A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Austin vs. Arlington for Food, Nightlife, Attractions, and Backpackers

Should you visit Austin or Arlington?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Austin or Arlington, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Austin

Austin is a unconventional, lively, and entrepreneurial city. With a variety of activities, it's a big city. This is beautiful destination to visit. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Arlington

Arlington is a international, historical, and educational city. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Austin and Arlington: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable


Is there more to do in Austin or Arlington?

You'll generally find more things to do in Austin than Arlington. Austin is bigger than Arlington, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Arlington is more touristy than Austin and is popular for its international connections, its biking and walking trails, and being the location of the Pentagon. Austin is well known for its live music scene, excellent Texas barbecue, authentic Mexican food, and vibrant student population. Also, Austin is famous for The Texas Capital.

How is Austin different from Arlington?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Austin or Arlington?

Austin
Arlington

Both Austin and Arlington have superb landmarks and museums for visitors.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Austin can be an interesting and educational experience. Austin has a number of great museums and sights including the Blanton Museum of Art, the Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. There's also a huge supply of local art galleries. Perhaps the most notable landmark in town is the beautiful Texas Capital Building

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Arlington. Arlington National Cemetery is where you'll find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as the tomb of John F. Kennedy Jr. There are many memorials around town, with the most famous being the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial. There are also several museums like the DEA Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.


Is the Food Better in Austin or Arlington? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Austin
Arlington

Austin is terrific for its restaurants. Also, Arlington is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Austin is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. It is credited with being the original food truck city and you'll find many diverse food truck options around town. There is also amazing Mexican food, world renowned Texas barbecue, and many modern restaurants that reflect the city's culinary influence.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Arlington makes for a great culinary experience. It's a global city, and the restaurants reflect that. You'll find amazing Thai, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants. There are also less common cuisines to choose from such as Ethiopian, Moroccan, and Peruvian.

Is Austin or Arlington Better for Nightlife?

Austin
Arlington

Austin is terrific for its evening party scene. Also, Arlington is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

Austin is a must-see party destination. It's nightlife is centered around its thriving live music scene. Head for Sixth Street for some of the most popular bars and clubs. There are also many music festivals and outdoor concerts, particularly during the summer months. Popular bars and clubs around town include the White Horse, the Rose Room, and Antone's Nightclub.

The people in Arlington know how to have a good time. The city has a huge young population that drives the nightlife scene. There are clubs, bars, and lounges in many neighborhoods. There are also comedy clubs and plenty of live music.

Is Austin or Arlington Better for Music?

Austin
Arlington

Austin is terrific for its music scene. However, Arlington is not a live music destination.

Austin has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. Music is what gives this city its character. There are many live music venues, concerts, and music festivals to experience. Austin has influenced many music genres such as rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk, and country.

Arlington is not a live music destination.


Is Austin or Arlington Better for Hiking?

Austin
Arlington

Austin is a decent place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Arlington is not a hiking destination.

Hiking is a fun activity while in Austin. Head just outside of town to explore a few great hiking spots right near town.

Arlington is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Austin or Arlington?

Austin
Arlington

Shopping is a popular activity in both Arlington and Austin.

Austin is a great destination for shopping. There are a number of local boutiques around town where you can enjoy shopping.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Arlington. Many neighborhoods have local shops or farmer's markets. There are also shopping centers and malls such as Ballston Quarter, The Crossing Clarendon, and The Village at Shirlington.

Is Austin or Arlington Better for Families?

Austin
Arlington

Austin and Arlington are both notable destinations for the whole family.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Austin. The city is a popular destination for young travelers, but there are also some family-friendly activities like Barton Springs, Zilker Park, and several natural swimming holes. There's a number of nice parks around town that are great for kids of all ages.

Arlington offers lots of family activities. Kids will enjoy seeing the planes talk off from Gravelly Point park. There are also plenty of outdoor spaces and educational opportunities in the area, including world class museums.


Is Austin or Arlington Better for Couples?

Austin
Arlington

Austin and Arlington are both notable to visit as a couple.

