Best Spanish Podcasts

10 best Podcasts to learn Spanish: For beginners and intermediate language learners, free and paid

One of the best ways to improve your Spanish is listening to Spanish audio a lot. The more, the better!

In the past, you might’ve found it difficult to find enough Spanish listening resources, but in the past years, there’s been a huge surge in Spanish podcasts, both for language learners as for native speakers.

Such podcasts are an excellent tool to supplement your Spanish studies. By themselves they might not be enough to speak fluent Spanish. But the sheer ease of downloading some episodes on your phone and listening to them on your commute, while doing chores in the house or while working out can give you all the exposure you need to improve your Spanish tremendously.

In this article, I’ve compiled a selection of the 10 best podcasts to learn Spanish, both for beginners and intermediate learners, and both free and paid. I’ll also show you the best way to use those podcasts. And you’ll discover the 1 simple feature that makes some podcasts 10 times as effective for Spanish learners than others!

How to learn Spanish with podcasts

I love using podcasts to learn Spanish for several reasons. 

First of all, they allow you to practice your listening comprehension.

Understanding native Spanish speakers is one of the most difficult parts of learning Spanish. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts here. If you want to get better at understanding Spanish speakers, you need to listen to a lot of Spanish speakers. A lot.

Podcasts are an excellent way of adding that listening practice to your day without necessarily having to sit down and study. You can use them wherever and whenever while going through your normal daily activities, so you don’t necessarily have to make time to listen to them.

Here are the main benefits of using podcasts to learn Spanish:

  • Practice your listening comprehension while going about your normal day, without having to make time for it
  • Hear Spanish people talk about a variety of different topics. You'll get exposed to a wide range of vocabulary
  • Learn about culture in Spanish-speaking countries
  • Get exposed to a wide range of different voices and accents, so you’ll be better equipped for using your Spanish in different countries.

Now, there’s one tool that I always look for when reviewing podcasts.

Without it, a podcast won’t be nearly as effective for you as a language learner.

But if it’s included, I believe that it becomes one of the best resources for learning Spanish.

Here's the secret trick: a transcript!

Why learning with podcast transcripts is so powerful

I’m a huge fan of using transcripts for learning Spanish and other languages. I’ve even dedicated a full chapter to them in my book on language learning!

Why?

Well, learning with a transcript gives you two big advantages:

  1. You can listen at full speed and read along, so you still understand what’s being said (or you can easily look it up).
  2. It allows you to identify chunks: high-frequency word combinations that native speakers use all the time, and that you as a Spanish student should start saying as well.

Learning by observing native speakers and identifying these chunks is one of the core pillar of the Effortless Conversations Method that we use in our language courses. If you’d like a more in-depth explanation, you can read this mini-training on Chunking and the Effortless Conversations Method.

Without a transcript, it’s just much more difficult to understand the Spanish speakers and hear all the interjections and filler words they’re using. In short: all the things that make them sound natural, like a native speaker, will be lost on you.

Of course, you can still practice your listening comprehension, train your ear, and even learn new vocabulary from podcasts if you don’t have a transcript. But the best podcasts to learn Spanish always include a transcript, because they know how much of a difference it makes.

How to use Spanish podcasts with transcript

So if you have a transcript, how would you learn Spanish with podcasts? Here are some tips:

  1. Listen to the full podcast episode (or some fragments) a LOT. Not just once, but several times. You can listen to it once without the transcript to test what you can understand.
  2. Then listen to the episode again, but this time while reading along on the transcript.
  3. Look up words and expressions you don’t know, for example in the Context.Reverso dictionary
  4. Pay extra attention to all the phrases, expressions and word combinations where you think: “Oh so that’s how native Spanish speaker would say it!”. If you understand it but you could’ve never said it yourself that eloquently or naturally (i.e. you have a clumsy equivalent translated directly from your mother tongue), then you’ve found something you want to memorize. And eventually use yourself 🙂

How to use Spanish podcasts without transcript

If you don’t have the transcript, I recommend you take a more casual approach and just listen to the episode without making too much of an effort to look up words. Extensive listening like this will train your ears and help you get used to the sounds of Spanish as well!

Are all Spanish podcasts free?

