So many people think that flying across the Atlantic is always incredibly expensive. The thought of buying flights to Germany deters many people, as they think these flights will likely cost thousands of dollars. As someone who has done it quite a few times and never paid more than $1,000, I can assure you that affordable flight options exist. You just need to know where to look! If you read my post about finding cheap airfare, you should know by now that there are several things you can do to cut that airfare by more than 50%.
One of my favorite tips in that post is to try using hub airports.
What Is a Hub Airport?
I use the definition more loosely than some people, but I consider a hub airport to be an airport that hosts a massive traffic of flights on a daily basis. These airports will not be in small towns, and are often several hours apart from each other on the ground. However, taking the time to get to a hub airport can save you hundreds of dollars and several hours of flight time. If you’re wondering “What airport should I fly into in Germany?” this post is for you!
This post contains a list of the best airports to look at when you are thinking of booking a flight to Germany, considering both price and geographic location within Germany. While the cities in many European countries tend to be concentrated in one area of the country, Germany is not this way. The best cities to visit in Germany are all very far spread out throughout the country. However, if you are flexible on what city you fly into, your options will open up greatly and the airfare could plummet. If you are set to the idea of only going to Hamburg, for example, then your choices may be a bit limited. However, if you know you want to visit several cities in Germany, being flexible as to the order of them can be a major money saver.
Without further ado, here’s my list of the best airports in Germany for cheap airfare.
1. Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
The best airport for international passengers to choose in Germany is undoubtedly Frankfurt. Frankfurt Airport is the busiest airport in all of Germany by almost double, meaning that it will usually have great flight options to and from anywhere in the world. It serves as Lufthansa’s main hub, too, which means most Lufthansa flights from around the world that have a connection connect in Frankfurt.
It is a bit shocking that Frankfurt Airport is so big, to be honest. Frankfurt is a relatively small city, and is only the fifth-largest in the country. While it is certainly important to Germany as a financial hub, Frankfurt is less than half the size of the next city on this list. Still, its central location in Germany coupled with its extensive list of direct flights make Frankfurt the best airport to fly into in Germany by a wide margin.
From Frankfurt, you can get to Paris in about 5 hours on the train, Munich and Brussels in 3.5 hours on the train, and Cologne and Dusseldorf in 1.5 hours on the train.
2. Munich Airport (MUC)
If you are hoping to go anywhere in southern Germany, you’re in luck. The second best airport to fly into in Germany is Munich Airport. Munich is the third-largest city in Germany, but it has the country’s second busiest airport. Located in the heart of Bavaria, Munich is one of the top destinations in Germany in and of itself. Munich serves as Lufthansa’s second hub, meaning that pretty much any Lufthansa flight with a connection that isn’t Frankfurt probably connects in Munich.
Munich is a bit distant from many other German cities, but it is easily one of the best cities to visit in Germany, anyway. Its proximity to Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland also makes it a great city to visit in addition to these other countries. If you fly into Munich, you can get to Zurich and Frankfurt in 3.5 hours on the train, Berlin in just over 4 hours on the train, and Prague in about 5 hours on the bus.
3. Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER)
Berlin is Germany’s capital and its biggest city by a very wide margin. One could expect Berlin’s airport to be high on this list, and it is! Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) is a brand new airport that just opened in 2020. This airport instantly became one of the biggest and most important airports in Germany, and it replaced the two smaller airports that had been serving Berlin since before the Cold War. Berlin’s new airport is currently the third busiest airport in the country, and its volume of flights is expected to grow as more airlines begin developing routes into it.
Berlin is a bit disconnected from the rest of Germany in terms of distance. As I mentioned earlier, Germany’s main cities are all very spread apart, and Berlin sits up in the northeastern part of the country. Still, if you are planning on visiting Berlin at any point in your trip, it may make sense to use this airport either for your arriving flight or your departing flight. From Berlin, you can get to Hamburg in less than two hours on the train, Prague in 4.5 hours on the bus, and Munich in about 4 hours on the train.
4. Dusseldorf Airport (DUS)
Dusseldorf is a fairly large city in Germany’s northwestern corner, just a stone’s throw away from Cologne. While Cologne is a significantly larger city, Dusseldorf Airport has a big edge over its neighbor in terms of flight options and airport quality. Dusseldorf Airport is the fourth busiest airport in all of Germany, and it is easily the best airport to fly into if you want a convenient flight into northwestern Germany.
From Dusseldorf, you can get to Cologne in 30 minutes by train, Hamburg in under 4 hours by train, Amsterdam in about 2 hours by train, Frankfurt in about 1.5 hours by train, and Brussels in about 2.5 hours by train. While Frankfurt is probably going to offer you much cheaper flights to Germany and is only 1.5 hours away from most of these cities, choosing Dusseldorf can eliminate that need for a train.
5. Hamburg Airport (HAM)
Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city, and it is located way up in the northern part of the country. Hamburg’s airport is Germany’s fifth busiest, earning it the last spot on this list. Hamburg is pretty far away from most of Germany’s other big cities, making this airport a bit less convenient if you want to anywhere other than Hamburg. Still, Hamburg is a very enjoyable city when the weather cooperates, and you will likely find a decent flight option into this airport if you do some legwork.
As I just mentioned, Hamburg is way up in the northern part of the country. It really isn’t that close to any other major German cities. Cologne and Dusseldorf can be reached in around 4 hours on the train, Copenhagen can be reached in a bit over 5 hours on the train, and Berlin can be reached in under 2 hours on the train. If you are looking for a convenient city to fly into just for the sake of cheaper airfare, Hamburg is probably not going to be the best option.
Not every airport in Germany can make the list! However, depending where you are going, there may be other airports that are great options for you. While the list above geographically covers Germany pretty comprehensively (one airport in the north, one in the south, etc.) there are four other airports that could be decent options for you if you happen to be headed to an area near one of them. There is a pretty steep drop off between the first five and these next four, but you never know what flight options there will be!
Thanks for reading my post on the best airports to fly into in Germany for cheap airfare! I hope that this post helped you to plan your trip. At the end of the day, keep in mind that Germany is smaller than California in terms of square mileage, so most of these airports are fairly close to each other – at least compared to a place like the United States.
Being flexible about the airport that you fly into is a great way to save money, and you really don’t need to inconvenience yourself much, either.