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 you 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.
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!