29 Spanish TV Shows on Netflix (April 2018)

Getting hooked on a binge-worthy Spanish TV show is a great way to practice vocabulary and listening skills. You also learn about other cultures and gain exposure to different accents and slang. If you are an intermediate or advanced learner, I recommend watching with Spanish subtitles as studies show it enhances language learning. I also jot down any interesting new vocabulary and add it to my Anki flashcards later.

Here are 29 recommended Spanish-language TV series on Netflix streaming in the US as of April 1, 2018; many are also available in other countries. The Netflix originals will stick around, but watch the rest while you can, because content disappears as licensing agreements expire.

Also, don’t miss my Netflix lists of top Spanish-language movies, Mexican movies, and Mexican comedy specials!

1. La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)

La Casa de Papel - Netflix Spanish TV series

Click on the photo to watch the trailer

Addictive, entertaining thriller from Spain. A clever take on the bank heist formula reminiscent of Reservoir Dogs. A crowd-pleaser with lots of twists and turns, some of which push the limits of suspension of disbelief. Season 2 now available.

Accent: European Spanish

2. Ingobernable

Kate del Castillo kicks butt in this binge-worthy suspenseful thriller. Lots of Mexican slang, especially the chilanguismos spoken in Mexico City, and great location shots of the capital. Interestingly, del Castillo’s parts had to be filmed in San Diego, because the actress risked arrest in her home country. She is wanted by authorities for having met with drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán while he was on the run in 2015. Real life meets narconovela!

Accent: Mexican

3. Tiempos de guerra (Morocco: Love in Times of War)

Morocco: Love in Times of War - Netflix Spanish series

Click the photo to watch the trailer

Historical drama from the producers of Gran Hotel, Velvet, and Cable Girls, with some of the same actors. Revolves around the adventures and romantic entanglements of upper-class Spanish volunteer nurses in war-torn Spanish Morocco in the 1920s. Ridiculously melodramatic and predictable, but still manages to be a lot of fun.

Accent: European Spanish

4. El Chapo

To be honest, I find the real-life cartel kingpin El Chapo repugnant and didn’t want to watch anything glorifying his sociopathic exploits. But I started this gripping crime series on my Spanish teacher’s recommendation and me enganchó de volada  I was hooked straight away. Two seasons of this Netflix-Univision co-production now on Netflix, with a third to follow in 2018.

Accents: Mexican, Colombian

5. Cuatro Estaciones en La Habana

Cuatro Estaciones en La Habana - Netflix

Click the photo to watch the trailer

Wonderfully written and acted adaptation of a legendary noir detective series. Fall in love with the melodic Cuban accent and the stunning city of Havana in this riveting four-part crime thriller.

Accent: Cuban

6. Gran Hotel

This fan favorite is back on Netflix Instant by popular demand. Juicy Spanish period soap with plenty of romance, murder, blackmail, betrayal, and comedy. A Spanish Downton Abbey meets Hercule Poirot. The plot twists are definitely preposterous but this highly addictive show never fails to entertain.

Accent: European Spanish

7. La Niña

La Niña - Colombian Netflix series

Click the photo to watch the trailer

Captivating and moving series about a former Colombian guerrilla fighter kidnapped as a child as she struggles to overcome her brutal past and reintegrate into society. An inspiring tale of resilience and courage. Well-written script with lots of Colombian colloquialisms.

Accent: Colombian

8. Rebelde

Netflix has brought back all 440 episodes of this smash hit teen series about six students at an elite Mexican boarding school who form pop band RBD. The compelling storylines of this fun show hook you right away. Not just for teenagers, as this 46-year-old can attest.

Rebelde is infamous for its use of fresa slang popularized by upper-class Mexican youth (fresas). Fresa speech includes the use of English words and phrases as well as expressions like equis (ordinary, boring) and o sea (“come on” or “duh!”).

Accent: Mexican

9.  El Ministerio del Tiempo

Spanish fantasy series chronicling the adventures of three members of a secret agency who guard Spain’s past from time-traveling intruders.

