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How to Take the Bus from LA to San Diego: A Guide

Traveling between Los Angeles and San Diego has never been easier, thanks to the variety of transportation options available. One of the most popular and cost-effective choices for this journey is taking a bus. Known for its affordability and convenience, bus travel is perfect for those looking to explore the coastal cities of California on a budget.

There are several bus companies that offer service between Los Angeles and San Diego, such as FlixBus and Greyhound. With ticket prices starting as low as $19.99, travelers can take advantage of the cost savings while enjoying a comfortable journey. Buses depart frequently throughout the day, allowing for flexibility in scheduling and accommodating various needs.

The approximate travel time on a bus from Los Angeles to San Diego is typically around 1 hour and 45 minutes to 3 hours, depending on traffic and the route taken. With numerous departure and arrival points in both cities, passengers can select the most convenient location to begin their journey. So, whether you’re making the trip for work, leisure, or just a change of scenery, choosing the bus as your method of transportation is a practical and enjoyable option.

Bus Options from Los Angeles to San Diego

Greyhound Bus waiting for passengers

Greyhound Bus

Greyhound is a popular and reliable bus carrier that offers services from Los Angeles to San Diego. With frequent daily departures, passengers can choose a travel time that best fits their schedule. Greyhound buses are known for their comfortable seats and onboard amenities, such as Wi-Fi and power outlets.


Flixbus provides an affordable and environmentally conscious travel option between Los Angeles and San Diego. With ticket prices starting at $19.99 when booked in advance, Flixbus offers a quick and easy way to travel between the two cities. The journey can take as little as 1 hour 45 minutes, and Flixbus boasts an extensive network of 200 destinations.

CaliMex Bus Lines

CaliMex Bus Lines operates a bus route from Los Angeles to San Diego, offering passengers another option to consider. CaliMex provides competitive ticket prices and travel times, allowing travelers to choose the best option for their needs.

Los Limousines

Los Limousines is another carrier offering bus services between Los Angeles and San Diego. This company is known for its luxury buses, providing a more upscale travel experience for passengers who value comfort and style during their journey.

Tufesa Internacional

For those seeking an alternative to the aforementioned carriers, Tufesa Internacional provides bus services from Los Angeles to San Diego. This carrier is known for its comfortable buses and convenient travel schedules, making it a popular choice for many travelers.

Other Bus Carriers

In addition to the carriers mentioned above, there are other bus companies that operate between Los Angeles and San Diego, such as Wanderu. It’s always a good idea to compare ticket prices and travel times among various carriers to find the best option for your specific needs.

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Schedules and Prices

FlixBus Route Map

Direct Connection

There are several direct connections available for bus trips from Los Angeles to San Diego. The fastest bus takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to cover the 114-mile distance between the two cities. Here are some popular bus service providers offering direct connections:

  • FlixBus
  • Greyhound


One-way bus tickets from Los Angeles to San Diego start at $11 and can go up to $50, depending on factors such as the time of booking and bus company. Some one-way ticket prices from different providers are as follows:

Bus ProviderStarting Price

Please note that prices may vary and it’s advisable to book well in advance for the best deals.

Day of Week Variation

Ticket prices for bus trips between Los Angeles and San Diego may vary depending on the day of the week. Generally, bus tickets tend to be cheaper on weekdays (Monday to Thursday) compared to weekends (Friday to Sunday). Here is a rough breakdown of the ticket price range for each day of the week:

  • Monday – Thursday: $11 – $30
  • Friday – Sunday: $20 – $50

Remember, these prices are not set in stone, and it is always best to check with the specific bus service provider for the most accurate and up-to-date information on schedules and prices.

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Onboard Amenities

Classmates going to school by bus
Viktoriia / Adobe Stock

Large and Comfortable Seats

When traveling by bus from Los Angeles to San Diego, passengers can expect large and comfortable seats. These spacious seats provide ample legroom and cushioning, ensuring a pleasant and relaxing journey for all. Moreover, buses typically have adjustable seats, allowing passengers to recline and further enhance their comfort during the trip.


A toilet is a standard feature on most buses plying the Los Angeles to San Diego route, such as Greyhound and FlixBus. Therefore, passengers can enjoy the convenience of not having to wait for designated stops to use the restroom, making their journey a more comfortable experience.


Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on board most buses that travel between Los Angeles and San Diego. This allows passengers to stay connected during their trip, be it for work, communication, or entertainment purposes. However, bear in mind that the Wi-Fi speed may vary based on factors like the number of users, signal strength, and the specific bus service.

Power Outlets

Power outlets are also provided on many buses traveling from Los Angeles to San Diego, enabling passengers to charge their electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops during the journey. This feature ensures that passengers remain connected and entertained throughout the trip. Note that the availability of power outlets may depend on the specific bus service and its fleet.

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Bus Stations and Stops

Girl standing in public bus
dusanpetkovic1 / Adobe Stock

The bus journey between Los Angeles, CA, and San Diego, CA, covers a distance of approximately 183 kilometers. To ensure a smooth, comfortable trip, numerous bus stations and stops have been established in both cities. These stations and stops not only make it convenient for travelers to board and alight but also contribute to the overall bus travel experience.

