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 provided an overview of the 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 some other benefits of using podcasts:

  • 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 languages.

What am I talking about?

Easy: 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 if it’s included, that just makes learning Spanish with podcasts much more powerful.

How to use Spanish podcasts with transcript

So if you have a transcript, how would you learn Spanish with podcasts?

  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 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 some extra information about the podcast, and have indicated if they have a transcript available or not.

Happy listening!

Spanish Podcasts for Beginners

1. Spanish Pod101

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

What's great about Spanish Pod101 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.

SpanishPod101 has lessons for beginners all the way up to advanced Spanish language speakers.

Spanish Podcasts - SpanishPod101

LinksWebsite

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 team 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 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 offers a premium subscription with bonus materials.

LinksWebsite – Itunes

3. Audiria Podcast

Average length of an episode: 3-10 minutes
Language level: beginner to advanced
Transcript: Yes
How many episodes are available: 820 episodes
Which accent: Spain
Audiria is a website with a huge database of Spanish podcast episodes (over 820 episodes available!)

Their aim is to promote Spanish language and culture and all the podcasts are free!

Audiria has a rich source of materials, they have new Spanish podcast every day and these engage in all levels of Spanish language learners.

Spanish Podcasts - Audiria

LinksWebsite – Itunes

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 explanations, quizzes, pronunciation exercises). You’ll have to pay for some of those materials, but if you like the episodes, that might be worth it!

LinksWebsite – Itunes – Android

5. Podcastinspanish.org

Average length of an episode: 2 min 
Language level: beginner to 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 and podcasts for all level of learners.

Podcasts in Spanish episodes are free for everyone. 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.
Which accent

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

LinksWebsite – Itunes

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 sentences 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 😉 

LinksWebsite – Itunes – Android 

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 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

LinksWebsite

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 make up the LightSpeed Spanish team. 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!

 

LinksWebsite – Itunes

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

LinksWebsite – Itunes

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.

Read the Effortless Conversations Book

This book outlines the exact Effortless Conversations Method we're using in the 12-in-12 Challenge.

An overview of the chunking method for language learning, memorization tricks, listening comprehension training, speaking training, resource selection, all the way to creating your own 12-in-12 Plan: this book gives you all the tools and strategies you need to learn any language successfully.

Read this and you'll understand why 12-in-12 students are so successful at learning languages.

After its release in September 2018, the book was a #1 Bestseller on Amazon in 3 different countries (in the foreign language acquisition category, of course, not on the whole website 😉 ).

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