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QS Best Student Cities ranking: Joint 23rd

Barcelona offers one of Europe’s most appealing environments in which to live and study – sunny climate, beaches, renowned cuisine, a rich artistic and cultural legacy, cosmopolitan city center and of course, a legendary party scene.

It is also home to two of Spain’s most prestigious universities, the University of Barcelona (UB) and Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, both of which rank in the global top 210 of the QS World University Content® 2016-2017, as well as several other internationally esteemed institutions.

The city’s highest score in the QS Best Student Cities index is in the Affordability category –while Barcelona is one of the most popular and visited cities in Europe, living costs remain reasonable compared to cities such as London and Paris. Tuition fees are a little higher than those in fellow Western European countries such as France or Germany, but still relatively low, giving Barcelona an overall affordability rating in the top 50.

Barcelona also scores well in the Desirability and Student Mix categories of the index, reflecting its reputation as one of Europe’s most happening cities, and most appealing destinations for international students. In our student survey, one respondent summed up the city’s appeal: “The weather, the food, there's always something to do”.

Are you studying in Barcelona? Rate your experience.

Internationally ranked universities in Barcelona


More about Barcelona

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Barcelona (UB; joint 160th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student Experience rank



To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Related categories:

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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1 Comment

dear sir/ madam,
I am pleasant to get a place in Barcelona University to study Master in English Language. I have BA in English language and a good experience. your help is highly appreciated.
Amad Ahmed