Python list to string

last modified January 29, 2024

Python list to string tutorial shows how to convert a list to a string in Python.

To turn a list of elements into a single string in Python, we will utilize the join, map, str functions and the string concatenation operator.

The join function returns a string which is the concatenation of the strings in the given iterable. The map function return an iterator that applies the given function to every item of iterable, yielding the results. The str function transforms the given object to a string.

Python uses the + operator to concatenate strings.

Python list to string examples

In the first example, we transform the list to a string with the join function.


words = ['a', 'visit', 'to', 'London']

slug  = '-'.join(words)

In the example, we create a slug from a list of words.

$ ./list2string.py 

In the next example, we use the join function and the Python list comprehension.


words = ['There', 'are', 3, 'chairs', 'and', 2, 'lamps', 'in', 
    'the', 'room']

msg  = ' '.join(str(word) for word in words)


Not all elements in the words list are strings; therefore, we need to transform the integers to strings before applying the join function. For this, we use the Python list comprehension construct.

$ ./list2string2.py 
There are 3 chairs and 2 lamps in the room    

Alternatively, we can also use the map function.


words = ['There', 'are', 3, 'chairs', 'and', 2, 'lamps', 'in', 
    'the', 'room']

msg  = ' '.join(map(str, words))

We apply the str function on each element of the list with the map function. Then we join all the elements with join.

$ ./list2string3.py 
There are 3 chairs and 2 lamps in the room

Finally, we use a string concatenation operator to transform a list to a string.


words = ['There', 'are', 3, 'chairs', 'and', 2, 'lamps', 'in', 
    'the', 'room']

msg = ''

for word in words:

    msg += f'{word} '


We go through all the elements of the list in a for loop. We build the string using the string concatenation operator. (In our case the += compound operator.)

$ ./list2string4.py 
There are 3 chairs and 2 lamps in the room 


Python datastructures - language reference

In this article we have converted lists to strings in Python.


My name is Jan Bodnar and I am a passionate programmer with many years of programming experience. I have been writing programming articles since 2007. So far, I have written over 1400 articles and 8 e-books. I have over eight years of experience in teaching programming.

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