A selection of best movies filmed in Spain, including comedy, romantic, drama and history movies
Love traveling to Spain but don’t know where to start? Consider starting with a movie!
Watching films set in Spain will give you an insider’s look into the country before you even get there.
From popular box office hits to lesser-known independent films, this post is here to point you in the right direction of the best movies set in Spain.
All are guaranteed to fill your wanderlust and bring some Spanish flair and flavor directly into your home!
Pssst…!! You can’t get enough of Spain? Have a look at these posts for Spain lovers:
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Comedies – Movies set in Spain
1. L’Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment)
If you are ready to explore the streets of Barcelona through a bunch of Erasmus students coming from across Europe, L’Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment) is one of the best movies filmed in Spain to watch.
This strait-laced movie takes you on a roller-coaster ride of the whole of the city and the iconic scene shot at the top of Gaudi’s Parc Güell will stay etched in your heart forever!
Since then, the monument has been seen as one of the most iconic buildings in Barcelona.
Info: Barcelona | 2002 | Starring: Romain Duris, Judith Godreche and Kelly Reilly
2. The Trip to Spain
The third and hilarious installment of Winterbottom’s cinematic adaptation of the famous TV series, The Trip to Spain takes the viewers on a mind-blogging culinary journey in Spain.
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are ready to rock, both your journey and passion with their impeccable sense of humor.
It can be counted as one of the best Spanish cultural movies and contains numerous quotes about Spain.
Info: Santander, Malaga | 2017 | Starring: Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan
3. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Of course, breakups are always heart-wrenching but Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown shows the other side of the story.
In this movie, Pepa’s quest to discover the reason why her lover Ivan left her abruptly makes her encounter various intriguing characters.
This romantic comedy set in Spain is everyone’s favorite, and you can visit some of the movie locations in Madrid.
Even if you only have 24 hours in Madrid you can see many as they are located near the city center!
In this Spain movie, you’ll also get to hear some of the most popular Spanish quotes about life.
Info: Madrid | 1988 | Starring: Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas
4. Ocho Apellidos Vascos (Spanish Affair)
This movie set in Spain is the story of an unusual affair between Rafa and Amaia.
The former is an Andalusian gentleman whose charm is too hard for a woman to resist, but when Amaia rejects his advances, it turns Rafa’s life upside down.
In order to win her love, Rafa takes a hilarious path to success.
This comedy of errors has struck a chord with Spanish viewers and it’s going to do the same with you too.
Plus, it’s one of the best films about Spain to learn about the cultural clash between Northern and Southern Spain and it showcases some of the most beautiful places in Spain.
Info: Leitza, Zumaia and Getaria | 2014 | Starring: Clara Lago, Dani Rovira
5. The Dictator
If you have great taste for sarcasm, watch The Dictator!
This dark comedy tells the cruel story of General Aladeen, the tyrannical leader of Wadiya, instilled with strong punchlines and laughter.
Aladeen’s trip to New York turns awry when he is kidnapped by a hitman.
This movie is an excellent pick for viewers who want to dig into the darkness of modern civilization without missing a laugh.
Some of the best scenes were filmed in Seville, so make sure to visit if you are looking for things to do in Seville.
Info: Plaza de Espana in Seville and Island of Fuerteventura, Spain | 2012 | Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley
6. Dioses y perros
Sometimes movies shot in Spain get serious, but they still have a little humor to lighten the mood. That’s exactly what you get with Dioses y Perros.
Set in Madrid, the movie looks at the life of Pasca, a man from Vallecas, Spain whose life is not as good as he’d like it to be.
Pasca spends his time working as a boxing sparring partner at a local gym, and when he’s not there he’s taking care of his disabled younger brother Toni.
Pasca’s outlook on life is pretty bleak, until by chance he meets the spirited newcomer Adela at a bus stop, and she begins to show him that life doesn’t have to be that bad.
Like many films in Spain, the drama in this film cuts deep, showing some raw and real domestic scenes.
But there’s also comedy, even though it’s a dark comedy, to keep the sadness at bay. This makes Dioses y Perros one of the most engaging movies based in Spain on this list.
Info: Madrid | 2014 | Starring: Hugo Silva, Megan Montaner
7. Who killed Bambi?
Some of the best films from Spain revolve around crime, so this 2013 black comedy caper will have you on the edge of your seat!
The story revolves around two families – one rich, one poor – and the unfortunate mix-ups that happen between them.