In Los Angeles, Calimex is a popular bus service that departs from the Los Angeles Bus Station at 501 E Cesar E Chavez Ave. In addition to the primary station, Calimex operates from eight other stations. Meanwhile, in San Diego, Calimex buses arrive at 8668 Celestine Ave, with eight other stations serving as alternatives.

Another option for travelers is FlixBus, which departs from Los Angeles Downtown (FlixBus Lot) at 501 E Cesar E Chavez Ave. The fastest FlixBus journey from Los Angeles to San Diego takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Here’s a brief overview of the bus stations and stops mentioned:

Los Angeles, CA:

  • Los Angeles Bus Station (Calimex): 501 E Cesar E Chavez Ave
  • Los Angeles Downtown (FlixBus Lot): 501 E Cesar E Chavez Ave
  • Plus eight additional stations for Calimex buses

San Diego, CA:

  • 8668 Celestine Ave (Calimex)
  • Plus eight additional stations for Calimex buses

For those interested in exploring alternatives beyond bus travel, services like Greyhound also offer cheap bus tickets starting from $20. Union Station in Los Angeles is another hub for buses, as well as trains and carpool options for those seeking more variety in their travel plans. Regardless of your final choice, both cities provide numerous options for convenient bus stops and stations to ensure a hassle-free journey.

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Alternative Transportation Methods


Besides taking a bus from Los Angeles to San Diego, there are other transportation options available to travelers. This section will explore train, car, plane, and rental car options. Each subsection below will detail the advantages and disadvantages of each form of transportation.


Taking a train is one popular alternative to driving or taking a bus from Los Angeles to San Diego. Amtrak operates a train from Los Angeles to San Diego every 3 hours. Train tickets cost between $30 and $45, and the journey takes approximately 2 hours and 54 minutes. This option allows travelers to avoid traffic and enjoy a more comfortable ride, with additional amenities such as onboard Wi-Fi, power outlets, and refreshments.


If you prefer the freedom to travel at your own pace, driving from Los Angeles to San Diego can be a convenient option. The distance between the two cities is roughly 120 miles, and the drive takes about 2 hours, depending on traffic. To get there, simply take the I-5 S directly from Los Angeles to San Diego. However, this form of transportation requires additional costs such as gas, insurance, parking fees, and potential road tolls.


Flying from Los Angeles to San Diego is the quickest, albeit more expensive, mode of transportation. Airlines such as United and Delta offer flights between the two cities with a flight duration of around 1 hour. The additional time spent on check-in, security, and boarding may affect the overall duration. This option is suitable for those who prioritize time-saving, but the journey can be comparably more expensive than other alternatives, along with environmental concerns due to air travel emissions.

Rental Cars

Rental cars provide an option for travelers who do not own a car or prefer to avoid using their own vehicle for the trip. Several car rental companies operate in Los Angeles, offering different types of vehicles to suit various needs and budgets. Renting a car allows you to travel at your own pace and explore nearby attractions outside of the main route between Los Angeles and San Diego. Keep in mind, various costs are associated with renting a car, such as insurance fees, gas, and possible drop-off fees if returning the car to a different location.

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Booking and Payment

Holding a Wallet

Booking a bus ticket from Los Angeles to San Diego is a simple and convenient process. Most bus companies offer online booking options through their websites or mobile apps, allowing you to choose from a variety of routes, dates, and times. You can also compare ticket prices and make sure you are getting the best deal for your trip.

Popular platforms for purchasing bus tickets include the FlixBus App and Wanderu App. You can book your ticket through these apps or their respective websites, making it easier for you to manage your travel plans from the palm of your hand. Both apps also showcase real-time bus trackers, so you can plan accordingly and know when your bus will arrive.

When it comes to payment methods, you’ll find that most bus companies, including FlixBus and Greyhound, accept a range of payment options such as major credit cards, debit cards, and sometimes even PayPal. Online payment is a secure and efficient option, ensuring a fast and hassle-free booking experience. Once your payment is processed, you’ll receive an electronic ticket, which you can simply show on your mobile device when boarding the bus.

In addition to the online booking options, you can also purchase bus tickets at bus stations or authorized ticket agents. However, keep in mind that buying your ticket in person may come with some limitations, such as higher ticket prices or limited seat availability. So, it’s always recommended to book your bus ticket online, if possible.

In summary, booking a bus ticket from Los Angeles to San Diego is an easy process through online platforms and mobile apps, with various payment methods available. Remember to take advantage of real-time bus trackers and book in advance for the best deals and seat availability.

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FAQs and Additional Information

Health and Safety Measures

To ensure the well-being of passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic, bus operators implementing health and safety measures include:

  • Requiring face masks for all passengers and staff
  • Providing hand sanitizer
  • Increasing cleaning and sanitization of buses
  • Implementing social distancing measures

Some operators may also offer contactless ticketing and boarding to minimize direct contact between passengers and staff. Check with your chosen operator for specific details on their health and safety measures.

Travel Restrictions

During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions may be in place and may vary depending on the current situation. Be sure to stay up to date with state and local guidelines for both Los Angeles and San Diego.

