≡ Menu

Heathrow Airport Transport

Heathrow airport is 20 miles (35km) west of central London.

There are four options to travel to/from the airport to central London:

  • Underground (the tube)
  • National Express coach
  • Heathrow Express or Elizabeth line (formerly TfL Rail) train
  • N9 Night bus

The underground (Piccadilly line) is the cheapest way to travel to between the airport and central London.

The National Express coach costs slightly more than the underground, but might be more suitable if you’re staying in the Victoria, Pimlico or Belgravia area or if you have a lot of luggage.

The train is the quickest and most expensive route.

Heathrow to/from London – a quick ticket summary

Scroll down for full details of each service.

Company Single Tickets Journey Time
National Express coach £6-£10 40–90 mins
Underground paper ticket £6.30 35–55 mins*
Underground Oyster/Contactless £5.50 35–55 mins
Elizabeth line paper ticket £11.60 26 mins
Elizabeth line Oyster/Contactless £11.50 26 mins
Heathrow Express train £25c 15 mins

*time to zone 1 – central London
c. On the day fare. Cheaper tickets available for advance bookings

Quick links

Underground to and from Heathrow Airport

There is no Piccadilly line from Acton Town to Heathrow on 1 & 2 October 2022. A replacement bus service will run between Hammersmith & Heathrow airport. Allow longer for your journey. Alternatively, use the Elizabeth line train or National Express coach.

Piccadilly Line

Departure/arrival – Heathrow airport

The airport has three underground stations connected to the Piccadilly line. One station serves Terminals 2 and 3 and Terminals 4 and 5 have their own stations. (Terminal 1 is now closed).

Departure/arrival – central London

See the London underground map for the Piccadilly line route or see our guide to the best route planners.

Journey time & frequency

Trains leave approximately every 5-10 minutes. If you have an early or late departure, check the TfL website for first and last times. It takes approximately 55 minutes to Piccadilly Circus station.

There is now a 24-hour service on the Piccadilly line on Fridays and Saturdays (not to/from Terminal 4).

Tickets

Heathrow is in zone 6.

Tickets are available from underground station ticket machines

  • Cash fare to/from central London: £6.30 single (zone 1-6).
  • Cheaper fares are available with Pay as you go on an Oyster card or a contactless card.
  • Oyster/contactless single fare is £5.50 (zone 1-6). There is no longer an off-peak fare between zone 1 and Heathrow airport.
  • If you continue to use an Oyster card or a contactless debit/credit card to pay for travel for the rest of the day, the maximum deducted from your card is £14.10.

Read more about travel by underground from Heathrow to central London

Trains to and from Heathrow Airport

Elizabeth line

The Elizabeth line (formerly known as TfL Rail) is the cheapest of the two train services running from Heathrow to central London. It currently stops at:

  • Hayes & Harlington
  • Southall
  • Hanwell
  • West Ealing
  • Ealing Broadway
  • Acton Mainline station
  • London Paddington station

From 6 November 2022 the Elizabeth line will run through central London (avoiding the change at Paddington station)

Departure/arrival – Heathrow airport

  • Terminals 2 or 3 – Heathrow 2 & 3 train station
  • Terminal 4 – Heathrow Terminal 4 station
  • Terminal 5 – Heathrow Terminal 5 station

Departure/arrival – central London

Paddington train station, Praed St, London W2.

Journey time & frequency

Approximately 30 minutes. 4 trains per hour.

Buying tickets

Buy Elizabeth line tickets at the train station or ticket offices at Heathrow or Paddington stations.

  • £11.60 adult single
  • £5.80 child single (11-15) – Under 11s travel for free if accompanied by an adult
  • Fares are slightly cheaper if you use an Oyster card or contactless payment

The Heathrow Express is another train service from Heathrow to Paddington. It’s quicker than the Elizabeth line (15-minutes v 30 minutes), but more than twice the price, unless you book 90 days in advance.

Read more about train travel from Heathrow to central London

National Express coach to and from Heathrow Airport

National Express

National Express, the UK’s largest coach operator run frequent coaches between Heathrow airport and Victoria Coach Station in central London. It’s a convenient alternative to the underground if you have a lot of luggage.

Departure/arrival – Heathrow airport

Most buses leave/arrive at the Central Bus Station.

  • Terminals 2 or 3 – Central Bus Station
  • Terminal 4 –  National Express are not currently serving Terminal 4. Take a free train transfer to Heathrow 2 & 3 train station, then walk to the Central Bus Station.
  • Terminal 5 – Four direct services between Terminal 5 and central London. Take a free train transfer to Heathrow 2 & 3 train station, then walk to the Central Bus Station.

Departure/arrival – central London

Victoria Coach Station, Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1.

Frequency & journey time

Approximately 2–3 departures per hour. It takes between 45 minutes–50 minutes from Heathrow Central Bus station–London Victoria Coach Station. Allow longer for travel to/from Terminals 5.

Buying tickets

Tickets cost £6–£10 single.

You can book online directly with National Express.

Alternatively, buy tickets from the ticket office at Victoria Coach Station in London (there’s always a queue so give yourself plenty of time).

There are no longer any dedicated National Express ticket offices at Heathrow airport, only ticket machines which take cards only.

Luggage Allowance

National Express allow two medium sized suitcases (up to 20kg each) plus  one piece of shoft hand luggage for free per person.

Read more about travel by National Express coach from Heathrow to central London

Related pages

Last updated: 4 September 2022