New Palais © Graff/DAAD
New Palais Potsdam© Graff/DAAD

Potsdam is a delightful town surrounded by Brandenburg's magnificent countryside. A friendly place, Potsdam is famous for its film productions and historical landmarks. With over 30 research institutes based here, Potsdam is also the region's economic centre. And the best thing about Potsdam is that everywhere is within easy cycling distance.

Back to overview


Potsdam is a historical town. Once a royal seat and garrison town, it has retained much of its former splendour, as revealed by its expansive parks, stately buildings and magnificent palaces. „Each to his own“ is an old town motto dating back to the 18th century. And this still appears to hold true even today.

You’ll soon notice that the pace of life slows down in Potsdam. Residents and visitors have a relaxed air about them and are drawn in by the town’s unique charm. You can explore most of the sights by bike. The capital of the federal state of Brandenburg is clean, compact and peaceful. In the town centre, you get the impression the locals all know each other.

Imposing monuments such as Cecilienhof Palace and Sanssouci Palace still bear witness to the town’s past. The Russian quarter Alexandrowka, the Dutch houses in the town centre, the Volkspark Babelsberg and Pfingstberg are also well worth a visit.

The university buildings are spread all over the town. Computer science students study at the Hasso Plattner Institute, while film students attend the University of Film and Television „Konrad Wolf“ Potsdam-Babelsberg. Natural scientists, on the other hand, can be found in Golm (at the other end of town). The „Neues Palais“ campus is located right next to the Prussian kings‘ former guest palace.

Every year, the town attracts visitors with a theme year, hosting over a hundred interesting events and activities. In the year dedicated to the subject of „Film“, for example, open-air film screenings were organised at original film locations. The town’s idyllic setting is undoubtedly one of the reasons why German celebrities such as fashion designer Wolfgang Joop and TV presenter Günther Jauch live here.


Life in Potsdam is relaxed and enjoyable. The clocks here tick a little slower than they do elsewhere. Many students commute from every day because they prefer to live in a more vibrant city. Depending on exact location and connections, the journey takes between 20 and 60 minutes. Even if recreational activities do not compare with those of Potsdam’s bigger neighbour, the town has a lot to offer students. The countryside in and around Potsdam is exceptional: numerous lakes, woodland areas and the river Havel are ideal places for sporting activities.

The town also offers an impressive cultural programme: the Filmmuseum Potsdam, which hosts film evenings and special exhibitions, the Filmpark in Babelsberg and the tropical world of Biosphere Potsdam close to Potsdam’s University of Applied Sciences, to name just a few. Indeed, Potsdam is a centre of film. The Thalia cinema is a popular meeting place for students, one highlight being the annual student film festival „Sehsüchte“. In the summer months, open-air screenings draw visitors to the Freundschaftsinsel, or Friendship Island.

In Potsdam, nothing is far away. There are lots of student parties and clubs, such as the Nil Studentenkeller next to the Neues Palais or the Pub à la Pub on Breite Strasse. Special events are regularly organised, such as games evenings, karaoke or readings. You’ll find most bars and cafés in the town centre around Brandenburger Strasse, Potsdam’s main shopping street. Potsdam students like to meet at 11-Line where they can visit exhibitions, play table tennis, or hang out and watch TV series. In the Waschbar on Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse, you can do your laundry while enjoying a leisurely breakfast with friends. The university also organises start-of-semester parties. Events like „Rubys Tuesday“ now enjoy almost cult status. Of course, lots of students also like to organise private parties in the various student residences.

The Waschhaus is generally a place you should make a note of. The area on Schiffbauergasse is referred to as „Kunstraum“ and showcases young contemporary art. This is also the home of the Hans-Otto-Theater. „Kuze“, Potsdam’s cultural centre for students, and Spartacus are popular venues for all kinds of events, including the „Schlechte Laune Sause“.


How to find a room in Potsdam

Many university and college towns have dormitories or student halls, and a room there is often the most affordable accommodation. To obtain a room in a dormitory or student hall, you have to apply to your college or university’s student union (). Our ‘Find Student Hall’ function can be of practical help. You only need to make a few mouse clicks to get to the online application form. Find a room and more information about dormitories and student halls in Potsdam.


Cities similar to Potsdam