Munich again ranked as second-best student city in the world

Munich again ranked as second-best student city in the world

For the second year in a row, Munich has been ranked as the second-best student city in the world. However, despite its stellar performance, the capital of Bavaria registered a slightly lower overall score than last year, putting it level with Seoul.

The best student cities for 2023

The latest QS Best Student Cities ranking has ranked both Berlin and Munich in the top 10. The ranking aims to determine the best destinations for international students, scoring each city on a series of indicators that have been grouped into six key categories: University Rankings, Student Mix, Desirability, Employer Activity, Affordability and Student Voice. 

To be included in the ranking, each city had to have a population of over 250.000 people and accommodate at least two universities from the most recent QS World University Rankings. Following these criteria, 164 cities were considered in the study.

London once again topped the rankings; the UK capital has cemented its place as the best international student city over the past four rankings - which do not include 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic - not least due to its status as the home of some of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Munich ranked as second-best student city

Similarly to last year, three German cities made it into the top 100 best student cities in the world. Munich claimed joint-second place in the ranking, alongside Seoul, receiving an overall score of 95,1 out of 100. Munich recorded similar scores to last year, significantly slumping only in the affordability category, where its score fell by about 25 points. This undoubtedly played a part in Munich’s lower score this year, but luckily didn't affect its place in the ranking.

Munich was praised for not only its diverse student environment and graduate career prospects, but also its high standard of living, beautiful scenery and rich culture. On the other hand, the cost of living and studying in Munich was highlighted as a noticeable downside, with rent and living costs being singled out as particularly expensive, although it was noted that, because Munich is smaller than many other European cities, students have opportunities to save on public transport.

However, with Bavaria currently considering the option of introducing tuition fees for non-EU students, it remains to be seen whether Munich will be able to keep its crown as a top student destination in the coming years.

Berlin and Stuttgart also make it into the ranking

Ranking as the sixth-best student city overall, Berlin offers international students a similarly competitive student experience. The German capital was praised for its high standard of living, good job prospects, unbeatable culture and nightlife, and its status as a major centre for design, fashion, music and art. The study also praised Germany in general for not charging tuition fees, regardless of students’ nationalities, at the majority of public universities.

Stuttgart also made it into the best student cities ranking, albeit much lower than Berlin and Munich. The capital of Baden-Württemberg ranked 88th and was praised for its culture and natural environment, with the city’s hot springs being a favourite amongst students. However, the city lost ground in the employer activity and student view categories, despite being an industrial hub and the location of several automobile companies’ headquarters.

The best student cities in the world for 2023

The best cities for students in the world for 2023 are:

  • 1. London
  • =2. Munich
  • =2. Seoul
  • 4. Zurich
  • 5. Melbourne
  • 6. Berlin
  • 7. Tokyo
  • 8. Paris
  • 9. Sydney
  • 10. Edinburgh

For more information, including a rundown of each city’s performance and methodology, you can visit the QS website.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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