How to get from Heathrow to Stansted

Heathrow Airport (LHR)TransportationAirport to Stansted

Transit Options from Heathrow to Stansted

Once landing at London Heathrow Airport, you’ll find several ways to traverse the 60-mile/96km distance from LHR to STN Airport. Travelers who have comfort and luxury as their priorities usually opt for a Heathrow airport transfer or an airport taxi. In contrast, autonomous journeyers often settle on hiring a car rental. Alternatively, passengers looking for a cheap traveling option can choose between the direct bus or the fast train and the low-cost subway. However, they’ll have to change lines to get from London Heathrow to Stansted.


OptionsPrice (£)Price (€)Price ($)Duration
Taxi8092.1098.9080-90 min
Bus182122.5090 min
Train / Subway26.30-48.4030.50-56.6032.70-60.7088-120 min

Heathrow Airport to Stansted by Taxi

Heathrow airport taxis are the old-time-classic way to travel from Heathrow Airport to Stansted Airport. Reliable and fast, Heathrow taxis are divided into two categories. Thus, you can choose to travel with the ordinary black cabs (also known as hackney carriages), which can be booked online. Nevertheless, passengers can also hire their back taxi from the airport taxi ranks, which are to be found opposite T2’s bus stop 12, next to T3’s bus stops 16-22, outside the T4 Arrivals area, and opposite T5’s bus stops 10-12. The black cabs are purpose-built, spacious vehicles with an up-to-5-passenger capacity, which can be of any color (and not only black). A licensed Heathrow black taxi has the “Taxi” light on its roof, a white license plate displaying the vehicle’s useful info, and a green or yellow license sticker on its windshield. Moreover, the drivers of the black taxis must wear a yellow or green badge.

During rush hours, you may have to wait at the taxi stands for your Heathrow airport taxi.

Conversely, the fleets of private-hire vehicles (minicabs) consist of various types of vehicles. They are all legal as long as they have the Transport for London license disk on their windows and their drivers present a private-hire ID. However, you can’t catch a minicab from the airport taxi ranks, as minicabs must be reserved in advance. Verily, once completing the booking process, you’ll find the private-hire vehicle waiting at the Short-term Parking facility of your terminal. Please note that the waiting time there may be added to the final rate.

Heathrow airport taxis are considered overall safe and reliable, as their drivers are background-checked and obliged to pass regular medical examinations.

Unfortunately, Heathrow airport taxis are considered rather expensive. Even though black taxis are metered, and minicabs offer set pieces, they charge approximately the same in the end. Just to be precise, minicabs are slightly cheaper. Some taxi drivers offer negotiated prices for black taxi rides as well. Still, the taximeter must be on during the journey. Thus, if it displays a lower fare, that’s what the passenger going to pay.

The charging system of black cabs is tricky. In any case, the initial tariff is 3.80£/4.40€/4.70$, and the airport fee is 3.60£/4.10€/4.40$. Hence, you should expect to pay around 80£/92.10€/98.90$ for the 80-90-minute ride from LHR to STN. Still, heavy traffic will certainly raise both Heathrow airport taxis and the minicabs’ traveling time as well as the black cabs’ final cost.

Heathrow Airport to Stansted by Bus

Bus rides are the top value-for-money option for your travel from Heathrow to Stansted. Verily, they directly link the two airports, providing fast services at an affordable price. 

The coaches of the National Express Company offer free Wi-Fi and have designated luggage space (hence, the baggage allowance is adequate) and leather seating. The National Express Shuttles depart from the Heathrow Central Bus Station (near T2 and T3) and the T5 Bus Station from 07:40 am to 11:30 pm. The traveling time from Heathrow to Stansted is around 90 minutes. Please keep in mind that you’ll find earlier and later routes heading to STN as well. However, they require a change of buses at Victoria Station, making the journey tiring and considerably longer. 

Moreover, the price of a standard ticket from LHR to STN starts from 18£/21€/22.50$. In-advance reservations are recommended to ferret out bargain deals. On the other hand, if you are worried about potential delays on your flight to Heathrow, you can opt for the Change and Go option, allowing you to hop on a National Express Coach 12 hours before or after the selected departing time at an extra 5£/5.80€/6.20$ cost.

As far as payment methods are concerned, it is recommended to book your fare online, as you won’t be charged the booking fee. Alternatively, the ticket machines of Heathrow Central Bus Station are open 24/7, whereas the automatic ticket vendors of T5 can be used during the Bus Station’s operational hours, that is, from 08:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Heathrow Airport to Stansted by Train/Subway

You won’t find a direct train or London Underground Line directly running from London Heathrow to Stansted. Still, if you head to Liverpool Street at the city center, you can take the Stansted Express heading to STN Airport.

