First a few words about the location and where you should stay. The workshop is in Babelsberg, which is a specific area of Potsdam (Stadtteil). Generally I recommend to stay in Babelsberg, which is usually within walking distance of the workshop. If you bring a bike or rent one while you are here, you can stay anywhere in Potsdam, and you’ll probably have a nice 10-15 Minute ride to and from the workshop. I don’t recommend driving from the center of Potsdam to Babelsberg every day because traffic can be pretty bad in the morning. There are of course trams and busses that you can use, but generally it is easier to get around on a bike. And, if you do bring a bike, we have great road and gravel riding here in Potsdam, so you can use your bike to enjoy your evenings while you are here.
Where to stay depends a bit on your budget. Generally I recommend Pension Zeitlos in Babelsberg, it usually costs around 100 Euro per night. It is not too far to walk to the workshop (15 Minutes), and most people seem to be happy that stay there. They have breakfast as well.
If you’re willing to spend more, over 150 a night, and have a bike while you are here, you could stay at Hotel Brandenburger Tor. The location is in the heart of downton Potsdam, and it has the best ratings on google. There are more nicer hotels in downtown Potsdam, just take a look on maps.google.de.
If you’re more on a budget, there are some options here as well. If you come to your course when the weather is nice, camping is an idea. There are two options, the first is called Campingpark Sanssouci. I really like this campground, it is on the lake with a nice spot to swim, it has nice bathrooms, and for a campground there is a pretty nice restaurant as well. However, you can also spend 50 Euro a day here for a tent and a car, so it’s not as inexpensive as you might expect camping to be. It is a beautiful 10km from the workshop by bike, a great way to start your day.
I wouldn’t recommend driving from the campground to the workshop every day as you have to cross through Potsdam, and as with the hotels in the center of Potsdam, traffic can be pretty bad in the Morning. This is another camping option, that is less expensive and a bit closer, Hotel & City Camping Süd. There are two locations here, so make sure you book for the Camping Süd (south) location.
There is also a youth hostel in Babelsberg. You can book a bed here for around 35 Euro. Sometimes in the winter you can book just a bed and actually get a private room, because the tourists don’t come here in winter, but you shouldn’t count on it. Another less expensive option is Zimmer am Filmpark, with rooms from 45 Euro per night. It is a bit farther to walk, about 30 Minutes.
Another idea is to look for a small apartment instead of a room. A few years ago you could also find good deals on airbnb or booking.com, but it seems like now the good deals are mostly gone and you tend to pay around the same as you would everywhere else. But it is still sometimes nice to have an apartment with a kitchen instead of a small room.
Want to stay for free? Check out https://www.warmshowers.org/ . At Warmshowers you can find cyclists in Potsdam that offer either a bed or perhaps a place to pitch your tent, for free. Generally it is meant for people that are currently touring with their bike, but we have had people use it as well for their time during their course as well. One advantage, especially if you come alone, is that you might just meet somebody interesting to spend your evenings with! And it is free!