A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Albuquerque vs. El Paso for Attractions, Food, Couples, and Nightlife

Should you visit Albuquerque or El Paso?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Albuquerque and El Paso. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a traditional, cosmopolitan, and cultural town. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

El Paso

El Paso is a laid-back, low-key, and undiscovered city. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Albuquerque and El Paso: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Albuquerque or El Paso?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Albuquerque. Although Albuquerque and El Paso are both popular with visitors, Albuquerque has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Albuquerque is more touristy than El Paso and is known for its adobe architecture, artisan shops, fascinating cultural venues, and surrounding desert landscapes. It is also home to The Old Town. El Paso is popular for its Spanish missions and its outstanding Mexican food.

How is Albuquerque different from El Paso?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between El Paso and Albuquerque. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Albuquerque or El Paso?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Albuquerque is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, El Paso is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Many visitors head to Albuquerque specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The old town has a lot of history including the San Felipe de Neri Church. Also worth visiting is the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Unser Racing Museum, and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

El Paso offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Visitors can learn about local art, culture, and history at the El Paso Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of History, the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Museum, and the Eduardo Pedregón Memorial Veterans Museum.


Is the Food Better in Albuquerque or El Paso? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Albuquerque is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, El Paso is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Albuquerque. The city's local cuisine combines Native American and Spanish flavors to make a variety of unique specialties. You should try the green chili stew, breakfast burrito, sopaipillas, and blue corn pancakes.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in El Paso. Mexican food and barbecue are popular around town but you'll also find burgers, pizza, and other American favorites.

Is Albuquerque or El Paso Better for Nightlife?

Albuquerque
El Paso

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find good options in both Albuquerque and El Paso.

If you're looking for night time activities Albuquerque has a few options to choose from. Head downtown and to the Nob Hill neighborhood for wine bars, breweries, and billiard halls. These areas have the best nightlife scene and they're also compact enough to explore on foot.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in El Paso. There are a number of bars, nightclubs, and lounges around town where you can enjoy a fun night out.

Is Albuquerque or El Paso Better for its Old Town?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Albuquerque is an unbeatable place for its historic old town. However, El Paso does not have a historic old town.

With a famous historical old-town, Albuquerque offers plenty to see. There is a wonderful old town where the city's first neighborhood was established. It dates back to the early 1700's and has its roots in Spanish colonial history. The area has many adobe houses, great local restaurants, and artisan shops.

El Paso does not have a historic old town.


Is Albuquerque or El Paso Better for Hiking?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Albuquerque is very good for its hiking trails. However, El Paso is not a hiking destination.

Many people include a hike when visiting Albuquerque. The desert landscape is varied and beautiful. Popular trails in the area include Tree Spring Trail, Birdhouse Ridge, and West Ridge.

El Paso is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Albuquerque or El Paso?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Albuquerque is a very popular place for shopping. Also, El Paso is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Albuquerque. The city's old town has many cultural artisan shops where you can buy local items. It's a fun and unique shopping experience, and though it sometimes feels a bit touristy, there are many local shops that offer an authentic experience.

El Paso offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of malls and outlet centers around town. One of the most well known is Bassett Place, but other options include Cielo Vista Mall and the Fountains at Farah.

Is Albuquerque or El Paso Better for Families?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Both Albuquerque and El Paso are good family-friendly destinations.

Albuquerque offers lots of family activities. The city has a number of nature centers as well as the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo. Outside of town there are many parks and natural areas to explore.

El Paso is a family-friendly place to visit. There are adventure parks, playgrounds, outdoor centers and nature activities that families can enjoy.


Is Albuquerque or El Paso Better for Couples?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Albuquerque is a very popular place for romance. However, El Paso is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Albuquerque makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Surrounded by natural beauty, and filled with culture and charm, this city makes a great romantic getaway. It's particularly wonderful during the famous International Balloon Fiesta.

Most people don't think of El Paso as a couple's destination. Couples can enjoy dinner and a show or taking a romantic drive up to the overlook.

Is Albuquerque or El Paso Better for Students?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Albuquerque is very good for its student-friendly activities. However, El Paso is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Albuquerque. It offers a unique cultural environment that students can appreciate. There are also many outdoor recreational opportunities.

El Paso is not popular with students.

Is Albuquerque or El Paso Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Albuquerque and El Paso both offer decent public transit to get you around.

Public transit is mostly limited in Albuquerque. ABQ Ride is the bus system around town, but most visitors prefer to have their own car.

Public transit is generally limited in El Paso. While there are some bus routes in town, you shouldn't rely on them and must have a private vehicle to efficiently visit the city.


Is Albuquerque or El Paso a more walkable city?

