Transportation, Western Europe

How to reach the city center from London’s airports – Stansted

Standsted Airport

London is one of the busiest tourist attraction in Europe attracting some 30 million visitors every year, most which travel by plane to the UK capital. There’s no wonder then that there are so many airports in the vicinity of the city – London Heathrow, London Stansted, London Gatwick, London Luton and London City.

With this in mind, it’s rather easy to become distracted and confused on how to reach the actual city of London, especially considering all of the airports are tens of miles away. Today we’ll be discussing the easiest routes to reach the city center by train, cab and public transit from the London Stansted airport.

London Stansted Airport (STN) is the UK’s third busiest airport and one of the fastest growing airports in Europe, however it’s also one of the farthest from London, located at some  64km (40 miles) away. The terminal has become especially attractive in the past decade since a lot of low cost airlines have made it their destination of choice.

To and from Stansted by rail

The quickest way to leave the airport for Central London is definitely the Stansted Express, which runs every 15 minutes (30 minutes for the earliest and latest trains on Fridays and Mondays) and takes only 45 minutes to reach iverpool Street Station. Tickets cost £21.50 single and £29.50 for return. From here there are of course plenty of connections for the London Underground.

Here’s the time table: 6am to 12.30am Monday to Thursday, and until 1.30am on Friday and Saturday. Sunday trains run from 5.30am until 1.30am.

To and from Stansted by coach

Conveniently, the closest bus station from Stansted is located opposite the main terminal entrance and provides regular services on a daily basis.

National Express operates a 24 hour service to Victoria Coach Station with stops at Golder’s Green, Finchley Road Underground station, St John’s Wood, Marylebone, Baker Street, Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner. Journey time is 1 hour and 40 minutes. This service runs at intervals of up to an hour. Standard tickets cost £10 single/£17 return.

Terravision offers a low cost coach service into Central London from Stansted Airport. Terravision runs a non-stop service to Victoria Coach Station and a route to Liverpool Street Station. Standard fares are £9 single and £14 return.

Alternative transportation to and from Stansted

Cabs are very easy to find and pick from, with a number of companies being stationed in front of the airport – no black cabs though. The pricing varies, however all cabs have it listed on the meter so be sure to check it before hoping in – be prepared to dig into your pocket though. You should always ask what the fair would be to your destination  Make no mistake, however, hitching a ride to London by cab is by far the most expensive option.

The least expensive option is not surprisingly the longest, but maybe the funnest – that is if you can handle peddling. Cyclists benefit from the use of a free bike shelter in the Short Stay Car Park, next to the terminal building, which is easy to get to and is one of the most straightforward ways to get in and out of the airport.

However, most people travel with luggage and quite a few usually. So another excellent opportunity is to get to Center London by car.

Many passengers choose to book Stansted airport parking and travel by car. There are numerous ways to do this – you can park in an on-site car park by booking direct with the airport, or you can book an off-site parking space through one of the many local car parking suppliers based near the airport. If you’re hoping to keep the costs down, this is one of the cheapest ways to park near the airport – but it’s not always the most convenient, as you will usually need to take a shuttle bus to and from the terminal.

If you’re looking for airport parking deals, the best bet is to book well in advance and shop around for the best deals. Many off-site operators and those providing Meet and Greet services will often advertise deals and discounts, so it usually pays to spend some time researching as many different options as possible.

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