The nearest airport to central London in the UK: LCY

When travellers search for flights online and see how airlines cover routes from their origin city to different destinations within the British Capital, many start asking themselves how many airports London has and, most importantly, which the nearest airport to central London is. Unlike major international hubs like Heathrow or Gatwick, the lesser-known by foreign visitors London City (LCY) is an airport located conveniently close to the downtown –roughly 11 kilometres away- as well as to iconic landmarks such as the O2 Arena, the Canary Wharf area and the Excel exhibitions and events venue.

How to travel from London City airport in the UK

London City airport provides smooth and effective transportation to the Canary Wharf and central London thanks to the Docklands Light Railway system, with which you may also get quickly to the Stratford or Whoolwich stations in order to transfer to the London tube line of your choice. In view of this, it would be safe to say that commutes from LCY are shorter than those from other London airports, and particularly convenient if you are travelling to attend an event at the O2 or the Excel venues.

Flying to London City airport or out of it

Although it is an international airport, LCY is relatively small and handles its operations from a single passenger terminal with two distinct levels. Check-in counters and some other services are found on the ground floor, while security checkpoints, shops and cafés and the departures concourse are on the first floor. Notwithstanding that, travellers must go downstairs to the ground level again when their time comes to proceed to their assigned boarding gates.

Being a hub for British Airways City Flier and an operational base for Flybe, it has long been known as an airport oriented towards business travel within Europe and domestic routes; however, many airlines have begun to offer flights to London City from new destinations across the continent and the United States, thus making the airport rank fifth in the list of busiest London airports only behind Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton.

Which airlines fly to LCY?

If you have decided to fly to the airport that is closest to central London, you may choose among a variety of airlines and origin airports (only regularly scheduled flights are listed below):

Aer Lingus flies to LCY from Dublin airport, and Alitalia connects London City to Milano Linate; British Airways flies to and from Berlin Tegel, Billund, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Florence, Genève, Glasgow, Ibiza, Isle of Man, Málaga, Manchester, Munich, New York JFK (with one stop in Shannon airport –Ireland), Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Prague, Rome Fiumicino and Rotterdam from this hub; Flybe covers the routes from Jersey, Exeter and Belfast to London City; KLM from Amsterdam; LOT Polish airlines from Budapest, Vilnius and Warsaw; Lufthansa from Frankfurt; Swiss International Airlines from Zürich, and Tap Air Portugal from Lisbon and Porto.

What to do in London City airport (United Kingdom)

In case you arrive early for your flight out of LCY in London, know that in spite of the small size of its terminal you will find a varied range of options to eat and shop while you wait for boarding. Passenger services and shopping and dining outlets are located both before and after security, yet we highly recommend to go drop your bags, check into your flight and clear the controls first so as to make time to pamper yourself at the Aerospa in London City airport, go for last-minute gift hunting at the Aelia Duty Free or get yourself some travel essentials at Boots, Dixons or Tumi.

On the contrary, if you would rather spend this time enjoying a healthy pre-flight meal, having a comforting cup of coffee while you catch up with work or having your picture taken with the mandatory airport pint, you will surely be glad to know that restaurant franchises like Pret a Manger, Illy Coffee, Caffe Nero and Pilot’s Bar & Kitchen are present in this terminal.

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