15+ Best Podcasts to learn German

Updated: June 24, 2022
Fact-Check & Editorial Responsibility: Kris Broholm

Love podcasts? Always on the go? Learn a new language, or develop established language skills with one of the best podcasts to learn German! 

Our favourite podcasts to learn German include Coffee Break German, ideal for those who enjoy bite-size audio sessions, or Elementarfragen, a podcast for advanced students tired of studying grammar. 

Our Pick of the Best Podcasts To Learn German

1. Coffee Break German

Cost: Free access to podcast only or $124 for additional course-access

Coffee Break German is one of the best podcasts to learn German and can take you from beginner to intermediate using bitesize, friendly episodes that will help build up your confidence. Each podcast episode is about 20-minutes long, so about the length of a coffee date with a friend. The episode is hosted by a native speaker, Thomas, who is teaching a student, Mark. It mimics a classroom setting, with a laid-back and friendly approach to learning. Each episode focuses on some grammar, vocabulary, and also includes facts about German society and culture. You can access the podcasts for free, however, if you wish to combine them with a course, or enjoy supplementary materials, you will have to pay a one-off payment.

What we like:

  • Short episodes, perfect for busy individuals. 
  • Hundreds of hours available for free. 
  • Includes topics about German society and culture.

What we don't like:

  • You need to pay for more materials. 
  • It’s better to have some understanding of German before you commit to this app. 
  • The app is quite limited: you may need to use other resources to become fluent.

2. Slow German mit Annik Rubbens

Cost: Free

This podcast was started by Annik Rubens in 2007, way before audio learning via podcasts, and audiobooks were popular. Each Slow German episode is around five minutes long, perfect for busy individuals. The episodes focus on explaining a range of topics that will be beneficial to a new student of German, like ordering in a restaurant or shopping at a store. At the beginning, the lessons are recorded in English, with a small introduction to German words. However, as you progress, Annik begins to narrate the lesson completely in German, but, as the name suggests, at a slow pace! Additionally, each episode comes with a transcript for you to follow along with.

What we like:

  • Free podcast. 
  • Offers help in grammar, as well as referencing the cultural aspects of German. 
  • You can listen to native speaker dialogues. 

What we don't like:

  • There is a premium membership available that includes a lot of extra materials, but it is quite expensive. 
  • You might want to work with a native speaker/tutor to get some speaking practice.

3. German LingQ

Cost: Free

In LingQ you follow the adventures of Jolanda and Vera as they talk in German and discuss a variety of common topics. Their episodes include: eating out, spending a day at the zoo, camping and vacations and more. Some episodes focus on beginners, and intermediate students (LingQ does not offer materials for advanced language students). There is also a free transcript available, so you will be able to follow the dialogue word-for-word while listening to the podcast. You have to sign up for a free account to be able to listen to LingQ and benefit from the transcript. A recent update allows you to even upload content from Netflix, so you will be able to learn alongside shows you love.

What we like:

  • Tons of grammar help available. 
  • There is a dictionary available so you can check word meanings. 
  • You can upload your content: like from Netflix! 
  • Additional course material is available to purchase. 

What we don't like:

  • The extra features are overpriced. 
  • Not a lot of original content. 
  • Can be used as a supplementary tool only. 

4. News in Slow German

Cost: Free

News in Slow German is one of the best podcasts to learn German if you already have a good knowledge of the language. Each week, a new episode is released of a news story which is slowly narrated and discussed in German. Each episode is around 30-minutes long and includes a transcript, as well as a list of words you should learn (with translations). The podcast also offers a voice-recognition service to help you with your pronunciation, along with a grammar course to help you with the more difficult aspects of the German language. 

What we like:

  • Using current events to learn a language is a very unique approach. 
  • A huge library of grammar and vocabulary sheets provided. 
  • Free access to the podcast!

What we don't like:

  • The app is basic – it's not user-friendly.
  • The voice recognition software isn't super accurate.
  • You don't practice speaking German, but you can talk along with the podcast.

5. Learn German by Podcast

Cost: 20 episodes for $30

Learn German by Podcast is one of the best podcasts to learn German for beginners who are looking to build their language skills from scratch. The episodes focus on roleplay scenes, which are repeated at least once (depending on their length and difficulty) and followed by a full interpretation of the dialogue. All the episodes come with a translation, a transcript, and examples of how to use the keywords in other contexts. Afterwards, you can also complete some exercises to see how much you learned. Unfortunately, the podcast isn't free but you can purchase the first 20 lessons for $30.

