a flixbus in key west at the parking lot

FlixBus Key West: How to Get to and from the Mainland

What is FlixBus? 

FlixBus is a German brand that began with intercity bus travel in Europe. Much loved by backpackers and other travelers as a budget option to get from one city to the next cheaper than taking a plane or train.

I have found that it is possible to use the FlixBus service to get to and from Florida mainland airports Miami and Fort Lauderdale (MIA & FLL) down to the end of the road, as far as you can go in the Florida Keys, to Key West.

Where Does FlixBus Operate?

Since its humble beginnings in Europe, FlixBus has branched out into the United States, Brazil, and other places around the globe.

Their bright green buses are spread out on routes throughout the US and the European continent. Recently, FlixBus acquired another asset that you may be familiar with, Greyhound.

Is FlixBus Available in Florida?

Yes, FlixBus does operate in Florida and has a big presence in the state. You can get around to many cities on the mainland and even all the way down to the Florida Keys.

Lately, I have seen the neon green buses around Key West more often. So seeing FlixBuses down here naturally piqued my curiosity.

Is FlixBus Easy To Use?

Their goal is to offer convenient, affordable, and easy-to-use bus services. I found this true and used them before in Europe, making my way from Ljubljana, Slovenia, to Zagreb, Croatia.

FlixBus has an easy-to-use website and app to enter your city pairs and see dates and prices. Much cheaper than, say, a car rental, airplane, or even that old stalwart Greyhound and other bus options.

Book your FlixBus ticket!

FlixBus Comes to The Florida Keys.

I discovered that FlixBus has a connection from Key West to Fort Lauderdale and vice-versa, which also stops in Miami (in the city and at the airport) along the way. FlixBus started service to the Florida keys in mid-2021, connecting Key West, Marathon, Islamorada, and Key Largo with mainland locations.

flixbus views in the florida keys
Fred the tree as seen from the FlixBus in the Florida Keys.

Going anywhere from Key West is a proposition in itself and rather costly. Miami is nearly a four-hour drive depending on traffic conditions. Flights there can be two-three hundred dollars alone at times. Considering Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports for travel is a great difference and improves many options.

Can You Take a Day Trip from Miami to Key West by Bus?

Yes! You can visit Key West on a day trip from Miami by bus. Several companies provide this service, so check them out and see what works best for your situation. If you were to take a day trip from Miami to Key West by using FlixBus, you would have a schedule that looks like this.

  • Leave Miami Beach at 7:00 am, from Downtown Miami at 7:25 am, or from Miami airport at 7:45 am
  • Arrival into Key West is at 11:40 am
  • Depart Key West at 6:10 pm
  • Arrive at Miami airport 9:55 pm, Downtown Miami at 10:15 pm, and in Miami Beach at 10:45 pm
Book your FlixBus ticket now!

Riding the FlixBus to Miami

I booked a one-way $20 bus ticket from Key West to Miami airport to test out this service. Fares can be as low as $14.99 if done in advance. They advertise a lower price on the website, but I haven’t seen it. The lowest price I have seen is $14.99. Fares are dynamic, and the costs can fluctuate. I made my trip in a day and chose to fly back that evening.

To buy a FlixBus ticket, you need to use their mobile app. Once purchased, you’ll receive a barcode in the app and your email. Drivers do not sell tickets! So you can’t show up and buy a ticket with cash. Please, plan ahead and utilize the FlixBus App.

When our bus was trying to depart, a couple wanting to get to Marathon at the last moment was denied access for not having a barcode (valid ticket) to show.

What to expect onboard FlixBus

There is a luggage allowance for those with suitcases included with their ticket. You can carry a small bag with you on board, the same as the airlines or on a train.

The bus depot (parking lot) in Key West is next to the Old Town parking garage and Off The Hook restaurant on Caroline Street. Our departure time was 12:50, and FlixBus asks for you to be around 15 minutes ahead of time. This gives you ample time to buy bus snacks!

Bus snacks are always a good idea!

The driver will scan your barcode ticket, load your luggage, if needed, under the bus, and you hop on board. Sit wherever you like. I would pay attention to where the sun will be. Grab a seat with a view, as there are no shortages of stunning vistas along the way. The seats recline and have footrests. I found them to be comfortable even though they are somewhat small.

green flixbus ready to depart from key west
Passengers waiting to depart on FlixBus from Caroline street in Key West

There are power sockets on the bus to charge your electronic devices, but not at each seat, so look around or ask the driver for assistance.

Above your seat, there is an air vent and reading light. Wifi is available on the bus, and I found it to be good speed and reliable connection. A restroom is available on each bus as well, should the need arise. 

Enjoy your ride as you are whisked away. Relax, take in the view and let someone else do the driving.

FlixBus Routes Between Fort Lauderdale, Miami, & Key West

Currently, two buses are running, coming and going in each direction from Fort Lauderdale and Miami to Key West six days a week. Unfortunately, no buses run on Tuesdays, so plan accordingly. So kick back, relax, and get ready for paradise.

FlixBus route map showing stops between Fort Lauderdale and Key West
Florida Keys FlixBus Route from Fort Lauderdale to Key West

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Key West By FlixBus

Fort Lauderdale Airport departures to Key West are at 4:10 am and 11:35 am.

Miami Airport FlixBus to Key West

Miami Airport departures southbound are at 7:45 in the morning and again at 12:35 in the afternoon.

Southbound FlixBus Route & Timetable (Miami to Key West)

Miami BeachDtwn MiaMIA AirportKey LargoIslamoradaMarathonBig Pine Key West
7:00 am7:25 am7:45 am9:25 am9:50 am10:30 am10:55 am11:40 am
12:20 pm——–12:35 pm2:15 pm2:40 pm3:20 pm3:45 pm4:30 pm

Key West FlixBus Arrival Times

Buses arrive at Caroline Street in Key West at 11:35 am and 4:25 pm from Fort Lauderdale or Miami.

Florida Keys FlixBus Outbound Schedule

From Key West, if you are heading to Big Pine Key, Marathon, Islamorada, Key Largo, Homestead/Florida City, Miami Airport, Downtown Miami & Ft. Lauderdale Airport, Departures are at 12:50 pm and 6:10 pm.

Northbound FlixBus Route & Timetable (Key West to Miami)

Key WestBig PineMarathonIslamoradaKey LargoMIA AirportDtwn MiaMiami Beach
12:50 pm1:35 pm2:00 pm2:40 pm3:05 pm4:35 pm4:55 pm——–
6:10 pm6:55 pm7:20 pm8:00 pm8:25 pm9:55 pm10:15 pm10:45 pm

FlixBus Miami Airport Location

On arrival in Miami, from Key West, you are at the Amtrak area of the Intermodal Bus Station. One bus is scheduled to arrive at 4:35 pm and another at 9:55 pm. To your left, an elevator takes you up to the concourse building. From there, you can walk towards the rental car area and catch the people mover train into the terminals.

Downtown Miami Location

In Miami, FlixBus has a nonairport location at 401 Biscayne Blvd, a short walk from the Bayside Marketplace. A bus from Key West would arrive at 4:55 pm and again at 10:15 pm.

Arriving at Fort Lauderdale Airport from Key West

If you take the FlixBus from Key West to Fort Lauderdale, the arrival times are at 5:40 pm if on the earlier bus, and 12:20 am if on the last bus.

FlixBus Key West Location

On arrival in Key West, you are at the end of Caroline Street, a great location to hit up the Historic Seaport and nearby restaurants and bars. You aren’t far from Duval street and the rest of the island’s popular activities. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Key West.

onboard the flixbus to miami
Onboard the FlixBus to Miami. (Leaving Key West face)

FlixBus Florida Review

I’ll be using FlixBus more in the future. I like not having to be chained to the Key West Airport and depending on that for all of my travel needs. I always find great travel deals, many from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Another travel tool at my disposal.

Some people prefer the ease and like to fly direct down here. However, I have also seen many fly into Miami or Fort Lauderdale and rent a car to drive. It is a magical drive that should be done and seen at least once!

However, travelers can now come from those two Florida airports (FLL & MIA) and travel in comfort car-free down to the Florida Keys. Can you taste the Key Lime Pie already? Is this a viable option for your travel plans?

Get Your FlixBus Ticket Here

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How to use FlixBus in Key West and the Florida Keys

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Where to Stay in Key West

Florida, especially the Florida keys, has been extremely busy and crowded with visitors. If you need a place to stay, review hotels and locations that best suit your needs with the link below.
Find the Best Deals on Key West Hotels here.

Fun Key West Activities

Get Ready to Book Your Trip: Helpful Links and Resources

Book Your Flight
I use Skyscanner to find and research my airfare needs and to locate the best flight deals. It searches worldwide on many airlines to help you find the best options.

Book Your Stay
Booking.com is my go-to for finding a place to stay anywhere globally. An outstanding company that I trust and have used for many years. Find accommodation from budget to luxury in cities and countries around the world. If you happen to be backpacking and staying in hostels, I recommend Hostelworld to help you find a place to stay.

Get Travel Insurance
Travel is unpredictable. Anything could happen. A trip interruption, flight delay, lost or stolen items, or personal injury, having comprehensive trip insurance will protect you if anything goes wrong. SafetyWing is a solid choice for most travelers. If you are older, want to compare several plans, and to gather more information, look at InsureMyTrip.

Tours, Activities, and Things to Do
Viator (a TripAdvisor company) offers many excellent options to keep you busy wherever you may be. From walking and food tours to sunset cruises and more. Make sure to give them a look and add some fun-filled activities to your itinerary.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend companies and products that I use myself and believe in.