Sleeping in Airports

London Heathrow Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our London Heathrow Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

The terminal remained at full brightness all night, so no night-time cosiness, and there were quite a few people working, fixing stuff, etc. – Mo.Si

LHR Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Heathrow Airport.

What to Expect

London Heathrow Airport (Code: LHR) has four active terminals (T2, T3, T4 and T5) which are connected by London Underground. Passengers can access this service for free. Given the airport’s size and traffic levels, it can be a bit complicated to navigate – particularly during tight connections and peak travel periods. The airport has a wide range of services and amenities, with a number of 24-hour options, and unlimited free WiFi. However, it is worth noting that all terminals are not created equal as the services and facilities vary at each terminal.   For those travellers looking for a little added comfort while they wait, there are first class lounges (some with showers) that even economy class passengers can pay to access.  See Airport Lounges in the guide below for locations and access information.

London Heathrow Airport Guide
Terminal 5, Quiet Zone (Photo courtesy of mytie5 / 21Mar2016)

Sleeping in London Heathrow Airport

As a whole, LHR Airport is reasonably accommodating of airport sleepers. While the terminals are very busy during the day, it does quiet down ever so slightly in the evening. If you are going to stay overnight at Heathrow Airport, know that different terminals do have different comfort levels and sleeping protocols. In T2, there is plenty of sleep-friendly seating. However, there aren’t very many places that are private or dimly lit, making an eye mask an asset here. In T3, there are designated rest zones with sofas and lounges. However, overnight, it seems like security tries to round people up into one central area. In T4, the best sleep options are landside, and it sounds like the airside section may close overnight. Loungers are available in T5, simply follow the ‘quiet zone’ signs. If you’re trying to sleep landside and you are not an EU resident, you might be sent to T3. If you do end up at a terminal that you are not departing from, be sure to check the inter-terminal trains departure start times so that you get to the right terminal in time for check-in.  Explore our guide to sleeping in London Heathrow Airport or read some traveller airport reviews for more tips.  For uninterrupted sleep, there are sleep cabins in Terminal 2, a hotel in the Arrivals of Terminal 3, and other hotels connected to Terminals 4 and 5 and many other hotels nearby with airport shuttles. See the Airport Hotels section below for locations and info.

To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos. You can also visit the airport’s web site for current information.  For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our London Heathrow Airport Guide.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours. However, each terminal operates different hours for its airside (secure zone) areas. A reader let us know that the airside area of Terminal 2 is closed from approx. 11:00PM – 4:00AM. If you know, click here to update this airport guide.

London Heathrow Airport Hotels & Day Rooms

Quick Facts
  • Nearest Hotel:  Inside the Airport
  • Sleep Cabins or Pods: Yes
  • Day Rooms: Yes
  • Nearby Hotels with Shuttles: Yes ($ – most require payment)

When the prospect of sleeping on the floor or in a chair is giving you nightmares, there is good news for those of you who are looking to sleep at Heathrow Airport in comfort.   If you are on a layover, your only option will be the nap rooms offered in a few of the lounges.  On the landside, or public area of the terminal, sleep cabins and guest rooms can be booked on a short-term or overnight basis.  A number of nearby hotels offer airport shuttles for a fee.

Hotels inside Heathrow airport

  • Aerotel London Heathrow – Location: Terminal 3, Ground Floor, Landside, Arrivals. The hotel offers 82 guest rooms that can be booked in blocks of 6, 9, 12 hours or overnight.  » Check Rates
  • Plaza Premium Lounge & No. 1 Heathrow – These lounges have private napping areas with beds.  See lounge profiles in the Airport Lounges section above.

