Getting To The City Centre From London’s 6 International Airports

    Getting To The City Centre From London’s 6 International Airports

    London is a massive place. In fact it’s so large that it’s home to almost 9 million people and covers 15 times the area that Paris does. 15 times!

    With that being said, the city’s transport links are outstanding. The Tube is one of the world’s busiest and most expansive underground train networks, the buses are iconic and traversing the city centre is an absolute doddle.

    Incredibly London is actually home to 5 international airports that offer flights all over the world. Even more incredible is the fact that 2 of these airports are in the top 10 busiest airports in Europe, with Heathrow making it into the number 1 spot.

    Make sure you book a room at The Barbican Rooms London for one of the best hotels near Barbican Centre London, and just down the road from The Chiswell Street Dining Rooms; one of London’s best eateries.

    For first timers visiting the city getting to and from these airports can seem like a difficult task, so hopefully this little guide will help you get around with ease and maximise your time in the capital.

    Let’s take a look at how to get to your hotel from each of London’s airports.



    Heathrow is by far and away the UK’s busiest, and largest airport. It’s so large in fact that in 2019, just before the pandemic, the airport reported a staggering 80 million annual travellers.

    It’s made up of 5 terminals spread around two runways, which with around 1,500 aircraft movements per day for the entire year, isn’t really enough.

    It’s home to many food outlets and some pretty impressive international fashion brands have stores in the ‘air side’ sections of the terminals. It’s actually one of the few airports that you visit where it does not feel like a chore to be in the airport itself.

    Getting to the City

    Heathrow’s most impressive logistical fact is that it is connected to the London Underground rail system. You can access Terminals 2 through 5 via the tube (Terminal 1 is currently disused) and be in the city centre in mere minutes.

    The Piccadilly line has connected the airport to the city for years, but now the newest addition to London’s underground network, the Elizabeth Line, runs straight out of the city and connects to every terminal.

    Getting to your suite at The Barbican Rooms is as easy as grabbing the tube and getting off at Barbican Station. It takes just 30 minutes to make the journey, so you’ll be exploring in no time!



    London Gatwick is actually some 40 miles outside of the city centre, but thanks to the UK’s impressive train network it is within easy reach.

    Gatwick is around the 10th busiest airport in Europe with an impressive 46.5 million yearly passengers. When you consider its size and the fact it only has 1 runway, that’s incredibly impressive.

    Gatwick is again home to many great shops and dining spots, but given the fact it operates out of just two small terminals, it can feel a lot busier than Heathrow at times.

    Getting to the City

    Getting to the city from Gatwick is actually pretty easy, as previously mentioned. The Gatwick express is a dream come true and runs regular trains from the south terminal, straight into King’s Cross and several other major stations.

    The journey time is around 40 mins, although it’s often less than that. To get to Barbican Station, stay on the train to Farringdon, then hop on the Metropolitan Line, or simply walk.


    Luton airport actually sits a little further down the list of busiest airports, and a little further away from London. With around 18 million annual passenger journeys it’s still a busy airport, but the outbound flights are slightly limited unless you are travelling to the continent.

    Luton also operates on one runway, but is much smaller and older than Gatwick. That being said, it’s still a great option for flying into, and out of, London.

    Getting to the City

    From Luton you’ll need to grab a fast (and free!) shuttle to the nearby train station. From there it’s approximately an hour to the city, and all you have to do is get off at Farringdon.

    Having no changes is a big bonus, but the hour journey time may put people off.



    London Stansted is considered the home of budget airline Ryanair, which means two things. One; there are plenty of cheap flights to nearby cities in Europe, and two; it can be really busy because of this.

    Stansted has one small ‘airside’ area that can be easily crowded- but if you’re not interested in the shopping, just grab a seat and wait- there is nothing wrong with the terminal apart from its small size!

    If you’re looking for a quick, cheap and easy way to a gorgeous European city, then this is the place for you.

    Getting to the City

    Stansted actually has its own, dedicated train station so the journey time is also around an hour, despite its distance from the city.

    Hop on a southbound train and get off at Liverpool Street train station. Head into the underground and get on the Hammersmith and City Line until you reach Barbican Station.

    London City

    London City is actually the airport that is closest to the city centre- well actually, it is in the city centre.

    It is aimed mainly towards business use and it is designed to service the impressive financial centre housed nearby. The locations you can fly too reflect this, as they are mostly cities with large business connections, and several of the flights are very small, very expensive airlines.

    Many Londoners will actually have never flown from City Airport, despite it being the most central. It actually only services around 5 million passengers per year- so it’s not even in the same league as the others!

    Getting to the City

    Unsurprisingly, this is the easiest journey.

    Hop on the Elizabeth Line at Barbican Station and ride until you reach Custom House, then jump in a cab for around 5 minutes, et voila!

    There are plenty of ways to get to City Airport, but this has to be the easiest. All in all it takes no longer than 40 minutes.

    Visit London

    So there you have it, your guide to getting to your fantastic city centre accommodation from the key airports that service London.

    Make full use of your hotel packages in London during your next trip; don’t waste time figuring out where to go and how to do it! Follow this guide and get to your suite at The Barbican Rooms so you can enjoy your holiday to the max.