el rey spanish series screenshot

Top 20 Shows for Learning Spanish on Netflix [February 2024]

Watching Spanish shows on Netflix is one of the most fun ways to get some practice with the language—especially since there are so many binge-worthy series!

Aside from honing your listening skills, you’ll pick up new vocabulary while getting to immerse in the culture.

Here are 20 fantastic Netflix shows for Spanish learners, whether you’re studying Castilian or Latin American Spanish:   

Contents

1. “La casa de las flores” (The House of Flowers)

Country of Origin: Mexico
Genre: Dark comedy

“La casa de las flores” is one of the most popular shows for Spanish learners.

The de la Moras seem like a perfect family, but then it turns out that the father is having an affair—and his mistress commits suicide. This exposes a bigger secret: the father actually has a second family with the mistress.   

On top of this, their kids have to deal with challenges like love triangles, accepting their sexuality and drug use, all set against a backdrop of dark humor and satire.  

I watched this when I was still lower-intermediate in Spanish. One of the kids, Paulina, speaks very slowly, which makes for great listening practice.

2. “Las chicas del cable” (Cable Girls)

Country of Origin: Spain
Genre: Historical

For Castilian Spanish TV shows, don’t miss out on “Las chicas del cable,” which has six seasons.

Set in the 1920s to 1930s, it follows four women who work as telephone operators in Madrid. Lidia, one of the women, enters the company with a secret agenda, but her life soon takes an unexpected turn, including being torn between her first love and the telephone company owner’s son.

There are plenty of touching moments, and all of the women have their own compelling personalities.

Compared to other shows, it uses more polite forms of address like usted, señor and señora because those were more common before.

3. “Belascoarán, PI”

Country of Origin: Mexico
Genre: Crime

Héctor Belascoarán Shayne is a one-eyed private investigator in Mexico City in the 1970’s. He used to be an engineer, but he decides to become a detective because he’s frustrated with corporate life.

His first cases involve diverse clients, eventually leading him into the darker underbelly of the city as he tackles murder and corruption.

I really like Belascoarán because he’s smart, witty and sometimes comical, and he’s portrayed by Luis Gerardo Méndez, who starred in “Club de Cuervos” and “Narcos: Mexico.”

This miniseries will help you get familiar with famous historical figures in Mexico like Luis Echeverría and José José.

4. “Madre solo hay dos” (Daughter from Another Mother)

Country of Origin: Mexico 
Genre: Comedy

Two women—Ana and Mariana—discover that their babies accidentally got switched with each other’s at the hospital. Since it’s already six months in, they agree on a solution: form a single, blended family.

This leads to funny scenarios because they have contrasting personalities. Ana is a well-off, organized and career-driven, while Mariana is a free-spirited, struggling musician. Even their parenting styles clash.

Both women, along with their families, go through plenty of adjustments, but then they have bonding moments too where they learn from each other.

It’s a cute, heartwarming show that’s pretty learner-friendly.

5. “La casa de papel” (Money Heist)

Country of Origin: Spain
Genre: Crime

“La casa de papel” is one of the most well-known Spanish-language series on Netflix. After all, it has won a lot of awards, and it’s an unforgettable watch. I was kept on my toes by all of the sudden revelations, moral dilemmas and violent scenes.

It’s about a multi-day assault on the Royal Mint of Spain, led by a mysterious man known as “The Professor.” He recruits eight people, who adopt city names as aliases, to carry out the ambitious plan to print billions of euros.

As a Spanish learner, you’ll be exposed to several accents because the characters come from all over Spain.

6. “Narcos: Mexico”

Country of Origin: Mexico
Genre: Crime

You’ve probably heard of the original “Narcos” series, which is one of the best Netflix drug dramas ever. “Narcos: Mexico” is Netflix’s newest release under the saga, and it explores the modern drug war’s roots in 1980’s Mexico.  

Félix Gallardo, a former Sinaloan police officer, rises to power as a major drug lord who unifies several independent drug traffickers. Of course, there’s someone hunting him down: Kiki Camarena, a determined DEA agent.

The series features a mix of Spanish and English, but I recommend it over the original “Narcos” because the language is more authentic. Actors even improvised on the script!

7. “La niña” (The Girl)

Country of Origin: Colombia
Genre: Drama 

Belky is a teenager with a troubled past: she was recruited as a child soldier by guerrillas in Colombia. She managed to escape and wants to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor, but adjusting to regular life isn’t that easy.

She struggles with PTSD from her violent past, along with being judged by her peers. Her family has to adjust because they thought she was dead, and they can sense that she has secrets she refuses to tell them.

The conversations are fairly realistic, but the characters here speak fast, especially since there’s a lot of drama and heavy emotion.

