How to get to London

With around 20 million annual visitors, London is the most popular tourist destination in Europe. Find out the best way to reach it - by plane, train, bus, or car.

By plane

London has six international airports, constituting the busiest airport system in the world, with 14 domestic destinations and around 400 international ones. Out of these six, the ones you are most likely to travel to are, in order, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton.

Flying to London is therefore extremely easy, and almost all European countries have direct flights to the capital. The same goes for Gulf countries and major cities in the US, Canada, and Australia.

Arrivals board at London Airport
In smaller airports like Stansted and Luton, the majority of flights are European.

If you are travelling from Europe, you will find that there are numerous low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair, EasyJet, Wizz Air, and Norwegian, offering flights to London for as little as £20.00.

If you are travelling from outside of Europe, flights tend to be more expensive, but there still are some low-fare airlines, such as Air Condor, Norwegian, Air Transat, Jazeera Airways, and Air Canada Rouge. Remember that, while booking your flight early is always the best way to save money, this is even more important when it comes to long intercontinental flights.

By train

Train travel is probably the easiest way to reach London from other parts of the country, but keep in mind that trains can be quite expensive in the UK. There are several passenger rail companies connecting London to other British cities and towns, so the best way to find your train and book your ticket to London is to consult the Trainline website .

If you don’t like flying and you are somewhere in Europe, it’s also possible to reach London by train. This will be particularly easy if you are in Paris, Brussels, or Amsterdam, as the Eurostar (a high-speed train) connects London to continental Europe through this direct line.

Eurostar trains in London
Eurostar trains are a quick and easy way to travel between countries in northwestern Europe.

Eurostar tickets can be more expensive than some of the cheapest low-cost airline tickets, but you can still get extremely convenient prices by booking in advance.

Additionally, when travelling by train, you’ll have the advantage of arriving directly in the city centre (London St Pancras Station) and not having to worry about baggage allowance.

By bus

Much like with the train, if you are travelling to London from a neighbouring country, you’ll find it quite easy to reach the city by bus. Journeys are obviously much longer than with other means of transport, but they are also very cheap.

On average, a bus journey from Paris to London lasts between 8 and a half hours and 9 hours. Some of the most popular bus companies offering services between continental Europe and London are National Express and Flixbus .

Flixbus coach bus in London
Most buses and coaches in London arrive at Victoria Coach Station, in the city centre.

And for those who really like travelling by bus, Adventures Overland even offers a 56-day luxury bus trip covering 22 countries, starting in Istanbul, Turkey, and ending - you guessed it - in London

If, instead, you are travelling from within Great Britain, there are plenty of companies offering services to London every day. The most popular are National Express , Flixbus , Megabus , and First Bus .

By car

Of course, you can also arrive in London by car. While infrastructure in the UK is not always excellent, roads leading to and from London always receive the most investment, so you’ll have no trouble at all getting to the city.

If you are in mainland Europe, you’ll have to cross the Channel Tunnel. The Chunnel, as it is also called, is an underwater channel connecting Kent with Pas-de-Calais. It is about 50 km long (a little over 31 miles) and private vehicles can cross the channel with the Eurotunnel Shuttle . Although the entire process takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes, the crossing itself is only 35 minutes.

Car boarding the Eurotunnel Shuttle.
Cars, passengers, and other private vehicles all board the Eurotunnel Shuttle to cross the Channel Tunnel.

However, keep in mind that parking in London might be a considerable expense, and that driving in the UK is on the left-hand side of the road. You will still be able to drive a vehicle with the steering wheel on the left, but you might find it uncomfortable, seeing as you’ll be near the side of the road instead of the centre.

Before departing, you should also check on government’s website if you are legally able to drive in Great Britain with your national driving licence .

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How to get to London