Spanish podcasts are a convenient way to improve your Spanish on the go. I listen at the gym, while out walking, and in the car. They also get me through long hours on planes and buses when I’m traveling!
Just tap the title of each podcast to go to its website.
Here are some of the best Spanish podcasts designed to help you learn Spanish, with levels from beginner to advanced. All are free, although most offer helpful extras like transcripts for an additional fee.
If you find a free podcast you love, consider upgrading to a paid subscription, if available. Monthly costs are usually low, and the written materials will boost your learning greatly. It’s also the best way to support your favorite shows.
Accent: European Spanish
Transcripts: Transcripts and helpsheets available for sale. Free sample pack for every level.
Witty discussions about fascinating aspects of Spanish culture and interviews with native speakers in nicely bite-sized 10-minute episodes. Hosted by a British/Spanish couple with great conversational chemistry. Gordon, the British half of the duo, speaks inspiringly fluent Spanish.
In the advanced podcasts, the speech is generally at less than native speed but the frequently hilarious content and challenging vocabulary more than make up for it. The discussions on Spanish insults are particularly fun. Videos are also available for many episodes.
Accent: European Spanish
Transcripts: Free PDF Spanish transcripts provided on each episode page linked from here
A fantastic resource for beginner and intermediate students needing to improve listening and speaking. Host Òscar from Spain covers a wide variety of interesting topics in clear, simple Spanish.
Each episode also ends with a mini-story that allows listeners to practice speaking through simulated conversations using a question-and-answer technique.
If you enjoy the free podcast, Òscar offers full Spanish audio courses using the same conversation simulation method.
A big thanks to Mike, one of my blog readers, for suggesting this podcast.
Accents: Variety of Latin American and European Spanish
Transcripts: Annual membership allows access to transcripts, exercises, and additional premium podcasts.
These podcasts are aptly named because I think I became a little obsessed with the advanced series and binge-listened to all the episodes! Hosted by Rob, who is British but speaks excellent Spanish, and his Colombian partner Liz, who has a lovely accent. Episodes are easily digestible at about 10-20 minutes.
Four free podcasts cover all levels, from absolute beginner to advanced. In the advanced series, the couple often interviews Spanish speakers from a variety of countries to provide exposure to different accents.
Additional premium podcasts are available to members focusing on advanced intermediate skills, vocabulary building, perfecting your pronunciation, and more native speaker interviews for advanced students.
Accents: European Spanish, with some interviews in Latin American Spanish
Transcripts: Additional support materials like transcripts and worksheets are available in the online store and to Patreon supporters.
Madrid-based podcast series featuring Ben and Marina, a charming husband and wife team who discuss a wide range of topics related to Spanish culture. Five free audio shows are available, from inspired beginner to advanced. I’ve listened to these podcasts for so many years I feel as if I know Ben and Marina!
Notes in Spanish Gold (high intermediate to advanced) features conversation and interviews focused on different aspects of Spanish culture, followed by English analysis of new vocabulary and grammar. The English explanations make this podcast also accessible to advanced intermediates.
Advanced and motivated intermediate students can build their audio comprehension with the authentic conversations in the brand new Notes in Spanish Conversations podcast.
With the first season of the advanced podcasts, occasionally the audio quality is a little uneven, but the content is still outstanding. A long-awaited second advanced season was recently released, and it’s fantastic.
Accent: European Spanish
Transcripts: Full transcripts and worksheets for both podcasts are available to paid subscribers.
Fans of Iberian Spanish should check out this fun daily podcast focused on vocabulary building hosted by two young Spanish teachers. Roi is from Galicia and Paco, who joins him once a week, is from Andalusia.
While both speak clear Spanish that’s easy to understand, the show is still a good way to get exposure to different European Spanish accents. There are almost 500 episodes to keep you entertained.
Also, don’t miss Hoy Hablamos’s excellent weekly grammar podcast. It starts with intermediate (B1) topics and is gradually progressing to advanced (C1) with each new episode.
Transcripts: Transcripts, mexicanismo vocabulary worksheets, and bonus episodes available to podcast patrons on Patreon, and can also be bundled with iTalki online Spanish lessons with the show hosts. Also, one transcript a month available free to newsletter subscribers (subscribe on this page).
This engaging new podcast launched in July 2018; the name is Mexican slang for “No hay problema.” It features two young Mexican Spanish teachers, Beto from Xalapa and Héctor from Veracruz.
Each 10-to-20-minute episode consists of a lively discussion by Héctor and Beto about a particular topic, often related to Mexican slang or culture. Just two guys disparando la mierda. This is real Mexican Spanish at normal native speaker speed and a great opportunity to hear how natives speak in casual conversation.
Transcripts: Extensive bonus materials such as transcripts, study guides, and extended audio available for purchase.
