Expat in Berlin: news, culture and entertainment

Marle

Updated on Dec 03 • 4 minute read

As an expat in Berlin, you've cracked the jackpot among expats in Germany: without German language proficiency, you'll easily survive in Berlin and won't even have to miss out on the latest movies or the hottest news in Berlin!

Needless to say, even though you can dive into your expat life in Berlin with English only, a sound basis of German will help you to crack a new level within your expat life in Berlin and see the bustling capital through the glasses of a local and easily uncover the secret hotspots.

It's no secret that learning German is no piece of cake. So until you break down the language barrier, we don't want you to let your expats life in Berlin fall down the drain. With our tips, you’ll stay up to date with the news and get to dive in the creative scene of theatres in Berlin (in English!).

Expat in Berlin: How to stay up to date with news in English

This weekend's demonstrations in Berlin are the number one topic of conversation in the office on Monday, yet you have no idea what's going on there? An awkward situation, that's for sure.

Even as an expat in Berlin, you naturally want to be kept abreast of what's going on in the city and stay on top of the news. Truth to be told,

if you don't seem to care about the political and social affairs in your new home base, chances are you'll stick to your international bubble.

Giving the impression that you're just picking up on the benefits of expat life in Berlin without really glancing to your left or right, you're placing a hurdle in your own path to fully integrate into society.

So how do you keep your finger on the pulse of the bustling city of Berlin? Luckily, most major newspapers post their news in English as well, for example, Spiegel Online, Zeit Online, The Local Germany or Deutschland.de. What's even better: The Local Germany (by the way, it even features a Berlin-specific page!) and Deutschland.de can also be found on Twitter, making news even easier to digest.

To keep up with what's happening in Berlin, expats in Berlin can find the latest news in English. We have put together a selection of the best English language news for you:

1. Deutsche Welle: It could hardly get more pure and critical: Deutsche Welle (DW) is an unbiased medium that gives people the freedom to form their own opinion with all the information needed.

2. EXBERLINER: Your go-to source for news, culture and politics in Berlin. With the claim "Berlin in English" you will receive regular online updates about upcoming events, a weekly review of the news in Berlin and you can also read long and short articles.

3. Berliner Zeitung: Every day the Berliner Zeitung feeds you with all the news from Berlin: from Berlin start-ups that have landed new investments to the latest corona measures. Your allrounder!

4. Radio Spaetkauf: Every month Radio Spaetkauf, a Berlin news show, gives you a retrospective on current events in Berlin.

5. ITB Berlin News: With ITB Berlin News you get an overview of all happenings, events and news in Berlin, but also have access to practical information.

3 podcasts that you shouldn't miss as an expat in Berlin

1. Berlin Briefing: Get the latest news with a fresh twist: Check out the Berlin Briefing with its five- to ten-minute summaries of the day's news while having breakfast or brushing your teeth. If you live in Berlin, you truly grasp the local news in English on weekdays.

2. The Germany Experience: While listening to Shaun Behrens' podcast The Germany Experience, you will feel the urge to snatch a chair to sit at the table with the South African and dive into the conversation. With lots of humour, he reflects his experiences as an expat in Germany and heats up discussions with fellow expats in which you will most likely recognise yourself. Search Shaun on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!

3. Americans in Germany Drinking Whiskey: American expats in Berlin listen up: The two Americans Alex and Geoff found each other in Berlin where they realised that they were bursting with tips and tricks for expats in Berlin. This is how Americans in Germany Drinking Whiskey was born! To add spice to the mix, they taste a new whiskey in each episode, which sometimes loosens the tongue a bit, and snap over topics ranging from their love of German nature to cultural differences. Have a look at their website or Instagram!

With cinemas in English you won't miss a single movie as an expat in Berlin

Granted: the Germans love their dapped movies! Therefore, you can count on the fact that if you don't pay attention, you might wind up in a cinema theatre with 95 minutes full load in German.

The Cinestar at Potsdamer Platz is the only cinema that screens their movies exclusively in the original version. However, the Odeon cinema in Berlin-Schöneberg also shows movies in their original version with German subtitles, just like the Cinéma Paris on Kurfürstendamm or Filmtheater in the Hackesche Höfe.

The key to not finding yourself stuck in a movie in German unintentionally is to check out the movie listing and see if it says "OV" (original version) or OmU (original with subtitles). Original, as the name suggests, is the original. OmU is the original with subtitles, so if the film is in English, there are German subtitles.

Is there a theatre in Berlin that plays in English?

En masse! The English Theatre Berlin, how could it be otherwise, is an independent theatre that performs its theatre performances only in English. At the English Theatre Berlin, you can find just about anything your theatre heart desires: from comedies to dance performances or guest performances.

But it doesn't stop at the English Theatre Berlin: almost all theatres at least offer English subtitles for their performances, so as an expat in Berlin you don't have to miss out on any groundbreaking performances.

  • Komische Oper Berlin: Every seat has individual screens where you can choose your language.
  • Schaubühre on Lehniner Platz
  • Volksbühne on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
  • Maxim Gorki Theatre
  • German Theatre Berlin
  • Theatre Strahl
  • Monbijou Park's open-air theatre in the summer.

Revue and varieté for expats in Berlin: No language barriers

  • Varité theatre for top-notch acrobatics, dance and music performances
  • Chameleon Varité in the Hackesche Höfe
  • Winter Garden Variety Theatre

In short: Expats in Berlin don't have to forego news, culture and entertainment

To be frank, learning German isn't all that easy. Nonetheless, as an expat in Berlin, this won’t make you miss out on news, culture or entertainment. The vibrant metropolis is full of English language offers for you to dive in as an expat in Berlin!

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