Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2021

Finding the best trading platform in Europe can be a tricky task. With so many different types of brokers and exchanges to choose from these days, it can be more than difficult to find the platform that best fits your trading needs.

Selecting a good trading platform can make or break your portfolio. It pays to choose one carefully. To make things easier, I compared several of the top trading platforms available in Europe. I laid out the best ones below, along with some key points and benefits and drawbacks.

I believe in a neutral market where people should trade what they like based on careful research. For this reason, I selected the best trading platform for traditional assets classes like stocks, ETFs, indices, options, and forex. But I also included the top ones for cryptocurrency trading. Now among the top 15 market caps worldwide, it would be unfair to exclude Bitcoin and Ethereum still.

Without further ideological discussion, let’s take a deep dive into this year’s ranking of the best trading platforms in Europe.

The best trading platforms in Europe

Here are the best trading platforms in Europe for stocks, crypto, ETFs, and options, based on years of research:

  • Interactive Brokers: Best overall trading platform in Europe and best for trust
  • eToro: Best for $0 commission stocks and crypto
  • DEGIRO: Best for stocks and €0 commission ETFs
  • XTB: Best day trading platform in Europe and best for forex trading
  • AvaTrade: Best for mobile trading and trading protection
  • Firstrade: Best option trading platform in Europe

Remember, trading can be rewarding but is not without risk. Ultimately, you must determine which trading platform and strategy is best for you.

Featured partners

IBKR: Best overall
IBKR: Best overall

Products: Stocks, ETFs, Options
Specials: Margin loans from 0.5%, access to 135 exchanges
Min. deposit: €0
Promotion: Free trial
Capital at risk.

AvaTrade: Best for mobile
AvaTrade: Best for mobile

Products: Stocks, Crypto, Options
Specials: Protect trades from loses
Min. deposit: €100
Promotion: Free trial
71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

eToro: Best for $0  stocks
eToro: Best for $0 commission

Products: Stocks, ETFs, Crypto
Specials: $0 commission stocks
Min. deposit: From $50
Promotion: $100,000 free trial
68% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Interactive Brokers: Best overall and best for trust

After years of thorough research, I believe Interactive Brokers offers the best overall trading platform for Europeans as it has something for users of all levels. Interactive Brokers is a clear winner for everyday investors and active traders due to its 40+ years of history, strong capital position, low fees and commissions, a spectacular range of products, and its unmatched suite of sophisticated trading tools.

Special offer: Trade with zero monthly inactivity fees, no account minimums, and access to over 150 exchanges worldwide.

IBKR was founded in 1978 and has grown to become the largest U.S.-based brokerage in terms of daily trades, with 797,000 orders executed per day. Moreover, IBKR is the best regulated broker in the world, with licenses from 11 financial authorities across the globe, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Highlights

  • Available in most European countries
  • Ultralow trading fees and commissions
  • Trusted with $9 billion in equity capital and a history of 40+ years
  • Supports 23 currencies
  • Extremely wide range of global stocks, ETFs, options, futures, and currencies
  • Rock-bottom low margin interest rates for active traders
  • Regulated by 11 financial authorities

Things to keep in mind

  • Platforms are not very intuitive for beginners
  • Payment options are limited to bank transfers

IBKR is an excellent choice for retail investors who want to trade international stocks, exchange-traded funds, and bonds with a reputable broker. IBKR offers the beginner-friendly web-based Client Portal and the IBKR Mobile app that is easily navigated and clubbed with dozens of features.

Furthermore, IBKR is excellent for day trading, options trading, and futures trading in Europe, thanks to its rock-bottom margin rates, tiered pricing system, and multiple order types. Key among its advanced offerings is the flagship desktop software, the Traders Workstation. With highly customizable features, this scary but mighty goliath is superb for technical analysis.

For any user, beginner or professional, who values a secure broker with a proven track record and wants a large number of tradeable instruments, it’s safe to say IBKR is the number one candidate to go ahead with.

