Germany is usually thought of as a stoic and serious country, especially coming from the pages of world history books. However, there is much to be discovered in this country rich in technology, historical architecture, and culture.

And the best part – by German law, all public institutions must provide free education to all students, regardless of nationality, so long as they fulfill German language requirements. This allows international students to access top-notch education without breaking the bank. Combining this easy access to quality education with the country’s booming economy, high standards of living, and reputation for quality work, it’s easy to see how Germany has built its way to the top.

But don’t be fooled by their demeanor – Germans also know how to kick back and relax with a pint of beer and a festival or two. Check out these best cities in Germany to study in for international students.

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Top Cities in Germany

1. Berlin

As the capital and biggest city of Germany, Berlin wields the biggest influence over Germany politically, economically, and culturally. This prestigious city is the country’s seat of government, including the Reichstag building and the German parliament.

While the Berlin Wall is usually what comes to mind when referring to this city, there is much more to Berlin than its dark past. Instead, it embraces these truths and carries them towards the future. Berlin’s rich history is easily accessed in the city’s more than 170 museums – some in a dedicated Museum Island. Its rich musical tradition is kept alive by leading orchestras and theater venues featuring classical music scores. Yet, historical buildings are preserved alongside tall skyscrapers in this cityscape, cultivating its specializations in forward-thinking industries IT, pharmaceuticals, and electronics, among others.

Yet despite its achievements, Berlin’s way of living is relaxed. There are plenty of parks and open spaces abound for students to draw inspiration and get away from it all. This makes Berlin among the best cities in Germany for learning and growing in a balanced environment. Check out the top university options in Berlin here:

  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Technische Universität Berlin

2. Munich

As the third-largest city in Germany, Munich exercises much influence in the global sectors of art, science, technology, finance, and business. This prolific city is home to multinationals such as BMW, Siemens, and Allianz, which makes the place a strategic stepping stone for students who wish to pursue careers in these forward-looking disciplines. Munich is also known for its excellent quality of living scores – providing basic services at affordable prices.

Outside the competitive classroom, Munich’s many attractions will surely please even the most spirited traveler. Immerse yourself in the city’s many Baroque churches, museums, and art galleries. For nature lovers, the city’s 370-hectare English Garden is always within reach – or you can try a challenging hike in the Alps if you’re up for it. And of course, no trip to Munich is complete without catching the legendary Oktoberfest beer festival and Christmas markets at the city square.

Check out the city’s quality education and culture for less at these top institutions:

  • Technische Universität München
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

3. Frankfurt

While Germany is a prosperous country all around, Frankfurt takes the cake. The city is the hub for all things finance and business – housing the European Central Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and the main branches of Germany’s largest banks. Its skyline filled with clusters of high-rise buildings has earned its reputation as the North American portion of the country, nicknamed “Mainhattan” and “Chicago on the Main.”

However, there is more to Frankfurt than just money. As the birthplace of Goethe, the city offers plenty of options for those interested in philosophy, arts, and sciences. It even preserves this great writer through the Goethe House and Museum. The city has also preserved many historical sites such as the Frankfurt Cathedral and kept the past alive through its thriving Museum District. The Old town Center is also a crowd favorite, with many looking forward to its Christmas markets and other events year-round.

Check out why this student city has been voted one of the top cities for international students in Germany through these universities:

  • Goethe University
  • Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

4. Hamburg

Contrary to popular belief, Hamburg is not popular for hamburgers – it offers so much more. This maritime city boasts of interconnectedness, having the second largest port and the longest train railway in the world. This makes the city a key destination for trade and commerce, bringing a variety of industries to its shores.

The Pearl of the North also boasts of beautiful natural sceneries along the North Sea coast, the Elbe River, and Alster Lake – these three could even be explored by boat. Its culture and tradition are made accessible through free entry to its more than 30 public museums, over 40 theaters, and operas, as well as its city landscape of carefully preserved residencies and buildings in the old town interspersed with contemporary buildings of Hafen City. But if you’re looking for pop culture and lifestyle, St.Pauli street’s buzzing nightlife and artsy galleries have got you covered. Explore all that Hamburg has to offer with these universities:

  • University of Hamburg
  • Technical University of Hamburg
  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

5. Dresden

Dresden is another one of the best cities in Germany for international students. It is the capital of Saxony and the third biggest city in Germany. This city wields great cultural, educational, and political influence in the country, and brings together those who wish to pursue careers in technology through competitive course offerings from top universities. It is famous for international business, foreign languages, and humanities courses as well.

But Dresden’s beauty is in its natural views and love for the arts. Also dubbed “Florence of the North”, the city is one of the greenest in Europe, with over 60% of city land composed of green areas and forests. Its two remarkable halves by the Elbe river display the city’s old and new sides, and how it coincides beautifully with society today. One would see buildings that are hundreds of years old such as the Church of Our Lady and the Procession of Princes alongside quirky modern art districts such as the Kunsthofpassage. The city also boasts of a great operatic tradition, upheld by operatic greats such as Richard Strauss. The reconstructed Opera House, Dresden State Theater, and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra are testaments to its commitment through the years.

Check out the mix of old and new at Dresden through these top universities:

  • Technical University of Dresden
  • Dresden University of Applied Sciences


I hope that you found this article on the best cities in Germany for international students informative and helpful. Head on over to our Germany Scholarships Page for more details about studying in Germany – from the different universities to the numerous scholarship opportunities!