Transportation between Washington, D.C. and Dulles Airport | Free Tours by Foot (2023)

This post compares the different ways of reaching Washington, DC from Dulles Airport.

Though it's not as convenient as DCA/National (Reagan) or Baltimore Washington (BWI) there are still many easy ways to travel from Dulles into the city.

We have ordered the options from cheapest to most expensive with some analysis of each option to help you choose which one is best for you.

  • DC Metro Bus
  • DC Metro Rail
  • Shuttle Service
  • Taxi / Uber / Car Service
  • Rental Cars
  • Dulles Layovers
  • Luggage Storage at Dulles

Since you are coming to the nation's capital, try one of our walking toursand make sure you know the things to do in DC.

DC METRO BUS TO AND FROM DULLES

Metrobus offers service between Dulles Airport and downtown D.C on the 5A.

Prices:

  • SmartTrip cards and cash | $7.50
  • Seniors and people with disabilities: $3.75

This bus makes 3 stops:

  • Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride (map): just 6 minutes by bus from the airport and used for regional suburban buses.
  • Rosslyn Metro Station stop (map): the best stop for hotels in Arlington and Alexandria VA as well as Georgetown
  • L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station, 7th St. and D St, SW (map): downtown DC
Transportation between Washington, D.C. and Dulles Airport | Free Tours by Foot (1)


Bus departure times vary between every 30 minutes and every hour depending on the day.

The length of the trip is roughly 50 minutes unless you are traveling during rush hour, which could add 15-30 minutes to your trip.

The first bus from Dulles (weekdays) leaves at 6:30 am with the last bus leaving at 11:35 pm. On weekends, the first bus is 6:35 am and the last bus is 11:35 (Saturday) or 11:25 (Sunday).

If you are heading to Dulles Airport from downtown DC on weekdays, the first bus departs L'Enfant Plaza at 5:30 am before stopping at Rosslyn at 5:44 am.

The last departure from L'Enfant Plaza is10:30 pm with a stop at Rosslyn 15 minutes later.

On weekends, the first departure from L'Enfant Plaza is 5:30 am (both Saturday & Sunday) with a stop at Rosslyn 15 min later. The last weekend departure is 10:30 pm (Saturday) and 10:15 pm (Sunday).

(Video) Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) – Arrivals, Ground Transport and Metro trains Guide

Check out DC Metro Bus's official schedule for further details.

Pros: Cheapest mode of travel. No transfers needed to get to downtown DC.

Cons: Not the best choice during rush hour.

DC METRO RAIL TO AND FROM DULLES (almost)

The Silver Line Metro will eventually extend all the way out to Dulles Airport, connecting Arlington, VA with downtown DC. Currently, the closest it gets as of writing is Wiehle-Reston East (map).

The good news is that Wiehle-Reston East station is only a 10-minute bus ride from Dulles. Buses depart to and from the airport every 15-20 minutes and stop on the arrivals level at door 4.

From Wiehle-Reston East, you can take Metro Rail to anywhere in the city.

The Silver Line makes stops in Tyson's Corner, McLean, and several other Virginia suburban MetroRail stations before entering into downtown Washington DC.

However, because of the transfer, this may not be the best option if you have a lot of luggage.

Be sure to read our post on how to ride MetroRail.

Transportation between Washington, D.C. and Dulles Airport | Free Tours by Foot (2)

The fare from the airport to the station is $5 per person and free for children under 2.

SmarTrip card is NOT accepted so you must purchase your ticket with a credit card or cash from the counter located inside Arrival Door 4 in the Terminal on the Baggage Claim Level.

The MetroRail fare from Wiehle-Reston East will cost up to an additional $5.90 to get to downtown DC, cheaper if you are stopping in Virginia.

It takes approximately 45 minutes to get to downtown DC from Wiehle-Reston. Expect to spend between 60 - 90 minutes traveling.

Pros:Low cost and isn't affected by traffic, particularly during rush hour.

Cons: Not a great option if you have lots of luggage, as you will be transferring from the bus to rail (and possibly again between rail lines).

(Video) Washington DC Dulles International Airport and Terminal Connection Train walking tour | IAD Airport

SHUTTLE SERVICE TO AND FROM DULLES

There are a number of companies offering van service from Dulles Airport to points in and around Washington, DC.

Most are shared services, so how long your journey will take will be dependent on the order of passenger destinations.

Some offer direct service for an additional fee.

GO Airport Shuttle

GO Airport Shuttle offers 24/7 airport pick up and drop off with private cars and shared vans - you can even get a limousine!

With upfront pricing, you'll know how much your trip will be when you book. You can also request a car seat or a kennel.

Pros: Door to door service. Good choice for those with luggage or want direct service for a lower cost. Offers car seat or kennel if traveling with children and pets.

