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London has five major airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City. During your time in the UK capital you’ll use at least one of these. Each has its own set of pros and cons.

Heathrow

 One of the world’s busiest and most sophisticated airports, handling more international passengers than any other. It’s located 32km west of central London and has excellent transport links. 

Each of the five terminals has competitive currency exchange facilities, information counters, accommodation desks and left luggage facilities. 

Heathrow by Tube: The Piccadilly line connects Heathrow to central London and the rest of the Tube. Journey time to Piccadilly Circus is about 50 minutes. A single ticket into central London (Zone 1) costs £5. If you’re going to be using London’s public transport system, it’s worth buying an Oyster card.
Heathrow by Coach: National Express runs frequent coach services between Heathrow’s central bus station and Victoria Coach Station. The journey takes between 40 minutes and one hour 30 minutes, depending on the route. Standard tickets cost £5 single or £9 return.
Heathrow by Bus: Between midnight and 5.30am, the N9 night bus runs about every 30 minutes to central London and terminates at Trafalgar Square. Journey time is approximately 65 minutes. Standard bus fares apply (£1.30 Oyster/£2.20 cash).
Heathrow Airport by Taxi: A metered trip in a black cab to/ from central London will cost between £50 and £80.

Luton

Luton Airport (LTN) is one of the UK’s fastest growing airports. Many of the scheduled flights are provided by low-cost airlines. Luton Airport is 51km north-west of London.
Luton Airport by Train: A regular shuttle bus links the airport to Luton Airport Parkway train station in about eight minutes. From there, First Capital Connect operates regular rail services to central London stations. Trains run all day and night, and the journey time is approximately 50 minutes. A standard single ticket costs £12.50.
Luton Airport by Coach: EasyBus offers a low-cost express bus service between central London and Luton Airport. EasyBus coaches run 24 hours a day between the airport and Central London. A standard one-way ticket starts at £2 when you buy online.
Luton by Taxi:A metered trip to/ from central London will cost about £80. 

Stansted

Stansted is Britain’s third busiest airport and home to many of the UK’s low-cost airlines, serving mostly Mediterranean and European destinations. It’s located 64km to the north-east of London in Essex.
Stansted by Rail: Stansted Express is the quickest way into Central London. Standard fares are £20 single and £27.30 return. Journey time is around 45 minutes, and the trains stop at Tottenham Hale station before terminating at Liverpool Street station.
Stansted by Coach: EasyBus operates between central London and Stansted Airport. Services run every 20 minutes at
peak time, and every 30 minutes off-peak. Fares start from £2 one-way. National Express operates a 24-hour service to Victoria Coach Station. The journey time is one hour and 40 minutes. Standard tickets cost £10 single and £17 return.
Stansted by Taxi: Black cabs only operate in London, so not from Stansted, but official Checker Cars are available at metered cost.

London City

London City Airport is situated approximately 9.5km east of Central London, and around 4.8km from Canary Wharf. 

London City by Rail: You can catch the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to London City Airport. Services run every seven to ten minutes. Fares on the DLR are the same as those on the Tube.
London City by Coach: Local bus routes serving the airport are the 473 (Stratford, Silvertown, North Woolwich, and Prince Regent Station) and the 474 (Canning Town, North Woolwich and East Beckton via Silvertown). Standard bus fares apply (£1.30 Oyster/ £2.20 cash).
London City Airport by Tube: Take the Jubilee Line to Canning Town or Canary Warf, or take the Central Line to Bank, and change to the DLR.
By Taxi: A metered trip to/ from central London will cost about £20.

Gatwick

The second largest airport in the UK after Heathrow, Gatwick is located 45km south of London.
Gatwick by Rail: The Gatwick Express is the fastest way into Central London. Standard fares are £17.90 single and £30.80 return. Journey time is 30 minutes and is non-stop to London Victoria station. First Capital Connect trains to London Bridge, Blackfriars and King’s Cross stations leave every 30 minutes. The standard adult single fare is £9.40. Southern Railway services operate every 15 minutes during the day between Gatwick and London Bridge. The journey time is bout 52 minutes. A standard single ticket will cost you £7.90. 
Gatwick by Coach: National Express runs services between Gatwick and Victoria Coach Station. Coaches run hourly and journey time varies. Standard fares are £7.50 single or £14 return. EasyBus runs services every 20 minutes between 6am and 11pm. Fares start at £2 one-way. 

Gatwick Airport by Taxi

A metered trip in a black cab to/ from central London will cost about £70. 

Essential websites:

easybus.co.uk

nationalexpress.com

tfl.gov.uk

heathrowairport.com

gatwickairport.com

london-luton.co.uk

londoncityairport.com

stanstedairport.com 


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The Antipodeans' guide: Getting out of London - a guide to London's airports
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