Can you sleep at Heathrow airport?

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Heathrow is London’s and the U.K’s largest airport located in the west of the capital city. In this article we discuss whether you can sleep at Heathrow airport whether before or after catching a flight, and how you can make the experience more comfortable.


Is Heathrow airport open 24 hours?

Yes Heathrow airport is open 24/7 as it operates limited night flights. However you will only be able to pass through security 3 hours before you flight departs. Therefore you will only have access to the public area at the front of the airport before security to rest if you are there early, more info on this below.

Can you sleep at Heathrow airport?

Like almost all main U.K airports you are allowed to sleep in the main entrance area of the airport before your flight and you often see people resting there if they are waiting for a train/public transport either before or after a flight. This initial area at Heathrow airport before security does not have that much seating so you may have sleep on the floor to get some shut eye, make sure you bring warm clothing as it can be cold.

Is it safe to sleep at Heathrow airport?

In general yes it is perfectly safe to sleep at Heathrow airport. It remains busy throughout the day and quietens at night but will never be totally empty, however always be vigilant with your belongings when taking a nap as thefts do occur.

Can you smoke or vape at Heathrow airport?

You cannot smoke or vape inside Heathrow airport. There are designated smoking areas located outside the terminals. Once inside the airport and past security you will not be able to smoke until you arrive at your destination. I have personally seen a passenger swiftly removed from the tarmac while boarding a plane as they had started vaping.

Are there showers and water fountains at Heathrow airport?

Heathrow airport does have showers but they are difficult to access unless you are affiliated with a certain lounge. In Terminal 1 unfortunately there are no showers available while in Terminal 2 & 4 you’ll need to head to the Plaza Premium Lounge. If you are in Terminal 3 then the No 1 Traveler Lounge, and finally in Terminal 5 there are showers located in the Aspire Lounge and Spa.

There are over 100 water fountains installed at Heathrow airport, there locations can be seen here.

What to bring to sleep at Heathrow aiport?

To make the night more comfortable to sleep consider taking some of the below. London can be quite cold in autumn and winter so warm clothes are strongly advised.

Long journeys don’t get any easier, here are some ideas we had to make the road more pleasant. Find them here on Amazon.

Silk Sleep Mask, 2 Pack 100% Real Natural Pure Silk Eye Mask

MLVOC Travel Pillow 100% Pure Memory Foam Neck Pillow

ZIHNIC Bluetooth Headphones Over-Ear, Foldable Wireless

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals with Plant Based Alcohol, Citrus Scent

Neutrogena Cleansing Fragrance Free Makeup Remover Face Wipes

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Oat Lotion for Dry Skin, 3 x 2.5 fl. oz

WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack Sling Bag Travel Hiking Chest Bag Daypack

Anker Portable Charger, 313 Power Bank (PowerCore Slim 10K) 10000mAh Battery Pack with USB-C

How long can you stay at Heathrow airport drop off zone?

Heathrow airport drop off zone is not as strict as other U.K. airport drop off zones and has no fixed time limit. However importantly you must not leave the vehicle unattended in the area. The drop off zone operated 24/7 365 days a year with the charge currently set at £5, however if not paid then a fine of £40 is issued.

Can you park at Heathrow airport without flying?

Yes you can park at Heathrow airport without flying, however this would be a very expensive place to park compared to car parks located outside the airport facility. If you want to avoid the drop off area, then there are long stay car parks you can use without paying. These typically involve a 20-25 minute walk to the airport usually by shuttle bus.

Can you eat at Heathrow airport?

Yes there are many food options available after security and after a few before, you will have bounty of choice. During busy times there may be a wait for some of the busier bars and restaurants so consider booking ahead on the official Heathrow website here.

Does Heathrow airport has a Mcdonald’s or Burger King? I’m afraid to say it does not, McDonald’s recently moved out of Heathrow due to high rent. For a full list of places to eat at Heathrow airport see here.

If you want to bring you own food to the airport to eat and drink then this is absolutely fine! Considering bringing your own food and drink when sleeping at Heathrow airport as many of the shops shut at night.

Is Heathrow airport located in ULEZ and congestion charge zone?

Heathrow airport is located in the ULEZ (ultra low emissions zone) but NOT the congestion charge zone. If your vehicle normally pays the ULEZ charge then you will have to pay to drop off/pick up at Heathrow airport. Unsure whether your vehicle meets emissions standards, you can easily check here by typing in your registration number.

Is Heathrow the biggest airport in the world and is it busy?

Compared to other global airports Heathrow airport has fallen down the rankings in the last decade ranking around 8th for the number of passengers that pass through it each year. However it retains top spot for most connected airport in the world with the largest amount of destinations available for passengers to travel. As the U.K.’s largest airport and operating 24/7 it is considered a very busy airport with the busiest times are between 10am-1pm and 5pm to 8pm.

Is Heathrow located on the underground/tube?

You can reach Heathrow airport cheaply via the normal London tube/underground network. Get on the Piccadilly Line and head west towards the very end of the line. You will need to get off at a certain stop depending on which terminal you are at, they are labelled Terminsl 1,2,3 and 4. It is worth noting that the underground network in London runs late, and on Friday and Saturday nights is running 24/7.

Quickest way into London from Heathrow airport?

Need to get into central London ASAP from Heathrow airport? Take the Heathrow Express in the airport where you will arrive at Paddington station located in central west London. If you need to get further into central toward the City and London bridge then hop on the underground. See map here.

Does Heathrow have free Wifi?

Yes Heathrow airport has free unlimited Wifi in all terminals to browse the internet, however don’t expect to be able to stream videos or download medium to large files as it is fairly slow. Many of the lounges with paid access have super fast internet available.

Nearest and most convenient hotels near Heathrow airport?

Weighed up your options and now considering a hotel? These are some of the closest options if you need to stay near Heathrow airport.

If you need to sleep closer to London for the night then consider staying at some of these hotels.

Can you sleep at other U.K airports Gatwick and Luton?

Gatwick and Luton have a similar situation to Heathrow with the airports remaining open during the night. Remember that these airports are not as large at Heathrow and don’t have as many shops and services. They are also not connected to the tube/underground network like Heathrow.

Where can I get a sim card?

Need a sim card on landing or about to fly off? Rather than the hassle of finding/getting a physical sim card, an easier method these days is to get an e-sim. Simply select the country or region you are in and get data and calls on your phone. More info can be found here.

Prices are reasonable, usually only $25 for 20GB of data. We now always use this method when travelling as it just saves so much time and bother!

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One response to “Can you sleep at Heathrow airport?”

  1. […] sleep in the public areas, we’ve also written guides for sleeping overnight about Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and […]