Getting Around, Scottsdale Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Scottsdale, Arizona - AZ, USA)

As the largest city in the Southwest and a popular tourist destination for people escaping the cold northern winters, travel to Phoenix and Scottsdale is a relatively easy affair. The I-10 connects the metropolitan area of Scottsdale with destinations in both the east and west, while I-17 heads north to Flagstaff.

Sky Harbor is located just minutes from downtown Phoenix, providing air links to other major US cities and destinations worldwide. Most visitors to Scottsdale choose to hire a car for their stay, with traveling by car being the easiest way to explore the city, while trolley and bus travel within Scottsdale is ideal for short hops.

Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) / Arriving by Air

Located just 3 miles / 5 km east of downtown Phoenix, Sky Harbor International is one of the busiest airports in the country, with three terminals servicing flights across the US as well as connections to Canada, Mexico and the UK. Free 24-hour buses connect the terminals, while shuttle services are available and travel between the airport and Scottsdale's resorts and hotels. Red Line buses operated by Valley Metro run daily from pre-dawn to after midnight between the airport and downtown Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, where connections are available to Scottsdale. Taxis and car hire are also available. For further information, please refer to the Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) travel page.

Car Rental

Given the size of the Phoenix metropolitan area and the worthwhile attractions nearby, hiring a car is the best way to travel beyond Scottsdale and make the most of your time here. Rates are cheap considering the popularity of the place as a tourist destination, with car rental offices located in Scottsdale as well as at the airport. Scottsdale is connected to the West Coast by I-10, which continues towards the east connecting cities such as El Paso and Tucson. I-40 starts in California and links up with Flagstaff and I-17 south of Scottsdale and Phoenix, while highways 93 and 60 pass southeast of Kingman and lead into Phoenix. To travel to Scottsdale from the airport, take Red Mountain Freeway (route 202) then turn left onto the Pima highway.

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Buses and Coaches

Bus travel in Scottsdale is geared towards commuters and is of little use to tourists. However, the free Scottsdale Trolley service is useful for shoppers, connecting several of the most popular shopping centers every 10 minutes from Monday to Saturday, 11:00 to 18:00. Greyhound buses offer regular coach travel to major destinations across the country, arriving and departing from the terminal near the airport.


The nearest rail links to Scottsdale are at Flagstaff and Tucson, from where you can board Amtrak services to other US destinations. Buses link Scottsdale with these two rail hubs.


Taxi travel in Scottsdale is a convenient means to get around the city, although alternative transport should be considered for longer journeys as fares can be expensive.