Berlin in TV Series & Movies

🍿 Popcorn Emoji

 Although most of you guys will be leaving Berlin in a week or two, it doesn’t mean you have to stop immersing yourself in the city. We’ve compiled a list of some great movies and tv shows set in Berlin. These are a great way to continue practicing your german and keep Berllin in your hearts, even when you’re hundreds of miles away!

TV SERIES

  • 4 Blocks
4 Blocks ist die beste deutsche Serie seit langem

4 Blocks is the German answer to every American gangster movie and series. The drama series delves into the dark world of organized crime, family feuds and gang violence in Berlin-Neukölln. It stars all different well-known German actors. Watching this TV Show is a good way to polish up your gangster German. Be aware, 4 Blocks has a high potential for addiction!

Where you can watch it: Amazon Prime, for purchase on Youtube and Apple TV

Seasons: Three seasons 

  • Babylon Berlin
Babylon Berlin": Die 3. Staffel im Schnellcheck - DER SPIEGEL

Babylon Berlin is the most exciting and expensive German TV production to date. The popular show continues to make headlines across the globe, with its almost €40 million budget, stunning costume design, and renowned directors Tykwer, Achim von Borries, and Henk Handloegten. The first two seasons are based on the crime novel The Wet Fish by Volker Kutscher, which follows the lives of the main characters, played by Volker Bruch and Liv Lisa Fries, through Berlin in the late-1920s.

Where you can watch it: Free online stream from Das Erste here

Seasons: Four seasons

  • Dark
Dark“ auf Netflix: Das hat das Ende der 3. Staffel zu bedeuten

Dark– Netflix’s first German series has been a huge success. Without giving too much away, it begins with the disappearance of a child, leading four families to start a desperate search for answers to a mystery that impacts three generations. A mix between science-fiction, thriller, mystery, and drama, some people have called Dark the German Stranger Things. The oftentimes colloquial language is a perfect way to improve your German skills while simply lying in bed or on the couch!

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Seasons: Three Seasons

  • Kleo

Kleo revolves around a former east german Stasi assassin (Kleo) who is set free after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Kleo is determined to find out why she was locked up in East Germany, and take revenge on those who betrayed her. This highly stylized series is filled with the bright colors of the 80s and 90s, while also featuring funny supporting characters – such as the techno-loving West Berliner Thilo, who moves into Kleo’s apartment. Watch the first season now so you’re ready for the season 2 release coming in 2024!

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Seasons: One Season, with a second one coming out soon

  • Türkisch für Anfänger

Türkisch für Anfänger follows a German teenage girl and her new patchwork family. When Lena’s mom marries a Turkish man with two children, the two families are forced to overcome their cultural differences and get along with eachother. Filmed from 2006-2008, the series follows the characters as they grapple with teenage life in Berlin. This funny and heartfelt series is perfect for casual watching, and is a great way to practice your German.  

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube (with subscription); for purchase on Apple TV

Seasons: Three

  • Unorthodox

Unlike the other shows on this list, Unorthodox is not primarily in German. However, it is still an amazing show worth watching. It follows the journey of a Jewish woman living in an Ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn, who chooses to secretly run away to Berlin. Once in Berlin, she does her best to navigate a new, secular world, and discover who she is without her community. This 4 episode mini-series is a great watch, and is the first Netflix show to be filmed primarily in Yiddish!

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Seasons: One

MOVIES

  • Victoria (2015)
Victoria - Film 2015 - FILMSTARTS.de

Not quite light fare, but equally good, is Victoriaa film that was shot in one single continuous take. Two hours and eighteen minutes – shot from about 4:30 AM to 7:00 AM on 27 April 2014 in the Kreuzberg and Mitte neighborhoods. No cuts. The script consisted of twelve pages, with most of the dialogue being improvised. It draws you in with the typical boy meets girl storyline, until everything gets out of control. Very capturing from the first minute.

