Watching popular German TV shows 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 June 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.
Note: Be sure to select German audio, as Netflix defaults to the dubbed English version.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 violently threaten his family. Leading a double life, Tempel becomes increasingly drawn into the criminal underworld as his moral boundaries and marriage are tested.
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.”
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 as of June 1, 2019. Not a member yet? Click here to start your free 30-day trial.
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.
This Prime Original tells the story of Robert Schlag, called Beat, a Berlin club promoter who is 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 with the club scene, 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, all against the backdrop of Berlin’s party scene.
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?
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.
There are three 90-minute parts: A Different Time (Eine andere Zeit), A Different War (Ein anderer Krieg), and A Different Country (Ein anderes Land).
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.
You may also like: