Best German TV Shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime (2019)

Watching popular German TV shows online is an excellent way to learn about the culture while practicing vocabulary and listening skills. Luckily for us language learners, Netflix and Amazon Prime have started adding German TV series to their streaming lineups.

If you are an advanced learner, I recommend turning on German subtitles when available as studies show it enhances language learning.

Here are some of the best German shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime in the US as of September 1, 2019. If you’re not in the US, just click the title to check if the show is available in your country (if it’s not available, it’ll display an error or redirect to Netflix’s homepage).

Netflix originals will stick around, but watch the rest while you can, because content disappears as licensing agreements expire.

Best German TV Shows on Netflix

Note: Be sure to select German audio, as Netflix defaults to the dubbed English version.

1. The Same Sky (Der Gleiche Himmel)

The Same Sky – MIPCOM 2016 World Premiere Screening Trailer

This terrific six-part Cold War thriller is set in the divided Berlin of the 1970s. The fates of two families become intertwined when an East German “Romeo” agent on assignment seduces a woman on the other side of the Wall.

2. Dark

DARK Trailer (2017) Netflix

For a show that has nothing to do with the Cold War or Nazis, check out Dark, Netflix’s first German-language production, a supernatural thriller that has become one of the company’s most successful non-English shows ever.

This bingeable series opens with the disappearance of a child in a German small town that sets four families on a frantic hunt for answers. Follow down the rabbit hole as they unearth a mind-bending mystery that turns the concept of time on its head.

3. How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)

How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) | Trailer | Netflix

This German teen comedy web TV series follows nerdy Moritz, who launches an online drug business with his best friend and soon becomes one of Europe’s biggest dealers.

The series is largely based on a true story that took place in Leipzig in 2015.

4. Babylon Berlin

Babylon Berlin - German series Netflix

Tap the photo to watch the trailer on Netflix

Gripping noir thriller set in 1920s Berlin with superb acting and lavish sets. A cop suffering from PTSD and a typist aspiring to become a police inspector uncover a dangerous web of intrigue when they investigate an underground porn ring. Read more about Babylon Berlin.

5. Perfume (Parfum)

Perfume | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Patrick Süskind’s best-selling novel Das Parfum about smell, passion, and serial killing gets a contemporary spin. While in boarding school, a group of six friends bond through their intense passion for scent. When one is brutally murdered years later, disturbing secrets about the group are revealed when the police investigates each as a suspect.

6. Charité

Charité - German series on Netflix

Tap the photo to watch the trailer on Netflix

This six-part miniseries was a massive hit in Germany. At Berlin’s Charité hospital in 1888, young nurse Ida finds romance, a path to her dream job in medicine, and an inside look into the cures for tuberculosis and diphtheria.

The English subtitles are poorly translated, so try to watch with German ones instead if you can.

7. Charité at War

CHARITÉ – STAFFEL 2 | TRAILER (Serie in Das Erste, 2019) // UFA FICTION

Note: No English subtitles available for official trailer. Click here to watch English-subtitled trailer on Netflix.

This sequel to Charité (above) features an all-new cast but the same creators. In 1943, staff at the Berlin hospital struggle against the effects of World War II and the Nazi regime, including eugenic medical practices.

8. Dogs of Berlin

Dogs of Berlin | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

The murder of a famous Turkish-German soccer player leads two cops into a battle with Berlin’s underworld as tensions mount throughout the city.

9. Tempel

Tempel – Sechsteilige Dramaserie in ZDFneo

Note: No English subtitles available for trailer

This highly acclaimed series follows boxer-turned-caregiver Mark Tempel who rejoins his old criminal gang when real-estate sharks threaten his family. Leading a double life, Tempel becomes increasingly drawn into the criminal underworld as his moral boundaries and marriage are tested.

10. Old Money (Altes Geld)

Altes Geld – trailer

This dark Austrian comedy revolves around the dysfunctional family of a wealthy Viennese patriarch as they compete to find him a new liver at all costs. Backstabbing, blackmail, and revenge abound in this satirical soap described by its creator as “Dallas for psychos.”

Best German TV Shows on Amazon Prime

I hope you love my German TV show recommendations like I do! Just so you know, I may get a small commission from any purchases made using the Amazon links in this section at no extra cost to you.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, check out these German television series available to stream for free in the US. Not a member yet? Click here to start your free 30-day trial.

1. Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter (Generation War)

Generation War Official Trailer 1 (2013) – War Drama HD

This World War II miniseries tells the story of five young German friends on different paths through Nazi Germany and World War II: as Wehrmacht soldiers on the Eastern Front, a war nurse, an aspiring singer, and a Jewish tailor.

2. You Are Wanted

YOU ARE WANTED Season 1 TRAILER (2017) Amazon Series

Amazon’s first original German series follows Lukas, a young hotel manager who finds himself a victim of a hacking attack, his online information altered to implicate him as having masterminded a cyber-attack on Berlin resulting in a city-wide blackout.

Suspected as a terrorist, Lukas scrambles to find out why he’s been targeted, as even his family and friends begin to doubt his innocence.

3. Beat

BEAT – Official Trailer | Prime Video

This Prime Original tells the story of Robert Schlag, called Beat, a Berlin club promoter addicted to Berlin’s nightlife including drugs and sex with men and women. Beat works for Berlin’s most famous techno club, which is owned by his best friend.

Given Beat’s connections, he is recruited by the European Security Intelligence (ESI) to help investigate the clubs. Emilia, an ESI agent, partners with Beat on his dangerous journey through organ trafficking and arms trades against the backdrop of Berlin’s party scene.

4. 4 Blocks

Note: No English subtitles available for trailer. One scene NSFW.

Gritty, addictive gangster drama about a Lebanese mafia family in Berlin. Toni Hamady wants to leave organized crime behind and lead a quiet life with his wife and daughter.

But when a police raid with devastating consequences derails his plans, Toni has to step up as leader of his clan once more. Will he be able to escape the downward spiral of the drug trade?

5. Hotel Sacher

ORF2 – Trailer "Das Sacher" [720p nativ]

Very witty trailer, unfortunately with no English subtitles available

A soapy but well-made two-part period drama about the iconic Hotel Sacher in Vienna, beginning with the takeover by Anna Sacher after the death of her husband.

6. Türkisch für Anfänger (Turkish for Beginners)

TRAILER Türkisch für Anfänger

No English subtitles available for trailer

Note: Available free on Amazon with an MHz Choice channel trial.

This hit German comedy has been broadcast in more than 70 countries. When a single mom and her kids move in with a Turkish widower and his two teenage children in Berlin, culture clashes ensue.

The show’s creator, Bora Dağtekin, grew up with a Turkish father and German mother, so the story is based on personal experience. Other episodes also feature guest writers of Turkish descent.

7. Deutschland 83

DEUTSCHLAND 83 Season 1 TRAILER (2015) New Series

Note: Available free on Amazon with a Sundance Now channel trial.

This gripping German-American spy thriller set in 1983 features a fun retro soundtrack. Martin Rauch, born and raised in East Germany, is sent to West Germany as a reluctant undercover spy.

Season 2, titled Deutschland 86, is also available on Amazon.

8. Der Tatortreiniger (Crime Scene Cleaner)

Crime Scene Cleaner (Trailer)

Note: Available free on Amazon with an MHz Choice channel trial.

In this immensely popular dark German comedy, Bjarne Madel stars as Schotty, a man whose work begins where others pass in horror. He’s a contract cleaner, sent to sanitize crime scenes after the police have finished their investigations.

9. Tatort: Cologne

Tatort: Cologne (Trailer)

Note: Available free on Amazon with an MHz Choice channel trial.

This cult crime show stars smooth-talking Max Ballauf and his robust, level-headed partner Freddy Schenk as Cologne’s best homicide detectives — and two of the most popular investigators in the almost 50-year history of Germany’s iconic Tatort franchise.

Fun locations in Köln (Cologne) like the Wurstbraterei, a currywurst sausage stand made famous by the series.

10. Bukow & König

Bukow & König (Trailer)

Note: Available free on Amazon with an MHz Choice channel trial.

This crime drama consists of selected episodes featuring detective team Bukow and König from the long-running German crime franchise Polizeiruf 110, originally created in East Germany in 1971 as a counterpart to the West German Tatort. That’s why, at the beginning of Bukow & König episodes, you see the logo for Polizeiruf 110.

They’re Frick and Frack, work spouses, opposites united by the job of investigating crimes in the port city of Rostock, Germany. She’s cerebral and analytical; he’s emotional and reactive. Together, they’re the detective duo Bukow and König, a great crime-fighting team — when they’re not fighting each other.

11. Inspector Falke

Tatort Feuerteufel Vorschauvideo

No English subtitles available for trailer

Note: Available free on Amazon with a PBS Masterpiece channel trial.

This gritty crime drama consists of selected episodes from the iconic long-running German police procedural Tatort (“Crime Scene”) featuring Inspector Thorsten Falke, a dedicated but stubborn Hamburg police detective who has traded in family life to tackle the criminal gangs that threaten the city.

12. Wilsberg

First Look: Wilsberg (Season 1)

Note: Available free on Amazon with an MHz Choice channel trial.

Charming German detective series about a hapless antiquarian book dealer who works as a private eye on the side.

Have feedback on these German series or more Netflix or Amazon Prime suggestions? Some of my best German television show recommendations come from readers! Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Banner image from Dark © Netflix

12 Comments on “Best German TV Shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime (2019)”

  1. Super helpful info about using subtitles when watching foreign shows/films, etc. This is a question I always have when showing my high schoolers videos. Most of them say they don’t want subtitles. But now I know that it’s actually in their best interest to keep them on. Thanks!!! UND ich freue mich auf dich! Schon nächste Woche – unglaublich!!!

    Hey, there’s an editing feature now! 😀 Great!

    • Ha! Personally, I love watching with subtitles… like the big nerd I am, I keep a notebook close by to jot down any interesting new words! But if they really hate them, then maybe keep them off? I do believe we learn best when doing things we enjoy… Bin schon am Münchner Flughafen und freue mich sehr auf das Wiedersehen mit dir und E!

    • Right now I can’t find a release date for that show, but I monitor both Netflix and Amazon Prime for new German television shows each month, so if it gets added I’ll list it here.

  2. Amazon Prime’s shows, at least in the US, aren’t available IN German, they’re only available in English.

    • Hi Cheryl, some shows like You are Wanted, Beat, and 4 Blocks are also available dubbed in English on Prime Video, but I’ve linked to only the German-language versions in my list.

      I noticed that Amazon also mistakenly lists the Audio Language as English in the episodes of some shows like Deutschland 83 and Der Tatortreiniger, although they are in German with English subtitles.

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