Cons: Can take a lot of time depending on traffic and how many others in the van get dropped off before you.

Transportation between Washington, D.C. and Dulles Airport | Free Tours by Foot (3)

Super Shuttle

Super Shuttle offers rides from airports around the world.

It’s difficult to say for sure what the fare will be, as it depends on where you are going to and how many people are in your party.

On their website, fares into the city start at $19 for the first passenger and $10 for each additional passenger, so the total cost depends on the number in your party.

To get a better idea, you can use their fare estimator. They also offer direct express service (1-3 people) for $60. This is a private vehicle for you and your family.

Pros: Door to door service. Good choice for those with luggage or want direct service for a lower cost.

Cons: Can take a lot of time depending on traffic and how many others in the van get dropped off before you.

TIP: If you are alone, then you might consider Viator, which offers single passenger tickets for Super Shuttle for $25, but additional passengers have no discount. The service has been fluctuating due to COVID so make sure to check their website for updated information.

TAXIS, RIDE SHARES, AND CAR SERVICES TO AND FROM DULLES

Whether you prefer traditional taxi services or an Uber or Lyft ride, there are multiple car services you can find to and from the airport.

(Video) ARRIVING AT WASHINGTON D. C. DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT(IAD) TRAVEL JOURNEY |Part 2|NORMA CORNEJO

Taxis

Washington Flyer Taxi operates exclusively out of Dulles International Airport.

There are no reservations required and taxis are available 24/7 every day of the year.

Rates into the district are calculated by a meter, and you should expect to pay between $60 – $80 for most destinations in and around downtown DC, making this one of the more expensive options.

Their website has a map estimating fares in the area. Payment is easy as Washington Flyer Taxi accepts cash, credit cards, and airline vouchers.

To find the taxis, follow signs towards Ground Transportation to Doors 2 or 6, where you can find a representative 24 hours a day.

Pros: Fastest and most convenient.

Cons: One of the most expensive options (if you are traveling solo)

TIP: If you are traveling solo, ask other waiting taxi passengers to share a cab.

UBER / Lyft

Uber and Lyft are taxi alternatives which provide rides on demand through an app.

It’s cashless so the ride is automatically charged to the card on file in the app, which is convenient especially when you’re trying to wrangle luggage.

There are many options within the app, uberX is the basic option, but they also have uberXL if your group is large or you have many bags. UberBLACK which has high-end luxury sedans.

Generally, Uber works out cheaper than a taxi, uberX into the city is estimated to be between $35-$55 (you can check an estimate for your specific trip here).

For more information on Uber, you can see our post here.

Pros: Convenient app, different options to suit you

Cons: Not a good option at rush hour

TIP: Looking for a ride? Download the Lyft App and use Promo Code DCBFRIDES for $10 OFF your first ride with Lyft.

(Video) Silver Line Express bus to take commuters to and from Dulles Airport

Car Service

If you are looking for peace of mind that you will be picked up from the airport on time and taken to your destination in a timely manner, DCAcar car service is an excellent choice.

You can make the reservation ahead of time and give the company your flight information so they know whether you’ll be early or late.

At Dulles, your driver will meet you at baggage claim and help you with your luggage.

You can get a rate estimation and make a booking with this highly-rated car service company here.

Pros: Luxury personalized service

Cons: Costly - but DCByFoot guests get a 5% discount by using the promo code: dcbyfoot

RENTAL CARS

Most of the major car rental companies operate out of Dulles Airport.

This is a great option if you are traveling withchildren who require car seats, which can make using taxis or public transport challenging.

It also gives you the freedom to visit many sites around DC which are a little more difficult to reach by public transport, such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon (see our guide to Mount Vernon here), or even a day trip to Gettysburg.

You can use rentalcars.com to compare prices.

Pros: Gives you freedom in yourtrip, great if you have young children

Cons: Navigation and parking can be difficult and expensive in downtown DC

LAYOVERS AT DULLES

Since Dulles is not as convenient to Washington DC as DCA, you'll need a pretty long layover to make it worth your while to come into DC.

Even if you take the fastest form of transport, you should still budget an hour to and from downtown DC from Dulles, potentially more if during rush hour, plus time to check back in.

If you're short on time, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum has an annex called Udvar-Hazy just outside the airport. It is one of our favorite museums!

(Video) Best Bus Tours in DC | DC Bus Tours Reviews

Read more about what to do and how to get there.

If you have a good chunkof time, check out our DC in Day post about how to get the most out of your visit.

RELATED POSTS:

  • Things to Do in Washington DC
  • Where to Store Your Luggage
  • Tourist Attraction Discount Passes

FAQs

Does DC have free public transportation? ›

Riding the Bus in Washington, D.C.

There are two main bus options to travel around the city: DC Circulator: The DC Circulator provides free, frequent service around the National Mall, between Union Station and Georgetown, and between the Convention Center and the National Mall.

