Best Places in Europe for Planespotting

Split Airport

Split Airport, also known as Resnik Airport, is a premier destination for plane spotters in Europe, especially popular among tourists. In 2018, it served 3.1 million passengers and has been witnessing a rapid increase in footfall, with a yearly growth of 10-20%. While the airport is relatively quiet in winter, it bustles with activity during the summer months, crowded with charter flights bringing holidaymakers. The airport sees a mix of traffic from airlines like Croatia Airlines, easyJet, SAS, and various European charter carriers such as Jet2, Lauda, and TUI. Additionally, low fare airlines like Easyjet, Germanwings, and Norwegian are commonly spotted here.

For plane spotting, the best time to visit Split Airport is between July and September due to the higher number of charter flights. The airport offers several vantage points for spotting, including a terrace in the old terminal which provides good views of the airfield. Spotters should be aware of security patrols around the airport's perimeter and maintain a respectful distance from the fence and crash gates to avoid being asked to leave. The airport's new terminal, opened in 2019, features a 15x15m viewing area in the Kupola Restaurant, offering clear views of the apron, runway, and taxiways.

Munich Airport Visitors Park

Munich Airport, renowned for its status as the second busiest airport in Germany, is a haven for plane spotters. The airport is frequented by a diverse range of airlines from Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. Particularly bustling in the summer with holiday charter flights, Munich Airport also sees increased activity in winter due to ski tourists. The freight sector at the airport is active, with cargo jets like Maersk, UPS, DHL, FedEx, and Air Bridge Cargo making appearances in the early mornings and evenings. Additionally, the airport showcases a variety of modern aircraft, including Emirates' A380, ANA, Qatar Airways, and Lufthansa's A350 and A380.

For plane spotters, Munich Airport offers various spots around its perimeter for optimal viewing. Spots are accessible by a combination of public transport and walking. Spot 5, for instance, is a popular location for capturing 08L arrivals and departures and 26L heavy departures. Although some areas are temporarily closed or restricted, many spots remain open, offering diverse views of the airport's operations. The airport's layout, with numerous vantage points along the fence, makes it an ideal destination for aviation enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Gibraltar International Airport

Gibraltar International Airport (GIB/LXGB), uniquely situated in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar at the Strait of Gibraltar, offers a distinctive planespotting experience. This civilian and military airport is renowned for its runway intersecting Winston Churchill Avenue, the only road connecting Gibraltar to Spain's La Linea de la Conception. Spotting is made more exciting by the frequent closing of this road for aircraft movements, creating queues of vehicles and pedestrians. With strong winds from the Rock of Gibraltar, landings on the short runway are particularly challenging, especially in winter. The airport, serving predominantly flights to and from the UK with EasyJet and British Airways as major carriers, is also used by 60% of passengers traveling to Spain. The new terminal, opened in 2011, can handle up to 1.5 million passengers annually, and a new road tunnel under the runway is under construction to replace the current road crossing.

Several unique spotting locations are available, including the Great Siege Tunnels Entrance and the Military Heritage Centre, offering views from different angles. However, access to some areas, like the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, Upper Rock, requires payment of a fee or a guided tour. Spotting opportunities are also available at Eastern and Western Beaches, providing a relaxed environment to observe aircraft movements. Spotter-friendly hotels like the Holiday Inn Express offer rooms with runway views, enhancing the planespotting experience in Gibraltar.

Unique Planespotting in Barra

Ort der VeranstaltungBarra

Barra Airport in the United Kingdom offers an extraordinary planespotting experience, featuring the world's only scheduled landing on a beach. Located on the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, the airport utilizes a large, wide beach at the northern end of the island as its runway, operational only when the tide is out. The small terminal on the shore manages the limited number of passengers and freight. Flights to Barra from Glasgow are operated by Loganair, Scotland's national airline, typically using DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. The flight offers breathtaking views of Scotland’s coastline and islands, culminating in the unique experience of landing on the sandy runway of Barra Beach. For aviation enthusiasts, the beach landing at Barra is a must-try experience, combining stunning scenery with a one-of-a-kind aviation event.

Visitors to Barra can explore the island during their stay, with the main town of Castlebay situated about 9 miles from the airport. The airport's café serves as a cozy spot for refreshments, offering views across the beach. The island itself is known for its picturesque beaches and beautiful coastline, making it an ideal destination for both aviation enthusiasts and nature lovers. For those wishing to experience this unique flight without staying on the island, Loganair offers a special day return option, allowing a full day of exploration and planespotting.

