European Cities With Extensive Budget Airline Connections

  • 01 of 07


    Elevated view over London City skyline at sunset
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    London is served by a dozen budget carriers that crisscross Europe. This is a benefit for budget travelers, since many bound for Europe from North America arrive at London's Heathrow or Gatwick airports.

    Beware of one thing: Heathrow is not well-connected to budget carriers. For the bulk of those opportunities, you'll need to go to Gatwick or Stansted.

    If you're planning a London layover, this is merely detail. But some travelers wrongly assume shuttling between London's six airports is an easy task. Be sure to build in hours of cushion between your arrival at Heathrow and your departure from another airport.

    At this writing, there are more than 400 budget routes serviced through those 12 carriers and six airports. Stansted might be the world's busiest budget hub.

    Edinburgh and Glasgow also offer quite a few budget choices, and Dublin is the hub for Ryanair. The British Isles are well-served, but if your arrival is elsewhere on the continent, don't despair. Read on to find six other destinations with excellent budget airline connections. 


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  • 02 of 07


    Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia, Dusseldorf, River Rhine at dusk
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    Dusseldorf might not be at the top of the list when you're planning to visit European cities, but this region offers a huge selection of budget airline options, perhaps second only to London.

    As with London, six airports serve this region. There are rail connections between them. You'll need to pay careful attention to which of the region's 13 budget carriers fly into the airport closest to you. 

    Dusseldorf International serves 117 budget routes through 10 budget carriers, but Cologne/Bonn offers nearly the same selection, with 90 routes and 9 carriers. Dortmund, Masstricht and Eindhoven also are served by major budget airlines. 

    There are some good trans-Atlantic fares into and out of Dusseldorf. If you can link one of those fares with a nice budget flight, you'll reap budget benefits by flying through this sometimes overlooked part of Germany.


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  • 03 of 07


    Brussels Old City
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    Like Dusseldorf, Brussels is sometimes passed by in the race to visit Europe's hottest destinations. Amsterdam to the north and Paris to the south tend to attract more attention.

    But Brussels and Belgium are nicely connected to the rest of the continent through more than 250 budget routes and 13 budget carriers.

    The two Brussels airports -- Brussels International and Charleroi -- both offer about 100 routes on budget carriers. Easyjet serves the former and Ryanair the latter.

    There also are options for budget air travel from nearby airports in Antwerp, Liege and Lille, France.


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  • 04 of 07


    Palais du Louvre
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    Paris is a common point of arrival or departure from Europe, so it's good to know that the region's airports offer a host of budget airline connections.

    There are about 180 budget routes, nearly equally divided between Orly, Charles de Gaulle and Beauvais Tille airports. Beauvais Tille is 69 km. (42 mi.) north of the city, but it is Ryanair's Paris base. Orly and Charles de Gaulle are closer to the city center and a bit easier to reach.

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  • 05 of 07


    The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping mall, Milan, Italy
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    Milan is best-known as one of the world's fashion capitals, but budget travelers will find this is also a hub for finding cheap air connections.

    The Milan region offers about 180 budget air routes, and nearly half of them are found at the Bergamo airport, which is about 46 km. (28 mi.) northeast of the city. 

    Milan's Linate and Malpensa airports also offer a few selections. Linate is a small airport on the immediate outskirts of central Milan and it is served by large budget carriers such as Air Berlin and easyJet. 

    Within easy train connections to Milan are the Swiss Alps and Lake Como.

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  • 06 of 07


    Berlin skyline at sunset
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    Unlike most other cities on this list, Berlin hosts budget airline options from just two airports: Tegel and Schonefeld.

    In the days of a divided Germany, Schonefeld was know for flights serving eastern Europe, while Tegel was a gateway to the west. Those specialties are long gone, and it's possible to fly throughout Europe at either location. Air Berlin and Germanwings are the most common budget carriers at Tegel, while Schonefeld offers quite a few easyJet and Ryanair flights.

    In all, the two Berlin airports offer flights from 18 budget carriers, which at this writing is among the best selections of any market in Europe.

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  • 07 of 07


    Jorg Greuel/Getty Images

    Amsterdam can be a great place to arrive or depart Europe. The rail selections here are excellent, and the city itself is a pleasure to visit.

    The Dutch capital is also well-connected to budget airline options, and Rotterdam, its neighbor to the south, also offers a nice selection of flights.

    But Amsterdam Schiphol is the better choice for finding cheap flights to other parts of Europe. A dozen of the continent's major budget carriers offer flights from this busy airport.