A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Austin vs. Santa Fe for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Attractions

Should you visit Austin or Santa Fe?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Austin or Santa Fe, 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 is a entrepreneurial, eccentric, and unconventional city. With a variety of activities, it's a big city. This is beautiful destination to visit. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a historic, charming, and artsy historic town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for museums, skiing, and live music.

Austin and Santa Fe: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Less walkable
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less active music scene

How is Austin different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Austin or Santa Fe Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Santa Fe

Both Austin and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Head to the Museum of New Mexico Complex, which has four museums that give a great overview of the history of the area. Also make sure you visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

Is Austin or Santa Fe Better for Food?

Santa Fe

Foodies will find both Austin and Santa Fe both to be unique destinations.

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.

Santa Fe has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chile peppers.

Is Austin or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Santa Fe

Party-goers will usually choose Austin over Santa Fe.

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.

Santa Fe doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night.

Is Austin or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Santa Fe

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

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 Santa Fe. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Is Austin or Santa Fe Better for Shopping?

Santa Fe

Shopping is a popular activity in both Santa Fe and Austin.

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

Santa Fe is well-known for its shopping. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Is Austin or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Santa Fe

Austin and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe offers lots of family activities. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Is Austin or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Santa Fe

Austin and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.

Is Austin or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is generally more walkable than Austin.

Santa Fe is very walkable. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

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.

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Austin?

How long in Austin or Santa Fe?

In either Austin or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe is 2-5 days.

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

One day in Austin or Santa Fe?

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 food and shopping when visiting the destination of Santa Fe. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Austin or Santa Fe?

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.

Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe?

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 Santa Fe. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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 Santa Fe?

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 skiing and live music when visiting the artsy destination of Santa Fe. This historic town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe is $127. 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 Santa Fe in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Austin $45
    Santa Fe $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Austin $90
    Santa Fe $128
Compare Hotels in Austin and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Austin or Santa Fe? 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 Santa Fe

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 Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Austin $38
    Santa Fe $49

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 Santa Fe

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125

Is it cheaper to fly into Austin or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe 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 Meals for one day
    Austin $28
    Santa Fe $35

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 Santa Fe

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

  • Dinner at the Coffee Farm: $55
  • Santa Fe Railyard Arts District Food Tour: $102
  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $138

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Austin $22
    Santa Fe $13
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

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

Tours and Activities in Santa Fe

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santa Fe.

  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Small-Group Canyon Road Art Tour: $37
  • Beer and Art Tour: $40
  • Land Tour | Bantayan Island - Sightseeing - Guided Tour: $46
  • Walk Granada's Skyline Tour: $49
  • Canyon Road Curated Art Walking Tour: $52
  • Search for The Story-Documentary Film School Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $52
  • Santa Fe Architectural Walking Tour: $115
  • Small-Group E-Bike Adventure Tour through Hidden Santa Fe: $155
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Private Walking Tour of Santa Fe: $170
  • Bantayan Island Day Tour From Cebu: $173
  • The Best of Santa Fe Walking Tour: $498

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Austin $23
    Santa Fe $7.74

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 Santa Fe

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Santa Fe:

  • Join-In Wine Tours: $152
  • White Water Rafting and Wine Tour: $217

When comparing the travel costs between Austin and Santa Fe, we can see that Santa Fe is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Austin vs. Santa Fe Travel Comparison

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