If you’ve been dreaming of taking a European vacation, you’re in luck — numerous cities now have cheaper flights and lower expenses across the board. Using Hipmunk and Numbeo data, GOBankingRates identified a number of vacation destinations that are more reasonable on your wallet in 2019.
Finding affordable flights to Europe is no easy task. So when planning your next Euro trip, consider these classic cities and learn how to save even more once you get there. Because we’re all about cheap vacation ideas that help you maximize your trip budget.
Click to See: 18 Destinations That Are Getting Cheaper to Visit
- Median booking price for flights: $613
- Year-over-year airfare price difference: -18%
- Year-over-year cost of living difference: -14%
Hipmunk’s data found that the median booking price for flights in 2018 was $749 for Barcelona, but airfare is now $613. The cheapest time to visit Barcelona is in November, according to travel website Skyscanner. During this month, prices were 20 percent cheaper than the annual average in 2018. It’s recommended that you avoid visiting in August (when prices were 31 percent higher than average).
One of the best free things to do in Barcelona is simply wander Las Ramblas and people watch. Spain’s café culture is robust, so drink a coffee while you take in the street performers. Different bars have different food offerings — from croquettes to tuna tataki and meatballs — you can fill up on without spending a fortune on a full meal.
London, United Kingdom
- Median booking price for flights: $575
- Year-over-year airfare price difference: -16%
- Year-over-year cost of living difference: -8%
As the financial capital of the world, London has always been a pricey place to visit akin to a New York or Tokyo. But the best vacation spots usually always are. Luckily, airfare to London fell from $684 in 2018 to $575 this year. Still, savvy travel hackers know there are additional ways you can visit without breaking the bank.
Heathrow is a major international hub in Europe, so you’ll want to consider connecting through there for cheap European flights to other cities. The best time to score cheap flights to London is in the off-season: late October to mid-December and January to mid-March, according to Frommer’s Travel Guides.
Find Out: The Best Time to Travel in 2019
- Median booking price for flights: $602
- Year-over-year airfare price difference: -17%
- Year-over-year cost of living difference: -9%
One of the relatively cheaper European destinations, you don’t necessarily have to ride around in expensive Ubers or rental cars in Amsterdam. You can explore by bike or public transportation. The best way to save is by purchasing an I Amsterdam City Card, which offers free and discounted entry to over 60 museums and attractions (including canal cruises) and unlimited rides on public transportation to get there.
The cheapest time to visit Amsterdam is in the winter, when you’ll find lower hotel rates and smaller crowds, according to U.S. News. This year, you can expect to find cheaper flights — the median booking price was $726 in 2018 but is now $602.
- Median booking price for flights: $683
- Year-over-year airfare price difference: -6%
- Year-over-year cost of living difference: -14%
Although airfare to Dublin dropped to $683 from $727 over the past year, it’s not considered the cheapest European travel destination.
Boozing in Dublin may take a toll on your wallet, but its other star attraction — nature — doesn’t have to. Enjoy the city’s robust green spaces like Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed public park among Europe’s capital cities. There’s also Bull Island and the National Botanic Gardens you can explore.
Like Amsterdam, the cheapest time to visit Dublin is in the winter. Prices shouldn’t be too high in the spring or fall — just avoid visiting June through August when hotel and flights will be more expensive, according to U.S. News.
- Median booking price for flights: $992
- Year-over-year airfare price difference: -56%
- Year-over-year cost of living difference: -12%
Sure, $992 is expensive for a plane ticket. But considering that the 2018 median booking price for Florence was $2,251, you’ll save more money when visiting the Italian city this year. But try visiting in late fall or winter to save money on hotel rooms, recommends U.S. News.
Once you arrive, many of the major attractions and architectural wonders are free. Immerse yourself in the culture of the Ponte Vecchio bridge, the cathedral at the Duomo, the plazas and squares. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Italy without a smorgasbord of outdoor markets. Take in the sights and smells of the city, gelato in hand.
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Methodology: GOBankingRates found these five destinations are getting cheaper to visit by scoring year-over-year median flight costs sourced from Hipmunk and year-over-year cost of living changes from Numbeo. The cost of living data that is used in this study does NOT account for a given city’s rental and housing costs. All cost of living calculations were based on data from 2018 and 2019. After both flight and cost of living categories were assigned an individual score, the two scores were then combined to determine which cities are getting cheaper to visit.