Arrival by Air
Berlin has two airports: Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SFX). Both of these have good public transport connections to Potsdam, so people traveling to Potsdam should choose the airport most convenient in terms of flight timings and connections. The following gives you step-by-step instructions on getting from the airport to Potsdam's main railway station (Potsdam Hauptbahnhof)
From Tegel Airport to Potsdam Hbf (Potsdam Main Station):
- Locate the bus stop for lines X9 and 109 at the exit to terminal A
- Purchase a Berlin "ABC Einzelfahrausweis" ticket from the vending machine at the bus stop. Validate the ticket using the validation box near the front of the bus
- Take either bus X9 or bus 109 to Bahnhof Zoo (roughly 20 minutes)
- Enter Zoo station and go to platform 4
- Take the next RE1 train in the direction Brandenburg or Magdeburg (such trains run every 30 minutes up until roughly midnight)
- Get off the train at Potsdam Hbf (roughly a 20 minute ride)
From Schönefeld Airport to Potsdam Hbf (Potsdam Main Station):
- Exit terminal A at the left most exit
- To the left you will see a half-covered walkway, follow this for roughly 250 meters
- When you reach the train station go down the ramp and into the pedestrian tunnel
- Purchase a Berlin "ABC Einzelfahrausweis" ticket from a vending machine in the tunnel
- Find the platform for the next "RB" regional train to Potsdam (probably platform 6 and leaving at 22 minutes past the hour). You will need to validate your ticket using the validation box at the top of the stairs / ramp to the train platform. Make sure that the train is announced on the electronic signs for that platform
- Take the red "RB" train to Potsdam Hbf (travel time roughly 50 minutes)
Arrival by Rail
There are many train connections for reaching Potsdam Hbf, often requiring a tranfer at Berlin's main station (Berlin Hbf). For scheduling and price information check the Deutsche Bahn web site.
Arrival by Car Dirctly to GFZ
Driving from Berlin: Easiest is to take the AVUS Autobahn to the Potsdam Babelberg exit. Proceed along the Nuthe Schnellstraße until the exit Friedrich-List-Straße. This will bring you to the Potsdam Hbf. You will follow this road until it makes a 180 degree turn, then turn right at the light, cross the bridge over the railway lines, follow the curve to the right after the next trafic light. Turn left at the next light onto Albert-Einstein-Straße and drive up the hill until you reach the entrance of the Science Campus. Follow the instructiong below for finding the SIMS lab within the GFZ Campus.
Driving from elsewhere: Exit the Berlin Ring Autobahn at the Michendorf exit, follow the signs towards Potsdam. After entering Potsdam turn right at the first traffic light onto Brauhausberg Strasse. Turn right again at the next traffic light, this is Albert-Einstein-Straße; proceed up the hill to the very end of of this street. Follow the instructions below for finding the SIMS lab within the GFZ Campus.
Location for satellite navigation systems: "Albert Einstein Strasse, 14473 Potsdam"
Geo-coordinates for GFZ: 52.3825N, 13.0646E
Getting from Potsdam Station to GFZ
Mornings and afternoons bus 691 runs from bus platform #7 on the south side of the train station and it will take you directly to Telegrafenberg (4 minute ride). This bus travels every 20 minutes (two page pdf timetable download at: link to bus timetable). You can purchase a "Potsdam AB Kurzstrecke" ticket from the machine at the front of the bus; it does not need to be validated.
It is possible to take a taxi to Telegrafenberg from the taxi rank on the south side of the station. Price will be around €6.00
It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the train station to the GFZ campus. Here are the instructions for walking:
- Leave south side of station, cross the numerous bus platforms and cross over Friedrich-Engels-Strasse
- Continue south between the houses until you reach Heinrich-Mann-Allee. Cross this busy street at the pedestrian lights
- Continue straight south with a brick factory building on your left; you will soon reach the bottom of Albert-Einstein-Strasse
- Continue up the footpath on the left side of Albert-Einstein-Strasse, passing houses and continuing on through a forest
- The campus of "Wissenschaftspark Albert Einstein" is at the end of this street. Enter by passing the guard house and continue up to the main building
Finding the SIMS Laboratory: The most difficult part of the entire journey
The SIMS lab is located on level 1 of Haus F. Enter the front of Haus G, you are now on level 2. Go through the glass enclosed walkway to Haus F. Turn right when you reach the crossing hallway, go through the door at the end of that hallway, turn right immediately, open the next door and go down the stairs to level 1. You are now at the entrance to the SIMS facility.
There are many hotels and bed-and-breakfasts (Pensionen) to choose from in Potsdam, and Berlin is also an option if you stay near one of the major railway stations on the east-west corridor. To help out, here is contact information for some of the more popular place used by previous SIMS visitors.
Hotel Mercure; Lange Brücke, 14467 Potsdam
Distance from GFZ: 1 km (near main train station, walkable to GFZ)
BB Hotel; Babelsberger Straße 2, 14473 Potsdamdam
Distance: 1 km (adjacent to main train station, walkable to GFZ)
Pension Mark Brandenburg; Heinrich-Mann-Allee 71, 14478 Potsdam
Distance: 2 km (good tram connection to near GFZ)
Gästehaus Urban; Charlottenstraße 97, 14467 Potsdam
Distance: 3 km (near city center, good tram connections)
Vacation Apartment Stadtschloss; Posthofstrasse 9, 14467 Potsdam
Distance: 3 km (reaonably priced, near city center)
Ferienhaus Brauhausberg; Max-Planck-Strasse 10a, 14473 Potsdam
Distance: 0.5 km (convenient when more than one person is coming)
Pension Sanssouci; Zeppelinstrasse 164a, 14471 Potsdam
Distance: 3 km (ten minute walk from palace park)
Potsdam Youth Hostel; Schulstraße 9, 14482 Potsdam
Distance: 3 km (good train connection to the main station)
Support for Long-Stay Visitors: The Potdam Welcome Center
For people coming to work in the SIMS lab for longer periods (over one month) you should please contact the Potsdam Welcome Center once the dates of your visit have been fixed. These people are eager to help you with your needs, and in particular can give tips concerning long term accommodation.
Their E-mail address is: welcome(at)gfz-potsdam.de
Their web address at the GFZ is: https://www.gfz-potsdam.de/en/centre/international/welcome-center/
A second web address at the university is: www.uni-potsdam.de/en/welcomecenter.html
This resource has been established by a large consortium of research and academic institutions in Potsdam and it runs an office at the GFZ, as well as other offices at the University of Potsdam and at Potsdam's city hall. These are very helpful and friendly people who assist scientists coming to Potsdam who might need help with such topics as finding long-term accommodation, getting a long-stay visa organized and registering for German language classes.