Inside: A guide to top series and recommendations for Spanish shows on Netflix, organized by genres.
As Netflix’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, they’ve been busy expanding their selection of Spanish-language TV shows.
And these aren’t limited to your abuela’s telenovelas, either: today, Netflix has something riveting in Spanish for everyone. With shows set in Spain and across Latin America, you can find everything from BBC-type dramas to reality TV.
I’m a Spanish-speaking mom and teacher, but not a native speaker. I still need lots of Spanish input. And lucky for me, improving my language skills can be as easy as setting the audio and subtitles to Spanish, and getting into a good Spanish TV series.
Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update. I also have a whole page dedicated to lists of movies in Spanish in case you need more ideas. Below, I’ve included trailers so you can take a peek at each one, and fill up your Netflix queues with binge-worthy series in Spanish.
One more note: this list was NOT created for teachers wanting Spanish shows to watch in class, with learners. If that’s you, don’t worry! I have a whole post on Spanish TV shows to use in class and for learners.
SPANISH SHOWS ON NETFLIX: WHAT TO WATCH
This list of Spanish Netflix shows has grown so much I’ve divided it into sections. You can scroll the entire blog post, or you can click on the genre that is most interesting to you:
- Modern Shows in Spanish
- Period Dramas in Spanish
- Spanish Drama/Mystery/Thrillers
- Action TV Series in Spanish
- Biographical Shows in Spanish
- Musical Spanish Shows
- Reality/Documentary Spanish Shows
Ready? Let’s get started.
Modern Spanish Shows on Netflix
These TV shows were created since 2015 and are set in the present. They reflect current themes and life now, and have that “modern Netflix| feel.
1. LA CASA DE PAPEL (Money Heist)
The massively popular show Money Heist, as it’s known in English, is now the #1 Original Foreign Show on Netflix. A group of burglars joins together to pull off the most daring robbery in the history of Spain. The original plan was to pull of the perfect crime: an infiltration of the Royal Mint of Spain, that would leave them rich and leave no victims. As plans go awry, relationships and loyalty are tested in this psychological thriller.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Breaking Bad, The Italian Job, or Inception. (2017-)
2. CLUB DE CUERVOS (Club of Crows)
A dysfunctional brother-sister combo are left in charge of a football team in this dramady. Club de Cuervos is one of the few Spanish-language TV shows I’ve found that taps into more ironic and dry modern humor. Irreverent, but also complex, funny, and memorable. (This was one of those shows I initially wrote off, then totally got into. The first episode is fairly explicit but gets a tamer as the series goes on.)
Set in Mexico. Watch if you’d like a combo of Orange is the New Black, Parks and Rec, and a touch of House of Cards. (2015-2019)
Ana María left her family’s billion-dollar tequila empire in Mexico years ago, along with the violence and compromise involved with it. When her aging father unexpectedly calls to say he wants to leave the family business in her hands, she must decide to stay in the US or re-enter her old life– to either fight against the corruption or be sucked into it herself.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked Ingobernable, La reina del sur, The Good Wife, or Breaking Bad. (2019-)
Starring the iconic Kate del Castillo as the first lady of Mexico, Ingobernable begins as her world is turned upside down and she finds herself running for her life. Accused of assassinating her husband, she must find her way outside her life of wealth and power, prove her innocence, and untangle the web of corruption gripping the Mexican presidency.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked House of Cards, The Good Wife, Narcos or Breaking Bad. (2017- )
5. Cien Días para enamorarnos (100 Days to fall in love)
Thing begin to unravel in a tight-knit group of friends when one of the couples in the group announces the are separating for 100 days, and create a contract to establish the boundaries. This shows feels like a telenovela with a lot of drama, but it’s also modern and funny, and slightly addicting with with dozens of episodes to watch.
Set in Houston, Texas. Watch if you liked How I Met Your Mother, La casa de las flores, or Friends. (2020- )
6. LA CASA DE Las FLORES (The house of Flowers)
La Casa de Flores is an interesting mix of traditional soap elements (a wealthy, socialite family plagued by past misdeeds and secrets) and modern comedy, and has quickly become one of the most-watched Spanish shows on Netflix. The series begins as the family is celebrating their renowned Flower Shop’s anniversary, when their father’s secret mistress ends her life, but leaves behind letters exposing his double life.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked Transparent, Arrested Development, and Modern Family. (2018-)
Three scholarship students begin their first year at an elite school in Spain, attended by students from the wealthiest families in Spain. We quickly find out that one of the police are investigating a student murder, and each episode is presented as a flashback. (Although this series has so much potential as it explores race, class, and religion, I was a little put off by the depiction of explicit situations these supposed teens are in. Definitely TV-MA.)
