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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:

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Rome flights from $894 return

Valid for travel from October - November 2019 with Air China. Sample fare is from Melbourne.

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Skyscanner Skyscanner

Italy flights from $813 return

Valid for travel from June - July 2019. Sample fare is Melbourne-Milan.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Europe flights from $1,159 return

Valid for travel on select dates from September 2019 - April 2020 including New Year's. Destinations include London, Edinburgh, England and more. Sample fare is Perth-Manchester with Singapore Airlines.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Winter sale: Europe flights from $1,095 return

Valid for travel on select dates from September 2019 - April 2020. Destinations include Amsterdam, Paris, Iceland, Norway and more. Sample fare is Perth-Copenhagen with Singapore Airlines. T&Cs apply.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Summer sale: Europe flights from $1,095 return

Valid for travel on select dates from August 2019 - April 2020. Destinations include Rome, Athens, Santorini, Morocco, Spain, Portugal and more. Sample fare is Perth-Barcelona with Singapore Airlines. T&Cs apply.

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KLM KLM

Europe flights from $1,186 return

Valid for travel on select dates until December 2019. Destinations include Helsinki, Lisbon, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Oslo, Rome, Amsterdam, London, Edinburgh and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Dublin. T&Cs apply.

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Skyscanner Skyscanner

Norway flights from $908 return

Valid for travel from 1-31 July 2019. Sample fare is Perth-Oslo.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

London flights from $1,219 return

Valid for travel on select dates between September - November 2019 and January - April 2020. Sample fare departs from Perth with Singapore Airlines.

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Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Amsterdam flights from $1,099 return

Valid for travel on select dates from September - November 2019, January - March 2020 and 20-30 April 2020. Sample fare departs from Adelaide with Singapore Airlines.

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Budget Air Budget Air

Europe flights from $1,120 return

Valid for travel on select dates from June - December 2019. Destinations include Paris, Barcelona and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-London.

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Emirates Emirates

Earn double Skyward Miles with Portugal return flights

Valid for travel from 2 July - 30 September 2019 across Portugal. Promotion applies to Emirates Skywards members. 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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Etihad Airways Australia Etihad Airways Australia

Europe flights from $1,889 return

Valid for travel until 31 December 2019 including Christmas holidays. Sample fare is Melbourne-Belgrade.

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