All podcasts are free to listen to. Many of the ones aimed at Spanish learners offer access to extra episode resources for an additional fee.

These resources often include the transcript, which I believe is 100% worth paying for.  But you don’t have to, of course, and you can still enjoy listening to the podcasts without transcript as well.

Our top 10 list of Spanish podcasts

With all that out of the way, let’s take a look at some useful Spanish podcasts for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners!

We’ve always included an intro, some extra information and tips about the podcast, and have indicated if they have a transcript available or not.

Most of the Spanish podcasts in this selection are available on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Google Play and their website. I've included the relevant links for each podcast so you can use your computer, phone or tablet!

Happy listening!

Spanish Podcasts for Beginners

1. SpanishPod101

Average length of an episode: 23 min
Language level: beginner to advanced
Transcript: Yes
How many episodes are available: 1800 episodes
Which accent: Spain, Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico

With 1800 episodes, this is one of the most extensive Spanish podcasts out there.

What's great about SpanishPod101 is that you are learning from a range of native speakers from different parts of the Spanish-speaking world: for example, Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico. That way, you can get a better feel for how they speak the language in those different regions. You'd be surprised how many new words (or chunks) you'd come across if you hear someone from Costa Rica speak Spanish!

SpanishPod101 has high-quality audio lessons with different hosts for beginners all the way up to advanced Spanish learners.

best podcasts to learn Spanish

Links: Website

2. Coffee Break Spanish Podcast

Average length of an episode: 15 min
Language level: beginner to advanced
Transcript: Yes
How many episodes are available: 40
Which accent: Spain

The Coffee Break team will make learning Spanish a fun and enjoyable experience. Their hosts includes language teachers and native speakers.

The podcast episodes have been carefully written by experienced teachers so you can be very sure that you can progress steadily through the audio lessons. In that regard, it looks more like a course than just some regular podcast episodes. Which is a good thing, of course!

The Coffee Break podcast also offers a premium subscription with bonus materials.

Links: WebsiteApple Podcasts

3. StoryLearning Spanish Podcast

Average length of an episode: 5-10 minutes
Language level: low-intermediate
Transcript: Yes
How many episodes are available:  250+ episodes
Which accent: Spain

StoryLearning Spanish is a daily immersion podcast for intermediate learners, where you can improve your Spanish naturally with the StoryLearning method. It's produced by guy behind the “Short Stories in Spanish” books you can find on Amazon.

This podcast series is actually one, long story, with a new episode (chapter) released every day.

Written transcripts come free with each episode, along with word lists for difficult words, which makes it ideal to learn to understand fast, spoken Spanish.

All you have to do is follow along with the story each day, and you’ll quickly improve your Spanish in a fun, natural way.

Links: Apple Podcasts – SpotifyWebsite

4. News in Slow Spanish Podcast 

Average length of an episode: 5 min
Language level: beginner to intermediate
Transcript: Yes, but not free
How many episodes are available: 515 episodes
Which accent: Both Spain and Latin-America

New in Slow Spanish offers interactive transcripts with each episode, which is a huge advantage. They’ve included a range of extra materials as well (grammar points, quizzes, pronunciation exercises). You’ll have to pay to get access to some of those materials, but if you like the episodes, that might be worth it!

Links: WebsiteApple PodcastsAndroid

5. Podcastinspanish.org

Average length of an episode: 2 min 
Language level: beginner until upper intermediate/advanced
Transcript: yes, but not free
How many episodes are available: 92 beginner, 92 intermediate, 91 advanced episodes
Which accent: Spain

Podcasts in Spanish are not just listening activities for students. They cover real conversations, tips and podcasts for all level of learners.

Podcasts in Spanish episodes are free to access for everyone, and you'll learn a lot from the audio dialogues alone. If you’d like to use the extra materials that are created for each episode, you’ll need to become a paying member.

Spanish Podcasts - Podcasts in Spanish

LinksWebsite

6. Notes in Spanish 

Average length of an episode: 20 min
Language level: beginner to advanced
Transcript: yes, but not free
How many episodes are available: 30 beginner, 46 intermediate, 35 advanced episodes.

The Notes in Spanish  Podcast provides authentic listening practice.