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked 13 Reasons Why, Orange is the New Black, or Dynasty. (2018-)
Valeria’s writing career is not going well, nor is her marriage, but she does have a tight-knit group of friends who navigate modern relationships in Madrid together. (Does this sound like Sex in the City? Yep– replace NYC with Madrid and you’ve got it!)
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Girls, Chicas del Cable, or Sex in the City. (2020-)
9. Madre solo Hay Dos (Daughter from Another Mother)
Two babies, switched at birth. We’ve heard of this plot before– except this time, their mothers decide to create a family unit together, resulting in a touching, hilarious, and unexpmected story together.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked One Day at a Time or 100 días para enamorarnos. (2021-)
10. Desenfrenadas (Unstoppable)
Four young women set out on a weekend road trip Oaxaca, Mexico, and the trip takes a turn when they are surprised by a fourth passenger. This empowering dramedy portrays a different side to the lives of Mexican women than what’s typically shown in Latin films and series.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you like House of Flowers, Girls, or Chicas del Cable. (2020-)
Spanish Period Dramas on netflix
These are some of my favorite Spanish TV shows on Netflix — dramas set across different places and historical contexts. Just a note: I put El ministerio del tiempo under the drama/mystery/thriller section, but those of you who love history mixed in with Sci-Fi will want to check it out! You can also jump to the Spanish biographical shows section if that interests you.
This is a gorgeous series if you like period pieces and don’t mind a little soapy drama set in a top fashion gallery in 1950s Spain. The main two character weren’t actually my favorites: what makes the show are the supporting characters. The aesthetics, clever dialogue, and lively personalities, make this one of my personal favorite Spanish shows on Netflix. (Velvet Colección, a spin-off series, is now available as well!)
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Mad Men and Downton Abbey. (2013 – 2016)
2. ALTA MAR (High Seas)
Smuggled passengers. Buried family secrets. Romance, intrigue, stormy seas, an 600 passengers on luxury shop bound for Brazil would make for an interesting enough voyage– until the murders begin. This murder mystery set in the 1940’s will remind you of the show Velvet, with gorgeous scenery and plenty of drama to go around, though with faster-paced storytelling and more suspense.
Spanish cast, set on the Atlantic Ocean. Watch if you liked Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Agathie Christie. (2019-)
3. SIEMPRE BRUJA (Always a Witch)
Starring an Afro-Colombian time-traveling witch, Siempre Bruja mixes the feel of a historical telenovela with modern supernatural twists. Carmen, a slave living in the 17th century, is condemned to be burned at the stake after her owners discover she and their son are in love. Carmen makes a deal to with a wizard and finds herself in modern-day Cartagena, where she must navigate her new surroundings on the condition that she not use her powers. Pros: the series features a black women as the lead, with a strong cast and gorgeous scenery. It’s much cleaner than most shows and could work to show in high school classes. Cons: there is so much potential with the story, but the show delivers a shallow treatment of serious themes, depending on more than one racial cliché along the way.
Set in Colombia. Watch if you liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Arrow, or Alias Grace. (2019-)
4. GRAN HOTEL (Grand Hotel)
Here’s your really well-done telenovela that even my action-loving husband couldn’t stop watching. Full of intrigue and mystery, it’s got plenty of the novela qualities– but with a solid story and characters to back it up. Like Velvet, the supporting characters are the best part of the story in this turn-of-the-century drama.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Downton Abbey and Poldark. (2011-2013)
5. LAS CHICAS DEL CABLE
From the creators of Gran Hotel and Velvet, this Spanish show is packed with favorite actors from both shows, as well as El Barco and El Internado. It follows 4 women who work for a cable company in the 20’s, a turbulent time of old traditions vs. progressivism.I have a love-hate relationship with this one, but check it out if you like gorgeous period dramas, with lots of drama.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Peaky Blinders, Mad Men, or Downton Abbey.
