Gatwick Airport (LGW), also known as London Gatwick is one of the six international airports serving the city of London and the second busiest airport after Heathrow. Interestingly, even though it has only one runway, it served more than 46 million passengers, according to the statistics from 2018. The airport is located near Crawley, almost 48 kilometres from the centre of London but it has very good bus and train connections. Gatwick has two terminals, South and North Terminal and they are connected by a two-way automated people mover track.
Airport shuttle: Gatwick Airport has regular daily connections toLondon and the buses run to either Victoria Coach Station (3km from the city centre) or to Golders Green Bus terminal (10km from the city centre). The journey time from the airport to London centre is around 1 hour and 35 minutes. You can find the list of all bus stations and stops in London here.
In the table below you can see the timetable of all bus departures to and from Gatwick Airport:
Train: Gatwick Airport has a great railway connection not only to London, but to other 120 stations in the UK as well. The airport railway station is located at the South Terminal and you can access it from North Terminal by using a free shuttle.
There are 4 train operators which you can choose from:
- Gatwick Express – direct train which runs every 15 minutes to London Victoria station.
- Southern – connects Gatwick Airport with London Victoria, London Bridge, Clapham Junction, Brighton, Southampton, Eastbourne and Portsmouth.
- Thameslink – runs to London Bridge, St. Pancras International, Farringdon and Bedford.
- Great Western Railway – runs to Reading, via Redhill, Reigate and Guildford
Train tickets can be bought at the airport station or at the info desk located in the Arrivals area at South and North Terminal.
Taxi: Due to Gatwick’s distance to London, taking a taxi to the city could be a more expensive option. Still, if you decide to use a taxi service, you can find taxi stands in front of the airport terminals. For example, if you share a taxi (4 persons), the average price per person to central London would be around £22.
Transfer: If you are traveling with a smaller family or with a group of friends and you want to make sure that you have your own driver, then booking a private transfer is an ideal option for you.
Renting a car at Gatwick Airport: Car hire at London Gatwick is not a problem at all. There are several car rental offices located at the airport such as Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Europcar, etc. However, if you want to avoid queues at the airport, you can always book a car online and just pick it up when you arrive at Gatwick.
Renting a bus at Gatwick Airport: In case you are travelling to London with a larger group of people, renting a bus at Gatwick is also possible. However, you should book your bus in advance so that the bus renting company can arrange all details on time.
From Gatwick Airport to other cities and airports:
FAQ – bus and transport from Gatwick Airport
Q: I arrive late at the airport. Will it be a problem for me to get to the city?
A: Not at all, there are both buses and trains operating during the night as well so there is no worry that you might get stuck at the airport.
Q: Does Gatwick Airport close at night?
A: Technically, the airport is open 24/7, however, security checkpoint close for a few hours during the night and then they open again around 3:00 am.
Q: Does Gatwick Airport have WiFi?
A: Yes, it does. Gatwick Airport provides 90 minutes of free Wifi. Once you turn on WiFi on your smartphone/tablet/laptop, select Gatwick Free WiFi and click on the “get online” now button to get free WiFi session.
Q: Can you use Oyster card at Gatwick Airport?
A: The Oyster card is a permanent reusable electronic ticket where you can ”insert” a certain amount of money and use it to pay the fare in public transport. When travelling to London, a majority of tourists will use Oyster card when using public transport in London. A reason for this is because buying single tickets is too expensive and paying by contactless debit card will incur significant exchange rates. Oyster card can be bought in both Gatwick terminals at the Transport for London desks.
Q: Can you smoke at Gatwick Airport?
A: Smoking is permitted only outside the terminal buildings and in designated area specifically. The same rule applies for the users of e-cigarette.
Q: I have an early morning flight from the airport. Are there any nearby hotels/hostels/b&bs where I can stay overnight?
A: There are several options for an overnight stay at Gatwick Airport. You can find hotels located inside South Terminal, in the vicinity of South Terminal, near North Terminal and outside of the airport area which are more budget friendly.
NOTE: Gatwick has a set of airport bus lines which provide free transport from both terminals to airport hotels. You can check the list of lines and timetable of departures here. All of the hotels listed below can be reached by airport bus lines.
At South Terminal – Overnight stay is also possible inside the airport and you can choose between two options:
- YOTELAIR London Gatwick Hotel
- BLOC Hotel
Near South Terminal: Hilton London Gatwick Airport is located in front of the exit of South Terminal while Courtyard Marriott Hotel can be reached by airport bus line G2 in 10 minutes.
- Sofitel London Gatwick (4*)
- Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport (3*)
- Premier Inn London Gatwick Airport North Terminal (3*)
Outside Gatwick Airport:
- Travelodge Gatwick Airport Central (2*)
- Airport Inn Gatwick (3*)
- Holiday Inn London – Gatwick Airport (4*)
- Crowne Plaza London – Gatwick Airport (4*)
Q: I would like to visit London in between flights. Is that possible?
A: Since it takes at least 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach London Victoria station, time between your flights should be at least 7 hours. In case you need to leave your luggage, you can do it at left luggage offices located in both North and South Terminal. Office in North Terminal is open from 05.00 to 22.00 and the one in South Terminal is open 24/7.
Q: Can I exchange money at the airport to pay for my transfer?
A: You can find Moneycorp exchange offices at both terminals. The offices are open from 03:00 to 22:00. However, it is recommendable to have some cash prior to your flight because exchange rates at airports are often higher than you might expect.