Accent: European Spanish

10. El Barco

This sci-fi adventure series follows the gorgeous, skimpily clad crew of a Spanish training vessel as they struggle to survive after a global cataclysm. Highly entertaining despite an absurd plot.

Accent: European Spanish

11. El Internado

Suspenseful mystery thriller set at a remote boarding school in Spain that blends supernatural elements, drama, and romance. A little slow-moving at times, but slyly addictive. Considered one of the best Spanish TV series ever made. If you enjoyed Lost and Alias, check this one out.

Accent: European Spanish

12. Juana Inés

Juana Inés trailer - Netflix Mexican series

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If you are seeking a meticulously researched PBS-style documentary about the life of this extraordinary scholar, philosopher, and poet, this isn’t it. However, if you are in the mood for an entertaining melodrama “inspired by actual events” featuring forbidden lesbian love, sneering villains, and bad Spanish accents, then this could be just the ticket. And despite the drama’s soapiness, Sor Juana’s incredible story still inspires and fascinates.

Accents: Mexican, bad European Spanish

13. Mar de Plástico

Murder melodrama set in southern Spain. Suffers from plot holes and poor acting, but offers fascinating insights into contemporary Spanish culture such as the ethnic tension between the locals and the town’s communities of African immigrant workers, gypsies, and Russians. The arid Andalusian landscapes are depicted with wonderful cinematography.

Accent: European Spanish

14. El Marginal

Gritty, suspenseful drama set in an Argentinian prison. Fascinating introduction to Lunfardo, the unique slang native to Buenos Aires. Fortunately, Spanish subtitles are in standard Spanish to help you translate.

Accent: Argentinian

15. La Reina del Sur

Kate del Castillo kicks butt again in this insanely popular telenovela. Del Castillo plays a young Mexican woman who becomes the most powerful drug trafficker in southern Spain. Gorgeous locations in Morocco, Mexico, Spain, and Colombia. This narconovela probably glamorizes the drug trade, but I loved the powerful female characters.

Great for Spanish practice due to the wide diversity of accents provided by an international cast. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

Accents: Mexican, Colombian, European Spanish, and even Moroccan

16. El Señor de los Cielos

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit my affinity for this narconovela, but if you can get past the violence and machismo it’s a suspenseful and highly addictive show that will keep you watching back-to-back episodes (and there are a lot of them, in traditional telenovela style). Great casting and dialogue in Season 1; however, in my opinion Season 2 went downhill fast.

Accents: Mexican, Colombian

17. Velvet

A steamy love story set in the glamorous fashion world of 1950s Madrid. A reader favorite.

Accent: European Spanish

18. Velvet Colección

Fans of Velvet will want to check out this spin-off, in which Ana Rivera returns from New York to launch a store and design school in Barcelona. Second season to come.

Accent: European Spanish

19. Tiempo Entre Costuras

Charming spy drama set during the Spanish Civil War. The pace is a little slow but it’s worth a watch just for the gorgeous locations in Spain, Morocco, and Portugal. I plan to read the María Dueñas novel it’s based on of the same name during my next trip to Spain.

Accent: European Spanish

20. Las Chicas del Cable (Cable Girls)

Las Chicas del Cable - Netflix Spanish TV show

Click the photo to watch the trailer

Soapy melodrama about four women working as operators for a phone company in 1920s Madrid. Unique storyline loaded with twists and intrigue, and Gran Hotel’s Yon González is always un bombón (easy on the eyes). 😀 Beautiful production values but some jarring anachronisms like the modern soundtrack. From the creators of Gran Hotel, Velvet, and Tiempos de Guerra; however, many fans feel it is the weakest of the four.

Accent: European Spanish

21. The Day I Met El Chapo

In this fascinating docuseries, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo presents her side of the now-infamous meeting between notorious drug trafficker El Chapo, Sean Penn, and herself. I’ve always admired del Castillo for her strong convictions and badass female roles, but here her ambition and naïveté get her into deep trouble. Sean Penn outs himself as a total slimebag, and Kate becomes a convenient scapegoat for the corrupt Mexican government.

