Learn German in Berlin

Learn german in Berlin

6 months have passed. 8 months have passed. Close to a year has passed and you still haven’t got round to it : kicking yourself in the butt and starting to learn German in Berlin.

After all, you have been so busy with fitting into the shoes of your new life : the new job, furnishing your new flat, the clubbing at Sisyphos, and your week-ends spent visiting abandoned factories. You also managed just fine nodding and smiling at the check-out at Lidl. Also; why bother to learn German in Berlin when everyone speaks English with you?


Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja

As you must have noticed by now, this sarcastic tone might sound pretty close to what you hear everyday in your head, so let me list the options for you to shut it down for good. As you might also know already from reading other pieces on SiB, i am a strong advocate for starting early to realize the full potential of your life in Berlin.

It’s also about realizing the full potential of your life in Berlin

 German classes is clearly the best way to learn German in Berlin :

Sometimes, a good old teacher-pupil situation is best to learn German in Berlin. Fortunately, there is a good range at hand since a lot of expats have been moving to the city the past few years. In almost all of them, you can sign-up for a free trial class to get a sense of your level & see for yourself if the teaching method suits you. Mind also that some schools will require from you to buy some specifics material like books to follow the course.

  • Volkshochschule : Intended as school for adults, it offers the flexibility to choose the amount of hours for all languages levels. It is the cheapest option as well starting from 69€ for students.
  • Goethe Institut : The grand institution is in charge of spreading the German culture in the world and offers German courses for all. It is very tailored and professional teaching service that comes at a cost : a little more than 1000€ for 4 intensive 25 h weeks. Might be a good idea to kickstart your efforts. They also have cheaper great online courses where you have live sessions with real teacher in between fun-oriented exercises to do on your own. A good solution if you aren’t ready for a classroom. More info about this program here.
  • Numerous private schools are taking the more interactive road, with smaller groups focused on getting some practical sentences in. Price differs a lot depending on the type of classes:

One-to-one sessions with teachers

To learn German in Berlin in a group is not something for you? Group work might not simply be the right method for some people. For them, private sessions with a dedicated teacher is just the right thing to get you going in the beginning or sharpen those der-die-das rules. There are different ways to find a German teacher in Berlin like Facebook groups or inserts on Craigslist. You might also consider platforms like TeacherFinder who connect students with their teachers depending on levels, skill sets & focus area. Simply enter your preferences for schedules and pay your teacher when you meet them the first time. It’s really a flexible solution to find the right German teacher in Berlin for your needs.

Online classes with real humans

Your busy lifestyle might make it hard to find a suitable time slot to fit in language classes in Berlin. If you need more flexibility, you can always pick the online route. Services like Lingoda allow you to follow a certified curriculum thanks to real-time interactive classes in small groups. You can schedule classes anyway you want. Interface is pretty neat and the learning material attractive. All plans also include a private session with a teacher. If you aren’t happy, you can cancel at any time or make use of the money-back guarantee. Trial classes are available too.

Languages tandems in Berlin :

I will grant you : learning German in Berlin is not easy. But sometimes, finding the right person to talk with can be a huge motivation. Also if you feel you are ready to practice on your own; this might a good option to meet cool people and auf deutsch bitte ! I find it’s great to gather the self-confidence you need in the early days to dare speaking a language that looks very intimidating at first. With language tandems, you are both feeling awkwardly uncomfortable. No one is judging. The tricky bit is that it’s like finding a sparring partner at Tennis: it’s only fun if you are both on the same level. Finding a language tandem in Berlin is very efficient for some people who have learned the basics and would like to exercise their skills during a friendly conversation.

This might a good option to meet cool people and auf deutsch bitte !

There are a few ways to find the pearl :

I hear some turmoil in the back of the classroom : “What other alternatives do i have to takin a german class or language tandems in Berlin ?”

Apps :

For the less social or less available ones of us, it is always possible to use a smartphone or laptop to train and practice without the need of another human being. You could even learn German in Berlin subway, while you go to work.

The perk of apps is that you can really start at any level. So if you are a beginner, that might be a way to get ahead of the game before your first German course in Berlin. Self motivation is however key because there is no one to look over your shoulder. Thankfully, most of those apps have gamification aspects to it so you should be fine.


Last tips to learn German in Berlin while not studying:

Try to fill your life with as much Deutsch as you can, it helps a lot to watch German TV or listen to German radio. Radioeins in Berlin invites a lot of international artists for interviews for examples. They often interview in English before translating to German for the local audience. It’s great to know what the interviewer will say to practice!

