Best Trading Platforms in Europe

In this guide we will go over the best trading platform in The European Union. The EU has one of the greatest and most accessible digital trading markets in the world. It’s a strictly regulated market with a large number of reliable trading platforms and brokers.

There’s also a plethora of securities, instruments, and derivatives that can be traded but before you dive into the trading market, you should inform yourself about the most reliable trading platforms, apps, and brokers in Europe. In today’s article, I will help you do that with extensive information and stats.

Some online brokers make a better option for stocks and CFDs, while others are better suited for forex and cryptocurrency trading. That being said, let’s learn more about the best trading platforms for European Investors.

Our Top Picks for the Best Stock Trading Platforms in Europe

The best trading platforms in Europe for ETFs, cryptocurrencies, stocks, and options, include Interactive Brokers, eToro, DEGIRO, XTB, and AvaTrade. Let’s review each of these five platforms in detail.

  1. eToro – Best Trading Platform in Europe
  2. AvaTrade – Best Trading App Europe
  3. Interactive Brokers – Best Stock Trading Platform in Europe
  4. DEGIRO – Best ETF Trading Platform Europe
  5. XTB – Best Trading Platform for Forex in Europe
  6. Firstrade – Best Options Trading Platform in Europe
 Trading PlatformInfoOur ScoreAccepts Clients MinimumBest For
#1eToroBest Copy Trading Platform4.9/5Globally$200Zero-commission Stocks and Copy Trading in Europe
#2AvaTradeUK Based Broker4.9/5Globally$100Forex and CFD Trading
#3Interactive BrokersInternational Broker with all Assets Classes4.9/5Globally$0Global Markets and all Asset Classes
#4XTBGreat for CFD Trading in Europe4.8/5Globally$0CFD Trading Europe
#5DEGIRODiscount Broker in Europe4.7/5Europe$0Low Cost Trading in Europe
#6FirstradeGreat For Options Trading in Europe4.6/5Globally$0Options Trading

Best Stock Trading Platforms Europe 2022

eToro – Best Trading Platform Europe Overall

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Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments that 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. Make sure you understand how CFDs work and if you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

eToro has over 15 million users around the world because it’s a great option for commission-free stocks and cryptocurrency trading. Launched in 2007, eToro platform has grown greatly over the years.

It’s regulated by several top-tier authorities, including the CySEC in Cyprus, the FCA in the UK, the ASIC in Australia, etc. Let’s summarize the main pros and cons of eToro.

ProsCons
Commission-free real stocks for UK and EU investors5$ Withdrawal Fee
Portfolio insurance for UK and EU clients
Industry Leading web trading platform and mobile app
Best Hands-off Copy Trading

AvaTrade – Best Trading App in Europe

I also wanted to include AvaTrade on this list because it’s one of the best trading apps. Founded in 2006, this platform has a wide range of market selections as well as good customer service. It is a great platform, both for beginner and advanced traders.

One of the special features of this app includes AvaProtect, which is a risk management tool that allows clients to keep their trades safe from losses. Yes, clients pay a small fee but this app will reimburse every client for losing trades up to 1 million in exchange

ProsCons
Easy Account OpeningCFD only
Deposit And WithdrawalsForex Fees
Research Tools

Summary

Both the mobile app and the web-based platform have a user-friendly interface. They’re loaded with powerful tools as well, including copy trading, forex trading, cryptos, and stocks.

Last but not least, 7 regulatory bodies across 6 continents accredited this app including JSA, FCA, ASIC, etc. So, you can feel safe doing business with AvaTrade.

Interactive Brokers – Best For Market Access

Interactive Brokers sits at the top of the list as the best trading platform for Europeans because it’s suitable for users of all levels. It’s the best overall choice for active traders and everyday investors thanks to the 4 decades of experience, low commissions, and fees, strong capital position, a wide range of items, and trading tools.

Interactive Brokers was established in 1987 and has developed into the largest US-based brokerage with over 790,000 orders executed daily. Further, IBKR is one of the best-regulated brokers around the world with various licenses from 11 financial authorities worldwide, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and US Securities and Exchange Commission.