Austin is a nice destination for couples. Young couples will enjoy the city for its lively nightlife, fun music scene, and youthful vibe. There are also many outdoor areas where you can hike or explore. The restaurant scene is among the best as well.

Arlington makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There's a vibrant cultural scene and many international restaurants that couples can enjoy. It's also a great place to take in a show or concert.

Is Austin or Arlington Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Austin
Arlington

Austin and Arlington are superb places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Austin. Although the city is relatively small, it does see a disproportionate number of backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in town as well.

Many backpackers visit Arlington. There are a couple of hostels and many free activities nearby. There's also great public transportation that makes for a convenient backpacker destination.

Is Austin or Arlington Better for Students?

Austin
Arlington

Austin and Arlington are superb places to visit for students.

Austin is a great city to visit as a student. The city has a huge university, the University of Texas at Austin, and it is a young city with tons for international students. There is a great nightlife scene and plenty for students to see and do.

Students come from all over to stay in Arlington. There are a huge number of colleges and museums in the area as well as many great internship and educational opportunities.


Is Austin or Arlington Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Austin
Arlington

Arlington is a world-class destination for its public transit. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

With a huge network, the transit system in Arlington can get you around easily. There is a reliable bus system around town as well as many metro connections.

Public transit is mostly limited in Austin. There are city buses and a very limited lightrail system, but you really need a car to explore the city.

Is Austin or Arlington a more walkable city?

Austin
Arlington

Arlington is a great destination for its walkability. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for its high level of walkability.

Arlington is very walkable. There are many pedestrian-friendly areas around town, particularly in the neighborhoods that are concentrated around metro stations.

Austin is generally not a very walkable city. The city, like most southern cities, isn't very walkable and it's important to have a car to get around. There are some downtown areas that are pedestrian-friendly.

For even more information, also check out Is Austin Worth Visiting? and Is Arlington Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Arlington or Austin?

How long in Austin or Arlington?

It's fun to spend time in either Austin or Arlington. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Arlington due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Austin, and 2-4 days is enough time in Arlington.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Austin than Arlington 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 Austin.


  • How many days in Austin or Arlington? Ideal Length of Stay
    Austin 2-3 
    Arlington 2-4

One day in Austin or Arlington?

You'll find nightlife and live music around the city of Austin. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Arlington. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Austin or Arlington?

You'll find live music and food around the lively destination of Austin. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Arlington is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Austin or Arlington?

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the eccentric city of Austin. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Arlington. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Austin or Arlington?

Austin is a popular choice for travelers. One week 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the international destination of Arlington. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


Which place is cheaper, Arlington or Austin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Austin is $142, while the average daily cost in Arlington is $264. 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 Austin and Arlington in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Austin $56
    Arlington $131
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Austin $112
    Arlington $262
Compare Hotels in Austin and Arlington

Looking for a hotel in Austin or Arlington? 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 Austin


Hotels in Arlington


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: Austin Hotel Prices and Arlington Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Austin $47
    Arlington $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

  • Private Arrival Transfer Austin Airport AUS to Austin: $150
  • Private Airport and Hotel Transfer Services in Austin: $86
  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $97
  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Arrival Private Transfer: $49
  • Austin Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Sedan: $150
  • Austin International Airport (AUS) - Private Round trip transfer: $215
  • Austin International Airport (AUS) - Private Arrival transfer: $110
  • Austin City to Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) - Departure Private Transfer: $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arlington

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

  • Ronald Reagan DCA Airport Transfers: $160

Is it cheaper to fly into Austin or Arlington?

Prices for flights to both Arlington and Austin 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
    Austin $35
    Arlington $81

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Austin

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Austin.

