Flying to Stansted airport (and how to get to central London)

Ever since it became a primary operational base for Ryanair in the UK, handling flights to and from more than 130 European cities to which we must add a large number of international routes covered by other carriers, more and more travellers started to choose STN airport as its gateway into London, preferring it over major hubs located closer to the city centre like Heathrow. As a matter of fact, while flying to Stansted allows for lower plane ticket fares, it should be taken into account that it lies 68 kilometres from downtown London and this may be considered an issue when it comes to commuting upon arrival, unless you plan to stay in the nearby Essex area. Contrary to what you might think, though, travelling from Stansted airport to London city centre only implies a single direct commute by bus or express train, as affordable and convenient as it would be from other airports. Continue reading for further details about such means of transportation, which are provided in the sections below.

Finding your way around London Stansted airport

At the very beginning of your London trip, navigating Stansted airport after landing will be easy thanks to its clear way-finding system, so simply follow the signs guiding your through passport control, baggage claim and the public arrivals zone. Once there, look for the signposting giving directions towards the railway station-accessible by lifts, ramps and escalators- or towards the bus stands outside the passenger terminal building.

Being the international hub it is, you probably imagine that it has several independent terminals, yet far from that Stansted airport consists of a well-organised complex of one main building with three satellite terminals. Upon departure, in case you do not have a boarding pass yet or if you need to check any piece of luggage, you will need to go to the check-in desks situated in the main concourse regardless of the airline you are flying with. To find your assigned boarding gate, use either the walkways connecting the concourse to the satellite terminals 1, 2 and 3 or the transit system enabled for passengers to transfer smoothly to the restricted areas. T3 is the Ryanair terminal in Stansted, the totality of its operations being handled solely by this low-cost airline; Easyjet flights, Jet2.com operations and some by Ryanair land and take off from T2; all the other airlines are found in T1.

How to get to central London from Stansted airport by train

Passengers arriving in London through Stansted will find it suitable to purchase tickets to ride the Stansted Express trains linking the airport with the central Liverpool Street station for only 7 British pounds. We are talking about a direct service departing every 15 minutes all throughout the day and every half hour at night. During the Stansted Express journey, which takes 47 minutes approximately, you will be able to store your luggage safely, charge the battery of your electronic devices, use the complimentary WiFi and even have a light meal. It will truly be a breeze until you get to your hotel in central London.

Buses from Stansted to London city

If you would rather travel from Stansted airport to London by bus, the renowned National Express company puts a fleet of coaches at the travellers’ disposal so that they can reach some of the main stations in London (Liverpool Street, Paddington and Victoria) in less than two hours. You may also opt for the bus if your final destination is closer to Paddington and London Victoria station than Liverpool Street. National Express services, which depart from a stand located just 2 minutes away from the Stansted terminal on foot, are run around the clock and tickets are available at their automated kiosks. Fares start at 5 pounds.

Hotels near London Stansted airport in UK

Are you taking a short trip to London for business? You may find it convenient to book a room near the STN terminals. Over the course of the recent years, reputed hospitality chains have settled in the vicinity. Although you will find hotels near Stansted airport providing confirmed guests with shuttle services to and from the passenger buildings, we recommend the Radisson Blu Hotel London Stansted and the Hampton by Hilton London Stansted, both within short walking distance of the airport.

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