Hotels at the airport

  • Sofitel – Direct access to Terminal 5 via covered walkway, and free transfers to the other terminals.   » Check Rates
  • Premier Inn  (T4) – Within a 10 minute walk of T4. A reader tells us it is accessible via the same covered walkway as the Hilton, but it’s cheaper. A bus ($) links the hotel to other terminals.  » Check Rates
  • Hilton London Heathrow Airport – Direct access to Terminal 4 via covered walkway. A bus links the hotel to other terminals.  » Check Rates

For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near Heathrow Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single  Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Terminal 2/2A/2B
  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Location: Terminal 2B – Location: Terminal 2B, Airside. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Purchase at the time of your online check-in • Lounge membership programs.
  • Plaza Premium Lounge – Location: Terminal 2A, Airside, Level 4. Showers and private rest suites are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.
  • United Club – Location: Terminal 2, Airside, opposite Gate B46. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door with proof of United Airlines ticket • United Club Membership.
Terminal 3
  • American Airlines Admirals Club – Location: Airside on the Departure level, Lounge area H. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door with proof of American Airlines ticket • Lounge membership programs.
  • Centurion Lounge – Location: Airside, Level 2, Area A. Showers are available. Lounge Access: American Express® Card Members • Lounge membership programs. Hours: 5:30AM – 9:00PM.
  • Club Aspire – Location: near Gate 9. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
  • No. 1 Heathrow Lounge – Location: Airside, near gates 13-22. Showers are available and private rooms with beds used to be available at extra charge. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
  • Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge (Terminal 3) (temporarily closed) – Location: Ground Floor, Arrivals, Next to bus stops. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door.
Terminal 4
  • Blush Lounge by Plaza Premium Group (Terminal 4) – Location: Terminal 4, Departures Area, near Gate 2. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs. Hours: 7:00AM – 10:30PM.
  • Plaza Premium Lounge (Terminal 4) – Location: Airside, 1st Floor, near Gate 1. Showers and private resting suites are available ($). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.
Terminal 5/5A
  • Aspire Lounge & Spa at LHR T5 Location: Airside, near Gate A18. Showers are available ($). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.
  • Plaza Premium Lounge (Terminal 5A) – Location: Airside, Level 2, next to Gate A7. Showers are available ($). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door.
  • Club Aspire – Location: Airside, Level 2, near Gate A18. Hours: 5:00AM – 9:00PM. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge pass.

Airline Lounges

Lufthansa Business Lounge – Location: Terminal 2A, Airside, After Passport Control and Security Checkpoint.

Related Pages: London Heathrow Airport Lounges

Drinking Water

The airport has over 100 water fountains, both Landside and Airside, so you can refill your water bottles.

Food & Drinks

When you get the midnight munchies or give up trying to sleep and need a coffee to stay awake, 24-hour food concessions are available. Check out these vendors:

  • Terminal 2 – Caffè Nero (Arrivals)
  • Terminal 3 – Caffé Nero (Arrivals)
  • Terminal 4 – Caffè Nero (Check-in) • Costa Coffee (Arrivals)
  • Terminal 5 – Costa Coffee (Arrivals)

Luggage Storage & Lockers

Excess Baggage Company provides storage facilities. Rates per item: £7.50 (up to 3 hours) • £15.00 (3-24 hours) • £22.50 (24-48 hours) • £30.00 (48-72 hours) £7.50 (for every 24 hours beyond 72 hours).

  • Terminal 2 – Check in, Zone A • Check-in, Zone C • B Gates.
  • Terminal 3 – Arrivals  • Check in, Zone E.
  • Terminal 4 – Check-in  • Arrivals.
  • Terminal 5 – Check-in, Zone B  • Check-in, Zone F  • Arrivals.

Mobile Charging

Free Power Pole charging stations are available before and after security in all terminals. Use them to charge your electronic devices. They are compatible with UK and European plugs as well as USB cables.

Rest & Relaxation Zones

While there are reclining lounge style seating scattered throughout the terminals on the airside, we do not have exact locations.  Click here to update this guide with locations.

Take precaution even when sleeping in the rest zones.  In December 2019, a traveller at another airport reported that money and credit cards had been stolen from their bag even though the bag was right beside them.  Protect and lock your bags as you would sleeping elsewhere in public.


Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Shower facilities are located inside several pay-to-use lounges, including:

  • Terminal 2: Plaza Premium Lounges • United Club
  • Terminal 3: Club Aspire, the No. 1 Heathrow Lounge, Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge and the Regus Express Lounge
  • Terminal 4: Plaza Premium Lounges • SkyTeam Lounge • The House Lounge
  • Terminal 5: The Aspire Lounge & Spa in T5.

See the Airport Lounges section above for locations.

WiFi / Internet

Free unlimited WiFi is available at Heathrow Airport. Connect to the “_Heathrow Wi-Fi” network.

Additionally, there are free internet kiosks in every terminal. Locations (as of this update) are: Terminal 2, Level 5, Check-in Zones A/B and C/D • Terminal 3, Level 0, Check-in Zones A and F • Terminal 4, Level 2, Check-in A • Terminal 5, Level 0, Arrivals and Level 3, Check-in Zones G and D.

More Airport Information

More Services and Facilities

Family Services

  • Baby Changing Facilities – Available in most washrooms, both Landside and Airside.
  • Children’s Play Area – Fun and colourful Stay & Play areas offer activities for children up to age 9 years old. Locations: T2A, Airside, Departures lounge, Gate 16. Hours: 7:00AM – 9:00PM • T2B, Airside, Gate 46. Hours: Unknown. • T3, Airside, Departures lounge. Hours: 6:00AM – 9:00PM. • T4, Airside, Gates 1A. Hours: Unknown. • T5A, Airside, Gate A2. Hours: 6:00AM – 9:00PM.
  • Kids Eat Free – Many of the airport restaurants participate in the Kids Eat Free program on a rotational basis. Look out for signs at the restaurants or inquire at an Information Desk.
  • Reserve & Collect – Heathrow offers pre-order service for baby milk through Boots. Simply place your order 2 days before your travel and pick it up once you are through security, freeing up space in your hand luggage for other essentials.

Fast Track – Breeze through the security checkpoints with a Fast Track pass! This service is only offered for departing flights to first and business-class passengers, top-tier members of airline frequent flyer programs, and American Centurion card holders.

Hair Salon – Bradley Smith Hair Express Bar offers a range of hair and beauty services for both men and women. Location: T5, Arrivals. Hours: 8:00AM – 7:00PM.

Information Desks – Have any questions? Visit one of the airport information desks for assistance. Locations: Available in all Terminals. During off hours, use the courtesy phones to ask for help.


  • Baggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your luggage? Baggage trolleys are available free of charge.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – see “Luggage Storage & Lockers” above.
  • Luggage Wrapping – Protect your bags from theft and damage by having your bags wrapped in plastic by Excess Baggage Company. Rates: £13.00 per bag. see “Luggage Storage & Lockers” above for locations and opening times.
  • Porters – If you need help with your luggage, there are porters available to assist you. The service currently operates on demand. Rates: £30 from one to eight bags.

Mail & Fly – Packed too much liquid or forgot to take that knife out of your bag? Heathrow has a Mail & Fly program, which gives you the chance to ship your items in a dedicated box. Fees apply.

Medical Services

  • Medical Services – There are no clinics or First-Aid posts at the airport. If you have a medical emergency, use one of the airport’s internal phones and dial 222 for an ambulance.
  • Pharmacy – Boots has 13 locations across all terminals, before and after security. The landside locations in Terminal 5 dispense medications.


  • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Landside and Airside in all terminals.
  • Currency Exchange – Travelex offers currency exchange services in all Terminals both. The airport suggests you use the order-online and pick-up service. Location: there are 29 options both landside and airside. Hours: vary by location with most being open at least 5:00AM – 10:00PM.

Payphones – Payphones are located throughout each terminal. Both cash and card payments are accepted.

Postal Services – Send your last minute postcards to friends and family from a WHSmith store. Locations: Terminal 3, Landside, Departure Area, Level 1, Level 1. Hours: 6:00AM – 9:00PM • Terminal 5, Landside, Departure. Hours: 5:30AM – 9:00PM. Stamps are also sold at WHSmith stores and coin operated stamp machines throughout all terminals. Mail boxes are available in all terminals, both landside and airside.


