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There are 3 intercity buses per day from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Traveling by bus from San Francisco to Santa Barbara usually takes around 16 hours and 30 minutes, but the fastest FlixBus US bus can make the trip in 6 hours and 40 minutes.
|Distance||277 mi (446 km)|
|Shortest duration||6h 40m|
|Trips per day||1|
|Most frequent service||FlixBus US|
How much is a bus ticket from San Francisco to Santa Barbara?
€31.72 is the average price of a bus ticket from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Taking a bus is an affordable way to make this trip. 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
The lowest bus ticket prices on this route can usually be found in December. That’s when the average price of a bus ticket is expected to be just €41 – the lowest of the year.
Alternatively, if you plan to travel from San Francisco to Santa Barbara in November, expect to spend more on your bus trip, as the average ticket price may surge to €64 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
The easiest way to save money on bus tickets is by booking in advance! Many carriers increase prices as the travel date approaches, so it's always a good idea to buy your tickets as early as possible. Book at least 28 days in advance to save €34.01 or more on your ticket, compared to booking at the last minute.
What bus companies travel from San Francisco to Santa Barbara?
There are two bus lines that have daily service from San Francisco to Santa Barbara that you can compare and book on Wanderu. Of these two carriers, FlixBus US usually offers more choice, with 2 scheduled trips per day.
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 2 trips per day from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, and the average ticket for this route costs only .
Greyhound is the largest nationwide coach carrier in the United States, offering cheap, safe and reliable service across the country. Greyhound has become a household name, serving over 16 million passengers per year with daily trips to over 2,400 destinations. Greyhound performs about 2 bus trips from San Francisco to Santa Barbara every day, with the average journey taking around 18 hours and 47 minutes to complete. Bus tickets for Greyhound trips to Santa Barbara usually start from €35.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Although masks are no longer required on public transportation, we stand behind CDC guidelines that encourage passengers to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while on the bus or in stations.
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.
The bus takes an average of 16 hours and 30 minutes to cover the 446 kilometers from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. However, the fastest bus only takes 6 hours and 40 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.
Friday is the busiest travel day for buses as people head from San Francisco to Santa Barbara for the weekend. If you are planning to travel on a Friday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.
On the other hand, Wednesday is typically the least busy day for bus travel on this route. If you're looking for some extra space on the bus, traveling mid-week is your best bet.
The first bus leaves at 11:00 and the last bus leaves at 22:00. To see the times for all buses from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, enter your specific travel dates in the search bar.
There are 3 scheduled buses that travel from San Francisco to Santa Barbara every day, so you have a decent number of options to choose from. However, only one of these is a direct bus. With direct service, you do not have to transfer onto a different bus at any point during your trip. Direct buses also tend to be significantly faster, which is worth bearing in mind as you compare the available options.
Need more travel options? Consider taking the train from San Francisco to Santa Barbara; ticket prices start at €41.39.
Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash
Located in the heart of Northern California's Bay Area, San Francisco is a geographically small but culturally huge city known for its historic cable cars, active waterfront, and the eclectic mix of hippies and techies who call it home. While it might be one of the most expensive U.S. cities to live in, San Fran can actually be very cheap to visit, and there is no shortage of unique sights to see.
If the city's omnipresent fog (nicknamed "Karl the Fog" by locals) takes a break, the best views and Instagram photo ops of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge are found in Golden Gate Park. Stroll through the oldest Chinatown in North America to find the perfect dim sum, or if you and your boo prefer a little Full House moment, try a romantic picnic at Alamo Square Park in front of the Victorian "Painted Ladies." After all, San Francisco is one of the best vacation destinations for couples.
Since the city is condensed onto a small peninsula, exploring by bike is an efficient and scenic way to get around. When you’re ready to travel beyond city limits, San Francisco is a convenient hub for trips throughout Northern California. It's actually the first stop on Wanderu's West Coast Wine Tour, with the next stop, obviously, in Napa Valley. Whether traveling by bus, train, or through either of the two nearby airports, San Francisco is a can't-miss destination.
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.
Where does the bus leave from in San Francisco?
Main departure station: Caltrain Station - 5th & Townsend St
Buses to Santa Barbara leave from 3 stations in San Francisco.
All bus stations in San Francisco:
Caltrain Station - 5th & Townsend St
Salesforce Transit Center
700 Beach Street
Where does the bus arrive in Santa Barbara?
Main arrival station: 209 State Street
All buses from San Francisco arrive at one main station in Santa Barbara.
Bus stations in Santa Barbara:
209 State Street
Get around town with Moovit
Need a return trip from Santa Barbara to San Francisco?Search Bus Tickets
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