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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.

Updated

Fact checked

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:

Qatar Airways Qatar Airways

Up to 12% off worldwide flights

Available on select flights until 31 January 2021 when you book and pay using Paypal. Destinations include France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, United Kingdom and more.

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Coupon code ends

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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Skyscanner Skyscanner

London flights from $986 return

Available on select dates from November 2020 - February 2021. Sample fare departs from Perth with Philippine Airlines.

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Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Rome flights from $1,059 return

Available on select dates from October 2020 - March 2021. Sample fare departs from Perth with Qatar Airways.

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Deal ends

Qatar Airways Qatar Airways

Europe flights from $1,171 return

Available on select flights from October - December 2020 to Barcelona, Paris, London, Ireland, Lisbon and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Amsterdam. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Omio Omio

Book budget flights in Europe from €3

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

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STA Travel STA Travel

Europe flights from $539 each way

Available on select travel dates from January – November 2020. Sample fare is Perth–Paris with Thai Airways. Other destinations include London, Rome, Manchester, Dublin and more. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

Budget Air Budget Air

Extra $5 off your next booking

Subscribe to BudgetAir enewsletter and receive extra $5 discount of your next booking. Destinations include Europe, Asia, Australia and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

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.

Last verified

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