"Good Night" in Spanish

Quick Answer

Good night in Spanish is buenas noches. However, buenas noches can also be used as a greeting!

Are you reading this in the evening? If so, ¡buenas noches! In this article, we’re going to explain the use of buenas noches and how to say good night in Spanish.

Good Night in Spanish:

Did you know that buenas noches is used in more than one context? It can be used to say good night or goodbye as well as hello! How can that be? Let’s take a look.

Buenas Noches, I’m Greeting You

Buenos días(good morning), buenas tardes(good afternoon, good evening), and buenas noches (good evening): These three phrases are some of the most basic ways to greet someone in Spanish.

Buenas noches can be used as a greeting, typically from after the sun has gone down until you go to bed. The changeover between buenas tardes and buenas noches can vary depending on the culture, or even on the time of year.

So, how do we know when to switch over?

When should we switch between días/tardes/noches? We’d love to give you a straightforward answer, but el mundo hispanohablante(the Spanish-speaking world) is huge and the unofficial changeover times vary.

There are two things to keep in mind:

  • People in Spain usually change over to buenas tardes after they’ve had lunch. Given that it’s common to have lunch at 2 pm—or even 3—this means that people in Spain tend to switch to buenas tardes later than in other spots.
  • The switch to buenas noches tends to be linked to sunset. However, if you’re in a location where it gets dark at 5 pm in the winter, we’d suggest you stick with buenas tardes until around 8 pm.

Complicated, isn’t it? If you're not quite sure what to say, don’t be afraid to ask the person you’re speaking to. For example:

Buenos días. ¿O mejor digo buenas tardes ya?(Good morning. Or should I say good afternoon?)

Want to learn more about buenos días? Check out this article.

¿Te diste cuenta?(Did you notice) that we use buenos with días but buenas with tardes and noches?

Buenas Noches, I’m Going to Bed or I’m Leaving

When we want to say good night in Spanish or goodbye in the evening, we also say buenas noches.

For example:

Pedro:
Buenas noches, papá. Me voy a la cama.
Good night, dad. I’m going to bed.
Papá:
¿Tan pronto? ¡Si son las 8!
So early? But it’s only 8 o’clock!
Pedro:
Sí, pero tengo un examen mañana y necesito descansar.
Yeah, but I have a test tomorrow and I need to rest.
Papá:
Vale, hijo. Pues, buenas noches. ¡Que descanses!
Ok, son. Well, good night. Sleep well!
Pedro:
Gracias, papá. Buenas noches.
Thanks, dad. Good night.

Need more phrases to use when going to bed? Learn how to say “good night” and “sweet dreams” with this article!

So, remember: buenas noches can be used as a greeting in the evening and as a way of saying farewell.

So, buenas noches, dear reader. Son las diez de la noche(It's ten in the evening) here and me voy a la cama(I’m going to bed)!