Our Guide to Stansted Airport

Our Guide to Stansted Airport

Hello! Bonjour! Ni hau! Hola! Marhaba! And, Konnichiwa! Welcome to your handy, money-saving guide to Stansted Airport.

With so many options on offer when travelling to or via London, it can be difficult to know how to make your holiday fund go as far as possible. This guide is full of useful tips and advice to help budget travellers save time and money on trips.

Stansted is a great choice: the UK’s third busiest airport is home to 12 airlines including many budget providers. Just 36 miles north-east of the capital, Stansted is the ideal destination for the savvy traveller, and now boasts the cheapest bus transfers to major Central London destinations – such as London Bridge Station – with Airport Bus Express.

Key airport information

Distance from London 36 miles (56 km)
Opening Hours 24 hours a day
Destinations 150 worldwide
Passengers per Year 17.5 million
Airport Code STN
Postcode CM24 1RW
General Queries Hotline +44 (0)844 335 1803

While you wait

Kicking your heels at the airport is something that all seasoned travellers know about. But, never fear! Stansted provides a host of services and facilities to help you make the most of your time there.

Free WiFi

Free WiFi is available for 60 minutes per registered device each day via the ‘_stanstedairport’ network, giving you the ideal opportunity to plan the next leg of your trip, catch up with friends or just take a load off and browse the web.

Grab a bite

If you’re feeling peckish, there’s eateries to suit all budgets within the terminal. It’s easy to let costs spiral once you’re through to the departure lounge, so we recommend a budget option such as Wetherspoons, Pret, Starbucks or ITSU to help make those pounds go further.

Cheap shopping

Whether you’re on the lookout for a souvenir or just browsing for holiday provisions, Duty Free can be a life-saver for purchasing travel accessories, cosmetics, clothes, alcohol or electronic goods without paying out for VAT (providing your destination is outside the EU).

Travel organising

It’s not the most fun part of travelling, but you could use your time to get organised, letting you happily forget any little concerns before you fly out. The airport’s information desk is open 24/7 (except Christmas Day) and can be found in the international arrivals area. Here, you can make general or flight specific enquiries, print or photocopy boarding and other travel documents or send out a paging call across the facility.

Trip money

Many currency exchanges, such as Moneycorp, can be found in the airport, but the smart traveller orders their holiday money in advance and can simply collect it as they stroll through. If you’re visiting from a country outside of the EU, make sure you use this time reclaim the VAT on purchases made whilst in the country to put towards your next holiday fund.

Say hi to home

And, if you’re looking to fire off a postcard, you’ll be glad to know that post boxes can be found in Check-in Zone E and International Arrivals, with a WHSmith next to each so you can buy whatever you need.

Around the airport44560966_s

There is no shortage of hotels near Stansted Airport, but how do you know that you’re getting the best deal? Here’s our handy guide to help you get the most for your money.

Premier Inn Stansted Airport Hotel

Minimum room price: £35

Travel time: 15 minutes

Shuttle bus price: £3 per person (under 15s travel free)

Total minimum price = £38

De Salis Hotel Stansted

Minimum room price: £65

Travel time: 5 minutes

Shuttle bus price: £4.50 per person (discounts given for parties of 2+)

Total minimum price = £69.50

Holiday Inn Express London Stansted Airport

Minimum room price: £67

Travel time: 5 minutes

Shuttle bus price: £3 per person (under 17s travel free)

Total minimum price = £70

Hilton London Stansted Airport

Minimum room price: £69

Travel time: 6 minutes

Shuttle bus price: £3 per person (under 16s travel free)

Total minimum price = £72

And, if you’re keen to avoid hotels altogether, Stansted has plenty of benches and seats to rest up on (mainly outside Arrivals), as well as shower facilities and a very nice Escape Lounge (but note, you have to pay to use this).

Things to do in London

22912063_sAirport Bus Express offer a unique, convenient transfer directly to London Bridge, situated right at the heart of the capital. From here, you have easy access to some of London’s biggest attractions, either on foot or using London’s world-leading public transport network.

London’s not all about West-End show tickets for nose-bleed-inducing prices, you know! So, when you’ve arrived at London Bridge via the cheapest route possible from any London airport, what are the top tips for fascinating sites to see at the lowest cost?

Borough Market

A world-renowned culinary market, where you can pick up top notch street food and unique ingredients from every part of the globe.

Attraction cost: Free entry. Food priced from £5 upwards.

Travel cost: Free (walking distance)

Distance from London Bridge: 0.2 miles

Opening times: Sun – Mon = 10:00 – 16:00, Sat = 08:00 – 16:00

Shakespeare’s Globe

Built on the site of Shakespeare’s famous Tudor Globe Theatre, the current incarnation puts on open-air shows from April to October, as well as running tours and an exhibition space.

Attraction cost: Standing tickets from £5

Travel cost: Free (walking distance)

Distance from London Bridge: 0.5 miles

Opening times: 09:30 – 17:30 daily (exhibition space), show times vary but are published in advance.


