Cheapest Asian cities to fly into from London and Europe

MumbaiVictoriaEven after the various currency shifts in recent months and years, most of the world’s best travel bargains are still in Asia. Adventurous Europeans have known this for decades, as the beaches of Goa, Phuket, and Boracay Island are packed with them every winter. Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo are the only destinations that won’t seem cheap once you arrive. Otherwise it’s just a matter of how far down the price list you want to go.

Fortunately, flights between Europe and Asia tend to be quite inexpensive, at least considering the long distances. Part of this is due to several airlines based in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha expanding quickly by competing for passengers with discounted fares. Travelers will almost always have to change planes in the Middle East for the lowest fares.

Note: This article was written in February, 2015 and then updated into the British currency in July, 2015.

How the test was run

We looked for the cheapest flights into each of the 16 destinations starting from:

  • London
  • Paris
  • Amsterdam
  • Frankfurt

We used the same travel dates for each city for a trip in March, a trip in July, and a trip in October. Then we averaged all of them out to produce the list below. While in other tests we noticed significant differences in fares from different starting points, these tests between Europe and Asia were pretty consistent. In other words, the cheapest destinations from London were among the cheapest destinations from Paris, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt as well.

Travel in spring or autumn if possible

SingaporeViewGirlsOne thing that is obvious from looking at the data is that flights from Europe into every Asian destination are most expensive in summer and cheaper before and after. This should be no surprise, but the interesting thing here is that the weather in most cities on the list below is better in spring and autumn (and often in winter) than in summer, so it’s a better choice for anyone who can do it.

The cheapest Asia cities once you land

>>>Asian cities ranked by price for backpackers
>>>Asian cities ranked by price for 3-star Travelers

16 Cheapest Asia cities to fly into from North America

1 – Mumbai, India (cheapest)

  • Spring: £354
  • Summer: £386
  • Autumn: £332
  • Average: £358

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai is among the closest airports to Europe, so it’s little surprise that it’s always one of the cheapest cities to reach. Mumbai isn’t really known as a tourist city, though it’s the main gateway to the resort area of Goa to the south, which is extremely popular with Europeans for sunshine holidays in winter.

>>>Mumbai prices and weather

2 – Bangkok, Thailand

  • Spring: £389
  • Summer: £434
  • Autumn: £368
  • Average: £397

Suvarnabhumi Airport is the new and main airport serving Bangkok, with abundant non-stop flights from major cities all over the world. Flights from Europe to the Thai capital are typically a great bargain, which is extra nice because the city itself provides excellent value once you arrive. The city of Bangkok itself is an excellent hub for trips all over Asia, although most of the cheapest flights go through Don Mueang International Airport, which is one of the main hubs of Air Asia.

>>>Bangkok prices and weather

3 – New Delhi, India

  • Spring: £388
  • Summer: £407
  • Autumn: £404
  • Average: £400

Indira Gandhi International Airport is a new and pleasantly modern facility, so it makes for a perfect starting point for those about to tour around India. New Delhi (which is surrounded by the enormous city of Delhi itself) is close to Agra, which is the home of the Taj Mahal, and it’s a pretty interesting tourist city itself.

>>>New Delhi prices and weather

4 – Hong Kong

  • Spring: £382
  • Summer: £458
  • Autumn: £416
  • Average: £418

Hong Kong International Airport is a huge and modern facility that has appealing airfares from most places in Europe. It’s also an excellent hub for exploring more of Asia, with cheap flights always coming in and out. This is Cathay Pacific’s busy main hub, and one of the world’s highest rated airport facilities as well.

>>>Hong Kong prices and weather

5 – Beijing, China

  • Spring: £374
  • Summer: £443
  • Autumn: £450
  • Average: £422

Beijing Capital International Airport is the busiest airport in Asia and among the busiest in the world. In spite of the great distance, the fares from Europe to Beijing are very competitive. This isn’t a great hub for bouncing around Asia, but it’s the ideal place to start a tour of China itself.

>>>Beijing prices and weather

6 – Singapore

  • Spring: £430
  • Summer: £450
  • Autumn: £388
  • Average: £423

Singapore Changi Airport deserves its reputation as the favorite airport of nearly every traveler who passes through, so it’s fortunate that airfares from Europe to Singapore are reasonably priced. This is another ideal hub to fly in and then fly on to another Asian city as part of a longer tour. Hotels here are now the most expensive in Asia, by the way, so it’s not a place to linger if you are watching your budget.

