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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 a 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.

Read up to date travel guidelines from the UK government regarding the use of public transport in the UK.

London Heathrow has in total 5 airport 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’).
OPTIONCOSTJOURNEY TIMEFREQUENCYOPERATING HOURSBOOK HERE
TUBE£6 for a single journey



Discounted rate with visitor Oyster Card



Included with London Travelcard (unlimited tube travel) £13.10
+/- 60 minsEvery 10 – 20 mins5am – 11.30pm



BUY A LONDON VISITOR
OYSTER
CARD HERE





BUY A LONDON TRAVEL CARD HERE
HEATHROW
EXPRESS
£22 one way
£37 return
(Paddington Station)
+/- 15 minsEvery 15 mins5 am – 11.30 pmBUY HEATHROW EXPRESS TICKETS HERE
NATIONAL
EXPRESS BUS
£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
SHARED CAR TRANSFERPrice variesPrebookedPrebookedBOOK YOUR SHARED TRANSFER HERE
TAXI CAB£45 – 70Varies dependent on time of day
UBERVaries dependent on time of day

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

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

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

  • 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.

Tube Train

  • 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

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

Heathrow Express

  • Non stop trains, every 15 mins departure to London Paddington train station.  Journey time, 15 – 20mins.
  • Trains run from around 5AM 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
  • Good selection of value hotels in close proximity to Paddington station for ongoing journeys.  Great option if you have an early flight the following morning.

Bus

  • The bus N9 runs from Heathrow, advisable is travelling 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.
A london telephone box and lights from buses and cras

Private Car Transfer

  • 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.

Taxi Cab

  • 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.

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.
  • Best option for the elderly or for anyone with mobility issues.
  • Best point to point travel option.
London taxi cab on a street with Union Jacks

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 (Check out my selection of the best places to stay in London for all budgets or my top 10 mid-range hotels in London near the must-see sights)

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

Getting from the airport to our destination is always something I plan very carefully. This alleviates stress when we land and ensures we are absolutely clear 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!

Read more about planning your trip or visiting London.

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

—-> Join my UK and London travel planning group on Facebook for more tips, inspiration and help from other travelers planning future travel to London and the UK.

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.