Spanish podcasts let you improve your Spanish on the go. I listen at the gym and while walking, doing household chores, or driving. Spanish-language podcasts also help me survive long hours on planes and buses!
Here, in no particular order, are some of the best Spanish podcasts designed for learners. Levels range from beginner to advanced. All are free, although most offer helpful extras like transcripts for a fee.
Studies show that reading while listening boosts learning much more than listening only. For this reason, seek out Spanish podcasts with transcripts for when you’re able to sit down and read along with the audio.
It’s well worth upgrading to a paid subscription for access to transcripts if you find a free Spanish podcast you love. Monthly costs are usually very reasonable. 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 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 slower than native speed. However, frequently hilarious content and challenging vocabulary more than make up for it. I found the discussions on Spanish insults especially fun. Videos available for many episodes.
Accent: European Spanish
Transcripts: Free PDF Spanish transcripts provided on each episode page linked from the website
A fantastic resource for beginner and intermediate students needing to improve listening and speaking. Host Òscar from Spain covers a variety of interesting topics in clear, simple Spanish. Free transcripts are a huge bonus.
The podcast is unique in offering many opportunities for speaking practice. Each episode ends with a mini-story. Òscar then simulates a conversation with the listener about the story 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.
This podcast is aptly named because I became a little obsessed with the advanced series and binge-listened to all the episodes!
Hosted by Rob, a Briton with excellent Spanish, and his Colombian partner Liz, who has a lovely accent. Episodes are easily digestible at 10-20 minutes.
Four free podcasts cover all levels, from absolute beginner to advanced. The advanced series features many interviews with Spanish speakers from a variety of countries to expose you to different accents.
Their newest podcast, Puntos de Vista, offers interesting short discussions of current hot topics. It’s designed for learners pre-intermediate and above.
Accents: European Spanish, with some interviews in Latin American Spanish
Transcripts: Support materials like transcripts and worksheets are available in the online store and to Patreon supporters.
Madrid-based podcast series hosted by Ben and Marina, a charming husband and wife team. The couple discuss a diverse mix of topics related to Spanish culture.
Five free audio shows are available, from inspired beginner to advanced.
Notes in Spanish started back in 2005 as one of the first podcasts for Spanish learners. I’ve listened for so many years I feel as if I know Ben and Marina!
Notes in Spanish Gold (inspired intermediate to advanced) features conversation and interviews focused on different aspects of Spanish culture. Episodes end with an English analysis of new vocabulary and grammar. The English explanations make this podcast accessible to motivated intermediate learners.
Advanced and inspired intermediate students can build audio comprehension with the authentic conversations in the Notes in Spanish Conversations podcast.
In the first advanced podcasts season, audio quality is occasionally a little uneven. However, the content is still outstanding. Ben and Marina recently released a long-awaited second advanced season, and it’s fantastic.
Accent: European Spanish
Transcripts: Full transcripts and worksheets for both podcasts available to paid subscribers
Fans of Iberian Spanish should try this fun daily podcast focused on vocabulary building. It’s hosted by two young Spanish teachers, Roi from Galicia and Paco from Andalusia. Roi is the main host. Paco joins him once a week.
While both speak clear, easy-to-understand Spanish, the show is still a good way expose yourself to different Iberian accents. There are more than 700 episodes to entertain you.
Transcripts: Transcripts, mexicanismo vocabulary worksheets, and bonus episodes available to podcast patrons on Patreon. You can also bundle these with online iTalki Spanish lessons with the show hosts. One transcript a month is available free to newsletter subscribers (subscribe at the bottom of their homepage).
This engaging podcast‘s name is Mexican slang for “No hay problema.” The hosts are two young Mexican Spanish teachers, Beto from Xalapa and Héctor from Veracruz.
Each 10-to-20-minute episode features a lively discussion by Héctor and Beto about a topic related to Mexican slang or culture.
Just two guys disparando la mierda. This is real Mexican Spanish at normal native speaker speed. A great opportunity to hear how natives speak in casual conversation.
To experience the show in a more visual medium, try their YouTube channel.
Accent: European Spanish
Transcripts: Free Spanish transcripts available on the website
Popular teacher Juan Fernández hails from Granada, Spain, but now lives in London. This addictive and humorous podcast is completely in Spanish.
Juan teaches grammar and vocabulary naturally in the context of unscripted, entertaining commentaries. His monologues are delightfully quirky and confessional. Juan’s unique and personal content inspires a devoted following.
Juan explains any difficult vocabulary in Spanish as he goes. He frequently repeats phrases to aid listening comprehension.
Each episode comes with a free Spanish transcript. Some offer additional practice exercises.
Juan recommends listening to each show twice: once without the transcript and a second time while reading along. He suggests printing the transcript and underlining any new words or grammatical structures as you listen.
Personally, I like to read along on my laptop or tablet as I listen, copying any interesting new expressions into my Anki flashcards.
