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How to travel from Heathrow to London (all options compared)

Landing at Heathrow Airport and unsure how to get to your accommodation in London? Find out all the options in this practical guide to how to get from Heathrow to London.

London Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports, and unless you are being picked up by friends, relatives, or for business, the first question for many visitors is how to actually get from Heathrow into London.

Heathrow airport is around 15 miles to the west of London and, depending on the time of flight arrival, travel time into the city can vary considerably. 

Travel between Heathrow Terminals may also be required before travelling into the central areas of London.

You may feel overwhelmed by the different options and wonder which is the best, cheapest, quickest, easiest, or simply the best way for you to get from Heathrow into London.

In this article, we cover ALL of the options to help you choose the best way for you to make the transfer. Read on for all the info!

Best option? Book a private transfer with our partner Riz of XFA Cars. Read the fabulous reviews Riz and his team have received from previous clients and hear Riz chat all about his fabulous transfer services to London and beyond on the UK Travel Planning Podcast.

Looking for a place to stay in London? If you are not sure where to stay in London our neighbourhood guide to the best places to stay in London is the best place to start. It includes information about each area plus recommended accommodation options for all budgets and travel styles.

Or are you arriving late in the day? Or flying out early morning? Check out our guide to the best Heathrow hotels.

Heathrow airport plane coming into land.
Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world

FAQs – Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport has 5 terminals

  • Terminal 1 (T1) is no longer used.
  • Terminal 2 (T2) – mainly European arrivals.
    • Close to T3, around 10 mins walk via a moving walkway.
    • Free shuttle bus between T2 and T4.   
    • Four free trains run also, and takes around 20 mins.
    • From the Heathrow Central station, Heathrow express train to T5 takes about 20 mins.
  • Terminal 3 (T3) – mainly US, South America, Asia and some European arrivals.
    • Close to T2, around 10 mins walk via a moving walkway.
    • Free shuttle bus between T3 and T4.  
    • Four free trains run also, and takes around 20 mins.
    • From the Heathrow Central station, Heathrow express train to T5 takes about 20 mins.
  • Terminal 4 (T4) – mainly long-haul and European arrivals but also served by multiple global destinations.
    • T2 and T3 free shuttle bus, takes around 20mins.
    • T5 -Go to bus stop 7, take bus number 482 or 490 showing a destination ‘Heathrow Terminal 5’ – free service (no cost). Takes around 20 mins.
  • Terminal 5 (T5) – Exclusively used by 2 airline services, British airways (BA) and Iberia.
    • T2 and T3 – Free Heathrow Express train service to Heathrow Central Station. Takes around 20 mins.
    • T4 – Bus stop 7, take Bus 482 (destination ‘Southall town Hall’) or Bus 490 (Destination ‘Pools on the Park’).

How to get from Heathrow to London – Quick Guide

TUBE£6 for a single journey

Discounted rate with an Oyster Card

Included with London Travelcard (unlimited tube travel) £13.10
+/- 60 minsEvery 10 – 20 mins5 am – 11.30 pm


£22 one way
£37 return
(Paddington Station)
+/- 15 minsEvery 15 mins5 am – 11.30 pmBUY HEATHROW EXPRESS TICKETS HERE
£6 one way
£11 return (Victoria Coach Station)
Varies depending on time of dayUp to 4 times an hour during peak travel timesDaily between 4 am and 10 pmBOOK NATIONAL EXPRESS TICKETS HERE
PRIVATE CAR TRANSFERPrice variesVaries dependent on time of dayPrebookedPrebookedBOOK YOUR PRIVATE TRANSFER HERE
TAXI CAB5 am – 11.30pmVaries dependent on time of day
UBERVaries dependent on time of day

What are the various options available to travel from Heathrow Airport to London?

Personal taste, circumstances and budget will mainly determine the ‘best’ way to travel from Heathrow Airport into the city of London.

Factors to consider when choosing the best option for you:

  • Where in the city you are travelling to?
  • How many in your travel party?
  • The age/ mobility/ energy levels of your travelling party.
  • The day/time of the day you plan to travel.

