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There are 6 ways to get from Des Moines to Milwaukee by plane, bus, train or car

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

Recommended option

Fly to Milwaukee  •  5 h 4 min

  1. Fly from Des Moines (DSM) to Milwaukee (MKE) DSM - MKE

$175 - $905

Cheapest option

Bus Windstar  •  9 h 25 min

  1. Take the bus from Des Moines, IA to Chicago, IL East Bound
  2. Take the bus from Chicago to Milwaukee, WI

$10 - $21

4 alternative options

Fly to Chicago O'Hare, bus  •  4 h 48 min

  1. Fly from Des Moines (DSM) to Chicago O'Hare (ORD) DSM - ORD
  2. Take the bus from Chicago, IL - O'Hare International Airport to Milwaukee, WI - Amtrak

$173 - $737

Bus, train  •  10 h 50 min

  1. Take the bus from Des Moines, IA to Ottumwa, IA
  2. Take the train from Ottumwa Amtrak Station to Chicago Union Station
  3. Take the train from Chicago Union Station to Milwaukee Intermodal Station

$102 - $223

Bus Burlington Trailways  •  12 h 22 min

  1. Take the bus from Des Moines, IA to Dubuque, IA
  2. Take the bus from Dubuque, IA to Madison, WI - Univ. of Wisconsin 121
  3. Take the bus from UW Madison Langdon St to Milwaukee Intermodal

$78 - $122

Drive  •  6 h 7 min

  1. Drive from Des Moines to Milwaukee 375.9 miles

$35 - $55

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Des Moines to Milwaukee is to bus which costs $10 - $21 and takes 9 h 25 min.

More details

The quickest way to get from Des Moines to Milwaukee is to fly and bus which costs $170 - $750 and takes 4 h 48 min.

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No, there is no direct bus from Des Moines to Milwaukee. However, there are services departing from Des Moines, IA and arriving at Milwaukee, WI via Chicago. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 9 h 25 min.

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The distance between Des Moines and Milwaukee is 310 miles. The road distance is 375.9 miles.

Get driving directions

The best way to get from Des Moines to Milwaukee without a car is to bus which takes 9 h 25 min and costs $10 - $21.

More details

It takes approximately 5 h 4 min to get from Des Moines to Milwaukee, including transfers.

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Des Moines to Milwaukee bus services, operated by Windstar, depart from Des Moines, IA station.

More details

The best way to get from Des Moines to Milwaukee is to fly which takes 5 h 4 min and costs $170 - $950. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs $10 - $21 and takes 9 h 25 min.

Mode details

There is no direct flight from Des Moines Airport to Milwaukee Airport. The quickest flight takes 3 h 14 min and has one stopover.

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Des Moines to Milwaukee bus services, operated by Megabus, arrive at Milwaukee, WI station.

More details

Map of how to get from Des Moines to Milwaukee.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 309.5 miles
  • Duration: 5 h 4 min

What companies run services between Des Moines, IA, USA and Milwaukee, WI, USA?

American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and two other airlines fly from Des Moines to Milwaukee hourly. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Des Moines to Milwaukee via Chicago in around 9 h 25 min.

Airlines
United Airlines
Website
united.com
Flights from Des Moines to Milwaukee via Chicago O'Hare
Ave. Duration
4 h 11 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$190 - $950
Flights from Des Moines to Chicago O'Hare
Ave. Duration
1 h 31 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$290 - $1,400
American Airlines
Website
aa.com
Flights from Des Moines to Milwaukee via Chicago O'Hare
Ave. Duration
3 h 40 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$170 - $900
Flights from Des Moines to Milwaukee via Dallas/Ft.Worth
Ave. Duration
5 h 45 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$260 - $1,100
Flights from Des Moines to Milwaukee via Charlotte
Ave. Duration
5 h 52 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$260 - $1,100
Flights from Des Moines to Chicago O'Hare
Ave. Duration
1 h 27 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$330 - $1,100
Delta
Website
delta.com
Flights from Des Moines to Milwaukee via Detroit
Ave. Duration
4 h 21 min
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
$190 - $950
Flights from Des Moines to Milwaukee via Minneapolis
Ave. Duration
4 h 37 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$170 - $900
Flights from Des Moines to Milwaukee via Atlanta
Ave. Duration
5 h 41 min
When
Saturday and Sunday
Estimated price
$240 - $1,100
Flights from Des Moines to Chicago O'Hare via Minneapolis
Ave. Duration
3 h 42 min
When
Saturday and Sunday
Estimated price
$270 - $1,300
Southwest Airlines
Website
southwest.com
Flights from Des Moines to Milwaukee via St. Louis
Ave. Duration
3 h 23 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$200 - $900
Train operators
Amtrak

Amtrak is a rail service that connects the US and three Canadian provinces. Covering 21,000 route miles (34,000km) Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily. These medium and long distance intercity services operate at speeds of up to 240km/h, to more than 500 destinations. Founded in 1971, it is based in Washington, D.C. and offers four classes of travel: First Class, Sleeper, Business and Coach. Ticket fares are divided into five subclasses: Saver, Value, Flexible, Business and Premium. Amtrak trains are known for their wide seats, plug-in power, big windows and storage capabilities.

