Updated: October 2013
Taking the Tube between Heathrow Airport and Central London
The Piccadilly Line connects all Heathrow terminals with frequent services to central London between 5am approx and midnight approx Monday to Saturday and 6am approx to midnight approx Sunday and public holidays. All stations are in zone 6 (central London is zone 1.) London Underground is the cheapest way to travel to and from Heathrow but it takes longer (about 50 minutes to central London).
Traveling by Train between Heathrow Airport and Central London
The Heathrow Express is the quickest way into central London. Heathrow Express runs to Paddington station, departing about every 15 minutes. The journey takes 15-20 minutes and tickets cost from £20 single. Travelcards and Oyster pay as you go are not valid on Heathrow Express. You can book tickets at the VisitBritain Shop (Buy Direct).
HeathrowConnect.com also runs a train service between Heathrow Airport and Paddington station via five intermediate stations in west London. Because it has a few stops along the way the fare is a bit cheaper. Journey time to Paddington is 26 minutes and trains operate every 30 minutes (every 60 minutes on Sundays). Tickets are from £9.50 single. Oyster pay as you go and Zone 1–6 Travelcards are only valid for travel between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington.
If you're waiting for a train from Paddington on a Friday, and are in the area before midday, you might like to walk five minutes away to the canal and see the Rolling Bridge.
Coach Services between Heathrow Airport and Central London
National Express runs coaches to Victoria every 15-30 minutes at peak times, with a journey time of about 50 minutes from terminals 1 and 3 and 75-105 minutes from terminals 4 and 5. Singles are from £6 and returns from £11. You can book tickets at the VisitBritain Shop (Buy Direct).
There is a 'normal' London night bus, the N9, which leaves Aldwych for Heathrow Airport every 20 minutes throughout the night. The fare can be paid for by Oyster card making it the cheapest option although journey time is long at 70-90 minutes. Use Journey Planner to check times.
By Taxi between Heathrow Airport and Central London
You can usually find a queue of black cabs at all terminals or go to one of the approved taxi desks. The fare is metered, but watch for extra charges such as late night or weekend journeys. Tipping is not compulsory, but 10% is considered the norm. Expect to pay at least £65 to get to Central London. Only use a reputable mini-cab and never use unauthorized drivers who offer their services at airports or stations.