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There are 5 ways to get from San Diego to Santa Monica by train, bus, car or plane

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

Train  •  4h 3m

  1. Take the train from San Diego Santa Fe Depot to Los Angeles Union Station Pacific Surfliner

$35 - $47

Cheapest option

Bus, line 704 bus  •  4h 20m

  1. Take the bus from Santa Fe Depot to Downtown LA FlixBus
  2. Take the line 704 bus from Patsaouras Transit Plaza to Santa Monica / Lincoln 704

$9 - $14

3 alternative options

Bus, line 720 bus  •  4h 55m

  1. Take the bus from San Diego, Ca to Los Angeles, Ca 9480 / ...
  2. Take the line 720 bus from 7th / Decatur to 4th / Arizona 720

$20 - $30

Drive  •  2h 16m

  1. Drive from San Diego to Santa Monica 135.1 miles

$13 - $20

Fly, line 3 bus  •  3h 18m

  1. Fly from San Diego (SAN) to Los Angeles (LAX) SAN - LAX
  2. Take the line 3 bus from Aviation/Lax Station to 4Th Nb & Colorado Fs

$58 - $267

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Last updated: August 12 | Data sourced from: ACAPS, OXFORD

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from San Diego to Santa Monica is to bus and line 704 bus which costs $9 - $15 and takes 4h 20m.

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The quickest way to get from San Diego to Santa Monica is to drive which costs $13 - $20 and takes 2h 16m.

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No, there is no direct bus from San Diego to Santa Monica. However, there are services departing from Santa Fe Depot and arriving at Santa Monica / Lincoln via Patsaouras Transit Plaza. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 4h 20m.

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No, there is no direct train from San Diego to Santa Monica station. However, there are services departing from San Diego Santa Fe Depot and arriving at Downtown Santa Monica Station via Union Station - Metro Red & Purple Lines and 7th Street / Metro Center Station - Metro A Line. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 4h 3m.

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The distance between San Diego and Santa Monica is 119 miles. The road distance is 135.1 miles.

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The best way to get from San Diego to Santa Monica without a car is to train which takes 4h 3m and costs $35 - $50.

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It takes approximately 4h 3m to get from San Diego to Santa Monica, including transfers.

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San Diego to Santa Monica bus services, operated by Flixbus USA, depart from Santa Fe Depot station.

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San Diego to Santa Monica train services, operated by Amtrak, depart from San Diego Santa Fe Depot station.

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The best way to get from San Diego to Santa Monica is to train which takes 4h 3m and costs $35 - $50. Alternatively, you can bus and line 704 bus, which costs $9 - $15 and takes 4h 20m.

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Map of how to get from San Diego to Santa Monica.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 119 miles
  • Duration: 4h 3m

What companies run services between San Diego, CA, USA and Santa Monica, CA, USA?

Amtrak operates a train from San Diego Santa Fe Depot to Los Angeles Union Station hourly. Tickets cost $30 - $45 and the journey takes 2h 59m. Alternatively, you can take a bus from San Diego to Santa Monica via Downtown LA and Patsaouras Transit Plaza in around 4h 20m.

Airlines
American Airlines
Website
aa.com
Flights from San Diego to Los Angeles
Ave. Duration
53 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$45 - $220
United Airlines
Website
united.com
Flights from San Diego to Los Angeles
Ave. Duration
1h 2m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$80 - $410
Delta
Website
delta.com
Flights from San Diego to Los Angeles
Ave. Duration
1h 8m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$14 - $190
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 San Diego Santa Fe Depot to Los Angeles Union Station
Ave. Duration
2h 59m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$30 - $45
Website
amtrak.com
Coach Seat
$30 - $45
Premium
$190 - $270
Flexi Coach Seat
$45 - $75
Business Seat
$45 - $70
Bus operators
Flixbus USA
Phone
(855) 626-8585
Website
flixbus.com
Bus from Santa Fe Depot to Downtown LA
Ave. Duration
2h 35m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$8 - $12
Schedules at
flixbus.com
Metro Los Angeles
Website
metro.net
Bus from Patsaouras Transit Plaza to Santa Monica / Lincoln
Ave. Duration
1h 27m
Frequency
Every 30 minutes
Estimated price
$1 - $3
Website
Metro Los Angeles
Bus from 7th / Decatur to 4th / Arizona
Ave. Duration
1h 9m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$1 - $3
Website
Metro Los Angeles
Greyhound USA

Greyhound is a leading bus company based in Dallas, Texas, serving over 3800 destinations across North America, Mexico and Canada. Greyhound carries around 18 million passengers a year who travel 5.4 billion miles (8.6 billion km) a year on their fleet of around 1700 vehicles. For travel flexibility, you can board or get off a Greyhound bus at official Greyhound stations, partner stations and curbside stops. There are around 230 Greyhound stations across the US where you can both catch your bus and buy tickets, that are also available on the official website and via the mobile app.

Rome2rio's guide to Greyhound USA
Contact Details
Phone
+1 214-849-8100/1-800-231-2222
Email
ifsr@greyhound.com
Website
greyhound.com
Bus from San Diego, Ca to Los Angeles, Ca
Ave. Duration
3h 20m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$19 - $27
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$19 - $27
Flexible
$35 - $55
Big Blue Bus
Phone
+1 310-451-5444
Website
bigbluebus.com
Bus from Aviation/Lax Station to 4Th Nb & Colorado Fs
Ave. Duration
56 min
Frequency
Every 20 minutes
Estimated price
$2
Schedules at
bigbluebus.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

The quickest flight from San Diego Airport to Los Angeles Airport is the direct flight which takes 47 min.

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San Diego to Santa Monica bus services, operated by Metro Los Angeles, arrive at Santa Monica / Lincoln station.

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San Diego to Santa Monica train services, operated by Amtrak, arrive at Los Angeles Union Station.

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Yes, the driving distance between San Diego to Santa Monica is 135 miles. It takes approximately 2h 16m to drive from San Diego to Santa Monica.

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Delta, United Airlines and American Airlines offer flights from San Diego Airport to Los Angeles Airport.

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There are 1250+ hotels available in Santa Monica. Prices start at $100 USD per night.

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The best way to get from San Diego to San Diego Airport is to line 992 bus which takes 14 min and costs $2 - $5.

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