A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charleston vs. Austin for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Couples

Should you visit Charleston or Austin?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Austin, 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 is a charming, southern, and quaint 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. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.


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 museums, nightlife, and live music.

How is Charleston different from Austin?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Charleston or Austin better for Museums and Historical Sights?

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Charleston or Austin.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Charleston. This city is famous for its many historic churches and plantations. You can also visit Fort Sumter National Monument by boat or take a tour of the USS Yorktown.

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.

Is Charleston or Austin better for Food?

Picking the best between Charleston and Austin can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Known for it's food scene, Charleston is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. Food lovers will enjoy the city's low country classics. Local favorites include she crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.

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.

Is Charleston or Austin better for Nightlife?

Austin has the better options when it comes to nightlife.

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

Charleston has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene.

Is Charleston or Austin better for Music?

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

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.

The music scene helps keep Charleston active and fun. You can hear a number of local bands or enjoy a more widely known group at larger venues in the area.

Is Charleston or Austin better for Shopping?

Charleston usually beats out Austin for shopping.

Charleston is a world class destination for shoppers. 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.

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

Is Charleston or Austin better for Families?

Charleston and Austin are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Charleston is a family-friendly place to visit. The area has a number of family friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.

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.

Is Charleston or Austin better for Couples?

While Austin and Charleston are both popular destinations, overall Charleston is considered to be a more popular choice.

Charleston has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. 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.

Austin is a nice destination for couples. Young couples will enjoy the city for its lively nightlife, fun music scene, and youthful vibe.

Is Charleston or Austin better for Students?

Charleston and Austin are both good 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.

Austin is a great coastal town 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.

Is Charleston or Austin a more walkable city?

Charleston is more walkable than Austin.

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

Austin is not a walkable coastal town. The city, like most southern cities, isn't very walkable and it's important to have a car to get around.

Charleston and Austin: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less active music scene
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable

Should I spend more time in Austin or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or Austin?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Charleston and Austin. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than Austin.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Charleston is 2-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Austin is 2-3 days.

  • How many days in Charleston or Austin? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charleston 2-7 
    Austin 2-3

One day in Charleston or Austin?

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the quaint destination of Charleston. 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.

With live music and food around the eccentric city of Austin, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Charleston or Austin?

Charleston 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.

With food and shopping around the destination of Austin, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Charleston or Austin?

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

Austin, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. 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 Austin?

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the charming destination of Charleston. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Austin 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.

Which city is cheaper, Austin or Charleston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Charleston is $136, while the average daily cost in Austin is $114. 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 Charleston and Austin in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $72
    Austin $45
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $144
    Austin $90

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $26
    Austin $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Austin?

Prices for flights to both Austin 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 Meals for one day
    Charleston $46
    Austin $28
Typical Food prices in Charleston

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

  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
  • Breakfast

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

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

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $17
    Austin $22
Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

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

  • Patriots Point (for 2)

Tours and Activities in Charleston

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

  • Charleston's Haunted Ghost Tour - Smart Phone Guided Tour: $5.00
  • Charleston Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $16
  • Charleston's Pleasing Terrors Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Downtown Charleston Walking Tour with Certified Local Guide: $21
  • Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour: $21
  • Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Charleston French Quarter Historic Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Drayton Hall Plantation Admission Ticket in Charleston: $22
  • Small-Group Tour: Charleston Old Walled City Historical Walking Tour: $23
  • Charleston Terrors Walking Ghost Tour: $23
  • Charleston Ghosts of Liberty Guided Walking Tour: $25
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25

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:

  • Austin Digital Private Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $11
  • Austin Trails Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $20
  • Austin Capital Photo Tour: $21
  • Double Decker Austin Single Loop Sightseeing Tour: $23
  • Family-Friendly Ghosts of Austin Tour: $25
  • 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
  • Downtown Austin Photo Tour: $26
  • Austin and Hill Country Sightseeing Tour: $26

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $28
    Austin $23

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

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

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37

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

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Charleston and Austin, we can see that Charleston 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 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 Austin.

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Charleston vs. Austin Travel Comparison

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