  • Chapel – St. George’s Chapel – There is a chapel located approximately 200 metres from Heathrow’s Central Bus Station. Mass ceremonies are held on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Hours: 12:30AM. The chapel is not open to drop in but the Memorial Garden is always available as a place for prayer.
  • Prayer Rooms – Multifaith prayer rooms are available in all Terminal as follows:
    • Terminal 2 – Departures, Airside, near Gate A21 and B34.
    • Terminal 3 – Departures, Airside, near Gate 24 • Arrival Hall, Level 1.
    • Terminal 4 – Mezzanine, Landside • Departures, Airside, near Gates 3 and 4.
    • Terminal 5 – Check-in, Landside, Zone A • Departures, Airside, near Gate A8 • T5B, Airside, near Gate B34 • T5C, Airside, near Gate C52.

Shopping – World Duty Free has 17 locations throughout every terminal, most are open for all flight times. In addition, there is no shortage of shops for every time of shopping requirement. The locations of M&S Simply Foods in T2 and T5 are open according to flight schedules.

Spa Services – Be Relax Spa (Terminal 5, Airside, near Gate 35. Hours: 8:00AM – 5:00PM Daily).

Smoking Areas – A reader tells us that there is a smoking area (outdoor cage with a roof) in Terminal 2, outside Gate A1.

SIM Cards & Mobile Phone Rentals -Eliminate roaming charges and take advantage of local rates by picking up a local SIM Card. SIM Local offers SIM cards. Locations: Terminal 2, Baggage Claim • Terminal 2, Arrivals • Terminal 2, Gates B • Terminal 3, Arrivals, Ground Floor (2) • Terminal 3, Baggage Claim • Terminal 4, Arrivals (2) • Terminal 4, Departures Area • Terminal 5, Arrivals, Ground Floor (2). Rental phones can also be picked up in the Arrivals.

Related Pages: Things to do on a layover at London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow airport is served by the following airlines: Aegean Airlines • Aer Lingus • Aeroméxico • Air Algérie • Air Astana • Air Canada • Air China • Air France • Air India • Air Malta • Air Mauritius • Air Serbia • American Airlines • All Nippon Airways • Asiana Airlines • Austrian • Avianca • Azerbaijan Airlines • Beijing Capital Airlines • Biman Bangladesh Airlines • British Airways • Brussels Airlines • Bulgaria Air • Cathay Pacific • China Airlines • China Eastern Airlines • China Southern • Croatia Airlines • Delta Air Lines • Egyptair • El Al • Emirates • Ethiopian Airlines • Etihad Airways • Eurowings • EVA Air • Finnair • Gulf Air • Hainan Airlines • Iberia • Icelandair • Iran Air • ITA Airways • Japan Airlines • JetBlue • Kenya Airways • KLM • Korean Airways • Kuwait Airlines • LATAM • LoganAir • LOT • Lufthansa • Malaysia Airlines • MEA • Oman Air • Qantas • Qatar Airways • Royal Air Maroc • Royal Brunei Airlines • Royal Jordanian • RwandAir • SAS • Saudia • Shenzhen Airlines • Singapore Airlines • SriLankan Airlines • Swiss • TAP Portugal • Tarom • Thai Airways • Tianjin Airlines • Tunisair • Turkish Airlines • Turkmenistan Airlines • United Airlines • Uzbekistan Airways • Vietnam Airlines • Virgin Atlantic • Vistara • WestJet.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Bus and Coach

Heathrow Airport has a central bus station, open 24 hours and is located just a short walking distance from Terminals 2 and 3. Some buses and coaches make stops at Terminals 4 and 5 as well, but a free shuttle service is available for those who need to reach the central bus station from Terminals 4 and 5. Here are some notable bus and coach services:

  • Coaches – National Express, Megabus and other operators run services from Heathrow to more than 500 destinations.
  • Local Buses – An extensive bus network operates around Heathrow and to destinations in west and central London.
  • Buses to rail stations – Luxury coaches and buses connect Heathrow with the national rail network at Guildford, Watford, Woking and Reading.
  • Hotel Buses – Direct bus services operate between Heathrow terminals and a large number of hotels near the airport.
  • Group travel by coach – If you’re dropping off or collecting a group from Heathrow, this step-by-step guide will help you and your customers enjoy stress-free travel.