6. Alguien Tiene Que Morir (Someone Has to Die)
A limited-series thriller produced by Netflix, this show features an all-star caste and is set in 1950s Spain, under the Franco regime. Gabino Falcón returns to Spain after living in Mexico for 10 years, under the expectation that he will find someone to marry. However, he shocks his family and community when he shows up accompanied by a famous male ballet dancer.
Set in Mexico and Spain. Watch if you liked House of Flowers, The Mess You Leave Behind. (2020)
7. MOROCCO: TIEMPOS DE GUERRA (Morroco: Love in the Times of War)
Set in the 1920’s, a group of wealthy nurses is sent to the Moroccan front during the Rif War and must adapt to the harsh conditions and reality of wartime. If you weren’t ready to let Gran Hotel go, Cristina is back as the star of this romantic drama.
Set in Morocco and Spain. Watch if you liked Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, or Land Girls.
8. LA ESCLAVA BLANCA (The White Slave)
A white woman is rescued from death and raised by an enslaved group in Colombia. She must impersonate a rich marchioness and marry a wealthy American in order to return one day and bring justice to those who saved her life.
Set in Colombia and Spain. (2016)
In a desperate attempt to find a lawyer and help her husband get out of jail in 1960s Barcelona, Helena becomes involved with the heroin trade as is forced to seek help from an aberrant, violent gangster– and begins a cat and mouse game with police herself. Beware that while this well-produced with an incredible main actor, it is definitely gritty with more than one disturbing scene.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Beaking Bad and Narcos. (2019-)
Spanish Drama/Mystery/Thriller TV Series
1. EL MINISTERIO DEL TIEMPO (The Ministry of Time)
El Ministerio del Tiempo is a top-secret time-travel agency that functions loosely under the government of Spain. As the series opens, three new agents join forces to guard the doors of time: a 16th-century soldier, a 21st-century paramedic, and a 19th-century student. This one is packed with history and art as the trio defends time itself, preventing intruders from using time travel for their own gain.
Set in Spain, mostly. Watch if you liked Dr. Who, The Last Kingdom, or Orphan Black. (2015-2020)
2. El desorden que dejas (The Mess You Leave Behind)
Based on the 2016 award winning novel (El desorden que dejas), this limited-series psychological thriller follows a woman who takes a mid-year teaching position in her husband’s small hometown, in the midst of a failing marriage and the recent grief of losing her mother. She soon discovers she’s entered a dangerous web of painful secrets in both the town and the school. This one is good but fairly dark, so check out the preview to see if it fits for you.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Homeland, Gypsy, or El reemplezante. (2020)
4. Pérdida (Stolen AwaY)
13 years after his young daughter disappears, her father purposely gets arrested in a Colombian airport to continue his search for her, this time leading his investigation into the prison system.
Set in Spain and Colombia. Watch if you like Narcos and The Mess You Leave Behind. (2020-)
5. BALA LOCA
In this political thriller, a group of journalists join together to fight corruption in post-Pinochet Chile, led by veteran journalist Mauro Murillo (who has suffered an accident and is now confined to a wheelchair). As they form their online newspaper, one journalist is murdered. Mauro’s investigation into her death reveals a dark web of corruption between government, businesses and people.
Set in Chile Watch if you liked The Blacklist, El reemplazante, or House of Cards. (2016-)
6. LA NIÑA
Based on real-life events, La niña tells the incredible story of a girl forcibly recruited by the guerillas in Colombia, who then escapes and tries to reintegrate into society. Although she manages to reunite with her family and even gets into medical school, her past haunts her. Unlike many of the other series in this list, it gives a in-depth look into everyday life for working-class families in Latin America.
Set in Colombia. Watch if you’d like Grey’s Anatomy, Jessica Jones, and a bit of telenovela drama mixed together. (2016)
7. MAR DE PLÁSTICO
A detective searches for answers after the murder of a girl in southern Spain. The region is called the “plastic sea,” from so many greenhouses in the area. The drama unfolds against the backdrop of interracial conflicts between the workers in the greenhouses.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Law and Order and Unauthorized Living. (2015-2016)
8. EL REEMPLAZANTE
Just out of prison, a former executive becomes a math teacher on parole.
Set in Chile. Watch if you like Bala loca. (2012-2014)
9. Silvana sin lana
A wealthy family’s life comes crashing down when the dad leaves and their fortune is lost. The mother must get a real job and the kids have to adjust to a “normal” life in this lighthearted dramedy.
