Flying into London Heathrow can be a daunting experience, but it is actually a very easy airport to navigate. London Heathrow is just outside of London, so you will need to take a Taxi, the Heathrow Express, or the London Underground to get to central London. The airport is well-marked, so you just need to know which route you are going to take and then follow the signs to get to your chosen mode of transportation. As one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, London Heathrow has well-marked routing throughout. Even after a long haul international flight, London Heathrow transportation is easy to use and figure out.
Do I need to rent a car in London?
London enjoys fantastic public transportation, is it is usually unnecessary to rent a car while in London. Parking is quite limited and the roads are busy. Ask yourself: “Am I experienced at driving on the left side of the road?” If you said no, you should probably just take the underground! It’s super easy anyway, and will be more cost-effective than renting a car.
Heathrow Express to Paddington Station
Trains run to Heathrow airport and Gatwick airport, including a direct line from Heathrow to Paddington Station called the Heathrow Express. This is an extremely useful and easy airport connection, and is a fantastic choice if your hotel is near Paddington Station. The Heathrow Express is a quick, clean and comfortable train.
The Heathrow Express costs £21.50 for a one way ticket and £35 for a round trip when purchased at the station. The Heathrow Express recently (to my knowledge) introduced reduced pre-purchased fares; now, when you purchase in advance online, you can catch the Heathrow Express for as low as £6.99 one way and £11.90 return. It seems that 90 day advanced tickets would be the way to go for this if you had the foresight to buy three months in advance.
The London Underground
The London Underground also runs all the way to the airport, which provides an extremely affordable option for budget travelers; you can catch the Piccadilly Line from Heathrow to central London for less than £6. If your hotel is near an underground station on the Piccadilly Line, I would certainly suggest using the tube to get from London Heathrow Airport to your hotel. The journey from London Heathrow to Earl’s Court (just on the edge of zone 1) takes just under 40 minutes.
The Underground makes frequent stops, but for the budget traveler it can be a good option to get to central London without a reservation or pre-planning. Tickets can be purchased at the airport for the ride in. Once you are in central London, purchasing an Oyster Card can save you additional pounds on public transportation in London during your stay.
Taking a Taxi from London Heathrow to Central London
If you decide that you cannot take the Heathrow Express or the London Underground to reach your hotel in London, Taxi drivers are available at the airport at all hours to transport you directly to your hotel. For travelers with mobility issues or challenges carrying their own bags, a taxi may be a good idea. A taxi from London Heathrow to Central London will cost between £45-£70, with a travel time of about one hour.