So You Were Hoping to Travel This Summer (these 11 songs take you places)

By Yael Chiappori

So maybe you’re upset that your second semester of Spanish 3 was cut short. Maybe it’s your French teacher you miss. Perhaps you want to take a stab at a completely new language. Or if you’re me, your senior year summer backpacking trip through Europe, which you have been planning since 6th grade with your best friend, isn’t happening anymore.

Here are my favorite foreign language songs so we can all pretend we are walking the cobblestoned streets of Paris together. Or maybe we can pretend that we are at the beach in Barcelona tanning, guarding your bags against pickpocketers while your friends play beach volleyball nearby on the shore. These songs take you places.

*Take a listen to the full playlist here:

1. Amour Plastique - Videoclub

This upbeat synth-pop bop duo will take you to that balcony in France you were hoping to wind down on while resting your feet after walking around the Louvre all day.


Everyone’s favorite Catalonian singer of the past few years who single-handedly brought flamenco into modern music transports you to that flamenco show in Barcelona. Her gorgeous voice serenades you with equal amounts of strength and ease at different moments.

3. The Girl From Ipanema - Stan Getz

This is the one your parents and grandparents will know but stick with me. This recording of the Brazilian Jazz classic is sunshine at a cafe that depicts the missed connection you were hoping to have in Brazil. Portuguese never sounded better. Sign me up for duo lingo classes if I get to sound like that.

4. Les Champs Elysees - Joe Dassin

You are on the Champs Elysees. Need I say more?

5. 1,2,3 - Sofia Reyes ft. Jason Derulo and De La Ghetto

This Spanish and English fusion club banger might be a tad high energy for your virtual dinner party but it is sure to contain the three words you know in Spanish “uno, dos, tres.”

6. La Vie en rose - Edit Piaf

Instead of pulling out the lovely but overplayed English Louis Armstrong version of this song, why not feel extra French with this classic tune. Piaf was one of the world’s greatest vocalists and deserves to grace your ear with “La Vie en rose”.

7. Tout oublier - Angele ft. Romeo Elvis

Okay, so you said enough of the classics let’s hear something from this past decade. I hear you. Though French natives may cringe at this pop choice with a fair bit of radio play in France, it definitely hits the spot for me. With the translation of “Forget everything” that is probably what we are all wanting to do at the moment. So forget it all for 3 minutes and 22 seconds.

8. We No Speak Americano - Yolanda Be Cool

This Italian electronic beat will put a smile on your face. Though you won’t be taking a passeggiata in the Piazza Navona, this 2010 hit will get you on your feet. Workout banger anyone?

9. Formidable - Stromae

The Belgian singer dropped the most solid album before breaking hearts throughout the globe and turning his focus to his fashion design career. This is a sad song. If you’re using this break from school or work to heal from heartbreak this hit will have you feeling all type a way. Still, this song will make you wish you were as cool as Stromae.

10. Porque te vas? - Jeanette

Under a street lamp, this lovely 70s hit packs some major nostalgia. Think park bench in Barcelona.

11. Bo’ee (Come with Me) - The Idan Raichel Project

The Idan Raichel Project sought to connect and display the diversity of the Jewish diaspora. This tune features Ethiopian vocalists and Hebrew. Ask any Israeli about this song. They will understand the hype of this gorgeous melody.

Honorable mention:

  • Rauche gut- JONNY5

German trap anyone?

*Don’t make fun of my Spotify username. I was young.

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