Potsdam, overshadowed by Berlin in the industrial times, is an old residence of Prussian kings, the current capital of the State of Brandenburg, the German "Hollywood", the location of state-of-the-art research institutes, and rapidly evolving as a technologies innovation center.
Potsdam is located southwest of Berlin in the area plentiful with forests and lakes. It borders Berlin's borough of Wannsee and is only about 30 km from Berlin's center.
Potsdam is a town with a long and rich history, numerous castles, palaces, parks, including several items on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in particular Sanssouci Park with its famous Chinese Tea House, Neues Palais palace (the king's official residence), and Schloss Sanssouci palace (the king's private residence). The Cecilienhof Palace in the northern part of town is the place of the historical treaty from 1945. The bridge between Potsdam and Berlin-Wannsee across the Havel river is known for prisoner swaps in the cold war era.
The Film Museum is located in downtown in what used to be the king's stable, while the Babelsberg Movie Studios, the Babelsberg Media City, and the Babelsberg Filmpark, the local version of Universal Studio's Attractions Park, are across the Havel river channel in the Babelsberg District.
To relax, you can take a stride in the old city, in particular the Dutch Quarter, or the Island of Friendship between the Havel river and Havel channel in downtown next to the main train station, or go to the Babelsbergspark in the north part of the Babelsberg district or the Volkspark (formerly BUGA park) recreation area in Bornstedter Feld with its Biosphere attraction. To take a peek at the area, hop on one of the many ship tours, some of which allow you to get off and on the ships.
See the links page for further information about the area.