22 Cheapest European Cities & Airports to Fly into in 2023

It’s very common for those of us visiting Europe from the US or Canada to visit a few different cities throughout our visit. Luckily, we have the option to fly into lots of different cities, which helps one to really customize a trip to their liking. But with the airline business constantly changing, how do we know which are the cheapest cities to fly into?

A few years ago, the cheapest flights into Europe were almost always into the largest and busiest airports, which are stationed in London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam. Nowadays, these airports can sometimes serve as the more expensive airports to fly into, meaning that savvy travelers on multi-stop trips might want to think about starting elsewhere.

This article was last updated in May, 2023


How Was The Test Done?

For each and every city that we tested, we searched for the cheapest fare starting from the 5 largest cities in the US (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta) and Canada’s largest city (Toronto) in early August, and the cheapest fare in mid October. After finding the cheapest fares for both those dates, we averaged the two fares together and then averaged the fares into all 6 cities into on Index number. The cheap flights to Europe from the USA are mainly from the east coast, but there are many great deals from other regions as well.

The rankings starting in individual cities can vary from the combined list, but generally they aren’t very far apart. Only a handful of the cheapest flights were non-stops, and because of this, almost everyone will be changing planes exactly once in each direction over the Atlantic. The cheapest flights from New York to Europe are most often non-stops, but from a lot of other cities you have to change planes indoor to get a decent fare.

How To Use The List Below

Because a lot of the cheapest cities to fly into are remote and out of the way, the best way for you to use this list is to continue to scroll through until you find one of the cities you are planning a visit to. Hopefully you can then find a cheap flight and use that as the hub to explore other cities by rail or low-cost airlines.

Overall, the differences in fares from the top to the bottom of this list are not large enough to justify flying into one and then booking another separate round-trip to your final destination on a low-cost airline.

Related information

22 Cheapest European Cities & Airports to Fly to in 2023

(prices shown below are listed for cheapest summer/autumn – average)

Paris, France

City code: PAR
Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
Orly Airport (ORY)

Charles de Gaulle Airport is another of Europe’s largest and best connected airports and is considered the main hub of Air France. While conducting our tests, we found some competitive flights that start from some cities (New York, Chicago, and Toronto), but more expensive from others. Because of this, you might find that flying into another city and then moving on to Paris is a cheaper option unless you are starting from either NYC or Toronto.

  • New York City: $938/$401 – $670
  • Chicago: $975/$547 – $761
  • Los Angeles: $1,059/$835 – $947
  • Houston: $1,190/$835 – $1,013
  • Atlanta: $1,090/$600 – $845
  • Toronto: $781/$343 – $562
  • Index average: $800

London, England

City code: LON
London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Gatwick Airport (LGW)
London Stansted Airport (STN)
Luton Airport (LTN)

London currently is home to 4 large airports (plus the London City Airport for short-haul flights) and the cheapest trans-Atlantic fares could be into any one of them. Heathrow is the busiest, but you’ll often find that Gatwick is the cheapest. If you’d like to start your vacation in London, then this year you should be able to get a fairly cheap flight.

  • New York City: $1,006/$438 – $722
  • Chicago: $978/$549 – $764
  • Los Angeles: $786/$628 – $707
  • Houston: $867/$640 – $754
  • Atlanta: $828/$614 – $721
  • Toronto: $746/$422 – $584
  • Index average: $709

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

This is Europe’s 4th busiest airport and because of that, offers nonstop connections to destinations around the world as the main hub of KLM. Amsterdam is once again a good airport for bargains.

  • New York City: $1,052/$425 – $739
  • Chicago: $1,157/$517 – $837
  • Los Angeles: $1,103/$714 – $909
  • Houston: $1,188/$838 – $1,013
  • Atlanta: $1,105/$727 – $916
  • Toronto: $659/$396 – $528
  • Index average: $824

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels Airport (BRU)

This is the home of Brussels Airlines, which flies nonstop to New York-JFK. This airport is also served by most of Europe’s majors so fares are pretty competitive.

  • New York City: $828/$403 – $616
  • Chicago: $1,165/$656 – $911
  • Los Angeles: $1,252/$782 – $1,017
  • Houston: $1,578/$916 – $1,247
  • Atlanta: $1,600/$838 – $1,219
  • Toronto: $927/$558 – $743
  • Index average: $790

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Zurich Airport is the main hub of Swiss International AirLines (aka SWISS), and it’s quite surprising that they offer fairly competitive fares on incoming flights, including many destinations in Germany. You’ll just want to note that everything else in Zurich is incredibly expensive once you are through security.

