Located 32km (20 miles) to the west of Central London, London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is one of the busiest and most advanced airports in the world. With 190,000 passengers arriving and departing every day, Heathrow handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world.
The airport is spread across five terminals, each with shops, restaurants, currency exchange facilities, information counters, accommodation desks and left luggage facilities.
Heathrow's latest addition, Terminal 5, opened in 2008 as the airport's new long-haul base. Heathrow Terminal 5 is the largest freestanding building in the UK and is five times the size of Terminal 4.
Heathrow's Terminal 2 closed for renovations in late 2009 after nearly 60 years of operation. The new and improved Terminal 2 is due to reopen in 2014. Visit the London Heathrow Airport website
Heathrow Hotels and Transfer Services
There are numerous hotels near Heathrow. See our Where to Stay section to find and book a hotel near Heathrow Airport.
Hotel Hoppa is a convenient way to travel between your hotel and Heathrow Terminals 1, 3, 4 and 5. Tickets are £4 each way for adults and children travel free. Hotel by Bus is a rapid shared ride service by coach, linking you to your hotel or other destination in Central London. It serves all Heathrow terminals. For more information on hotel transfer buses visit the Heathrow Airport website.
Heathrow Airport by Train
The Heathrow Express is the fastest way to travel into Central London. Trains leave every 15 minutes and the journey takes 15 minutes. Trains leave Heathrow Airport from approximately 5am until 11.45pm. Standard adult fares are £20 for a single ticket purchased online or at a ticket office/machine (or £25 when purchased onboard). Visit the Heathrow Express website for further details.
Heathrow Connect services run from London Paddington, calling at Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow Central (Terminals 1 and 3). For Terminals 4 and 5, there's a free Heathrow Express transfer service from Heathrow Central. Heathrow Connect journey time is about 25 minutes from Paddington to Heathrow Central and adult single tickets cost £9.50. Visit the Heathrow Connect website.
Heathrow Airport by Tube
The Piccadilly line connects Heathrow Airport to Central London and the rest of the Tube system. The Tube is cheaper than the Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect but it takes a lot longer and is less comfortable. Tube services leave Heathrow every few minutes from approximately 5.10am (5.50am Sundays) to 11.45pm (11.30pm Sundays).
Journey time to Piccadilly Circus is about 50 minutes. There are three Tube stations at Heathrow Airport, serving Terminals 1-3, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5. A single paper ticket from Heathrow (Zone 6) into Central London (Zone 1) costs £5.50. If you're going to be using London's public transport system, it's worth buying an Oyster card. Visit the Transport for London (TfL) website.
Heathrow Airport by Coach
National Express runs frequent coach services between Heathrow's central bus station and Victoria Coach Station. The journey takes between 40 minutes and one hour 30 minutes, depending on the route. Some services stop en route in Hammersmith or Earl's Court. Standard single tickets cost £6. Services from Heathrow commence at 5.35am and run until 9.40pm.
Heathrow Airport By Bus
Between approximately 11.30pm and 5am (depending on the day of the week), the N9 night bus runs about every 20 minutes to Central London (Trafalgar Square). Journey time is approximately 76 minutes. For more information visit the Transport for London website. Standard bus fares apply (£1.40 Oyster/ £2.40 cash) and are accepted.
Heathrow Airport By Taxi
There are usually taxis queuing for customers at London's airports. Only use a black cab or reputable minicab and never use unauthorised drivers. Ask the driver or minicab company how much your journey will cost beforehand. A metered trip in a black cab to/from Central London generally costs from £50 to £80 and takes 30 minutes to one hour. All Heathrow Terminals have an approved taxi desk and authorised taxi rank. Visit the Heathrow Taxis website.
Dedicated Heathrow Airport staff can provide assistance to passengers with special needs. Heathrow Express trains have areas for passengers using wheelchairs and exiting at Paddington station is straightforward. Visit Heathrow Airport's special assistance page.
On the Tube, disabled travellers should be aware that a significant number of stations are not equipped with lifts. Nearly all London bus services are equipped for wheelchair users. Visit the Transport for London accessibility page.