Archive for June, 2015

The 20 Cheapest European Cities to Fly Into

By Colton Jones in Lists | on June 19th, 2015

Going to Europe doesn’t have to break the bank. Aggressive fares from budget airlines headquartered in Scandinavia, as well as low pricing from Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines, have made travel to the continent much more affordable. The cheapest European city to fly to will depend on a host of factors at any given time; one is your departure airport from the U.S. – New York (JFK, LaGuardia, Newark), Washington Dulles, Boston, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, and Chicago O’Hare generally offer the best prices, so it may be worthwhile for west coasters to book a flight to one of these hubs independently for the haul across The Pond.

Cheapest European Cities to Fly Into

 

Top 20 Cheapest European Cities to Fly to

• Reykjavik, Iceland – Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport (KEF)
The Scoop: Thanks to aggressive pricing from Iceland’s own IcelandAir and WOW Airlines, Reykjavik is the most affordable European city to fly into from the eastern United States. WOW flies out of Boston and Baltimore to Reykjavik and connects to major European cities such as Copenhagen, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, and London Gatwick, while IcelandAir flies out of 13 U.S. airports and connects to 26 cities in Europe. Far from being just a stopover on the way to the continent, visitors to Iceland will be awed by the fantastic natural scenery, including glaciers, waterfalls, and tundra, as well as hot springs, whale watching, and many other fantastic outdoor activities.

 

• Stockholm, Sweden – Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)Cheapest Cities to Fly in Europe Stockholm
The Scoop: Stockholm is the cheapest city to fly into Europe continentwise, which may be surprising given Scandinavia’s reputation for high prices. Visitors will find a plethora of museums, historical buildings, and royal palaces in Stockholm proper, while venturing further afoot finds fantastic cross country skiing and skating in the winter, as well as the indigenous Sami people in the far north of the country. The major Scandinavian capitals of Oslo, Helsinki, and Copenhagen are also just a stone’s throw away by airplane or ferry after you book your cheap flight into Stockholm.

 

• Moscow, Russia – Domodedovo International Airport (DME) or Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO)
The Scoop: Moscow is now an extremely affordable destination thanks to Turkish Airlines and the recent currency woes of the ruble. It takes some work to secure your visa for Russia – try going through a visa processing agency – but then you’ll be on your way to marvel at the Red Square, Kremlin, and the famous Bolshoi Theater. Moscow is also the railway hub of the nation, with St. Petersburg being a few hours away, or if you’ve got the time, adventure into China, Mongolia, or Siberia via the Trans-Siberian Railway.

 

• Copenhagen, Denmark – Copenhagen International Airport (CPH)
The Scoop: Another beneficiary of low fares from WOW Airlines as well as low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle, Denmark is known for Legos, Vikings, and Krongborg Castle(home of Hamlet). Copenhagen itself is easily navigable by public transportation as well as bicycle and boat, and can also serve as a jumping-off point for the other Scandinavian capitals once you check out some cheap flights into Copenhagen (just don’t mention local rival Sweden).

 

• Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)Cheapest European Cities to Fly to
The Scoop: Fast growing and now one of the top five busiest airports in all of Europe, Istanbul is home to Turkish Airlines, which has seen growth anywhere from 4-6x in the past decade. In addition to serving as a connection hub for U.S. air travellers visiting Europe, the Middle East, or Asia, Istanbul in its own right is famous for the Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque, as well as being the seat of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and the bridge between Europe and Asia.

 

• Ponta Delgada, Portugal – Cheapest Airlines: SATA International
The Scoop: Ponta Delgada in the Portuguese Azores made the list because of one reason: nonstop flights out of Boston on SATA International Airlines for less than $500. Connections can be made onward to destinations in Portugal, the UK, and a few other European countries. Otherwise, enjoy this slice of Atlantic island life with hiking, watersports, and local seafood and be the envy of your travel friends who have probably never thought to come here.

 

• St. Petersburg, Russia – Pulkovo International Airport (LED)
The Scoop: St. Petersburg makes the list courtesy of aggressive fares from SwissAir via Zurich. Known as the “Venice of the North” and the Home of the Tsars, the city boasts an entire historic center, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that is a must-visit for those with even a passing interest in Russian history. Aside from Moscow, travel to other nearby Baltic and central European states can be made easily by rail.

 

• Oslo, Norway – Gardermoen International Airport (OSL)
The Scoop: Homegrown Norwegian Air Shuttle has experienced enormous growth in recent years and has enjoyed a host of awards, including low-cost carrier of the year in 2014 from Skytrax. The airline offers extensive connections across Scandinavia and flights out of New York JFK, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Oakland in the United States. Attractions include visiting the country’s numerous scenic fjords, or perhaps taking a trip up to far-flung Svalbard in search of polar bears and walruses. Book your cheap flight into Oslo and you, too, can host your own Nordic adventure!