  • New York City: $828/$562 – $695
  • Chicago: $1,201/$567 – $884
  • Los Angeles: $1,112/$789 – $951
  • Houston: $1,583/$845 – $1,241
  • Atlanta: $1,074/$779 – $927
  • Toronto: $1,261/$941 – $1,101
  • Index average: $967

Madrid, Spain

Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD)

Here you’ll find Spain’s busiest airport and Europe’s 4th busiest, but being home to Iberia Airline doesn’t mean it’ll always have cheap non-stop trans-Atlantic flights.

  • New York City: $1,018/$523 – $771
  • Chicago: $1,232/$735 – $984
  • Los Angeles: $1,410/$743 – $1,077
  • Houston: $1,458/$795 – $1,127
  • Atlanta: $1,333/$658 – $996
  • Toronto: $933/$729 – $831
  • Index average: $964

Oslo, Norway

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (OSL)

For those flying from the US or Canada to Norway, you’ll find that flights into Oslo are strangely cheap from major North American cities. The bad news is that certain things like food and drinks once you are there are on the expensive side.

  • New York City: $658/$445 – $552
  • Chicago: $977/$504 – $741
  • Los Angeles: $1,087/$536 – $812
  • Houston: $1,085/$845 – $965
  • Atlanta: $938/$690 – $814
  • Toronto: $1,009/$628 – $819
  • Index average: $784

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS)

The city of Lisbon is a very good travel bargain once you get there and the inbound flights are now fairly expensive, that is unless you are starting in Toronto.

  • New York City: $1,158/$570 – $864
  • Chicago: $1,350/$651 – $1,001
  • Los Angeles: $1,292/$801 – $1,047
  • Houston: $1,341/$836 – $1,049
  • Atlanta: $1,132/$757 – $945
  • Toronto: $1,096/$587 – $842
  • Index average: $958

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Václav Havel Airport (PRG)

Prague Airport is the hub of Czech Airlines, but few of the cheapest trans-Atlantic flights are on the carrier. Over the years, this airport has become more and more expensive.

  • New York City: $941/$623 – $787
  • Chicago: $1,224/$588 – $906
  • Los Angeles: $1,371/$802 – $1,087
  • Houston: $1,447/$828 – $1,138
  • Atlanta: $1,304/$832 – $1,068
  • Toronto: $947/$719 – $833
  • Index average: $970

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen Airport (CPH)

Scandinavian Airlines which is also known as SAS, operates the largest of its three hubs in the city of Copenhagen, and that leads to low airfares, especially on its non-stop flights from New York, Chicago, and Toronto.

  • New York City: $766/$302 – $534
  • Chicago: $974/$517 – $732
  • Los Angeles: $1,134/$623 – $879
  • Houston: $1,094/$666 – $880
  • Atlanta: $1,070/$829 – $950
  • Toronto: $619/$335 – $447
  • Index average: $737

Milan, Italy

City code: MIL
Malpensa Airport (MXP)
Linate Airport (LIN)

The smaller of the two hubs of Alitalia, Milan’s tends to be cheaper than flying into Rome, but if you don’t plan to visit Milan then flying into Rome is a better option. Strangely, Alitalia never seems to have the best fares.

  • New York City: $1,009/$409 – $709
  • Chicago: $1,447/$549 – $998
  • Los Angeles: $1,419/$811 – $1,115
  • Houston: $1,487/$842 – $1,165
  • Atlanta: $1,317/$680 – $999
  • Toronto: $1,140/$845 – $993
  • Index average: $997

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona–El Prat Airport

A little bit smaller and noticeably quieter than Madrid, the Barcelona Airport has a few trans-Atlantic flights of its own. It is serviced by all of Europe’s major airlines, which makes it a good option.