Option 1 – Tube Train from Heathrow Airport

  • Underground (subway) – Piccadilly underground line (dark blue colour on the London Underground map), journey time – approx. 60 mins, often no more than 10 -20 mins wait between trains, depends on time and day of the week.
  • Heathrow is situated in Zone 6 on the London Underground zones.
  • Discounted tickets with the visitor Oyster card, maximum day fare caps may apply.
  • A London Travel card may be an option and can include tube travel costs
  • Read more about using public transport in London including the Tube.

Factors to consider

  • Can be difficult if you have a lot of luggage.  Can be a lot of walking on/off the tube and changing tube trains.
  • Tube trains can get very full.
  • Can be a challenge for small children, the elderly or for anyone with mobility issues.
  • Can be a cheaper option.
London Underground sign.
Sign indicates location of London underground stations

Option 2 – Heathrow Express from Heathrow Airport

  • Non-stop trains, every 15 mins departure to London Paddington train station.  Journey time, 15 – 20 mins.
  • Trains run from around 5 AM to around 11 – 11.30 PM (depends on the day of the weeks, and around planned engineering works or weather impact.

Factors to consider

  • Plenty of space to store luggage. 
  • Easy trains access. 
  • Consider that connections to tube trains or London Overground trains may involve a lot of walking.
  • Depending on the day/time of travel, trains can be nearly empty or very full.
  • Train is fast.
  • Not expensive for Heathrow Express tickets
  • Good selection of value hotels in close proximity to London Paddington station for ongoing journeys.  Great option if you have an early flight the following morning.

Option 3 – Bus from Heathrow Airport

  • The bus N9 runs from Heathrow’s central bus station.
  • Consider this option when the tube is not operating, such as night time.
  • Bus runs into central London. 
  • Travel time is variable on the traffic congestion. 
  • Note: London traffic can be heavy, all day and sometimes into the night.
  • National Express coach/bus – Costs approximately £6 single journey.  Coaches run Heathrow to London Victoria central bus station. Each journey is around 30 mins depending on traffic but can increase to over 2 hours.
  • Frequency depends on the time of day, ranges from 1 to 4 coaches an hour.
  • Operates from around 4 AM to around 10 PM.

Factors to consider

  • Plenty of space to store luggage on National Express. 
  • Limited space on buses.
  • Buses/coaches give a good view of the city and good fun for children. 
  • Not expensive.
  • Journey time can be variable depending on traffic, roadworks and weather.
Red London bus.

Option 4 – Private Car Transfer from Heathrow Airport

  • Obviously depends on your destination but can start around £50.
  • Useful for groups of around 4 and if any of the group find mobility challenging.
  • Duration depends on traffic and the final destination.


Option 5 – Taxi Cab from Heathrow Airport

  • No flat rate charges, fare is based on a taxi meter and based on the length of the journey as to the overall incurred cost.

Option 6 – Uber

  • As per the app quoted fares.
  • Fares dependent on:
  • Day/Time of travel.
  • Number of people in the travel group.

Factors to consider

  • Easy option. 
  • Limited space on buses.
  • Good view of the city and good fun for children. 
  • Can be expensive if based on a taxi meter.
  • Journey time can be variable depending on traffic, roadworks and weather.
London cab is one way to get from Heathrow to London.
It is possible to take a cab from Heathrow Airport to London but it is a pricy option!

Enjoy your trip to London

I am sure this article has helped you decide which of the many options is best for you to get from Heathrow into London and to your accommodation Read my guide to the best areas of London for your stay here.

Whether you decide to book a private transfer, take the bus or make plans to catch the Tube, Heathrow Express, cab or Uber it will be easier and less stressful to sort this out before you arrive.

Getting from any airport to our destination is always something I plan very carefully. This alleviates stress when we land and ensures we are absolutely clear about what we are doing. There is nothing worse than landing at a strange airport after a long flight and having no idea how to get to the accommodation!

Need help planning your trip? My UK Travel Planner will guide you step by step.

Looking for suggestions of what to do and see in London? Read my London Travel Guide which contains tips, resources and more to help plan your itinerary.

These best booking sites for UK travel will also help when you plan your trip.

London Travel Guide & Itinerary Planner (+ 4 bonus ebooks)

London Travel Guide and itinerary planner.