What you need to know

  • Who it’s for: Interactive Brokers is a winner for investors who value trust, reputation, and safety due to its long history and regulatory licenses. Moreover, IB is fantastic for active traders thanks to its ultralow commissions and fees, sophisticated platforms, numbers of tools, and a vast selection of global markets across 150 exchanges.
  • Tradable assets: Widest range, including stocks, ETFs, forex, options, futures, CFDs, cryptocurrency ETNs.
  • Fees: IB charges around $0.0005 to $0.0035 with a min. of $0.35 and a max of 1% per stock trade on US exchanges; for EUR-denominated stocks/ETFs, fees are 0.015% to 0.05%, with a min. of €1.25; spot forex and currency exchange fees range from 0.08 to 0.20 basis points; no inactivity fees; other additional fees may apply.
  • Trading platform: European customers get access to IBKR’s web-based Client Portal trading platform, IBKR Mobile app, and the professional Trader Workstation platform. All three are considered some of the best available.
  • Regulation: IBKR is regulated by 11 financial authorities in total. Besides the US SEC, these include four European licenses from the UK’s FCA, Luxembourg’s CSSF, Ireland’s CBI, and Hungary’s MNB.

eToro: Best for commission-free stocks and best for cryptocurrency trading

eToro offers one of the most popular trading platforms available in Europe.

Please note: This content is not intended for US users.

With over 15 million users worldwide, eToro joins the ranking as a great all-around broker for commission-free stock trading and cryptocurrencies, as well as for social trading. Since its launch in 2007, eToro has expanded significantly over the years and is now regulated by multiple top-tier authorities, including the FCA in the UK, CySEC in Cyprus, the ASIC in Australia.

For regular investors, eToro offers zero-commission stock and ETF trades for EU and UK clients. At the same time, traders get access to around 100 cryptocurrency-fiat pairs, a unique social trading experience, and the ability to short around 2,000 financial instruments.

Special offer: Try with $100,000 in virtual funds

We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFD’s with this provider.

With their proprietary trading platform, eToro makes a serious effort to give users a social trading experience and offers the ability to automatically mimic the trading decisions and portfolios of other traders through copytrading. You can also practice trades with the free, $100K demo account before staking real money.

Highlights

  • Zero-commission real stocks and ETFs for EU and UK investors
  • 1 million GBP/EUR additional portfolio insurance for EU and UK clients
  • Large selection of cryptocurrencies
  • Auto-copy trading strategies of others
  • Beginner-friendly web and mobile trading platform
  • Accepts multiple payment methods

Things to keep in mind

  • High pips for forex trading
  • Currency exchange fee
  • Operates trades in USD exclusively
  • $5 withdrawal fee

In a bid to attract long-term equity investors, eToro has joined the race to slash several fees to zero, offering commission-free stocks and ETFs for EU and UK citizens, with markups, no ticket fees, and no management fees.

Crypto traders enjoy a regulated environment with a full selection of cryptocurrency pairs, spreads from only 0.75% for Bitcoin, and their own wallet with private keys. Coins are tradable as real assets or as CFDs.

UK residents should note that cryptocurrency trading at eToro is not available to them due to FCA restrictions. In addition, cryptocurrency trading is also not available to residents of France (including French Territories), the Netherlands, and Russia.

What you need to know

  • Who it’s for: Buy-and-hold investors who want to invest commission-free or cryptocurrency traders. Furthermore, eToro is excellent for copying the trades of other eToro investors across thousands of instruments
  • Tradable assets: Wide range, including stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, forex; most assets can be traded with leverage (except crypto) in long or short directions or traded automatically through copy trading
  • Fees: $0 commission trading fees on real stock and ETFs (only EU and UK clients); no commissions on crypto trades, but eToro charges a spread from around 0.75% (BTC) to 2.45% (XLM); inactivity fee after 12 months of not logging in; $5 withdrawal fee; exchange and other additional fees may apply
  • Trading platform: eToro’s proprietary platforms for web and mobile offer low complexity and are easy to navigate, even for beginners
  • Regulation: eToro (Europe) Ltd. is regulated by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC License No. 109/10), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Licence No. FRN 583263), and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Interestingly, eToro offers additional free insurance protection for EU and UK investors

Risk warning

eToro is a multi-asset platform that offers both investing in stocks and crypto assets as well as trading CFD assets.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments that can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading crypto assets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. Your capital is at risk.

eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.

