10 Best Budget Airlines in Europe to Find Cheap Flights

10 best budget airlines to find cheap flights in europe

Before coming to Germany for my master’s, I would consult the students already living here with questions about traveling. How affordable flying in Europe was, how much I would need for a weekend trip, what are the budget airlines in Europe; the questions never seemed to end.

I would get tidbits of information here and there, but I never received a proper roadmap. Random browsing on Google would show hundreds of euros for a single flight. I had no idea which airlines to search for or where to book the cheapest flights.

Then, one day, a senior from my university in Germany shared his experience of flying to Mallorca and back for just 9 euros. Nine euros! That was all I needed to hear to start planning.

While the flight tickets are not as low as 9 euros right now, they are still low enough to fit your student budget. In this article, I will brief you on the ten budget airlines in Europe and share tips on how to find and book cheap flights in Europe.

Ultra low budget airlines in Europe


cheap flights in europe ryanair

When it comes to budget airlines in Europe, Ryanair is the star of the show. With an extensive network of 37 countries and over 250 airports in Europe, Ryanair is undoubtedly the first choice for students looking to explore Europe.

You can easily browse and book your flights online at Ryanair.com or on the Ryanair app. Some important things to note:

  • You are only allowed to carry a small 40x20x25cm bag with you. If you need to carry extra luggage, you may add it to your ticket during the booking process or later, for an additional fee.
  • You should check in at least 2 hours before the flight to avoid the 55 euros check-in fee. It is safe to do it before 24 hours, as soon as the online check-in opens.

I have flown with Ryanair on more than six occasions and I am happy with them so far. 

However, I have had one challenging experience flying with RyanAir. Once in 2022, my return trip from Venice was canceled, but they managed to provide us with accommodation for the night. Ryanair later reimbursed my accommodation costs for the two additional days I had to stay in Venice until my next return flight. So, it worked out okay for me, but it must have been really bad for people who had urgent issues to attend to.

Ryanair was ranked in 68th position by Skytrax as one of the World’s Top 100 Airlines in 2023.

Wizz Air

wizzair one of the cheap flights in europe edited

I heard about Wizz Air from a friend from Albania who regularly uses it to travel to his home.

Mostly popular for its extensive routes and connections to destinations in Eastern Europe, Wizz Air can be a great choice for travelers who wish to expand their horizons and travel to Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, or even the Asia-Pacific region. Connecting 50 countries and over 190 airports, Wizz Air provides affordable low-fare flights to Montenegro, Romania, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Greece, and many more countries.

Similar to Ryanair, passengers are allowed to bring one small cabin bag with maximum dimensions of 40x30x20 cm. Additional luggage can be added to your booking for an additional price during your reservation process or afterward.

Wizz Air boasts its pride in having 150+ aircraft with an average age of less than 5 years, which I find highly convincing.

Wizz Air was ranked in 87th position by Skytrax as one of the World’s Top Airlines in 2023.


cheap flights in europe easyjet

EasyJet is another budget airline to make the list. Flying to 36 countries and 55 airports, their mission is “to make low-cost travel easy and connect people to what they love.”

One standout point where EasyJet is popular among travelers is its customer service. The airline’s high emphasis on punctuality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction could be a good reason to explore flight options in Europe with EasyJet.

You can check for flights and book them directly via their website or mobile app. I found their flight booking interface a bit overwhelming, which might be a hassle for travelers to navigate.

EasyJet was ranked in 65th position by Skytrax as one of the World’s Top Airlines in 2023.

Low budget airlines in Europe


volotea cheap flights in europe edited

Awarded as The Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe 2023 by Skytrax, Volotea is slowly gaining popularity among travelers as one of the best budget airlines to fly with. Based in Spain, Volotea flies to 110 cities in 18 European countries.

What I like about the airline is the Megavolotea membership. For a membership fee of 59.99 euros per year, you get the following benefits:

  • Receive €20 on Volotea credit on your birthdays,
  • Receive €10 discount on your flights, 
  • Bring your 10kg cabin bag for free (if limited storage space, they will check it in for you for free),
  • If you travel with friends, up to four travel companions will receive the same benefits as you do, 
  • Up to seven days before the flight, you get unlimited flight changes for no additional cost, and a lot more.

Based on what I found, I am really looking forward to flying with Volotea, as it promises to be a top-notch airline.

Vueling was ranked in 54th position by Skytrax as one of the World’s Top Airlines in 2023.


cheap flights in europe eurowings

Eurowings is one of the biggest low-cost airlines in Europe, founded in Dortmund, Germany. A subsidiary of Lufthansa Airlines, Eurowings flies to over 50 countries and more than 100 airports.

I found the booking interface of Eurowings really smooth and intuitive. Similar to other low-cost airlines, Eurowings flights start at a standard base price, and passengers can select add-ons for additional services they require, like luggage, legroom, and window seats.

Through Eurowings, flights to Germany are cheaper compared to other destinations in Europe, so book your way to taste the amazing bakeries and beers of Germany.

Eurowings was ranked in 79th position by Skytrax as one of the World’s Top Airlines in 2023.

Vueling Airlines

Vueling cheap flights in europe

Vueling is a Spanish airline that offers good flight connections and flies to 43 countries in Europe. The fares are comparatively cheaper if you are flying from and within Spain.

I have never flown with Vueling, but the option to fly within Spain for as low as 10 Euros is something I might try in the future. This could be a cost-effective way for travelers to explore various regions of Spain.

Vueling was ranked in 61st position by Skytrax as one of the World’s Top Airlines in 2023.


pegasus budget airlines in europe edited

Pegasus offers insanely low flight costs if you are looking to travel from Europe to Turkey. Just imagine, you can get a round-trip ticket from Central Europe to Turkey for less than 150 Euros. Does it not make you dream of the Cappadocian hot-air balloons?

Pegasus also follows the standard low-fare policy where they include a small cabin bag with the booking but charge additional fees for the add-on services you require. Pegasus flies to 49 countries and 130 destinations.

Budget airlines in Europe


transavia budget airlines in europe

Transavia is a low-cost Dutch airline that flies to over 110 destinations all over the world. The airline, part of the Air France-KLM group, mainly flies to scheduled summer and winter travel destinations.

The airline could be perfect for people living in or near the Netherlands, as most of the routes are available from the airports in Amsterdam, Rotterdam/The Hague, and Eindhoven.

Norwegian Air Shuttle

budget airlines in europe norwegian air

Norwegian Air Shuttle is a great low-budget airline in Europe, highly regarded for its brilliant customer service. 

The prices are surely not as low as Ryanair or Wizz Air, but if you are flying to and from the Nordic countries and want to enjoy a bit of a premium low-budget experience, Norwegian could be a good choice for you. They fly to over 121 destinations all over Europe.

Norwegian Air was ranked in 98th position by Skytrax as one of the World’s Top Airlines in 2023.


budget airlines in europe airbaltic

Dreaming of a trip to Scandinavia? Airbaltic can be a convenient choice for budget-conscious travelers looking for good flight deals to and within Scandinavia. Airbaltic flies to over 70 destinations in Baltic countries, Europe, and the Middle East.

Airbaltic made headlines in 2017 as the first airline to accept Bitcoin payments.

While the flight costs on Airbaltic may be a bit on the higher side, keep an eye out for deals and sales where you might be able to score a brilliant deal at a low cost.

AirBaltic was ranked in 61st position by Skytrax as one of the World’s Top Airlines in 2023. Airbaltic also received the award of The Best Airlines in Eastern Europe 2023 by Skytrax.

Advice on booking with budget airlines in Europe

You should do proper research on the destination airport. Many airports that budget airlines (especially Ryanair) fly to are farther from the main city, so you will have to take shuttle buses to reach your destination. You should consider the additional costs that incur from the flight ticket and decide the best value option for you.

Carefully choose the arrival and departure times. Because of the low-cost options, flight times are often difficult, such as departures at 5:30 AM or arrivals at 11:30 PM. You would not want to spend a whole night in an airport because there is no transport connection, like I did once, so it is advisable to be careful in this regard.

How to find cheap flights in Europe?

You should research smartly to find the best value flights for your travels. Different airports have different prices. Just a recent example, we flew from Memmingen to Dubrovnik for 32 euros round trip, while the same trip from Cologne/Bonn airport would have cost us at least 80 euros.

Important things to keep in mind before booking are to understand how demands work. Flights on public holidays are expensive. Flights on weekends are expensive. Flights to beaches in summer are expensive. You get the point.

Now, there’s a way to tweak that in your favor. Flights to the beachside from November to April might be cheaper. Flights departing on Monday might be cheaper. Flights from and to smaller airports might be cheaper.

There’s always a gap, and researching meticulously during the booking process will help you find good flight deals for you.

Additionally, I use Azair.com to get an idea of the low-cost destinations during the month I’m planning my vacation. I give the input and see the low-cost options and choose the one that is suitable for me. Keep your destinations flexible, and you will find flight deals that won’t break your bank.

Photo courtesies: RyanAir, Wizz Air, EasyJet, Volotea, Eurowings, Vueling, Pegasus, Transavia, Norwegian, Airbaltic

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I love traveling and I love writing about it. It's my sincere hope that through my content, you will find some helpful information and inspiration for your own travels. :)

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