Stansted Express is the fast train linking London to the Stansted Airport Station, lying 5 minutes from the STN Departure hall. It has ample luggage space, comfortable seats, and charging points while offering free Wi-Fi use. Trains run every 20 minutes during rush hours and peak days of the week and every 30 minutes during off-peak hours and on weekends and public holidays. Explicitly, Stansted Express operates daily from 03:40 am to 11:25 pm and from 04:10 am to 11:25 pm on Sundays. Its traveling time is 50 minutes. The cost of a Stansted Express ticket is around 20.70£/24€/25.70$. However, if you opt for an early booking, you may pay as much as 9.90£/11.50€/12.30$ for your ticket. In any case, kids aged 5-15 pay half the price, whereas children 0-5 travel for free. Please note that Oyster Cards and contactless payments aren’t accepted for Stansted Express rides.

How to Reach Liverpool Street

You’ll have the following rail options for your journey from London Heathrow to Liverpool Street:

  1. Elizabeth Line to Liverpool Street

Elizabeth Line runs from T2/T3 London Underground Station and from T4/T5 Train Stations to London (and Liverpool Street). It operates from 05:21 am (05:54 am on Sundays) to 00:12 am from T2/T3, from 05:30 am (06:03 on Sundays) to 11:47 pm from T4, and from 05:15 am (05:49 am on Sundays) to 00:07 am from T5. The ride to Liverpool Street lasts around 38 minutes. The fare for Elizabeth Line is 13.30£/15.40€/16.40$ no matter the time of the day. Still, if you opt for a paper ticket, the cost will be slightly higher.

Thus, the total traveling time from Heathrow to Stansted Airport is 88 minutes, and the cost of the journey is around 34£/39.70€/42.60$.

2. Picadilly Line to Liverpool Street

You can also take the London Underground to Liverpool Street. However, you’ll have to stop at Holborn Station and change to Central Line heading to Liverpool Street. Your overall ride will last around one hour and cost 5.60£/6.50€/7$. Picadilly Line runs at a 5-10-minute frequency from all terminals. Nevertheless, its timetable ranges depending on the time of the day and the day of the week. Explicitly, you can take a look at the everyday timetable of the Picadilly Line from Heathrow Airport:

Heathrow TerminalMonday - ThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
T2/T305:12 am - 11:45 pm05:12 am - 03:07 am03:17 am - 03:07 am03:17 am - 11:20 pm
T405:02 am - 11:35 pm05:02 am - 11:37 am05:06 am - 11:38 am05:42 am - 10:37 pm
T505:22 am - 11:42 pm05:22 am - 03:04 am03:14 am - 03:04 am03:14 am - 11:25 pm

All in all, the ride with London Underground and Stansted Express from Heathrow to Stansted lasts approximately 2 hours and is priced at around 26.30£/30.50€/32.70$. 

3. Heathrow Express to Liverpool Street

You can also opt for the combination of Heathrow Express, London Underground, and Stansted Express trains from Heathrow to Stansted. Verily, although super-fast, Heathrow Express reaches Paddington Station in downtown London. From there, you’ll have to catch the Hammersmith & City Line to Liverpool Street (after an 8-minute walk). Hence, your journey’s duration will be around 42 minutes, and its cost will be 27.70£/32.10€/34.40$. Please keep in mind that Heathrow Express operates from T2/T3 Train Station as well as from T5 Rail Hub every 15 minutes (every 30 minutes after 10:00 pm). Its running hours are from 05:20 am to midnight.

Therefore, the ride with Heathrow Express, London Underground, and Stansted Express from London Heathrow to Stansted lasts about 95 minutes and costs 48.40£/56.60€/60.70$.

How to Pay for your Rail Ride from Heathrow to Liverpool Street

As far as rides with Elizabeth Line are concerned, you’ll have the following options:

  • Paper Tickets: available from the airport ticket offices and automatic machines. They are somewhat pricier than the other payment methods. Still, they are a convenient payment option.
  • Oyster Card: the rechargeable smart cards can be loaded with money or Travelcards. Oyster Cards cost 7£/8.10€/8.65 and are valid for all public transit means. They usually operate via the “pay as you go” system. Thus, you’ll be charged for all your public rides until reaching the daily cap (the maximum fare calculated via various factors, such as the traveling London zones, the duration of the rides, etc.). Once reaching the daily cap, you’ll no longer be charged for the onward public journeys (until 04:29 am the next day). Nevertheless, you’ll have to touch in your Oyster Card at the yellow card readers, lying at the airport’s rail stations, and touch it out at Liverpool Street to exploit the “pay as you go” advantages. In any case, children aged 11-15 (up to 4 per paying adult) travel for free.
  • Visitor Oyster Card: also a rechargeable card. However, it can be topped up only with money. Visitor Oyster Cards can be bought only online (through the VisitBritain Shop) and mailed to the buyer’s home address. The price of a Visit Oyster Card is 5£/5.80€/6.20$.
  • Travelcards: also available only online and sent to the buyer’s address, Travelcards can be used for unlimited rides with London’s public transit modes for 1, 2, or 3 days. You’ll find Travelcards for London’s Zones 1-4 or Zones 1-6. For your ride from Heathrow to the city center, you’ll have to buy a Travelcard for Zones 1-6. Its price (for a one-day Travelcard) is 15.20£/17.60€/18.80$.
  • Contactless payment: the easiest way to pay for your Heathrow to Liverpool Street ride. Nevertheless, to benefit from the “pay as you go” charging system, you’ll have to touch in and out with the same device (smartwatch, mobile, bank card, etc.).

You can buy your tickets for Heathrow Express online or through the ticket offices and machines of LHR. Please keep in mind that Oyster Cards and contactless payments are accepted (yet the daily cap doesn’t apply for rides with Heathrow Express), but Travelcards aren’t a payment option for Heathrow Express. Nevertheless, children up to 15 years of age don’t have to pay for their tickets.

On the other hand, to pay for your London Underground tickets, you can use an Oyster Card, a Travelcard for Zones 1-6, contactless payment, or a somewhat more expensive paper ticket.

Car Rental from Heathrow to Stansted

Heathrow car rentals are the number one choice of travelers relishing autonomous rides. Verily, with a rental car, you’ll be able to plan your journey to Stansted Airport at your own pace. Should you have a long layover before your upcoming flight, you’ll have the chance to explore regions and attractions lying on your way from LHR to STN without worrying about catching the right public transit route, finding the closer alighting stop, or being dependent on the rather pricey Heathrow airport taxis. Are you worried about the London car rentals‘ cost? Heathrow houses plenty of car hire providers. Thus, if you search and compare the options, you’ll find top deals and not-to-be-missed offers. In fact, early in-advance bookings almost always come with better prices and wider availability of vehicle models.

The traveling time with your car rental from Heathrow Airport to Stansted Airport will be 60-80 minutes under normal traffic conditions and 70-110 when roads are congested. As soon as you reach STN Airport, you’ll have to either drop off the rental car or park it. Stansted Airport offers various parking options. Thus, apart from the short-term and the long-term parking amenities, you can opt for the Mid-stay Parking Lots, the JetParks (ideal for longer-than-a-week stays), or the Valet services. Alternatively, you’ll find various car parks located at a further distance from the airport.

Heathrow Airport Transfers from LHR to STN

If you want to elevate your traveling experience from Heathrow to Stansted Airport, it is advisable to settle on a Heathrow airport transfer. Luxurious and top-rated, private airport transfers are more lavish and trustworthy even than the undoubtedly reliable Heathrow airport taxis. Heathrow airport transfers provide welcome services at the airport, safe, door-to-door rides, and many side amenities. Their main advantage is that they usually offer utterly personalized services. On the other hand, they are somewhat pricier than airport taxis. Still, they justify their fares, while a thorough search-and-compare process and a well-in-advance booking usually guarantee lower prices.


How long is the transfer from Heathrow to STN?

The duration of your Heathrow to Stansted ride varies depending on the chosen mode of transit and the time of the day (car rides and buses are dependent on traffic levels). Hence, the journey with an airport taxi, a Heathrow airport transfer, or a rental car will last around 80-90 minutes under normal traffic conditions, whereas the direct bus ride from LHR to STN will have approximately the same duration. On the other hand, if you opt for the indirect rail option, you should expect an 88-120-minute traveling time.

Is there a shuttle between Heathrow and Stansted?

The National Express Coaches handle rides from London Heathrow to Stansted Airport. As a matter of fact, they directly link the two airports, operating from 07:40 am to 11:30 pm. Overall, they need 90 minutes to travel from LHR to STN, while their prices start from 18£/21€/22.50$.

How much is a taxi from Heathrow Airport to Stansted Airport?

Both London black taxis and minicabs charge approximately the same, although black cabs are metered, and minicabs offer set fares. Therefore, you should expect an 80£/92.10€/98.90$ fare for your taxi journey from London Heathrow to Stansted.