You can also watch « Berlin Tag und Nacht » to catch on the local accents and expressions while not feeling guilty about watching reality TV. 😉

Whenever you can, read an article or two in the Morgenpost or TipBerlin laying on the table of your favorite cafe. It will be one article at first, but pretty soon you will go through the whole newspaper!

And finally, have fun while your learn German in Berlin and don’t forget to make mistakes! It’s better to do some than not to talk at all. No one will mind if you do.

And anyway, your cute ** accent will help you get that **** at the bar there !

** : insert your country of origin here
**** : insert boy or girl here

And you ? Do you have any tips or particular ways to learn German in Berlin? Share in the comments!


  • Reply sam 04/03/2020 at 21:18

    A2 please help me to learn Deutsche fast asap

  • Reply Becky S 25/02/2020 at 19:33

    I highly recommend GermanStudios for learning German. https://www.deutschstudieren.de/
    The classes are small and the teacher is really effective at getting you to understand, speak, and write quickly in a fun and motivational way. I’ve been to several schools in Berlin and this is by far the best one.

  • Reply Markus 27/01/2020 at 21:27

    with free webpages of German cultural institutions:

    With Goethe-Institut:


    With Volkshochschule:


    With Deutsche Welle:


  • Reply Erick 23/10/2019 at 04:28

    Hello guys do you know Speakeasy German School? If so, what do you think? is it a good school?

  • Reply Tom Johnson 04/09/2018 at 11:58

    **Full disclosure – I work for Chatterbug!**

    Hey everyone, just wanted to add our offering to the mix, as I (of course, lol) think it could be a very valuable solution for some of you. Chatterbug offers an online alternative to in-person language schools, which makes it much more flexible time wise. It works by combining self study exercises with live video lessons with native tutors. You can try a live lesson on us at chatterbug.com, and be sure to give me an email if you’re interested in a subscription: tj [at] chatterbug.com – I can sort out a discount on your first month.

  • Reply Svenja 09/05/2018 at 16:19

    Has anyone tried Institut für Sprachvermittlung (IFS) in Berlin yet?

  • Reply Liath 11/02/2018 at 12:48

    The best language school in Berlin is in my opinion DAS Akademie. They have great teachers and classes are small. They are a little on the expensive side, but the quality is surprisingly good. Moreover, they did not charge me for my absences and allowed me to compensate for them, which I am grateful for. You can get more information on their language courses in Berlin here: http://www.das-akademie.de/en

  • Reply Humahuma 07/02/2018 at 18:01

    I had a bad experience with Berliner ID/IIK.
    Bad quality/price rate.
    It provides anything but intensive learning : same programs as elsewhere, all in all in as many months, only with more learning hours and therefore higher price.
    Also, the school admitted their average number of students per class is 20 – way more than other schools – so that there are big discrepancies of levels to deal with and little time for each student to practice orally.

    Consequence : classes are slower and more expensive than in other schools.
    Felt like a loss of time and money to me. I quit and finally learnt in 3 months what they teach in 5, and for cheaper too.

    No matter if IIK presents itself as a non-profit organization : it seriously feels like they are more interested in our money than in our actual intensive learning.

    Oh, and if you do not find everything fine with them, you’d better come from a rich family and have a strong culture of independence and authority challenge, because they are harsh to deal with and quite manipulative.

  • Reply CK 27/01/2018 at 15:19

    Hi, I am having an interview for the position where I am supposed to speak German. Let’s say 30% of the task requires German language skill. I don’t speak German; they know it; I know it. Nevertheless they decided to give me a chance given my skills, experience and educational background matter more I believe. And they asked me to come up with plans or proposals on how I will complete the task and overcome the language barrier in the long-term. I am a polyglot speaking English, French and Japanese. I am planning to pass German B1 in 6 months, B2 in 12 months. For a quick fix, I was thinking about hiring a part-time translator/intern or using a professional translation software/service. At the same time I could pick up some other tasks or new projects where I have relevant skills in exchange for the help from internal sources such as colleagues. Any other ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Reply Sandra 29/01/2019 at 20:03

      Hi Calvin Klein :))
      I just read your post. I’m preparing my settelment in Berlin, too. And about speaking German ich spreche just a little (i got’ My A1 last year) and i just precticided a little in Berlin last two week. I have to speak fluent german. To be able to work there. I’m polyglot too, english , french and arabic.
      I would like to ask you about your german after 12mouths? and if you enjoy??
      Thx CK

