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

Should you visit Austin or Pasadena?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Austin or Pasadena, 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 eccentric, unconventional, and lively city. With a variety of activities, it's a big city. This is a very beautiful destination, too. Other popular activities here include live music, food, and shopping.

Pasadena

Pasadena is a charming, picturesque, and quaint city. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Austin and Pasadena: 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
  • Good for students
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Austin or Pasadena?

You'll generally find more things to do in Austin than Pasadena. Austin is bigger than Pasadena, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Austin is better known for its food, nightlife, music, hiking, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Pasadena is more popular for its shopping. Austin is more touristy than Pasadena and is known for its live music scene, excellent Texas barbecue, authentic Mexican food, and vibrant student population. Also, Austin is famous for The Texas Capital. Pasadena is well known for being the home of the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl.

How is Austin different from Pasadena?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Pasadena 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 Pasadena?

Austin
Pasadena

Both Austin and Pasadena have great 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 Pasadena. There's a good number of museums around town that include kids' museums, art museums, and local museums. Popular museums include the USC Pacific Asia Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Pasadena Museum of History. Many people also enjoy touring the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


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

Austin
Pasadena

Austin is an amazing city to visit for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Eat your way through Austin, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. 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.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Pasadena. Local restaurants feature southern California cuisine as well as international flavors. Dishes often use local ingredients that are fresh and seasonal. Restaurants range from casual to fine dining and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

Is Austin or Pasadena Better for Nightlife?

Austin
Pasadena

Austin is an amazing city to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Austin has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. 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.

Pasadena has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. Much of the nightlife scene is concentrated around Old Pasadena. You'll find clubs, bars, and lounges that begin the evening with Happy Hours and then become more party-focused as the evening progresses.

Is Austin or Pasadena Better for Music?

Austin
Pasadena

Austin is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. However, Pasadena is not a live music destination.

In Austin you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. 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.

Pasadena is not a live music destination.


Is Austin or Pasadena Better for Hiking?

Austin
Pasadena

Austin is a moderate city for the nearby hiking options. However, Pasadena 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.

Pasadena is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Austin or Pasadena?

Austin
Pasadena

Pasadena is a great destination for shopping. Also, Austin is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping opportunities.

Pasadena is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Old Pasadena is where you'll find some of the best shopping. It's filled with a charming atmosphere and interesting boutiques.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Austin. There are a number of local boutiques around town where you can enjoy shopping.

Is Austin or Pasadena Better for Families?

Austin
Pasadena

Austin and Pasadena 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.

Pasadena offers lots of family activities. There are a number of kid-friendly museums around town including Kidspace Children's Museum. There are also nature centers, playgrounds, and plenty of family-friendly restaurants.


Is Austin or Pasadena Better for Couples?

Austin
Pasadena

Austin and Pasadena 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.

Pasadena makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's a charming town with a bit of a European vibe and plenty of outdoor activities. Fine dining and interesting shopping make this a nice weekend destination.

Is Austin or Pasadena Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Austin
Pasadena

Austin is notable for backpackers. However, Pasadena is a mediocre city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Austin is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. Although the city is relatively small, it does see a disproportionate number of backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in town as well.

Pasadena is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not high on the list for most backpackers.

Is Austin or Pasadena Better for Students?

Austin
Pasadena

Austin is notable for students. However, Pasadena is not popular with students.

Many students visit Austin. 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.

Pasadena is not popular with students.


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

Austin
Pasadena

Pasadena is a nice place to visit for its public transit. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Pasadena, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. Buses and light rail offer local transit and connect the city to nearby Los Angeles.

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 Pasadena a more walkable city?

Austin
Pasadena

Pasadena is a nice place to visit for its walkability. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for its high level of walkability.

Pasadena is somewhat walkable. Most people head to Old Pasadena, which is the most concentrated and walkable part of the city.

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 Pasadena Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Pasadena or Austin?

How long in Austin or Pasadena?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Austin and Pasadena. In our opinion, Austin has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Austin than Pasadena. In general, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Austin, and 1-3 days is enough time in Pasadena.

Couples should spend more time in Austin than Pasadena. 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 Pasadena 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 Pasadena? Ideal Length of Stay
    Austin 2-3 
    Pasadena 1-3

One day in Austin or Pasadena?

The city of Austin offers museums and nightlife. 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.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Pasadena. One day is often enough time to do most activities.


A weekend in Austin or Pasadena?

Austin 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. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Austin, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Pasadena 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 Pasadena?

Austin 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Pasadena. 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 Pasadena?

Austin is a great place to explore. 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.

