Learn Spanish with the 15 Best Telenovelas

Do you love watching soap operas?

Did you know you can actually learn Spanish by watching Latin American or Spanish soap operas, aka telenovelas? The over-the-top characters that make up a telenovela will teach you about their culture, their hometown, and their struggles.

Telenovelas are so easy to watch that hours of learning pass by seamlessly. One does not simply watch a single episode of Made in Cartagena. No wonder they're so popular around the world.

And with all the drama in life, it's only naturally that telenovelas have drama too.

And if you think you might never get around to visiting every place you want to… Well, you don’t need to spend thousands to see what other countries are all about. You can do it from the comfort of your home, watching subtitled TV shows and movies.


Take a deep dive into Spanish-speaking countries and learn Spanish with soap operas. They are the fastest way to get close to people and their culture.

And start talking. We want to listen to what you’ve got to say about the 11th time you watched Pasión de Gavilanes! And don’t worry about not sounding native enough.

Pick up the 4th most-spoken language in the world.

What Are the Best Spanish Telenovelas to Learn Spanish?

If you want more details, keep on reading. If you want the short answer, here is a list:

  • La Cacica. A woman wins Colombia over with music.
  • Gran Reserva — The Origin. Three families try to take over the wine market.
  • Acacias 38. A bourgeois neighborhood in Spain and the maids working there.
  • The Charmer. A con artist falls in love with the daughter of a lawyer.
  • Serve and Protect. A police drama with a cast of lovable characters set in Madrid.
  • The Lady. The love between the daughter of a businessman and the son of miners in the 1920s.
  • Made in Cartagena. A gang carries out a jewelry heist.
  • The Witch. A witch and a drug lord make history.
  • The Case: Chronicle of Events. An ex-cop and a student solve cases that (could) make headlines.
  • Betrayal. A family of lawyers has to face the inevitable death of their father.
  • The Continental. A man wants revenge during the Roaring 20s but falls in love.
  • Six Sisters. A period piece about six women who have to survive without their father in the 1910s.
  • Victor Ros. A criminal turned police detective in 19th-century Madrid.
  • Laura, an Extraordinary Life. The life story of the first Colombian woman to be made a saint.
  • Carlos, Emperor King. Charles V and how he came to hold so many titles.

What Can You Learn from Watching These Spanish Soap Operas?

La Cacica


Consuelo Araújo, La Cacica, turns the quiet winds of a sleepy town into a hurricane. She breathes new life into the town of Valledupar and spreads traditional music that crosses all borders and continents.

Based on true events, this is a story full of romance, music, and beautiful landscapes, including historical figures like Gabriel García Márquez.


La Cacica is a strong woman, so naturally people have all kinds of opinions about her. As you notice how people express their thoughts and ideas, familiarize yourself with the vocabulary for love and music.

Gran Reserva — The Origin


The Cortázar family has a winery, but the Mirandas control the wine market and the Revertes consider wine their life. Throughout the 60s, their businesses will turn into long-standing family feuds.

Will these violent delights have violent ends too?


Family is a delicate subject.

From the typical words for family members to betrayal and intrigue, this series has it all. Start a family with the right Spanish words. Sidestep the betrayal, though.

Acacias 38


The year is 1899. Spain has just recovered from the disaster of 1898 and the loss of its last colonies.

The paths of the wealthy and the poor cross in the doorway of Acacias 38. Found in a bourgeois neighborhood, this particular place witnessed the lives of maids and the people they worked for.


This long-running series has universal feelings for protagonists: love, jealousy, passion, revenge, to name a few.

There's a lot of vocabulary here - from words and phrases to express how you feel to full sentences you can make your own and tell your life story with. It is a full course meal for a tongue eager to learn Spanish and a window into the human experience.

Acacias 38 on Lingopie.

The Charmer


A humble man becomes history’s greatest con artist. And something of a pick-up artist.

With his carefree personality, Rolando earns everyone’s trust before swindling them. But things change when a lawyer’s daughter falls in love with him.


This show is full of the right words to sell, promote, and bargain. The main character is always asking people to do things for him.

Accept the terms and conditions of this series: offer, suggest, and hypnotize with your sparkling Spanish.

Serve and Protect


The south of Madrid is the setting for the operations of this particular police station.

When Commissioner Bremon is promoted, the police station will undergo significant change; however, he will maintain constant contact with everyone from his new position as chief.


This police drama covers from minor social conflicts to evictions and murder. As your Spanish vocabulary for crime and criminals expands, so too does your knowledge of police ranks and procedures.

The Lady


The early 1920s saw social inequality at an all-time high in Spain. And yet the world saw Victoria and Ángel fall in love.

This is the intense relationship between the daughter of a businessman and the son of a mining family.


Seemingly star-crossed, these lovers defy all social norms! Very much in line with the spirit of the Roaring 20s, a decade associated with modernity.

