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How to get from LAX to San Diego

A perfect blend of cultural attractions, outdoor adventures, and family-friendly activities, it’s no wonder that San Diego promises every traveller a fun time. Whether you’re exploring Balboa Park’s numerous museums, catching waves at Pacific Beach, or enjoying the San Diego Zoo that has been operating for more than a century, this gem of a city invites you to bask in its year-round sunshine and soak up the coastal charm.

When it comes to getting from LAX to San Diego, you have four options; taxi, private transfer, bus or train. If your heart is set on a hassle-free arrival, taking a Los Angeles taxi or private transfer is the most comfortable option, as the service is quick, comfortable and door-to-door.

Your second most reliable option is to take the train, followed by your cheapest, the bus. Trains take around 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach San Diego and you’ll pay approximately $43 (€39.50). The bus is a significantly cheaper, costing $23.98 (€22.40) but taking over 3 hours to get you to your final destination.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to Los Angeles at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

Comparison of the options

PRICE FOR 2PASSENGERS
OPTION PRICE DURATION AVAILABILITY
Taxi €294 120min 24/7
Train €79 165min 06:10–22:10
Bus €44.80 200min 05:15–23:30

How to get from LAX to San Diego by shuttle or taxi

If you’re a last-minute traveller and planning is not your strong suit, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several taxi companies at LAX. Make sure the vehicle you choose has the official City of Los Angeles Taxicab Seal and features the classic rooftop sign. The drive from LAX Airport to San Diego by shuttle or taxi takes around 2 hours and you’ll pay an average fare of $320 (€294).

On the other hand, if you’re looking for the most hassle-free way to travel from LAX to San Diego, consider booking a private LAX Airport shuttle in advance. The best part is that you can pre-book your transfer, knowing the total cost of the trip well in advance, and enjoy your travelling without worrying about the details, planning public transport or carrying your luggage across LA.

Taxi fare from LAX to San Diego

Regarding the fare, there is no flat rate to get to San Diego from LAX Airport by taxi. depending on the time of day and traffic, the total duration and cost of this trip may vary significantly, but expect it to be over $320 (€294) under normal circumstances.

*You can also pre-book a private transfer from LAX to San Diego to secure a guaranteed fixed fare with no hidden fees.

Cost

$320 (€294)

Trip Duration

120 Min

*Prices may vary unless booked in advance.

Convenience
Safety
Value for Money

Taxis are available 24/7 at LAX Airport.

Where do I find a taxi at LAX Airport?

When you exit the terminal, follow the signs to the LAX-it lot and you’ll be able to hail a taxi in no time. Please note, however, that many drivers may not offer this ride at all, since San Diego is over 2 hours away from LAX.

If you have booked a private shuttle in advance, your driver will be waiting for you outside the arrival doors, holding a sign with your name on it.

Convenience

Taking a taxi from LAX Airport to San Diego is stress-free and convenient. All of your personal belongings will be securely stowed throughout your ride and you will be dropped off directly at your desired location.

Editor’s Note

If you want to get to your destination speedily upon landing and avoid hidden fees, we recommend pre-booking a private transfer.

Useful Tips

There are 9 different taxi companies in LA, however, to prove that they are official licensed taxis, they must provide the official City of Los Angeles Taxicab Seal.
It is customary to leave at least a 10% tip if you have enjoyed your transfer.

How to get from Los Angeles Airport to San Diego by train

If you want to experience the beauty of Southern California and enjoy a scenic route at a reasonable price from LAX Airport to San Diego, the train is your best bet.

Unfortunately, there is no train station at LAX Airport, meaning you will first need to make your way to Union Station in downtown LA to reach San Diego. You have three options to do so: you can take a taxi, book a private transfer from LAX by shuttle, or use the FlyAway airport bus, which departs every 30 minutes throughout the day, at $9.75 (€8.70) per person.

Once you’ve arrived at Union Station, you can hop on the train to San Diego. The “Los Angeles Airport to San Diego” train is Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner, which travels along a 351-mile route through San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. 

How much is the train from LAX to San Diego?

You’ll pay around $43 (€39.50) for LAX Airport to San Diego train tickets. There are two train stops in San Diego: Old Town Transportation Center and Santa Fe Depot.

The train ride from LA’s Union Station to San Diego Old Town takes 2h 40m, starting at $43 (€39.50) per ride for adults from 16 to 64 years old.  

From LA’s Union Station to San Diego Santa Fe Depot, the train ride takes 2h 54m, starting at $44 (€40.50).  

*Please note that youth, children and infants must travel with at least one adult who is over 18 years old.

Cost

$43 (€39.50)

Trip Duration

165 Min

Trains to San Diego depart on average every 1 to 2 hours.

Convenience
Safety
Value for Money

The train from LAX to San Diego runs daily from 06:10 to 22:10.

