London city airport: which transfer is the best?

How to get from London City Airport to the city center? Of the six airports that exist in the London area, London City is the one closest to the city center. Only 14 kilometers separate the airport from the heart of the English metropolis. Accordingly, London City Airport is very popular with travelers, as you can get to the city center very quickly and lose little time on transfers. However, you usually have to pay a little more for a flight to London City, as it is only served by classic airlines, such as Lufthansa or British Airways – no budget airlines land here! But what transfer options are offered in London City? In this article I present you all possible Transfers between London City Airport and the city center before.

transfer options between London City airport and the city center

There are 4 different transfer options available in London City:

  • Transfer by subway
  • Transfer by bus
  • Transfer by cab (Black Cabs and Mini Cabs)
  • Private Transfer (luxury cars and groups)

You can’t do anything wrong in that sense, because the airport is quite close to the city and you can get to the center quickly in all cases. However, the offers vary greatly in price. In the following sections, in addition to the prices, you will also find information about the advantages and disadvantages of the different transfer options:

Transfer by subway / DLR

London City Airport is not directly connected to the Underground network, but to the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) network. It is an "extension" of the subway network. The modern, driverless trains connect east London with Tube stations at Bank, Tower Gateway, Shadwell, Stratford, Bow, Heron Quays and Canning Town, as well as Canary Wharf.

Even if the DLR is not called subway: The same prices and tickets apply. London City Airport is in Zone 3 and so a single journey to the center costs £ 4.50, or. ca. 5,80 Euro. Travel time to London Bridge station is approx. 15 minutes and DLR trains run every 8 to 15 minutes from 5am to midnight.

As the usual tickets for the London Underground network are already valid for this trip, it is worthwhile to already use the daily or weekly Travelcard or Oystercard tickets here, which you will use during your stay in London.

BENEFITS: Cheap and fast. Independent of traffic jams. Can be used with Oystercard and Travelcard.

DISADVANTAGES: transfer to the subway after the trip is necessary.

PRICE: single trip £ 4,50

TRANSFER TIME: ca. 15 minutes to London Bridge

TIPS: book Oystercard or Travelcard before travel to just board DLR train on the spot.

Transfer by bus

The transfer by bus is still a little bit cheaper. Here it is recommended to choose the lines 473 (going to Stratford, Silvertown, North Woolwich and Prince Regent) or 474 (Canning Town, North Woolwich and East Beckton via Silvertown), which are connected to the subway network at the different stations.

The price for the trip is £ 3,30, which is about 4,25 Euro, but you can also use your Travelcard or Oystercard for this trip. However, this transfer is not the fastest (at least an hour), so you should only choose it if you have booked your accommodation in the east of London, for example in the cheap Stratford.

Tip: Use the London public transport route planner (here) to see if the bus is recommended as your connection. Just enter the airport as starting point and the address of your hotel as destination on the page.

ADVANTAGES: Very cheap

DISADVANTAGES: Very long transfer. Only recommended if you want to go to the east of London.

PRICE: £ 3,30

TRANSFER TIME: approx. 60 minutes

TIPSUse Oystercard or Travelcard and buy it before departure to save time.

Transfer by cab

Transfer with the classic black cabs: the Black Cabs

everybody knows the typical black London cabs, also called Black Cabs. Due to the proximity of the airport to the city, the fares are not so high and so a trip with the cabs is a real alternative to the other transfer options, as you will be dropped off right in front of your hotel, saving you the trouble of transferring and traveling with DLR or. Bus and then saved by subway.

The duration of the trip is between 25 minutes and 1 hour, depending on where you live London and the price is usually around 40 pounds. Attention: This is only a rough indication, because traffic jams can extend the trip and increase the price.

Nevertheless, it is a very good way to get around the city, especially since the cabs can carry up to 5 passengers and so you can share the cost.

A prior reservation is not necessary, there are always numerous cabs at the exit of the airport. When you arrive, just follow the "cab" signs to get to the cab rank.

ADVANTAGES: Convenient& comfortable. No luggage carrying. You will be chauffeured to the entrance of the hotel. Up to 5 people (cost sharing).

DISADVANTAGESPrice very variable. Can be expensive and take a long time if there is a traffic jam.

PRICE: ca. 40 pounds, can be more in case of congestion.

TRANSFER TIME: 25 minutes to 1 hour, depending on hotel location.

TIPS: Ideal for 4-5 people. prefer cash payment, as there is a 10% surcharge for card payment.

Transfer with Mini Cabs

The alternative to the classic cabs (Black Cabs) are the so-called Mini Cabs. These are driving services that transport passengers from A to B just like classic cabs, but are not allowed to pick them up spontaneously at the roadside. In order to use a Mini Cab, the customer must necessarily have booked their ride on the internet.

The advantage is that the ride is often up to 30% cheaper. Usually, Londoners spontaneously get into a classic cab (Black Cabs) for short distances in the city, but for longer trips they tend to book a Mini Cabs, because they are cheaper.

ADVANTAGESSee cabs. Fixed price without surprises.

DISADVANTAGESMust be booked in advance. Transfer time can be long if there is a traffic jam.

PRICEFrom approx. 38 pounds

TRANSFER DURATION: ca. 25 to 60 minutes, depending on the location of the hotel

TIPS: Must be booked online in advance! Can not be booked spontaneously.

Private transfer and group transfer in minibuses

If you want to treat yourself to something special in London, you can book a luxury transfer in a high-class carriage. Here you will be taken by your own chauffeur directly to the city and to your hotel. No more carrying your luggage and you can fully enjoy your ride into the city, past skyscrapers like The Shard. The price for this offer is ca. 90 €. The ride can be booked online here.

If you are traveling as a group and don’t feel like taking the subway and carrying your suitcases, you can book a shared transfer in a minibus. The price per person here is approx. 22 pounds (equivalent to 25 €). This is a little more expensive than taking a cab or mini cab. The advantage here is of course that one drives closed as a group.

Which transfer to choose from London City?

The cheapest transferThe cheapest transfer is without a doubt the subway. For just under 5 € you can take the train to the city and be independent of traffic jams. Practical: You can already use your Oystercard or Travelcard here. The bus is even cheaper, but it is not worth it for a trip to the center because of the long travel time.

If you live in the east of the cityHowever, if you are staying in the east of the city (and only in this case), you should consider using the buses. Check the connection in the route planner above.

For 3 or 4 peopleIf there are three or four people, it is worth choosing a cab service, as the price is divided by the number of people, and if there are 4 people, you only pay £10 for a £40 ride per person. This is still more expensive than the tube, where you will be dropped off right in front of your hotel. Here you have the choice between the classic cabs and the Mini Cab ride with fixed price (For 5 or more personsWith 5 persons you can still take a classic cab. If you are traveling in a bigger group, you can book a minibus for example. There is of course also the possibility to book two Mini Cabs or to take the tube normally.

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