train and bus

Useful Spanish Bus and Train Vocabulary

One of the best reasons to study Spanish is to be able to communicate in this language when visiting Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, or any other Spanish-speaking country

It becomes particularly useful when you venture away from the typical tourist spots and explore more remote places where hardly anyone speaks English. 

Unless you rent a car, the easiest way to move around from one city to another is by bus or train. That is, of course, if the distance allows for this kind of travel. 

For those of you who are getting ready for a trip by train or bus, I have prepared a handy summary of useful Spanish bus and train vocabulary with many practical examples:

Essential Bus and Train Words in Spanish

Below you will find a list of Spanish nouns and verbs that you can’t go without if you want your trip by train or bus to be smooth and uneventful. 

  • 🇪🇸 un autobús / un bus – 🇬🇧 a bus
  • 🇪🇸 un tren – 🇬🇧 a train
  • 🇪🇸 una estación de trenes 🇬🇧 a train station, a railway station
  • 🇪🇸 una estación de buses, un terminal de buses – 🇬🇧 a bus station
  • 🇪🇸 un pasaje/ un boleto / un billete – 🇬🇧 a ticket
  • 🇪🇸 un billete de ida 🇬🇧 a one-way ticket
  • 🇪🇸 un billete de ida y vuelta – 🇬🇧 a round trip ticket
  • 🇪🇸 una taquilla / una caja / un despacho de billetes – 🇬🇧 a ticket office
  • 🇪🇸 una máquina de boletos – 🇬🇧 a ticket vending machine
  • 🇪🇸 un paradero / una parada de buses – 🇬🇧 a bus stop
  • 🇪🇸 ventanilla / pasillo – 🇬🇧 window / aisle
  • 🇪🇸 un andén / una plataforma – 🇬🇧 a platform
  • 🇪🇸 un asiento – 🇬🇧 a seat
  • 🇪🇸 un vagón – 🇬🇧 a carriage
  • 🇪🇸 un chofer 🇬🇧 a driver
  • 🇪🇸 un conductor – 🇬🇧 a conductor
  • 🇪🇸 el horario – 🇬🇧 the timetable
  • 🇪🇸 partir, salir – 🇬🇧 to depart
  • 🇪🇸 llegar, arribar 🇬🇧 to arrive
  • 🇪🇸 parar – 🇬🇧 to stop
  • 🇪🇸 Subir(se) – 🇬🇧 to get on
  • 🇪🇸 bajar(se) – 🇬🇧 to get off

I strongly recommend you memorize these words. Remember, with a good memorization technique and a smart verb learning method, building your Spanish vocabulary doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Common questions about Bus and Train in Spanish

As a foreign tourist, you are most likely unfamiliar with the local bus and train service, the route network, and the timetables. That is why it is a good idea to review key question words in Spanish and see how you can use them to ask about buses and trains. 

I am sure you can use some ideas:

🇪🇸 Disculpe, ¿dónde queda la estación de trenes?
🇬🇧 Excuse me, where is the train station?

🇪🇸 ¿Dónde está la taquilla?
🇬🇧 Where is the ticket office?

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo llego al terminal de buses?
🇬🇧 How do I get to the bus station?

🇪🇸 ¿Dónde encuentro el horario?
🇬🇧 Where do I find the timetable?

🇪🇸 ¿De qué andén sale el tren a Barcelona?
🇬🇧 What platform does the train to Barcelona depart from?

🇪🇸 ¿Cuánto cuesta el billete de primera clase a Madrid?
🇬🇧 How much is the first-class ticket to Madrid?

🇪🇸 ¿Cuál es la diferencia de precio entre la clase turista y la primera?
🇬🇧 What’s the price difference between the tourist class and the first class?

🇪🇸 ¿A qué hora sale el próximo bus a Lima?
🇬🇧 What time does the next bus to Lima leave?

🇪🇸 ¿Le quedan asientos por el lado de la ventanilla?
🇬🇧 Do you have any window seats left?

🇪🇸 ¿Este tren para en Valencia?
🇬🇧 Does this train stop in Valencia?

🇪🇸 ¿Cuánto tiempo se demora un bus a Buenos Aires?
🇬🇧 How long does it take to get to Buenos Aires by bus?

🇪🇸 ¿Cuánto sale el pasaje de ida y vuelta a Medellín?
🇬🇧 How much is the round-trip ticket to Medellín?

🇪🇸 ¿Me puede ayudar a comprar un boleto en la máquina?
🇬🇧 Can you help me to buy a ticket from the vending machine?

🇪🇸 ¿Hay un tren directo a Montevideo?
🇬🇧 Is there a direct train to Montevideo?

🇪🇸 ¿Hay algún descuento para estudiantes?
🇬🇧 Is there any student discount?

🇪🇸 ¿Se puede comprar un billete familiar?
🇬🇧 Can I buy a family ticket?

🇪🇸 ¿Es el andén correcto para La Serena?
🇬🇧 Is this the right platform for La Serena?

🇪🇸 ¿En qué parada me tengo que bajar?
🇬🇧 What stop do I have to get off at?

🇪🇸 ¿A qué hora llega el tren de Santiago de las dieciséis veinte?
🇬🇧 What time does the six-twenty PM train from Santiago arrive?

How well do you do with numbers in Spanish? They will be instrumental when discussing prices. 

For timetables, I suggest you review telling the time in Spanish

Knowing how to ask for directions may come in handy as well. 

Spanish Phrases for Different Situations on the Bus or Train 

Congratulations! I see you’ve found your way to the bus/train station, got your ticket, and found the right platform. Or haven’t you?

Various unexpected situations and problems may occur when using public transportation—especially considering that its quality in Latin American countries may be questionable. 

So, if you are used to things always working the way they should better keep the following expressions in your sleeve:

🇪🇸 Perdí mi tren. ¿A qué hora sale el próximo?
🇬🇧 I’ve missed my train. What time does the next one leave?

🇪🇸 Está (usted) en el andén equivocado.
🇬🇧 You’re on the wrong platform.

🇪🇸 El bus tiene un atraso de treinta minutos.
🇬🇧 The bus is thirty minutes delayed.

🇪🇸 Quisiera cambiar mi pasaje / billete / boleto, por favor. 
🇬🇧 I’d like to change my ticket, please.

🇪🇸 Me puede ayudar a subir? Tengo problemas con mis rodillas.
🇬🇧 Can you help me to get on? I have problems with my knees. 

🇪🇸 Disculpe, parece que está (usted) sentado en mi asiento. 
🇬🇧 Excuse me; it looks like you are sitting in my seat.

🇪🇸 El tren no puede salir por problemas en las vías. 
🇬🇧 The train can’t depart due to problems with the tracks.

🇪🇸 No encuentro el billete. ¿Se lo puedo mostrar en mi celular?
🇬🇧 I can’t find the ticket. Can I show it to you on my phone?

🇪🇸 Mi equipaje no cabe en el compartimiento de arriba.
🇬🇧 My luggage doesn’t fit in the overhead compartment. 

🇪🇸 ¿Hay un vagón-restaurante?
🇬🇧 Is there a restaurant-carriage?

🇪🇸 Iba a hacer un trasbordo en Guadalajara, pero mi bus se atrasó.
🇬🇧 It was going to connect in Guadalajara, but my bus was delayed.

🇪🇸 La hora de llegada ha cambiado. Tengo que avisar a la persona que me viene a buscar.
🇬🇧 The arrival time has changed. I have to let the person who’s coming to pick me up know

***

I hope with today’s compilation of Spanish Bus and Train Vocabulary, you are ready to face any potential difficulties. 

By the way, don’t forget that the travel time is an excellent opportunity to practice your Spanish with your fellow passengers. 

Latinos tend to be chatty, so striking up a conversation with the person sitting next to you shouldn’t be hard.

Who knows, maybe you’ll even need some flirting skills, too. 😉

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Joanna Lupa

Joanna Lupa

Polish by birth, Chilean by the turns of life. Has spent 20 years in that beautiful South American country working as a language teacher and translator. Has taught Spanish and English to students of all proficiency levels. Passionate about languages, books, and traveling. A mother of 2 trilingual teenagers.

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