      Sandra Chelli

  • Reply Akvile 20/07/2017 at 13:50

    Hi, I am doing a German course at Sprachart Berlin and enjoying it very much! I can feel that my conversational skill are improving everyday; we learn a lot of useful words and have a lot of speaking practice. Our teacher is also giving us essential grammar.
    I believe the school has a wide variety of courses for different levels and at a different time (intensive in the morning, or twice per week in the evening). The school atmosphere is really welcoming and every student gets maximum attention.
    What I am extremely happy about is the location – it’s a couple of minutes walk from the U-bahn. And the price for the courses is really very friendly. Here’s their website: sprachartberlin.de

  • Reply Sarah Kennedy 07/07/2017 at 14:02

    Sprachart Berlin is a great school to go to for any level of German. The teachers are really helpful and good at helping you improve all your language skills (lots of speaking about relevant topics and learning words and grammar you need for everyday situations) I’ve just finished the B2 course with Phil as my teacher and I felt my German, especially my speaking (which was my weak point) improved a lot. Phil was great at giving very useful, individual feedback. Good prices too as well as a lovely learning environment and free coffee and tea! sprachartberlin.de

    • Reply Sumi 15/11/2019 at 15:59

      VHS dont offer any student courses starting from 69€ . Myself went and enquired. Dnt spread false information

  • Reply Daniel 02/07/2017 at 21:03

    I just moved to Berlin a few months ago. Learning German is actually pretty enjoyable, don’t let anyone scare you out of it! While I was getting on my feet looking for work and getting to know the lay-out I enrolled in full-time intensive courses at Sprachsalon, I got to b1 level in a couple of months and let me tell you that it’s so satisfying when you can order at the Kebap store =P. The classes were small and we covered a lot of material fast. It’s a great learning environment although on the pricier side of things. Would highly recommend it!

  • Reply Arun 08/05/2017 at 22:41

    Hi everyone, has anyone taken a course at Sprachart in Berlin? http://www.sprachartberlin.de/home/. If so, how did you find it? Thanks!

  • Reply Roberto 09/08/2016 at 11:05

    On my personal experience http://www.sprachenatelier-berlin.de/en is also a pretty good (and economic) school. Nice teachers, small groups and a pretty fun cultural program to help you get to know the city and make some new friends.

  • Reply Farrah 26/07/2016 at 19:51

    Gonna add my 2 cents here. 🙂 I was at Speakeasy too and I thought it was a nice school as well. Great location for me in Friedrichshain cause I live there, friendly teachers, classes were fun, no complaints here! ^^

  • Reply J.J. 20/05/2016 at 16:06

    Hehe true, easy to let it slide since it’s so easy to just get by on English here. I’m actually not normally one to write comments, but I kinda felt spurred on to do so cause I also took classes at speakeasy sprachzeug and liked it. I’d be pretty curious how it could in any way be “the worst”? My teacher Lea was great, loved my class with her! And when my work schedule changed, they let me switch to another class, no fuss no muss! I’d recommend them for sure.

  • Reply Leticia 03/05/2016 at 17:35

    A language school I recommend in Berlin Mitte is Nativa-Akademie. Offers a great variety of German courses for different levels. The prices are very affordable. There is a very pleasant atmosphere with a friendly team. http://www.nativa-akademie.de

  • Reply Anne 30/12/2015 at 08:48

    Spakeasy is by far the worst German school I´ve found in Berlin. I wasted time and money, I learnt nothing there.

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 30/12/2015 at 10:17

      Do you care to elaborate a little bit why you think you had such a bad experience ?

      • Reply Maxwell 22/10/2017 at 16:32

        I found the same thing! I did an A1.2 course there and we asked for a test at the end of the course and 80% of the class failed. I do not believe the whole class was unintelligent. Many in the class were already bilingual. I think this bad test result is more a reflection of the teacher rushing through certain topics or failing to explain them properly.

  • Reply Eugen N. 16/10/2015 at 20:46

    The first shool I heard of in Berlin was Wall Street English. It’s quiet expensive, so I looked for other language schools. At the end I took some courses at Speakeasy Sprachzeug and found a good and cheap school to learn and improve my german skill. I can only recommend this school, because the teachers and the students are nice and interesting.
    Give it a try I booked my courses here: http://www.speakeasysprachzeug.de/en/events/categories/german/intensive-courses-german-en/

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