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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 1, 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 1, 2 & 3 station is a 4 minute walk from Terminal 2.

Terminal 3

Heathrow Terminals 1, 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.

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 three options:

Pay as you go Oyster

  • If you add more money to your Oyster card, the maximum amount deducted from your card is £12 for one-day travel. This is the zone 1-6 one-day cap.

Contactless debit/credit card

  • £12 is the maximum amount deducted from your card for one-day travel.

One Day Travelcard

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

  • A zone 1-6 One Day Travelcard is £12.30 for travel after 9.30am Monday to Friday & all day Saturday & Sunday. It’s £17.50 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.

Top Tip: 24-hours free and a FREE river cruise to Greenwich on all Original London Sightseeing Tour 24 & 48 hour tickets. Valid until 31 March 2017.

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
  • Transport for London Visitor Centre opposite the entrance to Heathrow Terminals 1, 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
  • Transport for London Visitor Centre opposite the entrance to Heathrow Terminals 1, 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 Transport for London Visitor Centre (open daily 7.30am-8.30pm).

This is a special information office for visitors. They will explain London’s transport system and tell you the best ticket or pass to buy for your stay.

Piccadilly line times

Trains leave for central London every 5-6 minutes. For the full timetable see the TfL website.

On Sunday to Thursday, 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

A 24-hour service on the Piccadilly line on Friday and Saturday started on 16 December 2016. It runs to Terminals 1,2,3 and Terminal 5 underground stations. It does not stop at Terminal 4.

How long does it take?

It takes approximately 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.

Heathrow to Victoria by underground

If you’re travelling to Victoria from Heathrow, you need to change to the District line. If you have luggage, it’s easier to do this at Hammersmith rather than South Kensington station, which has an escalator and stairs.

At Hammersmith, Piccadilly line trains stop at platform 3. Get off the train and walk to platform 4. From here take the District line to Victoria.

Changing between the Piccadilly and District line at Hammersmith station

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. With heavy bags or several suitcases, you might want to consider the coach or the train instead.

See also

Last updated: 18 January 2017