London is a dream for many people. It’s a wonderful city full of attractions where you definitely won’t be bored. But, before you can unravel the delights of England’s capital city, you need to make plans for getting to London first. Here are your four main transport options.

How To Get To London

Getting to London by plane

London is the largest European air service hub with five airports for the city: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and City Airport. Being so well connected, if you’re travelling from overseas, flying is often the best and the cheapest option. The airports are all located a distance away from the city centre, but transport links into central London are well organized and efficient. Here’s everything you need to know about London’s airports to choose the right one for your next holiday:

London Heathrow Airport

Situated on western edge of London, 24km from the city centre, Heathrow is the biggest, busiest and most popular airport in Europe. Large airlines like British Airways, Lufthansa and Emirates all operate flights here, from the five terminals which are connected by a free airport train.

Touch down in Heathrow and then take the Piccadilly Line by train, which reaches central London in under an hour and costs just £6. You can also get an oyster card at the airport tube station, from which you can take the fast Heathrow Express to Paddington in 15 minutes. This route costs £25 one-way, so it’s more expensive, but still less than a taxi, which will set you back around £60.

How To Get To London

London Gatwick Airport

London Gatwick is London’s second busiest international airport and is located 40km south of the city centre. There are two passenger terminals – the north and the south. Whichever you land at, you can take the Gatwick Express train into Victoria station. The journey takes about 30 minutes and costs £16.90 one-way. Taxis into London will cost around £50, but if you’d rather travel by road, you can take the National Express Shuttle to Victoria for £6.50 or the Easy Bus to West Brompton, which if you book early enough can cost as little as £2.

How To Get To London

London Luton Airport

This international airport is located 50km north of central London, just outside Luton, with one terminal. It is predominantly budget airlines that fly out of here, so it’s a great option if you’re looking for cheap flights. Taxis from Luton into London can be expensive, so try the bus for the cheapest connection. You can take the green line to Victoria for £13 one-way, the easybus to Baker Street for £2.90 or the National Express. From Luton airport, you can also take the Rail Shuttle Bus that takes you to Luton Airport Parkway station. From there, you can catch a train to the city centre for roughly £14.

How To Get To London

London Stansted Airport

Located about 50km north east of London, Stansted airport has just one terminal. Despite this, it is still one of the busiest airports in London and operates budget airlines, including flights with ryanair, easyjet or Air Berlin. The fastest way to get from Stansted Airport to central London is to take the Stansted Express. It takes 45 minutes and costs £18 one-way. You can also take the National Express Bus or Easy Bus, just like you would from Luton or Gatwick, or try the bus Terravision .

how to get to London

London City Airport

This small airport located near Canary Wharf mainly attracts businessmen thanks to its location in London Docklands. It’s only 10km away from the city centre, with easy trains, taxis and bus links to get there.

How To Get To London

Getting to London by train

You can get to London from a few European cities by train. If you book early enough you can travel to London International St Pancras from Paris or Brussels for only £25. Even better, the journey is quick at just 2-3 hours! You can also get a cheap train ticket from Berlin, Barcelona or other cities, but the journey involves several stages and is very time consuming. If you’re travelling to London from elsewhere in the UK, make sure you book your train ticket plenty in advance as trains are expensive.

How To Get To London

Getting to London by car

The UK is an island, so to get to London by car from any European city you have two options. You can either take the ferry or the Eurotunnel. To drive through the Eurotunnel, you need to get a ticket. The journey takes 30 minutes, and you can relax in your car as it travels through the tunnel in a special train. You’ll go through passport control before you depart, and you don’t have to leave your car to show your documents. The ferry is very similar but it takes about 90 minutes to cross the English Channel. It’s also cheaper – you can get your ferry ticket here .

Did you know you can also travel around Europe without getting on a plane? Here are five ways to do it.

How To Get To London

Getting to London by coach

Travelling by coach is by far the cheapest option to get to London, but it has its drawbacks. Depending on where you start your journey, you might face a 20+ hour trip just to get there! Most buses arrive at Victoria station, so you have the benefit of being right in the city centre straight away.

Once you reach central London, the city is your oyster – especially if you’ve got your oyster card ready! Why not be inspired by this photo tour of the capital?

What’s top of your list of things to do once you get to London?

How To Get To London

19 COMMENTS

  1. London is definitely on my bucket list. This is such a cool roundup of the various ways to get to London! I would love to do so by train. That is such a classic way to do so, as with the coach!

  2. great post on getting there! its good to know the transport of getting to and from there are rather reasonable, as i know London is really expensive right now. i’ll be sure to bookmark this should i be in London one day.

  3. As a local, you have covered everything. Then from next year (late 2018) there is Crossrail for Heathrow and London City. Whoop whoop! Even easier train access from the airports. 🙂 Great post 🙂

  4. I can’t wait to one day need this post! I would absolutely love to visit London. Our plan is to work on a trip to Scotland, Ireland and England. Absolute dream!

  5. I’ve been on Flight (Heathrow, Stanstead and Luton), train and coach to and fro London. Never taken a car so far. I have some awesome nostalgic memories associated with travelling in & out of London. I’ve even slept in the Stanstead airport once to get a very early morning flight! Lolz..

  6. Having lived too far outside London, these are all great ways to get there. Now, living across the pond, my best choice in is Heathrow and the tube. Love the Oyster Card – definitely something one should get if planning to be zipping around the city for a while.

  7. while browsing this blog for a second I realized that I am going through Ibibo or makemytrip website. Very descriptive & Informative. I have never been to London or a fact to any European City. I am sure this blog of yours is worth bookmarking. Sharing this on FB Page as well. Thanks for sharing this !!

  8. OH I just LOVED this post! This brought me back to my 6 week stay in London, and your pictures gave me happy chills!! This is definitely a great post to read for anyone going to London. I remember thinking, “yikes, how am I going to get from the airport to the city??” Great information!

  9. When I compared the subway fare in London with the Delhi Metro rates, I found commuting in London is more expensive. In Delhi, the maximum fare is INR 50 ( which is less than 1 GBP). Having said that, I wish and hope that the London subway fares come down to more ‘reasonable’ levels for people like me who are wannabe budget travellers.

  10. Ok, I can’t believe London has 5 airports! I am going to London in April (for the Harry Potter play!!!) and have just started looking at flights from the US. This is super helpful.

  11. I think we would travel by plane unless we’d were already in Europe then it would be train or bus. But the ferry option across the channel does sound appealing as well. I feel like Heathrow would be a nightmare to get through. We definitely want to see Harry Potter when we get to London.

  12. Lovely ! This is one of the best posts I’ve read on London City. The pointers are surely very handful and will certainly be a good read for the first time visitors.

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