Last week on the Current we gave you 9 Tips to Travel Europe on A Budget, but what good is saving money on vacation if it costs and arm and a leg to fly to your vacation? Flying to Europe can take a big bite out of even the most generous budget – despite the Loonie’s current strength against the euro. While there are many discount airlines within Europe, like Ryanair, finding the cheapest flight across the Atlantic can sometimes be a challenge. One common money-saving tip is to carefully choose which city you want to fly into.
What are the cheapest European cities to fly into? How much do they cost? How long will the flight take? We decided to compare the cost and length of flights into 10 of Europe’s premier destinations to find YOU the biggest savings.
How we did it:
Using google.ca/flights we looked up flights to London, Paris, Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Berlin, Moscow, Istanbul and Stockholm from Pearson Airport in Toronto. Then we took the top Google results and compared the cost and flight time of different airlines. In addition to the major airlines google.ca/flights includes ‘other airlines’ and ‘multiple airlines’ which include the results of smaller airlines and of special deals offered by the large airlines. Usually ‘other airlines’ and ‘multiple airlines’ are the best deals so we included them.
The flights were found on March 3rd and the departure date was set just over two weeks later on March 19th, the return flights were booked for March 23. In some cases one airline may take much longer to reach the destination (eg Delta to London, United to Dublin, Alitalia to Madrid etc) this is usually due to layovers but we decided it was important to include them in the analysis.
Scroll to the bottom of the article for the results!
Pearson International Airport to London
|British Airways||7h 20m||1 268|
|Air Canada||7h 20m||1 324|
|Lufthansa||7h 20m||1 330|
|American||7h 20m||2 420|
|Iberia||7h 20m||2 535|
|Multiple Airlines||8h 40m||957|
|United||10h 50m||1 003|
Pearson to Dublin
|Air Canada||8h 35m||1 062|
|British Airways||9h 50m||1 137|
|United||11h 5m||1 225|
|Average||9h 30m||1 035|
Pearson to Paris
|Delta||8h 5m||1 478|
|Air France||8h 5m||1 498|
|Air Canada||7h 45m||4 455|
|Lufthansa||7h 45m||4 455|
|British Airways||9h 50m||889|
|Other Airlines||8h 55m||788|
Pearson to Madrid
|Air Canada||11h 15m||1 022|
|American||12h 45m||1 209|
|Other Airlines||12h 45m||1 209|
|Multiple Airlines||11h 15m||982|
Pearson to Barcelona
|KLM||12h 20m||1 967|
|Delta||11h 45m||1 992|
|Multiple||11h 20m||1 680|
|Air France||13h 40m||1 753|
|Average||12h 15m||1 848|
Pearson to Rome
|Air France||12h 25m||1 266|
|Delta||10h 15m||1 319|
|British Airways||12h||1 468|
|Multiple||10h 15m||1 218|
|Average||11h 15m||1 318|
Pearson to Berlin
|American||12h 45m||1 095|
|United||12h 30m||1 245|
|Austrian||18h 30m||1 296|
|Multiple||11h 5m||1 086|
|Average||13h 45m||1 181|
Pearson to Moscow
|Austrian||21h 50m||1 225|
|British Airways||15h 25m||1 250|
|Average||16h 30m||1 152|
Pearson to Istanbul
|Air Canada||10h 20m||1 507|
|Turkish||10h 30m||1 382|
|Multiple||11h 10m||1 085|
|United||17h 15m||1 177|
|Average||12h 20m||1 288|
Pearson to Stockholm
|Air Canada||12h 55m||994|
|United||14h 25m||1 001|
|Other Airlines||9h 50m||1 062|
|Rank||City||Average Cost (CND)||Average Time|
|2||Dublin||1 035||9h 30m (3rd)|
|3||Madrid||1 098||14h (8th)|
|4||Moscow||1 152||16h30m (10th)|
|5||Berlin||1 180||13h 45m (7th)|
|6||Istanbul||1 288||12h 20m (5th)|
|7||Rome||1 317||11h 15m (4th)|
|8||London||1 548||8h (1st)|
|9||Barcelona||1 848||12h20m (6th)|
|10||Paris||2 044||9h (2nd)|
Shortest Flights (Average)
|Rank||City||Average Time||Average Cost (CND)|
|3||Dublin||9h 30m||1 035(2nd)|
|4||Rome||11h 12m||1 317(7th)|
|5||Istanbul||12h 18m||1 288(6th)|
|6||Barcelona||12h 20m||1 848(9th)|
|7||Berlin||13h 42m||1 180 (5th)|
|10||Moscow||16h 30m||1 152(4th)|
So what’s the best deal?
Dublin scores 3rd in flight time (9h 30m) and 2nd in cost ($1 035). Stockholm is the cheapest flight ($999) but it’s also the second longest flight overall (14h36m). So if you’re planning a European adventure and don’t know where to start, then consider taking a look at flying into Dublin or Stockholm. Plus, remember that travel within Europe can be pretty cheap if you use budget airlines or a rail pass, so it would still be economical to fly to Sweden or Ireland even if they aren’t your ideal destinations.
If you’re heading to Spain, flights to Barcelona are faster on average (12h 20m) than flights to Madrid (14h), but Madrid is the third cheapest city to fly into in Europe ($1 098) while Barcelona is the second most expensive ($1 848).
If you’re travelling to the UK it would be cheaper to fly into Dublin ($1 035) although the Irish Capital is also a longer flight (9h 30m) than London (8h). So if you’re planning a Spanish or British Isles vacation and aren’t picky about what city you fly into, then consider Dublin and Madrid to save cash or London and Barcelona to save some time.
Location, Location, Location
When it comes to price and flight duration, location isn’t always everything. Flight duration can vary for a lot of reasons. Distance is obviously a major factor but the size of each airport, how long on average flights have to wait to land, and how long they taxi once they’ve landed all make a big difference. Layovers often make flights cheaper, but they can also add a lot of time overall. Night flights are usually cheaper as well, but they are also more prone to delay. Flight prices can change daily or even hourly so you can usually find a bargain if you book well in advance or wait until the last minute! Also, different airports within each city can have huge price differences.
So remember, as is usually the case, it is best to shop around, look at different airlines and different destinations in order to maximize your savings. Of course, make sure to Buy Before you Fly or Pre-order your currency to save on your currency exchange.
Stay informed. Stay Current.