How to get to Los Angeles by train
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About Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the undisputed world capital of the entertainment business. Because of that, the City of Angels is where you will find some of the most iconic landmarks of the film and music industries, including the world-famous Walk of Fame and Dolby Theatre (home of the Academy Awards) on Hollywood Boulevard, the easily recognizable Capitol Records building at Hollywood & Vine, and the LA Live complex in Downtown Los Angeles.
The best part of LA is that it has something to offer for people of all interests: outdoor enthusiasts can hike up to the Hollywood sign, fashion aficionados can go shopping in Beverly Hills, art lovers can check out the prominent Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in the Miracle Mile district, and those looking for a fun night out can go bar-hopping in West Hollywood. Are you a Pokémon GO addict? Well then this is the place for you because LA is the best city to catch the rarest Pokémon in the U.S.. And if you want to want to experience the famed golden coast of Southern California for yourself, head west to Santa Monica and Venice for a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean.
With one of the biggest airports on the West Coast and several bus and train stops across the county, Los Angeles makes it easy to travel elsewhere in California, visit the neighboring Nevada, Arizona and Mexico, or take a flight to pretty much any other part of the world.
Union Station is the main train station in Los Angeles and the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. The station was opened in 1939 and has become one of California’s busiest transportation hubs, serving more than 100 thousand passengers per day. Every Amtrak route that goes through Los Angeles stops at Union Station. In addition, the area around the station serves as the main bus stop for several bus carriers that conduct trips in and out of the city. Located in Downtown LA, Union Station offers easy transit connections to other parts of the city via three Metro Rail lines and one Metro Busway line, as well as a shuttle service to LAX airport. Union Station also serves as the main LA hub for six lines of Metrolink, Southern California’s primary commuter rail service.
Popular train stations in Los Angeles:
Amtrak Metrolink Station - 7724 Van Nuys Blvd
10040 Old Depot Plaza Rd, Chatsworth
592 Gayley Ave
What train companies travel to Los Angeles, California?
Located in California, Los Angeles is accessible by train from 362 other cities. You can choose from 1405 daily scheduled trips when you search for trains to Los Angeles on Wanderu. Amtrak usually has the most trains on any given day.
Looking for other ways to get there? Coach tickets to Los Angeles are also available..
Train companies serving Los Angeles
|Train||Routes||Avg. Time||Avg. Price|
|Amtrak Southwest Chief||30||23h 59m||£113.63|
|Amtrak Texas Eagle||30||1d 16h 8m||£141.30|
|Amtrak Coast Starlight||25||18h 28m||£92.14|
|Amtrak Pacific Surfliner||24||2h 9m||£20.44|
|Amtrak Sunset Limited||16||1d 3h 56m||£130.03|
Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to hundreds of destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats with extra legroom, as well as several four-seat areas with tables in the middle. In addition, each car has a freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi and power outlets at every seat. There are also snack bars where you can purchase drinks or food during your journey.
The Southwest Chief is a passenger train operated by America’s largest train service, Amtrak. The full route travels over 2,200 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles, which takes over 43 hours. In addition to standard Coach Class seats, the Southwest Chief offers several sleeper cabin options on longer journeys. Amtrak’s Southwest Chief is consistently ranked as one of the most scenic train routes in America, thanks to the stunning views of the Painted Desert, the Red Cliffs of Sedona, and the Grand Canyon you’ll see from your train window.
Amtrak Texas Eagle is a train service operated by Amtrak that connects to Texas. It links Chicago with the heart of the Lone Star State in San Antonio, going to cities such as St. Louis and Dallas. Onboard amenities include restrooms, power outlets, complimentary WiFi, and a designated restaurant car with full meals.
The Coast Starlight is an Amtrak train that travels the entire length of the West Coast, connecting Los Angeles to Seattle. The route starts hugging the California coastline, treating passengers to swoon-worthy views of the Pacific, before continuing into the verdant forests of the Cascade Mountains. The Coast Starlight indisputably earns its spot among the most scenic Amtrak train routes. Seating options include Coach or Business Class and roomettes or bedrooms for extra space.
The Pacific Surfliner is Amtrak’s passenger train service that runs along the Pacific coast of Southern California, connecting San Luis Obispo to the north with San Diego to the south. The line is among the most famous Amtrak routes due to the unique scenic views it presents, as the train parallels the coastline for large portions of the 268-mile railroad stretch. The Pacific Surfliner offers first-class amenities like onboard restrooms, free WiFi, seats with extra legroom and power outlets, as well as storage racks for surfboards.
Which train carrier has the best service to Los Angeles?
Based on customers travel reviews, travelers who booked on Wanderu rave about traveling to Los Angeles by train with Amtrak Pacific Surfliner giving them a 4.5 rating out of 5.
Travelers also mentioned that Amtrak Coast Starlight had the most comfortable train service to Los Angeles taking into account the seats and amenities that Amtrak Coast Starlight offers. They rate Amtrak Coast Starlight a 4.7 out of 5 when it comes to just how relaxing and enjoyable their experience was onboard.
If you are looking to arrive to Los Angeles punctually, travelers suggest that Amtrak Pacific Surfliner has the best on time performance on their train schedules to Los Angeles, rating them a 4.6 based on their on time arrivals.
