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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  1. brent says:

    Hi, I have a question if I buy a round trip ticket to … from USA and the connecting flight airport is like Paris. Could I just stay in Paris the duration of my vacation and just not take the connecting flight to the final destination? And could I take the return connecting flight home from Paris back to USA? Since it is much cheaper, would I still need a visa for the destination country? Even though I am not going their just to the connecting city in a different country in Europe?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      What you are referring to is known as “hidden city ticketing,” and there are some big problems with it. The main problem is that if you don’t show up to your connecting flight (out of Paris the first time) then the airline voids the rest of the ticket, partly to prevent this exact thing.

      It’s sometimes possible to get a cheap round-trip fare leaving on one airline and returning on another, and in that case it’s less risky as long as the airlines aren’t official partners and the tickets are separate. In other words, if you go into a fare search engine and it says that you can fly from the US to Krakow on Delta and return on American Airlines, then as long as you can buy those ticket separately you might be able to pull it off. So you’d search for the fare going one way on Delta, and the fare coming back one way on American. If those fares are the same when bought separately, you might be in business because the return flight is unrelated to the outgoing flight.

      As for the visas, yes, the outbound airline will ask to see your passport as you check in, and if your final destination is to a country that requires a visa, such as Russia, then they’ll ask to see your Russian visa before letting you on the plane. They do this because if they put a passenger on a plane and that passenger isn’t allowed into that country, the airline has to fly you out on their expense and often pay a fine. I’ve been in that situation many times and they have always been strict about it.

      Of course, another thing to consider is that you have to travel with carry-on baggage only, which isn’t always easy when going to Paris for more than a few days. Best of luck though. -Roger

      1. brent says:

        Thank You!

  2. Mark Heidecker says:

    Are the days of flying open jaw as a cost effective way of visiting Europe over?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      For most destinations in Europe, it’s tough to get a good deal on an open jaw ticket these days, but not all of them. We’ve done many tests and have discovered that two one-way tickets across the Atlantic usually cost a lot more than one round trip. However, there are exceptions. Not long ago I flew from New York City to Oslo on Norwegian Air and discovered the one-way fare was not only half the round-trip, but it was the same price on departure day (about US$350). So it looks like at least with Norwegian Air and possibly with some others, you can build your own ticket or even fly over and book your return once you decide where and when you’ll fly from. Good luck with that. -Roger

  3. Ciara says:

    You know there is actually more than one city in Canada. Vancouver is a very important city and is bound to have different airfare than Toronto (or, for that matter, LA), it’s kind of ignorant of you not to include it.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’m not sure if you are deliberately trolling me or not, but just in case you are serious with this, I was proud of myself for including Toronto (North America’s 13th busiest airport) on this list of 6 cities. And if I add more in the future, it won’t be Vancouver (North America’s 29th busiest airport), even though I’m quite fond of the city itself.

      The point of the information here is to help people get an idea of which cities in Europe offer the lowest fares. I can’t do a full chart to include every possible flight. -Roger

  4. nick says:

    great List! i know you did biggest cities in canada and usa. but it would be great to have a PNW city… Vancouver or seattle?
    regardless.. still helpful thanks

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you found this useful. The main idea behind the list is to let people see how the destinations tend to rank by airfare. I lived for several years in Portland so that would be interesting to me as well, but in my own research I’ve noticed that those flights tend to rank in around the same order as those from Los Angeles. Since there are very few nonstop flights from the Pacific Northwest to Europe, nearly all of them would require a change of planes, which is true of most Los Angeles flights as well. I will keep updating these cities, however. -Roger

  5. Kim says:

    You have offered some great information! We are planning a 14 day trip to Europe June 2016- Paris and several cities in Italy. We were planning on flying from Chicago into Paris, staying 3-4 days and then heading to Italy (heading north to south). It is our first trip to Europe. Any suggestions on the cheaper way to fly into France? Would it be cheaper if we went to Italy first and then headed to France and then home to Chicago? Thanks!!

    1. Roger Wade says:


      You’ll have to check yourself, but at this point two one-way flights across the Atlantic are usually quite a bit more than a single round-trip flight. So most likely the cheapest way to do this would be to book a round-trip into Paris or Rome, and then connect them with a separate flight on a low-cost airline such as EasyJet. In other words, book a round-trip to Paris and on the final day of your trip you’d take a one-way flight from Rome back to Paris, with plenty of time to make your main flight home.

      The good news is that one-way flight will be quite cheap if you book it at least a few months in advance. It might be around €50, plus baggage fees, if you book very early. The one thing to be careful of, though, is that the flight goes into the same airport as your flight home. You are probably aware that there are two main airports serving Paris, with most long-haul flights going into CDG and many shorter/cheaper flights using Orly. As long as you are flying into the same one or allowing enough time to get from one to another, then it should work well.

      By the way, you’ll almost certainly want to take trains from Paris into Italy, which will be enjoyable and also reasonably priced if you buy those tickets more than two months in advance. Have a great trip. -Roger

  6. Joyce Deer says:

    This is a wonderful article, and it made me realize I have options with my travel to Barcelona next summer with 3 grandsons (17, 15, 14). We have a cruise from BCN from 6/3-6/11 but we can leave anytime after May 25 and return anytime in June. If I am paying that much money for a flight, I may as well show these boys Europe 🙂 We live closest to New Orleans, and we don’t mind train, bus or whatever it takes to max our experience. We thought about coming into Paris and leaving from Lisbon, or vice versa, but reading this article and your comments to others, we may fly from one to the other to have a round-trip ticket from one city. I would also love to show the boys Normandy Beach, where their great great grandfather was, so London is also a possibility. Any suggestions would be welcome!

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’m glad this has helped. I think your plan of starting in Paris before your Barcelona cruise could be great. You could even take the Eurostar from Paris to London in a few hours and spend a couple days in London before heading back to Paris. There is a high-speed train from Paris to Barcelona that takes about 7 hours and is a nice ride.

      Once in Spain you’ll have many choices of great destinations, and of course you wouldn’t want to miss Madrid, which is very different from Barcelona. From Madrid there is a night train to Lisbon, which might be tricky with a family, depending on how flexible everyone is. Lisbon is another wonderful city and great value, plus it has some relatively cheap flights to major hubs, so it could be a good choice.

      Normandy, by the way, is only a bit over 2 hours from Paris by train, so you could conceivably do it as a day trip. There are also train and bus tours from Paris that do it all in a day trip.

      If you have any other more specific questions about parts of this or you are looking for other suggestions, please let me know. Have a great trip. -Roger

  7. Steve Logan says:

    This article is useful to a point. Living in England and having travelled extensively you would want to be spending many months down the list of places worth visiting before reaching some of these locations.
    London, Paris and Amsterdam are expensive but they are also interesting, safe and probably the most convenient and cheapest places to get connections to elsewhere in Europe.
    Moscow and Instanbul do have places of interest but if you are not a seasoned traveller they are not particularly safe and connections to elsewhere in Europe will generally be more expensive.
    A weekend in Berlin is enough for anyone. Unless you have a family connection there is no logical reason to visit Germany. It’s a bit of a mystery to most Europeans why so many Americans go there. Similarly Dublin is nice for the weekend but is not a destination of choice for most. The Scandinavian countries are nice but that is all they are, certainly not worth crossing the Atlantic for. Visit England, Italy, Spain, France and Greece then move on if you have time which if you’ve done it properly you won’t.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I agree with most of what you’ve said, but certainly not all of it. First off, I really hope that when people see that the average fares are similar between most of the cities in Europe, that they won’t be motivated to fly into some obscure city just to save US$100. In most cases you’d be better off just paying extra to fly directly into the cities you are most interested in.

