The Best Airports In Europe, According To Traveler Reviews

The European continent has hundreds of airports and boasts some of the busiest airfields in the world. From the small regional hubs for low-costers like Ryanair and Wizz Air to mega-facilities serving the whole world like Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and London Heathrow, there is a lot to unpack when it comes to air travel in Europe. To provide a list of the best ones, we considered the convenience of getting to the airport, queue management, time at border checks, the clarity of wayfinding, the diversity and accessibility of food and drinks, as well as the overall looks of the terminals.

To determine the quality of these propositions, we're turning to traveler opinions and pulling from personal experience. Reviews on Google Maps are our primary source, as airports are traditionally points of interest that garner thousands of traveler reviews on Google, so it's the most objective source among review sites. Also, our personal experience of traveling through every single airport on the list is taken into account for more nuance. You can find out more about our methodology after first learning why these are the best airports in Europe. 

Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport Porto

Everything operates like clockwork at the second-busiest airport in Portugal. First of all, the access is as hassle-free as it gets. You've got an Aeroporto metro station that takes you straight to the city center in 35 minutes. Then the terminal itself is very spacious, light-filled, and modern. These might be the reasons why Francisco Sá Carneiro is among the best-reviewed airports in Europe, enjoying a high 4.4 Google Maps rating after more than 24,500 reviews. It seems to have all the features that people need.

Porto Airport is frequently praised for its flawless organization in reviews. Queues for passport control and boarding are usually quick, the wayfinding is visitor-friendly and clear, and the spacious design provides room to breathe for everyone. The part of allure is also the fact that the striking UNESCO-protected city core of Porto is very close by and so are the gorgeous Portuguese Atlantic Coast and magical Douro Valley. The airport also offers frequent flights to Hawaii-reminiscent Azores islands and spectacular Madeira.

Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport is enormous. Opened in 2018, it's a feat of engineering with five runways, and the 29.5 square-mile airport welcomed 76 million passengers in 2023. Also, it's very much loved by travelers, with a 4.4 Google Maps rating after a whopping 95,223 reviews. One of the primary reasons for its success is the fact that Istanbul Airport is brand new and built for modernity. You've also got a direct metro link to Kağıthane station in Istanbul, saving you time and nerves on the commute. In a city with 16 million inhabitants, it's a big relief.

Istanbul Airport is also among the most important air hubs in the world. Just like the city it serves, the facility stands as a bridge between Europe and Asia, providing hundreds of domestic connections, acting as a transfer point from European destinations to Asian ones, and operating long-haul flights to other continents. It's a "meeting place of the world," as one reviewer poetically described it. Judging from thousands of positive opinions and after great personal experiences using it, Istanbul Airport succeeds in being a convenient meeting place.

London Heathrow Airport

When it comes to numbers, London Heathrow is at the top. Officially the busiest airport in Europe, according to OAG, it's a microcosm of air travel experiences with more than 61.1 million passengers yearly, four terminals, and 214 destinations served. And, while traditionally it's seen as one of the major European gateways from the U.S. and Canada, you'll be surprised to learn that it's Dubai that headlines among the most popular routes of this airport. Heathrow has truly global positioning, and the airport packs it with a good overall score of 4.0 on Google Maps after 51,000 reviews, which is not bad for being such a mega hub.

While it's a very busy place, Heathrow manages to deliver a very efficient experience. First of all, it's about the straightforward transportation here. You can travel between terminals using the London Underground for free. Then you've also got Heathrow Express, Elizabeth Line, and Piccadilly Line, which will take you quickly to central London. This is definitely a huge forte of Heathrow, and travelers love it. Just as with every big airport hub, a visit to Heathrow requires some preparation for a seamless experience. Once you familiarize yourself with the airport plan and know what terminal you're flying from, it's going to be easy here.

Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport

Sixty million passengers yearly is not a low number, but Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport handles it with grace. One of the major European gates for Latin American destinations, the Spanish capital's hub comes with four terminals, superb transportation, and the second-largest territorial cover in Europe at 7,500 acres. All that being said, you probably won't feel the weight of the numbers during a Madrid–Barajas Airport experience. It's a very well-organized place with effective queue management, a slick design, and plenty of shopping and dining options. On Google Maps, 25,316 reviewers give the airport a 4.1 rating. 

The size is evident, though. Be prepared to walk a lot, especially in the newly built Terminal 4. Still, the moving walkways make navigating it effortless, and there are various accessibility services for travelers who require special assistance. As a primary European point for Latin American routes, Madrid airport serves plenty of transatlantic flights, as well as many domestic and international connections with major airlines.

Munich International Airport

"Excellent," "well-organized," "extremely clean," and "easy to navigate" are a few of the descriptions that reviewers on Google Maps use to describe Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport. Second-busiest in Germany (sorry Frankfurt, 3.9 is not enough for this list), the hub receives a 4.1 rating from 33,000 travelers opinions, making it the best-reviewed airport in Germany. Basically, Munich International Airport is German efficiency in action. Opened in 1992, it has two terminals connected by a modern atrium, two runways, and 30,000 parking spaces.