 

• Dublin, Ireland – Dublin Airport (DUB)
The Scoop: Dublin is one of the only cities that made the list by virtue of major carriers Air Canada and United. Find cheap airfare to Dublin and enjoy the world-famous nightlife and pub culture, make your way to Cork to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, or hop on a ferry to the UK across the Irish Sea.

 

• Berlin, Germany  – Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF)Cheapest Cities to Fly to in Europe Berlin
The Scoop: The former East German capital is the cheapest destination to fly into the country, whereupon you can visit remnants of the Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate, as well as a dizzying array of museums. Rail connections to nearby Prague, Nuremberg, and Hamburg allow you continue your exploration of diverse European culture.

 

• Amsterdam, Netherlands – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
The Scoop: Land of tulips and windmills, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most progressive cities and home to canal cruises, historic buildings, and festivals every month of the year. Find a cheap flight to Amsterdam and major cities in nearby Belgium, France, and Germany will be only a few hours ride by train.

 

• London, UK – London Heathrow International Airport (LHR), London Gatwick Airport (LGW)
The Scoop: London Heathrow is the busiest airport in all of Europe, and is also one of the most affordable with connections via WOW and IcelandAir for cheap flights into London. Needing no introduction, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Thames River greet visitors with sophisticated British charm, while London’s multiple airports connect with virtually any destination you can think of in Europe.

 

• Frankfurt, Germany – Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Comments: The airline hub in Germany, Frankfurt offers connections throughout Germany and the rest of Europe, as well as Africa and the Middle East. While Frankfurt itself serves more of a city for business as opposed to tourists, the gothic cathedral of Cologne and the charming towns of the Rhine River are only a short train ride away and are worth a visit thanks to cheap airfare to Frankfurt.

 

• Limerick, Ireland – Shannon Airport (SNN)
The Scoop: The Shannon region is located in Ireland’s mid-west, with Limerick as the regional capital. Sights of interest for travelers include various castles, caves, and outdoor activities, with Cork and Dublin easily accessible nearby after flying in with cheap airfare into Shannon. Connections to other major European cities are also available by air due to the presence of budget airline king RyanAir.

 

• Paris, France – Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG)
The Scoop: WOW and Turkish Airlines lead the way for cheap flights to Paris, bringing starry-eyes visitors to the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Champs-Élysées, and more. Charles de Gaulle Airport is Europe’s second busiest, offering connections to practically any destination in Europe you can think of.

 

• Venice, Italy – Venice Marco Polo International Airport (VCE)Cheapest European City to Fly to Venice
Comment: The Venice of, well, Venice. Needing no introduction and the quintessential romantic European city, hop aboard a vaporetta water taxi to explore St. Mark’s Square and onion domed Basilica, as well as neighboring islands of Murano and Burano. Connections to Milan, Florence, Rome, and the Lake Como region are all easily made by train after landing a cheap flight into Venice.

 

• Madrid, Spain – Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD)
The Scoop: Picasso, Plaza Mayor, and paella greet visitors to Spain’s vibrant capital city of 3 million plus inhabitants when you book a cheap flight to Madrid. When you’re done ogling the Palacio Real or the real-life Egyptian temple Templo de Debod, captivating Spanish cities of Barcelona, Seville, Granada, and more are all easily accessed by bus or rail from Madrid.

 

• Brussels, Belgium – Brussels International Airport (BRU)
The Scoop: Brussels is the headquarters of the EU and NATO, and like other major European metropolises, has a fabulous palace and an array of interesting museums to explore. The Belgian cities of Antwerp and Bruges boast eclectic architecture and are but an hour away by train.

 

• Helsinki, Finland – Helsinki Airport (HEL)
The Scoop: Perhaps shadowed by Swedish IKEA and Danish Legos, Finland nevertheless boasts the same high quality of life and remarkable open spaces as its Scandinavian neighbors. Helsinki itself is home to the Suomenlinna sea fortress, churches, museums, and numerous islands around the capital city. For connections by sea, hop on a ferry to neighboring Estonia, Stockholm, or St. Petersburg.

 

• Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN)
Comments: Famous for Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia Basilica and the 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona is also a few hours away from Madrid and Valencia, as well as the tourist-friendly Balearic Islands in the Mediterrenean.


 

cheap-cities-to-fly-to-in-europe

Traveling away from peak seasons and during the week, as opposed to weekends, will help you find the lowest fares to your European dream destination. Once you reach the continent, connections to major cities by rail, bus, or budget airline are plentiful, with the only limit being your time and imagination. Time to pack up those euros and head out! Bon voyage!

