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London Stansted is one of the capitals’ six international airports and is located 42 miles northeast of Central London. Stansted is predominantly home to budget airlines including Easyjet, Ryanair and TUI Airways, operating low-cost flights to many European destinations and occasionally some further afield.
How to get from Stansted airport to London (or vice versa):
- Train – quickest option taking 47 minutes total and costs as little as £9.70.
- Bus – cheapest but longest option with tickets as low as £2 and a wider variety of routes.
- Taxi – comfortable and convenient option but can be very expensive at £60+.
Below you’ll find a more detailed breakdown:
Train – the fastest way from Stansted to London
Getting the train between central London and Standsted is certainly the quickest way to travel, especially given that the train station is located right underneath the airport and can be reached from the terminal by lifts, escalators and ramps in just a couple of minutes.
Stansted Express Train
The Stansted Express Train is a direct train service linking London Liverpool Street to London Stansted Airport, via Tottenham Hale, and runs every 15 minutes.
Taking just 47 minutes each way, the Stansted Express train costs as little as £9.70 if you book in advance, so isn’t too much more than travelling by bus but in half the time.
Bus – the cheapest way from Stansted to London
Bus/coach is the cheapest way to travel from Stansted airport to London, with tickets for as low as £1.99. However, the journey by bus can take between 1hr10 and 2hrs (depending on route and traffic).
The bus and coach station is just a couple of minutes walk from the airport terminal.
Although the bus may take quite a bit longer to arrive in central London than the Stansted London train, a benefit of this mode of transport is the range of stations you can disembark at.
While the Stansted Express train stops only at London Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale, the buses from Stansted to London call at numerous major stations across the capital including Victoria, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Kings Cross, Farringdon, Waterloo and Stratford, as well as several other smaller stops, meaning you’re more likely to be able to disembark closer to your accommodation at the other end.
Below are the bus companies and the routes they run between Stansted and central London:
Airport Bus Express
Service A21: Stansted to Liverpool Street, via Stratford.
Service A20: Stansted to Victoria Bus and Coach Station, via Baker Street (Gloucester Place).
National Express runs the most routes between Stansted and London stations for as little as £5.
Service A6: Stansted to Portman Square, via Golders Green, Finchley Road, St John’s Wood, Baker Street, Paddington, Marble Arch and Portman Square.
Service A7: Stansted to Victoria Bus and Coach Station, via Bow, Mile End, Whitechapel, Southwark, Waterloo, Victoria Train Station and Victoria Bus and Coach Station.
Service A8: Stansted to Kings Cross, via South Hackney, Bethnal Green, Shoreditch, Liverpool Street, Farringdon and Kings Cross London.
Service A9: Stansted to London Stratford, direct service to London Stratford.
EasyBus runs its services through both Airport Bus Express and National Express meaning that the routes are the same as above, however, if you book through EasyBus in advance you can find tickets for as low as £1.99.
Taxi – the convenient way from Stansted to London
A taxi between Stansted airport and London will take around 1hr10 to 1hr30 depending on traffic and can cost between £50 and £100.
The upside of taking a taxi rather than public transport is that you will get dropped directly at your hotel or accommodation – there’s no messing around with the tube, bus or having to walk with luggage at the other end (unless you’re staying right next to a transport hub on the Stansted route).
While getting a taxi between London and Stansted is pretty expensive, if there’s a larger group of you (5-6 people) then the price might actually work out cheaper than buying individual train tickets.
Just remember, when getting a taxi from the airport it’s best to book in advance and get a set rate fare to get the cheapest rates. If you jump in a metered taxi you could end up racking up a £100+ bill.
What if I have an early/late flight?
If you have an early or late flight there are plenty of convenient hotels at Stansted airport, most of which are either a short walk or shuttle ride away from the airport.
Budget hotels at Stansted airport:
High-end hotels at Stansted airport:
Other useful articles for planning your trip to London:
- Important things to know before visiting London for the first time
- Mistakes tourists make in London and how to avoid them
- Where to stay in London – a comprehensive area and hotel guide
- When is the best time to visit London?
- Top tips for surviving the London underground
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