How To Get From LAX To Universal Studios Hollywood

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If you’re travelling to Universal Studios Hollywood via plane, then it’s highly likely you’ll fly into LAX (Los Angeles International Airport).

The best way to get from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood is in a Lyft or Uber as it’s direct this costs between $40 – $60. However, if you’re on a budget and have time to spare you may want to consider public transport instead.

When deciding what method of transport to take from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood there are a couple of different things to consider prior to booking as there are a number of different services available.

Taxi35 mins$40 - $60
Hire Car35 mins$35
Public Transport2 hours$19.30


⏱️ Time: 35 mins
💵 Cost: $40 – $60
💻 Reserve Taxi: Hoppa

Unless you’re paying for a premium service (such as Uber Black) then carpooling services such as Uber and Lyft are able to collect guests from LAX-it a dedicated carpooling area at LAX Airport.

LAX-it is located at the end of World Way, the ring road that circles the terminals at LAX. This means that to get from outside the terminal to the LAX-it pick-up point you either need to walk or take the complimentary shuttle bus.

Shuttle buses run regularly and pick up from each terminal. However, it can be a hassle moving multiple pieces of baggage on and off the bus and depending on when you’re travelling the bus can be incredibly busy.

As such if you’re physically able to do so you may find walking to the LAX-it pick-up point more convenient.

Once you arrive at LAX-it you’ll want to go ahead and order either your Uber or Lyft. Both of these services use a dynamic pricing model which means that the price of the journey is dependent on; traffic conditions, current supply and demand and location.


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This also means that the cost of the same journey may be cheaper or more expensive between platforms. As such it’s often advisable to have downloaded and registered on both Uber and Lyft so you’re able to compare prices in real time.

Get $15 off your first Lyft ride by using code: CORA86601

If you’re travelling as a group of four or less with a maximum of two suitcases then a standard car should be fine. However, if you’re travelling as a group of between five and seven or have a large number of bags then you’ll want to go for a XL car.

XL cars are available on both Uber and Lyft and come at a slightly higher premium when compared to standard cars given the size.

When it comes to arriving at the theme park, there are two Universal Studios Hollywood drop-off locations. The first is on the ground floor of the Frankenstein parking garage, at the entrance to the theme park which is ideal if you’re heading straight into Universal Studios Hollywood.

Meanwhile, the second is over at the back of CityWalk from which it’s then a ten-minute walk over to the entrance of the theme park. This is an ideal drop-off location if you’re heading to CityWalk for dinner or to watch a movie.

You’ll be able to select either drop-off location when first ordering your carpool on either Uber or Lyft. However, it’s good to confirm with the driver as you approach the theme park.

Ultimately, while taking a carpooling service from LAX is a bit of a hassle (especially when travelling with a baby or toddler, I speak from experience!) it’s still our preferred way of travelling from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood.

If you’re returning back to the Los Angeles Airport from Universal Studios Hollywood, then make sure you account for LA traffic and get to LAX early to avoid missing your flight.

Hire Car

⏱️ Time: 35 mins
💵 Cost: $35 per day (car hire only)
💻 Book Hire Car: Discover Cars

It is possible to hire a car, pick it up from LAX and then drive yourself to Universal Studios. However, given the increasing costs of rental cars and the cost of parking at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park as well as at hotels in and around the city, we would only recommend this option to those who plan to use the car regularly throughout their trip.

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If instead, you are simply arriving at LAX, going to Universal Studios Hollywood and exploring Los Angeles, then a hire car is in our opinion likely overkill. Instead, you’ll be better off using Uber and Lyft as and when required, including for your journey from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood.

If given all this a hire car still seems like the right choice for you then the exact price you pay will depend on:

  1. The company you hire from
  2. The duration you hire for
  3. The time of year
  4. Your age
  5. The size and type of vehicle
  6. Any extras (such as a lightweight, portable car seat)

It’s also worth researching for a hotel that offers complimentary parking (even if the overall cost of the hotel is slightly more) when compared to a hotel that charges for parking since the cost of parking is often in excess of $30 per night.


⏱️ Time: 2 hours
💵 Cost: $19.30
💻 Buy Bus Tickets: Omio

Public transport is definitely not the quickest way to travel from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood. However, if you’re travelling either solo or as a couple then it is a budget-friendly alternative to an Uber or Lyft, especially if you have the extra time available.

To get from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood using public transport you’ll first want to take the bus (either the 109 or 3) to Aviation / LAX Station. This journey takes around 10 – 15 minutes.

From here you’ll want to take the Metro C Line (Green) 10 minutes to Harbor Fwy Station before transferring onto the Metro J Line (Silver) 910 for 30 minutes up to 1st Hill.

At 1st Hill, you’ll want to walk across to Civic Ctr / Grand Park Station (around 1 minute) before getting on the Metro B Line (Red) for 23 minutes to Universal / Studio City Station.

Once you arrive at Universal / Studio City Station you’ll be able to exit the metro, cross the street via the walkway bridge and board the complimentary shuttle that takes you to the top of the hill where the park entrance is located.

Private Airport Transfer

⏱️ Time: N/A
💵 Cost: N/A
💻 Reserve Transfer: Hoppa

Sadly, there are no dedicated shuttles between LAX and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Therefore the most budget-friendly way for solo travellers to get from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood is using public transport.

If you’re planning on staying in the Los Angeles area overnight then it may be worth staying one one of the hotels that offer a shuttle to Universal Studios Hollywood and / or the airport.

LAX To Universal Studios Hollywood Map


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Thanks for stopping by! Do you have experience with this trip or want to share some of your own tips? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below and let’s chat!

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  1. hi Cora

    i enjoyed readingnyour post.
    very informative.

    I am solo traveller from Malaysia arriving USA LAX on 16 April at 7am.

    my next flight is at 8.05pm to LAS.

    i really hope to visit Universal Studio again during this transit.
    is it advisable?
    and which is the safest and reliable mode.. so as i can continue. my journey that evening?

    Same day Transit Travel.

    1. Hi Aime,

      Yes, that should be fine. Just keep in mind LA traffic can get very heavy between 4pm and 8pm, especially so you’ll want to leave with plenty of time to get to the airport.

  2. Greetings from Sydney, Australia !

    Thank you for this wealth of information ! 🙂

    I am reading a lot of conflicting information on the internet in regard to child seats for a seven year old (whose 130cm / 4 feet and 3 inches tall) when using Uber and Lyft.

    Is a child seat required for a seven year old (whose 130cm / 4 feet and 3 inches tall) in California ?

    Also, Thanks for the Lyft promo code. I hope it’s still active when we travel in mid-August 2023.

    1. Cora Harrison says:

      Thank you for the kind comments.2

      According to the California Gov website: “California law requires all children under two years old to ride in a rear-facing car seat, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall. Children under the age of 8 are required to be secured in a car or booster seat.” Thankfully, you can get really compact and lightweight booster seats for kids of this age on Amazon etc.