Studying outside of your home country used to be a far-away dream that quickly became a dream come true for many. There are many benefits to choosing to study at another university and immerse yourself in another city’s culture. Luckily for you, Europe has plenty of student-friendly cities that are ready to welcome you with open arms and provide you with everything you might need for a perfect student-life.

Today, we’re exploring most student-friendly cities in Europe. We’ve chosen cities based on the following criteria: average student accommodation price, nightlife, student discounts, getting around, and top universities available at that location. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!


Leu-what? Leuven is a city located just a few minutes away from Brussels, known for its student life and presence. Reports show that students living close to Brussels frequently opt out for Leuven due to its fantastic and extremely lively atmosphere. With cheap student accommodation, high-quality universities, an amazing student life, and affordable tickets to Brussels, Leuven should definitely be on your list as the most student-friendly city in Europe.

  • Average student accommodation price: €400
  • Nightlife: Lively nightlife due to the city’s student presence.
  • Student discounts: Plenty
  • Getting around: Brussels (30 minutes by train, €5.50), Brussels Airport (20 minutes by train, €9.30)
  • Top universities: KU Leuven


Ljubljana is a picturesque capital of the beautiful Slovenia. The city itself is full of students, as the capital is one of the few Slovenian cities where you can attend your university studies. With that in mind, Ljubljana offers plenty of student discounts, activities, and a top-notch education to its eager-to-learn young residents.

  • Average student accommodation price: €200
  • Nightlife: Extremely lively with mostly student-friendly bars and clubs.
  • Student discounts: You can receive a student discount on most places in Ljubljana.
  • Getting around: Getting an Urbana card for accessing the bus system costs €20 per month.
  • Top universities: University of Ljubljana


Warsaw is one of the leading European cities and a perfect destination for students. The city alone has an extremely lively atmosphere, but what makes it even better is its student life. The city hosts over 1.5 million students and guarantees affordability along with a fantastic social life and amazing atmosphere. With excellent connections to other parts of Europe, it’s a perfect budget-friendly and student-friendly choice.

  • Average student accommodation price: €500
  • Nightlife: Student bars mixed with popular top tourist and local clubs.
  • Student discounts: Plenty. Three-month student transportation ticket costs you €25.
  • Getting around: Walkable distance to most places / well-connected train station.
  • Top universities: University of Warsaw, Warsaw University of Technology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw School of Economics


Barcelona is a contemporary city with an added bonus of being located close to the beach. If you’re looking to be near the sun and the sea, Barcelona is the place to be. The city is lively and you can find something to do whether you’re a student or not. You can choose from plenty of popular universities, all guaranteeing a top-notch education to its international students. Barcelona is a popular student destination that definitely shouldn’t be missed.

  • Average student accommodation price: €450
  • Nightlife: So. Many. Student. Bars.
  • Student discounts: Plenty. You can get student discount on transportation, Barcelona’s nightlife, attractions, and more.
  • Getting around: Well-connected metro and bus system. 40 minutes to Barcelona El Prat Airport.
  • Top universities: University of Barcelona, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Pompeu Fabra University, Polytechnic University of Catalonia.


Vienna is often overlooked, but if you want to study and walk around the same streets that were once visited by Mozart and Freud, Barcelona should be your chosen student destination. Vienna featured easy living along with an extremely affordable education, making it a popular choice for those that do their research. This charming city features plenty of students spots and a well-connected transportation system that can take you practically anywhere!

  • Average student accommodation price: €400
  • Nightlife: Plenty of choices to party until the break of dawn.
  • Student discounts: You can get a student discount at most museums and Vienna’s transportation system as well as plenty of other facilities.
  • Getting around: Semester card with unlimited transportation access for €130.
  • Top universities: University of Vienna, TU Wien, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Medical University of Vienna


While many people choose Paris as their preferred city of studies, you shouldn’t overlook the alternative - Lyon. This charming city is actually a student capital, particularly popular with international students. With soaring costs of living of Paris, Lyon provides a perfect alternative for those who are looking a slightly different French experience.

  • Average student accommodation price: €600
  • Nightlife: Lively and catered to students.
  • Student discounts: Available for most places and facilities.
  • Getting around: Getting a TCL card for moving around Lyon costs only €28 per month or €288 per year.
  • Top universities: Jean Moulin University Lyon 3, Université Lumière Lyon 2, École normale supérieure de Lyon, IAE Lyon

Have you studied abroad? Come tell us about your experience!

If you like this article, check out: