A Travel Price Comparison for Texas Austin vs. Houston for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Attractions

Should you visit Austin or Houston?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Austin or Houston, 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 lively, entrepreneurial, and eccentric city. It's a big city with many activities to entertain visitors, too. This is a very beautiful destination, too. And you can't forget about the live music, food, and shopping.

Houston

Houston is a sprawling, southern, and one-of-a-kind city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's also known for museums, nightlife, and live music.

Austin and Houston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less active music scene


How is Austin different from Houston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Austin or Houston better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Austin and Houston have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Austin is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. 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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Houston. Head to Houston's Museum District to explore 19 different museums in a walkable area.

Austin
Houston


Is Austin or Houston better for Food?

Austin has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Houston.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Austin is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. There is amazing Texas barbecue, excellent Mexican food, and diverse food trucks.

Houston has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city is famous for its Texas barbecue, Mexican food, and a wide diversity of other different ethnic foods.

Austin
Houston

Is Austin or Houston better for Nightlife?

It's hard to distinguish whether Austin or Houston has a better nightlife scene.

People head to Austin just to party. Head for Sixth Street for some of the most popular bars and clubs. Popular bars and clubs include the White Horse, the Rose Room, and Antone's Nightclub.

The nightlife in Houston has something for everybody. The nightlife is at its best on weekends when bars, dance clubs, and concert halls come to life.

Austin
Houston

Is Austin or Houston better for Music?

For live music, you may want to head to Austin over Houston.

Austin is a world class music destination. Music is what gives this city its character. There are many live music venues, concerts, and music festivals to experience.

You'll find some good live music in Houston. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Austin
Houston

Is Austin or Houston better for Shopping?

Shopping is a popular activity in both Houston 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 Houston. There are a number of upscale malls and shopping centers that have brand names, chain stores, and the occasional local shop where you can pick up items.

Austin
Houston


Is Austin or Houston better for Families?

Austin and Houston are both fun 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.

Houston offers lots of family activities. It is a large city with plenty of things that kids can enjoy including museums, theaters, a zoo, and even the Space Center.

Austin
Houston

Is Austin or Houston better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Austin and Houston.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Austin.

Public transit is mostly limited in Houston. The system includes buses and a limited light rail.

Austin
Houston

Is Austin or Houston a more walkable city?

Austin and Houston both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Austin is not a walkable city. The city, like most southern cities, isn't very walkable and it's important to have a car to get around.

Houston is generally not a very walkable city. The most walkable neighborhood is the historic Houston Heights.

Austin
Houston

Should I spend more time in Houston or Austin?

How long in Austin or Houston?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Austin and Houston. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Austin is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Houston is 2-3 days.


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

One day in Austin or Houston?

In Austin, you'll find shopping and museums. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Houston is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Austin or Houston?

In Austin, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Austin has to offer.

Houston 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 Houston?

Austin is a great place to explore. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Houston. Five days may feel like too much time here 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 Houston?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Austin. One week may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the one-of-a-kind big city of Houston. 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 city is cheaper, Houston or Austin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Austin is $114, while the average daily cost in Houston is $210. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Austin and Houston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Austin $45
    Houston $113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Austin $90
    Houston $226
Compare Hotels in Austin and Houston

Looking for a hotel in Austin or Houston? 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 Houston


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Austin $38
    Houston $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

  • Austin City to Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) - Departure Private Transfer: $93
  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Arrival Private Transfer: $93
  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $187
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport One Way Transfer: $69
  • Private Airport and Hotel Transfer Services in Austin: $86
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Austin Bergstrom Airport AUS: $40
  • Private Austin Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $128
  • Private Austin Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $114
  • Private Departure Transfer to Austin Bergstrom Airport AUS: $40
  • Transfer from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Austin: $109

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston Airport HOU to Houston City by Executive SUV: $92
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston Airport HOU to Houston City by Sedan Car: $67
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston Airport HOU to Houston City by Sprinter Minibus: $200
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston George Bush Airport IAH to Houston by Minibus: $175
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston George Bush Airport IAH to Houston by SUV: $92
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston George Bush Airport IAH to Houston by Sedan Car: $62
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston City to Houston Airport HOU by Executive SUV: $92
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston City to Houston Airport HOU by Minibus: $200
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston City to Houston Airport HOU by Sedan Car: $67
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston to Houston George Bush Airport IAH by Minibus: $175
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston to Houston George Bush Airport IAH by SUV: $92
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston to Houston George Bush Airport IAH by Sedan: $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Austin or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston 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 $28
    Houston $28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Austin

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

  • Secret Food Tour: $90
  • Austin Food Tour by Bus with Live Band On Board: $93
  • Austin Beer and Food Tour by Bike: $97
  • Private Secret Food Tour of Downtown Austin: $103
  • East Austin Urban Farms & Brewery Food Tour by Bike: $106
  • Wood Fired Dinner Series at the Austin Winery: $159
  • Secret Food Tour of Downtown Austin w/ Private Tour Option: $221

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $65
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $74
  • The Heights Food Tour: $74
  • Culinary Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $77

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Austin $22
    Houston $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 Digital Private Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $11
  • Austin Trails Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $20
  • Austin Capital Photo Tour: $21
  • Double Decker Austin Single Loop Sightseeing Tour: $23
  • Family-Friendly Ghosts of Austin Tour: $25
  • Spy Adventure: Operation Mindfall: $25
  • Spy Adventure at the Domain in Austin: $25
  • Operation Mindfall, A Spy Adventure in Austin: $25
  • Austin Street Art Walking Tour: $25
  • Haunted Austin Walking History Tour: $26
  • Downtown Austin Photo Tour: $26
  • Austin and Hill Country Sightseeing Tour: $26

Tours and Activities in Houston

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

  • Ultimate Houston Self-Driving Audio Tour: $8.00
  • Houston Museum of Natural Sciences: Planetarium Ticket: $9.00
  • Haunted Houston Ghost Walking Tour (All Ages): $21
  • Space Center Houston Admission Ticket: $25
  • Museum of Natural Sciences Ticket: $25
  • Astroville Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston: $26
  • Houston Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $30
  • 3D Printer Factory Tour plus 2 ft Tall Rocket!: $31
  • Houston's Official Hop on-Hop off Tour: $32
  • Astroville Weekend Downtown Houston Tour With Tunnel Access: $35
  • Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston: $35
  • Astroville Rockets Basketball Game Day Tour with Tunnel Access: $36

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Austin $23
    Houston $11

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
  • More than a Pub Crawl: $24
  • Haunted Austin Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Brewery Tours through East Austin via Motorized Pedicab: $40
  • Austin Pedicab Brewery Tour with Beer Flights Included Option: $46
  • The Brew Bus: Austin Brewery Tour with Live Band: $81
  • Private Texas Hill Country Half-Day Wine Tour from Austin: $140
  • Texas Hill Country Wine Tour by Limousine: $175
  • Customizable Austin Distillery and Brewery Tour: $206
  • Half-Day Brewery and Craft Beer Tour in Austin with Tastings: $240

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

Also in Houston, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Skip the Line: Distillery Tour Ticket: $21
  • Haunted Houston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Brewery Tour: $53
  • Astroville Downtown Bar Crawl & Tunnel Access (2 Cocktails Beverages Included): $58
  • SUV St. Arnold Brewery Tour: $487


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Austin and Houston, we can see that Houston 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 Houston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Houston than you might in Austin.


When is the best time to visit Austin or Houston?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Austin or Houston in the Summer?

Both Houston and Austin are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Austin for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Houston in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Austin is around the same temperature as Houston. Typically, the summer temperatures in Austin in July are around 87°F (30°C), and Houston is about 84°F (29°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Houston. In July, Austin usually receives less rain than Houston. At this time of the year, Austin gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.8 inches (122 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Austin 87°F (30°C) 
    Houston 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Austin or Houston in the Autumn?

Both Houston and Austin during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Austin in the autumn for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Houston for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene during these months.

In October, Austin is generally around the same temperature as Houston. Temperatures in Austin average around 73°F (23°C), and Houston stays around 71°F (22°C).

Houston gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Austin usually gets less rain in October than Houston. Austin gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Austin 73°F (23°C) 
    Houston 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Austin or Houston in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Austin and Houston. Most visitors come to Austin for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Houston because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Austin is around the same temperature as Houston in the winter. The temperature in Austin is usually 51°F (11°C) in January, and Houston stays around 52°F (11°C).

In January, Austin usually receives less rain than Houston. At this time of the year, Austin gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Austin 51°F (11°C) 
    Houston 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Austin or Houston in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Austin as well as Houston. The spring months attract visitors to Austin because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Additionally, the activities around the city are the main draw to Houston this time of year.

In the spring, Austin is around the same temperature as Houston. Typically, the spring temperatures in Austin in April are around 71°F (22°C), and Houston is about 70°F (21°C).

Austin usually gets more rain in April than Houston. Austin gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Austin 71°F (22°C) 
    Houston 70°F (21°C)

Typical Weather for Houston and Austin

Austin Houston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 51°F (11°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Feb 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 76°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Jun 83°F (29°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 87°F (30°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 84°F (29°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm)
Aug 87°F (31°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 83°F (29°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Oct 73°F (23°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 71°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 2 inches (52 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)
Dec 54°F (12°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)


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Austin vs. Houston Travel Comparison

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