ProsCons
Supports 23 currenciesNot very intuitive for beginners
Trusted with $9 billion in equity capitalLimited payment options for bank transfers
Wide range of ETFs, features, options, global stocks, and currencies
Very low trading commissions and fees
Regulated by Top Tier Authorities
A history of over 40 years

Summary

Interactive Brokers makes the perfect option for retail investors who prefer trading international stocks, bonds with a reputable broker, and exchange-traded funds.

It also offers a user-friendly web-based client portal and a mobile app that’s easily navigated and loaded with many different features. Thus, it’s suitable for both beginners and experienced traders.

Tradable assets include stocks, forex, ETFs, futures, options, cryptocurrency ETNs, and CFDs. The trading platform charges about $0.0005-$0.0035 with a maximum of 1% and a minimum of $0.35 per stock trade on US exchanges; 0.015%-0.05% with a minimum of €1.25 for EUR-denominated stocks.

Spot forex and currency exchange fees go between 0.08 and 0.20 basic points. Last but not least, there’s no fee for inactivity. However, other additional fees may apply.

DEGIRO – Best ETF Trading Platform in Europe

If you want to decrease the costs for stock trading to the minimum, then opt for DEGIRO. It’s a German-Dutch trading platform that provides €0 ETF and US stock trades, no maintenance charges, no deposit or withdrawal fees, no inactivity fees, low-cost stock trading, and over 30 exchanges worldwide.

Thus, it’s the perfect choice for investors with simple needs who don’t want to spend too much money. However, keep in mind that investing includes the risk of loss.

The platform was established in 2008 and has over 1 million European clients. The best part? It’s one of award-winning trading platforms.

It has received 80 international broker awards including “Top Rated Overall Investment Platform” by the Financial Times.

In 2021, DEGIRO connected with Flatex, the German giant to make the flatexDEGIRO Bank AG, making it the largest online execution-only broker with a German banking license.

ProsCons
Regulated by BaFinNo deposits through debit/credit card
0-to-low non-trading feesRestricted availability in Eastern Europe
The funds of clients are kept segregatedThe educational materials lack depth
Easy and quick account opening
Commission-free US stocks
Low Fees

Summary

If you’re a regular investor with simple needs, then eToro is a great choice. The platform has enhanced its design for a better trading experience and integration with the mobile app to cater to the needs of traders who prefer making money from their phones.

Tradable assets include ETFs and stocks. However, they deliver American and European options, bonds, and futures as well.

As I already said, there’s no inactivity fee, no withdrawal fees, no deposit fees, and commission-free US stocks. However, there’s a currency exchange fee.

There’s also a connectivity fee as well as other additional fees depending on your location. What I enjoy about DEGIRO the most is the intuitive interface of its web platform. It’s very modern and simple to use. Their app is also well-optimized with a bottom bar for quick navigation. There’s also a touch and face ID for extra safety.

Overall, you don’t need to stress about your safety with DEGIRO since it’s regulated by BaFin and the European Central Bank. It’s available in Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, the UK, etc.

XTB – Best Forex Trading Platform in Europe

XTB represents one of the biggest and most reputable stock exchange-listed brokers worldwide, with a wide selection of instruments including CFDs on about 1,700 stocks as well as 110 ETFs, crypto, popular commodities, indices, and 48 forex pairs, with leverage of 1:30 (as restricted by EU regulation).

I also want to state that about 73% of retail investor accounts lose funds when trading CDFs with XTB so keep that in mind. XTB is also known as a transparent business, which is registered with several financial authorities in Europe including the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, FCA in the UK, and CySEC.

I also want to mention that XTB doesn’t allow cryptocurrency trading for UK clients because of the FCA restrictions. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the most important pros and cons of XTB.

