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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 71st

Straddling two continents on the Bosporus strait, Istanbul is a real mix of east and west, and a melting pot of cultures. The largest city in Turkey, Istanbul has a history dating back thousands of years, during which time it’s seen a number of major events in political, religious and art history, and has been known as Constantinople and Byzantium.

The country’s economic, cultural and historic center, Istanbul was voted the European Capital of Culture in 2010 and boasts attractions such as the ancient Hippodrome of Constantine, the sixth century Hagia Sophia and the Süleymaniye Mosque.

The city’s unique skyline and architecture reflects the various empires that have ruled over it, from Roman constructions such as the Obelisk of Theodosius to Ottoman fortresses that were once used to defend the city from sieges.

As well as seeing these famous sights, there’s plenty more to do during your time in the city. Shopping districts range from the entirely modern to the deeply historic, including the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world.

There are also famous restaurants, vibrant nightlife, traditional taverns, and cultural events such as international music and film festivals.

Istanbul has a large number of public and private higher education institutions, some of which offer teaching in English, and the city offers good value for money in terms of living costs. The city earns its highest scores in the affordability indicator and student view indicator, reflecting the great student experience to be had there.

When asked in the student survey what they enjoyed most about studying in Istanbul, one respondent said they enjoyed the “cultural and historical diversity” of the city and another commented on the “many opportunities available in both your personal and professional life”.

Internationally ranked universities in Istanbul

More about Istanbul

Number of universities ranked by QS


Top ranked institution

Koç University (Joint 451st in the world)



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.


Related categories:

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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