A 62-metre-tall monument to the Great Fire of London, you can climb to the top and take in one of Central London’s finest views from this lofty vantage point.

Attraction cost: Adults = £4, Concessions = £2.70, Children = £2

Travel cost: Free (on foot) or £2.30 (Underground with Oyster Card)

Distance from London Bridge: 0.7 miles

Opening times: 09:30 – 18:00 daily

Brick Lane

Where London’s creative young types come to congregate, Brick Lane boasts a fine vintage market, pop up shops, galleries, venues and street art.

Attraction cost: Free

Travel cost: £2.30 (Underground with Oyster Card)

Distance from London Bridge: 1.4 miles

Opening times: Various. Market = Sundays 09:00 – 17:00

Free museums

Visitors to London are spoilt for choice when it comes to free, world-class museums in the capital, on every subject you could want to know about! These include: the British Museum, Museum of London, Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum, Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum (art and design).

Attraction costs: All the above listed are free

Travel cost: £2.30 (Underground with Oyster Card)

Distance from London Bridge: 1.2 miles – 4.3 miles

Opening times: 10:00 – 17:30/18:00

Parliament Hill

An area of open parkland that climbs to 98 metres, this is another ideal spot to soak up the cityscape, but this time you can bring a picnic.

Attraction cost: Free

Travel cost: £2.30 off-peak or £2.90 during peak times (Underground with Oyster Card)

Distance from London Bridge: 5.6 miles

Opening times: 09:00 – 16:30/21:00 (dependent on season)

Royal Parks

Many of London’s parks are now listed as Royal Parks, and include major attractions. These include: Regent’s Park (home of London Zoo), Kensington Gardens (containing Kensington Palace and the Princess Diana Memorial Playground), and St. James’ Park (home of the Horse Guard Parade).

Attraction cost: Entry to all parks is free; attractions may be extra

Travel cost: £2.30 (Underground with Oyster Card)

Distance from London Bridge: 2.1 miles – 3.5 miles

Opening times: 05:00 – Dusk

Getting there and getting away

Stansted Airport lies outside of London’s primary transport network, making trains less convenient and taxis an expensive choice. Our recommendation is to take a cheap, direct and convenient bus transfer – here are the details.


Stansted Station is just outside the main terminal. Unless you book well in advance, ticket prices tend to rise significantly and can put a serious dent in your holiday fund.

Stansted is primarily served by the Stansted Express, which runs from 03:40am – 11:25pm, departing from Tottenham Hale or London Liverpool Street stations.


There are a number of specialist taxi services that operate from Stansted. However, because the airport is situated some way outside the capital, taxi prices are generally out of most travellers’ budget range, whether they are pre-booked or on a meter.


If you’re looking to travel right to the heart of the capital on a budget, then a bus service is the way to go. Airport Bus Express offer a friendly and reliable service that’s the cheapest around.

Get where you want to go: Airport Bus Express provide the only transfers available from Stansted Airport direct to the key rail terminus of London Bridge Station, plus also Victoria Station and Stratford International, meaning less time spent travelling in to the centre from bus pick-up points or satellite stations.

A family company founded in Italy in 1924, Airport Bus Express are famous for making holidays happen for their customers, all at an unbeatable price.


The Airport Bus Express terminus is located at the coach station right outside the main airport terminal, with all services leaving from bays 13 and 14.

Buses travel between Stansted Airport and one of three destinations: London Bridge Station (the only service to this destination!), Victoria Station, Stratford International.

Operating Hours

  • Stansted to London Bridge run once every hour from 07:20 – 00:30, while passengers can hop on a return back to the airport from 02:30 – 18:10.
  • Stansted to Victoria run every 20/30 minutes throughout the day from 04:00 – 01:00 with returns operating from 02:45 – 22:30.
  • Stansted to Stratford run once every hour from 07:20 – 00:30 with returns operating from 02:55 – 18:40.


Airport Bus Express is the smart solution for money-saving travel, with unbeatable single tickets for as little as £10.

Here’s a rough guide to our ticket prices:

Route Single Return Child (single)
STN – London Bridge £10 £18 £5
STN – Victoria £12 £18 £5
STN – Stratford £10 £18 £5

Look out for offers on our website to help make your holiday fund go even further!

Enjoy your trip!

One of the world’s best cities, London is a must-see destination for anyone travelling to the UK – the home of British culture, entertainment, music and fashion, with enough attractions to ensure that you’ll be coming back for more.

Stansted Airport is London’s third busiest and the obvious choice for the savvy traveller, with top budget airlines travelling to the region.

With so much to do, make sure that your time isn’t wasted waiting for lengthy transfers to far-flung destinations. Airport Bus Express is the low-hassle way of getting right to the heart of the action.

With unbeatable prices and unique, direct transfers straight to London Bridge Station, it makes sense to travel smart with Airport Bus Express.