Most Cultural Student Cities


Date of Publication: 13 June 2019

University is a time to broaden your horizons, not only intellectually but culturally, as you meet people from all around the world. As well as eye-opening lectures, seminars and towering piles of textbooks, students who venture away from home also have a brand new city to discover and learn from. But where are the most culturally inspiring cities for students across the globe? We’ve put together an infographic to illustrate some of the best cities to study if you want a rich and dynamic life outside of the lecture theatre. Take a look at our countdown of the top 10 cultural cities to study in, ranked by the number of theatres, cinemas, public libraries, street markets and live music venues, among other highlights.

  1. Lausanne, Switzerland

With its stunning cathedral and glorious location on the shores of Lake Geneva, you probably couldn’t pick a more beautiful spot to head off to class every morning. Add to that Lausanne’s five theatres and 32 museums and you have a city that’s rich not only in natural beauty but has an abundance of cultural offerings.


  1. Ann Arbour, USA

The University of Michigan is surrounded by bustling cultural life, from its architecture to its five cinemas and two public libraries. The university’s own Museum of Modern Art displays masterpieces from around the world.


  1. Oxford, UK

As well as the beautiful architecture that comprises the university buildings themselves, the ‘city of dreaming spires’ also offers great cultural diversity to its students. It may be traditional in appearance, but the range of activities – from street markets to outdoor cinema events – comprise a truly modern blend of British and bohemian.


  1. Paris, France

How could we talk about culture without mentioning Paris? According to our research, France’s capital boasts some 25 street markets and 56 live music venues, meaning students are spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping and partying.


  1. Edinburgh, UK

For a taste of Scotland, Edinburgh University is a spectacular choice for students hoping to soak up centuries of fascinating history, gaze at magnificent art and eat like a king (or queen!) The city’s 100 museums may take more than the length of a degree course to discover, but it’s a great place to start.


  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

The jewel in Holland’s crown, Amsterdam is packed with cultural highlights, from unusual galleries to labyrinthine libraries and colourful flea markets. Ranking high on our list for museums, cinemas and theatres per capita, Amsterdam is packed with cultural things to do and see.


  1. Cambridge, USA

Located just across the Charles River from Boston, Massachusetts, Cambridge is home to the world-famous Harvard University as well as an impressive range of museums, covering dedicated to science, natural history and art. With three cinemas and seven public libraries, there are plenty of ways to feed a curious imagination.


  1. Cambridge, UK

Famed for its beautiful river, the Cam, and stunning chapel in King’s College, Cambridge offers its students lots to do in terms of culture. Visit the Fitzwilliam Museum (or one of the city’s 25 others), head to a farmer’s market or simply relax in the city’s stunning botanic garden.


  1. Ithaca, USA

Home to Cornell University, Ithaca rated second-highest on our list of the most cultural university cities around the world. Aside from its jaw-dropping natural surroundings, the city itself also has four theatres, four cinemas, twelve museums and twelve public libraries.


  1. Berkeley, USA

Berkeley University  is where the free speech movement of the 1960s began. It also has a shiny art museum (and twenty others) a beautiful bay and botanic garden, plenty of libraries, open-air markets and cinemas to boot.


Our research shows that the UK has a huge amount to offer students by way of culture, boasting some of the most impressive museums, theatres and libraries in the world. Oxford and Cambridge, whose literary and academic reputation precedes them, are joined by Bristol, renowned as a foodie hotspot, Edinburgh and Manchester, with its rich musical history. With six of the top twenty most cultural student cities, it’s clear that the UK will continue to be a cultural beacon in the future.


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