Learn Spanish: Top 100 Free Online Spanish Courses and Lessons

by learn a language journalist

Free Online Spanish Courses


Looking for easy-to-follow Spanish lessons that are designed to guide you from one level to the next?  Check out the following free online Spanish courses.

The famous FSI courses were created to help US foreign services workers communicate abroad.  Now available for free online, the Spanish courses (seven in total) are very comprehensive with a massive quantity of audio and exercises. However, these Spanish courses were created nearly 60 years ago and can be mind-numbingly boring at times.  Only the most patient students will get through them.

Detailed Spanish learning website with lots of information on pronunciation, grammar rules, and vocabulary.  You can focus on individual topics or go through them one-by-one as a series of self-guided, free online Spanish courses.  Use their quiz generators to test your knowledge.

Similar to StudySpanish.com, this online resource allows you to take a self-guided Spanish course split up by skill level (beginner/intermediate/advanced).  There are lots of Spanish grammar and vocabulary exercises with audio recordings to help your pronunciation, plus some great reading exercises too.

This free online Spanish course breaks down each stage of learning (beginner, advanced etc.) into a series of tasks.  Each task contains videos, grammar, vocabulary, phrases, and a podcast.  There is a lot of variety here, however the course lacks exercises and quizzes to test your knowledge.

A short Interactive Spanish course that takes a complete beginner starting from scratch to the A1 level.  Contains many visuals and exercises as well as tests to help gauge progress.

Interactive flash course that uses images, videos, games, and exercises to teach over 1,000 terms and phrases.  This online Spanish course was designed to prepare military personnel for overseas deployment, and the scenarios in the course reflect this.

Free Online Spanish Lessons / Websites


The following free Spanish learning websites have a little bit of everything, from Spanish grammar lessons to exercises that help you practice your vocabulary.  Although some of these lessons aren’t terribly well organized, there is a large variety of material that you can work through.

Huge collection of Spanish self-study resources.  Includes free online Spanish lessons, verb conjugator and materials on different subjects such as travel, work, medical and business Spanish.  However, some of the content requires a premium subscription.

This site has a lot of useful Spanish content, the most valuable of which are Spanish news clips and movie trailers. There are also vocabulary and grammar exercises.  All instructions are in Spanish, so it is more suitable for the intermediate learner.

A wide assortment of free Spanish exercises that vary in terms of delivery.  You can learn Spanish via free interactive games, guided readings, and videos, or more traditional grammar exercises.

One of the best websites for practicing your listening comprehension.  A collection of 400+ short video clips featuring native speakers discussing various topics.  Each video comes with a quiz and transcript to check your understanding.

This website features easy to understand Spanish short stories for children with excellent narration.  Also features a few free Spanish lessons with very clear and concise explanations of grammar.

A website that focuses on learning Spanish slang and accents unique to specific countries.  Just select a country and you’ll get access to the list of resources.  The site also features a very active Spanish blog.

A database of Spanish grammar and vocabulary exercises, in multiple choice or fill-in-the-blanks format.  Exercises are organized by Spanish level.

A collection of free medical Spanish resources for healthcare providers.  It includes everything from the vocabulary of the anatomy, to audio/video examples of phrases and situations that a nurse or doctor might encounter.

Features a collection of Spanish vocabulary recordings that teach new words by encouraging “listen and repeat”.  There is also a neat built-in voice recorder that encourages you to read and pay attention to your own pronunciation.

Free Spanish Learning Blogs


Blogs are a great source of motivation and free information for people who need advice on how to learn Spanish.  These Spanish blogs are created by language learning experts and contain a treasure trove of knowledge.

Very active Spanish blog with 2-3 posts per week.  This blog does a good job of mixing Spanish learning tips with articles about Latin and Spanish culture, including profiles of places to visit, food, music etc.

Shameless plug!  Our blog aims to provide long, thought-provoking articles about learning Spanish and self-development in general.  Each article is packed with tips, motivation, and learning hacks.  Check out our articles “They’re lying to you about how long it takes to learn Spanish” and “40 Reasons why learning Spanish could change your life”.

This blog is run by Amit Schandillia and contains a wealth of information about learning Spanish.  In particular, you’ll find entertaining lists of Spanish words and phrases that you can go out and use right away.

This blog aims to help intermediate Spanish speakers break out of their plateau and achieve full fluency.  Nacho goes in-depth on learning strategies and shares a lot of ideas aimed at dispelling common struggles.

