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London Luton is one of the capitals six international airports and is located roughly 30 miles (48 kilometres) north of the city centre. Luton is predominantly home to budget airlines including RyanAir, EasyJet, Wizz Air, TUI and Vueling, operating lost-cost flights to many European destinations.
How to get from Luton airport to London (or vice versa):
- Train – quickest option taking as little as 35 minutes total and costs £11.50-£18.80 (peak).
- Bus – cheapest option with limited tickets as low as £1.99 but can take up to 90 minutes.
- Taxi – comfortable and convenient option but can be very expensive at £60+.
- Private transfer – most convenient but also expensive.
Below you’ll find a more detailed breakdown:
Train – the fastest way from Luton to London
The train is by far the quickest way of getting from Luton airport to London, with journeys taking as little as 25 minutes from just £11.50.
East Midlands trains run hourly between Luton and London St Pancras International and are the quickest option. While Thameslink runs a more regular service, stopping at London Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, London Bridge and Elephant and Castle.
The one downside of taking the Luton to central London train is that Luton Airport Parkway train station is around a 10 minutes shuttle bus ride away from the airport itself. However, even with the shuttle bus, this option is still the quickest.
You can pick up the Shuttle Bus to the train station at Bay T.
Bus – the cheapest way from Luton to London
Bus is definitely the best way to get from Luton to London for those travelling on a budget, with several companies running a cheap and regular service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
National Express runs over 80 coaches a day (around 4 an hour) between central London and Luton airport, costing as little as £7 a journey.
They offer two different routes from Luton to London, the A1 which goes to Victoria Coach Station and the A2 which goes to Paddington Station. Both services also stop at Golders Green, Finchley Road and Baker Street so you can always jump off early and swap onto the underground to reach your final destination.
EasyBus offers an airport bus in between Luton and London in collaboration with National Express, however, if you book through EasyBus you can get limited tickets from as little as £1.99 one way so keep an eye out on the website.
Greenline also run their 757 services from Luton to London Victoria daily for £11.50 one way.
How long does the journey between Luton and central London take by bus?
While most of the websites say that their bus services from Luton airport to London take from as little at 40+ minutes, realistically you’re looking at between 60 and 90 minutes depending on traffic to get to the final stops in the city centre.
If you’re travelling from central London to Luton airport for a flight, you’re going to want to plan for at least 90 minutes travel time to allow for traffic and arrive for your check-in on time.
Taxi – the comfortable way from Luton to London
If comfort and convenience are more important than the price and speed, you can also take a taxi or private transfer from Luton into central London.
Being around 30 miles outside of the city centre, a private taxi to or from Luton airport could cost anywhere between £60 and £100 one way and takes at least an hour or more depending on traffic.
However, the major upside of taking private transport is that you will get dropped directly at your hotel or accommodation – there’s no messing around with further transport or having to walk with luggage at the other end.
Once you arrive at the airport you can jump straight into a taxi at the taxi rank outside or call an Uber via the app.
Private transfer – the most convenient way from Luton to London
The final option for travelling between Luton and central London is to book a private transfer in advance. This can usually be done through private companies or often through your hotel.
Similar to a taxi, the rate between Luton and London is going to be around £60+ and the journey will take around an hour (traffic depending).
The upside of a private transfer over a taxi is that even though it might be on the pricer side, you’ll know the rate you’re going to be paying in advance and your transport is definitely guaranteed.
With a private transfer, the driver will also more than likely meet you at arrivals with a sign so you won’t have to mess around with finding the taxi rank or booking a taxi once you’ve arrived.
What if I have an early/late flight?
While all of the transport options listed above between Luton and central London run 24 hours a day, not everyone likes travelling early in the morning or late at night which is totally understandable.
Instead, you could stay overnight at Luton airport at one of these hotels from just £50 a night. All hotels are either a short walk or shuttle ride away from the airport.
Budget hotels at Luton airport:
High-end hotels at Luton airport:
Other useful articles for planning your trip to London:
- Important things to know before visiting London for the first time
- Where to stay in London – a comprehensive area and hotel guide
- When is the best time to visit London?
- Top tips for surviving the London underground
- Tricks and tips for hiring a car in London
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