The Cheapest Cities in Europe to Fly Into

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There’s no denying that a trip to Europe is a right of passage for any and all travellers. But there’s also no denying that a trip to Europe is expensive, especially when you try to ‘see it all’ in one trip. But it can be done. Whether you’re coming from nearby America where the price of a return ticket is cheaper than a one-way flight for Australians, or whether you’re venturing to the other side of the world from down and under and eager to learn how to save a tonne of cash – here are…

The Cheapest Cities in Europe to Fly Into (top 14)


1. Moscow, Russia

Airports: Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) & Domodedovo International Airport (DME)

Airline: Aeroflot

Why so cheap? Russia’s Aeroflot is one of the cheapest airlines servicing Europe. Flights pass through Moscow, but if you’re looking for something different, why not stay a week in this fascinating country!? Be sure to visit Moscow and St Petersburg – the current and former capitals – which contrast in every single possible way. Just be sure to read the articles below to ensure a smooth arrival, as this is one of the hardest countries to enter in terms of visa requirements.

*Do consider the need to pay for a tourist visa to enter Russia, for $120 // express $240

Related: Etihad vs. Emirates – which airline is better?Russian visas and tips for first timers

Hagia Sophia Istanbul

2. Istanbul, Turkey

Airport: Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)

Airline: Turkish Airlines

Why so cheap? Turkish Airlines have incredibly competitive fares to take you almost anywhere in the world, using Istanbul as a central hub.

*Do consider the need to pay for a tourist visa to enter Turkey, for around $50 (depending on country of origin). You will need to apply online before you arrive in Turkey.

Related: 5 Must See Sites in Istanbul

Milan Dom

3. Milan, Italy

Airport: Malpensa Airport (MXP); Linate Airport (LIN)

Airline: Emirates

Why so cheap? It is noticeably cheaper to fly into Milan as opposed to Rome, should you wish to visit Italy. As an added bonus, Emirates have some of the most competitive fares and are arguably the best airline in the biz.

Related: What Not to Miss in Milan

Madrid Spain

4. Madrid, Spain

Airport: Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD)

Airline: Multiple; Iberia not always having the most competitive rates

Why so cheap? This is Spain’s busiest airport and the 4th largest airport in Europe. Be sure to use a fare compare website as the prices can vary drastically.

Related: Tips for First Timers to Madrid

Old Town Warsaw

5. Warsaw, Poland

Airport: Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW)

Airline: Again, check flights using a fare compare search engine as rates differ drastically.

Why so cheap? With lower taxes and operating costs, savings are passed on to travellers.

Related: Spotlight on: Warsaw, Poland

Bar #4 - time for CHURROS!

6. Barcelona, Spain

Airport: Barcelona–El Prat Airport

Airline: Iberia

Why so cheap? Although smaller than Madrid, Barcelona still manages to keep competitive fares serving Spain.

Related: Why you need to go on a Barcelona Tapas Tour


7. Dublin, Ireland

Airport: Dublin Airport (DUB)

Airline: Aer Lingus

Why so cheap? Aer Lingus are one of the cheapest operators serving Europe. The airport itself has lower taxes and these savings are passed on to passengers.

Related: How to Spend a Weekend in Dublin

Rome if you want to

8. Rome, Italy

Airport: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

Airline: Use a fare compare search engine as prices vary.

Why so cheap? Although not as cheap as Milan, Rome is still in the top few cheapest airports to fly into Europe.

Related: You Can’t go to Rome and not see these 20 Attractions


9. Budapest, Hungary

Airport: Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD)

Airline: Aeroflot; Finnair

Why so cheap? Budapest is relatively cheap to fly into on the above airlines, but the biggest bonus is the price of the city itself. This is one of the most underrated cities in all of Europe and as they maintain their own currency, it is significantly cheaper than neighbour capital cities.

Related: No one told you Budapest was this beautiful; 5 Must See Sites in Budapest


10. Athens, Greece

Airport: Athens International Airport (ATH)

Airline: Aegean Airlines; Olympic Air

Why so cheap? Getting to the more expensive side of the scale, this would not be your first choice if you’re on a budget European trip. If you’re visiting more countries throughout Europe, definitely consider flying in to one of the above alternatives and visit Greece as part of your adventure. If you’re coming into Greece and Greece only, then consider the above airlines though it is still recommended to use a fare compare website to save some dollars.

Related: Urban Agenda: 15 of the coolest things to do in Athens, Greece

Berlin Cathedral

11. Berlin, Germany

Airports: Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL)
Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF)
Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) opening 2015 or later

Airline: Air Berlin

Why so cheap? Nowhere near as cheap as the above alternatives, but still worth a look if you can snag a bargain. If you’re coming from the Southern Hemisphere, do note that Etihad Airways flies into Berlin, whilst Emirates fly into Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Hamburg for their German points of entry to Europe.

Related: Berlin Like a Local


12. Paris, France

Airports: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG); Orly Airport (ORY)

Airline: Air France

Why so cheap? Although placed #12 on the list, Paris can at times be the cheapest point of entry into Europe, particularly for visitors from the USA and Australia. Air France is the national carrier, but do consider the use of a flight compare search engine to ensure you’re getting the best deal. If coming from Australia, consider flying with Emirates as this is one of their cheaper points of entry into Europe, along with Moscow. A great idea is to fly into one side of Europe and fly out of the other on two one-way tickets, saving both time and money on your European adventure.

