5 CLOSEST Airports to Universal Studios Hollywood [2024]

A young woman wearing blue jeans and a white sweater stands amidst a crowd in front of the Universal Studios globe statue on a clear day.

Published on: August 9, 2023

A detailed list of the closest airports to Universal Studios Hollywood and where we recommend flying into for your trip!

Universal Studios Hollywood, the world-famous Hollywood production studio and theme park, is a great Los Angeles destination for the whole family. 

With so many airports near Los Angeles, deciding which one to fly into for a visit to Universal can be tough.

Use this guide to five nearby airports to Universal Studios to choose the best airport for Universal Studios Hollywood.

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Closest Airports to Universal Studios Hollywood: A crowd looks up at the Hogwarts Castle replica at Universal Studios against an overcast sky.

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What’s the Closest Airport to Fly Into When Going to Universal Studios Hollywood?

An open-side tour bus with the words, "Universal Studios" printed in yellow text against dark blue, parked by the side of the road with bushes behind it.

Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)

Distance from Universal Studios: Hollywood Burbank Airport (previously Bob Hope Airport) is the closest airport to Universal Studios Hollywood. 

It’s just 5.3 miles away– only about a 15-20-minute drive to the theme park!

Why it’s worth flying into While there are several nearby airports, Hollywood Burbank Airport is right in the Hollywood area and close to the action! 

Universal Studios, hotels, and ritzy attractions in Hollywood are accessible via shuttles, metro, or car.

Burbank is the second closest city to the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. 

Burbank’s proximity to other parts of Los Angeles also makes it convenient regardless of your plans–I often choose it over other Southern California airports.!

Shuttles, taxis, or ride apps are the easiest way to get directly from Burbank Airport to the theme park or to hotels near Universal Studios Hollywood if you want to drop off your bags first. 

If you rent a car and drive directly to Universal Studios Hollywood, keep in mind that prices start at $30 to park there.

How to Get From Hollywood Burbank Airport to Universal Studios Hollywood

If you rent a car from Burbank Airport, it’s a quick jaunt to Universal Studios Hollywood! The five-mile drive takes around fifteen minutes.

Other transportation: 

  • Ride apps are easy from Hollywood Burbank, averaging $30-$40 per direct trip.
  • Public transit is available from Burbank via the 222 bus, which takes 40-50 minutes. 
  • Many hotels in the Hollywood Burbank area offer direct shuttle service to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Closest Major Airports to Universal Studios Hollywood

Closest Major Airports to Universal Studios Hollywood

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Distance from Universal Studios: At 39 miles, it will take between 40 minutes and 2 hours to drive from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Why it’s worth flying into: Los Angeles International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world.

It typically offers the cheapest flight options and the most options for flight times, itineraries, and airlines. It’s also the closest airport for international visitors.

Its size makes LAX less easy to navigate than smaller airports like Burbank. 

Nonetheless, Los Angeles Airport is still accessible and a great choice if your trip includes other sights in Southern California or downtown Los Angeles. 

LAX is very close to the beaches in Santa Monica and Venice, too.

Los Angeles Airport connects to the rest of the city via the (recently improved) metro line. But there are plenty of car rental options, which are your fastest option even with the hazards of Los Angeles traffic.

Check out our full guide to the Santa Monica pier!

How to Get From Los Angeles International Airport to Universal Studios Hollywood

LAX is 39 miles from the theme park. At best, this will be about a 40-minute drive. But during rush hour, this can take over two hours as you go through downtown Los Angeles. So, consider your arrival and departure times carefully.

Other transportation: 

  • Ride-apps offer pick-up from the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) ride-app center. Uber averages $60-$100 for this ride. 
  • You can also book a private shuttle from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • Public Transportation is available from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood via the metro. It will take you about two hours into the theme park.

Long Beach Airport (LGB)

A yellow and red plane on the runway at Long Beach Airport (LGB) with a clear blue sky behind it.

Distance from Universal Studios: Long Beach Airport is one of the closest airports to Universal Studios Hollywood; it’s 33 miles away, about a 40-minute drive without traffic. 

Why it’s worth flying into: Long Beach Airport is in Long Beach, making this a nice option if you’re looking to add a bit of the Southern California coast to your Universal Studios Hollywood visit!

LGB is rated one of the best airports in the US. Its small size makes it easy to navigate, but only a handful of airlines service it, so flights are limited compared to bigger airports like LAX. 

Fly into Long Beach if you want decent access to both Los Angeles attractions and the surrounding beaches. 

The second closest airport to Universal Studios and the closest to many beaches, it’s a great destination for those visiting the city.

Shuttle and car rental options are also available. The closest metro station, Wardlow, is four miles away, and a taxi costs around $13.

How to Get From Long Beach Airport to Universal Studios Hollywood

The drive is just 33 miles. However, this route takes you through downtown Los Angeles, so it can take a couple of hours if there’s traffic. 

Other transportation: 

  • Ride apps are available from Long Beach Airport. The average rate to Universal Studios is about $80.
  • Public transit to Universal Studios from Long Beach will take about an hour and a half. Considering the traffic time and the cost to park (about $30), taking a bus and metro line might be worth it.

Ontario International Airport (ONT)

A bird's eye view of Ontario International Airport (ONT).

Distance from Universal Studios: At 52 miles, Ontario International Airport is about an hour from Universal Studios Hollywood. 

Why it’s worth flying into: Ontario International offers international nonstop flights from destinations including Canada, Mexico, China, and South America! There are many flight options, but it’s much less busy than LAX. 

Ontario International Airport is less busy because it’s east of Los Angeles and inland from the coast.

Its proximity to some smaller Southern California cities and nature on the outskirts of Los Angeles makes it a It’s a great alternative. 

However, that distance means it doesn’t directly connect to  Los Angeles public transit. You can ride a taxi or bus a few miles to the metro at Rancho Cucamonga, but if you’re flying into 

Ontario and planning for a nature destination, you’ll likely want to rent a car.

How to Get From Ontario International Airport to Universal Studios Hollywood

Driving 52 miles from Ontario will typically take around an hour. Because you’re coming from east of Los Angeles, you’ll face less traffic to Universal Studios Hollywood. 

Other transportation:

  • Ride apps and taxi services are available from Ontario International. Taking Uber or Lyft to Universal is about $120 on average.
  • Transit takes about 3 hours from ONT to Universal Studios Hollywood.

John Wayne Airport (SNA)

A plane takes off over at John Wayne Airport (SNA) with a partly-cloudy blue sky behind it.

Distance from Universal Studios: John Wayne Airport (Santa Ana Airport or Orange County International Airport) is 48 miles from Universal, just under an hour.

Why it’s worth flying into Located in beautiful Orange County, John Wayne Airport is one of the smallest airports in California, near Disneyland and some of Southern California’s best beaches.

I recommend flying to this airport if you’re also going to a theme park like Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm, exploring Orange County, checking out the Anaheim Angels, or visiting the famous Los Angeles beaches.

This is quite the destination airport!

Given its small size, flying into Santa Ana will have fewer flight times options and higher prices. It offers mostly domestic flights, with international service to Canada and Mexico. 

Rental cars are available at the Santa Ana airport. The nearest metro stations are about ten miles away.

How to Get From John Wayne Airport to Universal Studios Hollywood

If you’re driving, take the I-5 toward Santa Ana for most of the 48-mile journey. Depending on the time you depart for Universal Studios Hollywood, this route can also be susceptible to significant Los Angeles traffic.

Other transit options: 

  • Ride apps are available from John Wayne Airport to Universal Studios Hollywood and average about $80 one way.
  • Shuttles are available from SNA to Universal Studios for higher-priced tickets. 
  • Public transportation via bus and metro takes about 3.5 hours from SNA to Universal Studios Hollywood. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taylor Neal

Taylor is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, yoga instructor and frontline worker who spends most of her time in her van (Vannigan) winding through the coastal and mountain roads of California where she feels most at home. From navigating the realities of van-life to the fluctuations in diverse climates and landscapes, Taylor is excited to bring everything she’s learned about California to fellow wanderers seeking beauty and adventure.


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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.

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