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Airport to City Center Best Methods

The most time and cost-efficient way for transportation from the airport to the city center will always be to plan ahead. Sure, you’ll most likely have the option to take a cab wherever you are, but you’ll find that can add unnecessary dings to your wallet. Train, bus, shuttle, you have options, this is where it pays to know before you go.

*= best method of transportation based on cost, convenience, and time

Paris

airport to paris city center

Once you reach the city of light via the Charles de Gaulle airport, you have the option of train, bus or taxi.

When it comes to saving money, the RER train will get you to the city center in less than an hour, and cost you 10€. It’s important to note, you’ll want to catch the train from terminal 3, as trains from terminals 1 and 2 don’t run directly into the city center.

The bus will cost you a bit less, at 6€-12€, but cost you more time at around 1.5 hours.

Catching a taxi, although most convenient, is most expensive at 55€-60€. After your 45 minute ride, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Paris.

*Train: 50 minutes, 10€

Bus: 80 minutes, 6€-12€

Taxi: 45 minutes, 55€-60€

London Heathrow

londown heathrow to central london

Heathrow comes with options, and these options will depend on where you’re staying in the city, but a train will most likely be a simple solution into the city.

The Heathrow Express train runs every 15 minutes and will get you from the airport to Paddington in 15 minutes. The cost for one way is £22 off-peak and £25 peak. You can purchase tickets online and you’ll pay nearly 50% less when you book in advance.

London Underground train is a great cost-efficient option for those getting into the heart of the city within an hour. The train comes about every 10 minutes from terminals 2, 3 and 5. Purchase an Oyster card at a kiosk, (you’ll need it if you plan to use the tube within the city during your stay), and your 50-minute ride into the city will cost £6.

A taxi from Heathrow runs £45-£70, taking one hour to reach central London. In this case, a cab is the least cost and time-efficient.

*Train to Paddington: 15 minutes, £22-£25

*Train to central London: 50 minutes, £6

Taxi: 60 minutes, £45-£70

London Gatwick

london gatwick to central london

The train from Gatwick will most likely be the best option for travelers arriving at this airport.

The Gatwick Express is not running at this time.

You can book a Southern Railway train to Victoria online or at a kiosk, the journey is about 35 minutes and runs £17.60-£26.40.

You can also book online to take the Thameslink train directly to London Bridge or London St Pancras every 15 minutes for £12-£19.40 and arrive in about 50 minutes.

The easyBus is amazingly cost-efficient at just £1.99 when booking in advance from Gatwick to Victoria. Ride time is about 1.5 hours. This bus runs seven days a week and operates from North Terminal, bus stops 10 and 11.

Taxi into London’s center takes about an hour and ranges from £60-£90.

*Train: 35-50 minutes, £12-£26.40

Bus: 1.5 hours, £1.99

Taxi: 1 hour, £60-£90

Amsterdam

amsterdam airport to city center

Schiphol International Airport is conveniently located within 20 minutes of the city center, leaving you will a few good options.

A taxi will get you to your city center accommodations in about 15 minutes if you’ve got an extra 39€ to spare.

However, the best mode of transportation will definitely be the train, getting you to the city in 20 minutes, for only 6€. You can snag a train ticket from a ticket kiosk in the airport, or in advance online for around 4.60€. The trains run up to 10 times per hour.

*Train: 20 minutes, 4.60€-6€

Taxi: 15 minutes, 39€

Rome

 rome airport to city center

Getting to this ancient city from Fiumicino Airport comes with three options, ranging significantly in price, but not so much in time.

A bus will pick you up west of terminal 3, get you to the city in about an hour, and cost you 7€. Terravision is the most common bus company, allowing you to purchase online in advance or from the bus driver.

In 30 short minutes, the Leonardo Express train will take you straight to the city center with no stops for 14€, this leaves you no chance to get off on the wrong stop by accident. Purchase tickets online or at the train station outside terminal 3.

Taking a taxi into the city is a 40-minute ride for 50€-65€.

*Train: 30 minutes, 14€

Bus: 1 hour, 7€

Taxi: 40 minutes, 50€-65€

Reykjavik

blue lagoon in iceland

One downside of the Keflavik Airport is that it’s not close to the Reykjavik city center. This makes pricing options possibly dangerous if you don’t plan.