Mach Loop

Ort der VeranstaltungMachynlleth

The Mach Loop, also known as LFA7, is a series of valleys in West-Central Wales, frequented by the Air Force for low-level training, sometimes as low as 76 meters (250 feet). It's important for visitors to be aware of the private nature of this area and to respect the local community, police, and farmers. Aircraft commonly seen in this area include various models from the UK Royal Air Force like Airbus A400M, Texan, Hawk, C130, and F35, as well as the United States Air Force's F15 and F35. On average, 2-5 movements can be observed on a good day, with variance in frequency and volume.

For those new to LFA7, several websites provide valuable guidance. Spotters can choose from several spots like Lower Bwlch and Upper Bwlch, offering different perspectives for aircraft photography. However, visitors are advised to follow the guidelines strictly to avoid inconveniencing locals. While the Mach Loop offers a unique planespotting experience, it's crucial to remember that aircraft sightings are unpredictable.

Skiathos Runway End

Ort der VeranstaltungSkiathos

Skiathos Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport, known as the 'Sint Maarten of Europe', is a gem for plane spotters. Located on a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea, this airport is particularly famous for its close proximity to the landing aircrafts. The runway, barely 1,600 meters long, is flanked by the sea and a small road, providing unique spotting opportunities. While it primarily handles a few daily flights to Athens, the airport sees a surge in seasonal charter flights during July and August. Visitors can expect to see aircraft from carriers like TUI, Condor, Volotea, SAS, and others. There's no cargo or military activity at Skiathos, ensuring a focus on commercial and charter flights.

The most popular spot for plane spotting is the harbor and car park area at the southern end of the runway, where spotters can stand directly under landing aircraft for an exhilarating experience. With the short runway, the largest aircraft you'll typically see are Boeing 757s. For departures, the turning circle at the runway end offers close views. The Amaretto snack bar cafe near the runway end is a popular hangout for spotters, equipped with a large TV screen showing Flightradar24 and selling 'I survived the Skiathos jet blast' souvenirs. Accessibility is convenient, with a short walk from the terminal or a quick bus ride from Skiathos town.

Frankfurt Autobahn Viewing Platform

Frankfurt Autobahn Viewing Platform offers an unparalleled experience for plane spotters. Frankfurt Rhein/Main Airport, handling over 69.5 million passengers in 2018, stands as one of the busiest and most popular airports for plane spotting globally. Situated in the heart of Europe, it is a central hub for Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners, along with Condor. The airport is bustling during peak times, especially in the early morning, noon, afternoon, and evening, with a mix of intercontinental and North American flights. Additionally, it serves as a significant cargo airport.

The airport features three official viewing platforms and a visitor terrace at Terminal 2, making it a haven for plane spotting enthusiasts. The platforms offer excellent views of departures and arrivals, with the best times for spotting being early mornings and evenings. Spotting is well-tolerated by local authorities, and for those seeking an up-close experience, apron bus tours are available.

London Heathrow Myrtle Avenue

Myrtle Avenue, located near London Heathrow Airport, is an iconic spot for plane spotting, particularly for Runway 27L arrivals. The field at the end of Myrtle Avenue offers an outstanding view as aircraft pass just 40 feet above the ground, making it a haven for photographers and aviation enthusiasts alike. This location is most effective from 9 am until sundown in winter and 9 am till 6 pm in summer. The accessibility from Hatton Cross tube/bus station adds to its convenience, making it a popular spot, frequented by 5 to 10 spotters daily and sometimes as many as 80. Security concerns are minimal here, and it's rare to have any visits by security officials.

Photography opportunities are abundant at Myrtle Avenue, with 100mm lenses typically sufficient for capturing a 737 in full frame, and 50mm for larger aircraft like the 747-400 or A340-600. This spot is notable for the sudden appearance of aircraft from behind rooftops, offering an exhilarating experience for spotters. Its popularity is due to the unobstructed views it provides, along with the excitement of seeing aircraft descend at close quarters. Myrtle Avenue is a must-visit for anyone keen on plane spotting in London.

Madeira Runway Overlook

Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport in Madeira, Portugal, is renowned for its unique and challenging approach, making it a top spot for plane spotting. Situated 15 km northeast of Funchal, the airport is surrounded by the ocean on the south and mountains on the north, creating spectacular views for both spotters and photographers. The mild climate of Madeira attracts a steady flow of European tourists, along with numerous charter flights primarily from the UK, Germany, and France. The main carriers serving the airport include TAP and Easyjet, along with Binter Canarias providing daily shuttles to Porto Santo. The airport's unique geographical features and the variety of aircraft it accommodates make it a must-visit location for aviation enthusiasts.