Related: 20 Places in Paris; Tips & Tricks for your Visit to Paris


13. London, England

London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Gatwick Airport (LGW)
London Stansted Airport (STN)
Luton Airport (LTN)

Of all the airports in London, Heathrow is the busiest and with the most frequent flights from around the globe, but Gatwick is marginally the cheapest.

Airlines: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic

Why so cheap? If you’re lucky, you can snag great fares into London Heathrow from further abroad. As this is the world’s most visited city, there are some great specials on offer year-round, but even more so in the colder months – December, January, and February.

*London is invariably expensive when you arrive, but to save some cash see below

Related: London on the cheap; London Tips & Tricks; London like a Local


14. Prague, Czech Republic

Airport: Prague Václav Havel Airport (PRG)

Airlines: EasyJet

Why so cheap? Although it used to be a cheap point of entry into Europe, Prague is now on the more expensive side of the list… but has been included in the list as it is a great cheap option to fly into once inside Europe – using budget airlines like Easy Jet.

Related: Essential Prague


Over to you! Where will you fly into for your next European adventure!? How do you save money in Europe?

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    March 31, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks for the reminder about the tourist visas.

    March 19, 2016 at 5:44 am

    My perspective from Western US (Salt Lake, where the airport is stupid expensive to fly out of), whenever I check airfare (on a weekly basis, sometimes daily!), I find that Spain is always ridiculously expensive compared to some other countries. I’m always looking at another visit to Spain (who isn’t? :)) and Madrid and Barce are ridiculous. I would have to agree on Dublin (usually about $300 cheaper than anywhere else in Western Europe), and then hop a budget flight from there! Istanbul and Budapest always have cheaper fares, too. From SLC-IST, I found a flight for $650 return…insane! Half the cost of most other places in Europe from here.

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    July 10, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    […] because budget airlines in Europe tend to fly out of the smaller airports. Here is a list of cheap cities to fly into in Europe to give you a few ideas, but this tip works for any region, not just […]

    June 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Great post. I truly loved your post. I will continue to check back and read more of your work, as I am hoping to plan a trip to visit one day and will use some of your post as I guide.

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    May 25, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I was particularly excited when I booked my flight from Athens to LAX with a stop over at Moscow. What we didn’t consider was the tedious the visa application and process was. They asked for every little detail – work, addresses and countries you have been. However, even with just 20 hours, Moscow is one of the places I dream of coming back.

    May 18, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Don’t forget Lisbon, Portugal! The country itself currently is very cheap in general and it is extremely beautiful! I must disagree with London though! Although flying TO London might be cheap, the country itself is extremely expensive, I’m actually in shock it’s even on the list! I was there 2 weeks ago and just one day I spent $100 for basic transport (cab, bus). On the day that I left, I exchanged 25 pounds for a 15 minute cab ride and it costed me 75 euros!! Plus, for all the beauty the world has to offer, it is not a city that merits such expense. Portugal, Spain definitely one of the cheapest Western European countries, and Vienna is actually quite affordable considering how elegant, clean, and advanced the country is. Overall, love your blog and all your travel tips and pictures!!

    May 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Macedonia should be on list! Have you ever been in Macedonia? It’s very beautiful country to visit 🙂

    Iryna Fernandes
    May 7, 2015 at 4:21 am

    I want to travel so much before Uni! This summer needs to be epic! Thanks for the options!

    May 7, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Awesome post, good to know these places as travelling Europe is an incredible experience!

    May 6, 2015 at 10:26 am

    These are great tips, I find Paris is pretty affordable to fly into from Canada since it’s a popular spot. I’ll keep these in mind! 🙂

    Gracious Store
    May 6, 2015 at 9:25 am

    These will be interesting places to visit at bargain prices, with summer around the corner this list will be handy.

    May 5, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Flying into Germany is cheap all over with German wings! But I also have to fully agree with Barcelona, yesterday with Vueling Airlines (the Spanish bargain airline) I flew from Barcelona to Paris for 30 Euros. 30!!


    May 5, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Awesome list! My boyfriend and I will be heading there after Christmas so this will be handy to have :]

    karsyn benedict
    May 5, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Thanks for the tips! I want to go to these places anyways so it works out!

    Karen Farber
    May 5, 2015 at 3:15 am

    This is such a great post Brooke! I had been researching this subject in previous weeks, and now you made it so much easier for me!

    Aida Mollenkamp
    May 5, 2015 at 2:13 am

    Great list! I’ll be sure to tweet it out!

    May 5, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Great post, Brooke! This something great to know and an article I’ll be referring to as my husband and I travel around Europe next year. I wish I would have known this in all of my pervious trips to the EU!

    La Bijoux Bella | by Mia
    May 4, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    A very nice informative list. It’s great to have several choices to choose from for the ones who travel much. I just love options for travel trips, you’ll never have to be tied in to one place and pay a higher price. 🙂

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    May 4, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    I’ve always thought it was a shame not to have a [insert point of departure here] to EUROPE search available on Skyscanner etc. I scored some great fares flying Etihad to Europe later this year – into Geneva and out of Frankfurt!

    Heather K.
    May 4, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Awesome list! I also find flying into Geneva, Switzerland to be quite cheap. I’ve booked 2 round trip flights to Geneva with miles, each time costing me fewer miles than if I had chosen to fly into London, Lisbon, Barcelona, etc.

    Shannon Kircher
    May 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Great list! If you’re somewhat flexible on dates, there are definitely some great deals to be found. I once purchased a non-stop one-way flight from San Francisco to London for $250!