A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Austin vs. Houston

Should you visit Austin or Houston?

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

Austin

Located in the Texas Hill Country, Austin is the capital city of the state. It is a relatively small city with a compact downtown area and many sprawling suburbs stretching out along the interstate. Austin prides itself on its eclectic culture and alternative vibe which is epitomized by the city's unofficial slogan "Keep Austin Weird." The University of Texas at Austin is also located downtown. The school's large student population helps give the city a youthful feel with a lively nightlife and no shortage of activities on weekends. The city is also the self proclaimed live music capital of the country. As such, it has many music venues and bars, most of which are clustered around the 6th Street area downtown. There are also many free outdoor concerts, particularly during the summer months.

Houston

The largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States, Houston is a sprawling urban center that has grown from its wealth in the oil industry. Visitors today are drawn to its cultural diversity which has additionally made Houston a foodie destination. Other attractions to Houston include its proximity to NASA's Space Center Houston on the Gulf coast, and its Downtown which features a vibrant museum and arts scene, shopping, and dining.

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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Austin and Houston in more detail.




Accommodation

A hotel room in Austin is about $90 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $226 for a double occupancy room in Houston.


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


Food

The average traveler spends about $28 per day in Austin for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The average traveler spends about $28 per day in Houston for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street 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.

  • 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
  • Secret Food Tour: $288

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
  • Culinary Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $67
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $74
  • The Heights Food Tour: $74


Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Austin is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $38 per person, per day, on local transportation in Austin.

The average price of local transportation around Houston is $58 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public 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


Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Austin typically cost an average of $22 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Houston's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $11 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • 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
  • Haunted History Ghost Tour: $21
  • Double Decker Austin Single Loop Sightseeing Tour: $23
  • 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
  • Austin and Hill Country Sightseeing Tour: $26
  • Downtown Austin Photo 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
  • Haunted Houston Ghost Walking Tour (All Ages): $21
  • Space Center Houston Admission 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
  • Houston Hop on-City Tour: 2-Day Pass: $35
  • Hop-on Houston City Tour: $35
  • Astroville Weekend Downtown Houston Tour With Tunnel Access: $35
  • Astroville Rockets Basketball Game Day Tour with Tunnel Access: $36
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $37


Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Austin may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $23 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Houston may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • 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
  • Half-Day Craft Beer and Brewery Tour: $82
  • 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 Pass with Beer Tastings: $29
  • Brewery Tour: $53
  • Astroville Downtown Bar Crawl & Tunnel Access (2 Cocktails Beverages Included): $58
  • Bar Crawl with Tunnel Access and 2 Cocktails: $67
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70
  • 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.

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Austin vs. Houston Travel Comparison

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