10 Cheapest Airports to Fly Into: Europe Airfare Secrets

By Colton Jones in Travel Tips | on June 12th, 2015

cheapest-airport-to-fly-into-in-europe

Psst…did you know that flying to Europe doesn’t have to break the bank? With the array of cultural capitals comes a wide variety of airports to choose from. Finding the cheapest airport to fly into Europe may be confusing, but this guide will point you in the right direction. Of course, the rules of finding cheap airfares still apply: visit in the off season, take advantages of sales, and fly on a weekday. However, the cheapest airports to fly into Europe mostly also satisfy the following requirements:

  • Considered “secondary” airports – basically not London, Paris, Rome, or Madrid
  • Hub or focus city for a budget airline
  • Low operating costs/fees passed on to airline or consumer

 

Flying into a cheaper airport also allows cheapest-airport-to-fly-into-europeyou to potentially visit two destinations for the price of one. For example, if your heart is set on London, you may also want to check fares to nearby Copenhagen, Amsterdam, or Dublin, or other major European airports which are all a short hop away by budget airline.

 

10 cheapest airports to fly into in Europe

Reykjavik, Iceland – Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport (KEF)
A bit of a cheat since Iceland is only halfway between North America and Europe, but it is considered part of the European continent and has two airlines, WOW and IcelandAir, offering aggressive fares to Reykjavik. Take a dip in the hot springs of the Blue Lagoon, hike through the ethereal hills of Landmannalaugar, or scuba dive between two continental plates at Silfra.

Stockholm, Sweden – Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)
Stockholm is currently the cheapest European airport to fly into on the continent thanks to budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle’s direct service from many U.S. cities. After feasting on Swedish meatballs and smorgasbords, head out to find a wonderland of snow sports from snowmobiling to dog-sledding.

Moscow, Russia – Domodedovo International Airport (DME) or Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO)
Russia is notoriously finicky when it comes to visas, but an agency can help you with an invitation letter and get you on your way to the Land of Tsars. Besides the history at the Red Square or nearby St. Petersburg, history buffs can hunt for Soviet-era souvenirs at the Izmaylovo Market or Gum shopping area.

Copenhagen, Denmark – Copenhagen International Airport (CPH)
Another Scandinavian entry, Copenhagen is known for its Michelin-starred restaurants and Tivoli, the world’s oldest amusement park. Fans of children’s literature will find plenty of Hans Christian Andersen history, including the official museum in the city of Odense.

Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)
Instanbul is a major hub and the fourth busiest airport on the continent thanks to low fares from Turkish Airlines. After visiting the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, there are a wealth of historical treasures to be found in the country, including the ancient Greek city of Ephesus and the statues of Mt. Nemrut.

St. Petersburg, Russia – Pulkovo International Airport (LED)
Delve into Russian history in historic St. Petersburg thanks to low fares from Norwegian Air Shuttle and WOW Airlines. The Hermitage is one of the oldest museums in the world, having been founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, while the nearby Peter and Paul Fortress is part of the State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg.

Oslo, Norway – Gardermoen International Airport (OSL)
One of the world’s most expensive countries, no doubt, but at least getting there is quite affordable. Away from the capital, cities such as Bergen, Trondheim, and Tromso combine Scandinavian culture with breathtaking outdoor beauty.

Dublin, Ireland – Dublin Airport (DUB)
The Scoop: Test your luck of the Irish in Ireland’s friendly and boisterous capital. Though known for its pubs and nightlife, Ireland has its share of magnificent natural scenery as well, including the island of Skellig Michael, set to be featured in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens film.

Berlin, Germany – Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF)
A cheaper entry into Germany than Frankfurt, cosmopolitan Berlin connects easily to Munich, Dresden, Hamburg, and more. Aside from popular tourist destinations like the Berlin Wall, why not try visiting a traditional cuckoo clock maker, or having some delectable kuchen (cake)?

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
Amsterdam serves as a hub for multiple airlines, hence fares into the city are generally reasonable. Popular among youths for its “liberal qualities”, art buffs will also want to make way to the Van Gogh Museum or see the country’s fantastic modern architecture.


cheapest-european-airport-to-fly-into

Everyone has their personal favorites in Europe, be it the food, the culture, the history, or the outdoor destinations. Outside of the big cities, European countries still feature countless attractions off the beaten track and strong traditional arts, so grab a good guide book and start exploring with a cheap flight from 1800FlyEurope!