Popular language blog that has loads of content about learning Spanish or any other language.  From obscure topics like learning Spanish with the bible, to tricks for typing in Spanish, this blog has it all.

Maria Fernandez is a native Spanish teacher who provides a lot of short but sweet tips to learn Spanish faster.  Her blog posts are often accompanied by audio samples.

A travel focused blog that discusses interesting cultural facts and traditions of Spanish culture.  Each blog post is written in both English and Spanish, so you can switch between the two.

Started by Benny Lewis, Fi3M is one of the most popular language learning blogs in the world. Although the blog caters to all languages, there are lots of great articles about Spanish in particular.  Check out Verbalicity’s guest post, “The 5-second Rule”.

Olly Richards the polyglot shares his tips and tricks to mastering any language, including Spanish.  Check out Verbalicity’s guest post, “Making Your Brain Sweat”.

Learn Spanish by Leveraging Free Tools


If you’re going to learn Spanish for free, you’ll need every little advantage you can get.  Each of the following online tools serves a very specific purpose and can make the process of learning Spanish a lot easier.

Translating a word from Spanish to English (or vice versa) isn’t always straightforward.  Reverso’s context tool shows you real excerpts of text in multiple contexts so you can learn each word’s subtle shades of meaning.  Reverso also features a handy online conjugation tool for those tricky Spanish verbs you can never seem to remember.

With Forvo’s online database, you can look up any Spanish word and hear it pronounced by native Spanish speakers.  You can replay it over and over it again, comparing it with your own pronunciation.  A fantastic tool to help master those hard to pronounce words.

A free online dictionary that provides multiple translations for every word as well as several example sentences.  The website uses multiple word databases and also links each word to community discussions for those who want even more clarity.

A dictionary of Spanish slang, for all those words that you won’t find in a traditional dictionary.  You can sort words by country and it will even distinguish words that have different meanings in different countries.

This website goes in-depth on the conjugation rules of Spanish verbs.  It contains not only conjugation tables, but flash cards and creative quizzes to drill the words into your memory.

Vocabulary learning website where you can review Spanish word decks through multiple choice, fill in the blanks, or picture association.  It works in a similar way to modern language apps, except you get to choose the words and method of review.

Free online test that measures your Spanish level in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages.  Now you can finally know for sure whether you are an A2 or B1!

Over 300 Spanish proverbs in one place.  Memorize a few of them and you’ll sound more fluent than you actually are!

Free Conversation Practice


Improving conversational skills is often the number one priority for most language learners. Many students have had immense success practicing with a language partner.  Look for a native speaker who wants to learn your language, and split your time helping each other.  Here are a few free services you can use to find the perfect partner for you.

A popular online language exchange platform that matches you up with partners based on your language level and reasons for learning.  You can send messages, audio clips and have video chats with your partners directly through the website.

Launched nearly 20 years ago, this is the first online language exchange ever created.  It is still possibly the largest exchange out there, claiming to have 3 million users.  However, the interface looks very dated and can be a bit of a hassle to use.

Another large online language exchange that’s been around for a long time.  The interface is a bit plain but there are a lot of active members in their community.  Many have reported success in finding more serious language partners on this site.

An easy to use online language exchange with a very modern user interface.  Filtering options let you choose basic demographic information of your partner, and you can instant message members who are online to connect instantly.

Learn Spanish for Free by Reading


Reading is one of the best ways to learn Spanish grammar and build up your vocabulary.  There are plenty of free online Spanish materials out there, but the key is to find something that is engaging, so you’ll enjoy the process and make it part of your learning routine.

Cervantes offers a large number of free Spanish short stories for all levels.  Each story contains activities to be done before and after the reading.  A fantastic tool for improving reading comprehension.

A continually updated resource of Spanish language news articles.  The unique feature here is that you can choose the level of reading difficulty to suit your skill level.  New articles are added on almost a daily basis.

This website has a lot of different exercises, but the best part is its library of free Spanish stories for beginner and advanced learners.  You can highlight any word while reading to get the English translation and listen to the audio narration as well.

Children’s books aren’t just for kids!  Entertaining and easy to understand, these books are perfect for the beginner / intermediate Spanish student.  This online repository contains over 160 books in Spanish.

Free Spanish Media Websites

Reading about what’s happening in the world is a great way to learn Spanish for free.  Media websites also have an advantage in that every day, you are exposed to brand new material.

