Finding the best trading platform in Europe can be a daunting 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 suits your trading needs. Choosing a good trading platform can make or break your portfolio. It pays to choose carefully.
To make things easier, we have compared some of the top trading platforms available in Europe. I have listed the best ones below, along with some key points and pros and cons. Since we believe that people should trade what they want based on careful research, we have not only selected the best trading platforms for traditional asset classes such as stocks, ETFs, indices, options and forex, but also included the top platforms for cryptocurrency trading.
Without further ado, 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
- DEGIRO: Best for stocks and low-cost 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.
Best for: Long-term investors, most investment products
Your capital is at risk. Investments can fall and rise and you may get back less than you invested.
Recommended for: Zero-commission stock trading (EU & UK)
Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.
Best for: Beginners and passive investors
Investing involves risk of loss.
Recommended for: Combining investing and active trading
83% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
Recommended for: Investor protection & zero-commission options
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 markets worldwide.
Risk warning: Your capital is at risk. Investments can fall and rise and you may get back less than you invested.
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.
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 GlobalTrader 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.
eToro: Best for commission-free stocks and best for cryptocurrency trading
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. 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.
eToro offers zero-commission stock trades for EU and UK clients.
Special offer: Try with $100,000 in virtual funds
Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.
You can also practice trades with the free, $100K demo account before staking real money.
In a bid to attract long-term equity investors, eToro has joined the race to slash several fees to zero. Traders from Europe can invest in stocks on eToro without being charged commission. eToro was the first online broker to offer commission-free stock investing in Europe. It charges no management, administration, or ticketing fees for this offer.
eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.
Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% 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.
Past performance is not an indication of future results. Trading history presented is less than 5 complete years and may not suffice as basis for investment decision.
Copy Trading does not amount to investment advice. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.
Cryptoasset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.
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.
DEGIRO: Best stock and ETF trading platform in Europe
German-Dutch DEGIRO is a standout choice among European investors who want to reduce the costs for stock trading to the bare minimum. Over the years, the brokerage has cemented its market position as a low-cost broker, both for ETFs and US stocks. The most popular feature of DEGIRO is, in all likelihood, its commission-free ETF offer, which lets investors trade a number of popular ETFs from its “Core Selection” list without any trading commissions. Note that there may still be connectivity and FX fees applicable.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.
DEGIRO was founded in 2008 and houses 2,000,000+ European clients from all over the continent. 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). You can trade US stocks commission-free (a €1 handling fee per tradeapplies), as well as a variety of popular ETFs from the Core Selection. You can find the list of included ETFs and applicable terms here.
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.
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, 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).
85% 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.
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.
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.
85% 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.
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.
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
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.
- 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
- Not suitable for beginners
- Limited educational materials
- Narrow range of products
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.
- 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
- High minimum deposit $1,000
- Strenuous account opening
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
|eToro||Commission-free stocks & ETFs, crypto, & social trading||UK (FCA), EU (CySEC), AU (ASIC)|
|Interactive Brokers||Experienced investors & traders||Worldwide|
|XTB||Day trading||UK (FCA), EU (CySEC)|
|Firstrade||US options||US (SEC, FINRA)|
|DEGIRO||Everyday investors||NL (AFM), UK (FCA)|
Frequently asked questions
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.