Are you flying into London? Wondering how to get into the city cheaply, or wanting to know how to get there in the quickest time? Want to find out the most cost-effective way of reaching central London?

We’ve put together an easy-to-read guide to give you the lowdown on the best ways to reach central London from Luton, Stansted, Gatwick, Heathrow and City airports.

Whether you want to know how much a taxi from Heathrow costs, whether there is a bus from Gatwick or how long it takes to take the train from Stansted, our essential guide to London airport travel will help! We’ve put together a handy visual, and then gone into more detail below to answer all the important airport transport questions. Happy travelling!

If you are still looking for accommodation in London, explore the great range of apartments on our London page.

The best ways to get from London's airports into the city centre

Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport is the UK’s largest airport and handles a huge number of international flights. Despite its distance from central London, the airport boasts excellent transport links and each terminal has its own underground tube station.   

What is the best way to get into London from Heathrow?

Each London airport has its own dedicated ‘express’ service which offers direct connections into central London.  It takes the ‘Heathrow Express‘ train just 15 minutes to reach Paddington Train Station.  The service runs every 30 minutes and costs £26.50.  Children travel on the service for free!  Booking in advance online means you can avoid queues at the airport – click here to book your tickets.

Can you take the London Underground from London Heathrow?

Taking a tube costs just £6 for a single ticket and the journey takes almost 50 minutes.  

The quickest way to reach central London from Heathrow Airport is:

Taxis offering speedy trips into the city are available from the airport. With fares at around £50, splitting the cost between your fellow travelers can make such a journey better value. London Airports

London Gatwick

Situated to the south of London is Gatwick Airport, the UK’s second largest and second busiest airport. It is considerably easier to make your way into London from this airport via public transport, despite its distance from the centre.

What is the best way to get into London from Gatwick Airport?

Fast trains connect the airport to Victoria Train Station.  The ‘Gatwick Express‘ whisks passengers into the heart of England’s capital in just 30 minutes for £17.70. Running every 15 minutes, this service will have you in amongst the action in no time!

How else can I reach central London from Gatwick Airport?

Of course, there are other ways of getting into London from Gatwick.  A taxi will set you back around £90 and the journey is likely to take around 1 hour 15 minutes.  

What is the cheapest airport transfer available from Gatwick?

For those on a smaller budget, the EasyBus (run by the airline East Jet) costs just £7.95 with a journey time of 1 hour. Stansted Express Train

London Stansted

Technically not in London, this airport actually lies in the county of Essex.  It handles many of the low-cost airlines that serves popular package holiday destinations in Europe.  Reaching London city centre understandably takes a while – journeys by taxi can take over 1 hour and cost in the range of £103.  

What is the most affordable way to get to London from Stansted Airport?

Bus services operated by EasyBus and National Express are excellent value yet take over 2 hours to reach Victoria Coach and Train Station.  Booking in advance is recommended for National Express tickets and there are some excellent saving to be made.

What is the quickest way to get to London from Stansted Airport?

The airport’s ‘Stansted Express‘ train service is by the far the most comfortable and best value way to get into London.  For just £19, passengers will find themselves at London Liverpool Street Train Station in just 45 minutes.  Again, booking in advance is advisable.

London Luton

Serving mainly European destinations, London Luton Airport is a base for short-haul airlines including EasyJet, Monarch, Thomson Airways and Ryanair.  Like Stansted Airport, Luton Airport lies outside of London in the county of Bedfordshire.

How do you reach London from Luton Airport?

National Express run a service from the airport to Victoria Coach and Train Station for an affordable £11 if you book in advance.  The journey takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes depending on traffic.

Does a train service operate between Luton Airport and London?

For a slightly higher price (£15.50), passengers can take a 21-minute train ride to London St Pancras Train Station.

London City Airport

This relatively young airport boasts a close proximity to the heart of central London and is located near to Canary Wharf. Owing to its close distance to London’s financial districts, the airport mainly serves business passengers.

How do I reach central London from London City Airport?

It takes very little time to travel from the airport into London. A taxi will cost around £33 and most places in central London can be reached in less than 30 minutes.  

Is London City Airport connected to the London Underground?

Trains from as little as £4.80 also connect the airport with the city’s underground tube network too. More information on the public transport options available from City Airport can be found here.

More Tips on Getting into London

  • Group day travel cards are available for the London Underground system.  Unlimited travel is possible across London’s tube system and they represent good value for those travelling in groups of 10 or more who are staying in one of the city’s outer transport zones.  Tickets can be purchased only from Overground stations and are valid during off-peak times.  Tickets cost £8 for adults and £4 for children and any combination of adults or children is permitted.
  • Discounts are available on several of the ‘express’ services.  For example, the Gatwick Express offers a £25 discount for couples, a 3-for-2 discount (which can save you up to 33%).  A 4-for-2 deal results in a saving of 50%.  
  • A group saver deal available on the Heathrow Express shaves 33% off the total cost.

Need some tips on how to spend a weekend in London?  We’ve written a blog post especially for you – read it here.