Visit Juan’s website 1001 Reasons To Learn Spanish for a wealth of additional resources, including:
Thanks to my reader Alex for the recommendation!
Transcripts: Extensive bonus materials such as transcripts, study guides, and extended audio available for purchase.
Follow the Baxters from California on their travels in Mexico as they encounter a wide range of situations.
Each episode opens with a real-life Spanish dialogue. It’s 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. Spanish-speaking visitors 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. The entertaining episode on Mexican groserías (curse words) taught me a thing or two!
Accent: European Spanish
Transcripts: Available free on the website with registration
César, the creator of this excellent new podcast, is a Spanish teacher from Valencia living in London. His commentaries explore intriguing topics in an accessible way. Subjects include psychology, philosophy, language learning, and Spanish culture and history.
César speaks calmly and clearly, explaining tricky vocabulary as he goes. Episodes are an easy listen at 10-15 minutes.
He recommends listening to each episode at least twice: once with no transcript and then a second time reading along to clarify unfamiliar words or grammatical structures.
I like how César’s experimenting with improvisation and engaging personal stories. I’m looking forward to seeing this promising new series develop!
César’s also just started a YouTube channel.
Accents: Neutral – designed to be used by both European and Latin Spanish learners
In linguistics, language transfer is the tendency to apply knowledge of your native language to the acquisition of the second language. This unique audio course accelerates your Spanish learning by using areas of similarity between Spanish and English.
Language Transfer provides an excellent introduction to beginners or a refresher for lower intermediate students.
The personable creator, Mihalis, uses an innovative analytic technique called the Thinking Method that breaks language concepts down into logical building blocks.
There are 90 lessons that run about 10 minutes each. You begin speaking and understanding right away.
The structure is similar to Michel Thomas courses in that it’s interactive and audio-only. Like Michel Thomas, you learn along with a real student in the lessons.
Also available for multiple other languages.
Thanks to my reader John Dorgan for the recommendation!
Accents: Peruvian and variety of others
Enjoyable and quirky program hosted by a peruano from the Amazon Basin living in Quebec, Canada.
Episodes feature a variety of engaging segments:
The only drawback is that they release episodes infrequently, so there are only about 20 of them to enjoy!
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 a pace accessible for intermediate learners.
Rojas’s podcasts cover a variety of cultural and historical aspects of Hispanic language and culture. He also provides gentle reflections on his life in the US. I especially liked the powerful integration of music and poetry into the episodes.
Unfortunately, this podcast is no longer being updated. However, it’s a very interesting and enjoyable listen.
Take your Spanish to the next level with the full immersion experience of top Spanish podcasts 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. This behind-the-scenes look offers critical analysis of each episode as well as making-of and bonus material from the director and screenwriter.
Accents: Mostly Mexican and Central American with some interviewees from South America
Transcripts: None, but there is an associated book
Fascinating and touching interviews with Hispanic immigrants in LA. Interviewees share 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.
Thanks to our friend NoManches from The Language Learners Forum for this wonderful find.
If you love La Mesa and want to practice your reading, try the book. It features 50 of the most poignant accounts of immigrant experiences in the US.
Each story is about three to four pages and written in easy-to-read Spanish.
Accents: Mostly Mexican with some guests from other Latin American countries and Spain
Neteando translates as “Telling it like it is.” This talk show 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. They also 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.
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. The director was 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 including:
Cristina Rodlo does an equally fantastic job as teibolera Sandra.
Warning: Contains scenes of violence and torture, including the opening scene of the first episode. Some sexual content.
Despite its intense nature, the podcast includes many funny moments. It’s hilarious to hear the main character, a timid philosophy professor from Madrid, struggle to decipher northern Mexican narco slang.
Levels: High intermediate to advanced
Accent: Hosts speak Colombian and European Spanish; interviewees from various countries
This brand-new twice-weekly show features the high-quality reporting you expect from the Post.
El Washington Post, or “el WaPo,” provides news and analysis by a panel of journalists in Washington DC, Bogotá, and Madrid. Each 20-minute episode explores three to four global news stories from a multicultural perspective.
Special reports also cover such interesting topics as los libros del año.
Fascinating true stories from the Mexican capital with themes of love and hate, crime, politics, corruption, and everyday survival. A big thank you to my amazing online Spanish teacher from Mexico City for introducing me to this one!
A few recommended episodes:
Accent: European Spanish
Entertaining pop culture show that rounds up the best of the web. Topics range from hot TV shows to fun historical tidbits.
Interesting insights into Spanish culture. Episodes are nice and short at 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, offbeat stories from Latin America and the United States. NPR’s first podcast en español and often referred to as “This Latin American Life.”
A popular favorite among Spanish learners due to the high-quality content and availability of free transcripts.
Get your geek on with this Bogotá-based show. Hosts Laura and Santiago discuss all things Internet-related. Recent topics include the sharing economy exemplified by Uber and Airbnb and the history of the QWERTY keyboard.
Co-host Laura also works as program coordinator and producer for NPR’s Radio Ambulante (above).
