FAQ: How Do I Get To/From Heathrow?

Let me field a question that I get asked quite frequently:

I'm coming to London via Heathrow...
but how do I get in from the airport?

Here are the three options that I recommend:

This is a train that runs every 10 minutes from the airport
that will take you into central London's Paddington Station
in only 15 minutes for £19 each way.

It's not cheap, but it's fast and easy to do
when your brain is foggy with jetlag.

From Paddington, you can hop on the tube,
jump in a taxi or take a bus
to wherever you are staying.

*You can also get on the Heathrow Connect,
it's only £9.50 to get to Paddington,
leaves every 30 minutes,
and will take around 45 minutes.


Did you know you can take the Tube 
all the way to & from Heathrow?

Yup. The Piccadilly Line runs all the way to Heathrow.
It takes about 50 minutes from Piccadilly Circus,
but it only cost about £6. 

You pick it up at Heathrow right near the Heathrow Express trains-
just follow the signs, you'll see it.

If you're on a budget and have the time,
it may be worth it to get your bags down the escalators of the underground
and read a book on your way out there.


Don't wait to get a cab until you're there
or you'll pay around £75-100.


Book ahead and the taxi TO Heathrow is approxiamately £30 
for up to 4 people.

The taxi is an awesome option to the airport 
as they pick you up (and you don't have to deal with transport to the train/tube)
and drop you off at the departures terminal.

Best case scenario and cheaper than two tickets on the Heathrow Express, too.


Book ahead and you can get a taxi FROM Heathrow for around £50
for up to 4 people.

The price is a bit more 
because they have to wait for you 
to go through customs 
and pay for parking while they come get you.

Dialing from outside the UK: +44 845 612 1212
Dialing from inside the UK:         0845 612 1212

I use a taxi company that can be reached at this number. 
I'd book 24 hours in advance.


Now, you've got that issue settled
and you can spend your time thinking about the important issues....

Like where your first meal will be when you arrive in Central London.

{I like these places, btw.}

*     *     *

Also, as many of my readers are involved in the study-abroad scene
with US universities here in London or elsewhere, 
I hope you'll get in touch with my new sponsor, Tyler Knight.

Tyler can help staff your program with some top-level business professors.

(The guy went to Oxford, so he doesn't hang out with dummies.)

Contact him with any staffing needs
to beat that last minute panic that we all often feel!

*images via


  1. Oh I'm from the UK and still fret about that! Being a cheapskate I opt for the tube option.

  2. So glad you did this post! I'm coming into London next week and have always used the Heathrow Express, but this time I think I'm going to try to the Tube... never realized it went to the airport before! :)

  3. When I went to London for the first time in college, we schlepped our bags on the tube. When E and I visited a few years ago, we planned to do the same, but lucky for us, it was Sunday and the Piccadilly line was down. Why lucky for us? Because we got to hitch a ride via Heathrow Express by simply flashing our Zone 1 Oyster card, which was definitely nice for our jet-lagged brains!

  4. I used to live in London and when I went to visit last summer, I completely forgot that I should book a taxi in advance from the airport. It ended up costing 40 pounds more. Slipped my mind as I was so used to taking buses/tube to all the different airports.

    Great tips!

  5. I am forwarding this on to my 19 year old son who will be arriving in a month to study at the London School of Economics for three weeks. He is definitely on a budget so will probably opt for the tube. Thanks for this (and the links to the restaurants on Pinterest)!

  6. Good call on calling ahead for a taxi! May I also say that if you arrive on a weekend, sometimes the Tube is down from Heathrow for construction so be prepared to be flexible and take the express. and don't freak out... not that I did. heh.

  7. Very useful post Lauren! I bet lots of people will need this information! I keep getting Ryanair flights recently so it's always Stansted for me haha. Good old EasyBus!

  8. just be careful not to fall asleep on the Tube! haha :) when I flew into Heathrow last summer I took the Tube from the airport and definitely started drifting off - thank you jetlag!

  9. Oh getting to and from Heathrow! Last year during the Olympics we decided to save money and just take the tube - those stairs with a nearly 50 pound suitcase two months after shoulder surgery? Yeah that should have been my first clue to never try that coming back. But noooo, never learn the easy way! On the way back (on a Sunday) we got up super early and thought we'd be fine - nope. We were about 15 minutes from having the checkin people from closing our flight before we FINALLY made it nearly 4 hours later - to be fair we were staying out by the Brockley stop - thanks airbnb for the fantastically cheap flat but a bit out of of the way!

    Next time it's taxi services the whole way - I'll pretend I'm rich with the fancy service hahaha

  10. I often do the tube since I am usually going to SW London, but just a warning that it can be insanely packed around the time than many flights from the US land. I almost missed my stop trying to get my suitcase off at South Ken last time around. But if you are landing around 9.30 or 10 am it can be great as long as you are prepared to deal with some stairs.

  11. I'm making poor Jon come pick me up when I arrive at 7:30am on Saturday morning - not sure who is going to feel more jetlagged on the tube from Heathrow to north London, me or him!

  12. I tell you what next time I need to do anything I am doing the hired car option. Usually if I'm having to fly internationally it means lots of luggage and my kids. We have done the tube, but honestly when there are no lifts (elevators) and you have that many people and bags to keep track of, the added cost makes sense.


  13. Right now Heathrow Express has a 50 pound deal listed under their discounts for two people who are also booking a return. That's like 12 pounds per person per trip! AMAZING deal! So if you are traveling with someone and are returning to the airport within a month of your initial ride, totally worth a look - thanks Lauren!!

  14. When I'm in London, I take the tube. I do travel relatively light though and that can make a difference. If you do take the tube, you want to make sure a find a spot and scoot your luggage close. Most importantly, when I get off at my stop, I let everyone else go first and then walk behind them. It can get really annoying tripping over people's luggage going up the stairs.

    I have taken the Express before for the convenience. And when I moved back to the States after more than a year in England, I called a car. He came to my house in Archway at 4:30am. It was so worth the money since I had several bags.

  15. Awesome post! It's surprisingly difficult to get good answers to basic, but completely essential, questions like this!

  16. The other day stephen was like "how do we get to heathrow from where we are right now" (i am just now finding it bizaar that we have never flown from heathrow AFTER being in london)

    and i was like

    go to lauren's blog.


    thank you.

  17. and i imagine you can guess which route we are taking



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