Major European Airports – Maps, Airport Codes, Size & More

By Colton Jones in Lists | on June 3rd, 2015

busiest-european-airports

It should be no surprise that Europe is at the top of the list of dream destinations for most travelers. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 588 million tourists visited the continent in 2014, or 52% of all tourism-related travel. In addition to the culture-filled capitals and marvelous cuisine, for U.S.-based passengers, European cities also act as major hubs for connections on to Africa or the Middle East.

 
major-european-airportsTravelers usually choose which European airport to fly into based on their choice of destination. Reflecting their popularity as tourist destinations as well as business capitals, cities like London and Paris easily top the list of busiest European airports, which is comprised mostly of airports located in western Europe. The only outlier is Istanbul, which has seen double digit growth the last few years due to aggressive fares and lower operating costs.

 
Despite the high amount of traffic at these airports, delays are mixed: Rome, Paris, and Istanbul all rank among the world’s top ten airports with the most delays, while Amsterdam, Madrid, Frankfurt, and Munich are all comparatively punctual.

 

Map of European Airports

map-of-european-airports

Busiest European Airports

Here are the top ten busiest European international airports, along with their airport codes (European airport codes also use the three-letter IATA standard):

 

London Heathrow (LHR)
2014 Passenger Count: 73,405,330
Receiving over 73 million passengers in 2014 and still the busiest of the European airports, Heathrow is also the third busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic and the home of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. It also mainly serves international passengers – 93% in 2014 – and is the largest of the six airports serving the London area.

 

Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
2014 Passenger Count: 63,813,756
Topping the list of largest European airports in terms of size, CDG is home to Air France and a hub of Delta Airlines. It is also the world’s eighth busiest airport, with its most popular U.S. route to New York JFK.

 

Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
2014 Passenger Count: 59,566,132
Hub for Germany’s Lufthansa and Condor airlines, Frankfurt is a busy financial hub and gateway/connecting city for passengers on the way to Europe, Africa, or the Middle East. Most of the airport traffic consists of Lufthansa and Star Alliance carriers, and the Frankfurt-Rhine Main region is Germany’s third largest metropolitan region behind Berlin/Brandenburg and Rhine-Ruhr.

 

Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)
2014 Passenger Count: 56,954,790
Istanbul Atatürk climbed into fourth place in 2014 with double digit growth from Turkish Airlines and is closing in on Frankfurt for third place.  With the explosive surge, projections are already for passenger traffic to outstrip capacity. The Istanbul New Airport broke ground in 2014 and the first phase is planned for completion in 2017. It is planned to replace Atatürk and be the largest airport in the world once complete, handling 150 million passengers annually.

 

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
2014 Passenger Count: 54,978,023
Amsterdam continues to be a hub for no less than nine different airlines, including KLM, Delta, and Easyjet. While its most popular routes to the U.S. are to New York JFK, Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis, Delta recently began nonstop flights from Salt Lake City.

 

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD)
2014 Passenger Count: 41,833,374
Madrid is the home of national carrier Iberia and is the key hub for connections between Europe and Latin America. The main direct flights to the U.S. are New York JFK and Miami, while the domestic route between Barcelona, previously the world’s busiest flight path, has now shrunk a bit due to the opening of a high-speed rail line.

 

Munich Airport (MUC)
2014 Passenger Count: 39,700,515
Munich is the gateway to the Bavarian region and also a hub for Lufthansa and Condor Airlines. It is the sole European airport to receive a prestigious five-star rating by Skytrax, with the busiest routes to the U.S. being Newark, Chacago O’Hare, and Washington Dulles.

 

Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO)
2014 Passenger Count: 38,506,908
The capital of il bel paese, Rome’s airport is a hub for national carrier Alitalia and Spanish budget airline Vueling. Recently, the airport announced plans to invest €12 billion in enhancing capacity, technology, and passenger experience.

 

London Gatwick Airport (LGW)
2014 Passenger Count: 38,103,667
London’s second international airport, Gatwick sees about half the traffic of Heathrow, all on a single-use runway. Unfortunately, this also makes it the airport most prone to delays in the UK. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Norwegian Air Shuttle all fly from the U.S. to Gatwick, although currently no U.S.-based barriers do.

 

Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN)
2014 Passenger Count: 37,559,044
The second largest airport in Spain, Barcelona is a hub for homegrown airlines Iberia (regional) and Vueling. Though most traffic is intercontinental, U.S. carriers offer direct flights from Miami, New York JFK, Atlanta, and Newark.  The top three airlines operating out of the airport are low cost carriers: Vueling, RyanAir, and EasyJet.

 

*All passenger count and carrier information courtesy of Wikipedia.

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With the value of the dollar rising, now is a great time to hit those dream destinations. Use this list of major European airports to find the most popular hubs close to your desired destination, whereupon you can explore to your heart’s contentment by rental car, rail, or by traveling Europe on a budget airline booked with 1-800-Fly-Europe. Time to get packing!

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