Thanks to my software engineer friend Björn for the recommendation!
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. These thought-provoking stories highlight courageous individuals defying the societal status quo in some way.
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. This unassuming eatery became a critical sensation and was named one of the 10 best restaurants 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. Episode 2 of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious profiled her fight for undocumented workers’ rights.
Accent: European Spanish
This extraordinary podcast is a production of Radio Nacional de España (RNE). Each weekly episode virtually transports you to a different location in the world.
Nómadas features the 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. Twins Sol and Mundo 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. It 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. It’s 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. 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 daily, but it became a little boring after a while since the format rarely changes. Still worth a listen, though.
In this addictive true crime podcast, prestigious Mexican actor Damián Alcázar narrates the chilling tale of a decades-old murder.
In December 1991, a family is mysteriously massacred in Ecatepec, Mexico. This municipality in the shadow of Mexico City soon became notorious for high rates of crime and serial killings. The only surviving witness to the crime is a three-year-old child covered in blood.
The eight-episode series is based on a yearlong investigation. Each installment recreates the events for listeners through testimonies from real people involved with the case. The final episode reveals the missing puzzle piece in the unsolved mystery.
Travel lovers should try this engaging Mexican travel podcast. It offers in-depth discussions of destinations in Mexico and around the world as well as practical tips.
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. Discover its neighborhoods, history, culture, and people.
This entertaining series examines historical enigmas. Sample topics include:
Mexican journalist León Krauze narrates with a clear and precise diction. Lots of dramatic sound effects. Nicely brief episodes of 10-15 minutes.
If you love Historias perdidas, try León Krauze’s accompanying book.
This young adult story collection was a bestseller in Mexico. It features short chapters written in easy-to-read Spanish.
Accents: The host and many speakers are Argentinian. Other presenters are from a variety of countries including Spain, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, and even Brazil. An excellent podcast for experiencing a diversity of accents.
Journey through inspiring ideas with TED Talks en español.
The talks are all less than 20 minutes as is usual for TED presentations. Occasional hour-long special editions feature in-depth conversations with selected speakers.
Host Gerry Garbulsky is the organizer of TEDxRíodelaPlata in Argentina, the largest TEDx event in the world with more than 10,000 live attendees. He curates this collection of talks, drawn from a variety of TED and TEDx events in Spanish-speaking countries.
Notable speakers include politician Ingrid Betancourt from Colombia, Mexican journalist Jorge Ramos, and Uruguayan musician Jorge Drexler.
Recommended by my brilliant friend Marissa, who has the most creative language-learning account on Instagram.
This weekly comedy-horror show is based in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez. It’s garnered a cult following with its lighthearted explorations of the dark unknown.
The hosts examine cases of true crime, paranormal phenomena, and notorious historical events with a big dose of black humor.
Episodes last about a hour and 15 minutes on average. Lots of slang and references to Mexican pop culture.
Similar in style to US crime comedy show The Last Podcast on the Left.
Celebrity guests include Mexican comedians Ricardo O’Farrill and Alex Fernández.
Hilarious comedy podcast by popular Mexican comedian Alex Fernández. Lots of Mexican slang and some profanity.
Alex often has interesting guests like other Mexican standuperos, YouTubers, actors, or politicians. Twice-weekly episodes run 30-60 minutes on average.
You can also watch the recordings on YouTube. This offers the option of auto-generated Spanish captions to help with comprehension. Plus, visual cues help a lot with speech perception.
The podcast is on break right now, but will return for its second season in 2020.
Recommended by NoManches from The Language Learners Forum.
Accent: Host Luis Ramos is originally from Spain but lives in Mexico, so his accent is a mix of European Spanish and Mexican.
Each episode of this top-ranked business podcast summarizes a bestselling self-improvement or business book.
Entrepreneur and business coach Luis Ramos clearly explains each book’s key points in about an hour. He also provides tips on how to apply its insights to your life.
Book topics run the gamut from marketing, sales, motivation, education, people management, public speaking, relationships, and networking. Recent books summarized in Spanish include:
These podcasts didn’t quite make the cut of my list. I still enjoyed and recommend them, though, if you’re interested in the subject matter.
Transcripts: No longer available as the teaching website has been taken down. (Podcast audios are still available for download.)
This Mexican 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’re interested in Mexican slang, also try 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. They also compile the hilarious dictionaries El Chingonario and El Pendejonario.
Recommended for lovers of la CDMX and of Mexican culture. Note that episodes can get a little rambling and long-winded. They are good for passing time while dozing on long bus rides and flights though. 😉
Have feedback on these shows or more suggestions for the best podcasts in Spanish? My best Spanish-language podcast recommendations come from readers!
I especially love promoting lesser-known gems to give them the recognition they deserve. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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Ingrid retired early from software engineering at 43 to devote herself to language learning and travel. Her goal is to learn a new language to fluency every two years. Currently, she speaks English, German, and Spanish, and is learning Portuguese.