For the best plane spotting experience, the airport offers several vantage points, including the Santa Cruz area with hotels like Hotel Vila Galé and Santa Cruz Village Hotel, offering great views of final approaches. Local transportation such as taxis is recommended to reach more distant spots, with fares being quite reasonable. Additionally, the airport's outdoor observation deck provides excellent runway views. For those looking to explore beyond the airport, there are numerous spots along the coast where one can capture stunning shots of aircraft against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and the towering runway pillars.

Hamburg Finkenwerder Planespotting Hill

Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport, primarily known for its Airbus production plant, is a unique planespotting destination in Europe. This exclusive airport for Airbus in Finkenwerder is a hub for witnessing test flights and deliveries of newly produced aircraft, including the rare liveries from around the globe. One can also spot the Airbus Beluga aircraft used for transporting parts between Airbus production plants. The airport's unpredictable schedule makes every visit a surprise; some days are packed with activity, while others are quieter. Visiting on a workday is recommended as weekends typically see less traffic. The airport starts its operations around 9 AM, and the level of activity can vary throughout the day.

Planespotting at Hamburg Finkenwerder is enhanced by various strategic locations around the airport. The Planespotting Hill provides excellent views of the runways and is ideal for capturing takeoffs and landings. However, spotters are advised to maintain a distance from the fence due to the installation of infrared sensors. With its rich history and the role it plays in modern aviation manufacturing, Hamburg Finkenwerder offers a unique experience for aviation enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Coningsby Royal Air Force Base

Ort der VeranstaltungConingsby

Coningsby Royal Air Force Base, located in Lincolnshire near the village of Coningsby, is a top destination for plane spotters in Europe. Known as the RAF's primary Typhoon station, Coningsby plays a crucial role as the Southern QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) station. It also houses the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), making it a unique spot for viewing a variety of aircraft including Typhoon T.3s, FGR.4s, Lancaster, Spitfires, and Hurricanes. The BBMF hangar, open to the public on weekdays, adds to the appeal for aviation enthusiasts. Spotting is optimal on weekdays between 9AM and 6PM, with a high chance of witnessing Typhoons performing overshoots or rollers before landing.

Approach to Coningsby offers multiple viewing points, including a designated area near the BBMF hangar (Point A) and another along the approach line for runway 07 (Point B), offering excellent photography opportunities. Visitors should note that respectful behavior towards the local environment, including avoiding damage to fences and crops, is essential. The base's rich history and the variety of aircraft it hosts, combined with its strategic location, make it a prime spot for plane spotting in Europe.

Madrid Mound

Madrid Airport, the busiest in Spain, is a haven for plane spotters, particularly known for its diverse traffic including carriers from Europe, South America, and more. The airport is a hub for Iberia, Air Europa, and several low-cost carriers, and also serves unique aircraft like Cubana's IL-96. With its expansive area, spotting can be challenging, requiring movement across the airport and high focal length lenses (100-400mm recommended). The best spots, like the Western and Eastern bridges, offer views of various runway movements and are accessible by foot from nearby hotels.

Popular spots include the vicinity of the cargo area, although access may sometimes be restricted. The 'Mound' provides excellent views of taxiing aircraft and the lineup at Terminal 4. It can be reached by public transport via Barajas Metro Station, followed by a short walk. However, facilities like restrooms and shade are limited, so visitors should come prepared. The Mound area is particularly suitable for photographing aircraft taxiing or using the runways, with the possibility of capturing Iberia's fleet and other regular visitors.

Copenhagen Flyvergrillen

Copenhagen Kastrup Airport, a hub for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), is an excellent spot for plane spotting, especially at the popular Flyvergrillen site. This location, known for its café and burger bar, offers fantastic views of Runway 22R/04L. It's ideal for afternoon photography, capturing aircraft on short finals or taxiing. Spot 3, once a favored spot, has been partially obstructed by an An-2 aircraft installation, making serious photography challenging, though not impossible. Spot 6 has evolved into a cargo-only area with limited public access. Despite these changes, the Flyvergrillen remains a top choice due to its convenient location and the range of aircraft it presents, including rare finds like the Air Greenland A330.

