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7 university cities in Spain for an unforgettable student experience

Going to university can be the start of countless unforgettable memories.That’s why it’s crucial to carefully pick the university where you’ll spend all this special time.

7 min read

With over 80 universities, a mixture of both public and private, Spain boasts a huge range of study options. You can find one in almost every region. But finding the right option takes a lot of consideration. There are matriculation fees, scholarships, food costs, university atmosphere, and even more things to consider. Given this, searching for your ideal university city can seem like a daunting task.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the 7 Spanish cities where you’re bound to make lifelong memories.

1. Valencia

Right on the Mediterranean coast, Valencia is the perfect blend of big-city and peaceful seaside. The third-largest Spanish city, it’s home to almost 50,000 students spread across three public and two private universities. There are tons of study options here, so you’ve got a high chance of finding your dream degree. The mild climate, its proximity to cities like Barcelona and Madrid, the atmosphere—with its well-known Fallas festival—and its fantastic cuisine make Valencia more than deserving of the top spot on our list.

  • Public transport. If you have a Carné Jove, an identity card for 14- to 30-year-olds, you can apply for the Abono Transporte Joven (Youth Transport Pass). It costs €38.25 per month for Zone A travel. Single tickets for one zone cost €1.50.
  • Accommodation. If you’re looking for student accommodation or a residence hall, be warned—rent ranges from €320 to €3200 per month. On the website of the Polytechnic University of Valencia you’ll find a list of the city’s main student accommodation options. If you’d prefer to rent a room in a shared apartment with other students, you’ll be able to find rooms for around €300.
  • Study options. In Valencia, you’ll find a huge range of degree options, like from Primary Teaching, Business Management, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Nursing, Marketing and Public Relations, Audiovisual Communication, Senior Character Animator, or Senior Film Director—the list goes on!

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2. Salamanca

This gorgeous city in Castilla and León, a little over an hour away from Portugal, just had to be on our list. It’s home to what is the oldest university in Spain and the third-oldest in Europe. In fact, it’s one of the most popular destinations for Erasmus students who come to Spain. Over 25,000 students have chosen to study in this calm and homey city at universities like USAL (The University of Salamanca), the Technological University, and the Pontifical University.

  • Public transport. While Salamanca is small enough that you can easily get around on foot or by bike, you can also travel by bus. Single tickets cost €1.05 and the city bus pass costs €22.05 per month.
  • Accommodation. The price of a room in a shared apartment is around €200 per month. There are also tons of affordable student accommodation options, so be sure to consult your university if you decide to study here.
  • Study options. In Salamanca, you’ll find a wide variety of study options. You can do degrees like Translation and Interpretation, Social Work, Labor Relations, Human Resources, and Commercial Pilot courses. 

3. Oviedo

The University of Oviedo offers a huge variety of degrees. Oviedo is a small, peaceful city and has the honor of being the cleanest city in Spain, as well as the second-safest. Its location will dazzle beach and mountain lovers alike—so if you’re looking to spend the next few years of your life in a gorgeous place surrounded by nature, while enjoying the magnificent cuisine of Asturias, Oviedo is the city for you.

  • Public transport. The city’s historic district is pedestrianized, so the old town is off-limits for vehicles. If you decide to go by bus, single tickets cost €1.20.
  • Accommodation. You’ll find rooms in shared apartments from €150 per month, and rooms in student accommodation and halls for €360 per month.
  • Study options. Among the wide range of study options in the city, you’ll find classic degrees like Law, Tourism, and Psychology, along with degrees in Automatic, Electronic and Industrial Engineering, Product Design, and Public Management and Administration.

4. Seville

Seville is one of the cities that attracts most students from home and abroad every year. And that’s no surprise. With a wide range of study options, prestigious universities like the University of Seville and the Pablo de Olavide University, Seville is a great place for students. Furthermore, the social scene and student lifestyle are second to none in the rest of Spain.

  • Public transport. With the pedestrianization of the historic city center, cars are no longer allowed to enter the old town. If you decide to travel by bus, you’ll have to pay € 1,20 for a single ticket..
  • Accommodation. You can rent a room for around €300. If you go for student accommodation or a hall, prices range from €200 to €900 per month. 
  • Study options. On the Educaweb portal, you’ll find joint degrees in Psychology with Criminology, Bilingual Business Management and Administration with International Relations, degrees in Mechatronics and Robotics, Music Creation and Production, and even a degree in Flamenco. 

5. Barcelona

The capital of Catalonia needs no introduction. It’s one of the most popular destinations in Europe for students and the millions of tourists that visit the city each year. Barcelona is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city lying on the Mediterranean coast. It has around 30 universities, a huge number of degrees to pick from, and its cultural life is unparalleled. 

  • Public transport. The quarterly transport pass costs €80 for people under 25. If you’re a year or two older, you’ll get unlimited travel on all transport in the city for €40 per month. Single tickets cost €2.40.
  • Accommodation. Finding a room for under €400 a month isn’t exactly easy, but it’s usually more cost effective to stay in a shared apartment rather than in a residence hall or in student accommodation. 
  • Study options. In Barcelona, you’ll find an endless number of degrees to finish your studies. Choose the degree that best suits your ambitions from courses as diverse as Literary Studies, Mathematics, Bioinformatics, Arab and Hebrew Studies, and more.  

6. Bilbao

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable student experience, Bilbao is the place for you. Its culture, food options, and sights make it an ideal place for foodies and nature lovers. Do keep in mind, however, that a better lifestyle means that prices are higher. The University of Bilbao is part of the Basque University System—expect to find some differences compared to studying in the rest of Spain.

  • Public transport. The Barik card gives you a €90 maximum balance and travel within one zone for €0.93 or within two for €1.10.
  • Accommodation. While private rent varies from €350 to €600, rooms in student accommodation cost between €300 and €700. 
  • Study options. You’ll find degrees in Marine Engineering, Trilingual Primary Teaching, Marine Navigation and Sea Transportation, Environmental Engineering, and Business Management. 

7. Madrid

The Spanish capital has more than 3 million inhabitants—one of the factors that explains the broad selection of universities you’ll find there. Even though it’s not on the coast, the nightlife, sights like the Reina Sofia and the Museo del Prado, its vast parks, and more, make Madrid a fantastic option if you want to get out and about.

  • Public transport. If you’re under 26, you can travel on Madrid’s transport network for €20 per month. The regular 30-day pass costs €54.60 and single tickets cost €1.50.
  • Accommodation. Rooms in shared apartments cost €400 per month on average, and student accommodation costs from €400 to €1000 per month. 
  • Study options. Take your pick from the endless number of study options available in Madrid. You can choose from degrees like Protocol and Event Management, Software Development and Engineering, and Journalism, or joint degrees like Scenic Arts with Audiovisual Communication, and Law with Security. 

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On the Educaweb and Infoeducación platforms, you’ll find information on the university courses available in all Spanish cities and, if you’re looking for a roof to stay under, check dondememeto to find residence halls, rooms, apartments, and student accommodation across Spain.

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