Where to watch: For purchase on Apple TV, Amazon, and Youtube

  • B Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin (1979-1989)  (2015)
B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989 | Trailer Original / Deutsch  | Film | critic.de

A compilation of mostly unreleased film and television footage, B-Movie documents the West Berlin sub and pop cultures that emerged in the decade before the fall of the Wall. The film is narrated by Mark Reeder, a Mancunian musician and producer, who shares his experience of Berlin when he began living there in 1978, and it tells a tale of an illusive and mysterious city that, in reality, no longer exists. Featuring notorious figures of the time like Blixa Bargeld and Nick Cave, B-Movie harnesses a strange nostalgia for a city that could only exist then; the creation, the art and the attitudes that emerged from the pain of a divided city.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime and Youtube (with Subscription)

  • Oh Boy – US title A coffee in Berlin (2012)
Debütfilm Oh Boy: Tom Schilling driftet durch Berlin - DER SPIEGEL

Oh Boy (a black and white tragic comedy) tells the story of Niko, a Berliner in his late twenties, who dropped out of university and since then has been drifting through his days, wondering about the people around him. The film has won several German and European Film Awards.

Where to watch: Netflix, for purchase on Youtube

  • The Lives of Others (2006)
The Lives Of Others / Das Leben der Anderen - Film - European Film Awards

Set in 1983 in East Berlin, The Lives of Others tells the story of a playwright, Georg Dreyman, living in the occupied and monitored city. Capturing the isolation and fear that George feels, it is tale told with inescapable resonance, showing the extremity of the spying and interference within a state under watch. The people who are spying on him become intertwined in his life, and this extraordinary film offers a poignant and paranoid picture of life in East Berlin. Acclaimed for its factual and aesthetic accuracy, the film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film.

Where to watch: Netflix, for purchase on Amazon and Youtube

  • Goodbye Lenin (2003)
Good Bye, Lenin! - Wikipedia

A film about Alex, a young man from East Berlin, whose mother is put into a coma during the lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and then wakes up in a reunified Germany. However, doctors tell Alex that the potential shock of such a revelation could give her a heart attack, so she must not be told of what has happened. As a result, Alex and his friends have to recreate the illusion of the GDR in his mother’s apartment for her, while outside, the two former countries are unifying.

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+

  • Berlin Alexanderplatz (2020)
Regisseur Qurbani über "Berlin Alexanderplatz" - "Das erste, was jemand auf  der Flucht verliert, ist die Würde" | deutschlandfunkkultur.de

This 2020 film drama is based on one of the most famous novels written about Germany’s capital city: „Berlin Alexanderplatz“ by Alfred Döblin. While the novel is set in between the two World Wars, the 2020 film adoption transposes the storyline to our days with an undocumented immigrant from West Africa in the central role. The film, spanning almost 3 hours, offers you a vivid, colorful and captivating insight into topics such as racism, love and psychology.

Where to watch: For purchase on Apple TV, Amazon, and Youtube

  • Run Lola Run (1998)
Amazon.de: Lola rennt ansehen | Prime Video

This iconic film depicts three alternative realities as the title character, Lola, runs to try and obtain 100,000 Deutsche Mark in 20 minutes to save her boyfriend, Manni, from being killed for failing to make good on a deal. The film does not feature many famous landmarks of Berlin, but shows an intersection of every day 90s Berlin, though Berlin’s best-looking bridge, Oberbaumbrücke. It has won several German and International Film Awards.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime and Youtube (with Subscription)

Happy watching!

Picture Sources: https://emojipedia-us.s3.amazonaws.com/source/skype/289/popcorn_1f37f.png ; https://cdn.sputnik.de/sendungen/popkult/four-blocks-100_v-variantBig16x9_wm-true_zc-ecbbafc6.jpg?version=42931 ; https://cdn.prod.www.spiegel.de/images/c88543e3-26f2-4def-b61c-7c630669a3ce_w1200_r1_fpx43.52_fpy49.98.jpg ; https://www.tz.de/bilder/2020/06/30/13816245/1906606865-viele-zuschauer-verwirrte-handlung-serie-dark-2zYMO9zM9vfe.jpg; https://www.netflix.com/de/title/81216677; https://www.tvmovie.de/news/tuerkisch-fuer-anfaenger-fortsetzung-josefine-preuss-aeuessert-sich-95993; https://www.netflix.com/de/title/81019069; https://de.web.img2.acsta.net/pictures/15/03/12/12/44/563954.jpg ; https://www.critic.de/fileadmin/Images/2015/05/B-Movie_03.jpg ; https://cdn.prod.www.spiegel.de/images/662aa3ae-0001-0004-0000-000000417619_w1600_r1.4141129032258064_fpx45.26_fpy50.jpg ; https://imgtoolkit.culturebase.org/?color=FFFFFF&quality=8&ar_ratio=1.3&format=jpg&file=https%3A%2F%2Fimg.culturebase.org%2F5%2F3%2F8%2Ff%2Ff%2Fpic_1527079018_538ff92e676e94d639bd1a866dc22d9a.jpeg&do=cropOut&width=1200&height=585 ; https://assets.deutschlandfunk.de/FILE_d8e17b9c138bb9d1fee843b015037d1c/1280×720.jpg?t=1597628947256 ; https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/pv-target-images/e03ae3088f6891583737642f557536fdc595cb13200538acb4844607245301f8.RI.png

Tips on how you make the most of your study abroad Berlin experience

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Put in real effort to learn German

40 basic German phrases and sentences you should knowWith our intensive language classes you will naturally make quick progress, but don’t miss to put in some extra work outside the classroom. Force yourself to speak German when you are out and about in a restaurant, at the cash desk of a grocery store or at your favorite coffee shop. Obviously, this will not work right away, but you don’t have to form complete sentences on the spot, you can also just throw in some individual German words that you’ve learnt. Trying to communicate in German in the „real“ world will make you comfortable with the language vernacular and intricacies. Unfortunately, Berlin will make this extra difficult for you. Being an international hub, you’ll find people fluent in English on every corner of the city. Still, don’t give up. Learning a language always takes time and your efforts will be appreciated by the people you are talking to.

Stay on top of your course work

Do not forget that your classes are an important part of your studying abroad experience. There is obviously value in the act of living abroad by itself, but in the best case your classes allow you to grow in your believes, opinions and knowledge. Studying abroad can put a whole new perspective on familiar issues. Some tips on how to stay motivated for your course work can be found on our blog here. 

Don’t travel too much

Especially if you have never been to Europe before, it might be tempting to spend every weekend in a different city. Understandably, you want to make the most of your four months in Europe (so little time), but don’t let this take over your Berlin/Germany experience. You made Germany your home base, so go out and explore the country that you are calling your home for the next foreseeable time.

This issue is exactly what one of our former FU-BESTers experienced and here is what she had to say about it:

What makes Germans so orderly? - BBC Travel

I wish that I had explored Germany more! I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to spend most weekends in Berlin. To truly live abroad for a semester, you need to learn your city and discover what it is like to be a true Berliner! I do feel like I spent a good deal of time in Berlin, but not enough throughout the rest of Germany. While I traveled to places like Paris and Rome, I missed Schloss Neuschwanstein and Hamburg. There are so many wonders located right in Germany a mere train ride away, and I wish I had been able to see them all during my time in Berlin; however, I have decided that I simply must go back and see everything that I missed.

Travel enough

Having said this, Berlin’s central location makes it perfect for a quick getaway to France, Italy or Spain and you should definitely take advantage of this. Just pick the destinations you are most desperate to see. This way you can still spend quality time in Berlin and will also keep your budget in check.

Go grocery shopping and buy what you usually would not buy at home

Maybe you are the adventurous shopper when it comes to food anyway, but if not, try to get out of your comfort zone. Can you spot food that you usually never buy at home? Now is the time to try stuff. Look for new German inspired recipes that are worth trying. Pinning down a traditional German food is hard, but we would confirm that Germans do like their potatoes. So we suggest trying this recipe.

Go cold turkey on Starbucks & Co

This goes along with our previous point about trying new things. You get accustomed best if you shop and eat locally. And although you will definitely find a Starbucks or McDonald’s easily, it is so much more fun to test local coffee shops (for example Five Elephant in Kreuzberg, which is also famous for the best cheese cake in town!) and local burger joints (for instance Kreuzburger in Kreuzberg and other locations).

Berlin: Inside Five Elephant's New Mitte Cafe

Do not get sucked into the international bubble

This is an easy trap to fall in to. Since you are being surrounded by international fellow students all the time, you can easily get lost in your international bubble that might prevent you from having a true living abroad experience. You can find our attempt to give you a little ‚how to‘ (get out of the international bubble) on our blog here.