How do I get from Dulles airport to Washington DC? ›

There are two modes of transportation from Dulles airport to Washington DC; taxi or train. The cheapest option is to take the metro, however, this isn't direct. You will need to take the Silver Line Express bus to Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station first, and then take the metro into downtown DC.

Does the DC metro connect to Dulles? ›

Located on airport property, Dulles Station connects the Metrorail system to Washington Dulles International Airport for the first time.

How do I get to Dulles airport without a car? ›

Silver Line Metro + Express Bus to Dulles: good for low budget and savvy travelers who don't mind transiting rail-to-bus.
  1. Private car service. ...
  2. Taxi/Uber/Lyft. ...
  3. Shared Shuttle. ...
  4. DC Metro Bus 5A. ...
  5. Silver Line Metro + Express Bus to Dulles.
5 Jan 2020

How much does Uber cost from Dulles to Washington DC? ›

Fare Info
Initial charge$3.25
Metered fare$60.90
Airport Fee$4.00
Total$68.15

Is there a free trolley in Washington DC? ›

DC Streetcar runs free, daily trips along the H Street NE Corridor and Benning Road from Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue.

What is the best way to get around Washington DC as a tourist? ›

Getting Around Washington DC
  1. Climb Aboard the Old Town Trolley. ...
  2. Catch the Metrorail. ...
  3. Ride the Metrobus. ...
  4. Try the DC Circulator. ...
  5. Hop on the Georgetown Metro Connection. ...
  6. Rent a Bike or Take Segway Tour. ...
  7. Call a Cab or Use Ride Sharing Apps.

How do you pay for public transportation in Washington DC? ›

SmarTrip® cards are used to pay fares on both Metrorail and Metrobus. Metrorail fares are variable depending on time-of-day and distance traveled. Regular (non-express) bus fares are the same throughout the system. Metrobus also accepts bills and coins.

Does the Metro train go to Dulles airport? ›

The Silver Line Metro will eventually extend all the way out to Dulles Airport, connecting Arlington, VA with downtown DC. Currently, the closest it gets as of writing is Wiehle-Reston East (map). The good news is that Wiehle-Reston East station is only a 10-minute bus ride from Dulles.

How do I pay my Silver Line Express? ›

Silver Line Express Bus Information:

$5.00 each way. Cash or credit card only. SmartTrip Cards NOT accepted. FREE for children under 2 years of age.

How much is the 5A bus to Dulles? ›

Check out the 5A bus timetable here.

The fare is $7.50 for this express service, payable by SmarTrip or cash.

Is the Silver Line running to Dulles? ›

The Silver Line extension will run west and northwest from Fairfax County into Loudoun County. It will start from the current end-of-the-line station, Wiehle-Reston East, and will travel through Reston and Herndon to Dulles International Airport and beyond.

Is there a shuttle between DCA and IAD? ›

Airport Shuttle and Bus Services

Connect offers airport car service to and from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI).

How early should I get to Dulles airport? ›

In general, arrive at the airport 1 ½ to 2 hours (domestic flight) or 2 ½ to 3 hours (international flight) prior to flight time. photo identification and an airline boarding pass.

Does Uber go to Dulles airport? ›

The Uber app is available to travelers heading to Dulles International Airport. Based on the operating agreement with the airport, riders can be dropped off on the Departures level. If you'd like to receive a trip request afterward, you'll need to keep the driver app open and online to maintain your place in the queue.

Does Dulles have a shuttle? ›

GO The Airport Shuttle offers airport transportation at Dulles International Airport to/from homes, offices, hotels and conference centers in the Washington DC and Baltimore areas. We provide a ride airport shuttle, private van service or sedan service to IAD.

Can Uber pick me up at Dulles airport? ›

Top questions from riders

Do Uber driver-partners pick up at IAD? Yes. Tap here for a list of airports around the world where you can request a ride with Uber.

How much is Dulles airport shuttle? ›

Dulles Airport Shuttle from $33 [updated 2021]

Does LYFT go to Dulles airport? ›

Lyft is available at the following airports in Washington, D.C.: Dulles International Airport | IAD. Ronald Reagan Airport | DCA.

How do I get from the airport to downtown DC? ›

The D.C. metro bus provides bus services from Dulles International Airport to downtown D.C. The price is around 7.50 USD per person and the exact change must be rendered. The travel time is roughly around 50 minutes depending on the time of day and the traffic.

Is the DC streetcar still free? ›

How much does it cost to ride the streetcar? DC Streetcar is free to ride.

How easy is it to get around Washington DC without a car? ›

Can I Get Around Washington, DC Without a Car? Its easy to get around Washington, D.C. without a car. The Metro is most common way to get around the city, but tourist should also be aware of the D.C. Circulator Bus, Hop On Trolley and Express Bus Routes to Dulles and BWI.