Set in the U.S. Watch if you like 100 días para enamorarnos. (2016-)
10. Vivir sin permiso (Unauthorized living)
On the surface, Nemo Bandeira is a successful businessman. What no one knows is that he’s a drug dealer diagnozed with Alzheimer’s and is looking for a successor without his family finding out.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Monarca and Mar de plástico. (2018-2020)
11. La valla (The Barrier)
In 2045, the whole world is controlled by a dictator and natural resources are scarce, and a family struggles to survive together.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Perdida and Equinox. (2020-)
12. La Venganza de Analía (Her Mother’s Killer)
30 years ago, Analía’s mohter was murdered. Now, Analía sets in motion a complex plan to kill the presidential candidate who was responsible for her mother’s death.
Set in Colombia. Watch if you liked the Queen of Flow and La niña. (2020-)
Spanish Action Series on Netflix
1. Costa del sol
In a newly post-Franco Spain, drug-trafficking is on the rise in the 1970s. Four very different police detectives come together to form an elite squad to fight crime and the drug trade together.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Sweeney and the Professionals, Fugitiva, or Narcos.
Based on true events, this series explores the growth of drug cartels, beginning with the rise of Pablo Escobar in Colombia. There’s a mix of English and Spanish as the story is told through the eyes of DEA agent Steve Murphy and his team. This is obviously a violent show about a difficult part of history, but also a very high-quality and nuanced look into the relations between the DEA, Latin American governments, and cartels.
Set in Colombia, Mexico, and other parts of the Americas. Watch if you liked Black Mirror, House of Cards, or Breaking Bad. (2015 – 2017)
3. Vis a vis
In a attempt to please the boss she’s in love with, Macarena Ferreiro commits several tax crimes and ends up in jail. Faced with the shock of seven years of imprisonment, she must reinvent herself in order to survive– and possibly return home.
Set in Spain. Watch if you liked Orange is the New Black or La casa de papel. (2015 – 2019)
4. El Dragón: Return of a Warrior
Miguel Garze returns to Mexico after growing up in Japan, following the murder of his parents as a young boy. Unbeknownst to him, his education in martial arts and discipline is part of a secret plot to install him as the head of his family’s cartel.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked La Reina del Sur, Ingobernable, or Wu Assassins. (2019-)
5. EL CHAPO
It’s a reasonable criticism that too many shows/movies paint Latin America as full of drugs, violence, etc. And this show was hard to watch for the violence, same as Pablo Escobar. This one is well-done, in my opinion, and provides the history of El Chapo’s rise to power. (It’s interesting to watch alongside Kate del Castillo’s documentary “The Day I Met Chapo,” also available on Netflix).
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked Narcos and Ozark. (2017)
6. No te puedes esconder (You Cannot Hide)
A mother flees Mexico with here daughter and tries to create a new life in Spain, while hiding from her husband’s drug-trafficking past. A mix of fast-paced action and soapy telenovela feel.
Set in Mexico and Spain. Watch if you liked Monarca, Unauthorized Living, or Ingobernable. (2019-)
7. LA Reina del sur
Queen of the South is based on a novel of the same name, and tells the story of Teresa Mendoza’s return to Mexico after 8 years, when she was part of a small-time drug cartel and her boyfriend was murdered. This time, she returns and decides to take control of her own destiny, including rising in power to the top position in the cartel.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked Pablo Escobar, Narcos, or Ingobernable. (2011 – 2019(
8. SOBREVIVIENDO A ESCOBAR (Alias J.j.)
If you haven’t gotten your fill of narco-theme shows, Sobreviviendo Pablo Escobar was a fascinating follow-up to Pablo Escobar (and Narcos). It details what happened the Escobar’s people and rival cartels after his death.
Set in Colombia. Watch if you like Narcos. (2017)
A fast-paced (though perhaps B-quality) story of a wealthy woman who stages the kidnapping of herself and her children, in order to escape the dangerous community her husband is involved with.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked Ingobernable, No te puedes esconder, or Hachie. (2018-)
Biographical Spanish Shows
Explore the lives and histories of famous Spanish-speaking artists, leaders, musicians, and more in these true-story Netflix shows.
