How to save on Airport transfers

Taxi or train? How to minimise airport travel time and costs in Brits’ favourite European city destinations

Some European cities are reachable within minutes from the airport – others can be as much as an hour away. Travel search engine has analysed the data, allowing travellers to more intelligently plan their city breaks.


  • Costly cabs: In Reykjavik, travellers can save £113 by choosing public transport over a taxi – 600% more than public transport
  • Geneva has the quickest connections – a mere 6 minutes from the airport to city-centre when choosing public transport – and it is free
  • Patience required: When flying to Rome, you should plan for a minimum of 55 minutes to get to the city using public transport


London, 9. October 2017. Now that autumn is here, and the summer holidays are behind us, many British holidaymakers may be considering a city trip or two to keep the holiday blues at bay before Christmas. Although Brits can often find cheap travel to many European destinations,  many overlook the time and money spent getting to and from the airport to their city of choice – and on a quick city break, time is everything.

In an effort to help travellers maximise their time spent actually visiting rather than sitting on trains and taxis, travel search engine has collected data on the most popular European cities for British travellers, revealing the average costs and travel time Brits should expect when visiting their top destinations.

Quick connections:

For those looking to start their holiday without wasting a single moment, Geneva is undisputedly the best option. With its airport conveniently located just four miles from the city centre, travellers barely have to wait at all to start soaking up the sites. And the best part – the city provides a free airport connection, saving travellers up to £30 on taxi fares.

Other convenient options include Copenhagen, Denmark and Faro, Portugal, both of which are reachable in a quarter of an hour or less by public transport. For those who prefer the comfort of a taxi, Faro, Lisbon, Palma de Mallorca, and again, Geneva are all good choices at 15 minutes or less – however, travellers should be prepared to pay more: at £30, the quick trip from Geneva airport to the city centre will set travellers back £2 a minute.

Best bargains:

Price-conscious travellers looking to save their money for sightseeing and shopping should probably start their trip by skipping the taxi. This is especially true when travelling to Reykjavik, Paris (Charles de Gaulle) and Milan. In the latter two cities, travellers can save between £45 and £71 by choosing to use public transport options instead. In the Icelandic capital, which has the highest taxi prices out of the top twenty most popular cities for British tourists, travellers can save a whopping £113 by opting to rely on public transport – and they’ll only lose five minutes compared to those choosing to ride in a taxi.

Apart from Geneva, with its free airport connection, the cheapest cities to reach by public transport are Rome (£1.35), Budapest (£1.50), and Lisbon (£1.70). However, holidaymakers can cut their travel time in half (15 minutes) with a reasonable £9 cab ride to Lisbon, compared with the 30 minute journey on the underground.

Higher costs, longer journeys

The analysis also highlights the destinations for which travellers should budget extra time and money to reach the airport: Rome, Paris, and Athens, all famous for their traffic congestion, can each take at least 40 minutes, no matter the mode of travel chosen. However, travellers should also plan extra time if they are travelling to Budapest (45 minutes by train and 30 by taxi), Prague (40 minutes by bus and 30 by taxi), and Milan (45 minutes by train and 40 by taxi). Reykjavik joins them on the list as one of the most remote and expensive airports to reach, with even the bus costing a hefty £18.95 and taking 50 minutes.

Cheapest cities to reach from the airport On the home front

In Edinburgh, Leeds and Liverpool it takes a little longer (35, 40, 44 minutes), but for impatient travellers, there’s always the option of a taxi – this could be especially of interest to those in Leeds, where for just £9.20 more, travellers could save 16 precious minutes.

What about here in Britain? also took a look at travel times and costs from some of the UK’s major airports. The good news is that for most Brits, getting from the airport back to the city won’t take too long: London, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester are all accessible in under 25 minutes by train or bus.

John-Lee Saez, travel expert at says “Before departure, travellers should always inform themselves about the distance between their destination city and the airport they are flying into. Many low-cost carriers are known to fly into airports located on the outskirts of cities, which can be difficult to reach – and sometimes even more expensive than the cost of the flight*.

“Luckily, using KAYAK’s Explore tool, British travellers can make sure to find the best flight offers for their respective travel budgets: simply enter a departure airport, the desired date and flight duration, and the amount they wish to spend, and Explore will show them the matching destinations – all laid out nicely on the world map”.

Note to editors:

The analysis is based on the most searched-for European destinations and departure airports from the UK for return flights on The travel times and prices from the respective airports to the city centre were researched in September 2017. Information and prices can vary and may no longer be available. *£45 return easyJet flight from London Gatwick to Reykjavik on Monday 8th January 2018, returning on Friday 12 January 2018. Price correct as of 26/09/2017 on


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