What starts things off is when the owner of an important company finds indecent pictures of his daughter and her boyfriend stored on her phone.
Because the boyfriend works for him, he calls him into the office so he can explain himself. But the boss faints and is found in an uncompromising position by the boyfriend.
At the same time, members of the poorer family are out for revenge against the boss for humiliating their father at work, so they decide to kidnap him.
Things only get more manic from there! This is a very frantic and chaotic movie from Spain, perfect for anyone looking to turn their brain off and laugh!
Info: Seville | 2013 | Starring: Quim Gutiérrez, Julian Villagrán, Úrsula Corberó
Romantic Movies Filmed in Spain
8. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
There is nothing better than love in this world and Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a movie that gives the best of it in a little twisted fashion.
When Vicky and Cristina visit a friend in Barcelona to have a great summer vacation in Spain, things get way sensual and fiery with the entry of a seductive painter, Juan Antonio, and his ex-wife, Maria.
This is one of the best movies set in Spain and is considered a masterpiece by Woody Allen!
The movie also beautifully showcases some of the most famous buildings in Barcelona.
Info: Barcelona | 2008 | Starring: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson
9. Nuestros Amantes (Our Lovers)
Nuestros Amantes (Our Lovers) is a wonderful Spanish romantic comedy about Carlos and Irene.
The two meet randomly in a bookstore bar and fall for each other instantly.
This is the typical tale of “boy meets girl” and “grinning romance at first glance” but only with the exception that you can’t predict exactly where the story is going.
The best part of this movie from Spain is the captivating dialogue in which you’re bound to hear some of the most romantic Spanish phrases.
Info: Aragon | 2016 | Starring: Eduardo Noriega, Michelle Jenner
10. Doctor Zhivago
Everything is fair in love and war, and nothing could be more true in this true classic!
Things get even better when they set a heart-wrenching love story against the backdrop of the up-roaring Russian Revolution from the 20th Century.
Doctor Zhivago is the story of Yury Zhivago who fell in love with the beautiful Lara but eventually was forced to marry his cousin, Tonya.
Yury is torn between his two lady loves when he meets Lara years later and the flame of love gets reignited.
This is one of the most iconic Spanish romantic movies that everyone should watch!
Info: Madrid and Soria | 1965 | Starring: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin
11. Belle Epoque (The Age of Beauty)
Another romantic comedy set in Spain describes the journey of Fernando whose experience tells the story of a paradise that is too perfect to last.
This movie is made wisely to allow the viewers to make the discovery of life which is the “real” one through art, freedom, friendship, love, and sex.
It is one of the movies that shows Spain’s beautiful landscapes and some of the most beautiful places in Spain.
However, be aware that the movie was shot in rural Portugal! 🙂
Info: Spain/Portugal | 1992 | Starring: Jorge Sanz, Miriam Diaz-Aroca, Penelope Cruz
12. Palmeras en la Nieve (Palm Trees in the Snow)
If you think that colonial Africa is too dark to bloom and nurture love stories, this movie will prove otherwise!
It is a very deep but equally gloomy story of love, but still one of the best Spain movies.
Apart from the actual movie plot, several historical references narrate the lives of people in Africa from the 20th century’s second half.
The movie was shot in off-the-beaten-track places in Spain such as Arucas, Telde and Guia in Gran Canaria.
It is also one of the best movies set in the desert and a great way to learn about Spanish history.
Info: Canary Islands of Spain, Colombia and Huesca | 2015 | Starring: Mario Casas, Adriana Ugarte
Drama Movies Set in Spain
In one of the most famous movies set in Spain, a mother’s love is unparalleled in this world and it remains the same even when she is dead.
Volver by Pedro Almodovar revolves around Raimunda and the ridiculous situation where her mother decides to make a return from the graveyard to fix problems that she failed to resolve during her lifetime.
Watch this drama and let your heart race with unusual suspense.
The movie displays also some of the most typical things Spain is known for for flamenco, passion and tapas.
Info: Castilla-La Mancha and Madrid, Spain | 2006 | Starring: Penelope Cruz, Cameron Maura
14. Sex and Lucia
Devastated by the death of her boyfriend, Lorenzo, Lucia decides to head for a remote Spanish island, Formentera, to find solace.
After her arrival, she meets Carlos, a scuba diver, and his ex-girlfriend, Elena.