8. “Vis a vis” (Locked Up)

Country of Origin: Spain
Genre: Action

The setting of “Vis a vis” is a women’s prison. Macarena is an accountant who’s wrongfully jailed because she was set up by her boss and lover. She enters the prison as a naive young woman, but she has to quickly adjust to the harsh realities of life there. To survive, she’s forced to become hardened and cunning. 

It really delves into the backgrounds of the inmates, with fantastic character arcs. I adored Zulema, who’s one of the most dangerous women there.

The dialogues are fast-paced and emotionally charged, and the inmates often use slang, so try it out without subtitles if your Spanish is at upper-intermediate or above.

9. “El vecino” (The Neighbor)

Country of Origin: Spain
Genre: Comedy

Javier’s life seems to be going nowhere, but when he encounters an alien, he suddenly acquires superpowers. 

At first, he’s clueless and clumsy about using his abilities like flight and super strength, which lands him in all sorts of funny situations. He refuses to tell his girlfriend too. Only his neighbor and friend, Jose, knows about it and helps him adjust to his new identity as a superhero.

It’s a wacky and lighthearted show with short episodes, and it got me laughing out loud. It’s also more approachable for Spanish learners because it uses simple, everyday language.

10. “El rey, Vicente Fernández” (The King)

Country of Origin: Mexico
Genre: Drama

“El rey” is a biographical series that shows the life and career of Vicente Fernández. He’s an iconic Mexican singer who’s called “The King of Ranchera Music.”

The story begins with Vicente’s early life and how he tries to break into the industry. You’ll then get to see key moments in his career, including how he developed his unique style. As he became more famous, though, his relationship with his family becomes more strained.

If you’re interested in Mexican culture, this is a must-watch. His songs are helpful for learning Spanish because they’re so memorable, with clear pronunciation.

11. “Control Z”

Country of Origin: Mexico
Genre: Thriller 

This fun teen series reminded me of “Gossip Girl”—except it’s in Mexico.

A high school plunges into chaos when a hacker reveals that one of the most well-liked and beautiful students is actually trans. Later on, the hacker spills the secrets of other students too.

Luckily, there’s Sofia, who’s a bit of a loner but has awesome observation skills similar to Sherlock. She teams up with Javier, a new student with a mysterious past, to solve the mystery of who the hacker is.

You’ll hear tons of teen slang used in Mexican Spanish. For example, there’s chido, which means “cool” or “awesome.” 

12. “Bolívar” 

Country of Origin: Colombia 
Genre: Historical

Simon Bolivar is a legendary historical figure in Latin America because he helped several countries become independent from the Spanish empire. Bolivia was named after him!

This series chronicles his tumultuous and passionate life, starting from his childhood and his travels to Europe as a young man. He then grows to become a revolutionary leader, going on military campaigns across the continent. There’s a bit of personal drama too—his romantic relationships and inner struggles are intimately explored.

It clocks in at more than 60 episodes, but it’s entertaining all throughout, and you’ll learn a lot about Latin American history.

13. “Diablero”

Country of Origin: Mexico
Genre: Horror

Elvis Infante is a charismatic and skilled diablero, meaning he can hunt and fight demons that roam the earth. He’s not alone, though—he’s joined by his sister Keta, a nurse who knows all about herbal medicine, and Ramiro, a priest. Along the way, they meet Nancy, who has a mysterious ability to control demons.  

Throughout the series, the group faces all sorts of demonic entities and venture into otherworldly realms. I found it fascinating because it draws heavily from Mexican culture and folklore as well as Catholicism. Characters use Náhuatl, the language of the Aztec Empire, for the spiritual chants.

14. “Sagrada familia” (Holy Family)

Country of Origin: Spain
Genre: Thriller

Gloria, a single mother, moves with her family to a new neighborhood that seems welcoming at first. But as the series progresses, it’s gradually revealed that the family has a dark and troubling history.

A central theme here is the complexity of a mother’s love, which is compared to a scorpion’s tail that’s sinister and poisonous.

The acting is especially brilliant, with Najwa Nimri portraying Gloria. She also shows up in two other shows listed here (I’m a fan!): “Vis a vis” and “La casa de papel.”

While the plot can get complicated, the language used is conversational with mostly standard accents since it’s set in Madrid.

15. “La valla” (The Barrier)

Country of Origin: Spain
Genre: Sci-fi

I got déjà vu watching “La valla” because it’s about a pandemic and it echoes real-life situations that we went through, including masks and lockdowns. It was finished in 2019 before the COVID pandemic started, which makes it even more uncanny.

