No-frills carrier Ryanair made the news this year by announcing the launch of transatlantic flights starting at just $15. It's a deal that sounds much too good to be true, and indeed, that $15 price tag fails to factor in the passenger taxes ($200 or so) and other fees like luggage and seat selection.
Rest assured, though: If you're looking to explore Europe on the cheap, whether you prefer the icy fjords of Scandinavia or the warm Mediterranean landscapes of Portugal, it's possible to find round trips in the $400-700 range. To help you on your way there, Hopper crunched the numbers for you and come up with a list of the five budget airlines offering the very best deals on Europe flights. Enjoy!
5. Turkish Airlines
Turkey's flag carrier is definitely the best option for U.S. residents eager to explore the busy souks, centuries-old mosques, and traditional baths of its vibrant capital. Sample round-trip fares to Istanbul include $763 departing from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, $692 departing from Boston's Logan International Airport, and just $645 departing from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. And as the fourth-largest carrier in the world, Turkish Airlines serve hundreds of destinations all over the world, including dozens in North America. This means that no matter where you live, it won't be hard to find some great deals.
4. SATA International
Based in the volcanic islands of the Azores, SATA International offer flights to the Madeira Islands and mainland Portugal as well as to other destinations in Europe and North America. Boston residents in particular can find some great options for round trips to destinations in Portugal, up to $200 cheaper than other airlines' offerings! For instance, round trips from Boston to Lisbon's sunny beaches and white limestone buildings come in at just $622. The Azores are even easier to visit, with round trips as low as $472. And these are direct rates, mind you -- no waiting around in airports needed.
Iceland's spectacular volcanoes, geothermal pools and colorful cityscapes make it a bucket-list topper for many travelers. Residents of Washington D.C., Boston and New York can fly there for as low as $662 round trip, landing in Keflavik International Airport in only about six hours. If Iceland doesn't tempt you, though, Icelandair also offer very affordable round trips to Copenhagen, especially for New York City residents who can hop from JFK to the Gothic spires and towers of Denmark's capital for as low as $581 round trip.
2. Norwegian Air
Travelers interested in Scandinavia should definitely check out Norwegian Air's super-cheap round trips, which include JFK to Stockholm for $546, Orlando to Copenhagen for $529, and JFK to Oslo for just $528. With these rates, you should have plenty of money left over to explore the islands of Stockholm, walk through narrow medieval streets lined with beautiful churches, brush up on Viking history at a variety of museums, or venture further north to see the spectacular aurora borealis.
1. WOW Air
Iceland makes the list twice, this time with a low-cost carrier that describes itself as "the airline with the biggest smile and lowest prices." And there's certainly some truth to that, judging by their rates: Boston residents can find round trips to Reykjavik for as low as $409 and to Dublin for as low as $526, while those living in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area can visit Copenhagen for $459, Reykjavik for $346, and even popular destinations such as Paris or London for $650 to $750 round trip. Not bad at all!
Okay, so Ryanair was totally lying about $15 flights. But that doesn't mean cheap flights to Europe don't exist. The only problem? Finding them. That's where Hopper's new mobile app comes in: Simply download and set up airfare alerts to your preferred European destination. The app will notify you when prices fall, meaning you'll never pay too much on that jaunt to Paris or that journey to London again.
Liked this article? Also check out The Cheapest Time to Fly to Europe and How to Save Over $500 on Flights to Europe This Summer.
This article originally appeared on Hopper.com.