With an abundance of culture, incredible scenery and fantastic food, it is easy to see why the continent of Europe is the most popular travel destination in the world. France, Spain, UK, Italy and Turkey all all in the top 10 most visited countries in the world.
Our members are always interested in hearing about cheap flights to Europe and we have had many emails asking us questions about finding cheap flights to Europe.
Therefore we have created this ultimate guide all about how, when, and where to find cheap flights to Europe, plus heaps more useful information about traveling there.
Cheapest cities to fly to in Europe
We don’t like to give a definitive answer for this because it depends on a lot of factors. You can check on Google flights, Skyscanner and Momondo for average prices for different routes, and you can also see at which times they are cheaper.
With budget airline flying directly from Singapore to Athens and Berlin, we have found many cheap flights to these cities recently. We would expect that to continue in the future and hope some competition from other budget airlines will help drive prices down further.
At Oz Flight Club, we can say that we have most frequently found the cheapest deals to Athens, Paris, Rome, London, Barcelona, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Milan, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin and Vienna.
We do find that the cheapest flights are to the major cities such as London or Paris as opposed to Lisbon or Bordeaux. This is because you can normally connect to the big cities with just one stop whereas you might need 2 or 3 different flights to reach smaller places in Europe.
Just because they might be the cheapest places on average, does not mean to say that other places might not have cheaper deals for your specific trip. Prices change all the time, which is why our method of constantly searching for cheap flights is the best method.
When to book flights to Europe
To find the cheapest flights to Europe we recommend booking well in advance. The best flight deals can normally be found 3-6 months before the departure date.
As we mentioned in our ultimate guide to finding cheap flights, the cheapest days to fly are normally Tuesday and Wednesday. Weekends are normally the most expensive days.
This doesn’t mean you should just look for flights midweek. It is possible to find cheap flights to Europe on every day, week or month of the year.
As always, the best way to find the cheapest deals is to book in advance and be flexible.
Best time to fly to Europe
Europe has a lot to offer all year round so it largely depends on what you want to do. In terms of tourism we can characterise Europe as having 3 seasons:
- High Season: June to August. Christmas and New Year.
- Shoulder Season: March to May. September to October.
- Low Season: November – February (Excluding Christmas)
This does not necessarily mean the high season is the best time to visit everywhere in Europe.
If you want a ski or snow holiday the best months will be January and February. There can be snow on the slopes from November – April but winters lately have been warmer than usual so we advise January or February to be safe.
The shoulder season is a good time to visit the big cities. Summer months can be unbearably hot in cities like Madrid and Rome, and the tourist attractions can be incredibly busy.
For beach holidays in the Mediterranean the months from June – September are the best, with warm sea temperatures and pretty much guaranteed clear blue skies.
In general, the best time to find cheap flights to Europe is in winter time and the most expensive prices are in the summer months.
How to get to Europe
As we mentioned above there is the possibility of flying with Scoot Airlines to Berlin or Athens. This is a budget airline and has been offering some very good prices of late.
However, consider if you want to fly with a budget airline for such a long flight.
The other airlines that fly to Europe include Air China, Air India, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad, Garuda Indonesia, KLM, Korean Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airlines, Royal Brunei, Scoot, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines
A lot of these airlines are top quality carries with Qatar Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Qantas, and Thai Airlines all in the top 10 airlines in the world according to Skytrax.
Of course you can expect to pay more when flying with these airlines, but do not rule them out because of that. With budget airlines you have to pay more for checked baggage, seat selection, onboard meals and more. Flights to Europe take over 20 hours so do consider flying with a good quality carrier to Europe.
What is the cheapest flight may not always be the best value. Try to find how much more it will cost to fly with a full service carrier and then decide if it is worth the extra to you.
The cheapest way to travel to Europe
The best way to find a cheap flight to Europe is to be flexible with your dates and destinations, and to book in advance.
For our general tips on how to find cheap flights check out our Ultimate Guide.
A great tip when travelling to Europe is to find the cheapest flight you can to the continent and then look for budget airlines flying from there.
If you want to travel to Lisbon it might cost you $2000 for a flight from Sydney to Lisbon. However a flight to Paris could be found for around $1000 and from there you could take a return flight to Lisbon for $200, saving you $800.
You could also complete the journey by land. For example, if you wanted to go to the Kings Day celebrations in Amsterdam, you may find flights for that time very expensive due to the increased demands. Instead you could look for flights to Paris, Brussels or Frankfurt, which and take the train or bus to Amsterdam.
Europe is very small compared to other continents and public transport is great and cheap. Use this to your advantage!
How much does it cost to get to Europe
The cost of flights to Europe varies depending on many factors such as where in Europe you are flying to, at what time of the year, which airline you fly with, and so on.
