Nowadays there are almost endless resources to learn and practice your language skills. In this blog, I will share some of the best shows to learn Spanish language. So, learn while having fun!
However, there is a resource that you can easily incorporate into your leisure time which can be very productive if used properly: shows and series.
There is nothing like getting home after work and accompanying your meal with a gripping story that has you hooked. Well, believe it or not, using shows to learn Spanish is an excellent tool to improve your performance in the language.
Do you want to know why you should and how to use them to your advantage? Then keep reading because we will tell you this and much more. We will also give you a selection of the 13 best shows to learn Spanish that will help you as you learn!
Soak up this information brought to you by Spanish Express and make the most of your free time.
Why does watching shows help to learn Spanish?
Watching series in Spanish is one of the most effective ways to expose yourself to new vocabulary and expressions native to Spain or other Spanish-speaking countries.
By employing this tool, you will not only be improving your speech, but you will also be delving into the cultural and historical aspects of the country.
Your hearing will benefit the most, as you will start to get used to listening to conversations in Spanish; a key element to getting by in the language as a native speaker.
Furthermore, one of the most interesting aspects of this learning method is the association of actions with the character’s words within the shows. This combination of action-speech is essential for those words that do not have a literal meaning when translated.
However, to enjoy all the benefits of watching shows to learn Spanish, it is important to carry out some steps to make the most of this resource and, of course, we bring them to you here.
How do you watch Spanish shows correctly?
Follow these simple steps to achieve the optimal result when watching shows to learn Spanish:
Audio in Spanish with subtitles in your language
If you are a beginner in the Spanish language (A1 and A2 levels), it is recommended that when watching shows, you do it with the audio in Spanish and the subtitles in your native language.
“Why?” Well, this will be an excellent way to identify words you don’t know and to thoroughly understand at all times what is being said or happening in the shows. This way, you can create an association between the spoken words and their meaning through the subtitles.
Subtitles and audio in Spanish
For those of you with an intermediate level of Spanish (B1 and B2 levels), you can now take the big step to watch shows with both audio and subtitles in Spanish.
“Really?” Yes! Although you may not understand everything, you will have the advantage of reading to understand better. In addition, the association of reading the words whilst hearing them will be a great exercise to train your listening as you improve your speech.
The audio in Spanish without the subtitles
Finally, we have the biggest challenge of all for language learners: watching Spanish shows without subtitles.
This is only recommended for advanced learners (C1 and C2 levels), as it will be your final opportunity to make sure you understand Spanish more like a native speaker.
Removing the subtitles is essential to start thinking in the language instead of translating in your mind. Which, of course, will be a before and after in your learning.
Ready to apply these methods? Here are 13 of the best shows to learn Spanish. Enjoy!
Our selection of shows to learn Spanish
There are 11 Spanish TV shows you watch and learn Spanish.
1. Alta mar
If you like mystery stories, don’t hesitate to give Alta mar a chance.
Alta mar had a place within the most-watched shows on Netflix Spain after its premiere in 2019. The story centers around two sisters who discover disturbing family secrets after several homicides inside the luxury ship they travel.
The dialogues have clear pronunciation, and the speech rhythm is smooth. On the other hand, the vocabulary is of a more formal and neutral style, an alternative that is useful to learn.
It is an excellent option for students with a beginner or intermediate level in Spanish.
2. La casa de papel
Occupying the number one spot as the most-watched show on Netflix Spain, La casa de papel is a great show to learn Spanish with.
This action-packed plot focuses on a group of thieves who plan to pull off a robbery within The Royal Mint of Spain. As the story unfolds, the personal lives and dramas of its main characters come to light, giving a touch of suspense to each episode.
The vocabulary employed in this program is modern and contemporary, concurrent with the language currently used in Spain, a perfect option to enrich your knowledge.
Yet, the dialogues tend to be fast-paced, so it is one of the most recommended shows for learning Spanish for students at intermediate and advanced levels.
3. Las chicas del cable
Do you enjoy romantic stories? Then this series will be your favorite on this list!
Despite having premiered in 2017, Las chicas del cable still has a big presence among Netflix consumers. The show is set in the 1920s and tells the story of 4 women from different backgrounds who meet at a telephone company where they were hired. Their dramas and love stories expand as the chapters go by.
Las chicas del cable is suitable for students of any level of Spanish, as the dialogues are easy to understand and the vocabulary is diverse.
It will help you practice your speaking and listening skills while enjoying an entertaining story.
4. Allí abajo
We couldn’t leave comedy out of this list. Allí abajo is a Spanish series from 2015, which can still be found on Netflix.
The plot of this story plays with the cultural differences within Spain and touches on an important topic for Spanish students: the dialectal variations within the country.
This hilarious comedy takes viewers on a ride through the chaotic relationship of Iñaki (from northern Spain) and Carmen (from the south). They make their differences a laughing riot for viewers.
Like Las chicas del cable, this is one of the best shows to learn Spanish for every student. However, with an advanced level, you will understand much more of the references. Beginners and intermediates can still give it a try.
It is a series with a very native Spanish vocabulary and fast-paced dialogues, but with many histories and cultural references that will help you understand the country better.
5. Sandra, detective de cuentos
Since we brought many options for adults, we give you an extra alternative to share with the family: Sandra, and Detective de cuentos.
The plot of this cartoon series leads Sandra to solve mysteries within the classic tales of literature. It is very entertaining, and the best thing is that it is designed for children. The Spanish dialogue and speech are slower, with less complicated sentences at a structural level.