ProsCons
Quick order executionStock CFD fees
Regulated by the CySEC, FCA, etc.Spreads differ depending on the location
Excellent trading academy and cost-free live webinars
Free credit card deposits and 0 fees for deposits
Publicly traded company

Summary

As I already established, XTB platform has very low costs. However, keep in mind that these costs vary by account type. And for standard account owners, commissions come together with the spread for indices, forex, cryptos, and commodities, whereas fees for CFDs on stocks and ETFs begin from 0.08% per lot.

Forex spreads begin from 0.1 pips for pairs like GBPUSD, EURUSD, and EURGBP with a minimum of 0.35 per trade. There’s also a fee for the inactivity of 10 euros but there’s no fee for withdrawals over $100. I also want to mention that as of 2021, XTB offers commission-free stocks and ETFs for European clients.

Furthermore, both the xStation Mobile and proprietary xStation platforms have a modern appearance. They include news feeds, one-click trading, and provide fast access to set limits, market, and terminate orders. However, people like this company, especially beginners for many different reasons.

For instance, they offer a wide selection of training materials as well as good customer support. You can find many in-depth video tutorials with supplementary text, divided into different categories by topic or difficulty levels in their library. But here’s the real kicker. You can access these courses for free!

Last but certainly not least, I want to mention that xStation 5 offers a beginner-friendly as well as great trading experience in a very intuitive interface with advanced charting, market sentiments, various tools for drawing, technical indicators for analysis, and live trader statistics.

Firstrade – Best Trading Platform for Options in Europe

Although Firstrade is based in the US, it’s still one of the best multi-asset brokers in Europe, thus the platform accepts clients within the European Union from eligible countries.

It provides free stock trades from the American market. However, what makes this platform so special is the ability for foreign customers to trade US-style options without fees and commissions.

The company was established in 1985. And it’s regulated by FINRA and SEC. Furthermore, regardless of where customers reside, they’re protected via the SIPC (Security Investor Protection Corporation), which provides protection of up to $500,000 for registered assets or $250,000 for cash.

ProsCons
Great educational resources for option tradingAccepts USD wire transfers only
Smooth trading platform experience across mobile and webCustomer support on Monday through Friday, between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm US Eastern Time
Trade options with zero fees in EuropeNo support outside the United States
Zero commission stock, options, and ETF trades

Summary

The reason why Europeans like this platform is that it’s commission-free for those who want to trade US options. Other tradable assets include US stocks, funds, and bonds.

Note although you don’t pay anything for stock and options trades, international wire transfers cost $35. There’s no inactivity fee, maintenance fee, or fee for withdrawals for ACH transfers as well.

However, as of May 2021, margin rates between 4.5% and 8.75% took place. Moreover, you can use the smartphone apps for Android or iOS or the web-based trading platform. To control gains and losses, you can easily apply limits, stops, trailing stops, OCOs, and guaranteed stops.

The design of the platforms isn’t as modern as the design of the previously mentioned competitors but it’s still functional. The mobile apps have recently gained a redesign, so that’s something! In my opinion, trading on their mobile apps is better than utilizing their web-based platform.

You can access Firstrade in Belgium, Austria, Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Finland, Portugal, the UK, and Sweden.

How To Choose a Trading Platform?

A trading platform includes financial software and financial research tools that brokerages produce and control to help different types of clients place orders on global markets.

However, keep in mind that platforms differ depending on the provider, so you will want to focus on the brokers which come with the greatest and most reliable trading platform.

The trading platform plays a key part in linking traders with world markets, which is why you will want to utilize the trading platform which offers versatility and advanced features.

When choosing the right platform, pay attention to usability. A trading platform should be user-friendly and loaded with intuitive features so that traders of all levels of expertise can be able to use them. Some trading platforms in the European Union are made with beginners in mind.

Some brokers in Europe provide more complex trading platforms with features suitable for professional and advanced traders and beginners. Other brokers use multiple trading platforms to meet the needs of different users. So, if you’re a newbie, don’t fret as you have many options!

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the factors you need to consider when choosing the right trading platform in the European Union and all around the world, for that matter.

Regulations

Every broker says they’re the best in their field of expertise. However, you won’t know if they’re honest until you utilize their services.