Get to know the Berlin way of life

Or better: get to know and be open to a new way of life that you will be living abroad that sometimes might be less comfortable than what you are used to. This sounds like an obvious given, but some students are still surprised by how much they need to adjust to their new environment.  For instance, a common complaint is the „commute issue“: most students in Berlin have a pretty long commute. One hour from door to door is nothing out of the ordinary. It is not ideal, but accepted by everyone. Living close to campus is not the reality for most students, since the vast majority prefers to live at more central districts. In Germany, and Berlin specifically, life does not happen on campus, but in the city itself. This might be different from how things are going at home, but don’t stress about your daily commute. Take it as an opportunity to ease in to and out of your day, read, listen to podcasts, observe Berliners, … .

Don’t stress yourself and have fun

We think it is a good idea to be aware of all of these points and also maybe implement one thing or the other in your daily life in Berlin. This being said, stressing about any of these issues would have quite the opposite effect. You have decided to study abroad, because you want to have an experience. This experience will most likely consist of both ups and downs, which is part of studying abroad. This lets us believe that the best tip of all is not to stress yourself out too much and go with the flow of living abroad.

Picture Sources: https://d37sy4vufic209.cloudfront.net/website/_next/static/dynamic/ada4effa7514c4cd238c2f3359658d32/700.jpg ; https://ychef.files.bbci.co.uk/live/624×351/p08fgqkq.jpg ; https://sprudge.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSCF3390-2.jpg ;

Tipping etiquette in Germany

A rumor persits under FU-BEST students that we usually don’t tip in Germany. Where this is coming from we don’t know. This being said, surprisingly, if you google ‚tipping etiquette in Germany‘, one of the first things you find is that the tip is included in the bill and that it will be enough to simply round up. This, however, is not the case! Tips are not included in your bill and you should definitely tip at least 10%. This is true for restaurants, cafés and bars alike.

FU-BEST organizes a weekly Stammtisch (regulars table) in different bars all over Berlin. This means there will be lots of opportunities for you to perfect your tipping game. The usual way to tip in Germany is to ask for the bill, check the amount you owe and then work out in your head what you’re going to tip. When you are ready to pay, tell the waiter/waitress out loud the amount in total, including the tip.

The Cake Guide to Germany

Bienenstich

This cake translates to “bee-sting” and ironically does not contain any honey. Classic yeast dough with a lot of vanilla cream and a caramelized almond flake crust on top.

Bienenstich ohne Hefe | Rezept - eat.de
Source: https://eat.de/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/bienenstich-ohne-hefe-3513.jpg

Käsekuchen

Made with the German dairy product “quark,” German cheesecake is significantly less sweet than its American counterpart. Please don’t leave Germany without trying it at least once.

Omas Käsekuchen: Seelenwärmer Rezept | EAT SMARTER
Source: https://images.eatsmarter.de/sites/default/files/styles/max_size/public/omas-kaesekuchen-58621.jpg

Frankfurter Kranz

To commemorate the city of Frankfurt am Main as the coronation site of the German Kaiser, this “Frankfurt Wreath” is supposed to depict a crown. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s favorite cake from his hometown is basically all buttercream and almond brittle.

Klassischer Frankfurter Kranz Rezept | Dr. Oetker
Source: https://www.oetker.de/Recipe/Recipes/oetker.de/de-de/baking/image-thumb__150576__RecipeDetail/klassischer-frankfurter-kranz.jpg

Donauwelle

The “Danube wave” gets its name from the wavy layer of vanilla and chocolate cake. Topped with buttercream and a chocolate glaze.

Donauwelle nach Omas Rezept Rezept | EAT SMARTER
Source: https://images.eatsmarter.de/sites/default/files/styles/max_size/public/donauwelle-nach-omas-rezept-65217.jpg

Berliner

The rest of Germany calls them “Berliner” and Berliners call them “Pfannkuchen”. Made from yeast dough and in its most classic form filled with red fruit marmalade. Traditionally eaten on NYE  or during the carnival season (though not in Berlin!).

Berliner von CookBakery | Chefkoch
Source: https://img.chefkoch-cdn.de/rezepte/3284331487844428/bilder/993659/crop-960×720/berliner.jpg

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

The “Black Forest Cherry” Cake is probably Germany’s most famous cake. Made with “cherry water” (very much not water, actually high percentage alcohol) and – you guessed it – a lot of buttercream.

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte - das klassische Rezept
Source: https://images.lecker.de/,id=d14ce90c,b=lecker,w=610,cg=c.jpg

Virtual Berlin: 9 Tips for Studying from Home

A lot of things have come to a hold, not so much finals though. So with all of us stuck at home and finals around the corner, our student assistants have accumulated the best study tips for you on how to study for finals during quarantine.