This period drama is full of Spanish idioms and words that won’t leave your throat until your tears dry. Discover the words for

Made in Cartagena


A gang led by Harvey Noriega attempts to steal a 400-year-old treasure in the vault of a major multinational bank. To accomplish their goal, the gang deceives a beautiful young woman aspiring to win in the brave world of Champeta, the music that colors Cartagena.


You may not know how to carry out a multimillion-dollar jewelry heist, but you’ll understand when people tell you their heist stories!

You’ll probably find news easy to understand (at least, grammatically) and your musical knowledge expanded once you’re done.

Made in Cartagena on Lingopie
Trust me on this one! Start your free trial today.

The Witch


A witch changes the course of Colombian history when she meets a well-known drug lord. Throughout the 70s and 80s, potions, spells, and hexes opened the door to politics and power for this woman.


Bewitch people with your Spanish-speaking skills! Besides giving you the right words to do magic, this series explores the socioeconomic consequences of drug trafficking, abuse of authority, and corruption. Take the chance to expand your vocabulary on these topics.

The Case: Chronicle of Events


In each episode, the famous newspaper El Caso has Jesús and Clara investigate a lurid crime that made or could have made the front page.

Jesús is a self-made ex-cop with a difficult past; Clara is a young cosmopolitan university student with a complicated present. They have to work together.


Set in Francoist Spain, the plot is moved forward by two investigative journalists.

While the investigation makes you grab some popcorn, the journalism sharpens your Spanish skills! Have a way with words and a glimpse into the Francoist dictatorship.



A picture-perfect family of Spanish lawyers begins to fall apart. Don Julio announces his imminent death, and despite secrets and shady dealings, decides to make one last desperate attempt to reform his spoiled children.


This family drama demands justice to be served! Given that they’re a family of lawyers, you’re bound to end up knowing legal terminology. They are professionals, so there will be idiomatic expressions for you to use in a formal setting.

The Continental


It’s the Roaring 20s and Ricardo wants revenge.

The goals of this dangerous man are as follows: establishing the first illegal trafficking network in his city, setting up a company, and taking revenge on his family. Although his plans change when he falls in love with Andrea and meets her father.


As organized crime and the underworld of the 1920s take center stage, so too does the Spanish vocabulary to close any deal. Negotiation is present throughout the whole series. And these characters mean business.

Six Sisters


The Silva sisters are the life and soul of high society parties. Until the sudden death of their father puts an end to their carefree existence. Living in a time when women were successful only in their marriages, the six Silva sisters have to adapt.


Set in the 1910s, this family drama will have you hooked.

Each sister has a personality of her own and unique problems: dealing with public life, marriage versus love, entrepreneurship, following their passions, to name a few. As they go through life, learn the Spanish terms to navigate yours.

Victor Ros


After a fateful run-in with the law, a notorious young hoodlum grows up to be a top police detective in 19th-century Madrid, where he must deal with his shady past, the mafia, and his police mentor on a daily basis.


Danger, threats, and theft are useful topics to know. Identify them and speak clearly about them. The streets of Madrid are waiting for you to discover them.

Laura, an Extraordinary Life


Sacrifice was the only constant for Laura Montoya, the first Colombian to be made a saint. But her willingness to devote herself to those in need remained intact. To this day, the mystery of this contradiction keeps hope and compassion alive.


Caring has its own semantic field, a group of words associated with a given topic. Laura took care of her family, the natives of different regions, an asylum, her relationship with God — and the list goes on.

Devote yourself to watching this series and show you care with your Spanish.

Carlos, Emperor King


The reign of Charles V knew no bounds. Being the heir to many crowns and Holy Roman Emperor, he made Europe believe universal monarchy was possible once more.


This period piece depicts the life and times of the most powerful ruler of 16th-century Europe. With the Renaissance in the background, pick up the specific words for war, royalty, and power. Never forget how to use and stack titles in Spanish.

Whether you want to learn Spanish with Latin American soap operas or shows from Spain, you will have to go through subtitles and pronounce things wrong! At least, until that /r/ sound becomes second nature.

To achieve fluency, you can…

  • Pick a country and dialect to focus on.
  • Rank and organize shows by difficulty.
  • Rewind, rewatch and repeat dialogue lines.
  • Make flashcards.
  • Take lessons and ask teachers what you don’t understand.
  • Use Spanish words and phrases in your everyday life.
  • Speak. Have fun and build confidence.
Start your free trial today and get access to all our language catalogs, not just to Spanish telenovelas!

Lingopie is a language learning platform with a wide selection of TV shows and movies ranked for your comfort. It has a range of interactive tools covering what’s listed above and more.

But if you want to know what the best shows on Netflix to learn Spanish are, we've got you covered too! The same goes for German shows.

Find out more about the best way to learn Spanish by yourself by reading this short article!

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