There are a lot of websites choose from, including:

Note that the level of Spanish in the average news article is probably too advanced for a beginner.  You should be reading at an intermediate level to get the most out of this.

Learn Spanish with Free Apps


It’s so easy to learn Spanish by downloading a free Spanish app, which serve as a great introduction for beginners.  But unfortunately, playing with an app alone will not teach you how to speak Spanish.  At best, apps should be used as a supplement to more focused study and conversation practice.  Note that some of these apps require a paid membership to unlock all the features.

Memrise (Android / iOS)

The perfect introduction to someone looking to learn the basics of Spanish vocabulary and grammar.  Although Memrise’s beginner word decks are pretty basic, you also have the ability to access decks created by the community which means there is an endless pool of resources for even the most advanced learner.

Duolingo (Android / iOS)

Duolingo is most popular language learning app and it does a good job of taking you through the basics of Spanish vocabulary and sentence formation.  The app contains a lot of gamification, which can help keep you motivated.

SpanishDict Translator (Android / iOS)

This app combines a Spanish-English dictionary, verb conjugator, translator and word of the day features.  If you need an all-in-one Spanish app, then this is it.

Quizlet (Android, iOS)

A modern flash card app that lets you create your own cards for review.  The interface is polished and offers multiple review options.  You can also use card decks created by other users.

Anki (Android / iOS)

The original flashcard app.  Very simple and customizable.  Great for practicing Spanish words that you’ve already learned so that you never forget them.  The app is a bit dated and not as full featured as some of its counterparts.  Free for Android, iPhone version is rather expensive.

Google Translate (Android / iOS)

This one is a no-brainer.  Google makes the best and easiest to use translator app.  Make sure you download the offline language packs so you can use it when you’re traveling.

JW Language (Android / iOS)

A well-organized app that teaches sentence construction, phrases and vocabulary with the incorporation games and activities.  Created by the Jehovah’s witness to teach missionaries, but useful for everyone.

Busuu (Android / iOS)

A decent learning app that has some slight differences with Memrise / Duolingo.  The app makes it easy to jump around between Spanish levels and subjects, focusing more on speaking.  The only downside is that many features require a premium membership.

Rosetta Stone (Android / iOS)

Once the leader in software language learning, Rosetta Stone has finally gotten with the times and put out an app.  For those not familiar, Rosetta Stone’s methodology involves teaching Spanish using only Spanish words, with no English translations.  It doesn’t work for everyone but might be worth a try.

Wlingua (Android / iOS)

A highly rated app that feels more like a complete Spanish course (A1, A2, B1). Very thorough and covers multiple skills (listening, reading etc).  However, to unlock all features requires a paid membership.

Dictionary Linguee (Android / iOS)

A great dictionary complied with the help of over 400 lexicographers that can be downloaded for offline use.  Also includes a translation feature.

Learn Spanish Offline (Android)

A comprehensive Spanish phrasebook with over 2,000 phrases in 18 categories that you can carry around in your pocket.  Works offline which is great for traveling to a foreign country.

Lingvist (Android / iOS)

A unique app that measures your abilities and adapts in real-time to your level and how you learn best.  It is ideal for people who already know a little bit of Spanish.  Certain features such as voice-recognition require a membership.

SpeakTribe (Android / iOS)

An alternative to Duolingo / Busuu.  SpeakTribe teaches you Spanish through the use of written and speaking exercises.  The beginner level is free, however you’ll have to pay a one-time fee for intermediate/advanced levels.

Learn Spanish with Free Spanish Podcasts / Audio Courses


If you’re someone who is always on the go, you might prefer to learn Spanish with free podcasts.  Listening while you’re on the way to work, or while cooking dinner can be an easy way to get some practice in.  But keep in mind that when your attention is distracted, you won’t retain much of what you learned.  So try to focus just on listening and you’ll see better results.

An excellent introduction to the Spanish language in 15-20 minute episodes.  It has a tremendous amount of material with about 160 episodes spread out over 4 seasons.  Listening to the audio is free but materials require a premium membership.

A weekly podcast that recaps the news in both Spain and Latin American Spanish.  Unlike typical Spanish news radio, the pace of speech is comfortable and slow enough for an intermediate learner to understand.  Listen via iTunes to get the entire episodes for free.