While serving mostly European routes (with London, Amsterdam, and Paris being the most frequented), Munich Airport is also a continental hub that receives many travelers from such destinations as Dubai, Bangkok, Doha, and Newark. One of the advantages of the airport, the S-Bahn station is right at the terminal, which makes it hassle-free to reach the city center. If you're scheduled for a long layover or stopover, there is also a Hilton and Novotel available onsite, and the MAC (Munich Airport Center) is a shopping and dining space with a supermarket that will come in handy. 

Alicante Airport

Maybe it's because of the charms of Costa Blanca, but people seem to really love Alicante Airport. It's a getaway to the resort towns of Benidorm, Altea, and Calp with only one terminal, convenient wayfinding, modern looks, and rapid queues. It's not as big as other entries on this list, but ALC comes with everything needed for a stress-free journey. On Google Maps, the 4.3 rating proves that, and the 18,000 reviews indicate how busy it is. Alicante Airport is very spacious, boasts big panoramic windows with mountain views, and comes with a variety of food joints and a great duty-free section.

It doesn't come without a downside though. There's no direct train link to either Alicante or Elche (another city the train serves). You can choose between the bus that goes to Alicante's city center or another bus that provides a ride to Luceros station, which serves as an important train-tram hub for trips to the coastal towns of Benidorm and Dénia. Still, the reviewers don't seem to be disappointed by the lack of train connection, as many praised the punctuality of the bus service and the rapid transit to the city center.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

The sheer number of reviews can show you how frequented Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is. With a Google Map rating of 4.0 from 72,000 user opinions, the facility has been reviewed more than Heathrow. That's no wonder; this airport is the third busiest in Europe for international and domestic passenger traffic, with 52.5 million passengers flying to over 250 destinations yearly. What's special is the fact that Schiphol, with all of its impressive statistics, is still an airport with only one terminal. That means that you won't have to wait for buses or trains to move between concourses. On the other hand, some people may find the distances a bit intimidating.

Overall, it's a triumph of a utilitarian approach to air travel with clear signage, minimalist looks, absolute accessibility, and austere design. Schiphol Airport railway station works as a convenient link to both Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands. Also, there are five hotels at the airport in total with two (Mercure and Yotelair) located in the departures wing, meaning you can sleep here after passing through security. Albert Heijn supermarket inside the terminal is also a plus, allowing budget-friendly shopping before flights.

Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport

Let's be honest, Italian airports rarely make the list of the best. They are usually plagued with inconvenient transportation options, a lack of quick train links, and a chaotic boarding experience. But, according to nearly 40,000 reviews on Google Maps, Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport is a 4.2-rated exception, offering an express train to the Eternal City and classy, renovated looks. The capital also has Ciampino Airport, but a lower rating indicates passenger preference. Fiumicino provides an almost exemplary European airport experience, with spacious halls, polite and helpful staff, and straightforward signage.

But it's the train link that makes all the difference. Not only can you reach the stunning historic center of Rome in 32 minutes using the Leonardo Express train right upon exiting the terminals, but the airport station is also connected to the national railway system. Upon arriving in Fiumicino, you can go directly to Venice or Florence without the need to go to the city center and change trains. Another notable feature of the Rome airport is the prevalence of luxury shops. You're in the country of Gucci, Armani, and Salvatore Ferragamo, after all. Coming here, you can indulge in some fashionable shopping.

Warsaw Chopin Airport

Poland's biggest airport greets you with the convenience of the single-terminal concept, clean spaces, painstaking efficiency, as well as a stylish, modern, and minimalist look. These features have gained the airfield a 4.2 average rating on Google Maps from 29,000 reviewers. It's a middle-sized airport with over 290 routes that serves 68 airlines flying to 69 countries. The airport serves as Poland's main air gateway as well as a European hub for Middle-Eastern and Asian destinations. In 2023, its 18 million passengers placed it among the busiest airports in Europe.

You also won't have any issues getting to and from Warsaw Chopin. The airport is served by the Warsaw Metro, taking you directly to the skyscrapers-filled city center at 15-minute intervals. There's also a bus connection and an easy taxi pick-up/drop-off point. Bolt, Uber, and Freenow are also among the most popular rideshare apps that you can use at Warsaw Chopin.

Vienna International Airport

Vienna International Airport pairs a superb location in the heart of Europe with high-class, modern facilities. It's not on the mega-scale like Amsterdam or Paris, though. While there are four terminals, they are all interconnected and you can easily navigate from one to another. The airport serves as a hub for Austrian Airlines, which is Lufthansa's subsidiary, and operates many European and long-haul destinations, including flights to Asia and North America. On Google Maps, the airport receives a 4.2 rating from 35,000 reviewers, with many highlighting the ease of navigation, superb duty-free area, quick lines at the border control, and the great variety of shops and restaurants.

