Flights to Europe Are Cheaper Than They've Been in Years — Here's How to Find the Best Deals

 If you've been waiting for bargain fares to Spain, Italy, or Portugal, your time is now.

It's cheaper to travel between the U.S. and Europe than it has been in five years, according to the latest data from the flight booking app Hopper.

The average price for a round-trip flight between the U.S. and Europe dropped 15% in September to $565, according to Hopper's data. On average, fares rarely fall below $700, Hopper says.

Flight prices typically dip at this time of year, but these fares are low even by historical and pandemic standards. In March 2020, when airfares plummeted as countries around the world began closing their borders amid the pandemic, average fares between the U.S. and Europe were $750, according to Hopper.

Tourists walk through the streets of the capital of the island.
Robert Michael/picture alliance via Getty Images

But right now, with a patchwork of COVID-19 containment measures emerging across the continent, several of Europe's most popular cities are on sale.

Average fares to Madrid, for example, are down 31% from their summer peak to $427, making the Spanish capital — which is also among the top-searched European destinations on Hopper — the cheapest European gateway for U.S. travelers. Of course, it's not the only bargain you'll find for fall travel. Round-trip fares to Barcelona are down 26% to $487. Meanwhile, fares to Lisbon are down 15% to $457, and flights to Iceland can be had for an average of $505 round-trip.

Both Spain and Iceland have reopened their borders to vaccinated travelers from the U.S. Portugal is allowing travel from the U.S. with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel.

Prefer Rome? You can expect to pay $526 for your round-trip flight, down 30% from the summer of 2021 and 2019. But remember, you'll need proof of vaccination to visit bars, restaurants, and all of the other attractions that make Italy so magical. Unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. also are required to quarantine when they arrive in Italy.

The steepest price drops Hopper found are for flights to Helsinki, Finland, which now come in at an average of $518, down 41% from this summer and 36% from the summer of 2019. Finland is requiring all foreign travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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