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


For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America, and The Best Train & Rail Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Pasadena 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 Pasadena is $62. 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 Pasadena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Austin $56
    Pasadena $25
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Austin $112
    Pasadena $50
Compare Hotels in Austin and Pasadena

Looking for a hotel in Austin or Pasadena? 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 Pasadena


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 Pasadena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Austin $47
    Pasadena $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Arrival Private Transfer: $48
  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $96
  • Austin Airport Group Pickup / Transfer up to 1 hour away.: $150
  • Austin International Airport (AUS) - Private Round trip transfer: $215

Is it cheaper to fly into Austin or Pasadena?

Prices for flights to both Pasadena 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
    Pasadena $19

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
  • Devour Downtown Austin Walking Food Tour: $80
  • Famous Texas BBQ & Food Tour in Austin: $89
  • Austin South Congress Walking Food Tour for Small Groups: $95
  • Austin Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • The Brunch Bus: Food Tour with a Live Band on Board the Bus!: $125
  • Private Guided Food Tour of Austin Neighborhoods: $135

Typical Food Prices in Pasadena

Some typical examples of dining costs in Pasadena are as follows:


  • Casual Dinner Out (family of 4)
    $58

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Austin $28
    Pasadena -
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:

  • Romantic Austin Quest Experience: $7.10
  • Haunted Austin Quest Experience: $9.84
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Round Rock by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Austin by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Austin by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Austin Arcane Arts Quest Experience: $11
  • Austin Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour Guide: $17
  • Haunted Tour with Ghost Hunting Gear: $20
  • Downtown Austin Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Austin Trails Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Austin Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Ghost Maker Tour in Georgetown: Adults Only: $25

Tours and Activities in Pasadena

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Pasadena are as follows:

  • Pasadena Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $11
  • Haunted Walking Tour: $30
  • Old Pasadena Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour: $49
  • LA: East Side Guided Film Locations Tour: $350

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Austin $28
    Pasadena -

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
  • Downtown Austin Live Music Pub Crawl: $35
  • Austin Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Public Pedal Pub Tour in Austin: $39
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience in Austin: $55
  • Rainey Street Walking Pub Crawl and Tour: $59
  • Half-Day Hill Country Brewery and Distillery Shuttle from Austin: $65
  • Private Austin Brewery Tour by Pedicab with All-Inclusive Beer Flight Option: $70
  • 4-Hour Austin Signature Brewery Tour: $100
  • The Brew Bus: Austin Brewery Tour with Live Band: $125
  • Brewery 5K Fun Run, BBQ, and Texas History Museum in Austin : $175


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

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


Which is Bigger, Austin or Pasadena?

Austin has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Pasadena. When comparing the sizes of Austin and Pasadena, 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 Pasadena?

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 Pasadena in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Austin and Pasadena. Many travelers come to Austin for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Pasadena in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Austin is generally a little warmer than Pasadena. Daily temperatures in Austin average around 87°F (30°C), and Pasadena fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

In July, Austin usually receives more rain than Pasadena. Austin gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0 inches (0 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Austin 87°F (30°C) 
    Pasadena 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Austin or Pasadena in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Austin as well as Pasadena. 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. Additionally, most visitors come to Pasadena for the shopping scene during these months.

Austin is a little warmer than Pasadena in the autumn. The daily temperature in Austin averages around 73°F (23°C) in October, and Pasadena fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

Austin usually gets more rain in October than Pasadena. Austin gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0.3 inches (7 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Austin 73°F (23°C) 
    Pasadena 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Austin or Pasadena in the Winter?

Both Pasadena and Austin are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Austin for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Pasadena because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Austin is cooler than Pasadena. Typically, the winter temperatures in Austin in January average around 51°F (11°C), and Pasadena averages at about 56°F (13°C).

In January, Austin usually receives less rain than Pasadena. Austin gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 2.5 inches (63 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Austin 51°F (11°C) 
    Pasadena 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Austin or Pasadena in the Spring?

Both Pasadena and Austin during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Austin because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Austin is generally a little warmer than Pasadena. Daily temperatures in Austin average around 71°F (22°C), and Pasadena fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

Austin usually gets more rain in April than Pasadena. Austin gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Austin 71°F (22°C) 
    Pasadena 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Pasadena and Austin

Austin Pasadena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 51°F (11°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Feb 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 59°F (15°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 65°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (4 mm)
Jun 83°F (29°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 69°F (20°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Jul 87°F (30°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0 inches (0 mm)
Aug 87°F (31°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 74°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 73°F (23°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 2 inches (52 mm) 62°F (16°C) 1.6 inches (42 mm)
Dec 54°F (12°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 56°F (13°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm)