Learning German is all about practice. Whether you are driving to work in your car, out for a jog, or just cleaning around the house, listening to German podcasts is a really great way to pass the time and flex those language learning muscles in your brain. And, of course, there are podcasts for every taste and skill level. If you are looking to catch up on current events or just have a laugh, there are news and comedy podcasts. Maybe your interests lie in discovering new music? Perhaps you’re looking to be drawn into a true crime story. Looking for German podcasts for beginners? I’ve got you covered!
I have pulled together more than a dozen of the best German podcasts that German language learners will want to check out. And, as an added bonus, most if not all of these offerings I’ve listed are free German podcasts that you can enjoy without reaching for your wallet.
Fest & Flauschig
Clearly Jan Böhmermann and Olli Schulz work well together. The longtime comedy partners have co-hosted radio shows, television shows, and podcasts. They have been hosting their current podcast, Fest & Flauschig, since 2016 and it’s become the most popular podcast on Spotify. Perhaps unsurprising to anyone familiar with Böhmermann or Schulz, the podcast covers current events and politics while they also draw from their own lives and experiences.
Why do people commit crimes? In Die Zeit’s crime podcast Verbrechen, two of the newspaper’s experts dissect real-life criminal cases. The bi-weekly podcast features Sabine Rückert, Zeit’s editor-in-chief and expert in criminal cases, and Andreas Sentker, the head of the newspaper’s knowledge department. Each generally hour-long episode explores a different case in detail.
Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, or so the saying goes. For more than four years, two historians have been breathing new life into the past. Daniel Meßner and Richard Hemmer’s Zeitsprung podcast explores everything from the past with engrossing stories and anecdotes. In the past, they have explored the history of the Olympic games, mathematicians, architects, and a whole lot more.
Easy German Podcast
If you are looking for German podcasts dedicated to learning the language, this one is for you. Cari, Manuel, and Janusz, the folks behind the Easy German YouTube channel, have a complimentary podcast. On the Easy German podcast the go more in-depth on topics like words and expressions. This is one of the best German podcasts for beginners.
On the bi-weekly Minkorrekt podcast, Nicolas Wöhrl and Reinhard Remfort talk science. Topics include current research and experiments as well as themes relevant to everyday life. The pair cover it all when it comes to science.
German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle is always a great resource. They provide timely news, well-informed business reports, travel shows that will make you want to jump on a plane to Germany, and more. DW also offers a substantial amount of content aimed at those looking to learn German. Among the many on offer are some of the best German podcasts for beginners. That includes most (if not all) of their television programs, news, as well as other special topics. If you’re still working on your German listening skills, start with DW’s slowly read news. It’s the best German-language podcast for beginners with some listening skills. Also, because DW is a public broadcaster, you can count on them for free German podcasts!
Based in Bavaria, Süddeutsche Zeitung offers serious news coverage of the local region, across Germany, and internationally. Although the level of difficulty might be too high for new language learners, those with some experience will receive a good challenge. Among the SZ podcasts you will find international current events, sports, sexuality, and gender, as well as women in business.
Ja Ja Nee Nee
Author and one-time TV host Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre joins forces with actress Jasna Fritzi Bauer for the Ja Ja Nee Nee podcast on Spotify. On the podcast seemingly no topic is off-limits as they discuss in-depth their likes and dislikes.
One of Germany’s most popular comedy podcasts is Gemischtes Hack. It is also one of the most popular German podcasts regardless of topic, too. And that is certainly quite an achievement. The podcast is the product of comedian Felix Lobrecht and comedy writer Tommi Schmitt. With new episodes weekly, the pair keep things loose and without too much of a structure. Although they do open each episode with a rap lyric just to set the tone.
The great part about podcasts is that no matter how busy you are, they are ready and available for you whenever your schedule allows. German public radio station Deutschlandfunk hosts a variety of podcasts. With their podcasts, you can catch up on the headlines of the day, politics, business, interviews, and more. Similar to Deutsche Welle, Deutschlandfunk offers a large and wide-ranging variety of free German podcasts.
When he isn’t hosting his late-night talk show, Klaas Heufer-Umlauf is co-hosting the Baywatch Berlin podcast with Thomas Schmitt and Jakob Lundt. The podcast describes itself as an attempt for these entertainment hot shots to reconnect with the real world.
Radio mit K
What began as a radio show has morphed in our digital world into one of the most popular German language podcasts. Since 2015, Kraftklub’s Felix Brummer and Steffen Israel join forces for their Radio mit K show. On the fourth Friday of the month it comes in the form of a podcast and on the fourth Sunday it’s a radio show on MDR Sputnik. On each episode, the pair share their top tunes for the month, chat with famous musician friends, and simply have a good time.
If you want to immerse yourself in Bavaria, the Hockdiher Bayern-Podcast will appeal to you. The show is hosted by Holger Klein, a Radio Eins moderator and also the host of the WRINT podcast. Each episode sees him exploring things that are considered Bavarian. Past episodes have seen guests like a ranger from the Bavarian Forest National Park and an ambassador for hops, the all-important beer ingredient.
Volksmusik, or traditional music, is still being made throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. With the Servus Musilosn podcast hosted by Conny Bürgler, you get to go behind the scenes with those making Volksmusik and other young musicians and hear from them directly.
Diffus produces the Mit Verachtung podcast hosted by musicians Casper and Drangsal. The buddies started their podcast in 2018 and spend each episode discussing pop culture events, music, and everyday life. Season two of the podcast kicked off on April 1, 2021.
4 thoughts on “Best German Podcasts You Need to Hear”
My favourite German podcast is “Wie war der Tag, Liebling?” where old friends Anke Engelke (broadcaster, comedian, actress, the German voice of Marge Simpson etc etc) and Kristian Thees (who must be the hardest working DJ on German radio) chat about a story or an interesting fact they’ve read. A lovely fun little podcast with lots of natural conversational german for learners to train their ears.
does any one know whether Deutschland86 and 93 are available online with German subtitles?
Hi Anna, unfortunately, I don’t. I know Hulu offers it for streaming but seems to only have English subtitles.
Another great podcast for intermediate German learners is “14 Minuten”. They also have free transcripts of each episode on their website http://www.14minuten.de