Trains from San Diego to Chicago

Lowest Prices

We partner with the top coach & train carriers to bring you the best deals.

No Wanderu Fees

Without any extra fees, we make it easy to book your tickets.

Best Travel Options

We help you find & compare the best buses & trains in one place.

San Diego - Chicago Train Timetable

Find cheap rental carsFind great deals on cheap cars in the area.
RentalCars logotypeRentalCars logotype
from€29.45

Trip Summary

There are 4 daily trains from San Diego to Chicago. Traveling by train from San Diego to Chicago usually takes around 58 hours and 28 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 46 hours and 40 minutes.

Distance1732 mi (2787 km)
Fastest train46h 40m
Lowest price€209.57
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines1

What is the price of a train ticket from San Diego to Chicago?

In the last month, €225.63 was the average price of a train ticket from San Diego to Chicago. Given how far apart San Diego and Chicago are from each other, there's no getting around the fact that most train tickets are on the pricier side. You can expect to find tickets at that price or lower if you book your trip at least 29 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around €108.25 more than that for a same-day booking.

Average prices by travel date

€353€236€118AugAug

Over the next 30 days, the average cost of a one-way train trip from San Diego to Chicago will vary between €218 and €353. Planning a train trip to Chicago within the upcoming week? The cheapest train ticket you can find from San Diego over the next 7 days is €232. Make sure to book your trip as soon as possible as train fares tend to go up as you get closer to your travel date.

Monthly average prices

€294€236€177€118€59SONDJFMAMJJA

If you are trying to decide when to travel from San Diego to Chicago by train so you can score the best possible deal, your best bet would be to plan your trip for February. That’s when the average price for a train ticket is expected to be just €230 – the lowest of the year.

Alternatively, if you plan to travel from San Diego to Chicago in July, expect to spend more on your train trip, as the average ticket price usually surges to €278 at that time of year. However, if you book your trip ahead of time, you have a high chance of scoring a ticket at a lower price.

Prices as travel date approaches

€344€275€206€137€693020100

If you want to score the best deal, you should plan to book your train trip online on Wanderu at least 29 days ahead of time. If you do that, your train ticket to Chicago from San Diego will be about €108.25 cheaper compared to what you would pay if you book at the last minute.

Which train should you take from San Diego to Chicago?

Amtrak is the one and only train line which connects San Diego to Chicago. However, there are 4 trains per day to choose from.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak42d 10h 29m€251.35
  • Amtrak

    Amtrak

    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. On average, there are 4 Amtrak trains from San Diego to Chicago every day, as well as 8 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from €210.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel by train from San Diego to Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our train 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, train 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 train 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.

Can you take a train all the way from San Diego to Chicago?

Yes, there are trains that can take you the entire way from San Diego to Chicago. However, there are also some trips on this route that require you to board another vehicle, such as a bus or a shuttle, during your journey. This is worth paying attention to as you book your trip, since a direct train may be preferable for its speed and convenience.

How long is the train journey from San Diego to Chicago?

The distance between San Diego and Chicago is approximately 1732 miles, or 2787 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 58 hours and 28 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 46 hours and 40 minutes.

Looking for ways to pass the time? Most trains are equipped with Wi-Fi, which means you can stream music, browse social media or get some work done during your ride. That said, in case your train has a spotty signal, or is among the few without Wi-Fi, we also recommend downloading TV shows and movies to your mobile device in advance of your trip. That way the ride will fly by whatever the Wi-Fi situation.

When are trains the most crowded?

Trains departing from San Diego to Chicago tend to have the most passengers on Saturday. With higher demand ticket prices also tend to be higher on Saturday. If you are trying to snag a cheap train tickets or just want an emptier train you'll have better luck by booking travel departing on Wednesday as the least number of people tend to travel then.

When are the first and last trains of the day?

The earliest train departs San Diego at 14:00 while the last train of the day leaves at 16:00. To see all scheduled departure times, use the search function on this page to get the full schedule for your specific travel dates.

