How Do You Say “Back Streets” In Spanish?

As you explore the Spanish language, you may find yourself in need of vocabulary related to navigating the streets and alleys of a city. One term that may come up is “back streets”. In Spanish, the translation for “back streets” is “calles traseras”.

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “Back Streets”?

Learning to properly pronounce Spanish words can be a daunting task, but with some practice and guidance, it can be achieved. The Spanish word for “back streets” is “calles traseras.”

To properly pronounce “calles traseras,” here is a phonetic breakdown of the word or phrase:

  • “Calles” is pronounced as “KAH-yes.”
  • “Traseras” is pronounced as “trah-SEH-ras.”

Here are some tips for pronunciation:

  1. Pay attention to the stress of each syllable. In “calles traseras,” the stress falls on the second syllable of “calles” and the third syllable of “traseras.”
  2. Practice pronouncing each syllable separately before combining them into the full word.
  3. Listen to native Spanish speakers and try to mimic their pronunciation.

With these tips and some practice, you’ll be able to confidently pronounce “calles traseras” like a native Spanish speaker.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Back Streets”

When speaking or writing in Spanish, it is important to use proper grammar to effectively communicate your message. This is especially true when using words like “back streets” which can have different forms depending on their placement in the sentence and their agreement with gender and number.

Placement Of Back Streets In Sentences

The Spanish word for “back streets” is “calles traseras”. When using this phrase in a sentence, it is important to place it in the appropriate location to convey the intended meaning. Generally, “calles traseras” would be used as the object of a sentence, for example:

  • “Voy a caminar por las calles traseras.” (I am going to walk through the back streets.)
  • “Los niños juegan en las calles traseras.” (The children play in the back streets.)

It is important to note that the placement of “calles traseras” can vary depending on the context of the sentence.

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

In Spanish, the verb conjugation or tense can change depending on the subject of the sentence. When using “calles traseras”, the verb conjugation or tense can remain the same regardless of the subject. For example:

  • “Yo caminaré por las calles traseras.” (I will walk through the back streets.)
  • “Tú caminaste por las calles traseras.” (You walked through the back streets.)

It is important to choose the appropriate verb tense based on the intended meaning of the sentence.

Agreement With Gender And Number

In Spanish, nouns must agree with the gender and number of the subject of the sentence. When using “calles traseras”, it is important to match the gender and number of the adjective and article used. For example:

  • “Las calles traseras son estrechas.” (The back streets are narrow.)
  • “Los callejones traseros son oscuros.” (The back alleys are dark.)

It is important to note that “calles traseras” is a feminine noun, so the adjective and article used must reflect this.

Common Exceptions

While the proper use of “calles traseras” follows the general rules of Spanish grammar, there are some common exceptions that should be noted. For example, in some regions, “calles traseras” may be referred to as “callejones traseros”, which is a masculine noun. Additionally, some speakers may use different verb tenses or conjugations depending on their dialect or personal style.

Overall, it is important to use proper grammar when using “back streets” in Spanish to effectively communicate the intended message.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Back Streets”

Knowing how to say “back streets” in Spanish can be useful when navigating through unfamiliar areas or giving directions. Here are some common phrases that include the Spanish word for “back streets” and their usage in sentences:


  • Callejones – back streets
  • Calles traseras – back streets
  • Callejuelas – alleys
  • Pasillos – corridors


1. Los turistas prefieren caminar por los callejones para explorar la ciudad.

Translation: Tourists prefer to walk through the back streets to explore the city.

2. Si quieres evitar el tráfico, toma las calles traseras.

Translation: If you want to avoid traffic, take the back streets.

3. El gato se escondió en la callejuela detrás del edificio.

Translation: The cat hid in the alley behind the building.

4. El pasillo que conduce al estacionamiento está oscuro.

Translation: The corridor that leads to the parking lot is dark.

Example Spanish Dialogue:

English Spanish
Where is the nearest bank? ¿Dónde está el banco más cercano?
Take the back streets and turn left at the alley. Toma los callejones y gira a la izquierda en la callejuela.
Thank you! ¡Gracias!

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Back Streets”

Understanding the usage of the Spanish word for “back streets” requires a deeper understanding of the varying contexts in which it can be utilized. While “back streets” may seem like a simple term, it can be used in formal, informal, and even slang contexts. Additionally, it may have cultural or historical significance that should be taken into account.

