What I miss the most these days is traveling – I especially love London. For the needs of all those who (like me) are planning such a trip at the earliest opportunity, I have prepared a list of tips that will allow you to get from the airport to the city center as cheaply as possible.
Our destination airport
I fly to London with low-cost airlines – WizzAir or Ryanair. I have other priorities than sitting royally for two hours and a three-course meal, because even then I won’t get hungry – for the money saved, I’d rather go crazy on the spot. Therefore, in the entry I will discuss two airports. The first is London Stansted and the second is London Luton. We skip the possibility of catching a taxi and renting a car.
The first most convenient form of transport from Stansted is the Stansted Express train which departs directly from the terminal every 15 minutes and the journey to London takes approximately 50 minutes. After entering the arrivals area, just head to the main concourse and look for boards marked “Stansted Express”, possibly with the note “Platform” (i.e. platform).
Prices of Stansted Express
Ticket prices start at £9.70. It is best to buy tickets online. Preferably together with plane tickets – the closer to departure, the higher the prices.
In addition, it is worth taking advantage of various types of deals. It is cheaper to buy a return ticket straight away – there is an “Open return” offer, which allows you to return within 30 days from the date of the first journey. After this time, the system will treat our journey as “outbound” – i.e. in the “first” direction.
If we are traveling in two or in an even larger group, take a look at the “Group offer” and “WebDuo” tickets. The condition for using the deal is that the whole group (or couple) travels together at every stage of the journey. This is a saving of several pounds.
Good news – the booking system always suggests the best price option and displays it at the top. This, combined with the interface in different languages, will allow you to take advantage of the best opportunity.
The offer is intended for people traveling in pairs. The condition for using it is that you travel together for the entire duration of your trip.
If you want to take advantage of this offer, be sure to book your tickets online as soon as possible. Prices start from £13.50 (per person) one way. The offer includes “Standard” class, access to wi-fi on the train and space for luggage. In both cases, you can choose any train on the day indicated on the ticket.
The offer is intended for people traveling in larger groups. It can be used from three people (minimum two 19+ – from this age adults are marked in Stansted Express). A group of three will pay £61.10 for the journey. Groups of four – £81.50. The size of the discount depends on the size of the group, the more people, the cheaper. Groups of more than 10 people travel from £5 one way per person.
If you want to take advantage of this offer, you should also remember to book your tickets online as soon as possible. The offer applies to travel in the “Standard” class (with access to wi-fi on the train and space for luggage). The rules of travel are the same as in the WebDuo offer. You always travel together, and you travel back by any train within the next 30 days.
From Stansted Airport you can go to Tottenham Hale (Zone 3) or Liverpool Street (Zone 1). It depends on where you live where you should go. Living in zone 2, it’s a pity to go all the way to zone 3 and pay an increased rate for the return).
Another option to get from the airport to central London is by bus. Here we can choose from many different destination stops in the city, but most will take us by coach to a larger station or station and make us change to a city bus. When choosing this method of transport, head to large stations, such as King’s Cross St Pancras, Liverpool Street, London Euston, Victoria Coach Station. The journey takes longer than by train, usually over an hour (1:10-1:20), and it’s not always worth it – you have to use the comparison websites available on the airport’s website.
For example – a group of 6 traveling with National Express can go for as little as £20 each way from Stansted Airport – Victoria Coach Station (and drop by Peggy Porschen’s patisserie nearby). By train it will be twice as expensive, but traveling by bus will take correspondingly longer – exactly 1:50h (remember – the train takes 47 minutes, but when changing the station to London Stratford also for Westfield, the journey takes only an hour, and it is possible to change to the metro or DLR train there) . Minus? Timetable. There is no excuse – the hour reserved on the ticket or no other. You will be late? You have a problem. Unless you buy the “Change&Go” option, which in practice will equal the price of the bus with the price of the train.
Here the journey is a bit more complicated, because no train leaves directly from the terminal. There are still two methods of travel – bus and train, but you still have to take a bus to get to the train. Don’t worry – it’s not as scary as you might think.
The train arrives at the Luton Airport Parkway station – which is not the same as the terminal itself. The terminal is located at Luton station (airport – bus), from where the purple bus of National Rail departs. Remember to select Luton (airport – bus) station as your starting point when booking your tickets. In this way, we get to the National Rail train, which will take us to one of the stations: St Pancras International, Farringdon and London Blackfriars (where you change to the underground) and City Thameslink. The best transfer base is of course St Pancras International, but remember that the underground leaves from the station next door – King’s Cross St Pancras.
The booking system is more complicated but it will also show you the cheapest options.
The rule still applies – the sooner, the cheaper. There are group discounts (applied automatically). The return ticket can be booked for a specific time or you can choose to return within a month.
The cheapest option is usually off-peak return. The return journey takes place during the month, however we can travel by train from 9:00-11:00 and after 18:00 (outside the peak hours for this route – be careful, because they are different for different routes, but the gates will not let you through at the wrong time time – if in doubt, ask the staff).
A sample 4-person adult trip for a return trip in three months is expected to cost £96. The journey takes an hour.
As for buses, the route is served by two carriers. The first is the Green Line, which runs every half an hour during the day. It is also best to buy tickets online on the carrier’s website https://tickets.arrivabus.co.uk (choose Green Line, direction Lonton Luton – Victoria Coach Station). The booking system is not available in Polish, but it allows you to clearly click through the discounts (they will not be calculated automatically).
From the offers that you may be interested in, in addition to the traditional adult ticket (£11 one-way or £17 with a return ticket valid for 3 months from the first trip), we have a Family Ticket for £35 one-way (two adults can travel together with two children or one adult with three children), Group ticket for 5 people traveling together for £25 one way, Student ticket for ISIC card holders (to be obtained online on the basis of a valid student ID) for £7.50 one way or £12 round trip, return trip must be within 3 months.
The second carrier is National Express, which also serves connections from Stansted. This carrier operates two routes, the A1 to Victoria Coach Station (journey time 1:25) and the A2 to Paddington (journey time 1:11, both stopping at intermediate stations). The discounts and booking system is the same as when traveling with Stansted, we just choose a different route. The system will show you the cheapest price option, and you have to stick to the timetable when traveling, unless you buy the right options.
I hope this post cleared all your doubts. If I was able to help you in any way, I will be glad if you share this post with the world. I welcome questions, if anything is unclear, I will be happy to answer in the comments and make corrections to the post if necessary. Fly high and have a nice trip! 🙂