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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 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.

Latest Europe flight deals:

Emirates Emirates

Extra 8% off flights worldwide

Book any flight on any date departing Australia using a MasterCard and save. Fly to destinations including the UAE, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and more.

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Kayak Kayak

Up to 35% off flights worldwide

Subscribe to Kayak newsletter and receive personalised private deals of up to 35% off. Destinations include Europe, Asia, America, Australia and more. T&Cs apply.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Amsterdam flights from $1,115 return

Valid for travel from 21 February - 30 March 2020 with China Southern Airlines. Sample fare is from Brisbane.

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Skiddoo Skiddoo

International flights from $232 return

Valid for travel between October - November 2019 and February - June 2019. Sample fare is Perth-Bali. Destinations include Hong Kong, Bali, Colombo, London, Barcelona, San Francisco, Ho Chi Minh and more.

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Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

London flights from $1,280 return

Valid for travel on select dates in November - December 2019. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Cathay Pacific.

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Qatar Airways Qatar Airways

Europe flights from $1,069 return

Valid for travel on select dates in 2019-2020. Sample fare is Perth-Dublin. Destinations include London, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome and more. T&Cs apply.

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Skyscanner Skyscanner

Europe flights from $803 return

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020. Sample fare is Sydney-Athens. Destinations include London, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome and more. T&Cs apply.

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Skyscanner Skyscanner

London flights from $971 return

Valid for travel on select dates in February - March 2020. Sample fare departs from Sydney. T&Cs apply.

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Emirates Emirates

Europe flights from $1,199 return

Valid for travel from February - May 2020. Destinations include Rome, Paris, Dublin and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-London.

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Trip.com Trip.com

London flights from $1,320 return

Valid for travel on select dates in November 2019. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Cathay Pacific.

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Skyscanner Skyscanner

Italy flights from $455 each way

Valid for travel on select dates in November - December 2019. Sample fare is Perth-Rome with Scoot. Destinations include Venice, Florence and more.

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Skyscanner Skyscanner

Greece flights from $379 each way

Valid for travel on select dates between October - December 2019. Sample fare is Perth-Athens with Scoot. Destinations include Santorini, Mykonos and more.

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Skyscanner Skyscanner

Europe flights from $911 return

Valid for travel on select dates between December 2019 - March 2020. Sample fare is Melbourne-London. Destinations include Manchester, Edinburgh and more. T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Rome flights from $1,013 return

Valid for travel from May - June 2020. Sample fare is from Sydney.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Europe flights from $1,165 return with Singapore Airlines

Valid for travel on select 2020 dates. Sample fare is from Sydney. Destinations include Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, London, and more. T&Cs apply.

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Cheap O Air Cheap O Air

$27 off flights with code

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Paris, London, Rome, Toronto and more. T&Cs apply.

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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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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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Popular Flights coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
31 Jul 2019 Extra 8% off flights worldwide AUM****
17 Sep 2019 Up to 10% off worldwide flights with code CMT****
17 Sep 2019 Up to 15% off business flights in Australia with code FMZ****
17 Sep 2019 Up to 15% off business flights with code PRW****
17 Sep 2019 Up to 10% off fares with code HNV****

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