1. Set up a base camp” in a quiet space

Finding and designating a space in your home is vital to working or studying remotely. This means not working on your bed, or on that couch in your living room if possible. Also, try to find a quiet place. Every distraction will make it even harder to get focused again. That also means putting your phone out of reach for a while, maybe even in a different room. 

2. Create your personal study environment

What do you like to listen to when you study? Listening to music can ease the tension of studying and help you concentrate. Whether it’s a calming playlist or your favorite lyrical jams, find what works for you. We recommend BrainWaves: Solfeggio Frequencies” on Spotify.

3. Write down a checklist of everything that needs to be studied

If you write down a checklist, you don’t only have an overview of everything you need to study for each exam but can also check off everything you’ve already finished. This way every checkmark will feel like a small success.

4. Maximize your time by scheduling out your week

Time seems to be the only thing we have an overload of these days, and planned wisely, it could be used to your advantage. When it comes to studying, being strategic about how you spend your time can make all the difference. So find the time when you know you are most productive and make that your dedicated study time. 

5. Find a way to stick to your schedule 

One way to do so could be by setting alarms. Setting an alarm for the time that you’ve designated to get up and study can help you to stay on top of your schedule. It’s also nice to do this if you tend to get carried away with what you’re doing at the moment… 

6. Get in the right headspace

Before you get to work, take a moment for yourself. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out. Calm yourself and let all tension flow away. Repeat that until you feel calm and relaxed. With all thoughts bundled up in our head, it will be difficult to put your focus where you need it. If you have never practiced mindfulness, there are many apps that help guiding you. We recommend the app Stop, Breathe & Think.

7. Empower yourself

It is all doable and you have the power to do it. Keep reminding yourself that you will get these tasks finished. Of course there are things that are out of your control, but you have the control over what you choose to do with your energy, time, and thoughts.

8. Create a good sleeping routine

A good nights rest is essential for being focused. Especially with all those time differences between you and your professors, make sure to not cut on the sleep. 

9. Be proud of yourself! 

Last but not least, be proud of yourself. Those are such weird times that we live in and I am sure you have all pictured the end of your study abroad semester very differently. But you are still here, still part of FU-BEST, still finishing this semester regardless of where you are now. And that is awesome!  

 

Useful apps for your stay abroad

Going Local Berlin – is an unconventional travel guide. 700 personal tips for Berlins 12 boroughs. The app includes personal Berlin tips for „Hidden Places“; „Must-Sees“ and „Food & Drink“ as well as annual event highlights.
BVG FahrInfo Plus – is a free app that covers all public transportation in Berlin and helps you to easily navigate your way through the city.
The Berlin Wall – is an interactive map that shows the exact location of the Wall. Photos, audio clips and texts about the respective site are stored at historically important locations between Brandenburger Tor and Potsdamer Platz.   
Splitwise – is a free tool to track bills and other shared expenses, so that everyone gets paid back. Perfect for friends travelling together.
  
Happycow – is a worldwide restaurant finder for vegetarian and vegan restaurants.
Komoot – Hike &Bike GPS Maps- is an app that provides you with offline maps, turn-by-turn navigation and recommendations on hikes, cycling routes and mountain bike trails.   
Street Art Berlin – displays 25 walls to help you discover giant paintings, wonderful cut-outs and lovely stencils. This guide will take you right to the hotspots of the Berlin Street Art.
Berlin History Guide – is an interactive city guide directed by the GPS in your smartphone.

 

Kamino – is the perfect app for those of you who love to walk and explore the city without public transport. It offers walking tours created by travel experts and locals – stops for shopping and enjoying yummy food is guaranteed.
DB navigator App – is a convenient app by Deutsche Bahn (the German railway service) that makes plannung your weekend get-aways a little easier.

 

How to handle reverse culture shock

Wether you are reading this as a future or current FU-BESTer – in your preparations for your stay abroad, you have probably thought about culture shock in one way or another. This being said, have you also heard of reverse culture shock? Similar to culture shock, it is the feeling of not belonging – only this time, once you return home. Whilst you have gained new knowledge and new experiences abroad, your home has remained the same, which can lead to you feeling bored, helpless, secluded, lonely, etc. We have searched the internet for some useful information and tips on how to prevent or combat reverse culture shock. We have also asked previous FU-BESTers on how they handle reverse culture shock, so that we can share some first hand experience with you.

