How to Travel from Dallas to Houston by Bus, Car, and Plane

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As Texas’ biggest city, Houston is one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations. In addition to housing NASA's Space Center, the city is known for its impressive museums, sprawling parks, and diverse food scene. If you live in Dallas or just happen to be in the area, you can get to the city in about 3.5 hours, as Houston is conveniently 293 miles (472 kilometers) away. There are a few different ways to make the trip, making for a feasible weekend getaway.

There are a few bus line operators that offer direct and non-direct services from Dallas to Houston: FlixBus, Megabus, and Greyhound. Flying, too, can be quick and convenient (and relatively affordable, depending on when you book). There are three carriers that offer nonstop flights from Dallas to Houston, including American, United, and Southwest. Nonstop flights take just a little over an hour, and a round-trip ticket typically costs anywhere from $150 to $300. The drive from city to city is an easy, straight shot along I-45, as long as you’re not traveling during rush hour. 

How to Get From Dallas to Houston
  Time Cost Best For
Plane 1 hour, 15 minutes from $75 Arriving on a time crunch
Bus 3 hours, 40 minutes from $9 Traveling on a budget
Car 3 hours, 30 minutes 293 miles (472 kilometers) Exploring the local area

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

The bus is the most affordable mode of transportation—especially if you would need to rent a car in order to get from one city to the next. Not to mention, public transportation is the more eco-friendly option.

FlixBus operates a bus from downtown Dallas to downtown Houston every 3 hours, with one-way tickets ranging from $9 to $19. Greyhound, on the other hand, runs buses every 4 hours, and one-way tickets start at $30. Buses depart from the Greyhound station at 205 S Lamar Street.

Megabus offers two services a day. There are two Megabus pick-up stations: the DART East Transfer Center and 710 Davie Street, in Grand Prairie. The bus arrives at the south corner of 4th Street and Broadway in Dallas. One-way fares start at $20, while round-trip tickets typically range from $30 to $40.

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

The flight from Dallas to Houston is relatively painless in terms of time and ease; flight duration is just over an hour, though this does not account for the time it takes to get to and from the airport, check your bags, and go through security. Flying is usually the most expensive option, but this might be your preferred mode of transportation if you like to read or work in transit.

The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is massive, with five terminals and seven runways. The airport offers service from 27 passenger airlines; of these, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines offer nonstop flights to Houston, while Alaska Airlines and Spirit offer connecting flights (keep in mind that the Alaska connections tend to be long or overnight). One-way tickets start at $75, while an average round-trip ticket price usually hovers around $200. Depending on what time of year you book, you may be able to score a cheaper fare. Flight prices tend to drop in September and October. 

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

The journey by car from Dallas to Houston usually takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes, depending on traffic and stops. The trip is a straight shot south down I-45. To prevent being stuck in traffic, plan to avoid rush hour at either end of the day. Otherwise, it might take you an extra hour to get to your final destination.

What Is the Most Scenic Route to Houston?

If you're planning to drive and are in the mood for a road trip, there are a few good spots to stop along the way: namely, Collin Street Bakery in Collinsville, Old Fort Parker; Fort Parker State Park; and the quaint towns of Centerville and Corsicana.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

If you are flying into George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), pick up the METRO Bus 102, just outside baggage claim in Terminal C. The ride downtown takes between 50 to 90 minutes and costs $1.25 (have exact change with you).

For those flying into William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), you can take the METRO Bus 40 from Curb Zone 3 outside baggage claim. It's an hour-long ride to downtown.

What Is There to Do in Houston?

Though the city is best known for being the home of NASA’s Space Center, there’s much else to see and do in Houston. In addition to visiting the Space Center, check out some of the city’s best museums. If you’re traveling with kiddos in tow, the Children’s Museum is one of the best in the country, as is the Museum of Natural Science. Art fans will delight in the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Contemporary Art Museum. There’s a surprising amount of green space in Houston, as well, considering the tangle of freeways and acres of pavement the city’s known for. Make plans to spend time at Discovery Green, Buffalo Bayou Park, and Hermann Park. And no visit to Houston would be complete without sampling some of the city’s best restaurants (the food scene here is to die for), like La Lucha, The Original Ninfa’s, and Xochi.