How to get from San Francisco Airport to Napa Valley
Napa County is located at the north of San Francisco in California and known as the wine country for its hillside vineyards, local gourmet food, the wine train, wine tours, and high-end restaurants. An absolute “must” when travelling near Napa and Sonoma. So instead of wasting your time trying to find out the best way to get there, we have done the work for you!
When travelling from San Francisco SFO Airport to Napa Valley, you have 2 main transportation options; the first, and only direct option, is to take a taxi or private shuttle, and your second option is to take the bus. Taking a San Francisco airport transfer to Napa Valley is the most comfortable and convenient option, as it offers a 24/7 door-to-door service from SFO airport, taking you 2 hours to reach the valley. However, if you prefer a cheaper option, the bus is the best choice for you. Unfortunately, there are no direct bus routes between the two destinations; you will first have to take a bus from the airport to San Francisco city centre and from there, you can either take another bus, a train, a ferry or the metro. If you do wish to take this option, your travel time can go up to 4 hours.
Comparison of the options
| OPTION|| PRICE|| DURATION|| AVAILABILITY|
| Welcome Pickups || €156|| 120min|| 24/7|
| Taxi & Shuttle || €156|| 120min|| 24/7|
| Bus || €4|| 75min|| 04:30–01:40|
How to get from San Francisco airport to Napa Valley by taxi or private shuttle
Taking a taxi or shuttle from San Francisco SFO Airport to Napa Valley is the only direct transportation option when travelling to Napa County; it is also the most reliable and convenient choice, as these transfers offer door-to-door service in the comfort of a private car. They are always available at San Francisco airport, and are easily found at the official airport taxi ranks or designated pickups points for private transfers. Please note that all taxis calculate their fares using a taximeter, so based on the time and distance travelled. Alternatively, if you wish to travel at a fixed price, you can book a San Francisco private shuttle in advance.
Taxi fare from San Francisco airport to Napa Valley
As mentioned, taxis charge using a taximeter, the average taxi fare from San Francisco airport to Napa Valley is approximately $189 USD (€180), and under normal traffic conditions, the trip takes 2 hours.
Taking a private transfer from San Francisco airport is definitely the most convenient way to get from SFO airport to Napa Valley. It is quick, direct and much more comfortable than any other means of public transportation, getting you to your destination in just 2 hours.
If you decide to book your taxi in advance with a private company, you will need to ask about your pickup location, as only official airport taxis can operate from the SFO taxi ranks.
Consider upgrading to a larger vehicle if you are travelling with a large group, as taking more than one regular-sized taxi is more expensive.
How to get from San Francisco airport to Napa Valley by bus
If you are travelling on a budget, and have some time to spare, then using the San Francisco public transport system is the more suited choice for you. Unfortunately, there are no direct bus routes that run from the airport to Napa Valley, you will first need to take a bus to the Soscol Gateway Transit Center in San Francisco city centre. Two different buses run from the SFO airport to downtown San Francisco, the 292 and the 398. Both bus trips take around 1 hour 15 minutes.
You will arrive close to Union Square, and from there you have several transport options to Napa Valley.
Firstly, you can board the San Francisco Bay ferry to Vallejo and then take the no 11 bus to Napa. You can also continue your trip on both bus lines 800 and 29 to Napa Valley. If you prefer to travel by train from San Francisco city centre, you can take the Amtrak train and then transfer to a bus when arriving in Napa. Finally, you can take the BART metro system (red line) from downtown San Francisco to El Cerrito del Norte Station, from there, you will need to take the bus no 29 and get off 2 stops later. It will take you over 4 hours to get to Napa Valley with all of these travel options.
How much is a bus ticket from San Francisco airport to the city centre?
A one-way bus ticket from SFO Airport to San Francisco's city centre costs $2.25 (€2). You can purchase your ticket directly from your bus driver in cash, using a Clipper Card (the official transport card) or through the samTrans mobile app.
1 H 15 Min.
*The details above refer to the time and fare for a bus transfer from SFO to downtown San Francisco. The overall trip to Napa Valley will take around 4 hours and will cost significantly more.
Different transport options run on different schedules. Buses to central San Francisco operate as follows: Bus 292 - Monday to Friday 04:30 - 01:40, Saturdays 04:30 - 01.32 and Sundays 04:30 - 01:22; Bus 398 - Monday to Friday 05:48 - 22:36, Saturdays 06:34 - 22:26 and Sunday 05:42 - 21:44.
Where do I get it from?
Both bus lines 292 and 398 can be found when you exit the lower arrivals level, Courtyard A at terminal 1, at terminal 2's centre island and at the curbside at terminal 3. They are easily found as bus signs are placed around San Francisco airport.
Getting to downtown San Francisco by bus and then having to take an alternative transportation method, with several added connections, is definitely not the most convenient travel option. Going further, having to make your way through different vehicles, connection times whilst carrying your luggage around is tiresome, especially after a long flight.
If you decide to choose this travel option, it would be good to have a local travel partner or guide with you during the journey as there is much to see along the way.
If you feel overwhelmed by the public transport system and all the connections, you can consult a travel agent to help you.
Make sure to check the transport schedules to ensure that they operate the day you arrive, as not all run everyday.