London, the capital of England and the UK, is one of world’s major financial centers. Built along River Thames, the city is home to a diverse range of communities. Major touristic attractions include the Palace of Westminster (Seat of the Parliament), Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square. Built by Romans, London is a city with a very old history.
Apart from its leading role in the economy, London is also a popular center for tourism. It is a city of art with its various festivals, plays and exhibitions. The city has hallmark buildings constructed from stone. The London Underground is the oldest in the world and still the most widely used mode of transport. There are also the now-iconic red double-decker buses.
London provides ample opportunities for the fashion-savvy. Oxford Street, particularly, is the most popular fashion district dotted with famous boutiques. Nightlife is vibrant and the world’s best restaurants have outlets in London. In short, a trip to London proves to be a very rich (and expensive) experience in all aspects.
London offers many options for air transport. There are five airports in its vicinity. Heathrow Airport is 25 km to the city center and connects to the subway. Gatwick airport is farther away and connects to the rail network. London City Airport is the closest to town. Stansted Airport is about 65 km to town and you can reach the city center with a 45-minute train ride. Luton Airport is 55 km to the city center.
Located 45 km south of the city center, Gatwick Airport is the second largest airport in London. There are many transportation alternatives to get to the city, including express trains, bus, taxi, and rental car.
The fastest way to get from Gatwick Airport to the city center is by using the Gatwick Express. These trains depart every 15 minutes and get to the Victoria train station in the city in 30 minutes. Fees start from 17 pounds. The Southern trains run the same distance in 35 minutes. These trains also depart every 15 minutes. At night the frequency of departing trains falls to one per hour. The airport train station is located in the South Terminal.
National Express buses are another option to reach the city however they take about 1 hour; in heavy traffic they can take over 1.5 hours. Almost the same can be said for Easybus buses as well. Like the trains, these buses go to the Victoria train station and operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These buses are the cheapest way to get to the city center from the airport. Fees start from 2 pounds.
Taxis from the airport to the city center take about 1 hour. While the taxi fare varies based on the distance traveled, getting to the city costs at least 100 pounds.
You can rent a car from many different car rental agencies like Avis, Budget, and Hertz. Car rental offices are located in every terminal at the airport. The car rental offices in the North Terminal are open from 6am – 10 pm. The car rental offices in the South Terminal are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Located 32 km west of the city center, London Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. There are a variety of transportation methods to reach the city center from the airport including the train, metro, taxi, and rental cars.
The fastest way to get to the city from the airport is by using the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect trains. The Express trains get to Paddington train station in the city center in 15 minutes. The Connect trains get to Paddington train station in the city center in 30 minutes. The metro, or tube, has an important role in urban transportation. The metro is another alternative for those who want to get to the city center for a cheaper fare. However, the metro takes longer to get to the city than the trains do. With the metro it can take at least 1 hour.
The National Express buses get to the Victoria bus stop in about 40 to 80 minutes. Prices can vary according to the duration of the journey and route taken. In addition, the Hotel Hoppa buses provide transportation directly to your hotel for 5 pounds. This service is more so for hotels around the airport.
If you want to get to the city center by taxi there is a taxi stand at every terminal. Fares vary between 45 and 70 pounds according to the distance traveled.
To rent a car visit the rental car agencies located in the terminals. There are various rental car agencies located in Heathrow Airport including Avis, Hertz, and Europcar.
You can get to the city from Luton Airport, which is located 56 km northwest of the city, by bus, train, taxi, or rental car. The Thameslink trains provide transportation to the city center. The trip takes about 40 minutes. The train ride itself doesn’t take that long but to get to the airport train station you have to get on a shuttle bus.
That bus ride to the station takes 10 minutes. The train to the city itself takes 30 minutes. You can also use the East Midlands trains. The Thameslink trains cost about 25-30 pounds. The East Midlands trains cost about 15 pounds.
There are many options available if you want to get from Luton Airport to the city center by bus. The Easybus buses provide cheap transportation to the city; these buses cost 2 pounds. However, it takes at least 1.5 hours. Other options include National Express buses and Greenline 757. These are more expensive options, with fares around 15 pounds.
If you want to take a cab from the airport to the city center it costs about 100 pounds and takes approximately 1 hour.
There are various car rental agencies located at the airport, including Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise, and Sixt. These car rental agencies are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.