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

Should you visit Chattanooga or Austin?

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

Should I visit Chattanooga or Austin? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a outdoorsy, thriving, and bustling city. It's also known for museums, nightlife, and food.

Austin

Austin is a lively, entrepreneurial, and eccentric city. With a variety of activities, it's a big city. This is a very beautiful destination, too. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.

Chattanooga and Austin: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less hiking options
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Chattanooga or Austin?

You'll generally find more things to do in Austin than Chattanooga. Austin is bigger than Chattanooga, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Austin is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, music, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Chattanooga is more popular for its hiking. Chattanooga is well known for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas. Austin is well known for its live music scene, excellent Texas barbecue, authentic Mexican food, and vibrant student population. Also, Austin is famous for The Texas Capital.

How is Chattanooga different from Austin?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Chattanooga or Austin?

Chattanooga
Austin

Austin is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Chattanooga is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Austin offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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

Chattanooga is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. It's a thriving city and there are a number of museums to explore. The Hunter Museum of American Art is great for art enthusiasts. There's also the Creative Discovery Museum, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, and the 6th Cavalry Museum, as well as several smaller museums that you can visit.


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

Chattanooga
Austin

Austin is an unbeatable place for its restaurant scene. Also, Chattanooga is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

For foodies, Austin is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. 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.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Chattanooga. There are a growing number of restaurants that range from local dives to fine dining. Fried food is common, but you'll also find Mexican and classic hamburgers. Popular dishes that are local to the area include catfish, southern barbecue, and hush puppies.

Is Chattanooga or Austin Better for Nightlife?

Chattanooga
Austin

Austin is an unbeatable place for its evening party scene. Also, Chattanooga is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.

The nightlife in Austin is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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.

If you're looking for night time activities Chattanooga has a few options to choose from. You'll find plenty of bars and clubs around town. There are also a number of comedy and improv clubs that are fun to check out.

Is Chattanooga or Austin Better for Music?

Chattanooga
Austin

Austin is an unbeatable place for its music scene. However, Chattanooga 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.

Chattanooga is not a live music destination.


Is Chattanooga or Austin Better for Hiking?

Chattanooga
Austin

Chattanooga is a great destination for its hiking experiences. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for hiking.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Chattanooga. It's proximity to the mountains means that you don't have to go far to find good hiking. Within a half hour of town there are more than 50 trailheads. Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain are both hiking destinations. Several trails have swimming spots and many pass through nice forests or head to impressive viewpoints.

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

Is the Shopping Better in Chattanooga or Austin?

Chattanooga
Austin

Shopping is a popular activity in both Austin and Chattanooga.

Many visitors go to Chattanooga to go shopping. Head downtown for local shops or to the larger malls if you want mainstream stores. Many visitors enjoy antiquing while they're in town, but there are also farmer's markets and thrift stores.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Austin. There are a number of local boutiques around town where you can enjoy shopping.

Is Chattanooga or Austin Better for Families?

Chattanooga
Austin

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Chattanooga or Austin.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Chattanooga. Many people enjoy a visit to the Tennessee Aquarium, which has a touch tank and a butterfly exhibit, among other things. Near downtown, Coolidge Park is a great place for kids to get their energy out. There's also the popular Lookout Mountain Incline Railway as well as many hiking trails in the area.

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. There's a number of nice parks around town that are great for kids of all ages.


Is Chattanooga or Austin Better for Couples?

Chattanooga
Austin

With fun activities for couples, both Chattanooga and Austin make for a notable place to visit.

Chattanooga is a good city for couples to visit. Many couples enjoy staying at a local inn and then dining in a nice restaurant or visiting a winery. There's an eclectic art district to explore as well as horse drawn carriages and plenty of nearby hiking trails.

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.

Is Chattanooga or Austin Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Chattanooga
Austin

Austin is a great destination for backpackers. However, Chattanooga is a city with minimal options 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.

Chattanooga is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's proximity to the mountains and diverse outdoor activities make this an under-rated destination for many backpackers.

Is Chattanooga or Austin Better for Students?

Chattanooga
Austin

Austin is a great destination for students. However, Chattanooga is not popular with students.

Austin is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. 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.

Chattanooga is not popular with students.


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

Chattanooga
Austin

Chattanooga is a great destination for its public transit. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit in Chattanooga is fairly effecient and thorough. The city has a convenient and free electric shuttle service. It travels through the downtown and has stops at many points of interest such as the Chattanooga Choo Choo and the Tennessee Aquarium.

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 Chattanooga or Austin a more walkable city?

Chattanooga
Austin

Chattanooga is a great destination for its walkability. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for its high level of walkability.

Chattanooga is very walkable. The city has put a lot of effort into improving its walkability. In particular, the downtown is nice to explore on foot.

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 Chattanooga Worth Visiting? and Is Austin Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Austin or Chattanooga?

How long in Chattanooga or Austin?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Chattanooga and Austin. In our opinion, Austin has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Austin than Chattanooga. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Austin than Chattanooga 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 Chattanooga or Austin? Ideal Length of Stay
    Chattanooga 2-3 
    Austin 2-3

One day in Chattanooga or Austin?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Chattanooga. 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.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the unconventional city of Austin. 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.


