Student Life and the Cost of Living in Potsdam

Potsdam, the capital of Brandenburg, is a quaint city found on the outskirts of Berlin and offers a unique blend of historic and modern features. It’s arguably a better city than Berlin as it gives you an idyllic backdrop for your studies while also being a centre for leisure and nature.

Studying in Germany is already a brilliant choice for international students as it’s renowned worldwide for its high academic quality, but city living in Potsdam offers you just a little bit more.

Read on to discover Potsdam and why it’s not only rich with opportunities for growth and connection but also a great place to live.


Is Potsdam a good student city?

Potsdam is home to prestigious institutions such as the University of Potsdam as well as several non-university research institutes such as the Max Planck Society and the Fraunhofer Institute. The city offers a conducive environment for learning and research, making it the perfect study-abroad option for international students.

Beyond academia, Potsdam has a much smaller population size, fostering an intimate community and enhancing peer interactions and collaboration. Students can revel in the city’s cultural vibrancy, with historical landmarks like Sanssouci Palace and beautiful parks providing peaceful breaks and rest. The abundance of student-friendly venues, from cafes to lively student bars, creates a dynamic social scene.

Potsdam has a well-connected public transportation system, making exploration easy. The city’s commitment to sustainability and its bike-friendly infrastructure make for a high quality of life. With affordable living costs compared to larger metropolises, Potsdam becomes an attractive choice for students seeking a balanced and enriching academic experience.

In essence, Potsdam encapsulates the essence of a good student city, offering a mix of academia, culture, and a supportive community.

Here’s a short list of reasons why Potsdam is a great place to study abroad:

  • High-quality education
  • Close-knit community
  • Cultural vibrancy
  • Dynamic social scene
  • Accessible transportation
  • Sustainability focus
  • Affordable living costs
  • Good quality of life

How expensive is it to live in Potsdam?

The cost of living in Germany can be quite expensive, especially when looking at bigger cities, but Potsdam student accommodation costs are notably more affordable. Student housing options and shared apartments cater much more to budget-conscious individuals.

Monthly living expenses, the cost of groceries, transportation, and leisure activities remain at a reasonable rate. For example, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant averages around €10, while public transportation costs are manageable.

Furthermore, the city’s commitment to sustainability aligns with cost-effective transportation options like cycling, minimising expenses. Potsdam’s affordability, coupled with a range of cultural and recreational offerings, provides a balanced lifestyle for students. This city exemplifies a pocket-friendly yet enriching option within the broader spectrum of the cost of living in Germany.

Why idyllic Potsdam is the perfect place to live and study

Being just under half an hour away from Berlin, Potsdam seamlessly combines academic excellence with a tranquil ambience, creating an enriching study environment. Its historical landmarks, green spaces, and vibrant cultural scene contribute to a well-rounded student experience.

Potsdam’s size and accessibility make it an attractive option for international students, ensuring the benefit of a close-knit community and easy exploration. Choosing Potsdam means getting the opportunity for academic and cultural immersion and a high quality of life.

Here are some more reasons Potsdam is the perfect place to live and study:

  • Smaller size: Potsdam’s more intimate size fosters a sense of community, facilitating stronger connections among students and providing a supportive academic environment.
  • Historical landmarks: The city hosts iconic landmarks, such as Sanssouci Palace, offering not only historical enrichment but also serene settings for contemplation and leisure.
  • Parks and green spaces: Potsdam’s numerous parks and gardens provide students with refreshing green spaces, serving as ideal places for relaxation, outdoor activities, and a break from academic rigours.
  • Vibrant cultural scene: The city’s dynamic arts and cultural events contribute to a lively atmosphere, ensuring students have ample opportunities to engage in various cultural activities beyond their studies.
  • Accessibility: Potsdam’s well-connected public transportation system simplifies city exploration, making it convenient for students to navigate and access different parts of the city effortlessly.
  • Affordable living: The lower living costs in Potsdam compared to larger student cities in Germany translate to more budget friendly options for accommodation, daily expenses, and leisure activities.
  • Quality of life: Combining the idyllic surroundings with a range of amenities, Potsdam offers a high standard of living, promoting a well-rounded and fulfilling student experience.

Potsdam Student Accommodation: Finding Your Perfect Fit

Selecting suitable student accommodation in Potsdam is a critical aspect of ensuring a comfortable and productive living environment. Start by considering your budget, as Potsdam offers a range of options to accommodate varying financial needs.

There are many university-provided housing or shared apartments to explore, each offering its own distinct advantages. Assess the proximity to your academic institution and essential amenities, ensuring a convenient daily routine.

Additionally, consider the atmosphere of the neighbourhood, whether you prefer a serene residential area or a lively student-centric locale. Explore reviews from previous occupants to gauge the living experience, and, if possible, visit potential accommodations to get a firsthand feel.

By carefully evaluating your preferences, budget, and lifestyle, you can make an informed decision, ensuring your stay in Potsdam aligns seamlessly with your academic and personal aspirations.

In conclusion, Potsdam stands as an exceptional destination for students, offering a blend of academia and cultural richness. With diverse accommodation options, a picturesque environment, and a small, friendly community, this idyllic city ensures a fulfilling and memorable study experience for those seeking both intellectual and personal growth.

Want to delve deeper into the small town versus big city debate? Check out our blog post “The Pros and Cons of Living in Small Towns vs Big Cities in Germany Whilst Studying” to explore the advantages and disadvantages of each option in more detail. This will help you weigh your priorities and determine which environment best suits your student lifestyle.

Gisma University of Applied Sciences, based in Germany, offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees designed to get you on the right track to a successful career. If you want to find out more about what life is like studying at Gisma and its brand-new campus in Potsdam, click here.

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