  • New York City: $855/$441 – $648
  • Chicago: $1,111/$702 – $907
  • Los Angeles: $947/$779 – $863
  • Houston: $1,481/$800 – $1,141
  • Atlanta: $950/$673 – $812
  • Toronto: $863/$702 – $783
  • Index average: $859

Dublin/Shannon, Ireland

Dublin Airport (DUB)
Shannon Airport (SNN)

The Dublin and Shannon airports are on complete opposite sides of Ireland, with both being busy hubs of Aer Lingus, which offers cheap flights. You’ll also find that both are similar in airfare price (with Dublin usually being just a bit cheaper) so we’ve combined them both here. Basically, if you want to start your Ireland visit in Dublin, fly into Dublin, and if you want to start your visit elsewhere, then you’ll want to fly into Shannon.

  • New York City: $963/$325 – $644
  • Chicago: $1,002/$627 – $815
  • Los Angeles: $1,098/$613 – $856
  • Houston: $1,092/$766 – $856
  • Atlanta: $1,044/$656 – $850
  • Toronto: $887/$376 – $632
  • Index average: $776

Stockholm, Sweden

City code: STO
Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)
Stockholm Bromma Airport (BMA)

Scandinavian Airlines operates its second busiest hub out of Arlanda Airport so fares there are usually cheapest there. However, Bromma Airport is closer to the city center and its fares are usually only a bit higher.

  • New York City: $790/$434 – $612
  • Chicago: $993/$527 – $760
  • Los Angeles: $1,091/$581 – $836
  • Houston: $1,157/$809 – $983
  • Atlanta: $1,072/$641 – $857
  • Toronto: $931/$661 – $796
  • Index average: $807

Munich, Germany

Munich Airport (MUC)

Munich’s airport is busier than the one in Berlin, which makes it Germany’s number two for flights. Fares tend to be a bit more expensive than the other German airports, but it can still make the most sense if you want Munich to be part of your trip.

  • New York City: $1,274/$423 – $849
  • Chicago: $1,267/$751 – $1,009
  • Los Angeles: $1,239/$730 – $985
  • Houston: $1,133/$812 – $973
  • Atlanta: $1,134/$733 – $934
  • Toronto: $/1,192/$790 – $991
  • Index average: $957

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD)

The cheapest fares into Budapest are often those that change planes in Moscow or Helsinki. However, SWISS isn’t that much more expensive for a change in Zurich.

  • New York City: $1,017/$516 – $767
  • Chicago: $1,317/$551 – $934
  • Los Angeles: $1,269/$807 – $1,038
  • Houston: $1,168/$824 – $996
  • Atlanta: $1,001/$678 – $839
  • Toronto: $884/$770 – $827
  • Index average: $900

Rome, Italy

City code: ROM
Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

Italy’s largest airport and the home of Alitalia, Rome isn’t exactly known for cheap trans-Atlantic flights, though you’ll still find that it’s a good choice for anyone starting in Rome and then heading north on a larger tour of Europe.

  • New York City: $1,243/$498 – $871
  • Chicago: $1,245/$644 – $945
  • Los Angeles: $1,444/$771 – $1,108
  • Houston: $1,585/$708 – $1,147
  • Atlanta: $1,327/$721 – $1,024
  • Toronto: $1,247/$879 – $1,063
  • Index average: $1,026

Athens, Greece

Athens International Airport (ATH)

This airport is the hub of both Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air, and prices for hotels have come down a bit, but incoming flights aren’t know to be bargains. If you will be touring Greece along with some other European countries, it’s probably a better idea to first land somewhere else and hop over to Greece somewhere along your trip.

  • New York City: $909/$595 – $752
  • Chicago: $1,069/$798 – $934
  • Los Angeles: $1,376/$687 – $1,032
  • Houston: $827/$687 – $757
  • Atlanta: $1,532/$732 – $1,132
  • Toronto: $903/$796 – $850
  • Index average: $910

Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW)

Warsaw is the home of LOT Polish Airlines, but that one is rarely the cheapest option for trans-Atlantic flights. Once upon a time, it used to be one of the cheaper cities to fly into Europe.

  • New York City: $862/$506 – $684
  • Chicago: $1,405/$517 – $961
  • Los Angeles: $1,139/$519 – $829
  • Houston: $1,537/$857 – $1,197
  • Atlanta: $1,211/$822 – $1,017
  • Toronto: $926/$608 – $767
  • Index average: $909

Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

Frankfurt Airport is the 3rd busiest airport in the entirety of Europe, making it the busiest in Germany, and it’s also home to Lufthansa. And these days its trans-Atlantic flights are trending a bit pricier than those to Berlin, though the city itself isn’t much of a tourist hub so if you do fly there, you might be leaving shortly after.