Frequently Asked Questions
The busiest train station in Los Angeles is Union Station. There are several other active stations in addition to this main station. The most popular train stations in Los Angeles are:
- Union Station
- Amtrak Metrolink Station - 7724 Van Nuys Blvd
- 10040 Old Depot Plaza Rd, Chatsworth
There are currently no trains running directly to LAX.
There is a free shuttle bus (the “G” shuttle) to transport travelers from the airport to the nearest light rail station: Aviation/LAX, located just outside the LAX complex. The Metro Green Line stops at this station along its route from Norwalk to Redondo Beach. Unfortunately, this line has no direct service into downtown L.A., and you will need to switch metro lines several times to get to other Los Angeles neighborhoods.
- Compare train trips and prices on Wanderu.com or the Wanderu app.
- Select your preferred trip and checkout on Wanderu.
- Download or print your ticket from the train carrier.
- Show your ticket to board the train and find a seat.
- Sleep, read, work, or play on the journey to Los Angeles.
- Deboard at your arrival station and begin your adventure in Los Angeles.
How to Get Around Los Angeles
Once you arrive in the City of Angels, you’ll need a way to get from point A to B. Los Angeles is a BIG city, and getting around can be challenging. Here are a few of the best ways to get around Los Angeles:
Public transportation in L.A. includes buses, trains, and subways to service all the city’s major attractions and neighborhoods. One-way fares cost $1.75 and include free transfers to other lines. You can purchase single tickets each time you ride or buy a reusable TAP card and refill it as you need.
L.A.’s Metro Rail system is fairly comprehensive, with two subway lines and four light rail lines. The B (Red) Line is most useful for out-of-towners and services the downtown area from Union Station all the way to North Hollywood via Hollywood and Universal Studios.
There are also numerous city buses that run over 200 routes around L.A. The Metro Local Buses are the most frequent and travel to most of L.A.'s main attractions. These are painted orange and stop roughly every two blocks.
Rideshare Apps & Taxis
Popular rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber are widely available in Los Angeles. These can be affordable depending on how far you’re heading and the time of day, but when prices increase, they can really spike. Avoid rush hour at all costs!
Taxis are available at most of L.A.’s main attractions. They are metered and charged by the mile. If you’re not at a major attraction, you can always call a cab company to arrange a ride.
Los Angeles’ freeways are notorious, but there is a reason everyone has a car in L.A. To enjoy some travel flexibility, rent a car to get around Los Angeles. You’ll find all the major rental companies at the airport and popular hotels. Booking in advance will save you some serious cash - rent a car through Wanderu to get the cheapest rates!
Must-See Places in Los Angeles
Hollywood is packed with some of L.A.’s most iconic sites. A trip to this famous neighborhood will net you views of the Hollywood sign, the stars along the Walk of Fame, the TCL Chinese Theater, and more. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a celebrity or two!
Griffith Park & Griffith Observatory
Soak in some of the best views from Los Angeles’s biggest park: Griffith Park. This massive green space sits in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains and has miles of hiking trails, a zoo, a planetarium, tennis courts, a golf course, and a riding center. But the most interesting of all the park’s attractions is the Griffith Observatory - plus, it’s free and open to the public!
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Whether you’re an art buff or not, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is worth a visit. It’s one of the largest art museums in the country and boasts over 100,000 pieces. Snap that perfect Instagram shot in the front of the forest of street lights outside the museum.
The Original Farmers Market
Get a real taste of L.A. at the Original Farmers Market. In its early days in the 1930s, market vendors hawked fresh fruits and veggies, but today, the stands sell everything from restaurant-style meals and kitchenware to handcrafted candles and jewelry. Of course, there is still plenty of local produce sold, as well!
If a trip to the beach is just what the doctor ordered, there’s no better spot to soak up the California sun than Venice Beach. In addition to the golden sand and sun, you’ll enjoy shaved ice and funnel cakes from beachside stands and street performers along the beachfront promenade.
USA Travel Tips for International Visitors
There are a few things that international visitors to the United States should keep in mind:
Currency: U.S. dollar ($)
Tipping: 15-20% is customary at restaurants & bars
Legal drinking age: 21 years old
Useful English phrases:
Los Angeles Tips for Travelers
There are a few Los Angeles-specific laws and customs that visitors may not be familiar with.
Most of the U.S. prohibits the consumption of alcohol on the street and while driving. LA is no exception, so only imbibe in bars, restaurants, or at home. You will likely be asked to show ID at bars and liquor stores if you look younger than 30.
Marijuana is legal for recreational use in California. You must be 21 or older to buy and use marijuana in all of its forms. Be prepared to show a valid ID to enter any dispensary.
Food and services can get expensive in Los Angeles. A smoothie could cost you over $10, and you’ll see why L.A. is one of the most expensive drinking cities in the U.S. after a night at the bar. Look for cheap hotel deals to offset the costs of your vacation.
Wanderu is the simplest way to book coach and train travel.
With just a quick search on Wanderu, you can compare coach and train schedules and prices from hundreds of travel companies in one convenient place to find the trip that works best for you. Wanderu’s simple checkout process makes it easy to book cheap coach and train tickets hassle-free and with no additional fees. Most importantly, as Wanderu is an official partner of all leading bus and train companies, we always have the best coach and train deals out there.