Travelers Guide To Getting Around San Diego

Bobby Dyer
Getting Around San Diego

Getting Around San Diego Fast and ComfortablyGetting Around San Diego Train

There is no doubt that San Diego is a beautiful city! Getting around San Diego can be another story. We have highlighted what you need to know so you can easily get around San Diego!

Many travelers wonder if they need a car when visiting San Diego. I always tell them it is not necessary unless you want to travel to some of the farther parts of the city! The city has decent public transportation. and it is nice that if you don’t rent a car, you will not need to waste time looking for parking.

The main areas most travelers visit are either the beaches, Downtown, or the neighboring regions around Balboa Park.  Here is a breakdown of the best tips so you can easily get around San Diego!


Downtown is a very walkable urban city. If you need a place to stay close to the airport or are in town for business, we recommend that you stay in Downtown. Scooters are one of the best ways to get around Downtown because you won’t need to search for parking. Download the app Uber or Lyft and you can find a scooter to buzz you along town.

If you need to head to the beaches, then you should consider taking a bus, using the trolley Line, or take an Uber. The trolley does not go to the beaches so a bus or Uber can be the most efficient way to travel.


Balboa Park Region (Hillcrest, North Park, South Park)

Staying in Hillcrest is a great idea because you are centrally located to pretty much everywhere in San Diego. You can grab a bus or Uber and be pretty much anywhere in under 30 minutes. One thing to note is that the trolley does not go to Hillcrest.

Hillcrest has many friendly bike paths and routes you can ride on that are safe. 5th and 6th Avenue are specifically designed with bike paths to take you to and from Downtown to Hillcrest.



Once you find yourself at the beach, you will never want to leave. San Diego has many beautiful beach communities and most of them offer scooters to get around. The trolley does not go to any of the beaches. To access the beaches via trolley, you must connect at Old Town Station and take a city bus to the specific beach you want to visit.

If you are looking for more exercise, rent a bike and cruise along one of the cities boardwalks! San Diego is a great city for riding bikes and you will find secret spots to catch a sunset!


What Are My Options For Getting Around San Diego?

Metro  Trolley

The San Diego trolley is a great way to get around San Diego. You can take the Trolley from Downtown right to the Tijuana Border. The main Trolley Station is at Old Town, which is centrally located in San Diego. The trolley costs $2.25 per ride and you can buy your ticket at the trolley stop. The Trolley runs until just after midnight each day.


Ride-Sharing Using Uber or Lyft

San Diego is a big city but everything is generally within a 20-minute drive. Depending on the time of day, you can find some cheap rides using carpooling. Plan ahead though if you are traveling during rush hours because fares can skyrocket. If you are coming from the airport, Uber is the best way to get to your destination.


City Bus


The Bus is one of the best ways to get around San Diego. You can ride the bus for $2.25 each ride. You can also get a day pass for $7 and ride all you want. Visit the Metro Bus Website to find the upcoming schedules.

Getting Around San Diego Bus


We all know about Uber and Lyft. An even better secret is to use “shared” rides on Uber or Lyft. It takes a little longer to get to your destination because you pick up other riders on the way, but you will save some money on the fair. It is always best to compare prices on the two apps because sometimes one can be dramatically cheaper!



If you need San Diego Directions, we recommend using Google Maps as the best resource to find not only driving directions, but you can also get public transit routes, bike, and walking directions!

Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.

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