Getting from Stansted, Luton and City Airports into London
Stansted, Luton and City airports are London’s smaller airports, but still offer convenient transport links into central London.
With a number of budget airlines offering cheap flights into London’s Stansted Airport, many travellers opt to fly in to this airport, which is slightly further away from London’s city centre.
The fastest but most expensive way to get into central London, the Stansted Express runs every 15 minutes and takes 45 minutes to London’s Liverpool Street train station. The train station is in the terminal building, with the first train departing at 05.30 and the last train departing at 01.30. Single fares cost £23.40 per person and return fares cost £32.80 per person. Booking in advance on the Stansted Express website
can secure cheaper fares, including the WebDuo Ticket for two people costing £12 per person.
Travelling by coach into central London is the cheapest option, and there are several coach providers offering transfers into the city centre. easyBus
is the cheapest option, offering minibuses for as little as £2 per person for a single journey to London’s Baker Street. Booking in advance online is essential to secure the cheapest fares. Terravision
offers full-sized coach transfers to either London Liverpool Street or London Victoria, for as little as £7 per single fare. National Express
also offers frequent services into London Victoria, with fares starting from around £10 for a single fare. Transfer times take around 1 hour 15 minutes. Booking online in advance is cheaper.
Taxis and hire cars:
As Stansted Airport is approximately 40 miles outside of central London, a taxi fare can cost around £100 (for a taxi fitting up to 4 people). You can book a taxi when you arrive from the desk at the international arrivals hall, or book in advance by calling +44 (0)1279 661 111. If you prefer to have the freedom of your own transport, there are plenty of hire car companies with offices at Stansted Airport. While car hire itself is cheap, starting from £14 through a provider such as Rhino Car Hire
, the cost of driving in London is expensive, with pricey car parking and daily congestion charge fees.
Airport Transfer with a Private Car Service
The fastest way out of the Stansted airport and to your apartment in London is with a private airport transfer service. It is very convenient because a driver will be waiting for you at the arrivals with a name sign. The driver will walk you to your vehicle and you will be on your way to your apartment or hotel in a premium car. This is an ideal service if you are traveling somewhere no public transportation goes or you do not know exactly where to go. This service is about the same price as a taxi in London.
Our recommended company for this service in London is myDriver Airport Transfer London.
Several budget airlines also fly into London’s Luton Airport, approximately 30 miles north of London’s city centre.
The train journey from Luton Parkway Train Station to central London is quick, at around 30 to 40 minutes to either St Pancras International or London Blackfriars. A single fare costs from £13.50 per person and a return fare from £23.50 per person. Trains run between 05.00 and midnight. Luton Parkway Train Station is around a 10 minute drive from the airport and the easiest way to get there is to catch the shuttle bus service that runs every 10 minutes. If you buy your train tickets in advance through a website such as The Trainline
, booking tickets from Luton Airport (rather than Luton Parkway Train Station) to London will secure you a free ride on the shuttle bus. Alternatively, the shuttle bus fare costs £1.50 per person.
Travelling into central London by coach from Luton Airport is the cheapest option, with many well-known coach providers offering good prices. easyBus
is the cheapest coach provider with single fares starting from £2, arriving at Baker Street, Marble Arch or Earl’s Court in central London. Transfer times take around one hour and booking online in advance is essential to secure the cheapest fares. Terravision
and Green Line
jointly run a full size coach service to central London stops including Baker Street, Marble Arch or London Victoria. A single fare costs £15, a return fare costs £22 and the journey time takes little more than one hour. National Express
also runs a regular coach service to London Victoria, with fares of a similar price.
Taxis and hire cars:
Black London cabs are available from the taxi rank outside the airport and a fare on the meter into central London will typically cost between £60 and £90, depending on the time of day you travel. Licensed minicab providers often have fixed fares into central London and can be booked in advance. Luton Airport’s recommended providers include Alpha Taxis Luton
, Cabco Taxis Luton
and Luton Taxi Association
Hiring a car from Luton Airport is straightforward as a number of the big name car hire providers operate from here, although booking in advance can secure cheaper rates. Price comparison website Rhino Car Hire
quotes car hire prices starting from £13 per day from Luton Airport. Driving in London is expensive, however, with costly car parking and daily congestion charges.
London City Airport
The smallest of all London airports, London City Airport is also the only airport to be located within London city (in the Docklands area), making it an exceptional option for business travellers.
London City Airport is on the Dockland’s Light Railway (DLR) system and is effectively part of London’s Underground (or ‘tube’ network). Located in London’s Travelcard zone 3, a single fare into any zone 1 tube station costs £4.50. It’s more cost effective to buy an Oyster card if you are planning to travel by public transport often during your stay, as fares using this swipe card system are always cheaper. You can buy an Oyster card from the DLR station for £3 when you arrive, or in advance from the VisitBritain website
, as it can be delivered to any address internationally. Tube maps are also available from the DLR station to help you plan the route to your final destination. The journey from London City Airport to London Bridge takes 20 minutes as an example, and the underground system runs from around 5.00 until around midnight.
London’s black cabs are available from the taxi rank just outside the terminal building. Fares are on the meter and the cost of your journey depends on your final destination and the time of day you travel. The average cost of a fare into the City of London is approximately £25.
Few travellers choose to hire a car in London due to the difficulty and expense of parking, high petrol costs and London’s congestion charge cost of around £10 per day. There are, however, a number of car hire providers operating from London City Airport from around £22 per day. Booking in advance via a website such as Rhino Car Hire
can save some money.