Other fees may apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.

DEGIRO: Best stock and ETF trading platform in Europe

DEGIRO - European discount stock broker

German-Dutch DEGIRO is the standout choice among European investors who want to reduce the costs for stock trading to the bare minimum. DEGIRO offers monthly €0 ETF trades, low-cost stock trading, no maintenance charges, no inactivity fees, no deposit or withdrawal fees, and provides access to over 30 exchanges worldwide. Overall, DEGIRO is a solid option for price-conscious investors with simple trading needs.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

DEGIRO was founded in 2008 and houses over 1,000,000 European clients. DEGIRO has won more than 80 international broker awards, including “Top Rated Overall Investment Platform” by the Financial Times. In early 2021, DEGIRO merged with the German giant flatex to create flatexDEGIRO Bank AG, making it the biggest online execution-only broker in Europe with its own German banking license.

DEGIRO joins the list as one of the best trading platforms in Europe because of its rock-bottom fee schedule (see full price comparison on the website). Charging only £1.75 + 0.022% per stock trade on the LSE, €4.00 + 0.05% on Xetra, and €2 + 0.03% for any ETF, DEGIRO is cheaper than most of its competitors. Clients are also given one commission-free ETF trade per month regardless of the order size. You can find the list of included ETFs and applicable terms here.

Highlights

  • Rock-bottom fees – among the lowest in Europe, according to their website
  • Zero-to-low non-trading fees
  • One monthly fee-free ETF trade
  • Regulated by BaFin, AFM, supervised by DNB, registered with the FCA (UK).
  • Easy-to-operate platform
  • Fast account opening
  • Client funds are kept segregated

Things to keep in mind

  • Limited availability in Eastern Europe
  • Educational material lacks depth
  • No deposits via Credit/Debit Card

DEGIRO redesigned its trading platform last year for an enhanced trading experience and better integration with its mobile app to accommodate the needs of smartphone traders. Though limited to basic instruments, I think DEGIRO satisfies the needs of price-sensitive investors with a long-term buy-and-hold strategy in mind.

What you need to know

  • Who it’s for: Everyday buy-and-hold investors with simple trading needs
  • Tradable assets: DEGIRO focuses on stocks and ETFs, but also offers bonds, European and American options, and futures.
  • Fees: One zero-commission ETF trade per month; no inactivity fee; no deposit or withdrawal fees; currency exchange fee is 0.1% of the total amount; connectivity fees and other additional fees may apply
  • Trading platform: DEGIRO’s trading web platform is extremely intuitive and has a modern clean design; the mobile app has a useful bottom bar for quick navigation, and supports face and touch ID for safe logins
  • Regulation: DEGIRO is regulated under its legal name flatexDEGIRO Bank AG by the German regulator BaFin. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) both supervise DEGIRO’s activities. Being a bank, DEGIRO is also indirectly regulated by European Central Bank (ECB).

DEGIRO is available in Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom

XTB: Best day trading platform and forex broker in Europe

XTB Broker

XTB, one of the largest stock exchange-listed brokers in the world, offers access to a solid number of instruments, including CFDs on over 1,700 stocks and 110 ETFs, as well 48 forex pairs, indices, popular commodities, and cryptocurrencies, with leverage up to 1:30 (as limited by EU regulation).

We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Known as a reputable and transparent company, XTB is registered with multiple financial authorities in Europe, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), and the Polish Financial Supervision Authority.

UK residents should note that cryptocurrency trading at XTB is not available to them anymore due to FCA restrictions.