Sex and Lucia connects various lives with a dead author and it blurs the line between reality and imagination and is one of the best movies set in Spain.
Info: Formentera | 2001 | Starring: Tristan Ulloa, Paz Vega
15. Everybody Knows
When suspense meets drama, it creates something like Everybody Knows.
This drama starts with Laura and her two children heading to attend her sister’s wedding, but soon the joyful event is struck by the kidnapping of Laura’s older daughter.
The movie is all about unspoken grudges and unforgiven memories from the past.
Info: Madrid, Spain | 2018 | Starring: Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem
16. The Way
The Way is a perfect blend of drama and subtle comedy, making it one of the most fun movies set in Spain.
The plot revolves around an American father who flies all the way to France to claim the body of his son who lost his life on the way to El Camino de Santiago.
He then tries to understand his own emotions along with his dead son’s while setting out for the same pilgrimage.
Info: Spain, France | 2010 | Starring: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez
Related: 7 Reasons Why You Should Hike the Santiago Trail
17. Abre los Ojos (Open Your Eyes)
If you want to challenge your insight with a complex storyline infused with innovative ideas and solutions, watch Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes).
It is the story of a handsome man who finds his true love but has a terrible accident.
After a rebuild of his face, he lands himself in jail, and the mystery starts to unveil itself.
This is one of the most unique movies set in Spain and will really make you think about it over and over.
Info: Madrid | 1997 | Starring: Penelope Cruz, Eduardo Noriega
Biutiful narrates the story of a career criminal who has very little time left from his lifetime to settle his son’s future and the culpability of his profession.
The film also depicts the gloomy side of Barcelona while describing a gripping linear storyline.
If you want movies set in Spain that will stay with you, this is the one for you!
Info: Barcelona | 2010 | Starring: Javier Bardem
19. The Others
When you are an ardent fan of horror films and Spain, it is a sin to miss The Others!
When a woman with her two minor children moves to the English coast during WWII, she seeks guidance from her dead husband to protect her photosensitive children.
But soon she senses the strong presence of ghosts and supernatural things that turn her life upside down.
This is one of the most intriguing movies set in Spain!
Info: Northern Spain and Madrid | 2001 | Starring: Nicole Kidman
20. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer depicts the life of an extremely peculiar but at the same time intriguing character named Jean-Baptiste Grenouille.
He was born with an extraordinary olfactory sense that encourages him to craft the world’s fine perfume and is willing to kill people in order to capture their scent.
You rarely encounter such thrilling drama in films from Spain and when you do, don’t miss the chance!
Info: Girona | 2006 | Starring: Ben Whishaw
21. La Abuela (The Grandmother)
Spain movies are known for being romantic and adventurous, but the story of La Abuela takes a much darker road.
Susana works as a model in Paris, but when her grandmother Pilar has a stroke she must leave and return to Spain to care for her.
However, once she starts to live in Pilar’s apartment, she begins to have nightmares, and the situation gradually becomes a waking nightmare.
You too will have some bad dreams after watching scary films set in Spain like this as the tension is nerve-racking and the ending will leave you speechless.
Modern movies that take place in Spain just got a whole lot scarier!
Info: Madrid | 2021 | Starring: Almudena Amor, Vera Valdez
Watch on Amazon Video
22. Tu Hijo (Your Son)
If you’re looking for great movies set in Spain on Netflix, this dramatic thriller will have you on the edge of your seat.
Successful doctor Javier is working at the hospital one night when an ambulance brings in his son Marcus, who has been beaten into a coma.
This sends Javier into a fit of despair and rage, and he contemplates how he can get revenge on whoever hurt his son.
Resolving to find out what happened after the police do very little, Javier begins an investigation into the crime, which leads him to a nightclub where he learns who delivered the beating.
But from here, things only get much worse.
Movies set in Seville are often lighthearted and fun, but this family drama is incredibly tense instead.
This is one of the most nail-biting movies filmed in Spain on Netflix.
Info: Seville | 2018 | Starring: Jose Coronado, Ana Wagener, Asia Ortega
23. Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake
Because of its internationally famous cuisine, many of the best movies that take place in Spain involve food in some way.
In Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake, the food in question is delicious baked goods beecause the main characters have to try and run a bakery!
The sisters Anna and Marina are very different people: Anna has stayed on the island they grew up on, trapped in a loveless marriage; Marina went off to travel the world as an NGO doctor.