Access to Flyvergrillen is facilitated by a 30-minute walk from Terminal 3 or by taking Bus 35. For those driving, parking is available on-site. Alternative spots like spot 1 and 2 are also recommended, particularly when Runway 22 is active. The airport's diverse traffic, including carriers like Norwegian, Ryanair, and easyJet, alongside its geographic position, makes it a unique spot for plane enthusiasts. The quality of plane spotting at Copenhagen Kastrup Airport, especially at Flyvergrillen, makes it a must-visit location in Europe.

Amsterdam Schiphol

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (IATA: AMS, ICAO: EHAM) is the largest airport in the Netherlands and is renowned as one of the most spotter-friendly airports in Europe. Schiphol serves as a hub for numerous airlines including Delta Airlines, Easyjet, KLM, Transavia, TUI Netherlands, and Vueling, and hosts flights to every continent except Australia. The airport is unique for its huge viewing terrace on the terminal building, along with two specialized spotter places outside the airport's perimeter. The Polderbaan spot is particularly popular, equipped with toilets and food places during summer. Another favored spot is near the McDonald’s close to the RWY 27 threshold, offering ample space for spotters. Radio scanners for ATC communications are allowed, enhancing the spotting experience.

For transportation to various spotting locations, bus services like bus 161 from Hoofddorp Station/Zwanenburg and bus 300 from Haarlem Station/Schiphol Airport provide convenient access. Schiphol's layout allows for various spotting opportunities at different runways and taxiways, with the flexibility to switch positions for diverse viewing angles. With its spotter-friendly atmosphere and a variety of airlines and aircraft, Amsterdam Schiphol remains a top destination for aviation enthusiasts.

Barcelona Planespotting Tower

Barcelona El Prat Airport, Spain's second busiest airport, is a prime location for plane spotting. The airport's warm Mediterranean climate and proximity to the sea attract a significant number of charter flights, particularly during the summer. It's served by a variety of airlines including low-cost carriers like Vueling, Ryanair, and EasyJet, as well as long-haul flights from operators such as Level, Emirates, and Qatar. With three official spotting platforms and a welcoming attitude towards spotters, Barcelona offers a rich and friendly planespotting environment. The variety of carriers, combined with the city's beautiful weather and scenic views, makes it an attractive spot for aviation enthusiasts.

Key features of Barcelona's planespotting include options like the Observation Platform for 24R Departures and Arrivals, offering diverse perspectives of aircraft movements. Spotting locations vary, with choices ranging from tiny balconies at the terminal to the top of parking garages, providing panoramic views of the airport activities. Safety and accessibility are well considered, with public transport options available for most spots. Despite some restrictions and maintenance closures of certain spots, Barcelona remains a top destination for planespotters, thanks to its strategic location, variety of aircraft, and spotter-friendly facilities.

Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport (MAN/EGCC), the UK's third busiest airport, is a prime location for plane spotting. Boasting a wide array of spotting locations, the airport offers incredible views for enthusiasts. The best time to spot planes is during the morning and evening, with transatlantic traffic peaking between 6am and 1pm, and the majority of these flights departing between 9am and 12am. Afternoons are dominated by domestic flights and budget airlines from around Europe. Spot #1a and #1b near the Runway 23L threshold are particularly noteworthy, offering close views of the runway and aircraft movements. However, spotters should be cautious as the airport's security measures have tightened, especially around the Terminal 1 multistory carpark (spot 3), due to instances of vandalism.

The Runway Visitor Park, a popular spot among locals, photographers, and families, provides an enhanced experience with its raised seated and standing area, accessible to wheelchair users. While the park once offered views of taxiways, recent changes have limited visibility. Despite these limitations, the park remains a preferred location due to its proximity to preserved aircraft like the Concorde, Trident, DC-10, Nimrod, and Avro RJX. Additionally, the park features an aviation hobby shop and a café/restaurant. However, visitors should note that parking charges apply, and photography can be challenging due to the direction of the sun.

Toulouse Spotter Hill

Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, nestled in southern France near the beautiful city of Toulouse, is a hotspot for plane spotting. As the home of Airbus and ATR, it offers a unique view of brand-new aircraft models right off the production line. The airport, France's fifth busiest, features two slightly displaced runways and hosts a variety of aircraft, including the Airbus A320, A330, A350, and A380. EasyJet is a major carrier here, connecting Toulouse with various European destinations. The best spot for plane spotting is the famous Spotter Hill, which offers panoramic views of the airport, including the runways, the A380 production center, and the delivery center where new Airbus aircraft await their global customers. Unfortunately, you can no longer drive up to the hill, but it remains accessible on foot, providing excellent opportunities for photography and observation.

