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San Francisco to Los Angeles - Compare Coaches, Trains and Flights

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Travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles

There are a variety of ways to get from San Francisco to LA other than having to drive there yourself. Primary methods of travel include riding a coach, taking a train or flying. Deciding between these options will depend on what you value most between price, speed and comfort. Here is what you need to know:

Fastest time

9h 23m

Cheapest ticket

€47

Daily trips

31

Traveling by Amtrak train is the most comfortable way to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Fares start at about £42, with 31 trains departing each day. Unfortunately, Amtrak doesn’t depart directly from San Francisco. Passengers will first take a coach to Emeryville, outside of Oakland, where they’ll transfer to a train.

This route is serviced by Amtrak Coast Starlight, one of the most scenic Amtrak routes in the country, with ocean views available for a significant portion of the ride.

Fastest time

7h 35m

Cheapest ticket

€4

Daily trips

16

With ticket prices as low as £3, and 16 trips departing throughout the day, traveling by coach between SF and LA is an easy, budget-friendly option.

The coach carriers servicing this route — Greyhound and Megacoach — offer amenities like free Wi-Fi, power outlets and on-board bathrooms. Both Greyhound and Megacoach also have direct overnight coach options, meaning you can fall asleep en route and wake up the next morning in Los Angeles.

Fastest time

1h 32m

Cheapest ticket

€48

Daily trips

171

With a typical travel time of about 1 hour for nonstop flights, taking a plane is definitely the quickest way to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

San Francisco International Airport suggests arriving 2 hours prior to your scheduled flight, so make sure you plan accordingly. SFO is located south of downtown San Francisco, about a 30-minute ride on the BARTA’s Yellow Line.

Fastest time

9h 23m

Cheapest ticket

€47

Daily trips

31

Traveling by Amtrak train is the most comfortable way to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Fares start at about £42, with 31 trains departing each day. Unfortunately, Amtrak doesn’t depart directly from San Francisco. Passengers will first take a coach to Emeryville, outside of Oakland, where they’ll transfer to a train.

This route is serviced by Amtrak Coast Starlight, one of the most scenic Amtrak routes in the country, with ocean views available for a significant portion of the ride.

What is the best way to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles?

Of the 3 different ways you can travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles, we recommend taking a bus. Compared to plane and train travel, it is by far the cheapest option to Los Angeles, with tickets averaging about $20. It’s also the most environmentally friendly option, as taking a bus is the most sustainable way to travel.

What is the fastest way to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles?

Taking a flight is the fastest way to get to LA from SF. Nonstop flights have an average travel time of about 1 hour 45 minutes. To compare, the quickest coach on this route takes around 7 hours, and the fastest Amtrak train takes 9 hours.

What is the cheapest way to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles?

Traveling by coach is the cheapest way to get to Los Angeles from San Francisco, with tickets averaging about £19. Train travel is more than twice as much, costing around £47 per ticket. Flights are priced relatively close to trains, with tickets starting at £43.

How far is it from San Francisco to Los Angeles?

The distance between the two cities is about 347 miles, or 559 kilometers. Getting to LA from San Francisco can take anywhere from 1 hour 30 minutes to 11 hours, depending on the mode of transportation.

Which airline should you take from San Francisco to LAX?

Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines all offer 30-plus flights per day around the same price for this route, but Alaska stands out from the other three thanks to its outstanding customer service.

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