Their podcast episodes offer natural conversations, even interviews relating to Spanish culture, news current affairs and a lot more!

According to their website, Notes in Spanish is designed to help you learn the real Spanish you’ll never find in a textbook or classroom. That’s music to my ears 😉

Spanish Podcasts - Notes in Spanish

Links: WebsiteApple Podcasts

7. Duolingo Spanish Podcast

Average length of an episode: 22 min
Language level: beginner to advanced
Transcript: yes
How many episodes are available: 25 episodes
Which accent: Spain

Duolingo is a freemium language-learning platform that includes a language-learning website and application.

While Duolingo does a good job keeping you motivated and studying every day, I’m not the biggest fan of their teaching method, because it focuses a lot on words, grammar and examples that are completely out of context and you’d never use in real life.

That being said, they do have a good podcast, that comes with a transcript. It might even be their best product 😉 

Links: WebsiteApple PodcastsAndroid

Intermediate Spanish Podcasts

8. Spanish Obsessed 

Average length of an episode: 13 min
Language level: beginner to advanced
Transcript: yes, but not all are free
How many episodes are available: 58 beginner, 59 intermediate, 56 advanced episodes
Which accent: Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Spain, and more!

Spanish Obsessed’s promise: Learn quickly, efficiently, and most importantly: have fun!

Spanish Obsessed offer a range of Spanish courses with different hosts that includes supporting materials and it is suitable for all levels from complete beginner to advance.

You can listen to Spanish audio and follow along with the transcript and even review the grammar and vocabulary.

Spanish-Podcasts-Spanish-Obsessed

Links: Website

9. Light Speed Spanish 

Average length of an episode: 10 min
Language level: beginner to advanced
Transcript: yes, free and paid
How many episodes are available: 40 beginner, 80 intermediate, 39 advanced episodes
Which accent: Spain

LightSpeed Spanish helps you learn Spanish – you guessed it – at the speed of light!

Gordon Smith and Cynthia Durán are the LightSpeed Spanish podcast hosts. Their Spanish lessons are suitable to most levels from Beginner all the way up to Advanced. They've been helping students learn Spanish for over ten years. They’re now using everything they've learned about teaching the language in their podcast episodes! There are some great learning tips in their episodes as well.

LinksWebsiteApple Podcasts

Spanish News Podcasts

10. Radio Ambulante Podcast

Average length of an episode: 20 min
Language level: advanced
Transcript: yes
How many episodes are available: 88 episodes
Which accent: Latin-American

Radio Ambulante is an award-winning Spanish language podcast that uses long-form audio journalism. It is a pioneer podcast in Spanish that features Latin American audio chronicles.

They offer different topics such as news, talk, music, entertainment programs and a lot more.

The level is pretty high, and the podcast is not necessarily aimed at language learners. If you’re at a high intermediate level, this is an excellent resource to expand your vocabulary!

A transcript is included with every episode.  

Spanish Podcasts - Radio Ambulante

Links: WebsiteApple Podcasts

Conclusion

There you have it: an overview of the best podcasts to learn Spanish, both free and paid.

Check them out, listen to an episode or 2, and then take your pick.

Let me know in the comments which podcast you like the most!

If there are any podcasts that you think I should add to the list, you can also let me know in the comments. Happy to take a look 🙂

¡Suerte!

– Lukas

PS: Spanish podcasts work best in conjunction with a structured Spanish course that also teaches you foundational Spanish vocabulary and grammar.

If you’d like more information on how podcasts could fit into an all-encompassing Spanish study plan, I recommend you check out the Effortless Conversations Book.

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2 Comments

  1. Lukas – This is a great Spanish learning site, and I’m jealous of your linguistic skills. Well done.

    I think people would be interested in our new podcast, called the Hablamos Today podcast (https://www.hablamostoday.com/slowspanishpodcasts.html). It is like News in Slow Spanish, but it is completely free and we have new podcasts every single day with the latest news. The daily article is sometimes the biggest headline of the day, and it is sometimes a more minor article we found interesting. However, it is always completely updated with the newest news!

    It’s recorded by my girlfriend and her neice here in Nicaragua. We do podcasts, and we also provide Spanish conversation partners.

    Keep this in the comments, or post it in the article!

    Keep up all the great work!

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