How to Get from Heathrow Airport to London

Most Londoners agree that using the Underground is the best way to travel from Heathrow airport
Most Londoners agree that using the Underground is the best way to travel from Heathrow airport

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The best ways to get from Heathrow airport into central London...

It’s estimated that approximately 30 million tourists visit London every year and Heathrow airport is the biggest and busiest point of entry for these visitors.

With the different methods available to get into central London from Heathrow it can prove confusing to first or even second-time visitors, so it’s worth working out how you’re going to get into the city before you set off on your trip.

The best way to get from Heathrow airport to central London depends on you and your individual travel style. With that in mind here’s a local guide to the cheapest, fastest and most comfortable routes into the city…

The Cheapest Way to get from Heathrow Airport to Central London

A little local tip for you: if you arrive into Heathrow at night, the absolute cheapest way to travel from the airport into London is to take a regular, good old-fashioned London bus. Starting from the airport’s Central Bus Station, the N9 bus leaves Heathrow for Aldwych in central London (a stone’s throw from the West End) every 20 minutes throughout the night. The bus drops off throughout west London and then at the Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park Corner, Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square before reaching its final destination. If your hotel is anywhere near these points and money is an issue but time is not (it takes approximately 90 minutes) then this is definitely your cheapest option for reaching the city at night. London bus fares are set at £2.20 per journey if using cash and £1.30 if using an Oyster card (as a Londoner myself I will ensure that the fares stated here are always up to date).

If you arrive in the daytime but are still looking to save a bit of your hard-earned travel money, then the next cheapest way to get from Heathrow airport to London is by a National Express coach. These also operate out of the Central Bus Station and will drop you off at London Victoria. Check out their website for current prices and book online in advance to get the cheapest fares.

The Easiest Way to get from Heathrow Airport to Central London

The easiest way to get from Heathrow airport to central London is by tube. Most Londoners would agree with this as it’s the method we use when coming home from our travels! Heathrow airport is on London Underground's Piccadilly line and serves three stations, one for Terminals 1, 2 & 3, one for Terminal 4 and another one again for the new(ish) Terminal 5. Underground trains are cheap and frequent (about every five minutes at peak times). A cash fare from Heathrow into central London will set you back just £5.30 one way. Using an Oyster card is even cheaper, with prices varying depending on what time you travel. It usually takes around an hour to get into the city by tube.

The Fastest Way to get from Heathrow Airport to Central London

The fastest way from Heathrow to central London is to use the non-stop Heathrow Express train service. This will whiz you from the terminal to Paddington train station in central London in just 15 minutes. The Heathrow Express departs every 15 minutes too and tickets are cheapest when booked online in advance.

The Most Comfortable Way to get from Heathrow Airport to Central London

The most convenient and hassle-free route into the city is by taxi. You can usually find a queue of black cabs at all terminals. Failing that just go to one of the many approved taxi desks within the terminals themselves. Taxi fares are metered, but watch out for extra charges such as late night or bank holiday journeys. Getting to the city in comfort isn’t cheap though – you should expect to pay at least £55. Like everything else in London, tipping is not compulsory but 10% is considered polite.

If you need to know the different ways to get from Gatwick airport to London please see How to Get from Gatwick Airport to London

So there you have it – a Londoner’s guide on the best ways to get from Heathrow airport to central London. If you need more information or want to book those advance tickets, check out the following resources:

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