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How to get from Heathrow Airport to London

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Discovering the best ways to get from Heathrow Airport to London is essential for travelers arriving at London's busiest airport, which is situated 16 miles outside the city center. To ensure that neither your vacation time nor your budget is wasted, it's crucial to navigate the array of transport options available from Heathrow to Central London efficiently.

If you're trying to figure how to get from Heathrow to London, in this blog, I'll take you through the various modes of transport from Heathrow, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each, along with their respective costs. This information will assist you in determining the most suitable way to travel from Heathrow to London.

Deciding on your transportation method from Heathrow to London beforehand is a wise choice. Early planning not only secures promotional fares, saving you money, but also grants peace of mind, especially when you're exhausted post-flight.

Heathrow Airport (EGLL, LHR) Terminals:

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Heathrow Airport consists of four terminals, each serving specific airlines. Terminals 2 and 3 are conveniently close, just a 10-minute walk apart. However, if you're arriving at or need to get to Terminals 4 or 5, you will have to use the free shuttle provided by the airport. Understanding this layout is the first step in efficiently planning your journey from Heathrow to London.

1. Megabus

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Price: £7.49
Timings: 1:40am to 6:40pm
Pick up point: Terminal 2 and Terminal 3

Taking the Megabus is one of the most cost-effective methods to travel from Heathrow Airport to London. At Heathrow, the bus station is conveniently located in front of Terminals 2 and 3, close to the British Transport Police. Megabus offers a variety of departure times throughout the day, with a travel duration of approximately 50 minutes.

The buses, known for their comfort, feature air conditioning, ample luggage space, complimentary WiFi, and individual charging points. Additionally, they are designed to accommodate wheelchair users, and staff are available on board to offer assistance. Onboard amenities include a lavatory, ensuring a comfortable journey.

Arriving in London, the bus terminates at Victoria Coach Station, situated near Victoria tube and railway stations, as well as several local bus routes, facilitating further travel within the city. The route also provides passengers with views of iconic London landmarks such as the London Eye, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament.

For those traveling to Heathrow from London, buses depart from the Victoria Coach Station area on Elizabeth Street. It's recommended to check the exact boarding location with the bus operator's representative at the station. The service operates from Heathrow starting at 1:40am until 6:40pm, with buses running every 2 to 4 hours. From Victoria Coach Station, services start at 10:00am and run until 11:30pm at similar intervals. This schedule allows travelers to select a departure time that suits their itinerary best.

2. National Express Bus

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Price: £10.49
Timings: 1am to 11:59pm
Pick up point: Heathrow Central Bus Station

National Express offers a direct bus service from London Heathrow to London Victoria Station. The frequency of buses varies: during busy periods, they run every 10-15 minutes, while at quieter times, they operate approximately once an hour. Once at Victoria Station, travelers can easily switch to the Victoria, District, or Circle tube lines, or opt for a taxi to reach their final destination.

The coaches boast comfortable leather seats, air conditioning, and onboard bathrooms, ensuring a pleasant trip. You can enjoy free Wi-Fi and charging points, along with the luxury of air-conditioned buses featuring spacious seats and ample luggage storage.

An added convenience is the flexible ticketing system, which allows tickets to be valid for an entire day, providing flexibility in case you miss your scheduled bus. The luggage allowance is generous, accommodating either two medium suitcases or one large suitcase, plus one piece of hand baggage.

The route passes several of London's iconic landmarks, including Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, and various museums and theaters, offering scenic views en route to your destination. Service from Heathrow to Victoria operates from 1am to 11:59pm, with buses departing every 20 to 60 minutes. In the opposite direction, from Victoria to Heathrow, buses run from 2:15am to 11:59pm at intervals of 30 to 60 minutes. You should also be aware of potential extra charges of £8 per bag for excess luggage.

3. Heathrow Express Train

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Price: £25
Timings: 5:12am to 11:57pm
Pick up point: Terminal 5

The Heathrow Express strikes an excellent balance between cost and time efficiency, providing a swift journey to Paddington Station in London in just 15 minutes. Trains run every 15 minutes, ensuring flexibility and ease of travel, regardless of any flight delays or scheduling concerns.

You can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and convenient charging facilities with USB plugs at their seats. An added bonus for families is that children aged 15 and under travel for free. The Heathrow Express also offers a 30-day return ticket flexibility, and there's the option to upgrade to business class for those seeking extra comfort.

Upon reaching London Paddington, you’ll find yourself well-placed to access inter-city trains and several underground lines, for further exploration or transit.

Boarding the Heathrow Express is straightforward: passengers arriving at Terminals 2 or 3 should head to Heathrow Central, while Terminal 5 arrivals have direct access to the service from the terminal's station. Those landing at Terminal 4 need to take a short shuttle bus ride to Heathrow Central to catch the train.

Heathrow Express services start at 5:12am and run until 11:57pm from Heathrow, and from 5:10am to 11:25pm at Paddington, with a consistent 15-minute frequency. Navigating to the Heathrow Express is simple, with clear signage post-baggage collection. Upon arrival at Paddington, signs will guide you to tube transfers or taxi services, connecting you to the Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, and District lines. For those who wish to switch to a first-class experience later, an upgrade can be made using an Oyster Card to pay the fare difference.

4. Private Transfers

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Price: £51.46 onward
Timings: 24 hours
Pick up point: Any terminal

For a seamless and comfortable experience, you can opt for a private transfer to or from Heathrow Airport. This option eliminates the hassle of navigating public transport immediately after your flight, allowing you to relax and enjoy the ride to your chosen destination in London. With a range of vehicles available, from sedans and luxury cars to hybrids, electric vehicles, and minivans, you can select the perfect option to suit your needs and group size.

This service stands out for its flexibility and convenience. Flight delays or missed connections are less of a concern, thanks to a complimentary 60-minute waiting period. You’ll get to enjoy the comfort of a private vehicle equipped with ample luggage space and air conditioning, ensuring a smooth journey. Moreover, the friendly and professional drivers add to the stress-free experience.

When booking your private transfer, you’ll provide your flight details, allowing your driver to monitor your arrival and ensure timely pickup. An SMS with a link will be sent to you, enabling you to track your ride's status in real-time, including the pickup point, driver, and vehicle information. This personalized service not only offers convenience but also adjusts to your travel needs, making it a cost-effective choice for larger groups.

5. Tube: Cheapest way to get to London from Heathrow

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Price: £5-£7
Timings: 12:05am to 11:44pm
Pick up point: Terminal 2 & 3, Terminal 4, and Terminal 5

Traveling via the London Underground is the most budget-friendly option to get from Heathrow to Central London. While the Underground offers access to a vast network across London, it comes with a bit of inconvenience, especially if you’re getting back after a tiring journey.

The Piccadilly Line (marked in dark blue on the tube map) and the new Elizabeth Line (in purple) directly connect Heathrow with the city. While the Piccadilly Line serves many stations, the Elizabeth Line is quicker due to fewer stops in central areas and offers new, step-free trains, easing the journey with luggage. However, one downside is the lack of dedicated luggage storage on these trains, making it more suitable for those carrying light baggage.

The cost of a tube journey from Heathrow to Central London varies, depending on the distance traveled, peak or off-peak times, and the specific line used, with an additional charge for the Elizabeth Line. Typically, a single trip from Heathrow to any London tube station is around £5-£7.

Understanding the pricing system of the London Underground might seem daunting initially, with factors like travel zones, payment methods, and timing affecting the cost. However, with a little experience, navigating this system becomes more straightforward. It’s also a good idea to look up the tube timings to and from Heathrow Airport depending on the line you choose.

Heathrow Airport to London