Interesting insights into Mexican culture (the influence of Televisa and telenovelas, Mexicans’ deep distrust of their own government) and lots of colloquial Mexican Spanish.

Accent: Mexican

22. Narcos

OK, Narcos is partially in English, but it’s still a compulsive watch and a fun way to practice Spanish from the comfort of your couch.

Accents: Colombian, Mexican (Note: Some of the Colombian accents are notoriously fake as the cast was drawn from across Latin America and Spain. Brazilian actor Warner Moura’s portrayal of Escobar was particularly ridiculed.)

23. Pablo Escobar, el Patrón del Mal

This Colombian version of the Escobar saga is much more detailed and authentic than Narcos, and Andrés Parra’s portrayal of the narcotraficante is vastly superior. The intermingling of graphic period footage adds to the realism.

Parra spent days studying Escobar’s voice, expressions, and body language, and his impersonation is thoroughly convincing. In contrast to Brazilian actor Wagner Moura’s bizarre Portuguese-accented Spanish in Narcos, Parra’s Paisa accent is spot-on. (In Moura’s defense, he only had a few months to learn Spanish. Parra was offered the role of Escobar in Narcos but turned it down because he did not want to be typecast, and because he found it psychologically exhausting to play such an evil character.)

Note: Despite its high quality, I did not finish this series as Escobar’s unmitigated evil was too hard for me to watch. Stronger stomachs than mine should check it out though. 😉

Accent: Colombian

24. Bala Loca

A Chilean journalist investigating corruption stumbles on a big story when a fellow reporter dies suspiciously. Ten-episode political thriller that garnered rave reviews in its native Chile.

Accent: Chilean

25. La Esclava Blanca

Excellent Colombian telenovela that tells the story of Victoria, a white girl saved and raised by slaves in the Colombian Caribbean who later returns to fight for the freedom of her adopted family.

Accent: Colombian

26. Club de Cuervos

This witty Mexican drama, Netflix’s first Spanish-language production, follows two wealthy siblings feuding over the football club they have inherited. The international cast reflects the soccer world’s diversity, with actors from Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and Mexico. The variety of accents coupled with lots of Mexican vernacular make this an excellent choice for Spanish learners.

Accents: Mexican, Peruvian, Argentinian, European Spanish, and even Brazilian

27. Celia

Alternative trailer with English voiceovers

This 80-part Colombian series follows charismatic Afro-Cuban singer Celia Cruz as she overcomes sexism, racism, and political strife to become the Queen of Salsa. Nice to see a novela with an Afro-Latina in the lead role. Mixed reviews due to its slow pace and a jarring cast change halfway though, but worth watching if you love Celia and her music. 

Accent: Cuban

28. Lady, la Vendedora de Rosas

The poignant real-life story of Colombian child-star Lady Tabares, who was plucked off the streets of one of Medellin’s poorest neighborhoods to star in a film and quickly rose to fame.

Accent: Colombian

29. Paquita Salas

One of Spain’s top talent agents in the ’90s, Paquita now finds herself searching desperately for new stars after suddenly losing her biggest client. Irreverent, hilarious short episodes.

Accent: European Spanish

More Netflix Spanish TV Suggestions

Even more shows that haven’t made it on the list yet:

  • Apaches – Set in a working-class neighborhood of Madrid, this series based on the novel by Miguel Sáez Carral follows a young journalist who is forced into a life of crime to save his father and family. Watch the trailer.
  • Yago – Addictive and operatic Mexican remake of a hit Turkish crime drama. Watch the trailer.
  • Merlí – It’s in Catalán, not Spanish, but this wonderful series about an unconventional high school philosophy teacher is a fun watch, especially if you’re interested in the diverse cultures and languages of Spain. Watch the trailer (note: this trailer badly dubbed in Latin Spanish. Netflix offers European Spanish dubbing, but I recommend watching in the original Catalán).
Also check out: Best Spanish Podcasts
Have feedback on these shows or more Netflix recommendations? Some of my best suggestions come from readers! Please share your thoughts in the comments.