A weekend in Chattanooga or Austin?

Chattanooga 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.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the lively destination of Austin. This city 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.

Five days in Chattanooga or Austin?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chattanooga. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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.

The eccentric city of Austin offers museums and nightlife. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Chattanooga or Austin?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the thriving destination of Chattanooga. This 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.

Many people enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting Austin. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage.


Which place is cheaper, Austin or Chattanooga?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chattanooga is $182, while the average daily cost in Austin is $142. 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 Chattanooga and Austin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chattanooga $92
    Austin $56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chattanooga $184
    Austin $112
Compare Hotels in Chattanooga and Austin

Looking for a hotel in Chattanooga or Austin? 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 Chattanooga


Hotels in Austin


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: Chattanooga Hotel Prices and Austin Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chattanooga $35
    Austin $47
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Chattanooga

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chattanooga:


  • Chattanooga Zoo (for 2)
    $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Chattanooga or Austin?

Prices for flights to both Austin and Chattanooga 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
    Chattanooga $59
    Austin $35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chattanooga

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

  • MLK Walking Art History & Food Tour: $65
  • ChattaBrunch Food Tour: $119
  • Historic Southside Food Tour in Chattanooga: $129
  • Downtown Chattanooga Food Tour: $139

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chattanooga $52
    Austin $28

Tours and Activities in Chattanooga

Here are a few actual costs in Chattanooga for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • National Medal of Honor Heritage Museum Admission Ticket in Chattanooga: $14
  • ChattaBOOga Ghost Walk Tour in Chattanooga: $23
  • Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour: $23
  • Murder & Mayhem Haunted History Walking Tour: $25
  • Ghost & Booze Tour of Chattanooga - 21+ Over: $25
  • Family-Friendly Ghost Tour in Chattanooga: $25
  • Ghosts of Scenic City: Chattanooga Ghosts, Murder & Mystery Tour: $25
  • Chattanooga Ghosts of the Misty Mountains Walking Tour: $26
  • Walking Tour of Chattanooga : $26
  • Chattanooga "Secret Agent" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $34
  • King Tut's Tomb Escape Room Experience in Chattanooga: $34
  • Chattanooga "Locker Room Lockdown: Mascot Rescue" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $34

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chattanooga $24
    Austin $28

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 Chattanooga and Austin, we can see that Chattanooga 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 Chattanooga would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chattanooga than you might in Austin.

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


Which is Bigger, Chattanooga or Austin?

Austin has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Chattanooga. When comparing the sizes of Chattanooga and Austin, 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 Chattanooga or Austin?

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 Chattanooga or Austin in the Summer?

Both Austin and Chattanooga are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Chattanooga for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Austin in the summer for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Chattanooga is cooler than Austin. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chattanooga in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Austin averages at about 87°F (30°C).

It's quite sunny in Austin. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. Chattanooga usually receives less sunshine than Austin during summer. Chattanooga gets 265 hours of sunny skies, while Austin receives 318 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Chattanooga. In July, Chattanooga usually receives more rain than Austin. Chattanooga gets 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chattanooga 81°F (27°C) 
    Austin 87°F (30°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Austin in the Autumn?

Both Austin and Chattanooga during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Chattanooga in the autumn for the hiking trails and the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Austin for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Chattanooga is generally cooler than Austin. Daily temperatures in Chattanooga average around 63°F (17°C), and Austin fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

In Austin, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Chattanooga. In the autumn, Chattanooga often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Austin. Chattanooga gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Austin receives 214 hours of full sun.

Chattanooga usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Austin. Chattanooga gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 3 inches (77 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chattanooga 63°F (17°C) 
    Austin 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Austin in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Chattanooga and Austin. Most visitors come to Chattanooga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Austin because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Chattanooga can be very cold during winter. Chattanooga is much colder than Austin in the winter. The daily temperature in Chattanooga averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Austin fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).

Chattanooga usually receives less sunshine than Austin during winter. Chattanooga gets 145 hours of sunny skies, while Austin receives 163 hours of full sun in the winter.

Chattanooga gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Chattanooga usually receives more rain than Austin. Chattanooga gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chattanooga 40°F (5°C) 
    Austin 51°F (11°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Austin in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Chattanooga as well as Austin. Also, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Austin this time of year.

In the spring, Chattanooga is cooler than Austin. Typically, the spring temperatures in Chattanooga in April average around 62°F (17°C), and Austin averages at about 71°F (22°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Austin. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chattanooga this time of the year. In the spring, Chattanooga often gets more sunshine than Austin. Chattanooga gets 243 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Austin receives 209 hours of full sun.

Chattanooga receives a lot of rain in the spring. Chattanooga usually gets more rain in April than Austin. Chattanooga gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Typical Weather for Austin and Chattanooga

Chattanooga Austin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 51°F (11°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Feb 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Mar 53°F (12°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
May 70°F (21°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4 inches (101 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 83°F (29°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 87°F (30°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 87°F (31°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 82°F (28°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2 inches (52 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)