How to Travel from Dallas to Austin by Train, Bus, Car, and Plane

TripSavvy / Julie Bang

Austin is easily one of America’s most exciting cities, with its lively music and arts scene, vibrant culinary streak, lush natural scenery, and still-quirky-after-all-these-years soul. Luckily for those living in or traveling to Dallas, the capital city is located about 195 miles south (or 314 kilometers). And, there are multiple ways you can choose to make the trip: via car, plane, bus, or Amtrak.

Greyhound, Grupo Senda, and Megabus all offer regular bus routes that aren’t much longer than a car ride. If you prefer to fly, several different airlines serve nonstop and connecting flights from Dallas to Austin. Conveniently, flight time is an hour, and round-trip ticket prices tend to be fairly cheap (typically between $150 and $250). Amtrak also offers a daily service between Dallas and Austin, on the Texas Eagle.  

How to Get From Dallas to Austin
  Time Cost Best For
Train 6 hours, 32 minutes from $35 Slow travel
Plane 59 minutes from $100 Arriving on a time crunch
Bus 3 hours, 5 minutes from $19 Eco-friendly travel 
Car 3 hours 195 miles (314 kilometers) Exploring the local area

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Dallas to Austin?

Driving is usually the cheapest option, and the most convenient in terms of having access to a vehicle during your stay in Austin. It’s smooth sailing along I-35—as long as you’re not traveling during rush hour, which can be a nightmare, especially when getting into Austin. For your own sanity (and to prevent tacking on substantial time to your trip), don’t drive during rush hour at the beginning or end of the day. 

The journey from city to city usually takes around 3 hours, depending on traffic and the number of stops you make. If you have time to spare and want to make a road trip out of it, consider stopping for lunch in Waco, which has recently seen an uptick in cool restaurants, cafés, and bars thanks to the Fixer Upper effect. Tour Magnolia Market, stroll around the picturesque downtown, pose for pictures on the historic Suspension Bridge, and, for a hefty dose of that famous Texan pride, pay a visit to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Dallas to Austin?

You’ll be in the air for so little time, you’ll barely have time to go to the bathroom: The flight from Dallas to Austin is a quick, seamless 59 minutes. This doesn’t include the time it takes to travel to the airport and go through security, but it’s still a quick, dependably smooth process. For those that prefer the convenience and time-effectiveness of flying, this can be a great option. 

The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is huge (it has five terminals and is served by 27 passenger airlines), so you’ll want to give yourself enough time to get through the airport and find your gate. American, United, and Southwest have nonstop and connecting flights to and from Austin, with American offering several flights per day. Alaska and Spirit also provide connecting flights between the two cities, albeit with long layovers. Across the board, one-way fares typically start at around $100, while a round-trip ticket costs approximately $200 or more. You might be able to find a cheaper fare, depending on the time of year that you book.

How Long Is the Train Ride?

Taking the train involves a longer journey than any other form of transit: At approximately 6.5 hours, this is double the amount of time you’d spend in the bus or car. However, for those who like to take things slow and enjoy the ride, this can be an enjoyable way to travel from Dallas to Austin.

Amtrak operates a train from Dallas to Austin once per day. The Dallas station (Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station) is located at 400 South Houston Street. One-way tickets tend to range anywhere from $35 to $55.

Is There a Bus That Goes From Dallas to Austin?

Want to kick back and relax while you travel between Dallas and Austin? Taking the bus is an easy, convenient way to get between both cities, and it’s a more eco-friendly alternative than driving or flying. Megabus and Greyhound offer regular routes between Dallas and Austin, with Greyhound operating buses every hour and Megabus operating four buses per day. One-way fares for Greyhound range from $25 to $40, while Megabus fares range from $19 to $30. The trip takes a little over 3 hours on the Greyhound, and 3.5 hours on the Megabus.   

In Dallas, the Greyhound buses depart from the Greyhound station at 205 S Lamar Street. There are a couple different Megabus pick-up stations when traveling from Dallas to Austin: the DART East Transfer Center at 330 North Olive Street, or 710 Davie Street, in Grand Prairie. The bus arrives in downtown Austin, at 1500 San Jacinto Blvd.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

The Capital Metro operates a bus from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to downtown Austin. Take Route 20, which runs every 15 minutes and will get you there in about 35 minutes.

Taxis and ride-hailing services like Lyft, Uber, and Wingz are also available.

Austin skyline

Getty Images

What Is There to Do in Austin?

There’s never a shortage of good times or things to see in Austin. Easy-breezy, laid-back, and unfailingly cool, the state's capital feels like a big-hearted small town in all the best possible ways—despite being one of the fastest growing cities in America. Of course, it’s not a trip to the "Live Music Capital of the World" without seeing some awesome music performances. Check out The Elephant Room for jazz, the Skylark Lounge for blues, the Continental Club for classic country acts, and any number of East Side bars for punk, rock, and other funky, contemporary live acts. 

Apart from seeing music, locals like to get outside. For natural, beautiful scenery, go for a hike along the Greenbelt, take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, kayak on Lady Bird Lake, and catch a sunset atop Mount Bonnell. Then, make plenty of time for culinary adventures; you can’t leave town without sampling at least five different taco trucks and BBQ restaurants.