Adler was born into an "English-speaking German household in London", England. She studied German and Italian as modern languages at the University of Bristol where she undertook journalism tasks for The Times, Reuters and Blue Danube Radio. Adler was also president of the political society and started a society magazine.
After graduating in June 1995, she moved to Vienna to work for Mondial Congress, an organiser of International Congresses. Adler began working as a correspondent for Austrian national public broadcaster ORF in late 1995, reporting locally and then internationally from Kosovo, Eastern Europe and across Southwest Asia and North Africa.
Adler joined the BBC in Vienna in 1998, reporting on Austrian and Central European affairs. After becoming the BBC's Berlin correspondent for a short period, from 2000 she was based in London for the BBC World Service presenting on European current affairs, and commuting weekly to Berlin to work as a news anchor for Deutsche Welle Television.
From August 2003 she was made the BBC's Madrid correspondent, travelling around Europe and Southwest Asia and North Africa to cover various stories, including the deaths of Pope John Paul II and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a Paris hospital. Adler also reported on the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings.
At the end of April 2014 she was appointed the BBC's Europe editor in succession to Gavin Hewitt. In early February 2017 the BBC broadcast a documentary by Adler titled "After Brexit: the Battle for Europe" in which she examined the mounting challenges facing the European Union over the next few years. 
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- Mark Sweney "BBC appoints Jon Sopel as North America editor", theguardian.com, 29 April 2014
- "Bristol University – School of Modern Languages – 2012: german christmas lecture 2012". bristol.ac.uk.
- "Bristol University – News – 2012: German Christmas Lecture". bristol.ac.uk.
- "Katya Adler at Blue Danube Radio". Archived from the original on 13 March 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2008.
- "Katya Adler bio at BBC". Retrieved 22 January 2008.
- "BBC News – Hardtalk – Brooke Magnanti: Prostitution was empowering". bbc.co.uk.
|Europe Editor: BBC News