While the airport is not extremely busy in terms of regular traffic, it's a hub for Air France and sees regular flights from other major European carriers. Spotters can expect to see a diverse range of aircraft, from ATR regional turboprops to the large Airbus models. The airport also accommodates various cargo operators at night. For the best spotting experience, it is advised to have a hire car, as the prime spots are challenging to reach via public transport. Aside from the Spotter Hill, there are several other notable locations around the airport for spotters, including laybys near the runways and car parks at the southern end, though views here can be limited by fencing.

San Sebastián Airport

Ort der VeranstaltungSan Sebastián

San Sebastián Airport, located in the north of Spain near the French border, is a charming regional airport that handled approximately 380,000 passengers in 2022. With a runway length of 1754 meters since 2017, it accommodates aircraft up to the size of the A320 and 737 families. The airport features a modest number of daily flights operated by carriers such as Iberia, Vueling, Binter, Volotea, and British Airways. While the Spanish carriers operate year-round, Volotea has seasonal flights in spring, summer, and Christmas, and British Airways operates only in the summer months. In addition to passenger flights, the airport is also frequented by private jets and small prop liners.

San Sebastián Airport offers a unique plane spotting experience due to its geographical location and the variety of aircraft it serves. It's a gateway to the Basque Country, offering more than just plane spotting opportunities but also a taste of the region's acclaimed cuisine and culture. The airport’s single runway and terminal building, which houses a VIP lounge, cafeteria, and car rental facilities, contribute to its quaint and accessible nature for spotters and travelers alike.

Dublin Runway South Side

Dublin Airport, located north of Dublin in Collinstown, County Fingal, is an ideal location for plane spotting, particularly on its south side. As Ireland's busiest airport, it serves over 31.5 million passengers and is a hub for airlines like Aer Lingus, Ryanair, and ASL Airlines Ireland.

The addition of the new runway has expanded spotting opportunities, with the south side accessible throughout the day. A car is recommended for reaching these spots as public transport options are limited. While a ladder can enhance the experience, it's not essential as most aircraft are high enough to clear the fence line. However, plane spotting at Dublin Airport is not just limited to the runways. The airport also offers limited viewing options from its terminals, with the best views being airside. Despite these limitations, the diversity of aircraft and the new runway developments make Dublin Airport's south side a must-visit for plane spotters in Europe.

Malta South Side

Ort der VeranstaltungLuqa

Malta's Luqa Airport, despite the country's small size, is a significant player in European aviation, offering some excellent plane spotting opportunities. Its history as an RAF airfield during World War II adds to its allure for aviation enthusiasts. Today, it's known for a mix of regular and exotic traffic, including occasional surprises due to Malta's famous maintenance services. The airport is the home base for Air Malta and is serviced by major airlines like Emirates and Ryanair, linking Malta to destinations like Dubai, the UK, Italy, and Scandinavia. The airport becomes especially busy in the summer months, catering to the influx of vacationers.

Spotting locations around Malta's Luqa Airport offer a variety of views. The Observation Deck provides apron and runway views, ideal for catching planes on the taxiway and active runway. For a different perspective, the Spotters Wall opposite the airport terminal is an elevated open-air viewing area, best for photography in the afternoon. This location provides excellent views of aircraft using both runway directions. Accessibility to these spots is easy, with bus options available and a walkable distance from the airport terminal for some locations. The presence of glass barriers in some areas necessitates careful planning for photography.

Stockholm Arlanda Planespotting Hut

Stockholm Arlanda Airport, located 26 miles north of Stockholm city, is a major hub for Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) and offers excellent plane spotting opportunities. With its four terminals and three runways, the airport caters to a variety of domestic and international flights. A standout feature for enthusiasts is the Spotting Hut, a purpose-built structure situated on a rocky outcrop that provides superb views of aircraft landing on Runway 19L and taxiing nearby.

Other notable spotting locations at Stockholm Arlanda include the Sky City area between terminals 4 and 5, offering views of aprons and Runway 01L/19R through large windows in the food court area. The end of Runway 26, accessible by a road leading past the Spotting Hut, is another excellent location for photographing arriving aircraft. Due to the airport's geographical position and the Swedish weather, conditions for spotting can vary, but the airport's layout with multiple runways and a diverse range of airlines, including SAS, Norwegian, and various international carriers, makes it a rewarding spot for plane enthusiasts.

