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San Diego to San Francisco train

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San Diego - San Francisco Train Schedule

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Trip Summary

There are usually 6 daily train trips available from San Diego to San Francisco. Traveling by train from San Diego to San Francisco usually takes 14 hours and 14 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 13 hours and 20 minutes.

Distance458 mi (738 km)
Fastest train13h 20m
Lowest price$65.00
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines1

Train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Average score for trains from San Diego to San Francisco

(Based on 4 ratings and reviews)

4.5

5.0

Nancy

September 18, 2023- Visiting friends

Amtrak

Pros: I love taking the AmTrak train and bus these days. Yes, it takes longer than flying, but the friendliness of the staff, the relaxed feeling, the good humor and even comedy of the personnel, is so worth the extra time it takes. Cons: Hmmmmmm -- I can't think of anything. I do believe that one the high speed rail is up and running, Californians and all visitors will be enchanted with it. Meanwhile, we're all grateful for the train we have now.

4.0

Rehab

October 27, 2022- Solo travel

Amtrak

When I forget some things finding easily

4.0

Michelle

April 13, 2022- Solo travel

Amtrak

Pros: Overall it was a good trip,. Cons: If the train came on time. Tips: the train gets busy towards LA.

5.0

Lani

April 10, 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak

Pros: Quiet and safw. Cons: Hand sanitizer.

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

In the last month, the average price of a train ticket from San Diego to San Francisco was $71.00. Good news! You can find the cheapest tickets if you book your trip at least 18 days prior to the travel date. You’ll likely pay around $16.07 more if you wait to book until the last minute.

Average prices by travel date

$90$60$30AprApr

Over the next 30 days, a one-way train trip from San Diego to San Francisco will cost between $74 and $85. Book in advance to secure the best price in the next few weeks.

Monthly average prices

$125$100$75$50$25MJJASONDJFMA
Ticket prices for the train from San Diego to San Francisco often fluctuate based on the time of year. For the best prices on this route, book in January when the average ticket price is only $76. If you're thinking of traveling from San Diego to San Francisco during September, keep in mind that train ticket prices may be higher than usual, with an average price of $101 during this time of year. The best way to score a cheap deal, even in September, is to book your trip well in advance.

Prices as travel date approaches

$100$80$60$40$203020100

By booking your train trip from San Diego to San Francisco on Wanderu at least 18 days ahead of time, you can save about $16.07 on your ticket. Waiting until the last minute means missing out on these savings!

Which train should you take from San Diego to San Francisco?

Amtrak is the one and only train line which connects San Diego to San Francisco. However, there are 6 trains per day to choose from.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak614h 14m$80.21
  • 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 6 Amtrak trains from San Diego to San Francisco every day, as well as 10 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $64.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, it is not possible to enjoy a day trip from San Diego to San Francisco. The first train leaves San Diego at 4 a.m., yet the route takes anywhere from 12 to 14 hours to get to San Francisco. A trip from San Diego to San Fran should be at least two days long to truly enjoy your time in the Bay Area.

There is no direct train from San Diego to San Francisco, but it is still very easy to get into the city. Take the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner north to Oakland, which is very close to San Francisco. From Oakland, simply take the Red or Yellow BARTA line, which only takes about 12 minutes and costs just $4. Overall, the trip takes roughly 12 hours.
While the train is the main method of transportation from San Diego to San Francisco, it will only take you part of the way there. Please note that part of your trip will be on a different vehicle, most commonly a bus or express shuttle.

The distance between San Diego and San Francisco is approximately 458 miles, or 738 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 14 hours and 14 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 13 hours and 20 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.

Trains from San Diego to San Francisco are the most crowded on Thursday. Tickets also tend to be more expensive then. If you are looking for a great deal on your train tickets or just want extra room to stretch out, consider traveling on Monday instead, as it tends to be the least crowded day of the week.

The earliest train departs San Diego at 4:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 9:00pm. To see all scheduled departure times, use the search function on this page to get the full schedule for your specific travel dates.

There are 6 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 San Francisco 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.

San Francisco

San Francisco, CA - SFO-0

Image credit: Unsplash

San Francisco, CA - SFO-1

Image credit: Unsplash

San Francisco, CA - SFO-2

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.

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 San Francisco?

Salesforce Plaza - SFOBLT-0

Image credit: 146109843@N05

Link to image attribution

Main arrival station: San Francisco, California

Behind a modern curved façade lies San Francisco’s commuter hub, the Salesforce Transit Center. This gateway to downtown San Francisco and the entire Bay Area welcomes tens of thousands of passengers every day. Finding your way around is easy thanks to more than 270 digital displays with transit information. The Salesforce Transit Center serves as a bus station for Greyhound and Amtrak Thruway buses, as well as several public transit options for convenient connections. A standout feature of the Salesforce Transit Center is a public five-acre rooftop park which gives travelers an open space to relax. Rotating food trucks, cafés, carts, and pop-up retail make this a dynamic and vibrant destination in itself.

All train stations in San Francisco:

  • San Francisco, California

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