What we like:

  • A script, vocabulary list and exercises are included. 
  • The dialogues and the words are often repeated. 
  • The vocabulary that is introduced is very useful. 

What we don't like:

  • Quite expensive for a podcast when there is a lot of free content available out there. 
  • Offers no visual content for learners.

6. Deutsch Warum Nicht?

Cost: Free

Deutsch Warum Nicht (Why Not?) was created by the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut. The podcast follows a student of journalism who works as a doorman. Besides the main character, the series also follows a whole bunch of characters each offering an entertaining and unique approach. The characters find themselves in regular daily situations that will help you navigate your way through life with German. The podcast teaches you tons of new vocabulary, phrases and practice dialogues, as well as grammar. All four seasons of the podcast are around 26 hours long, and it will take you from beginner to intermediate. Once you are ready for intermediate learning you can listen to Deutsch Wieso Nicht, which covers harder vocabulary, more difficult scenarios and tricky German grammar.

What we like:

  • Free service provided by a trusted source. 
  • Includes tons of grammar help.   
  • Available for beginner and intermediate students

What we don't like:

  • It can be a little difficult if you don't know any German words. 
  • Limited lessons and activities are available

7. Long Story Short by Chatterbug 

Cost: Free

Long Story Short is one of the best podcasts to learn German for complete beginners. Each episode follows a different story, where the protagonists must navigate through everyday situations and scenarios. Each different scenario requires a different interaction with a variety of language skills involved. At the end of each episode, you’ll find a useful summary. The whole text is broken down into short and easy sentences to help the listener understand each scenario. Additionally, there is a grammar segment at the end where the teachers explain grammar and give you tips and tricks on how to conquer it. Transcripts are also available so you can follow the dialogue while you're listening to the podcast. 

What we like:

  • Available on Spotify (not only the website) 
  • Goes through grammar step-by-step. 
  • Transcripts are available. 

What we don't like:

  • Only around ten episodes are available at the moment.
  • The episodes are quite long: up to one hour long! 
  • There isn't a lot of extra content available. 

8. Easy German

Cost: Free

The Easy German Podcast was created after the success of Easy German on Youtube. It offers podcasts that cover a variety of different topics and conversations: all of which will be useful for your everyday life. However, topics from Germany concerning their culture and society, as well as topics from around the world are also included. Each episode comes with an interactive transcript, a vocabulary helper and other bonus content. Saying this, you will need to purchase the pro version to access the best facilities. You can listen to the podcast on three separate providers: Apple Podcasts App, Overcast, Castbox and Pocket Casts.

What we like:

  • Focuses on topics that relate to Germany and German culture and society. 
  • Ideal for casual learners who love to learn on the go. 
  • Youtube videos are also available from the same creator.

What we don't like:

  • You will need to supplement your learning with other resources. 
  • Still new, so not a lot of content is available. 
  • The pro version includes more content.

9. Marktplatz

Cost: Free

Marketplatz was created by the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut. It is a constitution of the other podcasts and lessons provided by Deutsche Welle that were mentioned above. However, Marketplatz is for those speakers who already have a very good command of German – ideally B2, according to the CEFR (Common European Framework Reference). The podcasts discuss advanced topics like finance, business and trade. It only contains 26 episodes, but it is a very useful series for those studying German for work or business purposes.

What we like:

  • Free podcast provided by a valued source. 
  • A great tool available for higher-level students. 
  • Includes a lot of support for those studying for work/business reasons.

What we don't like:

  • It has a limited selection of episodes (only 26 at the time of writing).

10. Elementarfragen

Cost: Free

Elementarfragen (Elementary Questions) is one of the best podcasts to learn German for advanced speakers. Once you feel that you've reached a high level of German, and you are sick of learning basic grammar and vocabulary, you can start with Elementarfragen. The podcast features interviews with experts on a variety of advanced topics. The experts come from a wide range of different fields such as science, medicine, history and more. Each episode is quite long reaching anywhere between one to two hours. The speakers don't try to slow down or use simple vocabulary. This is real German dialogue spoken by real German people.

What we like:

  • Includes difficult and interesting topics. 
  • The dialogue is between two native German speakers. 
  • The episodes are long and include a lot of content.

What we don't like:

  • Not a lot of episodes are available. 
  • Sometimes the conversations can get quite dark and intimidating.

11. Radio D

Cost: Free

Radio D is a fun and interactive podcast for beginners. It follows Paula and Philipp, reporters travelling across Germany and investigating mysterious cases. As an example, one of the cases involves the investigation of UFO sightings and crop circles. Who doesn't enjoy a good detective story? This podcast includes engaging and imaginative stories, that are brought to life through sound effects, interactive elements, acted-out dialogues and scenes, and funny humour to keep the listener engaged. Although the podcast is in German, there is an English-speaking narrator to help guide you through the episodes. You’ll also find transcripts available to download after each episode.

What we like:

  • No structure or lessons. 
  • Stories are a great way to remain motivated to learn. 
  • English speaking host is available to help you understand.

What we don't like:

  • Quite out-dated.
  • Only 26 episodes are available at the moment.
germanpod101 review

12. GermandPod101

Cost: $4/month

GermanPod101 will grab your attention with their interesting titles like: “Have you ever seen a blind fish in Germany?“. The podcasts are fun, exciting and they are guaranteed to hook you from the start! Each episode includes acted-out scenes following different scenarios, and afterwards, the dialogues are translated by the two hosts of the show, Chuck and Judith. The hosts also go into detail about grammar, German society and using language politely, and some other interesting cultural insights. The podcast also includes a voice-recognition system to help you practice your pronunciation. A script is also included so you can follow the dialogues word-for-word during the podcast. The script, as well as additional materials, can also be downloaded as PDF's.

What we like:

  • High-quality language lessons
  • You can download the lessons and transcripts. 
  • Cultural insights are available

What we don't like:

  • The podcast could be improved in terms of the navigation and interface 
  • Not an actual course, only a supplementary tool.

13. DazPod

Cost: Free

DazPod is a podcast for advanced German learners because it is a German ONLY podcast. There is zero English whatsoever: no explanations, no extra materials, nothing! To avoid using English, the podcast uses repetition, synonyms and sometimes slows down the audio to ensure listeners can understand everything. DazPod includes 50 episodes on very interesting topics that will help you to master intermediate-advanced German. The episodes can also be downloaded onto your phone or computer if you want to study them from outside the app.

What we like:

  • One of the only podcasts that uses ZERO ENGLISH. 
  • A great resource for advanced students of German. 
  • Interesting topics are included.

What we don't like:

  • Sometimes the German is hard to follow…you may want to consider slowing down the speed of the podcast. 
  • Only 50 episodes are available.

14. Authentic German Learning

Cost: Free

The Authentic German Learning Podcast is hosted by Marco Rosler. Unlike many other podcasts on the market, Marco doesn't only focus on learning German, but also on helping students with their confidence and personal development. A large chunk of language learning is confidence, and with this unique approach, you are sure to succeed at learning German. Each podcast episode is around 15 minutes long and contains a transcript, as well as comprehension notes for each episode to help you decipher German. His website also includes other resources about learning German grammar, German pronunciation and more.

What we like:

  • Short 15-minutes podcasts. 
  • Teaches you about personal development too. 
  • Includes a transcript and notes.  

What we don't like:

  • Only available for advanced speakers.
  • The interface of the website isn't great.

16. Learn German for Free

Cost: Free

Learn German for Free is a German podcast available for beginners. It covers a huge array of topics from super basic phrases like greetings, numbers, ordering in a restaurant, using public transport and more. Slowly the topics get a little more difficult and include slightly harder grammar. Each lesson is short, they build on each other so you can follow the podcasts episode by episode. The host of the podcast is friendly and easy-going. He tries to teach the material like a friend at a coffee shop. Aside from the podcast, he includes a transcript as well as extra material to help you study. 

What we like:

  • A friendly and laid-back approach to learning. 
  • There is a transcript, as well as extra materials included. 
  • This podcast is completely free! 

What we don't like:

  • There is a limited number of podcasts available. 
  • You can only reach a certain level: the course is quite basic. 
  • The website is a little difficult and old-school to use.
  • It hasn't been updated in forever! 
Kris Broholm

Kris is the founder of Actual Fluency, and has spent the last 8 years becoming an expert in language learning software, methods, and techniques.

Originally from Denmark, he now lives in Portugal and speaks 5+ languages at varying levels. His other interests are Wine, Online Marketing, and Travelling.