Located deep in Germany's southernmost region, Bavaria, Munich is the nation's third largest city, and its affluence and vibrancy have made it a particularly desirable place to live. For many people outside of Germany, Munich is known first and foremost as the beer capital of the world – home to Oktoberfest, one of the world's biggest and booziest parties, which every year draws tourists in their hoards to road-test the local brew.
Of course this is not the reason for Munich’s high score in the QS Best Student Cities index, but it does score among the highest in the world in the “desirability” category, which draws on various sources designed to assess quality of life.
Most notably however, Munich has the second highest score for “affordability” out of all of the top 20 cities, close behind fellow German city Berlin. This is due to the fact that no tuition fees are charged for undergraduate students at public universities in Germany, regardless of nationality. Although living costs tend to be slightly higher in Munich than Berlin, the incentive of free tuition combined with the distinctive Bavarian culture still makes Munich one of the most appealing study destinations in Western Europe.
As for universities in Munich, the city’s highest entrant in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16 is Technische Universität München at 60th, followed by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in 75th – Germany’s first and third representatives in the global rankings this year.
QS ranked universities
More about Munich
Number of universities ranked by QS
Top ranked institution
Technische Universität München (60th in the world)
Students (% of total population)
2.2% (based on ranked institutions)
16.0% (of students at ranked institutions)
Average tuition fees
Global Liveability Ranking
28th (out of 140)
Mercer Cost of Living rank
Cost of a Big Mac
Cost of an iPad
Numbeo safety rank
8th (out of 446)
Numbeo pollution rank
282nd (out of 300)
Transparency International score
12th (out of 177)
Sources: QS World University Rankings; Global 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).