A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charleston vs. Albuquerque for Food, Old Town, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Charleston or Albuquerque?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Albuquerque, 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.

Charleston

Charleston is a historic, classic, and picturesque coastal town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.

Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a historic, traditional, and cosmopolitan town. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include museums, nightlife, and food.

Charleston and Albuquerque: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Charleston or Albuquerque?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Charleston than Albuquerque. While Albuquerque is larger than Charleston, Charleston has more sights and attractions for tourists. Charleston is better known for its food, music, resorts, beaches, shopping, christmas markets, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Albuquerque is more popular for its museums and hiking. Charleston is more touristy than Albuquerque and is popular for its historic city market, low-country cuisine, Civil War history, and antebellum houses. Also, Charleston is famous for The Waterfront Park. Albuquerque is well known for its adobe architecture, artisan shops, fascinating cultural venues, and surrounding desert landscapes.

How is Charleston different from Albuquerque?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Charleston or Albuquerque?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is notable for its sights and museums. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its museums and history.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Albuquerque can be an interesting and educational experience. The old town has a lot of history including the San Felipe de Neri Church. Also worth visiting is the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Unser Racing Museum, and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Charleston is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. This city is famous for its many historic churches and plantations. The plantations are open to visit and will educate you on the city's past, which is heavily involved in slavery. You can also visit Fort Sumter National Monument by boat or take a tour of the USS Yorktown.


Is the Food Better in Charleston or Albuquerque? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston is a must-visit destination for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Albuquerque is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Eat your way through Charleston, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Food lovers will enjoy the city's low country classics. There are many local restaurants in town that serve southern specialties. You can also head a bit out of the town center if you want a waterfront restaurant. Local favorites include she-crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Albuquerque. The city's local cuisine combines Native American and Spanish flavors to make a variety of unique specialties. You should try the green chili stew, breakfast burrito, sopaipillas, and blue corn pancakes.

Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Nightlife?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Evening events are notable in both Charleston and Albuquerque.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Charleston. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene. Head to the areas near the college for the most affordable and active nightlife. Popular clubs in town include Cure Night Club, Deco Nightclub, and Mynt.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Albuquerque. Head downtown and to the Nob Hill neighborhood for wine bars, breweries, and billiard halls. These areas have the best nightlife scene and they're also compact enough to explore on foot.

Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Music?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston is a good destination for live music. However, Albuquerque is not a live music destination.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Charleston. You can hear a number of local bands or enjoy a more widely known group at larger venues in the area.

Albuquerque is not a live music destination.


Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Resorts?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston is a good destination for its luxury resorts. However, Albuquerque is not a resort destination.

Charleston has a handful of resorts to choose from. The town has mostly hotels and bed and breakfasts in the downtown area, but nearby Kiawah Island has a number of nice resorts to choose from. Kiawah Island is particularly kid-friendly if you're looking for a family beach vacation. If you have a bit more money to spend and want something more residential, check out nearby Seabrook Island.

Albuquerque is not a resort destination.

Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Beaches?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston is a great coastal town for its beaches. However, Albuquerque is not a beach destination.

Many people visit Charleston for it's beautiful beaches. The area has a number of beautiful and fun nearby beaches including Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island. Folly Beach is an active and quirky beach area, while Kiawah is more family-friendly. Seabrook is more residential and more expensive.

Albuquerque is not a beach destination.

Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for its Old Town?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston and Albuquerque both have world-class historical old towns that attract visitors.

Charleston offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. Charleston's downtown is one of the most charming and well preserved Old Town's in the United States. It's easy to see why it's become a world class destination.

Albuquerque has a world-famous historical area. There is a wonderful old town where the city's first neighborhood was established. It dates back to the early 1700's and has its roots in Spanish colonial history. The area has many adobe houses, great local restaurants, and artisan shops.


Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Hiking?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a nice place to visit for the nearby hiking options. However, Charleston is not a hiking destination.

Albuquerque has hiking trails worth exploring. The desert landscape is varied and beautiful. Popular trails in the area include Tree Spring Trail, Birdhouse Ridge, and West Ridge.

Charleston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Charleston or Albuquerque?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston is a must-visit destination for shopping. Also, Albuquerque is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its shopping opportunities.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Charleston. The city is famous for its historic market in the center of town. Local goods, foods, and crafts are sold daily here. There are also many clothing and local shops throughout town, particularly along King Street, which has boutiques and high end outlets. Outside of town, stop by Tanger Outlet Mall if you want name brands at a discount price.

