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

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Travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles

There are multiple ways to get from San Francisco to LA besides driving your own car. The main methods are to ride a bus, take a train, or fly. Which of these ways is best for you depends on how much you value price, speed, and comfort. Here is what you need to know:

Fastest time

9h 23m

Cheapest ticket

74 $

Daily trips

31

Traveling by Amtrak train is the most comfortable way to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Fares start at about 74 $, with 31 trains departing each day. Unfortunately, Amtrak doesn’t depart directly from San Francisco. Passengers will first take a bus 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

6 $

Daily trips

16

With ticket prices as low as 6 $, and 16 trips departing throughout the day, traveling by bus between SF and LA is an easy, budget-friendly option.

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

Fastest time

1h 32m

Cheapest ticket

75 $

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

74 $

Daily trips

31

Traveling by Amtrak train is the most comfortable way to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Fares start at about 74 $, with 31 trains departing each day. Unfortunately, Amtrak doesn’t depart directly from San Francisco. Passengers will first take a bus 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 flight. Compared to bus and train travel, it is by far the fastest option to Los Angeles, with an average travel time of 1 hour 45 minutes, making it worth the higher price.

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 bus 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 bus is the cheapest way to get to Los Angeles from San Francisco, with tickets averaging about 33 $. Train travel is more than twice as much, costing around 82 $ per ticket. Flights are priced relatively close to trains, with tickets starting at 75 $.

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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