Zurich Observation Decks

Zurich International Airport (ZRH / LSZH), located 13 km north of Zurich City, is one of the most spotter-friendly airports worldwide, featuring many official viewing areas and two visitor terraces. The airport is a hub for Swiss International Air Lines, Helvetic, and Edelweiss, and serves as the third-largest hub of Lufthansa. The airport consists of three airside piers (terminals A, B, and E) and three runways, with runway 14 predominantly used for landings and runways 16 and 28 for takeoffs. Plane spotters have access to Observation Deck Terminal B, offering a variety of views, and the Observation Deck on Dock E, accessible only to visitors via a shuttle bus from Observation Deck B.

Zurich Airport's unique layout, nestled between hills and mountains, provides a distinct plane-spotting experience with diverse viewpoints. The observation decks at Terminals A and Dock E offer panoramic views of terminal operations, runway activities, and seating areas with educational plaques. These decks are equipped with amenities like children's playgrounds, periscopes for close-up views, and dedicated restrooms. The airport is well-connected by trains, making it easily accessible for spotters and tourists alike. For plane enthusiasts, Zurich Airport offers an unparalleled experience with its varied aircraft movements and stunning backdrop.

Brussels Spotting Platforms

Brussels Airport (IATA: BRU, ICAO: EBBR), Belgium’s largest airport, offers a rich variety of aircraft traffic due to its role as a major passenger and cargo hub. Home to airlines like Brussels Airlines, Tui fly, and Ryanair, it's also a significant cargo airport, with frequent flights by DHL and other cargo operators. The airport is known for its state aircraft visits, being in the capital of the European Union and close to NATO headquarters. Notably, Brussels Airport has two official spotting platforms established in 2017, offering excellent runway views. These platforms are accessible for free and provide free parking.

Photography at Brussels Airport is facilitated by the absence of the need for a ladder at the spotting platforms, although bringing one could offer varied angles and fence-free photos. However, it's worth noting that using a VHF receiver in Belgium requires a license, and its use is illegal without one. For the best spotting experience, mornings between 07:00 and 11:00 and evenings from 17:00 to 20:00 are ideal for arrivals, while peak departure times are between 09:30 and 12:30, and 19:00 to 21:00.

Vienna Viewing Terrace

Vienna International Airport is a prime location for planespotting. The airport is frequented by a variety of carriers from Europe, Africa, Asia, and America, making it a diverse spot for catching different aircraft, including the exclusive A380 service by Emirates. Spotters can expect to see a range of commercial jets, cargo aircraft, and business jets. The airport's layout requires long walks along farm tracks for spotting, making it a unique experience. Due to strict controls, driving up these tracks is prohibited, and violators are fined.

The airport offers several strategic locations for planespotting. However, due to construction and other developments like solar panel fields, some spots have become unavailable. The viewing terrace provides an excellent vantage point for plane enthusiasts. The Vienna Viewing Terrace remains a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts, offering a chance to observe a wide variety of international air traffic in a picturesque setting.

Leeds Bradford Airport

Leeds Bradford Airport offers an array of plane spotting opportunities for aviation enthusiasts. The airport's unique locations allow for full-length views of the runway from the airport lounges. Additionally, The Café Bar at Multiflight Southside Aviation Facility provides excellent runway views. For those seeking views from outside the airport, Plane Tree Hill on the south side is a notable spot, albeit with rough terrain. It requires a long lens for photography due to its distance from the runway.

Another popular location is Cemetery Road, offering good views for both runway approaches. This spot is accessible by going straight on at the roundabout outside the terminal, turning left at the end, and following the road under the 14 approach. Yeadon Tarnfield Park is also a significant spot for viewing departing and arriving traffic, particularly for runway 32 and 14. It's located 9 miles Northwest of Leeds city center.

Bristol International Airport

Bristol International Airport, known for its engaging plane spotting opportunities, offers several official and safe locations for enthusiasts to observe and photograph aircraft. One prime spot, ideal for viewing aircraft landing on runway 27 and taking off from runway 9, is accessible via Downside Road and Cooks Bridle Path. This location, though not optimal for photography due to fence placement, provides a comprehensive view of the airport's activities. Photographers prefer the end of Runway 9, where the fence is lower, allowing for clearer shots of the aircraft.

