” and “please” in the regional language when taking a trip in these locations, and do not presume that individuals’s language or identity is Spanish.

Signage will likewise be mainly or secondarily in those languages, generally in addition to Spanish and English.

I can’t potentially cover every word you’ll ever require on the rails, however I do hope that this gets you rolling in the best instructions.

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