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Travel news and advice

Cheap flights to Europe in 2018: trips from Hong Kong to top European cities even cheaper this summer than last year

Ten Hong Kong-Europe cheap flight bargains you can profit from, with prices a lot lower than last year, according to travel search engine Kayak. What are you waiting for?

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 May, 2018, 8:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 May, 2018, 10:00am

Long-haul trips from Hong Kong to Europe are more affordable in 2018 than last year, according to travel search engine Kayak.

Its research show that trips to Istanbul this summer can be up to 70 per cent cheaper than they were at the same time last year, those to Prague 51 per cent cheaper, and those to Milan, Vienna, Munich, Manchester and Athens all 20-30 per cent cheaper.

Are Hong Kong travellers’ go-to European destinations changing? It seems so, at least for 2018, with Moscow, Manchester, Zurich and Amsterdam all experiencing increases in flight searches from Hong Kong of at least 129 per cent.

“Airlines are increasing frequency of direct flights from Hong Kong, and they are offering more promotions to Hong Kong travellers,” said Amy Wei, vice-president, Asia-Pacific of Kayak.

“We are glad to see from our data that Hongkongers are keen to explore destinations that are further out for new travel experiences,” said Wei. “If well planned, travelling to Europe can be affordable and easy.”

Kayak's average trip price is based on a return economy flight plus five nights in a three-star hotel. Its research was based on searches originating from Hong Kong for economy return flights for travel between May and the end of August 2018.

In no particular order, here are some ideas for this summer, including trending and newly affordable destinations in Europe for Hongkongers:

1 – Istanbul, Turkey

Interest in trips to Istanbul dropped after a gun and bomb attack on the city’s Ataturk airport in June 2016. Two years on, it is still the most affordable destination in Europe to reach from Hong Kong, with an average flight price of HK$5,203, and an average trip cost of HK$8,557. That is 70 per cent cheaper than last year.

2 – Moscow, Russia

Kayak's research suggests that interest in the city of the Kremlin, Red Square and St Basil's Cathedral is booming, with a massive 200 per cent rise in flight searches. This is not surprising, as Russia is hosting the soccer World Cup from 14 June to 15 July 2018.

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If you're not a soccer fan, avoid Russia during this time, when the average flight price of HK$4,173 and trip price of HK$13,767 is likely to be considerably higher.

3 – Prague, Czech Republic

Like Istanbul, Prague is not among the top 10 most searched for destinations of Hongkongers, but travel to the Czech capital is 51 per cent cheaper than last year.

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“Prague as a travel destination is noticeably cheaper not just because of lower flight prices, but also because of lower average hotel prices, which makes it an attractive starting point for a wider Europe trip too,” says Wei. She says people are searching more for three-star hotels and less for five-star hotels this summer in Prague. The average flight price is HK$4,368, with the average trip cost HK$9,672.

4 – Milan, Italy

Interest in Europe's fashion capital has risen, with 32 per cent growth in flight searches from Hong Kong compared to last year. The Italian Grand Prix, which takes place from August 31-September 2, 2018, is certain to push up the HK$5,729 average price for a flight and HK$10,994 average price for a five-day trip. Don’t miss its Quadrilatero d'Oro (“rectangle of gold”) if it’s luxury shopping you are after.

5 – Vienna, Austria

This graceful city on the Danube River, famed for its imperial palaces and museums, is 28 per cent cheaper to get to this year. The average flight price is HK$5,554, with the average trip cost HK$11,404.

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6 – Munich, Germany

One of Europe’s best shopping streets for designer stores, Maximilianstrasse, is one reason to visit this city, gateway to the Bavarian Alps. Another is its famous gardens and, for lovers of beer halls and bratwurst, its Oktoberfest (which this year runs from September 22 to October 7). A return flight from Hong Kong will set you back HK$6,353 on average, with a five-day trip costing HK$11,735. That is 24 per cent cheaper than last year.

7 – Manchester, UK

Home to the BBC, the excellent National Football Museum, and soccer’s Premier League Champions and runners-up (Manchester City and Manchester United), the UK's second city has seen interest from Hongkongers in flights and trips increase by a huge 152 per cent compared to 2017. Travellers can get there from Hong Kong for an average of HK$5,710, with t he average trip costing 2 per cent less than in 2017, at HK$11,989.

8 – Athens, Greece

If sprawling Athens isn't on your bucket list, your bucket list needs a rewrite. The fifth century BC Acropolis and Parthenon are jaw droppers. The Greek capital can be visited for five nights for an average of HK$12,074. The average cost of a flight from Hong Kong is HK$5,132.

9 – Zürich, Switzerland

Like Hong Kong, Zürich is a global centre for banking and finance. The city, with its Michelin-starred restaurants and with easy access to boating on Lake Zürich is also close to the Alps. Swiss International Airlines’ frequent online promotions on direct flight routes has led to a 150 per cent rise in flight searches for Zürich. The average price of a flight to Zürich from Hong Kong is also only HK$4,766 – lower than most – with the average trip costing HK$12,410.

10 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Four cities have seen massive growth in terms of searches for flights from Hong Kong, and although not quite as popular as Moscow, Manchester and Zürich, Amsterdam has still seen a 129 per cent increase in flight searches by Hongkongers.

The average cost of a flight to this city of concentric canals, cycle paths and Anne Frank’s House is HK$4,376 – also reasonably low – with a five-day trip costing HK$13,229. KLM has been conducting frequent online promotions on its direct flight routes, while Scandinavian airlines like Finnair have been promoting routes to Amsterdam with stopovers in Scandinavian cities.