San Diego: six reasons to visit
From craft beer to kayaking, and museums to Mexican cooking, here’s why every discerning traveller should head to sunny San Diego for some understated Californian fun.
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See the city on the sea
Flight time from London
11 hrs 5 mins
Cheapest return flight
Distance from London
Looking for a flight to San Diego? Or perhaps you’ve already booked and need some top tips and advice for what to expect on board and when you land? We’re here to help. If you’re planning on hitting the waves for surfing, want to head off on a road trip, or just fancy feeling the laid-back California vibes, when you book flights to San Diego with us, you can rest assured that you’ll arrive refreshed and ready.
Whether you’re booking a San Diego holiday, or flights to San Diego, you can look forward to great service every time you fly. Our cabin crew are always on hand to make certain that your flight experience is one to remember – with safety and service our top priorities, leaving you to sit back, relax and make your all-important last-minute plans for when you arrive.
With direct flights to San Diego from London Heathrow, you can be sure your journey will be as convenient and as straightforward as possible. No changing flights means less hassle, and a more relaxing start to your trip.
Read our San Diego travel guides for more inspiration on what to do once you arrive, from the city’s best dishes, to the places to visit.
San Diego’s climate is mild and sunny all year round, making it a population destination for visitors at all times whenever you’re looking to go. June, July and August are especially popular when millions of people visit – this can means higher fares. To find our cheapest flights to San Diego, try our lowest fare finder tool and grab yourself the best deal.
You’ll arrive in just over 11 hours. British Airways operates direct flights to San Diego: fly from London Heathrow (LHR) to San Diego International (SAN).
San Diego International Airport is just three miles northwest of the city. If you’re going to be exploring the local area, the best idea is to hire a car, it’ll make your transfer easy too. You can get a taxi from the airport to downtown San Diego for around $12-14 – there are plenty of cab companies you can pre-book, among them Yellow Radio, San Diego Dispatch and Orange Radio, all of which take credit cards on request.
You can book a shuttle bus service to the destination of your choice, which can be booked through us when you make your San Diego holiday reservation or book flights. Alternatively you can take a Citybus Public Transit, number 992, which runs every 15-30mins between 5am and 11:30pm. A one-way fare is just $2.25 and tickets can be purchased at MTS vending machines at both Terminals 1 and 2, or download the Compass Cloud ticketing app.
If you’re travelling on a British passport, there’s no need to get a visa in advance – but you do need to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before you travel. There is a $14 fee for registration and, once approved, your ESTA is valid for multiple journeys for two years or until your passport expires.
Which cabins can I book when I fly to San Diego?
Our economy cabins are great value for those looking for cheap flights to San Diego. You can select your seats in advance for an extra fee – the quieter seats are towards the front of the plane, while those directly above the wings reduce the intensity of turbulence. Alternatively, free seat selection is available 24 hours in advance* when online check-in opens.
With premium economy you can enjoy more legroom and a smaller, more private cabin.
*Free seat selection 24 hours in advance is not available if you are travelling on a hand baggage only (Basic) fare.
Choose to fly with hand baggage only or pick a price that includes a 23kg checked baggage allowance and free seat selection 24 hours before you fly. There are additional baggage allowances for those travelling in World Traveller Plus (two 23kg bags), Club World (two bags at 32kg each) and First (three bags at 32kg each). If you have any additional baggage requirements, just read our baggage guide for more information.
Where to stay
From large resorts by the sea to urban luxury in San Diego’s downtown, whatever type of hotel you prefer, whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, with the family or as a couple, our hotel guide will suggest the best sleep for you.
What to do
While you’re in San Diego, why not take to the road for a few days and make the most of its great location? Take the coastal highway all the way to San Francisco, or head to the mountains of Palomar, or the nearby desert of East County.California road trips
Things to do in San Diego
There are lots of reasons to visit San Diego, from the warm weather and warm welcome to the waterfront activities and cruises, amusement parks and great foodie scene – but if you’re in a need of a little inspiration here are six more reasons to visit.Six reasons to visit San Diego
Our hints and tips will make you feel like a San Diego local in no time
Tipping is customary in the USA, with bartenders, hotel staff and doormen usually expecting a dollar or two. In a cab or restaurant? An additional 15-20 per cent on top of the bill is the norm.
Hire a car or take cabs (there are several taxi apps and pre-book cab companies including the San Diego Cab Company and Orange Cab San Diego). There are also buses and rapid trains.
Hike the trail in Balboa Park where you can listen to a free outdoor concert, people watch on the three-mile boardwalk between Mission and Pacific beaches, or see art for free at the Museum of Modern Art San Diego, the third Thursday of every month.