But what Vienna International does really well is transportation. First of all, there's the City Airport Train, a state-of-the-art railway link to Vienna's city center that only takes 16 minutes. Apart from that, there's a rail station with connections to the rest of Austria, where you can hop on the train to such popular destinations as Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Graz, as well as neighboring tourist superstars like Prague and Budapest. Moreover, right at the exit from the terminals, you find the bus station with international routes. In other words, Vienna International Airport is a go-to hub for central European travel.

Riga Airport

Riga Airport is quite a boutique entry for this list, with only 6 million passengers per year, one terminal, and predominantly European destination coverage. Nevertheless, it's among the best-reviewed on Google Maps, with a 4.3-star rating from 11,000 reviewers, and a convenient hub for Northern Europe and beyond. People love the well-organized queue management, modern facilities, and professionalism of the staff. Riga Airport is the main airport for airBaltic, which keeps on growing and adding more and more destinations each year.

The location is also pretty straightforward, as Riga Airport is just six miles from the city center. There's a frequent direct bus that only costs 1.50 EUR one-way. If you want to get to the city quicker, Uber and Bolt are always an option, too, with quite attractive fares to and from the center and airport. Its smaller size also makes it very easy to navigate around the terminal, where you'll find nice food and drink options and quality duty-free shopping.

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos

In recent years, Athens International Airport has become one of the most exciting hubs in Southern Europe. The busiest in the Balkans and one of the 30 busiest in Europe, Athen Airport keeps growing, offering 172 domestic and international routes to  28 million passengers in 2023. It also went through a major renovation in 2017. As the gateway to the spectacular Greek islands, the airport receives a 4.4 rating from almost 40,000 reviewers, placing Athens International among the most highly rated among European airports. The reviewers noted how practical it was, loved the spacious halls, and praised the high level of service.

The presence of a metro station also makes a trip to Athens city center much more convenient. You will need only 40 minutes to reach Syntagma Square and start exploring all the ancient wonders of the Greek capital. There's also a suburban line to both Athens and the port town of Piraeus, where you can hop on a ferry to your particular Greek island.

Zurich Airport

A flight to or from Switzerland usually means taking off and landing surrounded by fairytale-like Alpine landscapes. That is especially true for Zurich Airport, the largest and best-reviewed in the country. The airfield stands in the shadow of the snowy peaks of mountains, the distance to the city center is less than six miles, and the rating on Google is a stellar 4.3 after 23,000 reviews. The design here is functional and minimalistic with three interconnected terminals and the Airside Centre, an atrium-like complex that serves as a central point of the airport.

With a modest 22.5 million passengers yearly, it's far from Europe's busiest. Numbers aside, it's meticulously organized and a well-kept airport with a clear wayfinding system, premier shopping (yes, you can buy legendary Swiss watches, jewelry, and high fashion items from BOSS, Longchamp, and Moncler), and a truly diverse proposition of upscale restaurants. It's a fitting welcome and a classy farewell to the country known for breathtaking vistas, over-the-top de luxe experiences, and culinary delights. You can also try Swiss staples like fondue and raclette at the airport.

Tallinn Airport

With a 4.6 rating on Google Maps, Tallinn Airport receives the highest rating of any major capital airport in Europe. Although the rating is only based on 6,500 reviews, the airport wears its high rating with pride. Overall, it just knows the secret of delivering quality air travel from start to finish, and it's self-described as "The World's Coziest Airport," which is a nice principle to stand by. You definitely wouldn't think of an experience at, say, Heathrow or Schiphol as cozy. Here, it's about the feel-good part of travel. Judging from a plethora of positive reviews, Tallinn Airport succeeds in its mission.

Considering that the whole population of Estonia is about 1.3 million, Tallinn Airport doesn't break any records in size. However, it serves its country well with a single terminal and runway. A secondary base for airBaltic and an important Ryanair airport in Northern Europe, Tallinn Airport flies to mostly European destinations. The beautiful UNESCO-protected medieval center of Tallinn is less than four miles away. You can either take a direct bus for about 2 EUR or opt for a taxi. As a note, Bolt, the popular rideshare app and Europe's main Uber competitor, is from Tallinn. It should become your first transportation option while visiting.


Along with personal experience, we turned to reviews on Google Maps to deliver an objective list of the best airports in Europe. The article includes a diverse set of airports, too, from mega-hubs like Amsterdam Schiphol and London Heathrow to mid-sized superstars like Athens International and Zurich International. We also included some high-rated smaller airports like Riga and Tallinn.

To report facts and figures, we used the official websites of the airports, as well as analytical pages like Statista and Airport Guide. The article aims to accurately describe the air travel experience for every entry on the list, providing insights regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the hubs. Along with assessing airport reviews, our personal experience of traveling through each airport also helped inform our choices.