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Six speedy weekend escapes

By Time Out in association with Stansted Express

When you’ve got the urge to get away, you don’t want to waste a second. And while planes, trains and automobiles are all part of the romance of travel, nothing quite beats arriving, dropping off your bags and starting to enjoy your break as soon as possible.

Make a quick getaway to somewhere an easy distance away via Stansted. It links you with destinations all over Europe and beyond, and getting to the airport couldn’t be easier or faster.

Stansted Express has the London part of your adventure sorted. It’s the fastest (47 minutes), most frequent (every 15 minutes) and most reliable (no traffic jams!) way to travel between central London and Stansted airport.

But what about when you land? Here are six of our favourite quick-fix breaks with fast links from the airport to your destination.

Ready? Get set… GO! 


From the airport to the city centre: 30 mins by Metro

With Old World sights, a vibrant foodie culture, buzzing nightlife and the Atlantic on its doorstep, Lisbon is the ideal city break for packing in a bit of everything. Just six miles from the airport, the city centre is less than half an hour away by Metro and only about €15 by taxi. Fancy mixing a city break with some quality beach time? There’s plenty of sand nearby – the Estoril-Cascais is a popular choice, but the unspoilt, rugged shores of the Serra de Sintra coastline are just waiting to be explored.


From the airport to the city centre: 30 mins by bus to the Old Town 

Nice airport is so well placed you can almost spot the tan lines on the sun worshippers below as you come into land, and the vast sweep of the bay and its dazzling azure waters instantly put you in the holiday mood. Browse alongside the locals at colourful food stalls, seek out treasures at the antiques and flea market, or just sit back and soak up that pulsing Côte d’Azur heat. By car, bus or taxi, you’re just a few minutes away from the centre (the famous Promenade des Anglais, which runs alongside the beachfront, starts outside the airport). 


From the airport to the city centre: 15 mins by Metro

On your approach to Kastrup airport, it’s worth having a window seat so you can see the famous Øresund Bridge in all its glory (and to see the airport’s main terminal building from above – the roof is designed to look like a paper plane). It takes about 13 minutes by Metro from Terminal 3 to Nørreport station in the city centre. From here, start exploring! Head down to the cafés on the waterside at Nyhaven, venture off the main shopping street (Strøget) to discover independent boutiques on the little lanes, get on a bike and head for the boho district of Christiania, and make sure you don’t come home before you’ve sampled the city’s celebrated New Nordic cuisine.


From the airport to the city centre: 30 mins on the Airport Express train

One of Europe’s most sophisticated cities is less than two hours away by air from Stansted, and from Schönefeld Airport it’s just half an hour to Alexanderplatz using the Airport Express. In summer, head for one of the ‘beach’ bars on the Spree (at Badeschiff you can combine tiki bar pleasures with a dip in the floating swimming pool), or cool off in the Contemporary Fine Arts gallery, before heading out into Berlin’s unique nightlife to sample the shows, clubbing and dining of the city at play.


From the airport to the city centre: around 20 mins on the train

Whether you’ve never been to the Netherlands before, or Amsterdam is already your favourite short-hop getaway, this city is always appealing. Life around its famous canals ranges from markets and sightseeing to art and clubbing. This is a city that knows how to eat well, and seemingly anywhere, if some of its best, most recently opened restaurants are anything to go by… Dauphine is set in a former Renault showroom, De Kas has blossomed in what used to be a municipal greenhouse and Pont 13 dishes up inside a converted ferry.


From the airport to the city centre: 20 mins by taxi

Fancy something just a little more far-flung? It might take four hours to fly to Marrakech, but for sun, sights and food (plus the thrill of crossing continents) Morocco can’t be beaten. The airport is only about 15 or 20 minutes’ drive by bus or taxi to Marrakech’s amazing main square – Jemaa el Fna. You’re right in the heart of the old city here, with snake charmers, the smells of street food and the busy souk all around you.

Make a quick getaway with Stansted Express

With trains departing every 15 minutes, Stansted Express is the fastest way to get to the airport. There are no traffic jams to hold you up and fares are available from just £7* per person each way, with return tickets valid for a month. Stansted Express links the airport to central London, with trains from Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale. Use the free onboard wifi to browse the Time Out website and plan your break to one of these or over 160 other destinations!

*Price per person, each way, when booked online in advance or when four people travel standard class return. Online advance offer fares subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.


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