  • New York City: $841/$425 – $633
  • Chicago: $1,911/$613 – $1,262
  • Los Angeles: $1,310/$1,097 – $1,204
  • Houston: $1,145/$1,103 – $1,124
  • Atlanta: $1,326/$931 – $1,129
  • Toronto: $881/$640 – $761
  • Index average: $1,019

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)

Regardless of the greater distance, Istanbul once offered cheap fares. There is another airport in the Asian suburbs (SAW) but the cheap flights there tend to be from nearby.

  • New York City: $878/$612 – $745
  • Chicago: $1,302/$906 – $1,104
  • Los Angeles: $1,429/$776 – $1,103
  • Houston: $1,192/$1,104 – $1,148
  • Atlanta: $1,321/$886 – $1,104
  • Toronto: $1,411/$1,040 – $1,226
  • Index average: $1,072

Berlin, Germany

City code: BER
Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL)
Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF)
Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER)

With the rise of Air Berlin and a greater popularity for Berlin itself, it’s now a bit cheaper in fares compared to flying into Frankfurt. Because there is a lot to do and see within the city, flying here is a great option for all.

  • New York City: $725/$417 – $571
  • Chicago: $1,233/$583 – $908
  • Los Angeles: $1,480/$670 – $1,075
  • Houston: $1,112/$820 – $966
  • Atlanta: $1,475/$972 – $1,223
  • Toronto: $1,070/$636 – $853
  • Index average: $933


NOTE: This post was originally published in May, 2013 with 2013 data. It’s been totally updated in in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and most recently in May 2023 with current fare data.

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All Comments

  1. Michelle Hunt says:

    Thanks for doing all this research and I need some serious help since I can’t seem to plan our trip without spending a fortune. We are flying out of Denver and want to visit Barcelona, French Riviera, maybe Florence and fly back from Frankfurt back to Denver. This trip will be late June 2015 to early July.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      It’s my pleasure. I’m not sure if you are asking a question here or not. On the French Riviera you’ll definitely want to stay in Nice because it’s the most affordable city there and it’s very close to Cannes and Monaco for day trips. Please let me know if you have any specific questions. -Roger

  2. Aaron says:

    Where are you finding these prices?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      It’s all explained in the article. These were the cheapest fares we could find for the test dates that we used on Kayak.com. Even if the current fares are higher (or perhaps lower), the general order of the cities should be similar. -Roger

  3. Juli Melani says:

    Wow.. thank you for the lists these are what I am looking for so far… but I realized nothing mention from/to San Fransisco?

    Thank you

    1. Roger Wade says:


      You’ll find that prices from San Francisco are similar to those leaving from Los Angeles, and the list of European cities will be more or less the same as well. Best of luck. -Roger

  4. Tim says:

    Do you plan on making a list, with the cheapest european cities to fly back to the states?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      The list coming back the other direction would be pretty much the same. If you are starting in Europe and looking for a round-trip flight to the US or Canada, it will usually be a bit cheaper, but the rankings of cities and airports wouldn’t change much. The list above is already for round-trip flights, so both directions are factored in. -Roger

  5. emma bail says:

    I think this is the most informative post with so much detailed information. I want to visit Europe this year and this is really helpful information for me.Thank you so much for sharing…

  6. Pete says:

    This is what I was looking for, and more. I want to visit Germany, especially Hamburg and Munich. I am open to fly into any airport in Germany (Frankfort, Berlin, Munich, etc.) because I plan to travel to all those cities. I also plan to visit Salzburg and would like to add London and Paris if I can affort it. I also have option of flying from ATL or LAX.
    Thank you for the information. You have given me more information than I have gotten with hours of research.

