How to Get From Gatwick to Central London

If it is your first time flying into Gatwick, it can be a bit daunting to try to figure out the best way to get from Gatwick to Central London. It is actually extremely easy to get from Gatwick to Central London!

Gatwick is the second largest airport in London only behind Heathrow. It has two terminals that are linked by a free monorail service that only takes two minutes! Gatwick is a well-organized airport that is extremely easy and convenient to navigate.

There are a number of different ways to get from Gatwick to Central London, and there are some options that are better than others for certain people.

This post will walk you through all the different ways you can get from Gatwick to Central London and give you an idea of what option may be best suited for you.

Taking the Train from Gatwick to Central London

There are two ways you can take the train from Gatwick to Central London. They are both convenient, and the difference is mainly in the price. Both options drop you off at Victoria Station and have a similar travel time.

The Gatwick Express

The Gatwick Express is a newer train that runs directly from Gatwick to Victoria Station. It takes approximately 30 minutes, and it costs as little as £17.80 when you book online in advance.

The tickets are cheaper the further in advance you purchase them, and you get a 10% discount when you book directly through the Gatwick Express website or app. Tickets are available for purchase up to three months in advance.

You purchase a ticket for a specific date, but it does not have a specific time. This allows you to get on the train whenever you want. You don’t have to worry about changing your ticket if your plane is delayed or if you arrive earlier than you anticipated. It is a great feature!

You can purchase a return ticket online, which makes it convenient for people who want to pay for their transportation before they get to London and not have to worry about it when they get there.

You are also able to use your Oyster card to tap in and out of the Gatwick Express. This is extremely convenient for people who already have an Oyster card or purchased the tourist Oyster card.

Gatwick to Central London London Airports

Travellers Who May Prefer the Gatwick Express:

The Gatwick Express is a great option for people who want to pre-pay for their trip to and from the airport. It offers the flexibility of getting on the train at any time it is convenient for you.

The Gatwick Express is also great for people who want to know they’ll have a great seat and not have to worry about standing. The train is extremely comfortable and has lots of baggage storage space.

Southern Train/Thameslink

The Southern and Thameslink are two separate companies that run trains from Gatwick to Central London.

Both trains take between 30 and 40 minutes to get from Gatwick to Central London and only have two or three stops along the way. The costs is between £16.50 and £17 one-way.

You purchase your tickets at the station in Gatwick when you land either through an automated ticket machine or at the ticket window. You are also able to use your Oyster card or purchase an Oyster card to use.

I always take the Thameslink into London when I fly into Gatwick. The trip doesn’t take much longer than the Gatwick Express, and it is less expensive. The only downside is that you sometimes have to stand on the train because there isn’t enough space to store all the luggage.

Buckingham Palace London England

Travellers Who May Prefer the Southern Train/Thameslink:

The Southern Train/Thameslink is, in my opinion, the best way to get from Gatwick to Central London. It only takes a few minutes longer than the Gatwick Express and is less expensive.

It is the perfect option for people who want to get into the City quickly without having to purchase tickets in advance or spend the extra money on the Gatwick Express.

What Train Should You Choose?

I always recommend taking the Southern Train or Thameslink. I think it is well worth saving a little extra money to make a few stops along the way. The ride is honestly not very much longer than the Gatwick Express, so I can’t justify spending the extra money on the Gatwick Express.

The Gatwick Express is a better deal than the Heathrow Express in my opinion, but it still isn’t my preferred method of transportation. I simply don’t think it offers any convenience over the public trains. It is more expensive and only takes a few minutes less.

The Bus

There are two different operators that run buses from Gatwick to Central London. The National Express runs ever hour and easyBus runs from 4:25am to 1:10am everyday. Both buses drop you off at Victoria Station- the same as the trains.

The National Express costs £8 with an 85 minute journey time and the easyBus costs £4 with a 65 minute journey time.

You can purchase bus tickets online in advance, and they are normally less expensive than paying the driver when you get on the bus.

The only downside to buying your ticket in advance is that you have to pick a departure time. You need to pick a time far enough in advance that you are able to get through security, get your bag, and find the bus stop. I would also recommend leaving a buffer of time in case your plane is delayed.

The bus is a great option because there is guaranteed space for your luggage and it is comfortable. The major downside is that it takes at least twice as long as the train does.

London Transportation Big Ben Bus Buckingham Palace

Travellers Who May Prefer Taking the Bus from Gatwick to Central London:

Budget travellers who don’t mind spending a longer time in transit will probably enjoy taking the bus. You can’t beat the price of the bus!

The bus is also a great option for people who tend to get motion sick on the train. It tends to cause less motion sickness than the train. Although it is a longer transit time than the train, so you need to take that into consideration as well when considering motion sickness.

So How Should You Get from Gatwick to Central London?

There is really no bad option to get from Gatwick to Central London. Each option has its pros and cons.

They all offer some sort of convenience. Whether it is the convenience of pre-buying tickets and taking a train with no stops with the Heathrow Express, saving some money and still have a quick train journey with the Thameslink/Souther Train, or the affordability of the bus.

However, I would suggest the Thameslink or Southern Train. It is the best combination of affordability, convenience, and time efficiency.

You can’t go wrong with whatever option you choose. I would suggest that you make sure you purchase your tickets in advance for the Gatwick Express or the bus. This will save you some money.

