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Germany’s capital city can stake a credible claim to being one of the coolest cities in the world. During recent years, its cultural scene has flourished, turning it into a major center of design, fashion, music and art to rival even New York or London.

Ranked 9th in the world and 1st in Germany (two places ahead of Munich) in the QS Best Student Cities 2016, Berlin offers  both unbeatable culture and a hot financial market, making it as perfect for history buffs and art aficionados as it is for budding financiers. But big money is not the case when it comes to tuition fees, thanks to recent legislation making all undergraduate higher education (and some postgraduate programs) free across the nation, even for international students.

Climbing seven places to feature within the top 10 of the current QS Best Student Cities list, Berlin is also the most affordable student city in the world’s top 10, thanks to its combination of low living costs and zero tuition fees.

While the German capital is not an academic hub on the scale of cities like London, Paris or Boston, three universities in Berlin feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16. The highest ranked of these is Freie Universität Berlin at 119th in the world, followed by Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin at joint 126th.

Berlin is also gaining a growing reputation as a destination for international students due in part to greater provision of courses in English, particularly at graduate level. With a high quality of living, affordable costs, a liberal atmosphere and a happening party and music scene, the German capital has a huge amount to offer international students of all backgrounds and interests.

Explore the top universities in Germany >



QS ranked universities


More about Berlin

Number of universities ranked by QS


Top ranked institution

Freie Universität Berlin (119th in the world)



Students (% of total population)

1.6% (based on ranked institutions)

International students

16.0% (of students at ranked institutions)

Average tuition fees


Global Liveability Ranking

20th (out of 140)

Mercer Cost of Living rank

106th  (out of 214)

Cost of a Big Mac


Cost of an iPad


Numbeo safety rank

118th  (out of 446)

Numbeo pollution rank

220th  (out of 300)

Transparency International score

12th  (out of 177)


Sources: QS World University RankingsGlobal Liveability Ranking (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); Big Mac Index (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); iPad Index (Commsec); Cost of Living Survey (Mercer); Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International).

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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buen dia!quisiera saber como puedo hacer para estudiar en ALemania una maestria acabo de titularme en Produccion audiovisual. me gustaria estudiar una maestria que complemente y me enriquezca mas mis conocimientos. Berlin me encanta para estudiar podrian darme mas información. gracias!!

Olah, Nancy! You can find a lot of information about studying abroad in Germany on our Study in Germany FAQ, and the DAAD is also a helpful resource for finding potential programs to study. We also have an article specifically about master's programs in Germany. For information about funding and fees see this article and for available scholarships see here. Good luck! Laura

Dear madam, i am planning to study masters program in Germany in the field of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.Could please tell me which is the best university to study over there and also which is the best city to study over there.
i heard about the preparatory course in Mira Pvt Institute,Berlin,Germany if i study that program means that program is useful for me or not. And that program is compulsory to study in 0% tuition fee universities it's true or not mam..could you please clear my doubts madam.....

Hi Aravind, we have a ranking of top universities in Germany for electrical and electronic engineering which will show you a list of all the top universities in your field. This article will also tell you where these universities are located. The Mira Pvt Institute is not ranked by QS but that is not to say you shouldn't undertake a prep course there. You should be aware however that if you have not studied in the country before, it is likely you wil have to pay tuition fees for your master's degree. Please see our Study in Germany FAQ for more general information. Laura

I am doing the British curriculum the A levels and I am currently in year 12 doing the AS level. My subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Arabic. I want to study medicine in Germany. Can I apply now or do I have to do year 13 to achieve the full A levels? What are the entry requirements?

Hi Saleh, in most cases universities in Germany require applicants to have completed their A levels before undertaking a degree. If you are interested in a particular university, you can contact them directly for exact information on entry requirements. To find the top universities in Germany for medicine, visit our latest subject rankings. Thanks! Laura


Hi Adewumi, the answer hopefully is 'easily!' To get started, take a look at our Study in Germany FAQ and if there's anything we haven't answered, please let us know in the comments. As for finding universities in Berlin, I'd advise looking at this article. Thanks, Laura


how do i get a scholarship to do my master in Germany? Double master program a scholarship covering all my expenses.

Hi Martin, you can look here for a range of German scholarships (for all degree levels) - - or, alternatively, you could find a German university you'd like to study at first - - and then visit their own website to see if they offer any funding to students. If you have any queries about programs, contact the university directly. Good luck! Laura

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