Follow the Baxters from California on their trip to Mexico as they encounter a wide range of conversations and situations. Each episode opens with a real-life Spanish dialogue, followed by a roundtable discussion that dives into the nuances of the most challenging passages.
The podcast has a lot of English, so it might not suit learners seeking full audio immersion. However, the detailed explanations of common Mexican and Latin colloquialisms are incredibly useful. Any Spanish-speaking visitor to Mexico will hear these expressions constantly, yet they are unlikely to be found in any textbook.
Even advanced learners proficient in Mexican Spanish will find this podcast enlightening. I thought I had heard most Mexican groserías, but the entertaining episode on Spanish curse words still taught me a thing or two!
Transcripts: Free transcripts available on each episode page on the website.
Originally from Peru, Luis Rojas teaches Spanish in Minnesota. He speaks clearly and at just the right pace.
Rojas’ podcasts are gentle reflections on his life in the US and a variety of cultural and historical aspects of Hispanic language and culture. I especially liked the powerful integration of music and poetry into the episodes. Unfortunately, this podcast is no longer being updated, but it’s a very interesting and enjoyable listen.
Take your Spanish to the next level with the full immersion experience provided by podcasts made for native speakers.
Accents: European Spanish, some Latin American Spanish
On April 11, 2018, the most powerful solar flare ever recorded renders all satellites and most electrical systems unusable. Two days later, the planet plunges into complete darkness, a cataclysmic event known as El Gran Apagón (the Great Blackout).
Follow humanity’s fight to survive with the sci-fi audio thriller that captivated Spain, with more than four million downloads. Short and suspenseful 10-to-15-minute episodes.
Season 1 even includes a helpful companion series Tras el apagón with a critical analysis of each episode as well as making-of and bonus material.
Accents: Mostly Mexican and Central American with some interviewees from South America
Fascinating and touching interviews with Hispanic immigrants in LA about their experiences growing up and struggles for a better life in the US. Univisión news anchor León Krauze speaks a nice clear Spanish; he elicits these intense and intimate stories with sensitivity and compassion.
If you love the podcast and want to practice your reading, check out the book, which contains about 50 of these short three-to-four-page stories in easy-to-read Spanish.
Thanks to our friend NoManches from The Language Learners Forum for this wonderful find.
Accents: Mostly Mexican with some guests from other Latin American countries and Spain
Neteando, which translates as “Telling it like it is,” features outspoken Mexican actress Kate del Castillo and Mexican American celebrity reporter Jessica Maldonado. These ladies and their guests get together to dish about their lives and discuss current topics in news, entertainment, society, and culture.
The witty dialogue is peppered with colorful Mexican slang and pochismos (Spanglish). Occasionally, a guest will speak mostly in English; I tend to skip those episodes since they are not ideal for practice.
Update: This podcast has been on hiatus since November 2018 due to conflicts with del Castillo’s work schedule. It was just purchased by radio network Entravision and is expected to relaunch April 2019. It’s still worth listening to the older episodes, though!
Accents: Mexican, European Spanish
This highly engaging show, the world’s first audio narcoserie, was written by Spanish novelist Arturo Pérez-Reverte, author of La Reina del Sur, and directed by Mexican writer and producer Guillermo Arriaga, known for movies like Amores Perros. Another smash hit in Spain by Podium Podcast, the creators of El Gran Apagón (see above).
The series features terrific performances by a cast drawn from other narcoseries, such as José María Yazpik, Mexican drug trafficker Amado Carrillo Fuentes in Narcos and Narcos: Mexico, and Rafael Amaya, Aurelio Casillas in El Señor de los Cielos, a character coincidentally *also* based on Amado Carrillo Fuentes. Cristina Rodlo does an equally fantastic job as teibolera Sandra.
Warning: Contains scenes of violence and torture, including the opening scene of the very first episode; also some sexual content. Despite its intense nature, the podcast includes many funny moments as its main character, a timid philosophy professor from Madrid, struggles to decipher northern Mexican narco slang.
Fascinating true stories from the Mexican capital with themes of love and hate, crime, politics, corruption, and everyday survival. A big shout out to my amazing Spanish teacher in Mexico City for introducing me to this one!
Recommended episodes include Sam Adonis: el Rudo de Trump (about an American lucha libre fighter and Trump supporter in Mexico) and Aventuras en Uber Pool (random encounters in the shared taxi service Uber Pool).
Accent: European Spanish
Entertaining pop culture show that rounds up the best of the web, from hot TV shows to fun historical tidbits. Interesting insights into Spanish culture. Episodes are nice and short at only 5-15 minutes. The hosts often speak quickly, so a second listen may be worthwhile to increase comprehension.
Another quality offering from Spain’s Podium Podcast (I am slowly working my way through their extensive catalog!).
Many thanks to NoManches from The Language Learners Forum for the recommendation.
