Getting to and from Stansted Airport Cheaply
If you want to save money on airport transportation, moral of the story is: BOOK EARLY and ONLINE.
Absolute cheapest when booked in advance is easyBus, where you can snag fares as low as £4 each way (plus 25p booking fee). Since planning for my own trip, they have changed both their price structure and their drop-off points; fares are higher across the board, but they have capped them at £13, offering the choice of Baker Street or Victoria Station in central London. Leaves every 20-30 minutes.
- EasyBus uses minibuses and relies on advance bookings; therefore, there is no guarantee that space will be available for walk-up purchase. Walk-up fares are currently £8 one-way.
Next cheapest option is Terravision, offering a flat £13 return when booked online to Victoria Station or Liverpool Street. Leaves every 30-60 minutes.
- The same return fare purchased at their airport counter will cost £14. One-way fares for £8, no matter where booked.
National Express will transport you for £17 return, stopping at Baker Street, Marble Arch and Victoria Station. Departures every 20 minutes. Search the web for current discount codes to save yourself an additional 5-10%.
- National Express is the only carrier offering 24-hour service. Fares (excluding discount codes) are the same whether purchased online or on-the-spot.
You’ll save £2 online when booking your Stansted Express tickets to Tottenham Hale (£22 return) or Liverpool Street (£24 return). If you’re flying RyanAir, save even more by purchasing return tickets from your flight attendants for £20 return. Departures four times per hour.
Seeing the Tates
Not only do the Tate Britain and Tate Modern offer free admission, they also offer free guided tours up to five times daily.
The Tate Britain shows you around at 12 and 15 everyday, with additional tours weekdays at 11 and 14. There is an additional guided interpretation of the “painting of the month” Tuesdays at 1315 and Saturdays at 1430.
The Tate Modern offers tours at 11 and 12 (meeting on level 3) and 14 and 15 (meeting on level 5) every day of the week.
Even more fun is the first Friday of every month, where the Tate Britain stays open till 22; from 18-22 runs its “Late at Tate” program, with drinks, performances, music, talks, films, and half-price exhibition entry on offer. Check out the website for more details.
The photo exhibition “Life Before Death” (which you may have seen featured on Kottke or Dooce) is showing until the 18 May at the Wellcome Collection, near Euston Station. Admission to all exhibitions is free. The galleries are open from 10-18, Thursdays till 22. Closed Mondays.
Need an UK Plug Adapter?
Boots offers a wide variety of US-UK, Euro-UK and reverse plug adapters for only £2-3 in their electrical or travel section. If you’re flying through Stansted, Boots is handily located in the insecure area at the end of check-in aisle B or in the secured area in the far left corner of the main terminal building. If necessary, you can also purchase replacement toiletries for anything confiscated by security.
Arriving to/Departing from London after Midnight and before 0530
Well, Cinder(f)ella, the Tube turns into a pumpkin overnight and you’ll have to become familiar with the city’s network of night buses. Use the official Journey Planner to figure out the closest or fastest route between two points.