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Heathrow Airport to London by Underground

Heathrow Terminal 5 Tube SignHeathrow airport has three underground stations connected to the London Underground network at the western branch of the Piccadilly Line, the dark blue line on the underground map.

The underground is the cheapest and in most cases, the most convenient way of travelling to central London.

Heathrow airport underground stations

Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 have their own underground stations. Terminals 2 and 3 share an underground station known as ‘Terminals 2 & 3’. (Terminal 1 is now closed).

All the underground stations are clearly signposted from the arrivals hall of each terminal.

Terminal 2

Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 station is a 3‐4 minute walk from Terminal 2.

Terminal 3

Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 station is a 5 minute walk from Terminal 3. There are moving walkways for most of the route.

Terminal 4

Terminal 4 has its own underground station. Turn left out of arrivals and take the lift down one level.

Terminal 5

Terminal 5 has its own underground station. Turn right out of arrivals and take the lift down.

Heathrow to central London ticket prices

Single tickets

  • The standard single underground ticket from Heathrow airport to central London (zone 1) is £6.00 for adults.
  • If you use a Pay as you go Oyster card (there’s a £5 deposit) or a contactless debit/credit card, the single fare to central London is £3.10. If you travel between 6.30am–9.30am Monday to Friday it’s £5.10.

Daily passes including the underground from Heathrow

If you plan to travel to central London and use public transport for the rest of the day there are two options:

Pay as you go Oyster

  • If you add more money to your Oyster card, the maximum amount deducted from your card is £11.80 for one-day travel.

Contactless debit/credit card

  • £11.80 is the maximum amount deducted from your card for one-day travel.

One Day Travelcard

If you don’t have a contactless card or don’t want an Oyster card, you can buy a One Day Travelcard.

  • A zone 1-6 One Day Travelcard is £12.10 for travel after 9.30am Monday to Friday & all day Saturday & Sunday. It’s £17.20 if you travel between 6.30am–9.30am Monday–Friday. (Not valid on the Heathrow Express or the Heathrow Connect trains to central London).

Weekly Travelcards are also available.

Buying underground tickets, Oyster cards or Travelcards

Single tickets and Travelcards

You can buy single tickets from:

  • Ticket machines in the underground station
  • Ticket machines in the arrivals hall in Terminal 5
  • London Transport Visitor Centre opposite the entrance to Terminal 2 & 3 underground station

Oyster cards

You can get an Oyster card and top it up at:

  • Ticket machines in Heathrow underground stations
  • Rail and underground desk in Terminal 5 arrivals hall
  • London Transport Visitor Centre opposite the entrance to Terminal 2 & 3 underground station
  • Ticket machines at the end of the moving walkway from Terminal 3, close to Terminal 1,2,3 underground station (debit and credit cards only)

If it’s your first time in London and you arrive at Terminal 2 or 3, we recommend buying your transport tickets at the London Transport Visitor Centre. This is a special information office for visitors. They will explain the transport system and tell you the best ticket or pass to buy for your stay.

Piccadilly line times

There is a reduced service on the Piccadilly line. Check the TfL service update for more information

Trains leave for central London every 5-6 minutes, roughly between 5.00am–11.45pm Monday–Saturday, and 6.30am–11.20pm on Sunday.

First underground trains to central London
Tube Station Monday–Saturday Sunday
Terminal 2 & 3 05.12 05.56
Terminal 4 05.02 05.46
Terminal 5 05.23 06.07


Last underground trains to central London
Tube Station Monday–Saturday Sunday
Terminal 2 & 3 23.45 23.28
Terminal 4 23.35 22.37
Terminal 5 23.42 23.25

There are later trains, but they only go as far as Hammersmith.

For the full timetable see the TfL website. If you arrive too late to take the underground, and don’t want to take a taxi, bus N9 runs through the night to central London.

The Night Tube

The Night Tube, a 24-hour service on the Piccadilly line on Friday and Saturday, is due to start on 16 December 2016.

How long does it take?

It takes 40 minutes–60 minutes to central London.

Approximate times from Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 to central London underground stations:

Earl’s Court 36 minutes
Gloucester Rd 37 minutes
South Kensington 39 minutes
Knightsbridge 41 minutes
Hyde Park Corner 43 minutes
Green Park 45 minutes
Piccadilly Circus 46 minutes
Leicester Square 48 minutes
Covent Garden 49 minutes
Holborn 51 minutes
Russell Square 52 minutes
King’s Cross St Pancras 54 minutes
Victoria 45 minutes
Liverpool St 65 minutes

Trains to/from Terminal 5 take 5 minutes longer.

You can use Transport for London’s journey planner to plan your journey. Deselect ‘National Rail’, otherwise results will include the more expensive trains. Or, take a look at the underground map.

When to avoid the underground

The underground might be worth avoiding if you have a lot of luggage or mobility issues.

Mobility issues

Most underground stations in central London have escalators, but not all of them have lifts. If you don’t want to walk up stairs, TfL produce a map of stations with lifts and escalators (pdf).

Arriving in central London during the rush hour

If you get on the underground at Heathrow airport between 7.30am–8.30am or 4.30pm–5.30pm Monday–Friday, by the time you reach central London the trains and platforms will be crowded. It can be difficult getting off the train with a lot of luggage.

It’s not too bad with luggage that’s easily carried or with wheels. If it’s heavy or if you have several suitcases, it might be worth taking the coach or the train instead.

See also

Last updated: 30 November 2016