Thus, always look for brokers that have been regulated by a local regulatory agency. Stick to reliable and safe trading platforms that hold regulations from a large nations like Germany, the UK, etc. The easiest way to determine if a broker is reliable is by checking their licenses.

That way, you will know if they lead a proper operation. Furthermore, stick with companies with a good reputation and track record in offering high-quality trading services in Europe.

If you’re a newbie, opt for brokers who provide tutorials and good customer support. However, if you’re a professional, choose a trading platform that serves only advanced traders. These platforms have lower fees and don’t provide educational resources.

The quality of the trading service

The best trading platforms in Europe must have access to excellent trading resources like trading tools, a wide range of educational materials, audio, video, and pdf tutorials, etc. So, pay attention to the trading research tools when choosing a trading platform.

Your needs and requirements

Most European brokers provide a similar selection of services such as ETFs, bonds, derivatives, individual stocks, leveraged products, and instruments.

Newbies often pick stocks and ETFs combined. Additionally, keep in mind that hand-picked stocks make a better choice because you can manage the portfolio more precisely.

Furthermore, the S and P 500 tracker as well as other similar ETFs offer great exposure to different best businesses at a low price. They also require fewer trading choices. So, they’re easier to manage, which is why some beginners prefer gold ETFs to be able to invest in the market.

Commissions and fees

When choosing the best trading platform in Europe, it’s very important to consider the commissions and fees. Some can be relatively low, while others can be extremely high.

Therefore, if you’re a beginner, it’s better to choose a low-fee broker to prevent decreasing your profits.  It’s also crucial to check if any commission is charged upon withdrawing money.

Overall, you should understand the dynamic of commissions and fees despite what provider you choose. You can also find commission-free providers such as eToro in Europe.

User-friendly design

The trading platform provided by brokers should be loaded with different features. However, they need to have a user-friendly design as well. Meaning, they should be easy to use.

The trading platforms often come in two options including mobile-based and web-based. You can access web-based platforms through a computer or laptop, while mobile-based platforms can be accessed from a mobile device. If you have a busy lifestyle, opt for a mobile-based platform.

Reputation

I highly suggest that you read online reviews of the brokers from trusted sources like Reddit, Trustpilot, and so on, before you open an account.

Moreover, stay away from low-profile brokers and pick a broker with a well-respected image. That way, you will avoid getting scammed.

European brokers safety

Some brokers can provide the best trading platform with many services and great prices. However, that doesn’t matter if the providers can't guarantee the safety of their clients.

Therefore, safety should be on top of your priority list when choosing trading platforms or brokers. And the only way you can ensure your safety is to check the regulatory licenses as well as the online reviews. I also recommend that you opt for older brokerages instead of younger ones.

Furthermore, if you’re a new trader, you need to stick with brokers who deliver simple pricing structures and educational resources. Good and fast online support matters as well.

Minimum deposits for trading

When picking the right brokerage for your trades, the minimum deposits play an important part as well. The reason why is that these requirements can be relevant to your initial budget.

Some trading platforms have minimum deposit requirements whereas others have a very low minimum deposit requirement. I suggest you don’t focus on cheap European brokers but consider only those with the trading options you need to increase your chances of your future trades being fruitful.

Last but not least, I want to mention that you can open a demo account that includes a virtual fund and offers a real trading experience. That way, you can get familiar with the trading process before you start trading with your real capital. Now, let’s review some European trading platforms.

Final Tips

Every investment comes with a risk. However, if you choose the right platform, then you can save more! So, compare the trading platforms I’ve listed above and pick the one that meets your needs.

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Ziga Breznik

Author

About the author

Ziga Breznik is the owner and head of research at PublicFinanceInternational.org – he is an active investor in the forex, crypto and stock markets – he has seen trading platforms disappear along with his investments – especially during the “crypto boom”. Ziga learned the hard way that finding a reputable and trustworthy online brokerage is key to long-term success in the financial markets. He founded PublicFinanceInternational.org as a platform where he shares his research with one goal in mind: to provide unbiased and trustworthy online brokers reviews.