Albuquerque is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city's old town has many cultural artisan shops where you can buy local items. It's a fun and unique shopping experience, and though it sometimes feels a bit touristy, there are many local shops that offer an authentic experience.

Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Christmas?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston is a great coastal town for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Albuquerque does not offer Christmas activities.

Charleston is a very popular destination during Christmas. During the Christmas season there are a number of festivals, light shows, and even a boat parade that everyone can enjoy.

Albuquerque does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Christmas Markets?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston is a good destination for visiting Christmas markets. However, Albuquerque does not offer Christmas markets.

Visiting the Christmas markets is popular in Charleston. Marion Square hosts Christmas Markets on weekends throughout the holiday season.

Albuquerque does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Families?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston and Albuquerque are both notable destinations for the whole family.

Charleston is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of family-friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. There's also an aquarium, a waterfront park, and many kid-friendly museums. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.

Albuquerque is a family-friendly coastal town. The city has a number of nature centers as well as the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo. Outside of town there are many parks and natural areas to explore.

Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Couples?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston is a must-visit destination for romance. Also, Albuquerque is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its romantic activities.

Charleston is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. This beautiful city is one of the most popular wedding destinations in America. It's a very romantic setting with beautiful hotels and bed and breakfasts that are perfect for couples on their honeymoon or looking for a romantic setting.

Albuquerque is a very popular place to visit for couples. Surrounded by natural beauty, and filled with culture and charm, this city makes a great romantic getaway. It's particularly wonderful during the famous International Balloon Fiesta.


Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Students?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston and Albuquerque are both notable destinations for students and younger travelers.

Charleston is a good coastal town to visit for students. The city is a college town with a young vibe that is perfect for students. There's a nice university area where you'll find cheaper places to eat and a good nightlife scene.

Plenty of students visit Albuquerque. It offers a unique cultural environment that students can appreciate. There are also many outdoor recreational opportunities.

Is Charleston or Albuquerque Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Both Charleston and Albuquerque offer respectable public transit options.

Public transit is generally limited in Charleston. While there are some buses, you really must have a car to fully experience the entire area.

Public transit is mostly limited in Albuquerque. ABQ Ride is the bus system around town, but most visitors prefer to have their own car.

Is Charleston or Albuquerque a more walkable city?

Charleston
Albuquerque

Charleston is a great coastal town for its walkability. Also, Albuquerque is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its high level of walkability.

Charleston is very walkable. The downtown area is very walkable, but once you leave the historic heart, it's best to have a car.

Albuquerque is a somewhat walkable place. Walkable areas include the old town, the area around the University of New Mexico, and the uptown area.


For even more information, also check out Is Charleston Worth Visiting? and Is Albuquerque Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Albuquerque or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or Albuquerque?

It's fun to spend time in either Charleston or Albuquerque. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Charleston due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-7 days is a good amount of time for Charleston, and 2-4 days is enough time in Albuquerque.

Families should spend more time in Charleston than Albuquerque. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Charleston, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Charleston than Albuquerque. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Charleston that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Charleston than Albuquerque 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 Charleston.


  • How many days in Charleston or Albuquerque? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charleston 2-7 
    Albuquerque 2-4

One day in Charleston or Albuquerque?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the southern coastal town of Charleston. It's also a great beach destination, too. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

With museums and nightlife around the desert town of Albuquerque, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Charleston or Albuquerque?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the charming destination of Charleston. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. This coastal town offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Albuquerque, there's plenty to do. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this town.

Five days in Charleston or Albuquerque?

Visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the picturesque coastal town of Charleston. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Albuquerque, a popular town, is full of activities for travelers. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


A week in Charleston or Albuquerque?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the quaint destination of Charleston. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Most people come for the beaches. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this coastal town.

