Germany offers a blend of academic excellence, cultural richness, and promising career prospects making it a prime destination for international students. With four world-class universities in the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2024, Germany’s educational programs are tailored to meet student needs.

The cost of living in Germany might be higher compared to other eastern nations, however, with the abundant opportunities for scholarships students can study there for a substantially lower price tag. What’s more? The country is highly welcoming of international students creating a conducive milieu for a memorable experience in the country. Here are the top student cities in Germany for you to check out as an international student.

Top Cities to Study in Germany for International Students

When picking a university or country to study in, you will have to consider several factors like survivability, cost of living, safety, and quality of education. In the following section, we list the top five cities in Germany for international students as listed by the QS Best Student City Rankings of 2024.

1. Munich

You might know Munich for hosting the world’s largest beer festival, or for its museums, beer gardens, parks, or the football club that hails from it. But, the German city of Munich has much more to offer. It is a popular destination not just for international students, but also for “digital nomads”, a term referred to people who work online while traveling from place to place. It’s safe to say Munich provides one of the safest and most supportive environments for students and workers to flourish.

The QS Student City Rankings for 2024 placed Munich in an esteemed fifth place with an overall rating of 97.1. Prominent universities in the city offer English-taught programs across disciplines like engineering, medicine, business, and arts. The Technical University of Munich, for example, offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in English in key disciplines like engineering, business, and medicine.

2. Berlin

Not only is Berlin, the German capital known for its numerous museums, the city is home to not one but three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, earning it the title “UNESCO City of Design”. From natural scenes like gardens and waterways to artificial artwork and architecture, Berlin is breathtaking in many ways.

With a score of 95, Berlin was ranked the 8th best student city in the world according to the QS rankings of 2024. The Free University of Berlin is the top-ranked university in Berlin known for its research-backed, interdisciplinary approach to education. The university has garnered special recognition for its programs in political science, sociology, history, and philosophy.

3. Hamburg

Hamburg is a German city of bridges, rivers, and beautifully architected churches. The city is also known for being linked to The Beatles’ formative days, and to this day, Hamburg has a significant music scene. Being bounded by three rivers and two seas, the city’s numerous waterways, canals, and ports make it a prime spot for maritime events and history.

Hamburg is recognized for a number of its world-recognized institutions. The city was ranked in the QS rankings as the 80th best city in the world for students with a score of 65.5. Hamburg University of Technology, one of the reputed universities in the country offers programs across fields and is especially known for mechanical, electrical, computer, and aerospace engineering.

4. Stuttgart

Serving as a gateway to popular spots like the Black Forest, the Swiss Alps, and other European destinations, Stuttgart is situated strategically in the heart of Europe. The city is known for its robust economy and diverse range of industries including the flourishing automotive, engineering, and technology industries. Home to two of the world’s most prestigious car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, this city is a student-friendly city as it is a work-friendly environment.

With a score of 61.6, Stuttgart ranks no. 94 in the QS rankings of 2024 as one of the top student cities in the world. Being a technological hub, the city is known for attracting skilled migrants, and therefore, is highly welcoming of expatriates. However, living expenses are slightly on the upper end due to the influx of professionals and industrialization.

5. Hannover

Known for hosting some of the world’s largest trade fairs, Hannover is notably a popular spot for exhibitors, visitors, and students alike. Hannover is strategically located in the heart of Germany serving as a transportation hub for roadways, railways, and airways. It’s a center for international business and networking as well. Hannover’s universities play an important role in research fields and set up an intellectual and academic environment to nurture students.

Hannover is the only German city in this list that ranks beyond the top 100 mark in the QS Student City Rankings of 2024. With an overall score of 52.2 Hannover is the 124th best student city in the world. Leibniz University in Hannover is one of the world-recognized academic institutions particularly known for its programs in engineering and science.

You might have realized that each of these top-ranked student cities in Germany is unique in its way. Whatever your preferences might be, and whatever study programs you are looking for, these cities might have some top picks for you.


We hope this list will help you decide on which city to live in and study in Germany. To read more articles about studying in this European powerhouse, head on over to our Study in Germany Page! Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Germany for more study options!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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