Where do I catch the train from?

When you arrive at LAX Airport, you’ll need to transfer to Union Station. You can do so by pre-booking a private transfer, heading to the taxi ranks directly outside of the airport terminals, or by hopping on the FlyAway airport bus. FlyAway buses depart from every LAX terminal just outside the terminal on the arrivals level, look for green signs indicating “FlyAway, Buses and Long-Distance Vans.” 

Convenience

As there is no train station at LAX, you will first need to make your way to Union Station in downtown LA in order to get a train to San Diego, adding to the total cost and duration of your trip. If you don’t mind taking multiple modes of transport, this is a solid option. However, if you’re travelling with family and kids or lots of luggage, it may be better to book a taxi or private transfer to ensure a stress-free arrival.

Editor’s Note

If you're travelling in a large group, you may wish to share a taxi and split the cost of the fare, rather than paying for multiple bus and train tickets.

Useful Tips

When you travel on Pacific Surfliner, make sure each of your carry-on bags are smaller than 28 x 22 x 11 inches.
Don't forget to factor in the price of the transfer from the airport to Union Station.
The Pacific Surfliner train provides a café service, WiFi and a checked baggage service.

How to get from LAX Airport to San Diego by bus

If you’re a budget-conscious traveller, travelling from LAX Airport to San Diego by bus is a good optionFlixbus and Greyhound both provide services between LAX and San Diego, although you need to reach downtown LA first, as there are no direct buses from LAX to San Diego.

The Flixbus buses depart from the Flixbus Lot in downtown LA, running multiple times a day and making several stops along the way, like La Jolla – UC San Diego, Old Town-FlixBus, Balboa Park, SDSU (Hardy Ave), and Downtown SD (Seaport). Depending on your stop location and traffic conditions, the bus trip from downtown LA to San Diego takes between 2 and 4 hours.

Alternatively, Greyhound buses depart 5 times a day from downtown Los Angeles (Union Station) to the San Diego Greyhound Bus Stop and the trip lasts approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes, depending on traffic. 

How much is the bus from LAX to San Diego?

Both Flixbus and Greyhound bus tickets start at $19.99 (€18.40), with a flat service fee of $3.99 (€3.60). All in all, the cost of the bus from LAX to San Diego is $23.98 (€22.40).

*Remember to factor in the cost of your transfer from Los Angeles Airport to downtown LA.

Cost

$23.98 (€22.40)

Trip Duration

200 Min

There is an additional flat service fee of $3.99 (€3.60) for each bus ticket.

Convenience
Safety
Value for Money

The buses to San Diego run daily from 05:15 to 23:30. The LAX Flyaway Airport bus operates between 05:40 and 01:10.

Where do I get it from?

If you’re using the Greyhound or Flixbus services, you can either grab a taxi or take the Flyaway airport bus to Union Station. Greyhound buses leave directly from the station and Flixbus coaches leave from the Flixbus Lot which is less than a 10-minute walk away from Union Station. You can follow the green signs from Union Station to find the lot.

Convenience

To travel from LAX Airport to San Diego by bus, you’ll still have to get to downtown LA using the FlyAway airport bus or a taxi, making the trip longer and more expensive. If you’d rather not have to deal with multiple changeovers, taking a taxi or private transfer is a better alternative.

Editor’s Note

If you're arriving in the early hours of the morning or after 23:30, you'll have to take a taxi or private transfer, or wait for a long period of time.

Useful Tips

FlixBus buses traveling from Los Angeles to San Diego offer extra legroom, private outlets, and restrooms. Most buses also provide free Wi-Fi.
The cheapest route combination is to take the Flyaway Airport bus and then the Greyhound or Flixbus coach.

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  • 20 minute gap between transfers

  • Regular Car Sanitisation

  • Contactless ride

  • Sanitiser in every car

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Frequently asked questions

How can I get from LAX Airport to San Diego?

To get from LAX to San Diego, you can choose between four options; taxi, private transfer, bus or train. Taking a Los Angeles taxi or private transfer is the quickest and most comfortable option. Alternatively, you can take the train, costing $43 (€39.50) and taking about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Lastly, the most budget-friendly choice is the bus, tickets start at $23.98 (€22.40) but the journey can take over 3 hours.

What’s the distance from LAX Airport to San Diego?

The approximate distance between LAX Airport and San Diego is 200 km, taking about 2 hours by taxi or car.

What’s the cost of a taxi from Los Angeles Airport to San Diego?

The cost of the trip from LAX to San Diego by taxi can vary based on factors such as traffic and time of day, but generally, a taxi ride will cost you around $320 (€294). For a competitive, fixed fare with no hidden fees and a driver you can rely on, pre-book a private transfer with Welcome Pickups.

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