  7. Mattie says:

    Hello – I am planning my honeymoon for March 2015 in Italy and I am not finding any flights out of JFK, Dulles or Philadelphia to Rome for under $2k one way. I live in Baltimore and know BWI is always more expensive so I am looking at all airport options around us. Can you shed some light on the airlines you found for the prices above? I’m interested in seeing why I can’t find anything that cheap.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I just checked for flights from JFK to Milan and Rome, departing on March 11, 2015 (on kayak.com) and they are all looking very cheap. Roundtrips (returning March 18) are only US$550 and one-ways are US$498. The fares in and out of Rome are a bit higher, but all of them are lower than I’ve seen in two or three years. Were you checking for business class fares? -Roger

  8. Bob says:

    Hello Roger,
    I have a wonderful deal in Paris for an apartment from June 22 to July 11. I’m thinking of flying into Istanbul in April and working my way east through Greece and then to Budapest, Vienna and then to Paris.
    I have flown round trip into Paris before. I found the train prices going east to be rather expensive. What is the name of that pass you can get in the USA that allows cheap flights within Europe?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Hmmm…I’ve never heard of a Eurail-style pass for planes in Europe, and I don’t really think one exists, at least in the modern era.

      Otherwise, that plan sounds pretty good, and if you can buy tickets in advance the train fares should be pretty cheap. Actually, there is still pretty much no train service in Turkey for the time being, and the trains between the Bulgarian border and Zagreb are quite slow and old. Fortunately, the bus service in that region makes up for it, with comfortable and inexpensive coaches leaving all the time.

      So plan on taking buses from Istanbul to Sofia and then onto Zagreb or anywhere else in the area. Once you get there you’ll find decent trains that are still quite cheap, especially if you buy at least a few days (or a few weeks) in advance. From Budapest to Vienna the trains are even nicer, though fares are a bit higher, and it’s really only the train that takes you into Paris that will be expensive. In general, the earlier you buy the tickets, the cheaper it will be. Have a great trip and let me know if I can help further. -Roger

      1. Bob says:

        I would like visit the Greek Islands. If I started from Istanbul, where would I go to base myself so that I could get to many of the islands. Then how would I get out of there to get to Budapest?

        1. Roger Wade says:


          This is an usual request because getting to the Greek Islands is not particularly easy from most of Turkey. You could go from Istanbul down to Bodrum, which is a short ferry ride to the Greek island of Kos. And from Kos you could hop a ferry to another island or head all the way back to the main Piraeus port near Athens.

          But generally, it would be far easier to start in Athens because you’ll have all the ferry options and even quite a few (cheap) flight options to some of the larger and more distant islands.

          From either Athens or Istanbul, it would take at least two days to get to Budapest by a combination of buses and trains, so flying to Budapest is your best option. -Roger

  9. Adeline says:

    Hello Roger!

    Your article has been most helpful!
    My cousin and I are planning our first eurotrip for next summer – most likely around July for an average stay of 21-25 days

    It is our first time there so our list of locations include: Paris, London, Barcelona, Rome and Venice.

    She is flying in from Australia while I will be flying in from San Francisco, do you have any recommendations as to where we should meet?

    Also if you have any comments/suggestions about how we should plan the commute between our locations ( train vs air via skyscanner) please share!

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’m glad this has been helpful. You’ll both most likely get the cheapest flights into London or Paris out of that group, and it probably makes the most sense to choose London if the price seems reasonable. London is an easy place to get oriented for a first Europe trip, and then you can quickly take the Eurostar train to Paris as a next stop. After Paris it will depend on just which cities you plan on visiting, as to which direction to go in. In 3 weeks you’ll have time to visit the 5 cities on your list, plus maybe 2 to 4 additional cities. You could add in Florence, Italy, and perhaps Madrid as well.

      You’ll want to take trains between cities for the most part, although depending on your route you might want to fly once or twice. Buying train tickets online at least a month or two in advance will get the best prices. You might even consider a Eurail Pass if you add a few more stops. I’ll be happy to help more with specifics as your itinerary comes together. Good luck. -Roger

  10. Uche says:

    Hi Roger,

    I ran into your website whilst doing some research on the best place to fly into in order to explore Milan, Rome and Florence. Do you reckon Rome is the best city to fly and depart from? I see the distance for trains from Milan to Rome is about 8 hours and same for Florence as well. I’ll be traveling somewhat on a budget utilizing Airbnb. Any insight would be helpful.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      The cheapest and best airports to fly into Italy from abroad are Milan and Rome, but from elsewhere in Europe you can also get good deals into Venice and Pisa (which is close to Florence). A train between Milan and Rome only takes about 3 hours, and from Milan to Florence it’s only 1 hour and 40 minutes. Those train fares are quite cheap if you buy them at least a few weeks in advance, but still pretty reasonable if you buy them closer to the travel date.

      I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger