Tucson Travel Guide

USA  #3 in Best Places to Visit in Arizona
Credit

Courtesy of David Sucsy/Getty Images

Getting Around Tucson

The best way to get around Tucson is by car. Although there are several public transportation options, you'll need your own wheels to reach top sites like Saguaro National Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Rental rates are reasonable, and there are rental stations in town and at the Tucson International Airport (TUS), which is located about 10 miles south of downtown.

Although you can choose to fly into the Tucson airport, you'll find that airfare to Phoenix is cheaper. You can choose to rent a car and drive the 120 miles or so  southeast along Interstate 10  to Tucson, or you can hop on the Arizona Shuttle, which will cost $41 to $45 each way, depending on when you book.

On Foot Although the city itself is too large to explore entirely on foot, Tucson's individual neighborhoods are very walkable. Plus, many of the more central districts are laid out on a grid, making them easy to navigate.
Car You'll quickly discover a car is the easiest way to explore Tucson. However, consider waiting until you get into town to rent one; airport rental agencies can add an extra 25 to 30 percent to rental fees. Central Tucson is easy to navigate thanks to its grid layout, but you'll need a map away from the downtown area. Parking is usually easy to come by and frequently free throughout the city.
Bus

Sun Tran provides bus service throughout the metropolitan area, but not to many of the top attractions or to the resorts in the Catalina Foothills district. Buses operate every day from around 6 a.m. to midnight. Single rides cost $1.75 for adults. Consider purchasing an unlimited day pass for $4 if you plan to use the bus a lot.

Streetcar 

The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar, which began service in 2014, connects five popular areas, including the University of Arizona, Fourth Avenue, Main Gate Square, downtown Tucson and the Mercado District. The 4-mile route has 19 stops and is within walking distance of more than 11,000 parking spaces. From Monday through Wednesday, the streetcar runs from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and until 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; on Sunday it offers service from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. One-way fares cost $1.75; 24-hour tickets can be purchased for $4.50.

Taxi

Taxis are available, but you should avoid using them if you want to save money. You'll have to call for a pick-up rather than simply flagging one down on the street because they're not incredibly popular in the city. The limited availability and steep price for taxis have driven many people to use ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft to find a ride.

Explore More of Tucson

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019