What are the Best Airports in Europe?

Birmingham Airport

We’re going to take a look at the best airports in Europe according to google passenger ratings. As air traffic continues to return to normal across the continent following the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest reviews helped show which airports have managed to adjust to the new circumstances and which ones haven’t.

Below we look at the top 5 and top 10 best international airports in Europe of those that also rank amongst the 50 busiest European airports for traffic. In cases where two airports have the same overall rating, the one with more reviews ranks higher.

The 5 Best Major Airports in Europe (according to passenger reviews)

1. Porto Airport, Portugal


According to current ratings, the best airport in Europe is in Portugal, in the city of Porto. Located just a few kilometres from the Atlantic Coast, Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport serves both the city itself and wider area which features some of the country’s other major towns and cities including Braga, as well as the large municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia.

The airport is used by the likes of easyJet, Ryanair and TAP Air Portugal, although it is only the third busiest in the country after Lisbon and Faro which serves Portugal’s most popular summer destinations. The vast majority of its connections are regional within Europe and travellers have mostly good things to say about landing in Porto with cheap and easy access to the city centre via metro.

To some extent, the airport is larger than its current needs and it’s usually relatively quick and easy to pass through security which is certainly not the case at a number of European airports currently. Overall, it’s just a really hassle-free airport that is pleasant to travel to/from.

Google Rating: 4.45*

*Porto Airport is listed twice on google for some reason with both attracting a lot of reviews so we’ve taken the average between the two.

2. Istanbul Airport, Turkey

Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport via Arne Müseler, CC BY-SA 4.0

There have been a few major new airports opened in Europe in the past few years. Shiny and new isn’t always better though and some have had teething problems with Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport, opened in 2020, only scoring 3.2 at the time of writing, making it one of the least popular in Europe.

However the new Istanbul Airport, formally opened in 2019, has largely been seen as a success. Located in the Arnavutköy district on the European side of a city which spans two continents, it is already the most used airport in the continent with 37 million passengers in 2021.

Partly thanks to its location on Europe’s border with Asia, Istanbul is also one of the best connected airports in Europe with Turkish Airlines operating a vast network out of the city which stretches far and wide with links to the likes of Tokyo, Beijing, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo. Like many modern airports, it has large commercial areas with a wide selection of shops and restaurants, perfect for a long layover.

Google Rating: 4.4

3. Saint Petersburg Pulkovo Airport, Russia

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Saint Petersburg Pulkovo is one of a number of Russian airports which are no longer getting anywhere near as many international visitors. However it remains an important hub for travellers within Russia with up to 5 million passengers each year travelling between Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

Reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Travellers frequently comment on the modern, stylish design and generally friendly staff. It can take a while to get into the city centre, but those travelling on a budget can take one of the regular buses to the nearby Moskovskaya metro station.

While this is Russia’s second busiest airport at the time of writing and there is only one terminal, Pulkovo is still large enough to cope with the demand and it’s not too much hassle trying to get around the airport to reach your gate.

Google Rating: 4.4

4. Athens Airport, Greece

Athens Airport metro
Athens Airport Metro Station via adamansel52, CC BY 2.0

At number four, Athens Airport is another of the best airports in Europe to fly into. It ticks a lot of the boxes with a manageable size and little drama for passengers on arrival or departure.

The airport scores well despite its somewhat distant location over 30 kilometres from the centre of the Greek capital by road. Fortunately the airport is served by the city’s metro network with connections taking around 40 minutes to reach central neighbourhoods.

Opened in 2001, Athens Airport has already come through two challenging periods which led to a significant reduction in traffic. The first between 2008 and 2013 was the result of Greece’s economic crisis but passenger numbers rose sharply towards the end of the 2010’s before Covid struck and tourism dried up once more.

Google Rating: 4.4

5. Zurich Airport, Switzerland

Zurich is the largest international airport in Switzerland and has been a major entry/exit port into the landlocked country since the middle of the 20th Century. 

Located only 13 kilometres from the centre of the city, Zurich Airport has three terminals linked to a central main airside structure by the Skymetro, an underground people mover. To some extent, this is everything you’d associate with Switzerland with the airport very clean, free wifi, modern lounges and things just working as they should.

There is also the bonus of some spectacular alpine scenery for anyone flying in or out of Zurich.

Google Rating: 4.4

What are the Top 10 Best Airports in Europe in 2022 (of the 50 Busiest)?

Ranking Airport Country Passenger Rating
1 Porto Portugal 4.45
2 Istanbul Turkey 4.4
3 Saint Petersburg Pulkovo Russia 4.4
4 Athens Greece 4.4
5 Zurich Switzerland 4.4
6 Moscow Domodedovo Russia 4.3
7 Moscow Sheremetyevo Russia 4.3
8 Alicante Spain 4.3
9 Munich Germany 4.2
10 Palma de Mallorca Spain 4.2

The top 10 best airports in Europe right now according to passenger ratings are completed by two Moscow airports, two Spanish airports and Munich in Germany. The latter is widely complemented for its architecture and design and considered by some to be the most beautiful airport in Europe.

Moscow Sheremetyevo and Moscow Domodedovo are two of the largest international airports in Europe and both have good ratings but like Saint Petersburg, it may be some time before traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels with Russia currently viewed as something of a pariah state.

It’s a different story in Alicante and Palma de Mallorca which both attracted huge numbers of visitors again during the summer of 2022 and are reasonably well liked airports by most travellers.

This post on the best airports in Europe was published in September 2022 with ratings accurate as of then.



What are the Best Airports in Europe?

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