To plan your route, visit the London Heathrow Airport website.

Car Rentals

The following car rental agencies have desks in the Arrivals Hall at Heathrow: Alamo • Avis • Budget • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • National • Sixt.

Hotel Shuttles

The Hotel Hoppa shuttle stops at several nearby hotels. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks in the airport terminals, their mobile app, online or on the bus. Shuttles depart from the following locations: Terminal 2, stops 9-10 • Terminal 3, stops 12-13 • Terminal 5, stops 17-18. Rates: £6.80 single ticket • £12 return ticket • £13 single family ticket (2 adults and 3 children under 15) • £24 return family ticket. Hours: 4:00AM – 12:00AM. Here is the list of hotels on the network as of November, 2023.

Courtyard MarriottCrowne Plaza T4Doubletree by HiltonHilton Garden InnHilton Heathrow T4Hilton Heathrow T5Holiday Inn M4 JCT 4Holiday Inn Express T4Hyatt PlaceIbis Bath RoadIbis Budget Heathrow CentralIbis Styles London Heathrow Airport LeonardoMoxyPremier Inn Bath RoadPremier Inn Heathrow T4Premier Inn T5 •  Radisson RedRadisson Blu EdwardianRenaissanceSheraton HeathrowSheraton SkylineStaybridge Suites.

See also Airport Hotels above.

Inter-Terminal Shuttle

Heathrow Terminals 4 and 5 are connected by trains and buses available free of charge. As for Terminals 2 and 3, there is just a quick walk between them.

Ride Sharing

Uber operates throughout the UK. A ride to London city centre will cost you about £43.


WeKnow is the official company offering taxi services at Heathrow Airport. These electric vehicles provide fixed rates that can be checked when booking on the WeKnow website.


Trains on the Piccadilly Line can get to Heathrow in under an hour from central London. Wait time is always ten minutes or less, even during off-peak times. Heathrow has one Underground station just a few minutes walk between Terminals 2 and 3, and one station each in the basements of Terminals 4 and 5. For fares, schedules and further information, visit the Transport for London website.


The Heathrow Express transports passengers between the airport and Paddington Station in 15 minutes. Trains depart every 15 minutes. For current fares and information, visit the Heathrow Express website.

The Elizabeth line also provides services between Heathrow Airport and Central and East London as well as Essex. For current fares and information, visit the Transport for London website.

Things to do at Heathrow Airport

Art Gallery – An art gallery used to be available in Terminal 5, Landside, near Premium Check-in counters. We were unable to confirm this at the time of our November 2023 update. If you know whether they are still there,

Observation Areas – The best spots to watch the action on the runway are the following:

  • Terminal 2 – From the Wondertree in the Departure Lounge.
  • Terminal 3 – Views are available from most of the departure gates and are especially nice from the No. 1 Traveller Lounge.
  • Terminal 4 – At Gates 15 and 16, there is a 270-degree panoramic view of the Southern Runway equipped with binoculars and touch screens to track flights.
  • Terminal 5 – Views are available from most of the departure gates. The Gordon Ramsay Plane Food and Wagamama offer particularly good vantage points.

Related Pages: Things to do on a layover at London Heathrow Airport

Layover Sightseeing

Do you want to make the most of your stopover or long layover by getting out of the airport to do some sightseeing?  Check out our Heathrow Airport Layover Sightseeing guide or explore Things to do in London on Tripadvisor.

Airport Photo Gallery

Related Pages: London Heathrow Airport Photos

Last updated: 2024-02-21

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, is subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers, and their websites. We are not representatives of any of the above-mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.