Netflix has a library of Spanish language shows that are so good, you could spend all night and day binge-watching and you can totally learn Spanish with Netflix too. From docudramas to high octane action to mysterious true crime series–all in Spanish or mostly Spanish. Whether you’re just learning the language or are an advanced student, you will love my recommendations for the top eight Spanish TV shows on Netflix. Getting hooked on a well-written, well-directed-Spanish TV show is a great way to practice your listening skills. You also increase your vocabulary and gain exposure to different accents and slangs.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginning or an advanced learner, my recommendations are all suitable as they come with subtitles. This is a great way to follow the plot while acclimating your ears to the sound of the language.
The list is not exhaustive, neither are the shows in any particular order. Although subconsciously, I seem to have put the more popular ones at the top of the list. Anyway, please enjoy binging on Spanish TV shows on Netflix to help with your vocabulary and listening skills.
Here then are my recommendations for the top eight Spanish TV shows on Netflix. Depending on your location, you may not be able to watch. If any of these are not available in your country, it will redirect to Netflix’s home page.
The story in this very dark teen drama, follows three working-class teenagers enrolled in an exclusive boarding school in Spain. Inevitably, their paths cross with a spoiled rich girl, eventually, leading to a mysterious murder. Elite was filmed in and around Madrid, the capital of Spain. The dialogue is extremely fast, so it is good that this series comes with subtitles. This is a great way to learn everyday, common phrases with Netflix, but be careful, these are teens, so you probably don’t want to repeat these words in the Spanish boardroom!
Accent: European Spanish, Chilean.
La Casa de Papel / Money Heist
La Casa de Papel is one of the best Spanish TV shows on Netflix. It broke records last year when it became Netflix’s most-watched non-English series around the globe.It is reminiscent of Ocean’s Eleven, except the target is the Royal Mint of Spain, not a Las Vegas casino. Money Heist, the title by which it is more popularly known, tells the story of El Profesor, a mysterious stranger who helps train some 12 criminals to pull off the largest bank heist in Spain’s history. The plot has many unbelievable twists, and the acting is superb. The dialogue in Money Heist is also what you would hear in regular conversations with friends, complete with colloquial Spanish idiomatic expressions. Most of the characters also speak quite clearly, so you should have no problem understanding them. However, if you do, there are subtitles to guide you along.
Accent: European Spanish
La Niña / The Girl
La Nina has received rave reviews for its well-written script and superb acting, especially by Ana Maria Estupinan, who plays the protagonist. The series is about a woman who was kidnapped as a child and forced to become a Colombian guerilla fighter. As she struggles to overcome her brutal past, and reintegrate into society, she faces myriad challenges as her past catches up with her. La Nina is an inspiring story of strength and courage. This film is perfect if you’re interested to learn Colombian colloquialisms.
Despite the violence and vulgar language, Narcos still makes the list as a must-watch Spanish TV show on Netflix.The original series is based on the life and death of Colombian drug boss, Pablo Emelio Escobar Gavaria, with many thrilling chase scenes as he eludes the DEA agents. It is reminiscent of El Chapo, another biopic of a drug lord–that one from Mexico, which also made my list of Spanish TV shows on Netflix to watch.
Although the show is based in Colombia, many of the actors are from other Latin American countries including Mexico. As such, the series has been criticised for its use of foreign actors with fake Colombian accents. For instance, the actor who played Pablo Escobar is actually from Brazil. Nevertheless, it is a great series for gradual Spanish immersion as almost 40% is in English–especially the scenes surrounding the DEA agents who are hunting Pablo Escobar.
As you watch Narcos, you can improve your listening skills by listening for the different Spanish accents.
Accents: Puerto Rican, Mexican, Colombian, and Brazilian.
Ingobernable stars Mexcian-American actress and activist Kate del Castillo as the fictional first lady of Mexico, Emilia Urquiza. The show begins as her world is turned upside down when her husband plunges to his death from a building she was last seen in. Accused of killing her husband, she finds herself running for her life, and must find a way to prove her innocence and untangle the web of corruption in the presidency.
Ironically, though set in Mexico, del Castillo’s parts had to be filmed in San Diego as she is wanted in Mexico, her homeland, for meeting with El Chapo who was wanted by the Mexican authorities. You will get to hear and learn slangs that are specific to Mexico City.
Accent: Mexican, some European Spanish
Watch El Chapo to Learn Spanish
El Chapo is a thrilling reenactment of the rise and fall of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The story of how the head of the Sinaloa Cartel managed to evade the authorities over the years (escaping from prison twice), is undeniably intriguing. In real life, El Chapo was extradited to the United States in 2017, and is currently on trial in New York City.
Unlike other shows on this infamous drug lord, El Chapo gives the full back story on exactly how he became one of history’s most well-known and powerful drug bosses.
This is a good option for learning Mexican Spanish with minimal English dialogue. If you are learning Spanish with Netflix, and there are tons of slang and cuss words, then make sure you’re aware of what you’re repeating – you don’t necessarily want to sound like a drug lord. But, some drug lords speak very well, right?
Accents: Mexican, Colombian
Based on the novel “Yo, Bruja” by Costa Rican author Isidora Chacón, Siempre Bruja is about Carmen, an Afro-Colombian time-traveling witch who, back in the 17th century was burned as a slave to the stakes when her owners discovered their son was in love with her. A deal with a wizard finds her in modern day Cartagena, under condition not to use her powers.
Siempre Bruja is a Netflix original that received major criticisms for playing into some problematic stereotypes and a master/slave love story plotline.
Set in Colombia, the series features a black woman in the lead, with a strong cast and breath-taking scenery. It is reminiscent of old-time favorite, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Of course, my list would not be complete without a steamy romance. The storyline in Velvet follows the heir to a fashion house who falls madly in love with a seamstress, much to the dismay of his family. The story is set in the glamorous fashion world of Madrid during the 1950s, and it was my VERY most favorite way to learn Spanish with Netflix. I binged this show SO hard.
This is a star-crossed lovers story, perfect for the hopeless romantic. It is also a huge favorite among Spanish learners.
Accent: European Spanish
So there you have it, my recommendations for the top eight Spanish TV shows to learn Spanish with Netflix. Do you agree? What are yours? Let us know in the comments below? Are you looking to brush up on your spanish speaking skills? We can help. Contact us today.