Posted on 20th of March, 2019

Top Student Cities in Europe

University is a very important part of any person’s life. It’s the time where we begin a chapter in our lives that leads us towards our futures: Academically and socially. Students tend to mainly select their university destinations based on the quality of the education they will be receiving and the city they would be studying/living in. Alongside this, other factors apply such as student experience, affordability, social inclusiveness, city environment/life, and connectivity. Whilst academics possess great importance, a social life to balance it with also plays a role in a student’s mental health and ability to feel empowered. Combined these factors play a big part in deciding a destination.

The Class of 2020 conducted a study in which they analyzed the top 20 student cities in Europe and why these particular cities have proven to be popular destinations for students. This is what we distilled from the study:

Number one student city

Due to its high scores in social inclusiveness and affordability, Berlin has been ranked as the number one student city in Europe by The Class of 2020. More specifically, Berlin excels in maintaining low rent prices for student housing, a numerous and countless variety of social events across the city, and the high ability for international students to receive visas to stay in Germany and pursue their careers. Furthermore, Munich comes in second place as the best student city in Europe, in which the city environment category was weighed at a perfect score. Germany clearly controls this list by retaining the top 2 spots. Portugal also has a good standing point in this study, with its cities Lisbon and Porto claiming the third and fifth spots.This is due to their high scores in areas such as social inclusiveness and city life. Also, both Lisbon and Porto score very well in terms of affordability, with Porto being the only city in the study clinching a perfect affordability score due to low rent prices and costs of living.


Other cities in the top 10 of the list include Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris, and London. Amsterdam’s highest scoring points are social inclusiveness and city life. However, Amsterdam does score pretty low in terms of affordability. This is due to the immense popularity of the city amongst tourists, making it a costly destination. In addition, it’s no surprise that Vienna is also included in this list of top student cities. For the last few years, Vienna has been globally ranked as the world’s most liveable city. Vienna is very rich in culture, history, and lifestyle. City life almost never gets dull and there’s always a bunch of social events to attend. Also, Vienna is quite affordable in terms of rent prices and costs of living. There’s no scarcity in student housing in Vienna so it’s also pretty simple for a student to find a suitable accommodation. Moreover, next of the list are Paris and London. Both of these cities have their highs and lows. The highs include positive social atmospheres and great scores in city life. However, the lows, which are quite expected, are affordability. Rent prices are relatively high, as well as costs of living. While these two cities can be very fun to live in, one must be prepared to have high financial costs.


Next, Spain is also a country that possesses a number of cities on the top 20 ranking. These cities are Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville. Students tend to mainly be satisfied with the constant sunny weather and affordability of these cities.

Overall, the ranking of the list seems pretty conclusive in terms of which cities are the top destinations for students. Besides the quality of education, affordability and city life to come out on top as the most vital aspects of what makes a city a good student city. As previously mentioned, Berlin and Munich come out on top in this case whilst other cities fall a little short but still with good scores. Germany, Spain, and Austria possess factors that outdo other cities, these countries possess the best student city destinations in Europe.

Find out how to tackle student complaints if you are an owner of a Purpose Based Student Accomodation in this blog post.


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