No matter how you choose to get from Gatwick to Central London, you will end up at Victoria Station and have to take the London Underground to your hotel. Be sure to know how to get from the station to your hotel to save you the headache of trying to figure it out when you get to the station!

5 Tips for Surviving Airport Security

One of the unfortunate necessities of flying to your amazing holiday is getting through airport security. It isn’t a fun event and is often dreaded by everybody that has to go through airport security.

While going through airport security is a pain, there are things you can do to make your airport security less dreadful.

1. Get a Nexus Card

This tip only applies to citizens of Canada and the United States. The Nexus card allows trusted travellers to go through airport security in a shorter line.

It is an excellent way to expedite the airport security process- especially during busy times of the year. There have been instances where the standard airport security line was over an hour long, and I was through security in 10 minutes by using the Nexus line.

You have to apply to get a Nexus card. This application process involves filing out a form and submitting it along with an application fee. Your application will be reviewed by the government. After it has been reviewed, you will have to go in for an interview.

The interview process involves being interviewed by TSA agents from both Canada and the United States. The questions aren’t difficult, so you don’t have to be nervous when you go in for the interview.

You will also get your fingerprints and eyes scanned. The fingerprints and eye scan will be used when you go through customs as a form of identification.

Having a Nexus card is truly the best way to make getting through airport security so much easier!

Scotland Castle 5 Tips for Surviving Airport Security

2. Know the Rules

Most airports have the same rules for what can and cannot be brought through security. This makes it easier for you to know what to pack in your carryon whenever you are preparing to travel via air and go through airport security.

It takes up a lot of valuable time when you get pulled over and have your carryon inspected because you packed something in your carryon that wasn’t allowed.

It is easy for you to know what is and isn’t allowed to be packed in your carryon suitcase. You don’t need to review the rules for every airport. You just need to know a general set of rules that can be applied to every airport.

Things You Can’t Pack in Your Carryon Bag

  • Liquids over 50ml
  • Sharp Objects
  • Snow Globes (count as liquid)
  • Gel-type candles
  • Guns/Other Weapons
  • Self-Defence Items (pepper spray, brass knuckles, etc.)
  • Gel Shoes Inserts
  • Sporting Goods (balls are able to be carried on but the rest should be checked)

Be sure to check out my 10 Travel Essentials to Never Leave Home Without article to help with all your packing needs!

Gdansk Poland 5 Tips for Surviving Airport Security

3. Get Yourself Ready for Airport Security

You have to remove your belt, coat, laptop, liquids, and sometimes your shoes if you go through the regular security line. These items can be kept on when you’re going through the Nexus line in the United States but still need to be removed in the Nexus line in Canada.

You should know what you have to remove to go through airport security and start preparing while you are waiting in the line. It saves a lot of time if you already have your belt off and laptop and liquids out of your carryon bag.

Your fellow passengers will appreciate you being prepared. It makes the entire process go way faster, and everybody hates the person who takes a long time to put all their items in the bins and holds up the entire line. You don’t want to be that person!

So have your items ready and prepared before you get to the front of the airport security line. It is a very simple thing to do, but it makes a huge difference.

Galway Ireland 5 Tips for Surviving Airport Security

4. Get to the Airport Early

There is hardly anything more stressful than not leaving yourself enough time to go through airport security and still being in line when it is nearly time for your plane to be boarding. You don’t need that type of stress in your life!

You should always give yourself ample time to go through airport security because you never know how long the security line will be or if any other unforeseen circumstances arrive (like a fire alarm going off because someone is smoking in the bathroom- true story).

I give myself 90 minutes to go through security when I am flying within Canada or the United States because I have a Nexus card. It never takes me that long to go through security, but I hate being stressed and like having the extra time to get a drink and relax before jetting off.

The standard recommendation is to be at the airport 2 hours before your flight departs. This gives you ample time to check-in, check your bag, and get through security.

There are, however, some places you should give yourself more than 2 hours. These include when you are flying from China to another country (this is due to everybody having to go through immigration, and this takes a long time).

Morocco airports recommend that you get to the airport 3 hours before departure. Airport security officials in Morocco often pat down and do secondary inspections on every person that goes through security. It tends to slow things down. I have never needed the full 3 hours, but it is best to abide by the recommendations of the airport.

All in all, arriving at the airport 2 hours before departure should give you plenty of time to go through security without being stressed.

Xi'an China 5 Tips Surviving Airport Security

5. Keep Your Passport/ID and Boarding Pass Together

You will need to show your ID and boarding pass before you get to the front of the airport security line and your boarding pass when you get to the front of the line and go through the metal detector.

You should always keep your boarding pass and ID together. It makes it easier and quicker to get through security.

It also makes for a good security precaution. These two items might be the most important items you need in an airport, so you should always know where they both are and keep them in your hands when you’re going through airport security and boarding the plane.

Trying to decide what to pack in your carryon? Check out this article!

Neuschwanstein Castle Munich Germany Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich 5 Tips for Surviving Airport Security

Conclusion

You will inevitably have to go through airport security whenever you fly. It is an unfortunate fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be a horrible experience.

You can implement the tips in this post to make your airport security process more efficient and less stressful. Airports aren’t fun, but you can make them so much more enjoyable- especially the security aspect of it.