A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Alexandria vs. Santa Fe for Old Town, Attractions, Food, and Couples

Should you visit Alexandria or Santa Fe?

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 Alexandria and Santa Fe. 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.

Alexandria

Alexandria is a charming, quaint, and historic city. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a charming, artsy, and cultural historic town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the museums, skiing, and live music.

Alexandria and Santa Fe: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Mount Vernon
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Alexandria or Santa Fe?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Santa Fe than Alexandria. While Alexandria is larger than Santa Fe, Santa Fe has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Santa Fe is very popular for its skiing, food, music, hiking, and quaint atmosphere, while Alexandria attracts visitors for its museums, nightlife, historical sights, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Alexandria is more touristy than Santa Fe and is known for its long-running history, beautiful architecture, and small town atmosphere. Santa Fe is famous for its strong arts scene, its Pueblo-style architecture, and its unique local cuisine. It is also well known for The Museum of New Mexico Complex.

How is Alexandria different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for Skiing?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for skiing. However, Alexandria is not a skiing destination.

Head to Santa Fe for some great skiing and other winter activities. There are a few good ski resorts not far from Santa Fe. Popular options include Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.

Alexandria is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Alexandria or Santa Fe?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Alexandria is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its sights and museums.

Many visitors head to Alexandria specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. George Washington's Mount Vernon home is an iconic destination in Alexandria. There are also many other museums in town that focus on the region's history. The Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum and the Gadsby's Tavern Museum are both interesting. There's Gunston Hall and the Carlyle House, as well as an archeology museum and many historic landmarks around town.

Santa Fe is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Head to the Museum of New Mexico Complex, which has four museums that give a great overview of the history of the area. Also make sure you visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

Is the Food Better in Alexandria or Santa Fe? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is great for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Alexandria is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Santa Fe has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. There are many local restaurants that use regional ingredients and offer great flavors. There are also cafes and bistros where you can enjoy breakfast or brunch. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chili peppers.

Alexandria offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The food, like the city itself, reflects the area's history. There are many southern classic dishes as well as a lot of seafood. You'll find lots of local restaurants that serve high quality dishes and a quaint atmosphere.

Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Alexandria is very good for its evening party scene. However, Santa Fe is not known for nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Alexandria has a few options to choose from. There's a great bar scene, as well as tons of restaurants that make for a relaxing night out.

Most people don't head to Santa Fe specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night. Live music is popular and diverse. It often includes different genres such as the blues, country, salsa or bluegrass.


Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for its music scene. However, Alexandria is not a live music destination.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Santa Fe. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Alexandria is not a live music destination.

Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for its Old Town?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Alexandria is an unbeatable place for its historic old town charm. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its historic old town.

With a famous historical old-town, Alexandria offers plenty to see. At the heart of the city is the historic old town. Its lined with townhomes that date back to the 18th century. There are many historic sights that have stories from the early days of the country. There are also cobblestone streets and a great waterfront.

Many visitors go to Santa Fe to see the historical old town. As the 2nd oldest city in the United States, the old town historic district is filled with charm. The Pueblo-style buildings are brightly colored and there are churches throughout.

Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for Hiking?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for hiking. However, Alexandria is not a hiking destination.

Santa Fe offers some nice hiking trails. Because it's located right by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, there are many beautiful hikes right outside of town. Popular trails include the Picacho Peak Trail and the Nambe Lake Trail. Bandelier National also has many places to hike.

Alexandria is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Alexandria or Santa Fe?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

If you're looking to go shopping, Alexandria and Santa Fe both offer plenty of high quality spots.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Alexandria. King Street is the main shopping street in town and it offers the largest concentration of independently owned boutiques in the Washington D.C. area. It's the perfectly place to spend an afternoon shopping.

Santa Fe is an extremely popular place for shoppers. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for its kid-friendly activities. However, Alexandria is not a good destination for its family-friendly activities.

Santa Fe offers lots of family activities. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Alexandria is not the most family-friendly destination. The waterfront area is nice to walk around. You can break up the history with an ice cream shop and kids will also enjoy taking a boat tour.

Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Alexandria is a great city for couples. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for romance.

Alexandria is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. The charm of the old town makes this a quaint and romantic destination. There's a waterfront area and many historic buildings. There are also romantic restaurants and plenty of places to grab brunch.

Santa Fe is a nice destination for couples. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.


Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Alexandria is very good for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Santa Fe is not known for backpackers.

Alexandria is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There aren't any true hostels in town, but you will find some cheap motels.

Santa Fe is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There's a hostel in town as well as several campgrounds.

Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for Students?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Alexandria is not popular with students.