Can you walk everywhere in Washington DC? ›

While you might not be able to walk everywhere in Washington on foot, you probably won't need a car, especially in the center where most Washington DC tours take place. Washington is a relatively small city, and unlike many American urban centers, its public transportation system is pretty robust.

Can you tour Washington DC without a car? ›

If you're planning a trip to Washington, D.C., forget the hassle of renting a car — you won't need one to see the sites. Public transportation in the United States capital makes it easy to get around to see the highlights.

How many days should you spend in Washington DC? ›

How Many Days to Spend in DC? Ideally, you'd come to Washington DC for a whole week or more! If that isn't feasible, we suggest that you need at least 3 days in Washington DC. There is enough here to fill up your days with attractions, museums, tours, as well as great food, music, and art.

Is it easy to walk around Washington DC? ›

One of the great things about a relatively compact capital city is the ease of walking that it offers to visitors, even those unaccustomed to much foot traffic.

Do DC buses take cash? ›

Cash – Circulator accepts coins and dollar bills in exact change only. The driver does not carry cash to make change. Simply place your fare in the farebox located near the driver.

How much does it cost to take the subway in Washington DC? ›

Metro fares are calculated by how many stops you travel and vary during peak and off-peak hours. During peak hours, most fares range from $2.25 to $6 per trip. During off-peak hours, fares typically range from $1.85 to $3.85. Metro riders must pay via SmarTrip card or the SmarTrip app on iPhone and Apple Watch.

How much is Dulles airport shuttle? ›

Dulles Airport Shuttle from $33 [updated 2021]

Does Dulles airport have shuttle service? ›

GO The Airport Shuttle offers airport transportation at Dulles International Airport to/from homes, offices, hotels and conference centers in the Washington DC and Baltimore areas. We provide a ride airport shuttle, private van service or sedan service to IAD.

Which shuttle is at Dulles? ›

The Space Shuttle Discovery was flown to Dulles atop a modified NASA 747 on April 17, 2012. It was delivered to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum two days later.

Does Uber pick up at Dulles airport? ›

At Washington Dulles International Airport, we want you to have a great experience and now that includes a dedicated pick up curb for Uber, Lyft and ALTO. Passengers will no longer have to search for their app-based ride on a crowded curb of privately owned vehicles.

How much is the 5A bus to Dulles? ›

Check out the 5A bus timetable here.

The fare is $7.50 for this express service, payable by SmarTrip or cash.

Does DCA have a shuttle service? ›

We provide airport shuttle service to Ronald Reagan National Airport and all other Washington DC airports including Dulles and BWI. Our DCA airport transportation includes airport shuttle, private van, or sedan service. To locate GO The Airport Shuttle at Ronald Reagan National Airport, just walk outside.

Are there shuttles from DCA to IAD? ›

Airport Shuttle and Bus Services

Connect offers airport car service to and from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). Traveling doesn't have to be stressful!

Is there a metro from DCA to IAD? ›

There is no direct connection from Reagan Washington Airport (DCA) to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD).

Did SuperShuttle go out of business? ›

We have continued to improve our technology and operations to stay up to date. These changes allow us to remain in business while SuperShuttle closes its doors.

Where does LYFT pick up at Dulles? ›

You can view your place in line in the app.

Pickups: Terminal 1: Pick up passengers in the designated areas on the second curb, in front of the terminal on Aviation Circle. Terminal 2: Pick up passengers on the lower level in the designated areas on the second curb by doors 6, 7, and 8.

Where is the shuttle Discovery now? ›

The space shuttle Discovery is the centerpiece of the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.

Where is the shuttle Enterprise? ›

Enterprise was the first space shuttle orbiter ever built. It was used a test vehicle and did not fly in space. In 2012, Discovery took its final flight to the Udvar-Hazy Center. Enterprise is now on display at the the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.

Where are all the shuttles located? ›

Udvar-Hazy Center, Washington DC (replacing Enterprise) Space Shuttle Atlantis -- Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Space Shuttle Endeavour -- California Science Center, Los Angeles, California. Space Shuttle Enterprise --Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York.

Where do you catch Uber at Dulles? ›

On the baggage claim level, exit the down ramp from doors 2, 4, or 6 and follow signs for Ride App Pickup.

How do I get from the airport to downtown DC? ›

The D.C. metro bus provides bus services from Dulles International Airport to downtown D.C. The price is around 7.50 USD per person and the exact change must be rendered. The travel time is roughly around 50 minutes depending on the time of day and the traffic.

Where do I pick up at Dulles? ›

Picking Up Passengers at the Arrivals Level

Drivers and passengers should agree on meeting at a specific Arrival Door, numbered 1-7, on the Arrivals Level. Drivers approaching the Terminal should follow the airport signs for Arrivals on the roadway.

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