Getting from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale

by Cristina on December 19, 2011

by Cristina | December 19th, 2011  

For most travelers, Orlando is synonymous with Walt Disney World and its fairy-tale land. But the city of Orlando is also home to lovely gardens and excellent museums.

Right on the Atlantic Coast , you’ll find the Venice of America, or Fort Lauderdale . Famous for the beaches and yachts, the small city also offers good restaurants, shopping and entertainment options.

Regardless of why you travel between Orland and Fort Lauderdale, to plan your budget and time, you need to know what means of transportation are available , the cost and how much time the traveling takes.

Quick overview

Whether you choose to travel by bus or train, the fares are similar (from US$36* one way) and the travel times don’t differ too much, either. Flying is faster, but it’s also more expensive.

Orlando (airport code: MCO) to Fort Lauderdale by plane

Orlando is served by two airports:

  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) , which is located 6 miles from the central business district, and it’s where most of the travelers arrive. It is the second busiest airport in Florida. It is a hub for AirTran Airways and a focus city for both Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways.
  • Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB) offers more international flights from the UK than MCO. It is focus city for Allegiant Air and Direct Air. It doesn’t offer any flights to/from Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is located 3 miles from the central business district and is focus city for Allegiant Air, JetBlue Airways, and Caribbean Airlines. It is the largest base for Spirit Airlines and a hub for Continental Connection and Lynx Air International.

Flights between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale are operated by Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines. The flight time is an hour. Regardless of when you fly in 2012, expect to pay from US$62 per person, one way on Spirit Airlines.

>>read more about Flights to Florida

Orlando to Fort Lauderdale by train

Amtrack offers a direct connection between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. The Silver Star leaves Orlando at 10:31 a.m. and arrives in Fort Lauderdale 6 h 41 min later. The ticket costs $37 one way. The Silver Meteor leaves Orlando at 1:10 p.m. and arrives in Fort Lauderdale about 5 hours later. The ticket costs $49 one way.

On the way back, catch the Silver Meteor from Fort Lauderdale at 9 a.m. and the Silver Star at 12:30 p.m. The same fares mentioned above apply.

Orlando to Fort Lauderdale by bus

Greyhound offers 8 buses a day between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. The first bus leaves Orlando at 2:15 a.m. and the last one at 10 p.m. The travel time is between 4 h 15 min and 10h 40 min. The advanced purchase fare is $36.00 one way and the web only fare is $39.00 one way.

On the way back, catch the first bus from Fort Lauderdale at 12:45 a.m. and the last one at 9:45 p.m. The same fares apply.

You can also choose a shuttle bus between the two cities. There are plenty of companies offering such services and the fares range from $25 to $75 , depending on the type of bus and services offered.

>>read more about Bus travel in Florida

Orlando to Fort Lauderdale by car

You can rent a car and drive between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. No matter which route you choose, the travel time is about 3h 40 min. On I-95 S, most of the route is along the coast, so you’ll be rewarded with some lovely views.


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Note: *at the time the article was written

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