It's common for students to visit Santa Fe. There are a few colleges and universities in town and students will appreciate the reasonable cost of living and outdoor activities nearby.

Alexandria is not popular with students.

Is Alexandria or Santa Fe Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Alexandria is an unbeatable place for times when you don't have a car. However, Santa Fe is not known for its public transit.

Visitors in Alexandria can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. DASH is the local bus system, but the city is also connected into the Washington DC metro system.

Public transit is generally limited in Santa Fe. There is a bus system - the Santa Fe Trails Bus Service.


Is Alexandria or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Alexandria
Santa Fe

Alexandria is an unbeatable place for its ease of walking around. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its walkability.

Alexandria is a very easy city to get around on foot. It's a very easy city to walk around, particularly in the historic heart where most tourists spend their time.

Santa Fe is very walkable. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Alexandria Worth Visiting? and Is Santa Fe Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Alexandria?

How long in Alexandria or Santa Fe?

In either Alexandria or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santa Fe than Alexandria because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Alexandria, and 2-5 days is enough time in Santa Fe.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Alexandria than Santa Fe 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 Alexandria.


  • How many days in Alexandria or Santa Fe? Ideal Length of Stay
    Alexandria 2-4 
    Santa Fe 2-5

One day in Alexandria or Santa Fe?

The beautiful city of Alexandria offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

With live music and food around the historic historic town of Santa Fe, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Alexandria or Santa Fe?

Alexandria is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Alexandria, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

With food and shopping around the destination of Santa Fe, there's plenty to do. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this historic town.


Five days in Alexandria or Santa Fe?

Alexandria is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Santa Fe, a popular historic town, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Visiting the old town is also a must. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this historic town. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Alexandria or Santa Fe?

Alexandria is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Santa Fe is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, and The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Santa Fe or Alexandria?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Alexandria is $0.00, while the average daily cost in Santa Fe is $159. 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 Alexandria and Santa Fe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Alexandria $38
    Santa Fe $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Alexandria $76
    Santa Fe $162
Compare Hotels in Alexandria and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Alexandria or Santa Fe? 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 Alexandria


Hotels in Santa Fe


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: Alexandria Hotel Prices and Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Alexandria -
    Santa Fe $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Fe

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

  • New Mexico: Private Transfer from Santa Fe Regional Airport: $196
  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Alexandria or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe and Alexandria 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
    Alexandria -
    Santa Fe $43

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Fe

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

  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $184
  • Santa Fe Farmers Market & Railyard Food Tour: $184
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Railyard Arts District: $189
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Downtown Plaza 'Sip & Savor': $209
  • Downtown Plaza "Sip and Savor" Half-day Food Tour: $209
  • Savor Wine Pairing Dinner: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Alexandria -
    Santa Fe $17

Tours and Activities in Alexandria

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

  • American Revolution Guided Walking Tour: $30
  • Full-Day Bike Tour to Mt Vernon w/ Optional Boat: $68
  • Phantoms of the Potomac Walking Tour: $26
  • Private Tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon: $165
  • Ultimate Dead of Night Walking Ghost Tour: $38
  • Old Town Alexandria Tour: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Old Town Southern Comfort Food & History Tour: $127
  • Philadelphia Tour from Alexandria by Rail: $329

Tours and Activities in Santa Fe

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

  • 2 Hours Historic E Bike Tour of Santa Fe: $169
  • 2 Hour Pottery Experience (Wheel or Hand-Building): $160
  • 2-Hour Photography Class While Touring Downtown Santa Fe, Smart Phones Welcome!: $85
  • A Walking Tour of Santa Fe's Most Beautiful and Historic Sites: $216
  • Canyon Road Art & History Walking Tour: $70
  • Downtown Santa Fe Walking Wine & Tapas Tour: $149
  • Enchanted Eats of Santa Fe Half-Day Tour: $955
  • Explore Santa Fe's Old Town & the Museum of Art: Private Tour: $195
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Santa Fe NM: $15
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $70
  • Plaza Sip, Savor, & History Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $119
  • Private Canyon Road Art & History Walking Tour: $138

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Alexandria -
    Santa Fe $9.68

Sample the Local Flavors in Alexandria

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Alexandria:

  • Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Fe

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Santa Fe:

  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery Tour and Tasting: $18
  • Architectural Walking Tour & Wine Tasting: $135


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Alexandria and Santa Fe, we can see that Santa Fe is more expensive. And not only is Alexandria much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Alexandria would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Alexandria 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 Santa Fe would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Santa Fe than you might in Alexandria.

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


Which is Bigger, Alexandria or Santa Fe?

Alexandria has a larger population, and is about 84% larger than the population of Santa Fe. When comparing the sizes of Alexandria and Santa Fe, 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.