Heathrow 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 ‘Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3’. (Terminal 1 is now closed).
The underground stations are clearly signposted from the arrivals hall of each terminal.
Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 station is a 4 minute walk from Terminal 2.
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 has its own underground station.
Terminal 5 has its own underground station.
Heathrow to central London ticket prices
- 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 three options:
Pay as you go Oyster
- If you add more money to your Oyster card, the maximum amount deducted from your card is £12.50 for one-day travel. This is the zone 1–6 one-day cap.
Contactless debit/credit card
- £12.50 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. This is a paper ticket.
- A zone 1–6 One Day Travelcard is £12.70 for travel after 9.30am Monday to Friday & all day Saturday & Sunday.
- A zone 1–6 One Day Travelcard is £18.10 if you travel between 6.30am–9.30am Monday–Friday.
Weekly Travelcards are also available.
Buying underground tickets, Oyster cards or Travelcards
Terminal 2 or 3
- The Transport for London Visitor Centre opposite the entrance to Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 underground station
- The ticket machines inside Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 underground station
- Ticket machines at the end of the moving walkway from Terminal 3 to Heathrow Terminal 1,2,3 underground station (debit and credit cards only)
- Terminal 4 underground station ticket machines
- The ticket office in Terminal 5 underground station
- The rail and underground desk in Terminal 5 arrivals hall
- There are underground ticket machines in Terminal 5 arrivals hall and in the underground station. Single tickets, One Day Travelcards and Oyster top-ups are available, but you can’t buy Oyster cards at these machines.
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
There is a 24-hour service on the Piccadilly line on Friday night/Saturday morning and Saturday night/Sunday morning. It runs from Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 and Terminal 5 underground stations. There is no Night Tube from Terminal 4.
How long does it take from Heathrow to central London?
It takes approximately 40–60 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|
|Hyde Park Corner||43 minutes|
|Green Park||45 minutes|
|Piccadilly Circus||46 minutes|
|Leicester Square||48 minutes|
|Covent Garden||49 minutes|
|Russell Square||52 minutes|
|King’s Cross St Pancras||54 minutes|
|Liverpool St||65 minutes|
Trains to/from Terminal 5 take 5 minutes longer.
Use Transport for London’s journey planner to plan your journey. Deselect ‘National Rail’, otherwise results will include the more expensive Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect 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 from the Piccadilly line to the District line. If you have luggage, it’s easier to do this at Hammersmith rather than South Kensington station, which has escalators 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.
When to avoid the underground
The underground might be worth avoiding if you have a lot of luggage or mobility issues.
Most underground stations in central London have escalators and some have stairs, but not all have lifts. If you want to avoid using stairs, TfL produce a map of stations with lifts and escalators (pdf).
Arriving in central London during the rush hour
If you take the underground from 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.
- One Day and Weekly Travelcards
- Oyster card
- Contactless cards
- London transport zones
- Left luggage at Heathrow airport
Last updated: 2 January 2018