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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.

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 European summer (June to August) book flights from October to November for early bird specials or from January to February for the cheapest regular offers.

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.

Find the cheapest flights to Europe:



Latest Europe flight deals:

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Ireland flights from $815 return

Valid for travel from September - October 2018. Sample fare is Perth-Dublin.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Round-the-world fares from $1,179

Valid for travel between 25 February - 11 April 2019. Sample fare is Melbourne-London-Los Angeles-Hong Kong.

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STA Travel STA Travel

London flights from $995 return

Valid for travel from 27 September - 30 November 2018. Sample fare is Sydney-London with Malaysia Airlines.

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Emirates Emirates

Europe flights from $1,129 return

Valid for travel from 27 September - 30 November 2018 and 14-31 January 2019. Destinations include London, Barcelona, Athens, Rome, Madrid and more. Sample fare is Perth-Istanbul.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

London flights from $989 return

Valid for travel from 1 October - 22 November and 1 February - 30 March 2019. Sample fare is Melbourne-London.

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STA Travel STA Travel

Europe flights from $799 return

Valid for travel from 3 October - 15 December 2018. Destinations include Barcelona, Athens, Amsterdam, Istanbul and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Warsaw.

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Skiddoo Skiddoo

International flights from $242 return

Valid for travel on select dates. Sample fare is Perth-Bali. Destinations include London, Dublin, Rome, Seoul, Los Angeles, Langkawi, Colombo, Singapore and more.

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British Airways British Airways

UK flights from $1,170 return

Valid for travel until October 2018. Destinations include London and Edinburgh. Sample fare is for Sydney-London.

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Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific

Premium economy flights from $1,905 return

Valid for travel until 30 June 2019. Sample fare is Perth-Tokyo. Booking must be made 50 days in advance. Destinations include New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Vancouver, Toronto, China, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Amsterdam, Barcelona and more.

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Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific

Up to 25% off business class flights

Valid for travel on select dates. Bookings must be made 90 days prior flight. Destinations include Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, Taipei, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Manchester, Dublin and more. T&C's apply.

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Lufthansa Lufthansa

Europe flights from $1,510 return

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include London, Rome, Paris, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid and more. Sample fare is Perth-Barcelona.

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LookUpFare LookUpFare

$120 off first class seats

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include San Francisco, Chicago, London, Dubai, Venice and more. T&C's apply.

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Etihad Airways Australia Etihad Airways Australia

Europe flights from $1,878 return

Valid for travel until 31 December 2018. Destinations include Rome, Paris, Dublin, London and more. Sample fare is Perth-Amsterdam.

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