All images © Netflix

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Best Spanish TV Shows on Netflix for Spanish Learners

36 Comments on “29 Spanish TV Shows on Netflix (April 2018)

  1. Super fun post to read – thanks! Makes me want to learn Spanish… 😉

    • Thanks, Rainier! I’ve found Spanish to be really easy and rewarding, as there are so many opportunities to practice it online and in my travels. With your flair for languages I’m sure you’d pick it up quickly. 😉

  2. Thanks for this great summary. The only one of these I’ve seen is Tiempo Entre Costuras, which I loved. Another series that I loved was Las chicas del cable. I watched El guardián invisible the other night, which includes some Basque as well as Spanish. I haven’t published a review of the last one yet, but it’s coming.

    • Hi Virginia, it’s great to hear from you! I definitely have Las Chicas del Cable on my list… looks great. Have you seen Velvet? I have that one on my list too. Just added El Guardián Invisible to watch before my upcoming trip to Spain, thanks! Basque is so fascinating.

  3. Another great one that I couldn’t stop watching was Velvet. Typical telenovela but set in the 1950s fashion world.

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Julie! I definitely have Velvet in my queue to watch before my next visit to Spain. I may just add it to this list before then since several other people have also recommended it. 🙂

    • Hi Maria, La Casa de Papel is new to Netflix and I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, but I definitely will soon. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. To those don’t mind violence and vulgar words, I suggest to watch Narcos which season 1&2 showing about pablo escobar and season 3 showing about cali cartel.

  5. I just finished watching el chapo season 1 & 2, season 1 quite boring but season 2 more of action packed war amongst cartel dealers with el chapo leads the war mostly. most of el chapo’s advantage came from government liason don sol that support him internally especially the army of entire season 2. Worth to watch and better than season 1 for sure!

  6. Mar de Plastico (2016, 2017; crime drama; murder mystery; European Spanish)

    • Hi Charles, thanks for the suggestion! I watched a couple of eps of Mar de Plástico and enjoyed it, but hadn’t gotten back to it yet… I was planning to do so before my next visit to Spain. I should add it to the list!

      • Hi Ingrid, you’re welcome. I also liked “Estocolmo”; it’s another Argentinian crime thriller set in the more swanky but seedier news- and boardrooms of Buenos Aires. Another in the same genre is “La Bala Loca” set in Santiago, Chile. Enjoy!

        • Gracias, Charles, I’ll check those out, especially La Bala Loca… we don’t have any other Chilean series in the list right now!

  7. My favorites are El internado, el tiempo entre costuras and velver, of course El gran hotel was awesome too. I need to watch the other ones

    • Agree, and thank you for reminding me El Gran Hotel is back! I need to add it.

  8. Oh my gosh, “Club de cuervos” is hilarious! I love it. Give it another go.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! So many people love it that now I feel like I have to give it another try. 😉

  9. Pablo Escobar – El Patron del Mal; this would have to be up there. 7 seasons worth and the characters they create in the series are top notch.

    • Hi Sean, you’re right, I should add it. I watched a couple of episodes but didn’t continue because I found it hard to watch the unmitigated evil of the main character. I do think the portrayal of Escobar is vastly superior to the one in Narcos. Thanks for the suggestion!

  10. Thank you for noting what accent is on the show. Makes it more fun when searching for a new country of origin to pick shows from when one is used to watching the same thing all the time.

    • So glad you found it useful! I try to provide shows from a diversity of Spanish-speaking countries.

    • Hi Jaye, it’s available on US Netflix (I’m currently watching it), but may not be in other countries.

    • Sarah, that sounds awesome, but it’s not on Netflix USA! What are you using to watch it?

    • Hi Luisa, I know those are really popular in Latin America, but I haven’t watched any yet. Do you have any recommendations?

  11. dont forget sin senos yo hay pariso…..it was awesome….so was centaur’s woman..the first season….

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Tammy! Looks like Centauro’s Woman (La querida del Centauro) isn’t on Netflix yet but it is on Youtube!

  12. Lady, la vendedora de rosas. And I really wish they’d bring back the Disney series, Soy Luna.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Vallarie, I should add Lady. And Soy Luna looks great… I hope they bring it back too.

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