Only 100 miles separate Savannah and Charleston, two of the most popular tourist destinations in the southeastern states, and visits to both can easily be combined into a single vacation.
As the journey between them can be made in a little over 2 hours, Charleston is also an ideal day trip out of Savannah, as is Savannah out of Charleston. The good transportation links between the cities make a visit in either direction possible in a single day even if you won’t have a car, either by train or a combination of train and bus or shuttle.
!The information below is correct as of August 2017, but please verify all details before planning your trip.
Small pets in carriers welcome, fee applies
Train travel is a good way to make a day trip to Charleston out of Savannah, with convenient morning departure and evening return times. The inverse, a day trip to Savannah out of Charleston, is also feasible if you don’t mind an extremely early start!
Amtrak provides direct train services between the two cities, with two trips in each direction daily. The journey takes around 1 hour 45 minutes (not including travel time to the respective stations), but please note that delays are possible.
Advance purchase internet-only fares start at around $22 each way ($44 round trip). The walk-up, single-trip fare is usually $28 ($56 round trip). Tickets can be bought at the station immediately prior to travel, or in advance through Amtrak.
Two trains, one morning and one evening, leave Savannah northbound for Charleston daily. The morning Palmetto service departs Savannah at 8:20am, arriving in North Charleston at 10am. The evening Silver Meteor service leaves Savannah at 7:31pm, arriving at North Charleston at 9:17pm.
Two trains, one early morning and one evening, leave Charleston for Savannah each day. The morning Silver Meteor service departs Charleston at 4:51am and arrives in Savannah at 6:34am. The evening Palmetto service leaves Charleston at 7:19pm, arriving in Savannah at 9:04pm.
Train travel between Savannah and Charleston is between the following locations:
Savannah Amtrak station at 2611 Seaboard Coastline Drive, 3 miles west of the Historic District. See location on map Taxi and limited bus services are available to and from the station. Read more about getting to Savannah’s train station
North Charleston Amtrak station at 4565 Gaynor Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405. Please note that this station is in the separate city of North Charleston, 9 miles north of historic downtown Charleston. Taxi and bus services are available to and from downtown. See on map
Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA)’s Route 10 service provides bus transport between the train station and downtown Charleston. Buses depart from adjacent Rivers Avenue, a couple hundred yards from the station, not from the station itself.
Buses run up to every 30 minutes on weekdays, 6am-12pm. A less frequent service operates on weekends, with shorter operating hours. Ride time to Charleston Visitor Center is around 35 minutes.
A taxi from the train station to downtown Charleston and vicinity will cost $20-$35 (including tip), depending on your destination. Travel time to the Visitor Center is 15-20 minutes.
No pets allowed, service animals only
The bus is a reasonably convenient and cost effective way to travel between Savannah and Charleston, but the scheduled journey times do not lend themselves to making a day trip (in either direction) by this means of transport.
Direct intercity bus services between Charleston and Savannah are available, with one trip in each direction daily. The journey takes around 2 hours 15 minutes or so, depending on the direction of travel.
Advance purchase tickets cost from $24 per person for a single trip ($48 for round trip travel), varying by a few dollars depending on the day of travel. The walk-up fare is around $35 for a single-trip ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the station on the day of travel, but you may prefer to make advance reservations if you need to travel on particular dates. Reservations can be made through either Greyhound, or its regional affiliate Southeastern Stages.
The bus can be more punctual and reliable than the train, and on the Savannah end of the trip the bus station is closer to downtown, but otherwise, unless you have a preference for bus travel, the train will usually be the better mass-transit option for this particular journey.
The single daily bus service from Savannah to Charleston leaves Savannah at 6:30am, arriving in North Charleston at 8:40am.
There is one daily bus service from Charleston to Savannah. The bus departs North Charleston at 2:30pm, arriving in Savannah at 4:55pm.
Bus travel between Savannah and Charleston is between the following locations:
Savannah Greyhound station at 610 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA 31401. Savannah’s bus station is right next to downtown, and easily reached by public transit, taxi, or even on foot. View location on map
North Charleston Greyhound station at 3610 Dorchester Road, North Charleston, SC 29405. Please note that this station is in the separate city of North Charleston, 8 miles north of historic downtown Charleston. Taxi and bus services are available to and from downtown. See on map
Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority’s Route 11 provides bus services between the bus station and downtown Charleston. Buses run every 40-45 minutes weekdays and Saturdays, from 6am-8pm (Saturdays 7am-8pm), and hourly on Sundays, 8am-7pm. Journey time to Charleston Visitor Center is around 30 minutes.
A taxi from the Greyhound station to downtown Charleston and vicinity will cost $18-$30 (including tip), depending on your destination. Travel time to the Visitor Center is around 15 minutes.
Shared-ride shuttle service between Savannah and Charleston is available, at prices comparable to making the trip by bus or train but with the added convenience of traveling directly between downtown Savannah and Charleston without the need to make your way to out-of-town bus or train stations. Reservations are usually required.
ACE Basin Express makes one trip in each direction between Savannah and Charleston on most days except Tuesday and Thursday (daily trips available for May 2017 only). Journey times are not currently suitable for day trip travel.
The shuttle departs Charleston at 9:30am, arriving in Savannah (Hutchinson Island, accessible from downtown by free ferry) at 11:30am. The Savannah to Charleston trip departs Savannah at 1:30pm, arriving in Charleston at 3:30pm. Adult fare is $35 each way ($70 round trip). Hotel pick-up at both ends is available for an additional fee.
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Pet policies vary, inquire directly
Regular metered taxi fare between Savannah and Charleston will be around $220 excluding gratuity. The fare may vary according to traffic at the time of travel.
Many companies also provide flat rate transport between the two cities, including Savannah Airport Shuttle ($150 Savannah airport to Charleston, contact directly for rates from downtown) and Savannah Yellow Cab (Savannah to Charleston $203, $180 with advance reservation).
If you have brought or rented a car for your vacation, driving is the cheapest and easiest way of traveling to Charleston from Savannah (or vice versa), but it offers little in the way of time savings.
In good traffic, the drive of just over 100 miles should take 2 hours or so. In morning and evening rush hour traffic, expect to spend 2 hours, 30 minutes or longer.
Parking in Charleston can be difficult, with many resident-permit-only areas downtown. One of the city’s several parking garages will usually be the easiest place to find a space. Fees are $1 per hour. Parking locations in Charleston