Travel to San Diego

Flying to San Diego

British Airways operates direct flights to San Diego from the UK. All the major US airlines fly to San Diego from other destinations within the USA. The cheapest fares are available if you travel outside busy periods such as school summer holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Flight times

From London - 11 hours 20 minutes; New York - 6 hours; Los Angeles - 50 minutes; Toronto - 5 hours 20 minutes; Sydney  - 17 hours (including stopover).

City Airports: 
Telephone:+1 619 400 2404

San Diego International Airport is located 3km (2 miles) northwest of San Diego, in southwest California.


ATMs are available throughout the terminal buildings. Bureaux de change facilities are located in Terminals 1 and 2 only.


A lost and found office (tel: +1 619 400 2140) is located in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2. Use of a luggage trolley costs US$4.

Travel by road


Traffic drives on the right. The minimum driving age is 16, with restrictions.

Southern California has an excellent network of interstate and state highways. Interstates are designated by an 'I' and a corresponding number. Speed limits on interstate highways vary from 96kph (60mph) to 112kph (70mph). Urban speed limits are generally 40-48kph (25-30mph). U-turns are legal in California, unless posted otherwise, as is turning right at stoplights. Children under the age of six years or less than 22kg (60lb) must be carried in a child restraint seat.

California does not require International Driving Permits. It accepts all foreign driving licences. Car insurance is mandatory.

The AAA (tel: +1 800 222 1134; can provide information on driving routes and online maps, and may offer reciprocal benefits to members of automobile clubs in other countries.

Emergency breakdown service:

AAA (+1 800 222 4357).


San Diego is California's most southern coastal metropolis. It is the hub of three major interstate highway systems: I-5 (running north-south from the US-Canada border to the US-Mexico border); I-15, which begins in San Diego and runs northeast to Las Vegas, Nevada; and I-8 East, which also begins in San Diego and connects with I-10 outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

San Diego also has an east-west corridor, which was designed to accommodate the increased rush-hour traffic to suburban areas east of San Diego. The four-lane State Route 56 (SR 56) highway, also called the Ted Williams Parkway, has helped ease much of the congestion on San Diego's main easterly corridor, the I-15.

The I-5 is the connecting artery for most of California's large cities. Los Angeles and San Francisco are both directly north of San Diego via I-5.

Driving times:

From Los Angeles - 2 hours 15 minutes; Las Vegas - 5 hours; San Francisco - 7 hours 30 minutes; Tijuana, Mexico - 30 minutes.


Greyhound (tel: +1 800 231 2222; operates buses to other US cities from its terminal at 1313 National Avenue.

Travel by rail


San Diego's railway station is Santa Fe Station, 1050 Kettner Boulevard, corner of Broadway. Facilities are limited, but the architecture (in Spanish Mission style) is magnificent.

Amtrak operates the Pacific Surfliner train service stopping at multiple stations along California's scenic west coast and offering multiple daily round-trip journeys between San Diego and Los Angeles, continuing to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.


Amtrak (tel: +1 800 872 7245; is the USA's national rail operator.

Journey times:

Los Angeles - 2 hours 45 minutes; San Luis Obispo - 8 hours 25 minutes.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.