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BCN to London: which airport is best?

BCN to London: which airport is best?

Old Jan 30, 09, 8:13 pm
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BCN to London: which airport is best?

We will be in Spain in June and will fly home through London so planning on staying a couple days. Which London airport is best for getting to the city center and for flights from BCN? Seems like LCY is best because it is within the city boundaries, but don't know if transportation options are better from LHR or if there are reasons to not want to fly into LCY.
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Old Jan 31, 09, 5:13 am
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Welcome & Bienvenido/a to Flyertalk SantaMonicaTravel!

If you can find a reasonably priced flight to LCY that suits you, then by all means take it. You won't find many people arguing that this isn't the best aiport for access to the City of London.

Unfortunately, there are only two flights a day and BA has a monopoly on these.

For most of us who fly between London and Spain costs and times are a factor. Personally I prefer evening flights as I can maximise my time in Spain that way.

London is a big place and there is no definitive answer to your question without knowing where you are planning on staying. Yes, LCY is best for the City of London, but the actual City is the financial centre, is only 1 mile square and is towards the East of London. Apart from Tower Bridge and the Tower of London and a few other tourist attractions, there is not that much for visitors and most head for the West of London which has more entertainment and shopping options.

If you wish to base yourself in the West of London then Heathrow might be a more sensible choice as there is a fast rail link which can take you from LHR to Paddington in 15 minutes.

Another popular base for tourists is the Victoria area, just to the South of Paddington. If you are planning to stay here then Gatwick airport might be the best airport for your needs. There is another high speed rail link between Victoria station and LGW that takes 30 minutes.

If your own definition of 'best' has anything to do with price, then both Luton and Stansted airports are workable alternatives. It is possible to get from Victoria to Luton or Stansted for £2 using www.easybus.co.uk
Baker Street to Luton takes under an hour. The trip to Stansted is roughly half an hour longer.

As there are so many variables involved (for instance where you to stay in the Chelsea/Fulham area then Gatwick might be the best airport as there is a direct bus from LGW to Fulham Broadway) unless we know where you were planning on staying in London there is no definitive answer. What is best for someone else might not be best for you.

Here is a very useful thread from our UK forum which explores this topic more thoroughly.

as you are only going to be in London for a short time is to choose, if possible, the same airport to fly into London as you will be using to fly out. That way you can store the bulk of your suitcases at a Left Luggage facility and thus eliminate the need to go lugging them around with you.

Last edited by LapLap; Jan 31, 09 at 5:20 am
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Old Feb 1, 09, 1:05 am
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Thanks for the great post! Agree we need to nail down where we will want to stay in London before making final airport decision, but good to know LCY is a viable option. My guess is we will end up in west London. Any recommendations for family friendly hotels (we have two children 9 & 5) in London with walking access to touristy areas like Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, etc.? Also if you have any recommendations for the same type of hotel in Barcelona I'd love to get those as well. Ideally we'd be in the 150 to 200 euro per night range, but willing to spend more if it is necessary in London!
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Old Feb 1, 09, 4:06 am
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For a family of four on your budget, I'd recommend the Premier Inn at County Hall or the Novotel at Waterloo.

Premier Inn Website

If you can find a sub £120 rate here this would be a good deal.

The Waterloo Novotel is often available on Priceline for good rates.

The location seems a little tricky at first but if you're hoping to walk to most places it is actually ideal


This shows the location on a map. Across the river are the Victoria Tower Gardens and the space just next to that on the North is where the Houses of Parliament (Big Ben) are.

The rooms at this Novotel are a good size with a separate toilet and shower/bathroom and come with a sofabed where two children can sleep comfortably. Easiest way to get there would be to get a flight to LGW, take the train to Victoria and take a taxi from there.

But I still maintain that you are probably best off going into the airport you are flying out of and leaving the bulk of your luggage there.
If you are flying from LHR then this would be the best choice for you (LHR to Westminster station will take around an hour on the tube/underground, cost little and involves a getting off one train, taking 10 steps to cross the platform and boarding another train - Barons Court is an ideal station for this)

I have friends and family in Spain, therefore I rarely book hotels there.

However, I have used this company in Barcelona on a couple of occasions and can recommend them
They offer short term lets on well maintained apartments in an array of locations throughout the city. Many of the apartments will be perfect for your needs.

Please be sure to browse through this forum for alternative hotel recommendation for Barcelona. Once you have found a suitable thread feel free to add your own question to it.

For London recommendations there will be similar threads in the UK forum.

Last edited by LapLap; Feb 1, 09 at 4:15 am
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Old Feb 3, 09, 12:45 am
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If you want to be near Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace I would recommend the London Hilton although I am not sure of the rates there are also many hotels nearby, the hotels in that bit of town, there is also the Ascott Mayfair which are serviced apartments where you can get a 1BR with a sofa bed for about 200 pounds per night. As far as airports go you should not fly to LCY if staying in the west end, I would recommend Heathrow since there is a train to Paddington station that only takes about 20 minutes.
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