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The Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht has its head office in Geesthacht, south-east of Hamburg. We have another campus in Teltow – between Potsdam and Berlin – as well as branch offices at the following locations: DESY Hamburg, GERICS Hamburg, Berlin, and Garching near Munich.

Location Overview

At the Geesthacht site

A cosmopolitan lifestyle in Hamburg or a tranquil small town atmosphere in Geesthacht – the choice is yours!

The town of Geesthacht lies to the south-east of Hamburg directly on the river Elbe. From here, you can reach Hamburg city centre by car in 45 minutes, or the Hamburg-Bergedorf district in 25 minutes. The Hereon site can be reached by bus when you take the HVV lines.
The Hamburg metropolitan region / Metropolregion Hamburg is among the most competitive in Germany and is characterised by a large number of highly qualified companies and research institutes as well as excellent recreational opportunities and quality of life.

Please feel free to get in touch with the Welcome Office if you have any questions about living in Geesthacht.

Living in Geesthacht

With a population of 30,000, Geesthacht is the largest town in the Duchy of Lauenburg County (Herzogtum Lauenburg) and has a very good social infrastructure including good shopping facilities, all types of schools, a large selection of kindergartens, comprehensive medical care, and many leisure activities . But its location close to nature with the varied landscape along the river Elbe, a unique inland dune landscape, and a beautiful mixed beech forest also clearly count in the town’s favour.

The Hereon site is located in the immediate vicinity of the Grünhof-Tesperhude district of Geesthacht, where you will find some small cafés and restaurants along the Elbe and where the nature reserve Hohes Elbufer begins.

The town centre of Geesthacht has a small pedestrian zone, with numerous shops and a small department store, that invites you to go for a stroll. The best place to experience the northern German attitude towards life is at the weekly market, where you can find many fresh products from the nearby vegetable, flower and fruit growing regions. Directly on the river Elbe is a large outdoor swimming pool as well as a leisure area with space for events, a pier and a bicycle course. This is where open air events take place in summer. The local cinema and theatre offers an extensive cultural programme all year round. The adult education centre / Volkshochschule and the local public libary / Stadtbücherei are also very well set up. Various sports clubs, gyms, and dance schools round off the leisure activities on offer in Geesthacht.

A number of large new construction projects directly on the shores of the river Elbe and in the town centre are creating new opportunities to rent or buy a new apartment in a good location. According to the rental index, rents in Geesthacht are still significantly lower than in districts belonging to Hamburg city. The usual property sites will provide a good overview. Nevertheless, we recommend that you start looking for a place to live as early as possible.

Living in the Surrounding Area

The villages and smaller towns in Hereon’s immediate vicinity also offer very good alternatives if you are looking for more reasonable accommodation. It is certainly worth taking a look at a map of the area around Geesthacht.

The towns of Schwarzenbek and Lauenburg (11,500 inhabitants) and the university town of Lüneburg (75,000 inhabitants) are within easy reach by car. Another reasonable and lovely place to live is, e. g., Boizenburg an der Elbe. , which is on the river Elbe to the east of Geesthacht.

Living in Hamburg

If you prefer city life, you can settle in Hamburg. With its population of 1.8 million, the metropolis on the river Elbe is the second largest city in Germany. The port of Hamburg is world-famous and is what gives the city its popular maritime flair. HafenCity, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, Speicherstadt, Reeperbahn and much more – Hamburg offers many cultural monuments and landmarks as well as an extremely diverse multicultural life.

Hamburg is made up of seven districts, which in turn are subdivided into other individual districts. The Hamburg Welcome Portal offers a good overview of all important topics when it comes to living in Hamburg. This is where you will find valuable information for future new citizens as well as important information on entry and residence permits.

The district of Bezirk Hamburg-Bergedorf is the most conveniently located for you to travel to our Hereon site. For example, the bus line 8800 runs hourly in the mornings from the ZOB in Hamburg-Bergedorf directly to the Hereon grounds and back again from 2 pm.

At the Teltow site

Our Institute of Biomaterial Science, where around 85 employees work, is located in Teltow.

The town has a population of 27,000 and is located in the district of Potsdam-Mittelmark, which is in the federal state of Brandenburg. Teltow borders on Berlin, more precisely on the district of Berlin Steglitz-Zehlendorf, and is an easy distance from the capital by tram. It is a 45-minute ride from Berlin main station to the institute. But the capital of Brandenburg, Potsdam, is not far away either. As such, the area offers a wide range of possible places to live for any taste.

As a business centre for high-tech companies and research institutions, Teltow is a growing town in itself and a popular place to live, especially among families. Here, you can enjoy the advantages of a small town – short distances, good schools and educational facilities, attractive and friendly cultural life including clubs, and also lots of nature and beautiful surroundings – combined with easy access to two large cities.

From living in a village-like atmosphere to green residential areas with detached and terraced houses, and modern apartment blocks in quiet surroundings: the housing market offers a wide range of possibilities to suit your economic situation and individual taste.

Berlin with its 3.6 million inhabitants is considered a lively cosmopolitan city and is an international centre of attraction for tourism, creative and cultural industries, research, politics, and media. Here, you will feel life pulsating, and there are countless possibilities to suit all lifestyle concepts.

Potsdam, the much smaller state capital of Brandenburg, with its 180,000 inhabitants, has a very special character of its own. The charming UNESCO World Heritage city boasts magnificent castles, gardens, and parks surrounded by numerous lakes and rivers and is therefore also very attractive as a place to live, with a high recreational value.

At our other sites

Within the framework of GEMS (German Engineering Materials Science Centre), some scientists from Hereon are working on the research reactor at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Centre (MLZ) FRM II in Garching near Munich.

In Berlin, Hereon scientists from the Institute for Biomaterial Science are conducting research at the Charité Hospital on the Virchow Clinic Campus in the Berlin-Brandenburg Centre for Regenerative Therapies BCRT

The following links provide useful information on the local conditions:

Garching near Munich


Bicycle Friendly Employer

Fahrradfreundlicher Arbeitgeber Zertifikat

Hereon successfully completed the audit for the EU-wide "Bicycle Friendly Employer" program in November 2020 and received the "Silver" certificate for the next three years.

To make it easier for our employees to use their bicycles every day on their way to work, a network of tried-and-tested bicycle routes has been put together, facilities for bicycle repair have been set up on the premises, and barrier-free and covered parking spaces have been provided. Furthermore, we provide facilities for changing clothes and showering.