Accents: Wide variety of Latin American Spanish
Transcripts: Transcripts in Spanish and English available for free on the website.
Compelling, quirky stories from Latin America and the United States. NPR’s first podcast en español and often referred to as “This Latin American Life.”
Accents: Chilean and other South American accents like Colombian, Peruvian, and Argentinian
If you like Radio Ambulante, try this innovative Chilean podcast telling historias de libertad — thought-provoking stories of courageous individuals defying the societal status quo in some way. (Note: If you loved the episode Fealdad from Radio Ambulante about Peruvian writer Gabriela Wiener, don’t miss her interview on Las Raras.)
Great sound design and original music. Read more about Las Raras in El País.
Transcripts: Free Spanish transcripts available linked at the bottom of each episode on this page
The gripping true story of Cristina Martínez, an undocumented Mexican chef who fled her home to save her life. The title (“You better leave, Cristina”) comes from her family’s pleas for her to leave Mexico to escape her abusive ex-husband.
After overcoming huge obstacles, Cristina opened her first restaurant, South Philly Barbacoa, which became a critical sensation and was named one of the 10 best in the country.
This award-winning podcast is the result of a six-month investigation by journalist Inger Díaz Barriga of Univisión Noticias.
Cristina was also featured on Season 5 of Netflix’s Chef’s Table as well as Episode 2 of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious, which profiled her fight for undocumented workers’ rights.
Accent: European Spanish
This extraordinary podcast is a production of Radio Nacional de España (RNE) that virtually transports you to a different location in the world each week. It features the extremely high-quality, in-depth reporting you expect from public radio. Before I travel, I always check to see if there are any episodes on my planned destinations.
Accents: Wide variety of Latin American Spanish; some European Spanish
Fun radionovela with a supernatural twist that follows twins Sol and Mundo as they travel across the US and Latin America uncovering hidden family secrets and meeting long-lost siblings.
Narrated by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, this cross-border mystery spans eight episodes and features a multicultural cast from across the Spanish-speaking world. Produced by progressive Los Angeles NPR affiliate KCRW, Sangre Celestial is the first ever bilingual radionovela podcast and is downloadable in both English and Spanish.
Accent: Latin American Spanish
Radio Bilingüe is the only US distributor of Spanish-language public radio programming. Its mission is to serve as a voice to empower Latinos and other underserved communities.
This fourteen-minute weekly news roundup features stories relevant to the Latino community. I listen to this every week; it’s short and sweet with an interesting focus on immigration, politics, and civil rights.
If you enjoy this podcast, also try Democracy Now! en español.
Accents: Mostly neutral Latin American Spanish
Daily half-hour news podcast with a focus on US and Latin American stories. I used to listen to this daily, but it became a little boring after a while since the format rarely changes. Still worth checking out, though.
Travel junkies shouldn’t miss this Mexican podcast offering engaging in-depth discussions of destinations in Mexico and around the world as well as practical tips like a guide to staying in hostels.
For amantes of la CDMX. No, the title’s not a typo — it’s a play on words that derives from the show’s tagline: Sólo se cuida lo que se quiere y sólo se quiere lo que se conoce.
Presented by journalist Jorge Pedro Uribe Llamas, this fascinating podcast explores the past and present of Mexico City: its neighborhoods, history, culture, and people.
This entertaining series narrated by Mexican journalist León Krauze examines historical enigmas such as the whereabouts of lost Nazi loot, the truth behind the legend of the mad monk Rasputin, and the resting place of Noah’s Ark. Lots of dramatic sound effects. Nicely brief episodes of 10-15 minutes.
These are podcasts that didn’t quite make the cut of my list, but that I still enjoyed and recommend, especially if you are interested in the subject matter.
Transcripts: No longer available as the teaching website has been taken down (but the podcast is still available for download)
This Spanish podcast is a quick listen at only 11 episodes of three to four minutes each. Each episode introduces a new Mexican slang expression and uses it in context of a dialogue. Very fun concept and highly recommended for aficionados of Mexican Spanish. I only wish there were more episodes!
If you are interested in Mexican slang, be sure to also check out Doorway to Mexico and No Hay Tos above.
Algarabía, a word meaning a chaotic din or a joyful noise, is the Mexico City-based publisher of a renowned arts and culture magazine as well as the hilarious dictionaries El Chingonario and El Pendejonario.
Algarabía Radio is a weekly discussion of the current magazine’s themes by its editors. Check out older episodes of the show in their previous podcast Algarabía a Cucharadas (Algarabía by the Spoonful).
Recommended for lovers of la CDMX and of Mexican culture. Note that episodes can get a little rambling and long-winded, so I tend to just listen to these on long bus rides and flights while dozing on and off. 😉
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Have more Spanish-language podcast recommendations? Please share your suggestions in the comments.
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