When you book will also impact if you get a cheap flight or not. Booking in advance and being flexible will help you to find cheap flights, whereas last-minute trips will likely be more expensive.
Having said that, we know the ‘it depends’ answer is quite annoying, so we will give you an idea of what you could be paying. The ‘normal’ prices for a return flight from Australia to Europe are between $1400-1700 in low season $1800-$2000 in high season.
The flights we would consider to be deals good enough to send to our members are price between $1000-$1200 in high season and $700-$1000 in low season.Of course sometimes you can find even better deals than that, like this $862 flight to Vienna in high season our members received.
How long does it take to fly to Europe
The fastest way to fly to Europe at the moment is the direct Perth to London Heathrow flight from Qantas. This is currently the only non-stop route available from Australia to Europe and takes around 17hr 45m. Qantas are currently planning to offer a direct flight from Sydney to London which is expected to take around 20 hours.
Apart from direct flights, the most common way to fly to Europe is via Asia or the Middle East. Most flights make one stop in places like Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai or Doha before continuing to the final destination in Europe. Depending on how long the stop-over is, this normally takes around 24 hours.
Popular airports in Europe
The busiest airports are situated in the biggest Western European cities and serve as the hub for the flag carrier airlines. They include:
- London Heathrow (LHR) – Hub for British Airways
- Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) – Hub for Air France
- Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) – Hub for KLM
- Frankfurt Am Main Airport (FRA) – Hub for Lufthansa
- Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas (MAD) – Hub for Iberia
- Rome Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (FCO) – Hub for Alitalia
- Dublin Airport (DUB) – Hub for Aerlingus
Also worth noting is the new Istanbul Airport (IST) which is expected to become one of the busiest airports in the world by 2025.
What are the best places to visit in Europe?
Of course this is quite subjective and depends on what kind of holiday you want. Europe is small but very diverse. You can have beach holidays, city breaks, skiing holidays, hiking trips and much more.
For the most touristic cities where you will find the famous sights head to London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna and Athens. It is relatively easy to see a few of these in one trip, hopping on budget flights and trains.
Countries like Montenegro, Slovakia, Albania, Romania and Serbia are more undiscovered and perfect if you want a trip more off the tourist trail.
If you are looking for a beach holiday head to the meditteanean countries like Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey for beautiful summer weather and incredible beaches.
In winter you can go skiing in many places. The alps is the most famous ski region encompassing France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The ski resorts here are some of the best and most exclusive in the world.
Do you need a visa to visit Europe?
Virtually every country in Europe allows Australians to enter without a visa. Once there you will be able to stay up to 90 days within a 180 day period.
In the 26 Schengen area countries there is a borderless travel agreement meaning you can move from one country to another without even showing your passport.
Turkey and Ukraine require you to obtain an e-visa prior to arrival. This can be applied for online and can be done a day or two before.
To enter Russia you will need to obtain a visa before.
What are the most/least expensive places to visit in Europe
The general rule is that Western Europe and Scandinavia are the most expensive places.
This includes the most expensive cities in Europe such as London, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, Zurich, Munich, Copenhagen and Reykjavik.
The cheapest places to be found in Europe by far are further East. Countries such as Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine are among the cheapest places to visit.
The smaller cities tend to be cheaper even in the more expensive countries.
Also be aware of regional differences within countries. For example Berlin is much cheaper than Munich and Manchester much cheaper than London. Do your research.
You can save money in all countries by eating the local food, taking public transport and booking attractions in advance.
Saving money on accommodation is possible by looking for hostels or Airbnbs, both of which are abundant in Europe. In the summer it is also very possible to go camping in Europe, and many countries have free camping sites available. Just be sure to check local laws before visiting.
Festivals and holidays in Europe
The most popular religious holidays in Europe are Christmas and Easter. In most countries there will be public holidays on and around these celebrations.
New year is also a big celebration in Europe and can be a fantastic time to visit, with festivities in all big cities. Be aware that travelling at these times, particularly Christmas, will be a lot more expensive.
As well as the religious holidays, each country in Europe has their own different national holidays, events and festivals. These times can be a great time to experience the local culture and have a once in a lifetime experience.
Some of these holidays and events include:
- The Carnival Of Venice, Italy
- St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland: March 17
- King’s Day, Netherlands: April 27
- Cannes Film Festival, France: May
- Glastonbury Festival, UK: June
- Bastille Day, France: July 14
- Running of the Bulls, Spain: July
- Edinburgh Fringe Festival, UK: August
- La Tomatina, Spain: August
- Oktoberfest, Germany: September/October
- Hogmanay, UK: December
Be aware that it will be more difficult to find cheap flights around these dates and you should be booking even further in advance than usual to get the best deals.