I took S-Bahn S7 from Hauptahnhof (Central Train Station) of Berlin. Actually these S-Bahns go quite frequently and you don't need separate ticket to Potsdam. That town belongs to Berlin public tranzportation zone C, so you need a ticket with included C zone. It costs 3,10 euros (as for the year of 2012).
From Potsdam's S-Bahn station you need to go through Havel river to the center or Sanssouci park.
Perhaps the easiest way to get to Potsdam (from Berlin) is with the train.
-S-Bahn S7-terminus at Potsdam Hauptbahnhof (main train station)
-RE1 (Brandenburg) this train will drop you at Charlottenhof (one stop after hauptbahnhof)-this is the closest to San Soucci (palace and park)
If you are getting off at the Hauptbahnhof you should stop at the Tourist Information office, it is well stocked with information
There are direct S-bahn trains every 10 mins between Berlin and Potsdam. S 7 travels from Ahrensfelde in direction Potsdam Hauptbahnhof. The ticket is included in Berlin ABC zone ( 3 euro for a single ticket). Don't forget to validate your ticket before getting on the train - the machines for validation are installed near the tracks.
Potsdam has 2 more stations before Hauptbahnhof: Griebnitzsee and Babelsberg. Hauptbahnhof is the end station.
Potsdam is the end of the line for the S-7 suburban train from Berlin. It's also a busy regional and occasional intercity destination. Trains leave here for all over the state of Brandenburg, and a few express trains leave for destinations like Munich.
Bus 695 is running from Potsdam Hauptbahnhof (south side, nord side is for city tour buses) to Holländisches Viertel, Sanssouci and Neues Palais, bus 606 is also running from Potsdam Hauptbahnhof to Sanssouci.
Bus 695 is running from Potsdam Hauptbahnhof to Neues Palais (if you want to go there from Berlin use a regional train to Potsdam Park Sanssouci station and a short walk or bus 695 to Neues Palais).
Tram 92 and 96 are running from Potsdam Hauptbahnhof to Holländisches Viertel, the Russian Orthodoxe Church and Alexandrowka.
Bus 603 is running from Potsdam Hauptbahnhof to Neuer Garten and Schloss Cecilienhof.
Bus 694 is running from Potsdam Hauptbahnhof to Babelsberg (the german Hollywood).
If you stay in Berlin use the ABC 24 hour ticket, € 6.80, Potsdam buses and tramways are included, if you have allready a AB (€ 6,30 valid inside Berlin) ticket and you change your mind, you can get a extension ticket (Anschlussfahrausweis) for € 1,50 valid 2 hours.
If you stay in Potsdam a single ticket for up to 6 stations is € 1,30, a day ticket € 3,90, including Berlin (ABC ticket) € 5,50.
From Berlin town: Regional Train "R1" direction Magdeburg or Brandenburg, 20 min from Zoo-Station. Inner-city train "S7"/"S1" direction Potsdam, about 45 min from Zoo-Station. You must have a ticket for the zones A, B and C because the zone C covers the BVG public transport in Potsdam.
The Railway Station at Potsdam is a modern light airy building, none of the grime that pervades some stations. Besides a good selection of fast food outlets and cafes there is a nice eis café that I have tried and recommend. There are also a large number of shops to browse and clean toilets that are hidden away at one end of the concourse. You can sometime use the faster Regional Express Trains which are faster than the S Bahn for your journey between Berlin and Potsdam.
As Potsdam is situated close to Berlin, an AB day ticket is sufficient to travel around Berlin and Potsdam. You can take the S-bahn, U-bahn, the bus and the tram. For a maximum of 5 persons in a group, a kleingruppentiket worth EUR 14.80 is enough.
We approached Potsdam by ferry
otsdam’s harbour is located in the centre of town, right by the shore of the river Havel. Modern passenger ships of the Weiße Flotte Potsdam (white fleet) and steamboats of the Havel Dampfschifffahrt (steamboat company), which have been restored with loving care, put to sea from here for day trips, round trips and excursions. The offer ranges from a round trip of castles that lasts 1.5 hours to all-day trips through the area of the river Havel and to the capital, Berlin. The highlights of the season are the nocturnal impressions of the castles while sailing past the magnificently illuminated castles of the Hollenzollern dynasty, the “parade of fleets” at the beginning of the season and, last but not least, Wannsee in flames (Berlin’s famous lake) at the conclusion of the season. The harbour restaurant “El Puerto” invites its guests into the canopy of palm trees in the winter and onto a Mediterranean terrace in the summer.
A nice alternative to overland transport in Potsdam, especially on a hot summer day, is a water taxi. The service is provided daily at the intervals of about two hours (the exact timetable is available at the stops and website). There are 13 stations and of course you can hop in or out at any of them. The route includes such highlights as Cecilienhof, Sanssouci or Babelsberg. The boat has room for about 60 people and 20 bikes. The price depends on the number of zones you travel; one zone - 4 Euro, two zones - 6 Euro, three zones - eight Euro. You can also buy a one-day ticket which costs 12 Euro and for a bike 3 Euro.
As most visitors using public transport arrive in Potsdam via the main railway station, the main hub of Potsdam’s Public Transport centres on this location. If you already know the number of the bus or tram you want to use it’s only a matter of finding the right stand. But beware because the railway station is the halfway point for most routes you can easily go in the wrong direction. There are a number of signs giving the exact wait times for the various routes.
In my opinion the best way to get there is by train. Traffic might be hell during rush hour and parking facilities are quite rare. From Berlin you can take S-Bahn or bus service. Be sure to purchase the right ticket as Potsdam does not belong to the state of Berlin!
Useful site for route planner and timetable for public transportation. You can even travel by means of public transport at nighttime within the cities of Berlin and Potsdam. They offer 24 hours night transportation on weekend nights. Isn't that an alternative to catching a cab?
When we arrived in Potsdam, at the newly remodeled train station, we thought we might rent a couple of bicycles for wandering around the city and palaces. Everything in Potsdam is spread out, so walking is a bit of a pain. Upon reaching the bike rental place, however, we were greeted with ridiculously high prices. I think. The cute Bulgarian girl in front of us paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 for renting two bikes. That seemed crazy to me, and since they were taking so long with her order, we decided just to spend the $3 on the bus. That seemed to make more sense.
The transit system in Potsdam is retarded. Well, it’s not really retarded, it’s just American-like rather than European-like. Everywhere that we had visited so far on the trip, you bought the tickets before getting on the bus, either from a kiosk or an automatic ticket machine. In Potsdam, that’s not the case at all, but we assumed that it was, and so looked all over for a place to buy the bus tickets. Not finding one, we finally just jumped on when the bus came by, hoping that we wouldn’t be busted for not having a ticket. As soon as the doors opened, though, we saw that Potsdam indeed had ticket machines, just on the bus. So we read the choices, tried to pick the correct fare, and fumbled in our pockets for the correct change. We did notice that the bus hadn’t yet moved, and worse everyone was staring at us, including the bus driver. Apparently, there can be no movement until tickets have been purchased. Sheepishly, we bought our tickets and sat down.
I usually disdain this type of transport, but in 30 degee heat it might be a good option. I walked as far as Alexandroska, but the heat was so fatiguing I had to stop. Hence I missed Schloss Cecilienhof (base for the 1945 Potsdam conference).