>>>Singapore prices and weather

7 – Tokyo, Japan

  • Spring: £418
  • Summer: £492
  • Autumn: £389
  • Average: £426

Narita International Airport is the main international hub for Japan, even though it’s not even the busiest airport in Tokyo. Airfares from Europe to Japan are pleasingly affordable considering the distance they have to travel. If you haven’t been paying attention to the news, Japan is still on the expensive side, but noticeably cheaper than it used to be for foreigners, so value is quite good.

>>>Tokyo prices and weather

8 – Shanghai, China

  • Spring: £398
  • Summer: £702
  • Autumn: £702
  • Average: £675

Shanghai Pudong International Airport is the main international facility in this part of China, with many non-stop flights from major cities around the world. Flights into Shanghai are typically a bit more expensive than those into Beijing, partly because this is more of a business destination than a cultural destination.

>>>Shanghai prices and weather

9 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • Spring: £659
  • Summer: £450
  • Autumn: £450
  • Average: £433

Kuala Lumpur International Airport has a lot in common with the Singapore Airport (above), except that the airport itself isn’t special enough to inspire songs and poems. Fares into KL are usually a bit more expensive than into Singapore, but pretty much everything in the city is cheaper so it makes for a better base for those trying to keep costs down.

>>>Kuala Lumpur prices and weather

10 – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Spring: £423
  • Summer: £477
  • Autumn: £400
  • Average: £434

Tan Son Nhat International Airport is Vietnam’s busiest airport and the main hub serving Ho Chi Minh City (commonly still known as Saigon). This is a good choice for anyone wanting to start a tour of Vietnam or Cambodia, but otherwise it’s not a great hub.

>>>Ho Chi Minh City prices and weather

11 – Colombo, Sri Lanka

  • Spring: £438
  • Summer: £475
  • Autumn: £408
  • Average: £441

Bandaranaike International Airport is the primary airport for Sri Lanka, and it feels like a trip back in time compared to pretty much every other facility on this list. Colombia is a popular stopover for European visitors on their way to visit the private-island resorts in the Maldives. It also combines well with a visit to India, although you won’t get much contrast that way.

>>>Colombo prices and weather

12 – Seoul, South Korea

  • Spring: £423
  • Summer: £523
  • Autumn: £431
  • Average: £459

Incheon International Airport is the main international airport serving Seoul, and this is another that always gets rave reviews from passengers. It’s a very long way from Europe and quite a long distance from most other Asian hot spots, so it’s only really worth a trip for those wanting to focus their travels on Korea itself.

>>>Seoul prices and weather

13 – Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Spring: £521
  • Summer: £561
  • Autumn: £441
  • Average: £508

Noi Bai International Airport is the major international facility for Hanoi, which is in the far north of Vietnam. This is the perfect place to start the classic Southeast Asia tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos, and Hanoi itself is a fantastic bargain for pretty much everything once you arrive.

>>>Hanoi prices and weather

14 – Manila, Philippines

  • Spring: £480
  • Summer: £577
  • Autumn: £491
  • Average: £516

Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila is obviously an ideal hub for trips to the Philippines, including the wonderful resort island of Boracay. Many Europeans just change planes here on their way to Boracay or Cebu, and it’s hard to blame them because Manila isn’t known for its charm.

>>>Manila prices and weather

15 – Taipei, Taiwan

  • Spring: £519
  • Summer: £538
  • Autumn: £495
  • Average: £517

Taoyuan International Airport is the main international airport serving Taiwan, and it’s served by nearly every larger airline in Asia and many from North America and Europe. Taiwan is under appreciated, and usually well down the list of choices for Asian destinations. On the other hand, the climate is quite good and prices are reasonable, so it probably deserves more visitors.

>>>Taipei prices and weather

16 – Bali, Indonesia

  • Spring: £490
  • Summer: £597
  • Autumn: £516
  • Average: £534

Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali’s capital city of Denpasar, and it has really good connections from within Asia, but very few longhaul flights from anywhere else. Bali is very popular with Europeans even with relatively expensive flights. If you are looking for a peaceful sunshine holiday then paying a bit more for the flight and then enjoying the bargain prices here once you arrive is probably a good deal.

>>>Bali prices and weather



2 Responses to “Cheapest Asian cities to fly into from London and Europe”

Josh says:

Great article but currency should be Euros or GBP…

 

    Josh,

    Thank you, and you are probably right about that. I thought about that originally but I wasn’t sure where most of the visitors to the article would be coming from. Assuming it’s largely from the UK, I will switch to GBP when I update it next. -Roger

     

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