Is there a direct train from San Diego to Chicago?

There are 4 scheduled trains on most days. Unfortunately, none of them are direct connections, so you will need to disembark from your original train and board a connecting train during your journey. Don't forget to bring your carry-on luggage when you switch trains. In some instances, you may also be responsible for transferring your own checked baggage.

You can also take a train for your return trip from Chicago to San Diego.

City Information

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.

Chicago

Known for its innovative architecture, cultural contributions to jazz and house music, and of course that irresistible deep-dish pizza, the many sights and experiences in Chicago make it one of the best urban vacation destinations for millennials and a top destination in Illinois.

You can't beat the views of the city and Lake Michigan from the SkyDeck in the Willis Tower; at over 1,300 feet, this is the highest observation deck in the U.S. Snap that classic selfie with the Bean in Millennium Park, then wander the many museums in nearby Grant Park. Navy Pier is a popular tourist hotspot for its parks, restaurants, and attractions right on Lake Michigan, and baseball fans will find paradise in Wrigleyville, home to the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field and sports bars galore.

Chicago's enormous parks offer plentiful opportunities for outdoor activities in gorgeous urban settings. Many companies offer kayak rentals or boat tours on the Chicago River, with special tours running on Saint Patrick's Day, when the entire river is dyed green. When you’re ready to buy some souvenirs from your epic trip, hit the big brand stores on the Magnificent Mile, or shop local in neighborhoods like Andersonville and Wicker Park. And don't miss the chance to laugh until you cry at The Second City comedy theater, famous for launching the careers of comedians like Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.

Chicago is one of the biggest transportation hubs in the Midwest, and provides easy access to nearby destinations ideal for day trips, as well as international travel from two airports. Thanks to plenty of bus and train stations throughout the city, getting to the Windy City is a breeze.

Station Information

Where is the train station in San Diego?

San Diego, CA - Santa Fe Depot (1050 Kettner Blvd) - SANAMT2-0

Image credit: Doug Letterman

Link to image attribution

Main departure station: Santa Fe Depot - 1050 Kettner Blvd

The Santa Fe Depot is the main train station in San Diego and one of the end points of the Pacific Surfliner, the only Amtrak train line that serves the city. The station is also used by the Green Line of the San Diego Trolley light rail transit service and the COASTER commuter rail service that connects the city with the central and northern coastal regions of San Diego County. Opened in 1915, the Santa Fe Depot is famous for its Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture and grand interior space that features natural redwood beam ceilings and ceramic details. The train station is located in the heart of Downtown San Diego, making it easy to reach from all parts of the city.

All train stations in San Diego:

  • Santa Fe Depot - 1050 Kettner Blvd

  • 4005 Taylor St

Where is the train station in Chicago?

Chicago, IL - Union Station - CHIUST-0

Image credit: Jeramey Jannene

Link to image attribution

Main arrival station: Union Station

The historic Chicago Union Station is the United States' third busiest train station and a hub for 15 Amtrak train lines with destinations throughout the country. The station also serves bus carriers like Greyhound, Indian Trails and Jefferson Lines, and offers connections to Metra commuter lines. Union Station is also just a quick walk to the nearest Chicago L lines. The current station was built in 1925, to replace the original one dating back to 1881, and today wows visitors with its impressive facade, massive columns, and opulent Great Hall. Located right in downtown and adjacent to the Chicago Loop, Union Station is equipped with many services and amenities, including phone charging stations, shops, and various food and drink options.

Train stations in Chicago:

  • Union Station

Need a return trip from Chicago to San Diego?

Search Train Tickets

Plan your next adventure

Wanderu is the simplest way to book bus and train travel.

With just a quick search on Wanderu, you can compare bus 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 bus 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 bus and train deals out there.

Book coaches and trains on the go with the Wanderu app.

Download our app and snag the best travel deals across North America & Europe.Learn more

iPhone
Android
Available on iOS & Android