1. LUIS MIGUEL: La Serie (Luis Miguel: The Series)
A dramatized telling of Luis Miguel’s life and rise to fame as the Sol de México. The story moves between his early years of stardom and childhood, exploring the disappearance of his mother and tortured relationship with his father. Not an easy watch in terms of the family dynamics, but Luis Miguel just might be a breath of fresh air for viewers looking for a violence-free Latin American show.
Set mainly in Mexico. Watch if you liked Nashville or Empire. (2018-)
Learn the story behind the Queen of Salsa: how she began her career in the tumultuous years of Cuba in the 50’s, and eventually rose to be one of the top salsa performers of all time. Gorgeous filming and music in this series.
Set mostly in Cuba. Watch if you liked Luis Miguel.
3. SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ
A look at the life of Juana Ines, an outspoken nun in the 17th century who was a self-taught scholar, philosopher, and poet.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked The Crown and Alias Grace. (2015)
4. PABLO ESCOBAR: EL PATRÓN DEL MAL
If you binged your way through Narcos, you really should give this one a watch. While Narcos narrates from a American perspective, Pablo Escobar is told directly from the Colombian side and provides an extensive, gripping look into the life and legacy of Escobar and his effect on different communities in Colombia. Though not a historical documentary, it is very well done.
Set in Colombia. Watch if you liked Narcos and Breaking Bad. (2012)
5. José José: El Principe de la canción
A loosely autobiographical look at the life and music of José José, who rose from humble beginnings to enormous fame as a singer, and whose battles with alcohol affected his life and relationships.
Set in Mexico. Watch is you liked Luis Miguel. (2018)
6. Selena: The Series
Another look at the life of Selena Quintanilla, exploring her beginning with the rocky start of the family band Selena y Los Dinos, along with her eventual rise to fame, marriage, and tragic death.
Set in the U.S. and Mexico. Watch if you liked Luis Miguel. (2020)
7. APACHE – La vida de Carlos Tevez
An introduction to the childhood and life of Argentinian soccer player Carlos Tevez.
8. Jenni Rivera Mariposa de barrio: La serie
This is an autobiographical look at the life and musical career of Jenni Rivera, based on her own book.
Musical Spanish Shows on Netflix
Many of the biographies fit here too, so be sure to check them out!
1. GO! VIVE A TU MANERA
Thought there weren’t any G-rated shows in Spanish on Netflix? Think again! A new Argentinian show, Go! is a musical series from the same producers of Violetta and Soy Luna created for a young audience. Mía Cáceres is a talented young singer who gets a scholarship to Saint Mary, an elite prep school with a prestigious music program. There she meets both friends and arch-enemies (namely, the daughter of the school’s owners who is determined to sabotage her musical dreams).
Set in Argentina. Watch if you liked Glee.
2. LA REINA DEL FLOW
Yeimy is a talented 17-year-old from a working-class neighborhood, with big dreams of a life dedicated to music. After her parents are killed by a narco, she is betrayed by a close friend and loses 17 years of her life to prison under false accusation. When she finally leaves, she can think of nothing but revenge– and must alter her life completely in order to get it.
Set in Colombia. Watch if you liked Empire and/or Revenge.
Reality Shows/Documentaries in Spanish on Netflix
1. NAILED IT! MEXICO
Contestants who don’t really know how to bake have to recreate masterpieces in the kitchen, in competition for $10,000. Light and funny.
Set in Mexico.
2. MADE IN MEXICO
Can’t get enough of reality TV in English? Made in Mexico follows 9 Mexican “socialites” whose lives connect in some way, and who move within the wealthy circles of Mexico City. The camera shifts between their public interactions (brunches, dates, chats in nightclubs, family get-togethers), the drama that ensues, and subsequent interviews off-stage. Made in Mexico represents an interesting expansion of Spanish shows on Netflix beyond dramas.
Set in Mexico. Watch if you liked Real Housewives or following the Kardashians.
3. Street Food: Latin America
Explore typical dishes from countries all across Latin America (season 1 includes Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia).
4. Las crónicas del taco
5. Rompan todo (Break IT All: The History of Rock In Latin America)
An overview of the history of rock in Spanish-speaking Latin America and its historical contexts, featuring bands like Soda Stereo and Café Tacvba (although, according to my rock-loving husband, several key bands were left out).
6. Maradona en SinAloa
Did I miss any of your favorite Spanish shows on Netflix? Leave your favorites in the comments!
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