Formal Usage Of Back Streets

In formal settings, the Spanish word for “back streets” is typically used in a literal sense to refer to smaller, less traveled streets. For example, in a formal address or letter, one may use the term “calles traseras” to describe the location of a particular building or landmark.

Informal Usage Of Back Streets

In more casual or informal settings, the usage of the word “back streets” may take on a different meaning. For example, it may be used to refer to the less desirable or less safe areas of a city. In this context, the term “callejones” may be more commonly used.

Other Contexts

In addition to formal and informal usage, the Spanish word for “back streets” may also be used in slang or idiomatic expressions. For example, the phrase “en los callejones” may be used to describe a situation that is difficult or dangerous. Additionally, the cultural or historical significance of certain back streets may also be important to consider. For example, the “callejón del beso” in Guanajuato, Mexico is a famous alleyway with a romantic legend attached to it.

Popular Cultural Usage

One popular cultural usage of the Spanish word for “back streets” can be found in the song “Callejón Sin Salida” by the Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte. The song tells the story of a man who finds himself stuck in a dead-end back alley, unable to escape. This usage of “callejón” highlights the idea of being trapped or stuck in a difficult situation.

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Back Streets”

Spanish, like many other languages, has regional variations in vocabulary and pronunciation. This means that the word for “back streets” can differ depending on the Spanish-speaking country or region.

Usage Of The Word In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

In Spain, the word for “back streets” is commonly referred to as “callejón” or “callejuela”. In Latin America, the word “callejón” is also used, but there are some variations depending on the country. For example, in Mexico, “callejón” is the most commonly used term, while in Argentina and Uruguay, “pasaje” is more commonly used. In Chile, “pasaje” is also used, but “callejón” is also common.

Other variations include “calleja” in some parts of Colombia and Venezuela, “callejuela” in some parts of Spain and Central America, and “callejón sin salida” (dead-end street) in some parts of Latin America.

Regional Pronunciations

As with any language, pronunciation can also vary depending on the region. For example, in Spain, the “ll” in “callejón” is pronounced with a “y” sound, while in Latin America, it is pronounced with a “j” sound.

In Mexico, the emphasis is on the second syllable, while in Argentina, the emphasis is on the first syllable. In some parts of Central America, the “j” sound in “callejuela” is pronounced as an “h” sound.


In summary, the Spanish word for “back streets” can vary depending on the region. Common variations include “callejón”, “pasaje”, “calleja”, and “callejuela”. Pronunciations can also vary, with differences in emphasis and sounds depending on the region.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Back Streets” In Speaking & Writing

While the Spanish word for “back streets,” callejones, is commonly used to refer to narrow and often poorly lit streets, it can also have other meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It is important to understand these various uses in order to effectively communicate in Spanish.

Distinguishing Between Different Uses Of “Callejones”

Here are some common ways in which the word “callejones” may be used in Spanish:

1. Literal Meaning

The most common use of “callejones” is to refer to narrow streets or alleys that are typically found in older parts of cities or towns. These streets are often characterized by old buildings, cobblestone pavement, and a lack of streetlights. In this context, “callejones” is used literally and can be translated as “back streets” or “alleys.”

2. Figurative Meaning

In some cases, “callejones” may be used figuratively to refer to a difficult or challenging situation. For example, someone might say “estoy en un callejón sin salida” (I’m in a dead-end situation) to describe a problem that seems insurmountable. In this context, “callejones” is being used as a metaphor for a challenging situation that is difficult to navigate.

3. Cultural Meaning

Finally, “callejones” can also have a cultural meaning in Spanish. In some Latin American countries, “callejones” are associated with the music genre known as “callejón” or “son callejero.” This type of music is characterized by its roots in traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms and its focus on the experiences of everyday people who live in the back streets of urban areas. In this context, “callejones” is being used to refer to the cultural significance of these streets and the music that comes from them.

Understanding these various meanings of “callejones” is crucial for effective communication in Spanish. By recognizing the context in which the word is being used, you can avoid confusion and ensure that your message is clearly understood.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “Back Streets”

Synonyms And Related Terms

When it comes to talking about “back streets” in Spanish, there are a number of different words and phrases that you might encounter. Some of the most common synonyms or related terms include:

  • Calles traseras: This is one of the most straightforward translations for “back streets,” and it is often used interchangeably with the more common term “callejones.”
  • Callejones: This term is often used to refer specifically to narrow or winding back streets, particularly those that might be difficult to navigate by car.
  • Pasillos: This word can be used to refer to narrow alleys or corridors, particularly those that might be found between buildings or in other enclosed spaces.
  • Rincones: This term can be used to refer to quiet, out-of-the-way corners or nooks, which might be found in back streets or other hidden areas.

