A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Austin vs. San Diego for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Families

Should you visit Austin or San Diego?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Austin or San Diego, 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 entrepreneurial, eccentric, and unconventional city. It's a big city with many activities to entertain visitors, too. This is beautiful destination to visit. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

San Diego

San Diego is a outdoorsy, idyllic, and fun-filled coastal city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Austin different from San Diego?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Austin or San Diego better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Austin and San Diego 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.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around San Diego. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.


Is Austin or San Diego better for Food?

Austin has a longer list of notable local restaurants than San Diego.

Known for it's food 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.

San Diego has a delicious food scene that relies on local flavors. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.

Is Austin or San Diego better for Nightlife?

It's hard to distinguish whether Austin or San Diego 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.

Many people head to San Diego for the nightlife scene. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues.

Is Austin or San Diego better for Music?

Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Austin or San Diego.

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.

The music scene in San Diego draws a good crowd. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

Is Austin or San Diego better for Hiking?

While Austin and San Diego both have hiking trails, overall San Diego is more well-known.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around San Diego. The city is field with parks and has tons of natural beauty. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.

Many visitors include a hike while visiting Austin. Head just outside of town to explore a few great hiking spots right near town.


Is Austin or San Diego better for Shopping?

Shopping in a popular activity in both San Diego 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 San Diego. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping.

Is Austin or San Diego better for Families?

Families will find a wider variety of activities in San Diego than Austin.

San Diego is an amazing family-friendly coastal city to visit. It has a number of kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more.

Austin offers lots of family activities. 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.

Is Austin or San Diego better for Couples?

Austin and San Diego are both fun 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.

San Diego makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

Is Austin or San Diego better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Austin and San Diego are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Austin is popular with 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.

It's common for backpackers to visit San Diego. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.


Is Austin or San Diego better for Students?

Austin and San Diego are comparable 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 to experience and enjoy.

San Diego is a very popular place to visit for students. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego.

Is Austin or San Diego better for Public Transit?

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

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Austin.

Public transit is mostly limited in San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around.

Is Austin or San Diego a more walkable city?

San Diego is generally more walkable than Austin.

San Diego is somewhat walkable. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.

Austin is 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.

Austin and San Diego: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less hiking options
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
Cons
  • Less popular for food


Should I spend more time in San Diego or Austin?

How long in Austin or San Diego?

In either Austin or San Diego, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in San Diego than Austin because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Austin is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to San Diego is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Austin or San Diego? Ideal Length of Stay
    Austin 2-3 
    San Diego 3-5

One day in Austin or San Diego?

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 live music and food when visiting the destination of San Diego. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Austin or San Diego?

You'll find live music and food around the eccentric 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.

San Diego is a great place to explore. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Austin or San Diego?

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 San Diego. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Austin or San Diego?

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 idyllic destination of San Diego. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, San Diego 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 San Diego is $161. 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 San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Austin $45
    San Diego $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Austin $90
    San Diego $182

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Austin $38
    San Diego $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Arrival Private Transfer San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego City by Business Car: $71
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego by Executive SUV: $85
  • Arrival and Departure Transfer: Hotel to and from San Diego International Airport: $70
  • Departure Private Transfer San Diego to San Diego Airport SAN in Business Car: $63
  • Private Airport Transfer San Deigo Arrival And Departure: $67
  • Private Airport Transfer: Hotel to and from San Diego International Airport: $70
  • Private Airport Transfer: San Diego International Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $46
  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Diego to San Diego Int. Airport (SAN): $35
  • Private Arrival Transfer from SAN San Diego Airport to San Diego City: $49
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Diego Airport SAN: $48
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Diego to SAN San Diego Airport: $46
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Diego Airport SAN: $48

Is it cheaper to fly into Austin or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego 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
    San Diego $36

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

Typical Food prices in San Diego

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

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

  • San Diego North Park Food Tour: $49
  • Liberty Station Food Tour: $49
  • Market and Guacamole Cooking Class in Tijuana Mexico: $89
  • Private Cooking Demonstration of Indian Fusion Cuisine in San Diego: $96
  • Farmers Market Tour & Social Cooking With A Chef: $100
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $111
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Diego: $129
  • Secret Food Tours San Diego w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Austin $22
    San Diego $38
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:

  • 48-Hour Austin Hop-On Hop-Off Blue Line City Tour: $45
  • Austin Biker Gang E-Bike Adventure: $62
  • Austin Capital Photo Tour: $21
  • Austin City Landmarks and Taco Tour by Bike: $97
  • Austin Digital Private Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $11
  • Austin E-Bike Tour: $69
  • Austin Electric Bike Tour: Let it Ride: $71
  • Austin Electric Minibike Adventure Tour: $77
  • Austin Famous Ghost and Bat Segway Tour: $59
  • Austin Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $81
  • Austin Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour: $33
  • Austin Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour: $30

Typical Entertainment prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

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

  • La Jolla: Explore California's Riviera on a self-guided audio tour: $5.40
  • La Jolla: Ultimate Self-Guided Combo Tour: $12
  • San Diego Zoo Hunt: Roar with Rex Adventure at the San Diego Zoo: $12
  • San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter Historic True Crime Tour: $16
  • San Diego Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • San Diego Balboa Park Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • San Diego Gaslamp District Ghost Tour: $24
  • Ghost-Themed Walking Tour: $25
  • Skip-the-Line: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket: $26
  • San Diego Harbor Cruise: $28
  • Tijuana Walking Tour from San Diego: $28

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Austin $23
    San Diego $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
  • 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 San Diego

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

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $12
  • Wine Tasting Or Beer Tasting: $15
  • San Diego Brewery Tour: $85
  • San Diego Micro Brewery Tour: $91
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $95
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $101
  • Private San Diego Brewery Tour: $107
  • All inclusive brewery tour-Fire Truck: $189
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego.: $249
  • Private Wine Tour of Temecula from San Diego: $475


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

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Austin vs. San Diego Travel Comparison

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