Highlights

  • Some of the best spreads on FX and indices
  • Zero fees for deposits and free credit card deposits
  • Regulated by the FCA and the CySEC
  • Long track record (since 2002)
  • Publicly traded company
  • Fast order execution
  • Top-notch Trading Academy and free live webinars

Things to keep in mind

  • The mix between real equity and CFDs can be confusing
  • High fees for CFD stock trading
  • Spreads vary depending on the country

XTB has low fees overall, although these vary by account type. For Standard Account holders, commissions are included in the spread for forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, while fees for CFDs on stocks and ETFs start from 0.08% per lot. Forex spreads start from 0.1 pips for popular pairs like EURUSD / GBPUSD / EURGBP/ with a minimum of 0.35 per trade.

What you need to know

  • Who it’s for: European day traders and forex traders. As of 2021, XTB now offers commission-free real stocks and ETFs to eligible European nationalities
  • Tradable assets: Multiple types, primarily CFDs on forex, currencies, cryptocurrencies, but starting this year also real stocks and ETFs
  • Fees: XTB advertises commissions from 0.08% per lot for stock and ETF CFDs with a min. of €8 per trade, and a min. spread of 0.5; zero commissions on cryptocurrency trades, but a varying spread applies; no minimum deposit; no deposit fee; no withdrawal fee for withdrawals above $100; €10 inactivity fee after 12 months; other fees may apply
  • Trading platform: XTB’s proprietary xStation and xStation Mobile platforms have a modern look and feel, one-click trading, news feeds, and offer quick access to set market, limit, and stop orders.
  • Regulation: XTB is a publicly-traded company and regulated in the U.K. and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (License No. FRN 522157) as well as the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (License No.169/12).

The brokerage firm sets itself miles apart from competitors when it comes to training materials and client support. Its extensive, free-to-use library holds in-depth video courses with supplementary text, graded into levels of difficulty or topic.

We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

XTB’s own xStation 5 delivers a beginner-friendly but powerful trading experience in a modern interface, with market sentiments, advanced charting, live trader statistics, 29 drawing tools, and 34 technical indicators for analysis.

Avatrade: Best trading app

AvaTrade is a long-standing online broker praised for its variety of market selections and solid customer service. AvaTrade was established in 2006 and is one of the oldest brokerages around.

AvaProtect is among the special features worth highlighting. AvaProtect is a risk management tool that allows you to protect your trades against losses. You pay a small fee, but AvaTrade will reimburse you for losing trades up to one million dollars in exchange.

Both the web-based and mobile trading platforms are excellent so that traders can trade on their schedule from anywhere at any time. Their platforms offer powerful tools such as copy trading, stocks, cryptocurrencies, and forex trading.

Seven regulatory bodies across six continents accredit AvaTrade. This includes the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Japan Securities Agency (JSA), and widely known ones like Australia’s Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC).

Firstrade: Best options trading platform in Europe

Firstrade is a US-based multi-asset broker that accepts European clients from eligible countries. Firstrade offers free stock trades from the US market but stands out because it allows foreign customers to trade American-style options with $0 contract fees and $0 commissions.

Special offer: Trade US stocks & options with zero commissions or contract fees.

Firstrade has been around since 1985 and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Regardless of where they live, all customers are protected through the US Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which covers against loss up of registered assets up to $500,000 or $250,000 for cash.

Highlights

  • $0 commission stock, ETF, and options trades
  • The ability to trade options in Europe with $0 contract fees
  • Streamlined trading experience across web and mobile
  • An excellent educational section on option trading

Things to keep in mind

  • No support for markets outside the US
  • Only accepts USD wire transfers
  • Customer support is only available Mon – Fri, 8:00am – 6:00pm US Eastern Time

You can trade on the web-based platform or the smartphone applications for iOS or Android. To manage gains or losses, you can easily set order stops, limits, OCOs, trailing stops, and guaranteed stops.

