Iowa City to Des Moines bus

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Iowa City - Des Moines Bus Schedule

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Journey Information

There are 2 intercity buses per day from Iowa City to Des Moines. Traveling by bus from Iowa City to Des Moines usually takes around 2 hours and 10 minutes, but the fastest Burlington Trailways bus can make the trip in 2 hours,

Distance107 mi (173 km)
Shortest duration2h 0m
Cheapest price$58.65
Trips per day2
Most frequent serviceBurlington Trailways
Bus lines1

Bus Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for buses from Iowa City to Des Moines

(Based on 4 ratings and reviews)



Karla M

November 23, 2022- Solo travel

Burlington Trailways

Pros: Todo. Tips: Recomendado al100%.


Joseph L

April 13, 2022- Visiting family

Burlington Trailways

Pros: comfortable, on time. Cons: Enforce the mask mandate, although I know this is difficult. Best to encourage travelers to mask-up. One traveler did not refrain from talking loudly on cell phone with speaker on. Driver asked the person to tone it down, which they did. Worked OK.



November 29, 2021- Solo travel

Burlington Trailways

Pros: The bus driver was awesome and super nice. Cons: Nothing to complain about. Tips: Enjoy the ride.



September 6, 2019- Visiting family

Burlington Trailways

Pros: Timely departure/arrival (just about 10 minutes late), comfortable seat, polite crowd. Cons: Seat was pushed so far back that it was touching the seat behind it, couldn't figure out how to move it or get the driver's attention.

How much is a bus ticket from Iowa City to Des Moines?

$58.65 is the average price of a bus ticket from Iowa City to Des Moines. Any tickets cheaper than $58.65 can be considered a great deal. 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

If you're on the hunt for the cheapest bus tickets from Iowa City to Des Moines, mark your calendar for May. During this period, you can expect to find the lowest average ticket price of the year, just $37. However, taking the bus from Iowa City to Des Moines during November is not so cheap. This time of year, ticket prices often reach an average of $61. The best way to find deals on a trip in November is to plan ahead and book your bus ticket as early as possible.

What bus companies travel from Iowa City to Des Moines?

There is one intercity bus company available to search and book on Wanderu that operates from Iowa City to Des Moines. Burlington Trailways is the one bus line that serves this route. Although it's the sole option, there are a couple of different scheduled times to choose from.

BusDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Burlington Trailways22h 11m$61.07
  • Book Burlington Trailways from Iowa City to Des Moines from $59. There are 2 Burlington Trailways schedules from Iowa City to Des Moines and you can expect on average to pay for a Burlington Trailways ticket to Des Moines. In Iowa City, Burlington Trailways departs to Des Moines from Burlington Trailways Station - 170 E Court St and no other station. In Des Moines, Burlington Trailways arrives at Des Moines and no other station.

    An average trip on Burlington Trailways from Iowa City to Des Moines takes 2 hours and 11 minutes , while the fastest available Burlington Trailways trip will get you to Des Moines in 2 hours and 0 minutes .

    On weekends, Burlington Trailways offers 2 trips per day and you could expect to pay for a weekend getaway trip to Des Moines.

Frequently Asked Questions

The bus takes an average of 2 hours and 10 minutes to cover the 173 kilometers from Iowa City to Des Moines. However, the fastest bus only takes 2 hours. It's the perfect amount of time to take a nap, get some work done, or watch a movie. 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.

Saturday is usually the day when buses are busiest, as many travelers take the bus to enjoy the weekend in Des Moines. If you are planning to travel on a Saturday, 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.

The first bus leaves at 4:00pm and the last bus leaves at 8:00pm. To see the times for all buses from Iowa City to Des Moines, enter your specific travel dates in the search bar.

There are usually only 2 buses per day from Iowa City to Des Moines. Both of these are direct buses, meaning that you do not have to worry about transferring buses at any point during your trip.

City Information

Iowa City

Iowa City, IA - IOW-0

Image credit: Unsplash

Iowa City, IA - IOW-1

Image credit: Unsplash

Iowa City, IA - IOW-2

Image credit: Pixabay

The old capital city of Iowa, Iowa City, is a historic area with plenty of quaint old buildings and beautiful landmarks. The most notable attraction is the Old Capitol Building in the middle of the University of Iowa's campus. The building's first floor is a museum dedicated to the state's history so that you can brush up on your Hawkeye State knowledge (we'll get you started: the Iowa state rock is the geode!). For more history and culture, hit up Plum Grove, the home of the first Governor of Iowa, and the University of Iowa Art Museum.

Thanks to its lively cultural scene, Iowa City's food scene is vibrant and diverse. One of the must-try establishments in the city is Short's Burger and Shine, which features a wide variety of burgers made from locally sourced meat. In addition, the Hamburg Inn No. 2 is an award-winning restaurant, with visitors including many past presidents.

Bus service to Iowa City arrives right downtown for easy access to Iowa City's highlights. Although there is a small municipal airport in Iowa City, most commercial flights will depart from nearby Cedar Rapids Airport or even from Des Moines, about 100 miles away.

Des Moines

Des Moines, IA, US - DSM-0

Image credit: Unsplash

Des Moines is the capital city of Iowa and the most populous city in the state. It has been named the third-largest insurance capital in the world because of its relevance in the US insurance industry. Des Moines is home to historic landmarks, especially in the East Village area. These include the gold-domed Iowa State Capitol building. Art lovers can visit the Des Moines Art Center, which has notable contemporary collections, and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, a pedestrian space with public attractions. Des Moines also has spots for outdoor adventures, like the Blank Park Zoo, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, and Living History Farms.

Des Moines offers diverse places for entertainment, like the Praire Meadows Casino, Racetrack & Hotel, and the Salisbury House & Gardens, a concert venue in a 1920s manor. In the heart of the city is Downtown Des Moines, which has different attractions and entertainment venues, festivals and concerts, shopping spots, sports teams, restaurants, bars, and breweries.

It's very easy to access Des Moines when you're traveling by bus. Over a hundred neighboring cities offer bus lines to the city, powered by companies like Jefferson Lines, Tornado Bus, Burlington Trailways, and El Expreso Bus. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority also provides bus routes throughout the city.

Station Information

Where does the bus leave from in Iowa City?

Main departure station: Burlington Trailways Station - 170 E Court St

The Burlington Trailways Station in Iowa City is part of the Court St Transportation Center near downtown. Buses usually board outside the multi-story parking garage on Court Street. The station includes a large indoor waiting area with seating, restrooms, and even a charging station for your devices. You can walk to three hotels, a sushi restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, a Starbucks, and a bar in the immediate area, so you definitely won't have to travel hungry or thirsty. Greyhound and Burlington Trailways buses depart from this station and connect Iowa City to Des Moines, Chicago, Omaha, and more cities throughout the Midwest.

All bus stations in Iowa City:

  • Burlington Trailways Station - 170 E Court St

Where does the bus arrive in Des Moines?

Main arrival station: Des Moines

All buses from Iowa City arrive at one main station in Des Moines.

Bus stations in Des Moines:

  • Des Moines

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