Another notable location is near Felton Street, especially effective when runway 27 is in use. Here, aircrafts are just a few hundred feet above, offering great opportunities for close-up photos and videos. For a more general observation of aircraft action, including commercial and business jets, the area near the Bristol Flying School is recommended. Inside the airport, after security, there is a viewing area on the second floor and an outside area to observe aircraft on the East apron. Bristol Airport, a focus city for major airlines like easyJet and Ryanair, and the eighth busiest in the UK, serves mainly European destinations with its shorter runway, mostly accommodating Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 family aircraft.

Ibiza Airport

Ort der VeranstaltungIbiza

Ibiza Airport (IBZ/LEIB), located on the beautiful Spanish Balearic Island of Ibiza, is the ninth busiest airport in Spain. Known for its low traffic in the winter and a surge in flights during the summer, starting from May, the airport becomes a hub of activity with flights connecting to all major European airports. Dominated by low-cost carriers like Ryanair, easyJet, and Vueling, along with charter carriers such as TUI, Jet2, and Eurowings, Ibiza Airport offers a diverse range of aircraft to spot. Additionally, the airport sees private jets, propeller cargo aircraft operated by Swift Air, and other small aircraft.

The airport, while compact, provides good viewing opportunities, including a seating area on the first floor overlooking the runway. There are several spots around the airfield for plane spotting, including areas near the biz jet ramp and taxiways. The western end of the runway near Point de Baix is ideal for observing arrivals on runway 06. Due to its popularity with celebrities and the presence of numerous famous clubs and bars, Ibiza Airport also sees a significant amount of biz-jet traffic, making it a prime location for spotting luxury aircraft.

Cameri Air Force Base

Ort der VeranstaltungCameri

Cameri Air Force Base (LIMN), situated just southwest of Milan near the city's largest airport, Malpensa, is an important site for aviation enthusiasts, particularly for observing military aircraft. The base is renowned for being home to the first Italian RMV aircraft maintenance department. It is a key location for the maintenance of Eurofighters and the production of F35s. Although the traffic at Cameri is generally quiet, it occasionally hosts Italian and foreign transport aircraft. However, it's crucial for spotters to note that photography of the facilities or buildings is strictly prohibited, and police enforcement is vigilant in this regard.

The strategic significance of Cameri Air Force Base lies in its maintenance and production capabilities, making it a unique spot for plane spotting in Europe. The base’s proximity to Milan adds to its accessibility for enthusiasts traveling in the region. Despite the restricted photography rules, the base offers a rare opportunity to observe military aircraft operations up close, including the production and maintenance of some of the most advanced aircraft in the Italian Air Force.

Paris Charles de Gaulle

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG), the primary gateway to France and the tenth busiest airport in the world is known for its extensive range of international flights, along with domestic and regional services. Air France, EasyJet, and FedEx operate hubs at CDG, connecting to destinations on all continents except Australia. The airport is a hotspot for aircraft enthusiasts, featuring a wide array of aircraft including many Boeing 787s from various airlines. The Air France engineering center often brings in exotic aircraft, adding to the spotting excitement. However, CDG is not the most spotter-friendly location in Europe, with a mandatory photo permit, lack of dedicated parking, and time-consuming travel between spotting locations.

Despite these challenges, CDG offers tremendous potential for plane spotting, especially in the morning when flights from America and Asia arrive. Its diverse spotting locations allow for both aircraft observation and photography. Spotters are advised to be organized, bringing essentials like food and water, as local amenities can be far from spotting areas.

Teruel Airport

Ort der VeranstaltungTeruel

Teruel Airport, located near the A-23 between Zaragoza and Valencia, Spain, is primarily known for its boneyard created by Tarmac Aerosave in 2013. The airport has become a significant site for aircraft storage and maintenance, housing a diverse range of aircraft from various airlines, including many European companies. Teruel does not have scheduled traffic, making it a unique spot for plane spotting, with the type of aircraft present changing frequently. Visitors can expect to see planes from KLM, Lufthansa, Transaero, China Eastern, HiFly, GermanWings, Utair, and Etihad Airways, among others.

Spotting at Teruel requires some effort, as the best views are from spots around the perimeter of the airport. Accessing these spots may involve driving down dirt roads and walking to get close-up views. Security presence is known, but photography is generally tolerated, making it a spotter-friendly location. However, caution is advised, as the terrain can be challenging, especially after rain. Early morning visits are recommended, as fog tends to clear around 9 am in the summer. Spotting at Teruel offers a unique opportunity to see a variety of stored and retired airliners in a single location.

Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) is a significant tourist hub in Europe, particularly popular among travelers from Germany, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavian countries. The airport experiences the highest traffic during the peak season from May to September, especially over the weekends. Dominated by single-aisle aircraft like the A320 family and Boeing 737, PMI also welcomes heavies such as the Airbus A330 and Boeing 757, 767, and 787. Major airlines operating at PMI include Ryanair, Iberia, Vueling, easyJet, Air Europa, Eurowings, and various charter carriers like Thomas Cook and TUI.

Spotting at Palma de Mallorca offers a diverse range of aircraft from different airlines, including Condor, Eurowings, Lauda, SunExpress, Lufthansa, TUIfly, British Airways, BA Cityflyer, easyJet, Jet2, TUI Airways, and several Scandinavian airlines. Other notable companies include Wizz Air, Neos, Brussels Airlines, Air France, Transavia, Alba Star, Volotea, and more. Spotting locations at PMI offer great views but often require a car for access. Spot 1, known as the Blue Bridge, offers views of the business jet ramp. However, spotters should exercise caution in areas like Spot 7, close to Son Banya shanty town, due to safety concerns.

Stockholm Bromma Airport

Stockholm Bromma Airport, located 10km west of Stockholm's city center, is Sweden’s third-largest airport in terms of traffic. Primarily used for regional and business aviation, Bromma's vintage terminal, a heritage building, was in operation until 2022. The airport, surrounded by urban development, features a single runway (30-12) measuring 1668 meters. The main domestic flights are operated by Braathens Regional, utilizing a diverse fleet including ATR72, Avro RJ, and Saab 2000. International connectivity includes Brussels Airlines to Brussels, Norra to Helsinki, and Sunair to Denmark. The airport also accommodates general aviation and private jets, with the Royal Swedish Air Force maintaining a presence. No scheduled cargo service is available at Bromma.

For plane spotters, Bromma offers a variety of viewing locations to capture aircraft activities. Popular spots include areas near the terminal, hangar areas, and along the runway approaches. Each spot offers a different perspective of the airport's operations, with opportunities to photograph aircraft during takeoff, landing, and taxiing. Spotters can expect to capture a range of aircraft, from regional airliners to private jets. The proximity of the spots to the runway and taxiways makes Bromma an accessible and rewarding location for aviation enthusiasts.

London’s Biz Jet Airports

London, a hub for both tourism and business travel, has several airports handling a high volume of private aircraft movements, particularly biz jets. Biggin Hill, located south of London, is a prominent private airport hosting biz jets, props, and historic aircraft. The Lookout Coffee Shop at Biggin Hill offers an excellent vantage point for plane spotters. Luton Airport, despite being busy with low-cost airlines, is a prime location for spotting biz jets from around the world. With various parking aprons and FBOs, spotters can view a diverse range of business jets. London City Airport, situated in the city's docklands, serves both scheduled flights and a significant number of biz jet movements. Its short runway and dedicated apron for biz jets make it a unique spot for enthusiasts. Farnborough, known for its biennial air show, is a hotspot for private jets visiting the capital. The airport, with various FBOs and Gulfstream’s maintenance base, offers excellent opportunities for spotting, especially from Rae Road. RAF Northolt, north of Heathrow, handles private jet movements and VIP flights. Its military nature requires discretion from spotters, with West End Road offering views of runway 25. Blackbushe, once a civil airport for London, now serves as a general aviation field and sees many biz jet movements, easily visible through the fence alongside the terminal.

For aviation enthusiasts, these airports offer a chance to see a range of private and business aircraft. From historic airfields like Biggin Hill to modern hubs like London City, each location provides unique views and experiences. London's biz jet airports are a treasure trove for plane spotters.

Dusseldorf Observation Deck

Düsseldorf Airport, Germany's fourth busiest airport, is a hub for variety and activity, making it an ideal spot for plane enthusiasts. Known for being spotter-friendly, Düsseldorf Airport offers apron tours and a large visitor platform, providing numerous opportunities to get close to the action. Furthermore, spotting points around the airport allow for clear shots of airplanes, with authorities acknowledging spotting as a hobby, thus not restricting ladders at the perimeter fence.

As of September 2023, the observation deck at Düsseldorf Airport remains closed until further notice. It is advisable to check the official website for updates. The airport offers various spots for plane spotting, including staircases at the SkyTrain platform and car parks, providing diverse views of runway moments, taxiway actions, and ramp activities. These locations offer unique angles and perspectives, catering to different photographic preferences and styles.