Buses from Santa Barbara to San Diego

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Santa Barbara - San Diego Bus Schedule

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Journey Information

There are 5 intercity buses per day from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Traveling by bus from Santa Barbara to San Diego usually takes around 7 hours and 54 minutes, but the fastest FlixBus US bus can make the trip in 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Distance188 mi (302 km)
Shortest duration5h 20m
Cheapest price$20.68
Trips per day2
Most frequent serviceFlixBus US
Bus lines1

How much is a bus ticket from Santa Barbara to San Diego?

Typically $30.55 is the average price you should expect to pay for a bus ticket to San Diego. At this price a bus trip is a cheap way to travel from Santa Barbara to San Diego. It’s easy to find a bus ticket at this price or lower when you use Wanderu to book your trip online in advance of your travel date.

Monthly average prices

$65$52$39$26$13SONDJFMAMJJA

The lowest bus ticket prices on this route can usually be found in October. That’s when the average price of a bus ticket is expected to be just C$26 – the lowest of the year.

Alternatively, if you plan to travel from Santa Barbara to San Diego in March, expect to spend more on your bus trip, as the average ticket price may surge to C$44 at that time of year. However, if you book your trip ahead of time, you can still score a ticket at a lower price.

Prices as travel date approaches

$65$52$39$26$133020100

Most bus companies charge higher ticket prices the closer you book to the date of travel, so it’s a good idea to buy your bus tickets as early as possible. The best way to find cheap bus tickets is to book at least 29 days in advance. By doing so, you can expect to save C$20.94 on your bus ticket compared to booking at the last minute.

What bus companies travel from Santa Barbara to San Diego?

On Wanderu there is one intercity bus company that operates from Santa Barbara to San Diego. FlixBus US is the only company that connects the two cities by bus available on Wanderu. Fortunately, it has multiple scheduled buses per day for you to choose from.

BusDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
FlixBus US57h 54m$34.96
  • FlixBus US

    FlixBus US

    FlixBus US is the American branch of German bus company FlixBus, known for providing sustainable, affordable, and modern bus travel. The company offers cheap bus tickets to popular urban destinations throughout the United States. FlixBus US buses include many amenities, including comfortable seats, free WiFi, power outlets at every seat, and an online portal for free entertainment. On average, FlixBus US operates 5 trips per day from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and the average ticket for this route costs only .

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel by bus from Santa Barbara to San Diego during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our bus partners have implemented several different policies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting vehicle capacity to enhancing cleaning protocols and upgrading air filters, bus carriers are committed to maintaining a safe environment. For details on what each company is doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.

In addition, federal law requires all bus passengers to wear a face covering for the entire duration of the trip. Please make sure you are wearing a face mask or you may not be allowed to board the bus.

Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for more information on all carrier policies and the latest travel advisories issued by every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country.

How long is the bus ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego?

The bus takes an average of 7 hours and 54 minutes to cover the 302 kilometers from Santa Barbara to San Diego. However, the fastest bus only takes 5 hours and 20 minutes. It’s definitely on the longer side, so plan to get comfortable for a long road trip. Keep in mind that your actual bus may arrive earlier or later than scheduled, depending on whether there is more or less traffic than usual.

What is the busiest day of the week to travel by bus?

"Sunday tends to be the busiest day for buses, as many passengers take the bus to San Diego at the end of the week. If you are planning to travel on a Sunday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.

On the other hand, Tuesday is typically the least busy day for bus travel on this route. If you’re looking for a little extra space, a Tuesday ticket is the way to go."

When do the earliest and latest buses leave Santa Barbara?

The first bus leaves at 7:00am and the last bus leaves at 9:00am. To see the times for all buses from Santa Barbara to San Diego, enter your specific travel dates in the search bar.

How many bus schedules are there most days?

There are 5 scheduled buses that travel from Santa Barbara to San Diego every day, so you have a decent number of options to choose from. This includes 2 direct buses, where you can stay on the same bus without having to transfer to a connecting bus at any point during your trip.

Need more travel options? Consider taking the train from Santa Barbara to San Diego; ticket prices start at $57.16.

City Information

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a major travel destination along the southern coast of California. Dramatically situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara offers incomparable scenery with a comfortably warm climate year-round. White stucco buildings with Mediterranean-style architecture, gorgeous beaches, and upscale local cuisine give Santa Barbara the nickname "The American Riviera."

There are many kinds of vacations to enjoy in Santa Barbara. You can spend days on the soft sand of Leadbetter Beach, surfing in the swells at Rincon Point, or shopping for trinkets along Stearns Wharf. Or embrace the area's history by visiting the Mission Santa Barbara, a Spanish mission founded in 1786. Highlights from the mission include Spanish architecture, a rose garden, a museum, and even crypts.

Santa Barbara Airport, only a few miles from downtown, serves passengers to the region. Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner stops in Santa Barbara on its way from San Diego to San Luis Obispo, with plenty of connections to other SoCal hotspots. Intercity buses, including FlixBus, offer routes from Santa Barbara to destinations like L.A., San Diego, and Las Vegas.

San Diego

San Diego is known as "America's Finest City" for its sunny weather, white-sand beaches, and dazzling attractions from Belmont Park to SeaWorld. San Diego's 70 miles of pristine beaches include such gems as Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla Cove, and Coronado Beach. The city's strong surfing culture may even inspire you to rent a surfboard and catch the epic waves, bro.

Visitors can spend days getting lost in Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre cultural hub which features 16 museums, immaculate gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The historic heart of the city, Old Town, showcases San Diego's heritage and ties to Mexican culture, while other sights like the USS Midway pay tribute to the city's military and maritime history. Leave time for some evening exploring, too! San Diego is rated the #1 best city for craft beer in America, so don't miss out on the bars in the Gaslamp Quarter: 16 walkable blocks packed with nightlife and young crowds.

Two airports, as well as many bus and train options, mean it is easy to get to San Diego from afar or from nearby cities like Tijuana, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Station Information

Where does the bus leave from in Santa Barbara?

Main departure station: Santa Barbara Bus Station

Santa Barbara has two bus stations with service to San Diego.

All bus stations in Santa Barbara:

  • Santa Barbara Bus Station

  • 209 State Street

Where does the bus arrive in San Diego?

Main arrival station: 2728 Congress St (Old Town SD)

Buses arrive in San Diego at 4 stations, depending on which bus line you are traveling with.

Bus stations in San Diego:

  • 2728 Congress St (Old Town SD)

  • San Ysidro Bus Terminal

  • 789 W Harbor Dr - Seaport Village

  • SDSU - 5716 Hardy Ave

Need a return trip from San Diego to Santa Barbara?

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