The capital of Iowa, Des Moines is a city with a rich history and a bright future. Summer is the busiest time of year for tourism, with activities such as the Iowa State Fair attracting visitors from all over. Temperatures are very comfortable, with highs averaging 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, hotel and flight prices will be at their highest, so if you want to save some money, try visiting in fall. Tourism is slowest in fall, although the weather in September can still be very warm. Temperature highs range from 45 – 83 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is a chance of rain, so be prepared with proper clothing. Once winter hits, it can get cold in Des Moines, with highs from 32 – 39 degrees Fahrenheit, and the chance of snow. If cold weather doesn’t bother you, there are plenty of activities like skating and tubing that are fun for all ages. When spring rolls around, tourism starts picking up again, especially in later months as it gets warmer. With highs ranging from 38 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit, be prepared for changing weather by packing layers and rain gear!
Users booking trips to Des Moines from St. Louis found flights 72% cheaper than the average price of flights to Des Moines. To find the cheapest price to Des Moines from your area, use momondo’s Airport-to-Airport Pricing Tool.
If you aren’t able to travel to Des Moines during the month of April, then flying in July is also cheap. Prices for this month can be found on momondo for an average of $217.
The ideal time to book your flight to Des Moines is 25 days in advance when prices tend to average $309. However, flight prices might be lower outside of this timeframe. For example, people recently found flights to Des Moines from United States for as low as $78 on momondo.
According to our data, Thursday is the cheapest day to fly to Des Moines from United States. The lowest ticket price found for a Thursday departure recently was $314. Keep in mind that prices can always vary depending on your route and whether or not you are flying domestic or international. If your travel schedule is flexible, try to avoid departing on a Sunday because tickets tend to average around $385. These prices are subject to change though, so be sure to set up a Price Alert for flights to Des Moines.
Our data shows that the cheapest United States to Des Moines flights are usually those with departure times at noon. Our users have found flights to Des Moines at noon for as low as $248. Flights to Des Moines are more costly in the evening, with an average ticket price of $349. Departure times in the evening fall within the peak daily travel times, which is why tickets can be more expensive.
If you’re looking to do your hiking in warmer conditions, consider planning your flight to Des Moines for September and October. Parks like Iowa State Fairgrounds are popular hot spots in those months.
Finding an alternative and possibly cheaper destination airport near Des Moines is possible. If you are planning a flight to Des Moines, consider booking flights to Fort Dodge Airport (73 mi from Des Moines city center) or Waterloo Airport (92 mi from Des Moines city center).
The cheapest airport near Des Moines is typically Fort Dodge Airport with an average price of $254/person. These prices vary based on where travelers are coming from. It is suggested that travelers looking to save money try momondo’s Airport-to-Airport Pricing Tool.
Currently, United States travel restrictions include travel to Des Moines. The United States has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals who have passed through or have been in China, Iran, European Schengen Area, the UK, Ireland and Brazil in the past 14 days. US citizens and permanent residents who have passed through or have been in any of the above countries in the past 14 days may still enter the United States, but must arrive at one of the following airports: Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas, (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK or EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington (IAD). US citizens and permanent residents who have passed through or have been in any of the countries named don't have to isolate for two weeks, unless they have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you are planning to travel to Des Moines at this time, it is recommended that you stay up to date on current restrictions and follow proper safety measures while in public.
DSM is a public airport that is located just 3 miles southwest of Des Moines. Despite the airport being close to the city, it offers many different ways to get you downtown.
Once you are past baggage claim and outside the terminal, you can hail a taxi to take you into the city. A ride into downtown will cost around $12.00 USD and takes 15 minutes. Uber is also available to order, and will cost around $11.00 USD.
Look for DART bus 8; it stops at Airport South Park, just outside the terminal. Hop on and ride to DART Central Station. It will cost $1.75 USD and take you about 20 minutes. These buses only run from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, so if you are arriving outside these times, you will have to look for another option.
Shuttles and limousines
The airport has many different offers for shuttles and limousines to take you into the city. For more information, visit the airport website.
If you wish to rent a car, remember to look for the best deals on car rentals with momondo.
Des Moines is a city that is very walkable and even encourages people to get outside and explore on foot with a myriad of trails and painted pathways. However, for those who don’t want to be on their feet all day, there are a few options to get you where you want to go.
DART buses run all over Des Moines and cost just $1.75 USD per ride. If you’re going to be in town for a while, consider purchasing a 1-week pass for $16.00 USD. DART also offers free rides on its D-line Downtown Shuttle which takes you to a limited number of places in the downtown core.
Taxis are a great way to get around town, especially later at night when there are fewer buses. Rates start with a $2.00 USD meter drop plus $2.00 USD per mile after that. UberX is also available for a much cheaper rate, at a $0.90 USD meter drop plus $0.65 USD per mile.
For those who wish to rent a car in Des Moines, there are plenty of options both at the airport and downtown. Navigating the city is easy as it is built in a grid system and there are always plenty of parking spots. It’s a good idea to purchase a Smartcard, available at parking garages downtown, which allows you to load money and spend the exact amount for the time you were parked. Whatever money is leftover will stay on the card for the next time you park.
Des Moines is a city that attracts visitors for its historical and cultural relevance but will have them coming back for its many modern museums and parks. Whether you’re visiting for a day or a week, there are plenty of fun activities to keep you busy, when you travel to Des Moines.
Discover Des Moines by bicycle; with lots of trails and bike lanes, it is an affordable and fast way to explore the city.
For those looking for the best food Des Moines can offer, try visiting a restaurant in East Village, the trendiest part of town.