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Heathrow Airport Transport

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

There are three ways to travel to/from the airport to central London:

  • Underground (the tube)
  • National Express coach
  • Heathrow Express or TfL Rail (formerly Heathrow Connect) train

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

The National Express coach, which costs slightly more than the underground, 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, but it’s convenient if you stay in Paddington, Bayswater or Lancaster Gate.

Heathrow to/from London – a quick summary

Scroll down for full details of each service.

Company Single Tickets Journey Time
National Express coach £10 40–90 mins
Underground £6.30a 55 mins
TfL rail £11.60b 28 mins
Heathrow Express train £25c 15 mins

a. This is the cash fare. Fares are £3.50 off-peak or £5.50 peak with a Pay as you go Oyster or contactless card
b. If you pay by Oyster/contactless it’s £11.50 peak, £10.80 off-peak
c. Cheaper tickets are available for advance bookings

Underground to and from Heathrow Airport

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.

Journey time & frequency

Trains leave approximately every 5 minutes. If you have an early or late departure, check the TfL website for first and last times. It takes approximately 55 minutes–1 hour to Piccadilly Circus station.

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


Heathrow is in zone 6.

Tickets are available from underground station ticket machines and the London Transport Visitor Centre (temporarily closed), opposite the entrance to Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 underground station.

  • 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 contactless debit/credit card.
  • Oyster/contactless single fare is £3.50 during ‘off peak’ hours, and £5.50 during peak hours (6.30am–9.30am and 4pm–7pm Monday to Friday). If you travel from Heathrow to zone 1 between 4pm–7pm, there’s no afternoon peak fare.
  • If you 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.

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 – Three early morning departures from London to Terminal 4, but no direct coaches from Terminal 4 to London. 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 4 & 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.

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

Trains to and from Heathrow Airport

TfL Rail

The TfL Rail (formerly known as the Heathrow Connect) is the cheapest of the two train services running from Heathrow to central London. It stops at Hayes, Southall, Hanwell, West Ealing & Ealing Broadway before reaching Paddington station.

Departure/arrival – Heathrow airport

  • Terminals 2 or 3 – Heathrow 2 & 3 train station
  • Terminal 4 – Terminal 4 train station (you may need to change at Heathrow 2 & 3 station)
  • Terminal 5 – Take the free train transfer to Heathrow 2 & 3 train station. Change there for a TfL Rail train

Departure/arrival – central London

Paddington train station, Praed St, London W2.

Journey time & frequency

Approximately 30 minutes. 2 trains per hour.

Buying tickets

Buy TfL rail tickets at the train station at Heathrow or Paddington

  • £11.20 adult single
  • £5.60 child single (11-15) – Under 11s travel for free if accompanied by an adult
  • Fares are slightly cheaper if you use an Oyster or contactless card

The Heathrow Express is another train service from Heathrow to Paddington. It’s slightly quicker than the Heathrow Connect, but more than twice the price (unless you book in advance).

Read more about train travel from Heathrow to central London

Related pages

Last updated: 1 March 2022