Each of these terms can be used in slightly different contexts or with slightly different connotations, but they all generally refer to the same basic idea of “back streets” or hidden areas.

Differences And Similarities

While these different terms might have slightly different connotations or uses, they are all generally used to refer to hidden or out-of-the-way areas that might be difficult to find or navigate. Depending on the specific context, one term might be more appropriate than another – for example, “callejones” might be more appropriate when referring to a narrow, winding alleyway, while “pasillos” might be more appropriate when referring to a narrow corridor between buildings.

Regardless of the specific term used, however, each of these words or phrases generally conveys the same basic idea of a hidden, out-of-the-way area that might be difficult to find or navigate.


While there aren’t necessarily any direct antonyms for “back streets” in Spanish, there are a number of terms that might be used to refer to the opposite of a hidden or out-of-the-way area. These might include:

  • Avenidas: This term generally refers to wide, open streets or avenues, which are often more visible and easier to navigate than back streets.
  • Boulevares: Similar to avenidas, this term is often used to refer to wide, open boulevards or thoroughfares that are easy to navigate and more visible than back streets.
  • Plazas: This term can be used to refer to open public spaces, such as squares or plazas, which are often more visible and easier to find than back streets.

While these terms might not be direct antonyms for “back streets,” they do represent the opposite idea of a hidden or out-of-the-way area, and might be used in contrast to terms like “callejones” or “pasillos.”

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “Back Streets”

When speaking Spanish, it is important to use the correct terminology for “back streets” to avoid confusion and miscommunication. However, non-native speakers often make common mistakes when using this term. In this section, we will introduce these mistakes and provide tips to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

1. Using “callejón” instead of “callejuela”
– While both words can be used to refer to “back streets,” “callejuela” is the more appropriate term for narrow and small streets, whereas “callejón” refers to wider streets.
– Example: “Vivo en una callejuela” (I live on a small back street) vs. “El callejón es muy ancho” (The back street is very wide)

2. Using “callejón” with a negative connotation
– Non-native speakers may associate “callejón” with dark and dangerous alleys, but in Spanish, it simply refers to a back street.
– To avoid confusion, it is better to use “callejuela” or “calle trasera” (literally, “rear street”) to describe a back street without a negative connotation.
– Example: “La calle trasera es muy tranquila” (The back street is very peaceful)

3. Using “calle” instead of “callejuela”
– While “calle” can be used to refer to any street, using “callejuela” is more specific and accurate when referring to a back street.
– Example: “Vivo en una callejuela” (I live on a back street) vs. “Vivo en una calle” (I live on a street)

Tips To Avoid Mistakes

1. Practice using both “callejuela” and “callejón” in context to understand the difference in meaning.
2. Avoid using “callejón” with a negative connotation.
3. Use “callejuela” instead of “calle” when referring to a back street.

– Do not include a conclusion or even mention a conclusion. Just end it after the section above is written.


In this blog post, we have explored the various ways to say back streets in Spanish. We started with the most common translation, “calles traseras,” which is widely used in Spain and Latin America. We then discussed alternative phrases that are also used in different regions, such as “callejones” in Mexico and “callejuelas” in Andalusia.

We also touched on the importance of context when using these phrases, as well as the nuances of regional variations. For instance, “callejuelas” in Andalusia may refer to narrow streets, whereas in other regions it may simply mean back streets.

Lastly, we highlighted some useful phrases and expressions that can be used when navigating back streets, such as “dar la vuelta” (to turn around) and “perderse” (to get lost).

Encouragement To Practice

Learning a new language takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. By expanding your vocabulary and mastering new phrases, you can communicate more effectively with Spanish-speaking people and gain a deeper appreciation of their culture.

So, if you’re serious about improving your Spanish skills, we encourage you to practice using back street phrases in real-life conversations. Whether you’re traveling to a Spanish-speaking country or chatting with a friend, try incorporating these phrases into your everyday speech. With time and practice, you’ll become more confident and fluent in your Spanish speaking abilities.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.