A taxi can run you 115€ to get to your downtown accommodations. This is a regular price, so don’t be caught off guard in this situation.

Your best option, all around, is going to be the Flybus. These buses leave 30-45 minutes after the arrival of every flight, and their schedule is set to delay for flights that are delayed. For 25€ you’ll always have a bus waiting for you. Another convenience is you can choose to be dropped off at your hotel for a few extra euros. The ride is 45 minutes.

*Bus: 45 minutes, 25€

Taxi: 45 minutes, 115€-150€

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik in croatia

Getting to the heart of this medieval city will take you between 20-30 minutes, with a couple of options.

You can buy a shuttle ticket before exiting the airport for 55 kunas (about 7.5€). The ride is nonstop to old town Dubrovnik and gets you there in 30 minutes. A shuttle comes every 30 minutes.

Getting to the old town by taxi may save you a few minutes, and you won’t have to wait for a shuttle, but it will cost you close to 30€. You can catch a cab outside building B.

The ride into the heart of the town is stunning, with turquoise blue waters in sight for most of the way.

*Bus: 30 minutes, 7.5€

Taxi: 20 minutes, 30€

Athens

athens greece

 

Expect a decently long trek into the home of the Acropolis, especially if you’re looking to save money. The Athens International Airport is 27 km from its city center.

The metro is an easy and cost-efficient method. Follow the train signs upon exit of baggage claim to the train station, that’s where you can buy your ticket from a kiosk for 10€. The ride is long, Monastiraki station is 17 stops from the airport, so you’re looking at at least 45 minutes on the metro. A train comes every 30 minutes, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the schedule to not waste time waiting on another train.

A taxi will get you straight to your accommodations in 35-40 minutes, at a daytime flat rate of 35€, or a nighttime flat rate of 49€. If you’re splitting the cost here, a taxi may end up being the better option.

Metro: 45 minutes-1 hour, 10€

*Taxi: 35-40 minutes, 35€-49€

Dublin

dublin castle

Only 10 km north of the airport, you’ll find the heart of Dublin and a pint of Guinness on every corner.

The shuttle bus will get you there in 35-40 minutes for 7€, running every 15 minutes. You can purchase your ticket online beforehand, or at the airport.

In 20-25 minutes, a taxi will get you there for around 30€.

*Bus: 35-40 minutes, 7€

Taxi: 20-25 minutes, 30€

Barcelona

view in barcelona spain

You’ll be sipping sangria in no time after arriving at the Barcelona airport.

The metro is a cheap and relatively quick way to hit the city center. Purchase a ticket at a kiosk in the metro station in terminals 1 and 2. The train will take you 35 minutes and costs 4.50€.

In 35 minutes, the Aerobus will get you there for 5.90€. Make sure you buy your ticket online or have the exact change for the bus driver. The bus leaves from terminals 1 and 2, departing every 5-15 minutes.

You can expect to pay 25€-35€ for the convenience of a taxi, getting you there in 25-30 minutes. There’s no flat rate, so prices will vary.

*Train: 35 minutes, 4.50€

Aerobus: 35 minutes, 5.90€

Taxi: 25-30 minutes, 25€-35€

Prague

prague

There are options when it comes to getting from the Prague airport to old town Prague. However, two stand out when it comes to cost and convenience.

The Airport Express is easily a front runner, based on the cost alone. The bus will get you to the old town in 40 minutes, for under 3€. You can purchase a ticket directly from the information center, or directly from the bus driver. These buses run every 30 minutes in front of airport terminals.

A taxi will get you there in about 35 minutes, however, the airport recommends only using their partners FIX TAXI and Taxi Praha. Their prices are based on kilometers driven. You can book one of those taxis outside terminals 1 and 2 at their sales counters. Expect to pay at least 27€-40€.

*Airport Express Bus: 40 minutes, 3€

Taxi: 35 minutes, 27€-40€

When it comes down to it, you’ll find multiple ways to get where you’d like to go in most major European cities. Always include factors like time, cost, and effort when deciding which method is best for you. As stated, knowing before you go will save you half of the hassle.