Albuquerque is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, and The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Albuquerque or Charleston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Charleston is $170, while the average daily cost in Albuquerque is $135. 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 Charleston and Albuquerque in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $90
    Albuquerque $69
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $180
    Albuquerque $138
Compare Hotels in Charleston and Albuquerque

Looking for a hotel in Charleston or Albuquerque? 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 Charleston


Hotels in Albuquerque


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: Charleston Hotel Prices and Albuquerque Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $33
    Albuquerque $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Charleston Airport to Isle of Palms/Sullivans Island -Roundtrip Private Transfer: $206
  • Charleston Airport (CHS) to Charleston city - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $173
  • Charleston Airport: One-Way Transfer to Charleston: $153
  • Charleston Airport (CHS) to Kiawah/Seabrook Islands – Arrival Private Transfer: $117
  • Isle of Palms/Sullivans Island to Charleston Airport –Departure Private Transfer: $103
  • Folly Beach to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $103
  • Charleston Airport (CHS) to Folly Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • Charleston Airport to Isle of Palms/Sullivans Island– Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $87
  • From Boone Hall Plantation Entry with Transfers: $71
  • Private Transfer from Charleston Cruise Port to Charleston city: $54
  • Private Transfer from Charleston City to Charleston Cruise Port: $54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albuquerque

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

  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Arrival Private Transfer: $39
  • Albuquerque to Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) - Departure Private Transfer: $39
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Albuquerque Airport (ABQ): $40
  • Private Departure Transfer To Albuquerque Airport ABQ: $40
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $78
  • Albuquerque Airport to Truth or Consequences Private Transfer: $125
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Pagosa Springs Private Transfer: $174
  • Albuquerque Airport to Truth or Consequences Round-Trip Transfer: $250

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Albuquerque?

Prices for flights to both Albuquerque and Charleston 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
    Charleston $58
    Albuquerque $41
Typical Food Prices in Charleston

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


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Charleston Sunset Blues & BBQ Dinner Cruise: $63
  • Charleston Harbor Luxury Dinner Cruise with Live Music: $88
  • Luxury Harbor Dinner Cruise: $93
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Charleston Food Tour: $99
  • Historic Downtown Food Tour with Tastings: $99
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour: $107
  • Charleston Farm-to-Table Food Tour and Chef's Challenge: $109
  • Charleston Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $110
  • Downtown Charleston Food Tour: $110
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $110
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $110

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Albuquerque

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

  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Albuquerque, NM: $79

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $22
    Albuquerque $24
Typical Entertainment Prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

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

  • 2 Hours Private Morris Island and River Cruise: $255
  • 1.5-Hour Charleston Harbor Cruise with Live Narration: $42
  • 2 Hours Shem Creek Safari Kayak Tour: $52
  • 2-Hour Guided Kayak Eco Tour in Charleston: $54
  • 300 Years of War and Peacetime in A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • 90-Minute Charleston City Sightseeing Bus Tour : $37
  • Afternoon Schooner Sightseeing Dolphin Cruise on Charleston Harbor: $56
  • An Amazing Guided Ghost Tour: $30
  • Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston: $78
  • Boone Hall Plantation All-Access Admission Ticket: $28
  • Bruce Knows Charleston Walking Tour: $30
  • Charleston Bird Watching Tour : $45

Tours and Activities in Albuquerque

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

  • Old Town Self-Guided Walking Tour by App: $6.50
  • Historic Old Town Albuquerque smart phone App/Audio Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Albuquerque by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Turquoise Museum Admission Ticket: $20
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Albuquerque by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Old Town Hauntings of the West Ghost Tour: $26
  • The Ghost Tour of Old Town - New Mexico's oldest Ghost Walk - Since 2001: $35
  • 12pm - Public High Noon History, Legends & Lore Tour - Guided Old Town Stroll: $35
  • ABQ City Guided History Tour: $35
  • Duke City Pedaler: Beverage Tour to Old Town/Sawmill Albuquerque : $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $36
    Albuquerque $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

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

  • Women and Wine Tour: $18
  • Charleston Women and Wine Tour: $20
  • Guided Pub Crawl and Haunted History Tour: $30
  • Bay Street Bastards Pub Crawl Shared Tour in Charleston : $35
  • Speakeasy Sagas Prohibition Pub Crawl: $35
  • Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $35
  • Historic District Haunted Pub Crawl Tour: $40
  • Charleston Brewery District Cruise (Public Tour): $95
  • Wadmalaw Island Wine Tasting and Tea Garden Trip: $135
  • Half Day Party Bus Brewery Tour of Charleston: $140


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

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


Which is Bigger, Charleston or Albuquerque?

Albuquerque has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Charleston. When comparing the sizes of Charleston and Albuquerque, 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.