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Heathrow Airport to London by Underground (Tube)

Heathrow airport has three underground stations connected to the London Underground network at the western branch of the Piccadilly Line.

The underground (the tube) is the cheapest, and in most cases, the most convenient way of travelling to central London from Heathrow airport.

Heathrow airport underground stations

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

Underground stations are clearly signposted from the arrival hall of each terminal.

Terminal 2

Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 underground station is a 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 this route.

Terminal 4

Terminal 4 has its own underground station.

Terminal 5

Terminal 5 has its own underground station.

Heathrow to central London ticket prices

Single tickets

  • The standard single underground ticket from Heathrow airport to central London (zone 1) is £6.70 for adults.

Daily passes including the underground from Heathrow

If you plan to travel into 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 £15.60 for one-day travel. This is the zone 1–6 one-day cap.

Contactless debit/credit card

  • £15.60 is the maximum amount deducted from your card for one-day travel (the ‘daily cap’).

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.

  • For travel after 9.30am Monday to Friday & all day Saturday & Sunday – a zone 1–6 One Day Travelcard is £15.90.
  • For travel between 6.30am–9.30am Monday–Friday – a zone 1–6 One Day Travelcard is £22.60.

Weekly Travelcards are also available.

Buying underground tickets, Oyster cards or Travelcards

Terminal 2 or 3

  • 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)
  • London Transport Visitor Centre, opposite the entrance to Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 underground station.

Terminal 4

  • Terminal 4 underground station ticket machines

Terminal 5

  • The ticket office in Terminal 5 underground station
  • There are underground ticket machines in Terminal 5 arrivals hall and in the underground station.

Piccadilly line times

Trains leave for central London every 5–10 minutes. For the full timetable see the TfL website.

If your flight arrives too late to take the underground between Sunday evening and Thursday evening and don’t want to take a taxi, the night bus N9 runs through the night to central London. If you arrive late on Friday or Saturday, there’s the Night Tube.

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:

Tube journey times from Heathrow to central London 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.

Use Transport for London’s journey planner to plan your journey. Deselect ‘National Rail’, otherwise results will include the more expensive Heathrow Express or Elizabeth line trains.

Or take a look at the underground map.

Or view other journey planner options

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. With 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, literally a few steps to the other side of the same platform. From here take the District line to Victoria. The destination on the front of the train should say ‘Upminster’.

Changing between the Piccadilly and District line at Hammersmith station

When to avoid the underground

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

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 6.00am–7.45am or 4.30pm–5.45pm 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 wait a while at the airport or consider the coach or the train instead.

Last updated: 24 February 2024