London has several airports and it can be quite daunting to try to get from any of the airports to Central London. Moving here means you will probably be expecting friends and family from back home on a regular basis and being able to get into London quickly and cheaply is a skill and some worthwhile information to have ready.
London Heathrow Airport
Located about 30 km from central London, Heathrow Airport (LHR) handles more passengers than any other airport in the world today. With five busy terminals, over 65 million people arrive through Heathrow every year and they’ve made it very easy to get into the city and out to the airport for everyone. The new long distance terminal at Heathrow is the biggest freestanding building in the United Kingdom.
Hop and a skip to Heathrow
The quickest way to get to and from Heathrow is on the Heathrow Express. Leaving from 5am until 11.45 pm it is a quick 15-minute non-stop journey to or from Paddington Station. Tickets prices range from £16.50 for an online ticket up to £23 for a ticket purchased on board the train. You can also take the tube from Heathrow to London on the Piccadilly Line, but while it is slightly cheaper it is much longer; about 50 minutes to the city with multiple stops on the way.
The National Express runs coaches between Victoria Coach Station and Heathrow central station with the journey taking between 45 and 90 minutes depending on the route. The tickets are cheap though, about £5 and the services run from the early morning until about 9.30pm. There are buses that run from Heathrow every 30 minutes between midnight and 5.30am. The N9 Night bus takes about an hour and it’s a very cheap alternative, £2 cash and even less on your Oyster Card
For a grand entry or exit, you can take a famous ‘black cab’, but it will cost between £40 and £70 for the journey.
London City Airport
This busy airport is located in the heart of the city and can be accessed by all types of transport. Originally conceived to make business travel quicker and more efficient, today it is used by tourists and business people alike and is one of the most popular airports. It has a single runway and mostly handles short flights with a large proportion originating in Europe and New York City. It is only 10 km from the very centre and 5 km from the busy and modern area of Canary Wharf. Bus, taxi or the Underground from anywhere can access London City Airport. It has a pleasant terminal, which includes left luggage, a bureau de change and information desks as well as shops and restaurants.
The tube connects with London City Airport from the Jubilee Line and the Central Line via the Docklands Light Railway. The Docklands Light Railway runs every 8 to 15 minutes and ticket fares are the same as the tube, so use your Oyster or Travelcard. Local buses to the airport are the 473 from Stratford and the 474 originating in Canning Town. Both routes have many stops on the way to the airport so you can hop on wherever you are.