Albuquerque
El Paso

Albuquerque is very good for its walkability. However, El Paso is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Albuquerque is somewhat walkable. Walkable areas include the old town, the area around the University of New Mexico, and the uptown area.

El Paso is generally not very walkable. You really need a car to get around town.

For even more information, also check out Is Albuquerque Worth Visiting? and Is El Paso Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in El Paso or Albuquerque?

How long in Albuquerque or El Paso?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Albuquerque or El Paso to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Albuquerque than El Paso because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Albuquerque, and 1-2 days is enough time in El Paso.

Families should spend more time in Albuquerque than El Paso. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Albuquerque, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Albuquerque than El Paso. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Albuquerque that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Albuquerque than El Paso if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Albuquerque.


  • How many days in Albuquerque or El Paso? Ideal Length of Stay
    Albuquerque 2-4 
    El Paso 1-2

One day in Albuquerque or El Paso?

In Albuquerque, you'll find nightlife and food. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the undiscovered city of El Paso. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Albuquerque or El Paso?

In Albuquerque, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Albuquerque has to offer.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the laid-back destination of El Paso. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.


Five days in Albuquerque or El Paso?

Albuquerque is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

The low-key city of El Paso offers shopping and museums. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Albuquerque or El Paso?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Albuquerque. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Albuquerque. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting El Paso. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas.


Which place is cheaper, El Paso or Albuquerque?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Albuquerque is $135, while the average daily cost in El Paso is $161. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Albuquerque and El Paso in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Albuquerque $69
    El Paso $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Albuquerque $138
    El Paso $162
Compare Hotels in Albuquerque and El Paso

Looking for a hotel in Albuquerque or El Paso? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Albuquerque


Hotels in El Paso


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Albuquerque Hotel Prices and El Paso Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Albuquerque $37
    El Paso $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albuquerque

Also for Albuquerque, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer To Albuquerque Airport ABQ: $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Albuquerque Airport (ABQ): $40
  • Albuquerque to Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) - Departure Private Transfer: $39
  • Albuquerque Airport to Truth or Consequences Round-Trip Transfer: $250
  • Albuquerque Airport to Truth or Consequences Private Transfer: $125
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Pagosa Springs Private Transfer: $174
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $78
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Arrival Private Transfer: $39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Paso

Also for El Paso, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • El Paso Airport to Truth or Consequences Round Trip Transfer: $239
  • El Paso Airport (ELP) to Truth or Consequences Arrival Transfer: $120
  • El Paso International Airport (ELP) to El Paso - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $80
  • El Paso International Airport (ELP) to El Paso - Arrival Private Transfer : $40
  • El Paso to El Paso International Airport (ELP) - Departure Private Transfer: $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Albuquerque or El Paso?

Prices for flights to both El Paso and Albuquerque change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Albuquerque $41
    El Paso $54

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Albuquerque

For Albuquerque, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Albuquerque, NM: $79

Typical Food Prices in El Paso

For El Paso, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Rudy's BBQ (family of 4)
    $40

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Albuquerque $24
    El Paso $27

Tours and Activities in Albuquerque

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Albuquerque.

  • 12pm - Public High Noon History, Legends & Lore Tour - Guided Old Town Stroll: $35
  • 4pm - 75 Minute Private Ghost Tour Up To 5 People For All Ages in New Mexico: $108
  • 6pm PRIVATE GHOST TOUR of Old Town - 90 Minutes: $135
  • ABQ Beer Tour: A Curated Craft Beer Experience in the Land of Enchantment: $105
  • ABQ City Guided History Tour: $35
  • Albuquerque Old Town Art Tour with Wine & Museum Admission: $85
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $49
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Albuquerque Snowshoe Experience: $135
  • Albuquerque’s Family Adventure of A Journey of Discovery: $286
  • Albuquerque’s Family Adventure: A Journey of Discovery: $605

Tours and Activities in El Paso

For El Paso, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Colorado Springs: Pikes Peak Jeep Tour: $115
  • Downtown Historic Walking Tour: $120
  • Sun City Ghost Walking Tour: $26
  • Jeep Tour - Pikes Peak or Bust: $175
  • Sun City Ghosts Haunted Cowboys and Outlaws Tour: $30
  • UTV Adventure Tour / Rental: $249

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Albuquerque $20
    El Paso $27


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Albuquerque and El Paso, we can see that El Paso is more expensive. And not only is Albuquerque much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Albuquerque would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Albuquerque and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in El Paso would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in El Paso than you might in Albuquerque.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Albuquerque Expensive? and Is El Paso Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Albuquerque or El Paso?

El Paso has a larger population, and is about 16% larger than the population of Albuquerque. When comparing the sizes of Albuquerque and El Paso, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.