Comprehensive free Spanish podcasts based primarily on conversations regarding real-world topics.  The podcasts contain over 200 episodes in all and are designed for all levels of students, from beginners to advanced learners.

An award-winning Spanish language podcast that uses long-form audio journalism to tell neglected and under-reported Latin American and Latino stories.  You should be at intermediate level or above to enjoy the content.

Rob and Lis have created an excellent series of podcasts for beginner to advanced students, as well as a few specialized podcasts focused on pronunciation and vocabulary.  Audio and transcripts are free, while exercises and other materials are available with a paid membership.

Need to learn Spanish for an upcoming trip?  These 10-15 minute episodes focus on situations that you would encounter when traveling, such as asking for information, ordering at a restaurant etc.

Popular podcast series that covers practical Spanish for use in everyday situations.  The episodes are recorded at an easily understandable pace.  Available on iTunes.

Large online library of Spanish audio clips (800+) that you can choose from based on the subject that you’re interested in.  The quality of the podcasts may vary and the majority of episodes are geared towards intermediate/advanced learners.

Short but very well produced Spanish podcast series that emphasizes useful conversational phrases.  Available on iTunes.

An audio course designed for learning while driving, or doing chores around the house.  Level one of this program is available for free with 160+ short episodes that are 10 minutes or less.  Requires a Spotify account to access.

Free Spanish audio series designed to help beginners progressively build up Spanish phrases through listen-and-repeat exercises. It features realistic dialogues and cultural insights.

Spanish podcast series that does a good job of incorporating music into each episode and covers many topics including culture and current affairs.

A fun podcast that focuses on the Spanish that you won’t find in a dictionary, but rather what you would hear on the streets of Mexico.  Great for intermediate and above students looking to learn Mexican Spanish.  Available on iTunes.

Short podcasts put together by the Open University.  All episodes include a transcript and some of the podcasts include video as well.

From the same people that made Coffee Break Spanish, this mini-series tries to teach you the very basics…just enough to make some small talk with another Spanish speaker.

Learn Spanish for Free with Online Videos


Watching free online videos is possibly the most entertaining way to learn Spanish.  We’ve listed several video series that are produced specifically with the Spanish student in mind.  There are also many YouTube channels that offer excellent Spanish lessons.  And of course, the intermediate learner can get a lot out of watching Spanish TV shows on Netflix.

While it’s tempting to stay at home and watch videos all day, remember that this is still considered passive learning, and is not a replacement for conversational practice.

This classic series, produced in the 1990’s, was designed to introduce viewers to the basics of Spanish.  It does a very good job of building Spanish skills over the course of its 52 episodes, although the story can sometimes feel a bit slow and yawn-inducing.

Produced by the BBC, this interactive video series contains real-time transcripts and quizzes throughout each video. This 22 episode series also starts from the very basics and is suitable for beginners.

This Spanish education series has a comedic vibe that is similar to a typical sitcom (think Friends). The show is geared towards upper beginner / intermediate students and is probably the most entertaining of all the language education series on this list, albeit with some cringe-worthy, cheesy moments.

A free video course containing 130 videos that are each about 5-minutes long.  The videos are organized by Spanish level from A1 to B2 (Beginner to Upper Intermediate).  Each video comes with its own set of practice exercises.

These short videos are created by Arkansas Department of Education and paired with a Spanish textbook.  You can access the materials through iTunes.

A series of short, comical videos for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners. Each video includes a transcript and notes explaining the meaning of the dialogue in each video.

Ok, Netflix isn’t technically free.  But chances are that you or someone you know already has a subscription, in which case you wouldn’t have to pay anything extra.

Netflix is an excellent learning tool because you can watch most shows and movies with Spanish subtitles.  But the biggest benefit comes from its native Spanish language TV shows, which are perfect for the intermediate Spanish student (Tip: Watch in Spanish with Spanish subtitles turned on).

A few of the best examples are:

Note:  Some shows may not be available if you live outside of the US.

The are many YouTube channels catering to Spanish students. Some of them offer step-by-step courses, while others post useful lessons delivered in entertaining fashion.

Here are some of the best channels to follow:

That’s it!  We hope that you found this list of free online Spanish courses and lessons useful.  If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and aren’t sure where to start, then check out our in-depth guide to the Best Way to Learn Spanish for Beginners.

If you notice any out of date information or additional resources that we should add to the list, please send us an email at contact@verbalicity.com.

This content was originally published here.

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