Excellent for getting kids used to the language, and if you don’t have kids, it is still very useful. Don’t be ashamed to take a look at this series if you are starting your journey into learning Spanish.
6. El tiempo entre costuras
If stories from the past grab your attention, “El tiempo entre costuras” is a must-watch. This series takes place around the Spanish Civil War and follows a young seamstress caught in a web of espionage.
The show shines for those looking to improve their Spanish, offering subtitles in both Spanish and English to help along the way. Its dialogue is clear and paced well, making it ideal for learners.
Beyond its historical intrigue, it weaves a tale of love and courage, proving to be more than just a lesson in history.
For beginners to Spanish TV, this series serves as an engaging starting point, blending educational value with entertainment seamlessly.
7. El Ministerio del tiempo
Imagine a TV series where characters travel through time to safeguard history – that’s “El Ministerio del tiempo.”
This historical drama/sci-fi mix introduces a government agency tasked with keeping the past intact. It’s a thrilling way to explore Spanish history, offering a narrative that’s both informative and engaging.
The series is accessible to Spanish learners, thanks to its clearly spoken dialogue and the availability of subtitles.
It’s perfect for those looking into the language while being entertained by the adventures that span through Spain’s rich past. If you’re a history buff or a language learner, this series is a captivating choice.
Set in an elite school filled with drama and mystery, “Élite” is a story of how three scholarship students turn the school’s social order upside down.
The series is a modern portrayal of Spanish youth, making it a fantastic tool for those looking to get familiar with contemporary Spanish language and slang.
Offering Spanish subtitles, aids in language learning, allowing viewers to grasp new phrases and expressions easily.
From the first episode, the plot hooks you with its blend of friendship, love, and secrecy. For learners and entertainment-seekers alike, “Élite” stands out as a compelling series that doubles as a fun way to enhance Spanish language skills, providing insights into the life of Spain’s younger generation.
9. Club de cuervos
For fans of comedy and sports, “Club de cuervos” is a perfect match. This series is the first Spanish-language Netflix original and it doesn’t disappoint.
It’s set in Mexico and follows the power struggle within a family-owned soccer club. The show blends humor with drama, offering a unique look into the world of Latin American soccer.
The dialogues are packed with Mexican slang, making it an excellent choice for those interested in the nuances of Latin American Spanish.
With subtitles available in both Spanish and English, it caters to a wide range of language learners.
Whether you’re starting out or looking to polish your skills, “Club de Cuervos” provides entertainment while immersing you in the Spanish language and Mexican culture.
10. Cuéntame cómo pasó
Cuéntame cómo pasó is a journey through Spain’s recent history, seen through the eyes of the Alcántara family.
This long-running series starts in the late 1960s and walks viewers through the social and political changes in Spain over the decades.
Its everyday language and historical context make it an invaluable resource for Spanish learners. The show’s clear dialogues and slow pacing are suitable for all levels.
You also watch Spanish shows with Spanish subtitles can help beginners catch every word.
For those looking to understand Spain beyond the language, “Cuéntame cómo pasó” offers a deep dive into the country’s past, its culture, and the evolution of the Spanish dialect.
11. Aquí no hay quien viva
This is a must-watch for anyone interested in Spanish humor and everyday life. “Aquí no hay quien viva” portrays the lives of eccentric residents in a Madrid apartment building, dealing with situations that range from the hilarious to the absurd.
The series is known for its witty dialogues and catchphrases, providing a fun and engaging way to learn Spanish slang and expressions.
It’s an excellent show for intermediate learners, as the fast-paced Spanish and cultural references offer a bit of a challenge, yet it remains accessible thanks to Spanish subtitles.
For a light-hearted introduction to Spain’s contemporary society and humor, “Aquí no hay quien viva” stands out as one of the best Spanish TV shows to watch.
12. Gran Hotel
For those who relish diving into the elegance and mystery of the early 1900s, “Gran Hotel” is a must-watch.
Set against the backdrop of a breathtaking luxury hotel, this series is a splendid blend of romance, intrigue, and historical drama.
The clear dialogue and slower pace make it an excellent choice for learners at all levels, offering Spanish and English subtitles to aid in understanding.
It’s an enchanting way to absorb new words and phrases while getting lost in a beautifully crafted story.
Gran Hotel not only entertains but also educates, making it a perfect addition for anyone looking to enhance their Spanish learning through watching TV shows.
13. Vis a vis
Vis a vis offers a gripping and intense look into the lives of women behind bars. This series is a standout choice for those interested in exploring the dynamics of a women’s prison through the lens of Spanish television.
It presents a raw, unfiltered view of life in confinement while incorporating elements of drama and reality TV.
The show features a diverse cast that brings various Spanish accents and dialects to the forefront, including the distinct Colombian dialect.
This diversity makes “Vis a vis” an excellent resource for learners aiming to familiarize themselves with the nuances of language spoken by native speakers across different countries.
Improve your Spanish with Spanish Express!
It’s time to leave the subtitles behind and start speaking Spanish like a native with Spanish Express.
Join one of the available courses or programs, such as the Spanish Homestay Immersion programme, for an unforgettable vacation this summer while you learn. Plus, you’ll be learning in your teacher’s home! There is no better way to learn a language than in its country of origin.
You will also have access to online Spanish classes with the most qualified teachers in the area who will give you all the necessary tools for your learning.
Start now with your Spanish classes and stop getting lost in translations or subtitles. Come and learn with us, let’s enjoy these shows together to learn Spanish!