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There are 6 ways to get from Milwaukee to Des Moines 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 from Milwaukee  •  5 h 49 min

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

$154 - $804

Cheapest option

Bus Burlington Trailways  •  13 h 35 min

  1. Take the bus from Milwaukee, WI to Madison, WI - Dutch Mill Park and Ride 112
  2. Take the bus from Madison, WI – Dutchmill Park & Ride to Dubuque, IA 122
  3. Take the bus from Dubuque, IA to Des Moines, IA

$72 - $128

4 alternative options

Bus to Chicago O'Hare, fly  •  5 h 20 min

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

$173 - $735

Bus Windstar  •  9 h 20 min

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

Train, bus  •  10 h 2 min

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

$104 - $200

Drive  •  6 h 6 min

  1. Drive from Milwaukee to Des Moines 375.1 miles

$35 - $55

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Milwaukee to Des Moines is to drive which costs $35 - $55 and takes 6 h 6 min.

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The quickest way to get from Milwaukee to Des Moines is to bus and fly which costs $170 - $750 and takes 5 h 20 min.

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No, there is no direct bus from Milwaukee to Des Moines. However, there are services departing from Milwaukee, WI and arriving at Des Moines, IA via Chicago, IL. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 9 h 20 min.

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The distance between Milwaukee and Des Moines is 310 miles. The road distance is 375.1 miles.

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The best way to get from Milwaukee to Des Moines without a car is to bus which takes 9 h 20 min and costs .

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It takes approximately 5 h 49 min to get from Milwaukee to Des Moines, including transfers.

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Milwaukee to Des Moines bus services, operated by Megabus, depart from Milwaukee, WI station.

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The best way to get from Milwaukee to Des Moines is to fly which takes 5 h 49 min and costs $150 - $850. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs and takes 9 h 20 min.

Mode details

There is no direct flight from Milwaukee Airport to Des Moines Airport. The quickest flight takes 3 h 5 min and has one stopover.

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Milwaukee to Des Moines bus services, operated by Windstar, arrive at Des Moines, IA station.

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Map of how to get from Milwaukee to Des Moines.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 309.5 miles
  • Duration: 5 h 49 min

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

United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and two other airlines fly from Milwaukee to Des Moines hourly. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Milwaukee to Des Moines via Chicago and Chicago, IL in around 9 h 20 min.

Airlines
American Airlines
Website
aa.com
Flights from Milwaukee to Des Moines via Chicago O'Hare
Ave. Duration
4 h 47 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$150 - $800
Flights from Milwaukee to Des Moines via Dallas/Ft.Worth
Ave. Duration
5 h 43 min
When
Monday to Friday
Estimated price
$240 - $1,000
Flights from Milwaukee to Des Moines via Charlotte
Ave. Duration
5 h 55 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$230 - $950
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to Des Moines
Ave. Duration
1 h 20 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$330 - $1,100
United Airlines
Website
united.com
Flights from Milwaukee to Des Moines via Chicago O'Hare
Ave. Duration
3 h 34 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$170 - $850
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to Des Moines
Ave. Duration
1 h 23 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$290 - $1,400
Delta
Website
delta.com
Flights from Milwaukee to Des Moines via Minneapolis
Ave. Duration
4 h 26 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$150 - $800
Flights from Milwaukee to Des Moines via Detroit
Ave. Duration
4 h 49 min
When
Monday to Saturday
Estimated price
$170 - $850
Flights from Milwaukee to Des Moines via Atlanta
Ave. Duration
5 h 33 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$210 - $1,000
Southwest Airlines
Website
southwest.com
Flights from Milwaukee to Des Moines via St. Louis
Ave. Duration
3 h 25 min
When
Monday to Friday
Estimated price
$180 - $800
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 Milwaukee Intermodal Station to Chicago Union Station
Ave. Duration
1 h 29 min
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
$25
Website
amtrak.com
Coach Seat
$25
Train from Chicago Union Station to Ottumwa Amtrak
Ave. Duration
4 h 53 min
Frequency
Twice 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
Bus operators
Coach USA
Windstar
Phone
+1 888-494-6378
Email
sara@gowindstar.com
Website
gowindstar.com
Bus from Chicago, IL to Des Moines, IA
Ave. Duration
6 h 40 min
Frequency
Once daily
Schedules at
gowindstar.com
Burlington Trailways
Website
burlingtontrailways.com
Bus from Ottumwa, IA to Des Moines, IA
Ave. Duration
1 h 40 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$29 - $45
Schedules at
burlingtontrailways.com
Book at
burlingtontrailways.com
Bus from Dubuque, IA to Des Moines, IA
Ave. Duration
6 h 55 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$30 - $75
Schedules at
burlingtontrailways.com
Book at
burlingtontrailways.com
Lamers Bus Lines
Phone
+1 800-236-1240
Website
golamers.com
Bus from Milwaukee, WI to Madison, WI - Dutch Mill Park and Ride
Ave. Duration
1 h 25 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$19 - $24
Schedules at
golamers.com
Book at
webstore.golamers.com
Bus from Madison, WI – Dutchmill Park & Ride to Dubuque, IA
Ave. Duration
3 h
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$23 - $29
Schedules at
golamers.com
Book at
webstore.golamers.com

Want to know more about travelling around United States

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More Questions & Answers

Yes, the driving distance between Milwaukee to Des Moines is 375 miles. It takes approximately 6 h 6 min to drive from Milwaukee to Des Moines.

Get driving directions

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

Search flights

There are 107+ hotels available in Des Moines. Prices start at $75 USD per night.

More details

The best way to get from Milwaukee to Milwaukee Airport is to bus which takes 28 min and costs $3.

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