London takes the third place among the largest cities in Europe. Even if you’re not new in London, travelling around the city or to and from the capital can be confusing and difficult. London has large range of transport choices and travelling is a bit more complicated when compared to other European cities. It’s important to plan carefully your journey to save time and money. London Stansted is the fifth largest of the six London Airports. It is located out of city at about 40 miles in North East in Essex. Stansted Airport is one of the primary bases of Europe’s low cost flights and also one of the busiest airports.
How to Get There?
There are several ways of transportation between Stansted Airport and London. You can choose from hiring a car, using train or bus to booking an airport transfer service from Stansted with a local company. See how to get there, compare the estimated time for travel, fares, luggage allowance and prices.
Stansted Express train operating between the airport and the city is the fastest and one of the most convenient transport choices.
- Time for travel: The train will take you to London center in about 50 mins. Stansted Express services run every 15 minutes and you can drop off in the heart of London, right in the business area.
- Stops: The train stops and departs from Tottenham Hale and Liverpool Street stations, great location to make further connection with other trains or London Underground trains.
- Luggage: Carried luggage in the train is not limited to a fixed amount and there is WI FI you can use for free.
Booking and Prices: Pre-booking is required, not only for the train services, but for most travel options. You can get discounted price, when booking online in advance. The regular journey between London and Stansted airport will cost you 19,00 £ for one way trip. Stansted Express has made it even easier, by opening a ticket desk at the International Arrivals Hall at the airport.
- Advantages: The Express is the fastest way to travel and gives you the chance to avoid the huge city traffic. You can take on board as much luggage you can carry without assistance.
Travelling by bus is the most wide spread transportation option between the airport and London. People usually decide to take bus, as it is the most budget-friendly choice. However taking the bus, might not be the best decision, in case less expenses is not your only priority. There are three major operators, offering different routes and services: National Express, Terravision and easyBus, but all of them will take you to the city centre.
- Time for travel: In this case time for travel, compared to the train journey, is three times longer. To get to Victoria Station / in the central area/ with the bus you will have to travel about 1h 45mins. In case of heavy traffic, which you cannot avoid, the journey can get much longer. Buses usually run in every 15 minutes past the hour.
- Stops: Some of the major stops are Stratford, Victoria Station and again Liverpool Street, but there many more minor stops, depending on the operator of the bus line.
- Luggage: There is a wide differences between the various operators. National Express allows 2 cases per person up to 20 kilograms each. If you’re unlucky to have heavier luggage you will be extra charged and get second priority on board. Terravision does not have any specific regulations about Luggage, you can take all of your bags and cases on board. easyBus have the smallest luggage allowance, as they operate with mini buses. On board you can take just one bag with limited dimensions.
- Booking and Prices: Like the train service, you can book your ticket online before your trip. The other way is to find a ticket machine and purchase the tickets at the moment. Some of the operators, like Terravision allows purchasing tickets from the driver. On Stansted Airport the bus station is close to the terminal and it can be accessed via lift or by escalator. You can also buy tickets from there. The best option is to buy ticket online and take flexible journey ticket, which you can use on any bus or coach 12 hours before or after your departure time. This is very advisable with low cost flight, as they often arrive earlier or later, than scheduled time. If you have already bought your ticket, but missed your departure, you can pay extra charge of 5,00£ and reschedule your journey. The average price for one way trip between Stansted Airport on London center is 6£.
- Advantages: This is the most economy traveling option, you can choose between wide range of bus lines and operators, you can buy your ticket at the moment.
If you are not travelling with your own car, you should think about hiring one. Car renting is a good alternative if you’re a tourist, who plans to travel around UK. You can choose from Expedia, Sixt, Hertz and many more. In any other case a rental car will be quite expensive option, as fares are high and you’ll have to pay solid guarantee for the car in advance.
With a car you will get quicker to the city, but some other extra charges are added. First you will have to pay for parking, and there is congestion charge, when crossing city zones. Congestion charge is 11,50 £ per day, or 10,00 £ when booked online.
Definitely the most comfort and practical variant for you. Taxis or Black cabs in UK are in a high level of service and will bring you the best attention and attendance. While black cabs are fast, correct and trustful, they are very expensive and unfortunately not quite flexible.
- Time for travel: Even with a taxi, you should consider the traffic, travel might take more than hour and a half.
- Luggage: The amount of the allowed luggage, here really depends on the type of vehicle you choose. Standard saloon car can take up to 4 passengers and 2 suitcases plus hand luggage. Often drivers make compromises about the luggage, especially when fewer people are traveling.
- Booking and Prices: A taxi must always be pre-booked. You will not find any taxi ranks on Stansted Airport. Of course, in case you miss the pre-booking step, you can require a car at the desk located in the Arrivals Hall, or by the phone if you are going towards Stansted. The approximate price for one journey between Stansted and London central area is between 90,00 £ and 150,00 £, depending on your exact destination. One of the disadvantages of taking a black cab is in case of a flight delay, you can get extra charged. Also you pay extra to your initial price if you plan your journey during the late or “anti-social” hours.
- Advantages: A lot of people are doubtful about taxi service fairness and choose black cabs. All black taxis are driven by licensed drivers, who took a professional exam to gain the license. Customers feel much safe when travelling with a black taxi, and least but not the last, black taxi drivers have great knowledge about city locations.
Minicabs are probably one of the best and practical achievements of British transportation methods. Minicabs are private hire taxi cars by online booking. They are driven by licensed drivers as well as black taxis. The advantage of booking a minicab is the much lower cost of travel.
- Time for travel: Like with black taxis, travelling with minicab can take up to hour and half between Stansted Airport and London, depending of the traffic flow.
- Luggage: Again the same as regular cabs, the standard saloon car can carry 4 people and 2 cases of luggage. There are different types of cars, from small saloon cars, to estate cars or 8 seated vehicles.
- Booking and Prices: Booking a minicab is an easy job. Only in London there are hundreds of minicab companies. You can book your car in advance, set your preferred pick up hour and destination. All of them provide customer support lines, to help you choose the best option and to listen to you requirements. We don’t recommend to book a minicab at the last moment, although you get an instant quote online. Prices are lower than regular black taxis – you can save between 30% and 45 % from the price. Transfer between Stansted Airport and London with a minicab service will cost you about 45 £ to 65 £ for 4 passengers.
- Advantages: Minicab is an alternative travel option for groups, passengers with heavy luggage or tourists with poor knowledge of the city areas. It is fast and relatively cheap method to make your transfer from London to Stansted Airport. Considering the price and quality of service, minicabs are likely the best decision. In case of flight delay, it is unlike for you to pay extra charge, because drivers are always up to the with flights status.