What you need to know

  • Who it’s for: Europeans who want to trade US options with zero commissions
  • Tradable assets: US stocks, options, bonds, funds
  • Fees: $0 per stock trade; $0 contract fees for options trades; margin rates from 4.5% to 8.75% (as of May 13, 2021); $0 inactivity fee; $0 maintenance fee; $0 minimum deposit; $0 withdrawal fee for ACH transfers, but international wire transfers cost $35
  • Trading platform: Firstrade’s web application runs on a fairly outdated design albeit functional; the mobile app was recently reworked into a modern design and offers a much better trading experience
  • Regulation: Firstrade is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Interestingly, Firstrade offers international accounts high account protection of up to $500,000 through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), of which $250,000 may be in cash.

Firstrade is available in: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

More platforms to consider

Fusion Markets: Best Discount Forex Broker for Europeans

Fusion Markets

Founded by a group of veteran forex traders, Fusion Markets has entered the industry with significantly lower prices than its competitors. It earns our top spot for discount forex trading by offering clients a great package of cut-price spreads on popular currency pairs, zero fees for deposits, withdrawal, or maintenance, and a white-glove onboarding service for all new customers.

59% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Fusion Markets provides a comprehensive selection of instruments, including 90 forex pairs, commodities, CFDs on indices, and cryptocurrencies. It leverages the industry-standard MetaTrader 4 software, and its accompanying browser-based WebTrader, with 0.02 ms order execution, customizable charts, and 50+ indicators.

As part of a growing trend, the firm offers spreads starting from 0.00 pips for most currency pairs, but also for metals, commodities, and a couple of crypto-fiat pairs.

The average spreads for popular pairs like EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, and AUD/USD are among the lowest in the market, with just 0.12, 0.14, 0.59, and 0.22 respectively. Commission rates are also surprisingly low, with one Standard Lot (Volume 1.0 on MT4) of Forex & Precious Metals costing only EUR €4.05 per round-turn.

All in all, Fusion Markets presents a great broker choice for European forex traders with some experience thanks to its highly competitive pricing schedule and integration with MT4.

Pros:

  • Highly competitive pricing
  • Regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • Uses MetaTrader 4
  • Zero fees for deposits, withdrawals, and maintenance
  • White glove onboarding
  • Accepts European clients
  • Digital account opening
  • Credit/Debit Card deposits
  • Demo account

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Limited educational materials
  • Narrow range of products

TradeStation Global

Important: Tradestation Global is temporarily unavailable to EU residents due to Brexit.

Best for: Experienced investors and professionals

TradeStation Global is an introducing broker to Interactive Brokers (UK), one of the largest and most trusted online brokerages in the world. Regulated by the FCA and founded in 2004, TradeStation Global is the European branch of the TradeStation Group that has been operating since 1982.

  • Users are legal clients of Interactive Brokers (one of the world’s largest brokers)
  • Access to all IB tools and markets
  • Low equity fees
  • Regulated by the FCA

TradeStation Global provides European traders with a universal Interactive Brokers’ account with low monthly fees, allowing them to trade an enormous arsenal of equities, forex, futures, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and a ton of financial derivatives. You get direct access to all the world’s major and minor stock exchanges in Europe, North and South America, and Asia-Pacific, including over 10,000 ETFs, 100 forex pairs, and 60,000 bonds at extremely competitive prices.

Disclaimer: Your capital is at risk.

When you open an account with TradeStation Global, you get all the benefits of Interactive Brokers, including access to all IB platforms, tools, and educational materials. Pricing for trades is very attractive, with US Stocks starting from 0.007 USD per share, EU and UK stocks from 0.12% per order, equity options are as little as 1.50 USD/EUR/GBP per contract, and futures from 1.75 USD or EUR 1.35 per contract.