If you’re traveling internationally, be aware of any quarantine requirements or entry restrictions for your destination. For domestic travelers, consider any state-specific guidelines, such as required testing or quarantine periods upon arrival.

In case of changes in travel restrictions, it’s essential to be aware of flexible booking and cancellation policies. Review the terms and conditions of your bus tickets in advance to understand what options you have if your plans change.

As the situation progresses, the information provided here may change. Be sure to consult up-to-date resources for the most accurate and current information.

Exploring San Diego

bus tours from San Diego
vacation in san diego


San Diego, CA is home to numerous beautiful beaches, each offering a unique experience for visitors. Pacific Beach is a popular spot for surfing, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. The picturesque beaches also provide opportunities for water sports, such as snorkeling and kayaking. Don’t miss the chance to explore the breathtaking maritime history of the region.

Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is a bustling downtown area filled with shops, restaurants, and nightlife options. The lively neighborhood boasts historic Victorian architecture and hosts various events and festivals throughout the year. It’s an excellent destination for tourists seeking a vibrant urban experience in San Diego.


San Diego offers a diverse array of museums catering to art lovers, history buffs, and even aviation enthusiasts. Among the must-see institutions are:

  • USS Midway Museum: Showcases the fascinating history of the USS Midway aircraft carrier.
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum: An extensive collection of aircraft and spacecraft exhibits.
  • San Diego Museum of Art: Features an impressive assortment of works ranging from Spanish old masters to contemporary American pieces.

San Diego Zoo

Recognized as one of the best zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo houses over 3,500 animals representing more than 650 species. This expansive wildlife sanctuary offers an immersive experience for all ages, with exhibits such as the Panda Trek, Elephant Odyssey, and Australian Outback. Visiting the San Diego Zoo is a must for any traveler exploring the city.

Environmentally Friendly Bus Travel

Young travelers in a bus
VadimGuzhva / Adobe Stock

Traveling by bus between Los Angeles and San Diego is an eco-friendly option as it helps in reducing the overall carbon footprint from individual car travel. Most modern bus operators prioritize sustainability initiatives and adopt environmentally conscious practices to ensure a greener journey for their passengers.

One of the key features of eco-friendly bus travel is the use of fuel-efficient engines that reduce harmful emissions. Many bus companies, such as FlixBus, have a modern and environmentally friendly fleet, ensuring a sustainable travel experience. Some important aspects of these environmentally-friendly buses include:

  • Fuel-efficient engines that reduce CO2 emissions
  • Onboard recycling programs for passenger waste
  • Use of biofuels or hybrid technology, where feasible

Passengers can also contribute to environmentally-friendly travel by participating in carbon offset programs. Such initiatives allow travelers to invest in projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere, effectively offsetting the carbon footprint of their bus journey. Bus operators may offer this option during the booking process or provide information on partner organizations involved in carbon offset efforts.

In addition to sustainable practices within the operation of bus services, companies also strive to minimize the impact of their facilities, such as maintenance yards or bus terminals. This can include:

  • Using solar panels for clean energy production
  • Implementing water-saving measures in restrooms
  • Providing eco-friendly waste disposal options

By choosing bus travel between Los Angeles and San Diego, passengers contribute to a more sustainable transportation system, promoting environmentally-friendly travel practices and reducing their carbon footprint. With modern buses offering amenities like free WiFi, power outlets, and comfortable seating, it’s easy to see why more people are opting for green bus travel.

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Bicycle Transportation

Bicycle transportation is a popular and eco-friendly option for traveling between Los Angeles (LA) and San Diego. Several methods are available to combine biking and public transit for a seamless and enjoyable journey.

When traveling by bus, passengers can often take advantage of bike racks mounted on the front of the vehicle. For instance, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) buses are equipped to accommodate a limited number of bikes. Inside the bus, non-motorized, folding bicycles with wheels smaller than 20 inches are allowed if they can be stored under a seat. Otherwise, bicycles may only be brought inside if the bike rack is full, and the driver determines it is safe to do so.

For those looking to combine cycling with train travel, Amtrak allows bicycles on its Pacific Surfliner route, which connects LA’s Union Station to San Diego’s Santa Fe Depot. Cyclists should reserve a space for their bike while booking their ticket online, as the train is equipped with limited bicycle racks. It is essential to arrive early as bike spaces are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

In terms of bike-friendly routes between the cities, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is a popular choice for endurance cyclists. This scenic route stretches for about 161.9 miles and boasts stunning views of the coastline. It is essential to check local traffic regulations and be cautious while riding on this busy highway.

Upon reaching San Diego, cyclists can make use of the extensive network of bike lanes, trails, and bike-friendly public transit options to explore the city. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition provides detailed maps, schedules, and information about combining bikes with various modes of transportation within the county.

In summary, incorporating bicycle transportation into your journey between LA and San Diego is not only possible but can also make for a more enjoyable and eco-conscious trip. With several options for combining biking with buses and trains, as well as scenic routes for those who prefer long-distance cycling, there are opportunities to suit all preferences and abilities.

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