When we asked former FU-BESTers for their experience with reverse culture shock, what we noticed is that many tips revolve around activities that encourage you to dive back into the culture you fell in love with. For instance, watching movies in German, seizing every opportunity to speak German, eating all the foods you enjoyed whilst staying abroad and so on and so forth. Based on these voices, we have put together the following compilation of online articles that we consider most useful:

The Abroad Guide: How to deal with reverse culture shock after studying abroad

College Tourist: 7 Ways to Cope with Re-Entry Shock

Intentional Expat: 5 Tips from an Expat Therapist for Coping with Reverse Culture Shock

GoOverseas: Dealing with Post Study Abroad Depression

We also recommend Episode 51 of “The Thoughtful Travelpodcast”. Listen to host Amanda Kendle talk about her own experience and share her thoughts with her three guests Cait Flanders, who was hit by reverse culture shock after taking a two months road trip, Mike Campell, who considers his reverse culture shock experience to be life changing and Matt Treglia, who, after life abroad, has found it difficult to readjust to his life back home. Also available on Spotify. 

Tips on how you might be able to leave your international bubble

Get off social media once in a while

Of course, it is important to stay connected to your family and friends, because they are curious about your life abroad and also want to make sure that you are okay. The good thing about social media is that we are so connected, sometimes we don’t even notice that we are away from our loved ones. This being said, when it takes us away from our life abroad too much, it can also become a problem. So, instead of liking pictures of the family dog every 5 seconds or be on a constant chat with your best friend at home, try to live more in the moment of your abroad experience.

 Join local sports classes

Sports is an excellent way to connect with all different sorts of people. The best way to get to know people fast are team sports, because you have to interact so much. The wide selection of sports classes that Freie Universität offers is a quick and comparatively cheap option to get active and meet fellow students from all different sorts of study fields. You do not have to rely on Freie Universität alone, but can also check out university sports classes at Humboldt Universität or Technische Universität Berlin. Another possibility is to take part in the numerous university sports events that are offered regularly by Freie Universität Berlin.

Go to a bar event

In a bar, it is obviously more likely to get to know people outside your „abroad cluster“, when you and your friends do not close yourselves off and reminisce about the great weekend you just had two weeks ago. To avoid the tendency of being exclusive, what about trying out a bar event, like a pub quiz or bingo night, which are generally more inclusive and you tend to get to know people more quickly. We recommend to check your favorite bar for events.

Or check out:

  • Bar Madame Claude (Kreuzberg), Lübbener Str. 19, 10997 Berlin – every Wednesday – no entry fee – Music Quiz “Guess the Song” (advantage: advanced German skills are not necessarily required). For updated program dates see their bar calendar.
  • Irish Pub Celtic Cottage (Steglitz), Markelstr. 13, 12163 Berlin – every Monday – 1€ entry fee – Irish Pub Quiz.
  • Bar Interface (Moabit), Perleberger Str. 17, 10559 Berlin – changing events.

Use meet up groups

Our modern world fortunately gives us the opportunity to connect with all different sorts of people with minimum effort and time constraints. In order to find likeminded people for all different sorts of activities and interests, you can take advantage of meet up groups that you can find online. What about joining a “Speak German while chilling in Berlin group” for instance?

Join a tandem

An easy way to improve your German and meet Germans at the same time is to join a tandem. The idea of a tandem is to meet with a German native speaker, preferably, at least once or twice a week. In casual conversations you both get the opportunity to practice the respective language. It is also a perfect way to leave the international bubble and maybe make a German lifelong friend.

 Volunteer

Volunteering is a wonderful way to meet new people, practice your German, and provide help to those in need. Obviously it is also a commitment and people will be depending on you so you should make sure that you have at least two hours per week that you can dedicate to volunteer work.

Try couch surfing

Couch surfing has become way more than just a cheap way to travel. The couch surfing community understands itself as an open and vibrant travel community, where everyone is able to learn from each other and dive deep into the culture of their hosts. The idea of couch surfing is that instead of using hotels, hostels, etc. when travelling, coach surfers look for locals who offer their couch/spare bed room for one or two nights and at best, have time to spend some time with their guests to show them around the city or join them for dinner, etc.

Of course, leaving your bubble requires an active part on your side. For sure,  this is not always easy or convinient, but certainly pays off at the end.