Pros:

  • Low trading fees (stock and non-trading fees)
  • Access to IB platforms, tools, and resources
  • Unmatched number of financial instruments including equities, forex, futures, ETFs, crypto, options, and more
  • Up to 20 base currencies

Cons:

  • High minimum deposit $1,000
  • Strenuous account opening

LYNX

Based in the Netherlands, Lynx is one of the best online trading platforms in Europe. Lynx is one of the top competing platforms for stock and ETF traders due to the low trading fees. Similar to TradeStation Global, Lynx is an introducing broker to Interactive Brokers. Thus, implying that Interactive Brokers will hold your funds, but Lynx will charge you the necessary fees. The partnership also allows traders to use Interactive Brokers’ trading platforms. Lynx has become a favorable stock broker thanks to its regulation by leading financial authorities.

Pros

  • Has an excellent mobile trading platform
  • Lists a wide range of financial market instruments including cryptocurrencies
  • Low ETF and stock trading fees
  • Several order types available

Cons

  • A high minimum deposit amount (€3,000)
  • Deposit and withdrawal of funds are tough
  • The desktop platform is not user-friendly
  • Doesn’t support credit/debit card payment options
  • Limited security protocols
  • No price notifications

Swissquote

This is a Swiss banking group that specializes in providing online financial trading services. Swissquote Holdings AG is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, making it a reliable stockbroker. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK regulates Swissquote. They provide traders’ access to FX pairs, stocks, robo-advisory, and more.

Swissquote Pros:

  • Excellent customer service with live chat, phone, and email supports available
  • Accepts both bank transfer and credit card payment options
  • No inactivity fee
  • Grants traders access to numerous financial markets and instruments
  • A demo account is available
  • No minimum deposit amount
  • Supports several base currencies

Swissquote Cons:

  • Offers only fixed spreads
  • High trading fees
  • The trading platform is tough to navigate
  • Extra charges for some research tools
  • FX and robo-advisor accounts have high minimum deposit amounts

Overview: The best trading platforms in Europe compared

BrokerBest forRegulation
eToroCommission-free stocks & ETFs, crypto, & social tradingUK (FCA), EU (CySEC), AU (ASIC)
Interactive BrokersExperienced investors & tradersWorldwide
XTBDay tradingUK (FCA), EU (CySEC)
FirstradeUS optionsUS (SEC, FINRA)
DEGIROEveryday investorsNL (AFM), UK (FCA)

Frequently asked questions

How to choose a trading platform

What is trading?

Trading is a multi-trillion dollar industry that is evolving more rapidly than ever before. In the traditional sense, trading refers to the buying, holding, and selling of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, commodities, derivatives. Perhaps the biggest change in the evolution of trading is the number of new brokers to choose from, with numerous new service providers cropping up every year.

In terms of quality, Europe not only houses some of the best online trading platforms but the continent also offers some of the finest regulatory standards. Moreover, the increasing competition amongst brokers has led to lower transaction fees, improved customer services, and the availability of more instruments and products to trade in.

However, with more options come more headaches for investors and traders. Accordingly, it has become harder for retail investors and hardened professionals to settle on the best trading platform due to the numerous brokers currently available.

What is a trading platform?

A trading platform is a piece of software used by brokers to enable their clients to place orders on the market. As such, a trading platform is a complex system of code that connects to the global markets through a financial intermediary – the broker.

Trading platforms can be very simple and geared towards beginners, while others are more complex and suitable for advanced and professional traders, offering highly detailed charting and tools for technical analysis.

Most established brokers use one or multiple custom-designed trading platforms that were built to match their brand identity and the needs of their customer base. While new traders usually find it more comfortable to use these, advanced traders mostly prefer independent software applications, such as the MetaTrader, as these are highly customizable.

Which online trading platform is the best for Europeans?

We believe the list we’ve compiled above represents the best trading platforms for Europeans, but there are several other sites that may be more suitable for your personal needs. Regardless of your choice, we recommend you select a broker that is licensed in a tier-one jurisdiction within the European Union.

Despite the increasing number of brokers to choose from, the platforms reviewed in this post offer some of the best services to investors. They have regulated entities with good track records of providing quality services. Still, we recommend you conduct your personal research before you choose a broker.

What is the safest trading platform?

