QS Staff Writer

Updated October 24, 2022 Updated October 24

QS Best Student Cities ranking: 21st

Up an incredible 10 places this year, Barcelona comes in at 21st in the QS Best Student Cities 2019 and is once again the top of all of Spain’s cities.  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 200 of the QS World University Rankings® 2020, as well as several other internationally esteemed institutions, giving it Spain’s best score for the rankings indicator in the Best Student Cities ranking.

The city’s second-highest score is for employer activity where it comes 27th worldwide. Barcelona also scores well for desirability and student mix, reflecting its reputation as one of Europe’s most happening cities, and most appealing destinations for international students and graduates alike. 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

University of Barcelona (UB)Universitat Autónoma de BarcelonaUniversitat Pompeu FabraUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya; Universitat Ramon Llull

More about Barcelona

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Barcelona (165th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank



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


This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in October 2022


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