Arrival by Air
Berlin has a single commercial airport: Berlin Brandenburg International (BER). It is located to the south-east of Berlin, and it has good public tansport connection to Potsdam, which is located to the south-west of Berlin. There are three public tansport option for getting from the airport to Potsdam Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) main station:
- Direct Train (RB22) which requires no changes. It leaves once an hour from the train station located under Terminal 1 & 2. The trip takes 56 minutes, passing south of Berlin, avoiding going through Berlin. Be aware that the train is decoupled into two sections at the town of Golm, so be sure you are in the correct part of train with the destination of Potsdam Hbf or Potsdam Griebnitzsee. This requires the purchase and validation of a Berlin BC ticket (Euro 3.50) prior to getting on the train.
- By Rail via Central Berlin. There are many such services requiring one or more changes of train in a variety of place in central Berlin. This is an alternative if the direct train has just left and you don't want to wait a full hour until the next one come. Going via central Berlin requires that you purchase and validate a Berlin ABC ticket (Euro 3.80) prior to leaving the train station under Terminal 1 & 2. Information about scheduling options can be found at https://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/dn.
- There is a direct bus to Potsdam Hbf station once an hour that leaves from the lower level of Terminal 1 (not from the train station). The trip takes roughly 57 minutes.
There is also the option of taking a taxi from the airport to Potsdam. You should expect this to cost around Euro 75.
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.