  • East Austin Food Tour: $44
  • Secret Food Tour: $85
  • Austin Downtown Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $88
  • Famous Texas BBQ & Food Tour in Austin: $89
  • Famous Texas BBQ & Food Tour in Austin: $89
  • The Brunch Bus: Food Tour with a Live Band on Board the Bus!: $125
  • Private Guided Food Tour of Austin Neighborhoods: $150

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Austin $28
    Arlington $11
Typical Entertainment Prices in Austin

Here are a few typical costs in Austin for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Austin Duck Tour
    $31

Tours and Activities in Austin

Here are a few actual costs in Austin for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Austin Glass Bottom Kayak Tour with Olympian: $50
  • 12 person Pedal Boat cruise in Texas: $55
  • Afternoon in Austin Segway Tour: $99
  • Austin Art & Architecture Bicycle Tour: $56
  • Austin Art and Architecture Bicycle Tour: $56
  • Austin Biker Gang E-Bike Tour: $90
  • Austin Boat Tour with Full Sun Shading Available: $84
  • Austin Breakfast Taco Tour: $85
  • Austin E-Bike Brunch Tour : $118
  • Austin E-Bike Foodie Tour : $128
  • Austin E-Bike Tour: $75
  • Austin Electric Bike Tour: Let it Ride: $70

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Austin $28
    Arlington $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Austin

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Austin:

  • Austin Bar Hunt: Sixth Street Spree: Austin Bar Crawl: $12
  • Austin Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Downtown Austin Live Music Pub Crawl: $35
  • Downtown Live Music Pub Crawl: $35
  • Austin Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Public Pedal Pub Tour in Austin: $39
  • Austin Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • From Texas Hill Country Brewery & Distillery Shuttle: $60
  • Half-Day Hill Country Brewery and Distillery Shuttle from Austin: $60
  • Private Austin Brewery Tour by Pedicab with All-Inclusive Beer Flight Option: $70
  • Metro Rail Brewery Tour Across Austin: $90


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

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


Which is Bigger, Austin or Arlington?

Austin has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Arlington. When comparing the sizes of Austin and Arlington, 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.


When is the best time to visit Austin or Arlington?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Austin or Arlington in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Austin as well as Arlington. The summer months attract visitors to Austin because of the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Arlington this time of year.

In July, Austin is generally a little warmer than Arlington. Daily temperatures in Austin average around 87°F (30°C), and Arlington fluctuates around 79°F (26°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Arlington. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Austin this time of the year. In the summer, Austin often gets more sunshine than Arlington. Austin gets 318 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Arlington receives 278 hours of full sun.

Austin usually gets less rain in July than Arlington. Austin gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Austin 87°F (30°C) 
    Arlington 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Austin or Arlington in the Autumn?

Both Arlington and Austin are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Austin this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Arlington for the shopping scene.

Austin is a little warmer than Arlington in the autumn. The daily temperature in Austin averages around 73°F (23°C) in October, and Arlington fluctuates around 60°F (15°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Austin. Austin usually receives more sunshine than Arlington during autumn. Austin gets 214 hours of sunny skies, while Arlington receives 197 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Austin usually receives around the same amount of rain as Arlington. Austin gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Austin 73°F (23°C) 
    Arlington 60°F (15°C)

Should I visit Austin or Arlington in the Winter?

Both Arlington and Austin during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Austin for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Arlington in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Arlington can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Austin is much warmer than Arlington. Typically, the winter temperatures in Austin in January average around 51°F (11°C), and Arlington averages at about 35°F (1°C).

In the winter, Austin often gets more sunshine than Arlington. Austin gets 163 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Arlington receives 139 hours of full sun.

Austin usually gets less rain in January than Arlington. Austin gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Austin 51°F (11°C) 
    Arlington 35°F (1°C)

Should I visit Austin or Arlington in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Austin and Arlington. Many visitors come to Austin in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Austin is generally much warmer than Arlington. Daily temperatures in Austin average around 71°F (22°C), and Arlington fluctuates around 56°F (14°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Arlington this time of the year. In Austin, it's very sunny this time of the year. Austin usually receives less sunshine than Arlington during spring. Austin gets 209 hours of sunny skies, while Arlington receives 228 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Austin usually receives more rain than Arlington. Austin gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Austin 71°F (22°C) 
    Arlington 56°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Arlington and Austin

Austin Arlington
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 51°F (11°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Feb 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jun 83°F (29°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Jul 87°F (30°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Aug 87°F (31°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Oct 73°F (23°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 2 inches (52 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 54°F (12°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)