It portrays Madrid in 2045 as a dystopian society where resources are scarce. Two siblings, Sara and Hugo, get separated because the government wants to study Sarah’s genes, which might hold the key to curing a widespread virus. Sara’s family then goes on a desperate mission to rescue her.

You can pick up vocabulary here that became more widespread because of COVID, like cuarentena (quarantine) and epidemia (epidemic).

16. “Sky rojo” (Red Sky)

Country of Origin: Spain
Genre: Action

This show was created by Álex Pina, who was  behind “La casa de papel” and “Vis a vis” as well, so you know right away it’s action-packed and a little crazy.

Three women, Carol, Wendy and Gina, work at a brothel, but they then decide to make a desperate and violent escape when they couldn’t take the abuse anymore. Romeo, the brothel owner, is obsessed with capturing them, and the girls continue on the run as it becomes a dangerous cat-and-mouse chase.

What’s cool is the main characters have different Spanish accents on purpose because the actresses come from different countries—Spain, Argentina and Cuba.

17. “La reina del sur” (The Queen of the South)

Country of Origin: Mexico
Genre: Action

“La Reina del Sur” is based on the novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. I adore this series because it’s a story about survival and ambition.

Teresa Mendoza lives a modest life in Sinaloa, Mexico, but then her boyfriend, a member of a drug cartel, is murdered. Forced to flee for her safety, Teresa ends up in Spain. Here, she starts from the bottom, but through resourcefulness and strategic thinking, she climbs the ranks to become a powerful drug trafficker.

Because of the diverse settings, the show features a variety of Spanish dialects.

There’s a US-made version of the series called “Queen of the South.”

18. “Distrito salvaje” (Wild District)

Country of Origin: Colombia
Genre: Action

“Distrito salvaje” is another Colombian crime series that involves guerilla fighters, but it’s grittier and much more action-focused than “La niña.”

Jhon, a former guerrilla fighter, moves back to Bogotá after a peace treaty. He tries to adapt to civilian life and reconnect with his estranged family, but he gets drawn back into violence and espionage when the Colombian government recruits him as an informant.

As he’s tasked with investigating criminal organizations, he uncovers corruption and betrayal within the government ranks as well.

You’ll notice that in Colombian Spanish, usted is used a lot more, even when talking casually to friends and family.

19. “El marginal”

Country of Origin: Argentina
Genre: Crime

Another prison show that you can’t miss out on would be “El marginal.”

Miguel Palacios, a former police officer, is sent to a prison in Buenos Aires under a false identity. His goal is to infiltrate a gang and get information about the kidnapping of a judge’s daughter.

Inside the prison, he soon discovers a complex prison hierarchy that’s controlled by multiple factions. His mission then gets more complicated as he gets involved in the prison’s internal politics and conflicts.

Argentinian Spanish sounds distinct from other Spanish dialects. You’ll hear lunfardo here or street slang, like chorro for thieves or criminals and yuta for police.

20. “Alta mar” (High Seas)

Country of Origin: Spain
Genre: Mystery

Two sisters are aboard a luxury ocean liner traveling from Spain to Brazil in the late 1940s. But then a woman gets mysteriously thrown overboard, and nobody can figure out what’s happening.

The sisters, along with the ship’s first officer, start investigating the crime. All throughout, people are dressed luxuriously and the scenery is breathtaking—it’s a visual feast.

Each of the show’s three seasons features a new mystery. The second and third seasons involve ghosts and a virus being brought on board.   

I would recommend this to learners who are just starting out with Spanish shows because there’s less slang and the characters are easier to understand.

How to Learn Spanish with Netflix Series

Since even one series on Netflix can require several hours of watching, with plenty of slang thrown in, I recommend diving into these when you’re at least lower intermediate (or B1) in Spanish. This way, you can watch directly with Spanish subtitles.

If the amount of new vocabulary gets overwhelming, practice with movies first, kids’ shows in Spanish, or even YouTube videos to build up your listening skills. For instance, a program like FluentU gives you a great base for watching full-blown Spanish series.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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Once you’re ready to get into Spanish shows, try out relatable genres first like modern dramas and comedies and stick with the main Spanish variation that you’re studying, like Castilian, Mexican or Colombian Spanish.

What I do is I try to understand every word, checking the subtitles if I can’t make sense of them, then save words that keep popping up into flashcards. This might sound time-consuming, but you’ll get faster as you continue with the series since the vocabulary often gets repeated.

 

Watching shows on Netflix can be an addictive hobby, which is why harnessing it for learning Spanish can get you far.

For more Spanish-language shows on Netflix, check out this guide:  

Netflix has a ton of amazing series in Spanish, so you’ll never run out of choices!

And One More Thing…

If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:

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FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.

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Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.

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Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

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The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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