      As for comparing our opinions, I’ve lived in Turkey not long ago and this is the first time I’ve heard someone say that Istanbul isn’t a safe place (except for the few days they’ve had demonstrations, and even those are easy to avoid).

      I agree with you that Dublin is kind of a dud, at least compared to the “great cities of Europe”. But I’m also in the great majority that raves about Berlin and highly recommends it to anyone going nearby. And while I wouldn’t recommend that anyone skip Paris or Prague to visit Copenhagen or Stockholm, I do think the latter two are beautiful cities that most people will appreciate (if they can afford them).

      Anyway, thanks for your feedback and I hope that articles like this are useful to people rather than misleading. -Roger

  8. Pat Pursley says:

    This has been so helpful! My son is stationed near Frankfurt Germany and I am hoping to go see them in November/December this year. I live in Atlanta but am open to anything within driving distance and in Europe within a train ride. Any suggestions?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Atlanta, as you might know, is a tough city for flights because Delta controls most of the traffic and there are no other major airports nearby. If you can drive to Charlotte, you might get a cheaper fare, but it’s up to you to decide whether the savings are worth it.

      I didn’t include it on the list in the article above, but you might check flights into Dusseldorf in addition to checking Frankfurt. Dusseldorf is a fairly short train ride away, and they have some cheaper airlines that use it as a hub. Otherwise your choices are Brussels, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Munich, all of which are maybe 4 hours from Frankfurt by train. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  9. Cali says:

    Hi Roger! My fiance and I are in the process of planning our honeymoon to Greece and Croatia. We were planning on going from either LAX or SFO (which ever is cheapest) the middle of August and flying to Santorini (or Santorini via Athens) and then flying out of Croatia at the end of August. Do you have any insight into which might be the cheapest airport to fly into to also is that timeline a smart one or are we better reversing it and going to Croatia first?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      The timing of your trip is a bit tricky because both Greece and Croatia will be packed during all of (July and) August, mostly with other Europeans. As you might know, many working Europeans get the entire month of July or August off, and coastal Croatia and the islands of Greece are very popular destinations, especially for people from Germany and the north. So resorts will be mostly full the entire time, but there are so many of them that prices are generally still reasonable. However, the flights and ferries will all be jammed at the beginning and end of each of those months, so you’ll need to plan around that.

      It shouldn’t really matter which country you visit first or last, as long as you can sort out the travel parts well in advance.

      Another small challenge is that Croatia’s airports are fairly small and not known for cheap flights or low-cost airlines. Split and Dubrovnik are the most popular coastal destinations, but even Zagreb tends to have expensive flights. Some people find that taking a ferry from Croatia to Italy and flying from there is a cheap way to do it, and fairly interesting as well.

      You might find the best bargain to fly in and out of Athens. From there you can either fly or take a ferry to Santorini, and you can fly from there to Split or Dubrovnik as well. The round-trip flight might be cheaper than an open-jaw ticket, but you really have to try the options to see for yourself. Good luck and let me know if you have other questions. As long as you book these things early, I think you can do an excellent trip for a reasonable amount. -Roger

  10. Lee says:

    My daughter will be going to Geneva for a 6 weeks at the end of July, and will spend the last 2 weeks of that joining friends on their vacation in Costa del Sol, Spain. She is a seasoned traveler after spending last year studying abroad. Since flights from Atlanta to Geneva are pretty expensive during July–she would like to fly into a cheaper location and spend a day or two touring before traveling on to Geneva. She would like to do the same thing when she leaves Costa del Sol. Any suggestions?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      In all of my tests, the two cheapest airports that are reasonably close to Geneva are Zurich and Milan. Zurich Airport to Geneva is only 3 hours by train, while Milan is about 4.5 hours from Geneva. As fond as I am of Switzerland, Zurich isn’t too interesting and it’s very expensive, and Milan has far more interesting things to see nearby. I hope this helps. -Roger