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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.

Latest Europe flight deals:

STA Travel STA Travel

Spain flights from $839 return

Barcelona flights on sale for departures before 15 June, including prime springtime in Europe and over Christmas/New Year's. Sample fare is from Melbourne with Air China. Available from other cities from Australia.

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Skiddoo Skiddoo

Europe flights from $875 return

Fares on sale to London, Dublin and Rome from across Australia on airlines including Qantas, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and more. Sample fare is to Dublin.

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Qatar Airways Qatar Airways

Extra 10% off flights: Europe from $981 return

Valid for travel from 2 July 2018 - 31 June 2019. Destinations include London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, New York, Washington DC, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Casablanca, Marrakech, Algiers, Tunis, Khartoum, Kuwait, Muscat, Salalah, Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad, Beirut 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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KLM KLM

Europe flights from $1,353 return

Valid for travel between November 2018 - March 2019. Sample fare is Sydney-Amsterdam. Destinations include London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and more.

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I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

Rome flights from $834 return

Valid for travel between March - June 2019. Sample fare is Melbourne-Rome.

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Qatar Airways Qatar Airways

Europe flights from $1,169 return

Valid for travel from 16 November 2018 - 14 January 2019, including over Christmas. Destinations include Paris, Milan, London, Dublin and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Paris.

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Emirates Emirates

Europe flights from $1,209 return

Valid for travel from 14 January - 15 April 2019 and 1 June - 30 October 2019. Destinations include Amsterdam, Athens, Rome and more. Sample fare is Perth-Dublin. T&Cs apply.

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STA Travel STA Travel

London flights from $479 each way

Valid for travel from 3 November 2018 - 25 March 2019, including over Christmas. Sample fare is Melbourne-London.

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Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific

London flights from $1,187 return

Valid for travel between October 2018 - February 2019, including over Christmas. Sample fare is Adelaide-London.

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Skyscanner Skyscanner

UK flights from $963 return

Valid for travel from December 2018 - January 2019, including over Christmas. Destinations include London, Manchester, Birmingham and more. Sample fare is Perth-London.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Europe flights from $999 return with Singapore Airlines

Valid for travel from 1-20 September 2019 and 7-25 October 2019. Destinations include Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris, Barcelona, Rome and more. Sample fare is Perth-Istanbul.

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Emirates Emirates

Europe flights from $1,269 return

Valid for travel from February - June 2019. Destinations include Dublin, Paris, Barcelona, Venice, Rome and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-London.

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British Airways British Airways

UK flights from $1,368 return

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

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Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific

International flights from $1,272 return

Valid for travel between March - October 2019. Sample fare is Melbourne-Dublin. Destinations include Tel Aviv, Paris, New York, Barcelona, Toronto, Vancouver, Rome and more.

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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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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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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 Christmas 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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Popular Flights coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
9 Oct 2018 10% off select domestic and international flights KLM****
5 Oct 2018 Extra 10% off flights: Europe from $981 return TIC****
15 Nov 2018 Japan flights from $557 return FOL****
15 Nov 2018 Full-service Hong Kong flights from $518 return FOL****
7 Nov 2018 $120 off first class flights FIR****
7 Nov 2018 Spain flights from $839 return ********

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