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When is the best time to book flights to Europe from Australia?

Looking to escape to Europe for an endless summer? Follow these tips for the cheapest airfares.

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Whether you’re looking to island hop in the Mediterranean, spot celebrities on the French Riviera, experience skiing in the Alps or browse through Christmas markets in Germany, we’ve got you covered.

No matter when or where you want to go, we’ve found the best times to book flights to Europe from Australia and the deals that will help you save.

Best time to book flights to Europe from Australia

For travel during the European summer (June to August), early bird sales start as early as October and November, but we find some of the cheapest fares are available in January and February.

For European winter (December to February) book flights from March to May.

Why?

If you’re off to Europe in the summer, airlines usually release their early bird specials during October and November. Keep in mind that peak summer dates in July and August may be blacked out, but June and September should have similar weather in most places.

If you’re looking to experience the European winter, airlines usually have early bird sales from March to May to attract travellers after the peak summer season. Aside from over Christmas and New Year, flights are generally much cheaper in winter than in summer.

Overview

When booking flights to Europe you really want to do your research. Booking ahead will help to ensure you get the cheapest and best possible airfares, comparing a range of websites is going to help you get the best deal and, although it might not be the most glamorous option, booking flights that have stopovers is always going to help lower the fare.


Weather and prices

  • For summer:

The best time to visit Europe in summer weatherwise: If you’re looking to travel to summer locations, anytime from July to August is ideal.

The cheapest time to visit Europe for during summer: Travelling towards the end of summer, such as around late August, is going to mean cheaper deals.

  • For winter:

The best time to visit Europe in winter weatherwise: If you want to have a white Christmas or get in some skiing/boarding at some of the world’s best resorts, travelling from December to February is best.

The cheapest time to visit Europe during winter: For the winter months, travelling from early November to mid December or late January to February is best as you’ll avoid the peak season, but still experience snow.


The best time to visit Europe’s...

Summer hotspots:

  • The French Riviera. June to September hosts the warmest, driest days, which are ideal for strolling down picturesque streets and taking a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean Sea. If you’re looking to spot celebrities, the Cannes Film Festival is in May, but be warned that accommodation prices may soar.
  • Spain. June to September are the warmest and driest months to head to the Spanish Coast and Balearic Islands like Ibiza, but it can get very hot inland. Spring and autumn months are better for cities like Madrid.
  • Croatia.June to August are the best months to sail the Croatian islands and take in the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Sailing is seasonal and the early sailing trips in May and the later trips in September and October are generally the cheapest.
  • Greece. June to August are the warmest and sunniest months in which you can sip on cocktails and look out at the postcard-worthy Mediterranean Sea, but May and September are the cheaper months to travel in while still being warm enough to enjoy.

Winter hotspots:

  • Switzerland. Mid-December until early April is generally when the Swiss ski resorts are open (give or take a couple of weeks depending on the altitude and location) although the conditions of the snow are weather-dependent. If you’re after prime conditions, the peak months are January and February, while you’ll likely pay a bit less for accommodation in December and March.
  • Christmas markets. Late November until Christmas is generally when markets are held across Europe, with some of the most notable ones held in Germany and Austria.
  • The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The lights can be seen from the far north of Europe from September to mid-April, with higher chances of a sighting in December and January. The best places to see them are the northernmost parts of Europe such as Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Now that you know when to go, check out our latest Europe travel deals:

Kayak Kayak

Up to 35% off flights worldwide

Subscribe to Kayak's newsletter and receive personalised private deals of up to 35% off. Destinations include Europe, Asia, America, Australia and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Cathay Pacific sale: Up to 25% off international flights

Available on business class flights when you book 30+ days in advance. Destinations include Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, London, Dublin, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Etihad Airways Etihad Airways

Worldwide flights from $1,398 return

Available on flights until 31 July 2021 departing from Sydney and Melbourne. Destinations include Dublin and Paris. Sample fare is Sydney-London.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

London flights from $1,218 return

Available on select dates from January - September 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Qatar Airways. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Qatar Airways Qatar Airways

Worldwide flights from $1,207 return + flexible date changes

Available on flights from 1 January - 30 September 2021 to Athens, London, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and more. Sample fare is Brisbane-Amsterdam. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Qatar Airways Qatar Airways

Up to 12% off international flights

Available on flights until 31 July 2021 when you pay with PayPal. Destinations include Africa, London, Paris, Athens, Beirut, Doha and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Etihad Airways Etihad Airways

Up to 10% off flights + extra bags

Available on flights until 30 September 2021 exclusive for students. Destinations include Dublin, Paris, Ireland, Abu Dhabi and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

OneTravel OneTravel

Up to $10 off international flights

Available on select travel dates when you use the code. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, London and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

British Airways British Airways

London flights from $1,294 return + flexible changes

Available on flights from December 2020 - August 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney.

Last verified

Deal ends

Budget Air Budget Air

Extra $5 off your next booking

Subscribe to BudgetAir's newsletter and receive an extra $5 off your next booking. Destinations include Europe, Asia, Australia and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Omio Omio

Book budget flights in Europe from €3

Valid on select flights in Europe. Sample price is from Madrid to Malaga.

Last verified

Popular Flights coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
16 Oct 2020 Up to 12% off international flights PAY****
9 Oct 2020 Up to 10% off flights + extra bags STU****
7 Oct 2020 Thanksgiving sale: Up to $25 off flight fees TG2****
7 Oct 2020 Up to $10 off international flights FLY****
7 Oct 2020 Up to $100 off business class flights OCT****

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