London Heathrow Airport

Check out how to travel between Heathrow Airport and central London by Tube, train, coach or taxi, plus your guide to hotel transfers and car parking.
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British Airways plane  taking off by a cloudy day.
British AIrways plane taking off at Heathrow Airport, Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Key Heathrow Airport information

  • Heathrow Airport is located west of central London.
  • Travel between Heathrow Airport and central London by train, Tube, taxi, coach or local bus.
  • The Heathrow Express to London Paddington is the fastest way to travel between Heathrow Airport and central London, taking 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Heathrow Airport has plenty of short- and long-term car parks.

Located 32km (20 miles) west of central London, London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is the busiest airport in the UK and one of the most visited airports in the world.

Arriving and departing from London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport is spread across four terminals (terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5), each with shops, restaurants, currency exchanges, information points, accommodation desks and left luggage facilities.

The Heathrow Airport Arrivals hall is on the ground floor of Terminals 3, 4 and 5, and on the first floor of Terminal 2. After you leave the aircraft, you'll pass through passport control, baggage reclaim and customs. In the arrivals hall, you'll find shops, restaurants, currency exchange, and car hire and hotel reservation desks.

Heathrow Airport Departures is on the fourth and fifth floors of Terminal 2, the ground floor of Terminal 3, the second floor of Terminal 4 and the top floor of Terminal 5. All passengers must clear security before entering the departure lounge, where you'll find shops, bars and cafes.

How to travel by Tube from Heathrow Airport to central London

The Piccadilly line connects Heathrow Airport to central London and the rest of the London Underground network. Taking the Tube is cheaper than riding the Heathrow Express or the Elizabeth line, but it takes longer.

The journey time to Piccadilly Circus is about 50 minutes. Heathrow Airport has three Tube stations, serving Terminals 2 and 3, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5. London Underground services leave Heathrow every few minutes from approximately 5.10am to 11.40pm.

For easy journeys on the London Underground, it's worth buying a Visitor Oyster Card* in advance. The Visitor Oyster Card is delivered to your home before you arrive in London.

If you do not have a Visitor Oyster Card before you arrive, you can use contactless payment cards or mobile payments to ride the London Underground, or you can buy an Oyster card at one of London Heathrow Airport's Tube stations.

Visit the Transport for London website to plan your journey.

How to travel by train from Heathrow Airport to central London

Two operators run trains to London from Heathrow Airport. 

The Heathrow Express train is the fastest way to travel to west London. The journey from Heathrow Airport to London Paddington takes about 15 minutes, and trains operate from approximately 5.20am until midnight. You can use Visitor Oyster Cards* for payment onboard. 

Services on the Elizabeth line run from major central and east London stations, calling at Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3 and Heathrow Terminal 5. The journey time from central London to Heathrow is about 30 minutes. You can use Oyster cards, contactless payment, paper tickets or Zone 6 travelcards for the fare.

How to travel by coach from Heathrow Airport to London

National Express runs frequent coach services from Heathrow's terminals and the airport's central bus station to Victoria Coach Station. The journey takes 50 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on traffic. Many services stop en route in Earl's Court. Services from Heathrow commence at approximately 4.50am and run until midnight.

How to travel by bus to and from Heathrow Airport

If your flight arrives late, you can catch the N9 night bus, which operates from 11.55pm until 4.55am (until 5.25am on Sunday mornings). Buses run about every 30 minutes to central London (Trafalgar Square), and the journey time is approximately 75 minutes. To plan your journey, visit the Transport for London website. Standard bus fares apply (£1.55 using Oyster or contactless cards).

Taking a taxi to and from Heathrow Airport

Taxis queue for customers at Heathrow Airport. Only use a black cab or a pre-booked minicab from a reputable company and never use unauthorised drivers. Pre-booked minicabs have fixed prices that are quoted and paid during booking. A black cab from Heathrow to central London costs between £49 and £92, depending on traffic, the time of pickup and your final destination.

A trip in a cab to central London from Heathrow Airport takes approximately one hour. All of the arrival halls at Heathrow Airport have a taxi desk and authorised taxi rank. Visit the Heathrow Taxis website for more information.

If you're looking to travel in style, you can book a private transfer to or from Heathrow Airport*

Accessible transport from London Heathrow Airport

Dedicated Heathrow Airport staff provide assistance to passengers with accessibility needs. Visit Heathrow Airport's assistance and accessibility page for more details.

Heathrow Express trains and stations have step-free access. All black cabs can accommodate wheelchairs.

Nearly all London bus services are equipped for wheelchair users, but travellers with accessibility needs should be aware that a significant number of London Underground stations are not equipped with lifts, and many are not step-free. Visit the Transport for London accessibility page for more information. 

All stations on the Elizabeth line have step-free access from street to platform level.

Heathrow Airport hotels

There are numerous hotels near Heathrow Airport.

Hotel Hoppa is a convenient way to travel between your Heathrow Airport hotel and the airport terminals. Tickets purchased in advance cost £5.50 each way for adults. The fare is £6 if you pay the driver directly.

Heathrow Airport parking

If you want to park at LHR, a number of long-stay and short-stay car parks are available. Book a car parking space at Heathrow on the NCP website.

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