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4 Best Student Cities in Spain for International Student

4 Best Student Cities in Spain for International Student

4 Best Student Cities in Spain for International Student

Can’t choose between Madrid or Barcelona? Granada or Valencia? In this article, we’ll run through the best student cities in Spain for international students.

You’ll learn about the cost of living in each city and the top universities you’ll find there. We’ll also talk a bit about the lifestyle and culture in each city so you’ll know what to expect.


Barcelona is one of the most popular cities in Spain, not only for foreign students but for tourists as well. The sunny climate gives the city its unique appeal over stunning beaches and urban squares.

Some of Spain’s best-known universities are also located here. One is the University of Barcelona and the other is Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. Both universities have consistently been ranking within the top 200 of QS World University Rankings.

The cost of living is fairly affordable at around $1,806 per month, excluding rent. As for the average tuition fee, you can expect to spend about $7,200 per year.


Madrid is a powerhouse when it comes to economic stability and cultural importance. In fact, it’s a hub of major financial and administrative centers in all of Europe.

Living costs in Madrid are cheaper than in Barcelona at only US$811 per month. But the monthly accommodation rent may set you back $1,040. At least, the average tuition isn’t skyrocketing high at $6,300 per year.

Four of the most prestigious universities in Spain are in Madrid. These include the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). Both are among the top 250 of the 2022 QS World University Rankings.


Granada is a bit different from other student cities in the sense that it has a distinct North African style. You can see this best reflected in the architecture of the city, particularly in a castle called Alhambra.

According to Numbeo, a single person in Granada needs at least $700 for living costs each month. Meanwhile, monthly rent can range between $435 and $872.

Located in the city is the Universidad de Granada. The university has five campuses that house more than 80,000 international students.


One of the highlights of studying in Valencia is experiencing festivals and amazing food. The city is home to the famed Les Falles festival and of course, the delicious paella.

Valencia is also among the most affordable student cities in Spain, with living costs being 12% lower than Madrid. With that said, monthly living costs wrap up at around $700. For rent, you may spend from $598 to $1,276 per month.

Valencia also doesn’t lag behind in terms of universities. In fact, two Valencian universities made it to the top 600 of the 2022 QS World University Rankings. These are Universitat Politècnica de València and Universitat de València. 

Now that you know the best student cities in Spain, it’s all up to you to make a good choice. You can check out our other resources to learn more about each student city. Start with our guide to the cost of living in Madrid to learn more about the city.



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