Safety is the number one key criterion for picking a trading platform. Unfortunately, there are many factors that influence whether a broker is considered trustworthy. To start with, the company you pick to trust your money should hold regulatory licenses in multiple highly developed countries and have survived multiple economic recessions. Moreover, the most reliable firms are those that are publicly traded and hold a banking license.

On the service level, you need to check if the broker has a history of poor trade executions. More precisely, see if their prices and charts generally match those of other brokers. Equally important, test small withdrawals and deposits before transferring larger sums of money.

How to choose a trading platform in Europe

How to choose a trading platform in Europe

While choosing the best online trading platform in Europe is a tough task, there are some things you can look out for before making a choice. Here are a few criteria to watch out for.

Overall service level

As a trader, the first thing you should look at is the trading platform the broker operates. The best brokers in Europe operate standard trading platforms that provide traders with various resources such as educational materials, high-end trading tools, tutorials, videos, and a few others.

The tutorials and other educational resources help new traders learn more about the market. For advanced traders, trading tools, market research, and others help them perform to the best they can.

While some brokers charge for some resources, others don’t. Thus, you have to consider what each one is offering and how the prices would affect your overall finances.

Commissions

Trading platforms usually list stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and other instruments. The commission for each of the asset classes differs, and as a trader, you have to compare the prices before choosing a broker. For individual stocks, the new trend is zero commission and this is currently practiced by several trading platforms in Europe.

If fee-free trading is what you’re looking for, you can opt for those that offer zero commissions on individual stocks, like eToro which multi-platform trading services. That said, several online brokers in Europe charge no commission when purchasing bonds and ETFs. However, they do charge for options and ETFs.

Account minimum

An important feature to consider is your starting budget. Some of the best online trading platforms in Europe have no set account minimum. However, a few others do, and it can go as high as €500. So, you have to evaluate your options to see if you wish to choose a platform with no account minimum or otherwise.

Account fees

Brokers attach a few account charges such as withdrawal, inactivity, annual, trading platform subscription, research or data, and account closure fees. While it is almost impossible to avoid such fees, you can minimize them. You can go for brokers that have the lowest account fees. This way, you pay less when you conduct significant activities.

Security measures

This criterion has become common knowledge that people rarely consider. But you have to consider the security protocols of the broker before you trade with them. You need to ensure that they’ve put in place adequate protection measures to guard your personal information and funds against hackers.

More frequently asked questions

🤔 How do I choose a trading platform?

Select a licensed and transparent broker with low commissions, fees, and good spreads. Besides costs, compare several brokers for products, markets, trading environments to find the one that suits your needs. If you’re just starting out, prioritize educational resources, and the ability to place demo trades.

⚙️ What trading tools do I need?

While most are fine with trading on desktop, many enjoy the convenience of mobile trading as well. Advanced users should look for detailed real-time charting, news feeds, advanced scanning, hotkeys, virtual trading, watch lists, tools for ladder trading, and more.

💵 Can I start trading with €100?

The short answer is yes. However, the amount you need to start trading depends on the broker you want to use and the investment strategy you plan to follow. Strictly speaking, you trade with €100 / £100 if your broker allows it. Still, any amount of capital will never be properly used if your strategy is not carefully thought through.

📊 What is day trading?

Day trading is the buying and selling instruments within the trading day, with the intent to close all one’s positions before the market closes for the day. As such, day trading involves high technical acumen and demands a high degree of risk-willingness, analytical skills, and objectivity.

❓ What is the difference between trading and investing?

Investing generally means holding assets for a long period of time, whereas trading mostly involves buying and selling products with leverage on a daily basis.

🚄 Is day trading risky?

In general, day trading is considered a speculative, high-risk investment strategy for speculating in securities, as it is mostly done with leverage at high speed.

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Lucas P.
About the author: Lucas P., a pen name for privacy reasons, is an investor, hobby finance writer, and die-hard FIRE enthusiast. Lucas has previously served as editor for a news outlet in his European home country but now spends his time dabbling with traditional and alternative investments. To learn more about Lucas, visit his profile page.