Travel Till You Drop Logo

What Is the Best London Airport to Fly into for Visitors

What Is the Best London Airport to Fly into for Visitors

Ever felt like a human pinball, bouncing from one airport to another? Imagine landing in the perfect spot, smack-dab in the heart of London’s buzzing streets and historic whispers. What is the best London airport to fly into when visiting London?

The question dances through your mind as you ponder over maps sprinkled with runways and terminals.

You’ve got Heathrow’s bustling corridors that promise a swift dive via express trains straight into central pulse points like Paddington Station. Or perhaps Gatwick’s allure tugs at you, its own express promising quick jaunts southward toward sunny Brighton shores or north to the grandeur of Big Ben, or head on over to visit one of London’s many Dark Tourist attractions while your there.

And there’s more—Stansted stretches out its budget-friendly arms; Luton whispers convenience for northern escapades; City Airport winks at high-flyers darting towards towering financial skies…

Ah! But which door leads right where you need? Stay tuned—the answer awaits just beyond this page turner!

Heathrow Airport (LHR) – Gateway to London

Flying into Heathrow? You’re joining the ranks of 80.1 million passengers who breezed through in 2018 alone, making it one of the busiest hubs on planet Earth. As London’s primary airport, Heathrow doesn’t just connect you to a sprawling metropolis; it links you to life’s next big adventure.

Transportation Options from Heathrow

If speed is your need, hop on the Heathrow Express, zipping you from terminals to Paddington Station faster than you can say “Mind the Gap.” Public buses might not break any land-speed records but they’ll give your wallet a breather and let you sneak peeks at West London’s charm.

The famed black cabs know every nook like their own back pocket — although this iconic ride can be a bit pricey. Or maybe mix things up with an Oyster card tap dance across National Rail services or ducking into the depths aboard the London Underground.

Premier Taxis for Private Transfers

Say goodbye to queuing woes and hello to luxury with Premier Taxis offering private transfers that turn travel stress into comfort fest. They understand time is money—especially when every tick-tock nudges closer toward those immigration lines that tend, let’s face it, towards snail-paced during peak hours.

With personalized service right out of a swanky travel guide fantasy – think door-to-door conveyance coupled with local insights – these taxi savants transform journeys from routine paths into curated escapades tailored just for you.

Gatwick Airport (LGW) – Your South London Hub

With nearly 46.1 million passengers gracing its terminals in 2018, Gatwick Airport stands as a formidable gateway to the UK’s vibrant south side. Nestled conveniently close to both the scenic stretches of South London and the bustling heart of the capital, LGW offers more than just flights; it promises a seamless start to your British adventure.

Gatwick Express and Connectivity

Speed is of essence when you land at Gatwick, especially if central London beckons. Enter Gatwick Express—your non-stop ride that has mastered punctuality like no other express train out there. In mere minutes—30, give or take—you can swap airport lounges for London Victoria’s iconic surroundings. But let’s not forget about those looking for value over velocity; plenty of other trains are ready to whisk you away without breaking the bank.

Whether it’s darting directly downtown via Gatwick Express or enjoying leisurely local lines—the choice is yours and so is control over your travel time and budget. Even night owls find their nest with around-the-clock services running between LGW and key hubs like Clapham Junction—a real lifesaver when late-night cravings hit after hours spent up in the air.

Flying into Luton Airport? No sweat. National Rail has got your back with connections smoother than a black cab’s leather seats—and speaking of which, Premier Taxis awaits right outside arrivals should you crave that personal touch on wheels from any given terminal at Gatwick.

Stansted Airport (STN) – The Budget-Friendly Gateway

Flying into London Stansted Airport is like hitting the jackpot for savvy travelers looking to stretch their pounds. As a hub that saw over 24 million passengers whisk through its gates in 2018, it’s no secret that this airport has become synonymous with affordable European jaunts.

The real magic of Stansted lies not just in its ability to save you some cash on airfare; it’s also about the Stansted Express train, which can zip you right into the heart of London faster than you can say ‘budget-friendly.’ This express train becomes your golden chariot from countryside runway to city excitement, transforming what could be a long journey into an efficient sprint to Liverpool Street Station – all without breaking the bank.

Budget flights and quick trains aside, there’s more beneath Stansted’s wings. Those flying out are often pleasantly surprised by shorter immigration lines and quicker security checks—meaning less time queuing and more time enjoying. It might lack some glamour compared to Heathrow or Gatwick but make no mistake; for those after value and efficiency, Stansted soars high above expectations.

Luton Airport (LTN) – Accessible Travel North of London

If you’re plotting a course to the heart of England’s famed countryside or looking for an efficient leap into North London, London Luton Airport emerges as a savvy navigator’s choice. In 2018 alone, this bustling hub played host to 14.6 million passengers; that’s no small feat.

Here’s why jet-setters and weekend wanderers alike find themselves gravitating towards LTN: it sits just snugly north of the city chaos yet close enough for comfort—think quick hops rather than long hauls.

The appeal? It isn’t merely about avoiding bigger crowds found elsewhere; there’s something alluring in its promise of convenience and connectivity. With trains from nearby Parkway station whisking you off to key destinations like London St Pancras faster than a magician’s trick, your journey practically begins at the runway’s end. And if private transfers are more your style, don’t fret. Premier taxis await outside arrivals with cushy seats ready to deliver door-to-door service with nary a hiccup in sight.