But now they must put aside their differences and work together when they both inherit a bakery from a mysterious woman that neither of them seems to know.
With drama, romance and plenty of heart, this is one of the best movies about Spain if you want to have that warm and fuzzy feeling at the end.
Info: Valldemosa, Majorca | 2021 | Starring: Elia Galera, Eva Martin, Claudia Faci
History Movies Set in Spain
24. Capitan Alatriste
When it is to filming those epic historical movies, directors often find a safe harbor in weaving the plot in Spain.
Capitan Alatriste shows the steep fall of this country from its supreme position in Europe.
Set during the 16th Century, it is the tale of a soldier-turned-mercenary, Captain Alatriste, a legendary figure from imperial wars.
This is one of the best films from Spain for history buffs.
Info: Several parts of Spain | 2006 | Starring: Viggo Mortensen
25. Las 13 Rosas (13 Roses)
Although revolving around a great plot, Las 13 Rosas (13 Roses) is probably one of the most gruesome Spanish Civil War movies in history!
This is one of the best movies about Spain and its violent history.
It is not that easy to watch so much cruelty and torture against 13 young ladies but lastly, the tragic end will leave you tearful.
Info: Madrid | 2007 | Starring: Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Veronica Sanchez
26. Goya’s Ghosts
Goya’s Ghosts is a sweeping tale from the historical past of Spain, and the whole story is perceived through the eyes of the revolutionary Spanish painter Fransisco Goya.
The political turmoil and the essence of Goya’s art are captured beautifully in this movie.
It is one of the best movies in Spain and a must if you love historical films.
Info: Soria, Spain | 2007 | Starring: Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem
27. Mad Love
Mad Love is nothing short but a modern version of the eternal love story of “Romeo and Juliet”.
Matt falls for the beautiful Casey who is a little eccentric and he helps her to escape from a mental institute only to find her signs of instability on the run.
Info: Fictional town in Spain | 1995 | Starring: Chris O-Donnell, Drew Barrymore
28. Empire of the Sun
Nothing can go awry when Steven Spielberg chose to direct Christian Bale, and Empire of the Sun is the finest example of that.
This movie depicts the unique bond shared by a little boy, named Jamie, and an American sailor, named Basie when they were made captive together by Japanese soldiers.
Info: Madrid | 1987 | Starring: Christian Bale
29. Pan’s Labyrinth
Set in 1944, a young girl from Spain meets a fairy who inspires her to prove her loyalty by completing three tasks.
This leads her to embark on a dark but beautiful modern-day fairy tale journey.
Pan’s Labyrinth is one of the most creative and emotional movies I have ever seen in general!
As one of the best films from Spain, it will not leave you indifferent and you can watch it over and over again.
Info: Guadarrama mountain range in Central Spain | 2006 | Starring: Ivana Baquero, Segei Lopez
30. Kingdom of Heaven
Kingdom of Heaven is an exuberant war epic that blends Hollywood’s commercial and political so perfectly.
This somewhat gloomy historical movie features characters that radiate strong religious, civilian and military opinions during the 12th Century Crusades.
It is not just one of the movies from Spain but features plenty of other exciting aspects as well.
Info: Morocco and Spain | 2005 | Starring: Marin Hancock
Action Movies Set in Spain
31. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones has always entertained viewers with his breathtaking journeys and is one of the best movie sets in Europe.
In this movie, the valiant explorer sets on a rescue mission to free his father from Nazis and unknowingly gets involved in a fascinating struggle to recover the Holy Grail.
Info: Monsul Beach, Almeria | 1989 | Starring: Sean Connery, Harrison Ford
32. Knight and Day
Knight & Day is an action-packed movie that tells the tale of an unusual couple consisting of an agent and a girl-next-door when they meet accidentally at the airport.
The storyline is hilarious and perfectly backed by captivating action scenes.
Some of the most action-filled scenes take place in gorgeous Seville, which will make you want to visit immediately.
Info: Seville | 2010 | Starring: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz
33. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
This star-packed movie narrates the events after the Phantom Menace, and showcases amazing computer-generated special effects, making it a hit at the box office.
Young or adult, everyone loves the Jedi and this is one of the best movies filmed in Europe.
Info: Seville | 2002 | Starring: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman
34. Clash of the Titans
This action movie revolves around the heroic acts of Perseus, the son of Zeus, and how he saves humanity against a deadly plot of old enemies.
Clash of the Titans is loaded with fast-moving action scenes and edgy computer graphics.
Some of the scenes were shot near Spain’s highest mountain: Mount Teide on Tenerife island.
Info: Teide, Tenerife | 2010 | Starring: Sam Worthington
35. Fast & Furious 6
Just like its other predecessors, Fast & Furious 6 won’t disappoint you when you are willing to take a round of the world in just two hours.
In the movie, Dom and his buddies collaborate with Agent Hobbs to hunt down a team of notorious mercenary drivers.
Info: Madrid, Barcelona | 2013 | Starring: Van Diesel, Paul Walker
36. The Bourne Ultimatum
The Bourne Ultimatum is an excellent choice when you are dying for some impressive action scenes paired with an equally captivating plot.
Former CIA assassin Jason Bourne struggles ruthlessly to keep a forgotten past while on a mission to track down a CIA official.
Info: Barcelona | 2007 | Starring: Matt Damon
Western Movies Set in Spain
37. A Fistful of Dollars
Are you a fan of those classic Western movies? If yes, here is A Fistful of Dollar for you!
Depicting the power struggle between three brothers, this movie is one of the best acting pieces from Clint Eastwood.
One of the most famous Spain movies, this is a must for those who love Westerns!
Info: Almeria | 1964 | Starring: Clint Eastwood
38. Once Upon a Time in the West
In this classic western, the story revolves around a piece of land around Flagstone.
The film is primarily known for being one of the best movies set in Spain with excellent background music.
Info: Tabernas Desert | Year: 1968 | Starring: Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale
39. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is another thrilling western where Clint Eastwood entertained viewers with his impeccable charm and signature acting style.
The plot reveals the uncomfortable partnership between Blondie and Tuco amidst the Civil War.
Info: Tabernas Desert | Year: 1966 | Starring: Clint Eastwood
40. 800 Bullets
This Western comedy is the tale of a former movie stuntman from Spain who goes through the same struggle that his other colleagues are going through with minuscule audiences.
The movie comes with some amazing comic scenes to lift the mood along with scenes shot on some of the best beaches in Cabo de Gata, Almeria.
It’s one of the best movies set in Spain for Western film lovers.
If you want another taste of Spain, have a look at my favorite funny Spanish phrases.
Info: Almeria | Year: 2002 | Starring: Sancho Gracia, Carmen Maura
Why Watch Movies Set in Spain?
No wonder why people around the world come to Spain to create their best-traveling memories!
If you are unable to visit Spain right now, watching movies set in Spain is the best way to learn about this country.
Some of the best movies from Spain take you on a journey to its different cities and regions.
I bet that you will not be able take your eyes off those remarkable locations.
They are fabulous travel inspirations as well since they take you to some amazing off-the-beaten-path attractions in Spain.
Many of the suggested Spain movies below can be found on Netflix!
Short FAQ about Best Movies Set in Spain
Which Western movies were filmed in Spain?
A Fistful of Dollars, and Once Upon a Time in the West were filmed in Spain.
What movies were filmed in Madrid?
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Doctor Zhivago, and Volver were filmed in Madrid.
Which movies are set in Spain?
Belle Epoque, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and A Fistful of Dollars were set in Spain.
What Disney film was set in Spain?
While there have been a few Disney movies set in Spanish-speaking Latin America, such as Coco and Encanto (plus Saludos Amigos in the 1940s), so far there are no Disney movies set in Spain itself.
Which Bond movies were filmed in Spain?
James Bond movies are some of the most popular movies in Spain, as well as the rest of the world. The 2002 film Die Another Day was partially filmed in Cádiz, at one of the most important beaches in the region: the Playa la Caleta.
What has been filmed in Seville?
If you’re looking for a visual treat, movies made in Spain are a feast for the eyes, because almost all of the locations are stunning, especially Seville. A lot of the films about Spain on this list have been filmed in Seville, including The Dictator, Tu Hijo, Knight and Day, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and more.
You can’t get enough of movies set in Spain? Have a look at my webstory about test movies set in Spain.
Hola! I am Paulina, a fervent travelette who crossed the Atlantic Ocean by Boat HitchHiking. On my blog, you’ll find all the tips to make the most of your holiday. Get ready to enjoy outdoor and sustainable travel like hiking, cycling or sailing. Let’s hit the road together!