Rome2rio's guide to Amtrak
Contact Details
Phone
+1 215-856-7924
Website
amtrak.com
Train from Ottumwa Amtrak Station to Chicago Union Station
Ave. Duration
5 h 41 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$50 - $130
Website
amtrak.com
Coach Seat
$50 - $75
Flexi Coach Seat
$90 - $130
Business Coach Seat
$90 - $130
Room
$230 - $320
Train from Chicago Union Station to Milwaukee Intermodal Station
Ave. Duration
1 h 29 min
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
$28 - $60
Website
amtrak.com
Coach Seat
$28 - $45
Flexi Coach Seat
$50 - $75
Business Coach Seat
$40 - $60
Room
$150 - $220
Bus operators
Coach USA
Phone
201-225-7500
Website
coachusa.com
Bus from Chicago, IL - O'Hare International Airport to Milwaukee, WI - Amtrak
Ave. Duration
1 h 45 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$21 - $35
Schedules at
web.coachusa.com
Book at
coachusaairportexpress.com
Windstar
Phone
+1 888-494-6378
Email
sara@gowindstar.com
Website
gowindstar.com
Bus from Des Moines, IA to Chicago, IL
Ave. Duration
6 h 35 min
Frequency
Once daily
Schedules at
gowindstar.com
Megabus
Phone
877-462-6342
Website
us.megabus.com
Bus from Chicago to Milwaukee, WI
Ave. Duration
1 h 50 min
Frequency
4 times a day
Estimated price
$10 - $21
Book at
megabus.com
Bus from Madison - Langdon & N Park to Milwaukee, WI
Ave. Duration
1 h 30 min
Frequency
4 times a day
Estimated price
$9 - $19
Book at
megabus.com
Burlington Trailways
Website
burlingtontrailways.com
Bus from Des Moines, IA to Ottumwa, IA
Ave. Duration
1 h 40 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$23 - $35
Schedules at
burlingtontrailways.com
Book at
burlingtontrailways.com
Bus from Des Moines, IA to Dubuque, IA
Ave. Duration
6 h 35 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$45 - $70
Schedules at
burlingtontrailways.com
Book at
burlingtontrailways.com
Lamers Bus Lines
Phone
+1 800-236-1240
Website
golamers.com
Bus from Dubuque, IA to Madison, WI - Univ. of Wisconsin
Ave. Duration
2 h 35 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$22 - $28
Schedules at
golamers.com
Book at
webstore.golamers.com
Amtrak Thruway

Amtrak is a rail service that connects the US and three Canadian provinces. Covering 21,000 route miles (34,000km) Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily. These medium and long distance intercity services operate at speeds of up to 240km/h, to more than 500 destinations. Founded in 1971, it is based in Washington, D.C. and offers four classes of travel: First Class, Sleeper, Business and Coach. Ticket fares are divided into five subclasses: Saver, Value, Flexible, Business and Premium. Amtrak trains are known for their wide seats, plug-in power, big windows and storage capabilities.

Rome2rio's guide to Amtrak Thruway
Contact Details
Phone
+1 215-856-7924
Website
amtrak.com
Bus from UW Madison Langdon St to Milwaukee Intermodal
Ave. Duration
1 h 30 min
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
$20 - $29
Website
amtrak.com
Badger Bus
Website
badgerbus.com
Bus from UW Madison Langdon St to Milwaukee Intermodal
Ave. Duration
1 h 30 min
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
$21
Schedules at
badgerbus.com
Book at
badgerbus.com

Want to know more about travelling around United States

Rome2rio's Travel Guide series provide vital information for the global traveller. Filled with useful and timely travel information, the guides answer all the hard questions - such as 'How do I buy a ticket?', 'Should I book online before I travel? ', 'How much should I expect to pay?', 'Do the trains and buses have Wifi?' - to help you get the most out of your next trip.

More Questions & Answers

Yes, the driving distance between Des Moines to Milwaukee is 376 miles. It takes approximately 6 h 7 min to drive from Des Moines to Milwaukee.

Get driving directions

Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta offer flights from Des Moines Airport to Milwaukee Airport.

Search flights

There are 125+ hotels available in Milwaukee. Prices start at $75 USD per night.

More details

The best way to get from Des Moines to Des Moines Airport is to line 8 bus which takes 11 min and costs $1 - $2.

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