City Airport (LCY) – The Business Traveler’s Choice

Flying into London City Airport is like scoring the golden ticket for business travelers. Why? It’s smack-dab in the heart of London’s financial district, meaning you can hop off your plane and be shaking hands with clients in no time. In 2018 alone, this convenient hub welcomed a cool 4.5 million passengers, all eager to take advantage of its proximity to central locations.

Now let’s talk taxi service. When time is money, waiting around for public transport just doesn’t cut it. That’s where premier taxis come into play—offering private transfers that whisk you straight from LCY to your high-priority meetings without breaking a sweat or wasting precious minutes.

If you’re zipping over for an urgent deal closure or investor meet-and-greet, remember that while City Airport may not have the sprawling size of Heathrow or Gatwick—it sure packs a punch when it comes to getting down to business fast.

Southend Airport (SEN) – A Quieter Alternative for Entry into London

If you’re after a smooth landing away from the bustle, Southend Airport might just be your ticket to a more relaxed arrival. In 2018, this under-the-radar gem welcomed around 875 thousand passengers—just enough to give you room to breathe but still with all the trimmings of larger hubs.

Don’t be deceived by its lack of recognition—London Southend is a great option for an enjoyable, stress-free travel experience. It’s equipped with essential amenities and solid connections to whisk you into the heart of the city. With its quaint charm, SEN offers an experience that can turn travel tension into pre-vacation anticipation.

You won’t find yourself elbowing through crowds here; instead, imagine strolling leisurely to catch a train or hopping swiftly into a taxi without delay. Speaking of taxis, they’re not your average cabs either—think Premier Taxis offering private transfers tailored just for you. Discover more about London Southend’s offerings and plan your journey.

Comparing Transportation Options Across Airports

Navigating the city center after arriving at London’s airports can be a challenge, but I’m here to make it easier. But don’t worry; I’m here to break down the transport scene so smoothly, even Queen Liz would approve.

Landing at Heathrow? You’re in luck because this bustling hub offers more rides than a carnival. With 80.1 million passengers coming through in 2018 alone, options like the Heathrow Express will zip you into central London faster than Sherlock solves mysteries—just 15 minutes flat. Or if buses are more your style, hop on one and soak up some local color on your way downtown.

Gatwick’s not just for South London lovers anymore. Its handy Gatwick Express train service is like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express minus the chocolate frogs – direct and magical with no stops from airport to heart of London.

Flying budget-friendly? Stansted has got your back—and wallet—with their express train zipping straight through to Liverpool Street station without taking all day or all your pounds.

Beyond these giants lies Luton Airport—a beacon for those venturing northward—and City Airport where business travelers get an A+ experience thanks to its proximity to Canary Wharf.

Last but not least, let’s give a shout-out to Southend Airport: small but mighty and perfect when big crowds make you say “nope.” This little gem is the go-to for travelers who prefer an easy-going travel experience without the hassle of long lines. In spite of its diminutive size, Southend Airport provides outstanding service and a peaceful beginning to your trip.

Evaluating Your Best Arrival Point in London

Choosing where to land in London is like picking a suit for the big meeting; it’s gotta be just right. If you’re jetting into this bustling metropolis, each airport has its own vibe and set of perks.

If cost efficiency is your jam, consider Gatwick or Stansted. These spots might save you some cash on flights but remember, travel time to the city center can eat into those savings quicker than a squirrel with a nut if you don’t plan ahead. Gatwick handled 46.1 million passengers in 2018 while Stansted served up tickets to budget-savvy travelers with over 24 million folks passing through. Determine where you want to head, especially those fun-loving dark-tourist sites, beforehand so you can choose your best arrival points.

Now let’s talk taxis because after long immigration lines—yep, they tend at Heathrow—you’ll want nothing more than to zip straight to your digs without fussing over Oyster cards or lugging bags down escalators. Enter Heathrow Airport, an absolute giant that welcomed about 80 million people in ’18 alone. With Premier Taxis ready at the curb offering private transfers from any terminal, it’s top-tier for convenience but watch out—it can get bit pricey.

If business calls louder than Big Ben and every second counts—or maybe you just fancy feeling like James Bond—a hop off at City Airport puts you smack-dab near financial district glory faster than saying “The name’s Bond.” With only around 4.5 million passengers catered for annually here, escape lengthy security lines and make that power move post-landing.

FAQs in Relation to What is the Best London Airport to Fly Into When Visiting London

What is the best airport to fly into London as a tourist?

Heathrow wins for most tourists. It’s got tons of flights, heaps of transport links, and gets you downtown fast.

Which London airport is closest to the city Centre?

City Airport takes that crown. Nestled right by the financial district, it offers swift jaunts to central spots.

Is it better to fly into London Heathrow or Gatwick?

Pick Heathrow for more flight options and speedier trips to central London via express services.

Is Gatwick or Stansted closer to London?

Gatwick edges out Stansted. It’s just a quicker train ride away from heart-of-the-city action.


So, you’ve toured the tarmac tales of London’s airports. Each has its own charm, whether it be Heathrow’s direct dive into the city or Gatwick’s southern promise. What is the best London airport to fly into when visiting London? That depends on your journey.

You now know that Stansted opens doors to Europe without breaking the bank and Luton beckons with northern allure. City Airport courts business travelers with speed and convenience while Southend offers a quieter entrance.

Remember this: Your choice shapes your story in London town. Weigh those travel times, ponder over proximity, budget wisely for buses or black cabs alike.

Your perfect landing spot awaits—make sure it aligns with your adventure!  And no matter where you choose to fly off to next, always remember to Travel Till You Drop!

About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

Join me to get exclusive travel tips, giveaways and more!

I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.