A Travel Price Comparison for Texas Dallas vs. Houston for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Dallas or Houston?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Dallas and Houston can help you decide which place is right for you.

Dallas

Dallas is a upscale, chic, and active city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Houston

Houston is a sprawling, southern, and one-of-a-kind city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Dallas and Houston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Dallas or Houston?

You'll generally find more things to do in Houston than Dallas. Houston is bigger than Dallas, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Houston is better known for its music and big city activities, while Dallas is more popular for its food and shopping. Dallas is well known for its Tex Mex cuisine, upscale shopping venues, and cowboy culture. Houston is well known for its sprawling size, its local Texas restaurants, and being the home to NASA. Also, Houston is famous for The Space Center Houston.

How is Dallas different from Houston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Dallas or Houston?

Dallas
Houston

Plenty of people visit the high quality sights and museums in both Dallas and Houston.

Many visitors head to Dallas specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Museums range from historical to art and science with some of the favorites being the Dallas Contemporary Museum, the African American Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Frontiers of Flight Museum. The city is also home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Nasher Sculpture Center. A must-see is the Sixth Floor Museum, which is in historic Dealey Plaza and is where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots that killed JFK. Today there's a museum that goes over the events of that day.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Houston can be an interesting and educational experience. Head to Houston's Museum District to explore 19 different museums in a walkable area. A highlight of a trip to the city is a visit to the Space Center, but other popular museums include the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Houston Children's Museum.


Is the Food Better in Dallas or Houston? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Dallas
Houston

Dallas is well known for its restaurant scene. Also, Houston is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Dallas. There's a perfect combination of Texas cuisine and international flavors. You'll find Texas barbecue, Tex Mex, and steakhouses intermixed with Thai, Japanese, and Caribbean cuisine. There's also a great food truck scene and many local eateries.

Houston is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The city is famous for its Texas barbecue, Mexican food, and a wide diversity of other different ethnic foods. It's a surprisingly diverse city and this is reflected in the restaurant selection around town.

Is Dallas or Houston Better for Nightlife?

Dallas
Houston

Both Dallas and Houston are high quality when it comes to partying.

Dallas offers plenty to do in the evening. Head to East Dallas for the most active clubs with large dance floors and great music. The city also has rooftop lounges and plenty of live music as well as comedy clubs.

Houston has a large number of nightlife venues. The nightlife is at its best on weekends when bars, dance clubs, and concert halls come to life. There are a diversity of venues around town including dance clubs, Honky Tonks, and cocktail bars. Some of the most active nightlife areas are Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, Washington Avenue, and Rice Village.

Is Dallas or Houston Better for Music?

Dallas
Houston

Houston is very good for its live music scene. However, Dallas is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Houston. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Dallas is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Dallas or Houston?

Dallas
Houston

Dallas is well known for its shopping opportunities. Also, Houston is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping areas.

Dallas is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. You'll find a very diverse shopping scene around town, with everything from quirky local vendors to upscale fashion boutiques. There are cowboy outfitters where you can get a feel for the Texas style, but there are also posh shopping centers and local flea markets.

Houston has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are a number of upscale malls and shopping centers that have brand names, chain stores, and the occasional local shop where you can pick up items.

Is Dallas or Houston Better for Families?

Dallas
Houston

You'll find high quality kid-friendly activities in either Dallas or Houston.

Dallas is a very kid-friendly city. The city is filled with families, and you'll find many kid-friendly activities around town. For some outdoor time you can visit the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden or the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The Dallas Zoo is a favorite for many kids and there are also a number of kid-friendly museums around town such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Dallas World Aquarium.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Houston. It is a large city with plenty of things that kids can enjoy including museums, theaters, a zoo, and even the Space Center. The Children's Museum of Houston is perfect for a rainy day. For science loving kids there's the Health Museum and the Museum of Natural Science. Houston also has a Six Flags nearby which the whole family can enjoy.

Is Dallas or Houston Better for Couples?

Dallas
Houston

Dallas is well known for its romantic activities. Also, Houston is still popular, but not quite as popular for couples.

Couples visit Dallas frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Head to the observation deck at Reunion Tower for spectacular views of the night skyline. The city also has many great comedy clubs and performing arts venues as well as fine dining restaurants that make for a great date night.

Houston is a good city for couples to visit. There's a surprising diversity of restaurants around the city. There are also performing arts productions and many outdoor parks and gardens.


Is Dallas or Houston Better for Students?

Dallas
Houston

Houston is very good for students. However, Dallas is not a good city for its student-friendly activities.

Houston is a good city to visit for students. It's a large city with a number of universities and a large student population.

Dallas is a decent spot for students. There are a couple of universities and colleges in the area that keep things interesting for students.

Is Dallas or Houston Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Dallas
Houston

Dallas is a good destination for its public transit. However, Houston is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Dallas, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. While it's still very much a car-centered city, the public transportation system, DART, is one of the fastest growing in the country. It includes both light rail and bus service.

Public transit is mostly limited in Houston. The system includes buses and a limited light rail. Houston is known as a car-centric city and you really need a car to fully experience it.

Is Dallas or Houston a more walkable city?

Dallas
Houston

Dallas and Houston both are respectable when exploring on foot.

Dallas is generally not very walkable. The city is not particularly walkable, but there are several more walkable areas such as Ellum and Uptown.

Houston is generally not a very walkable city. The most walkable neighborhood is the historic Houston Heights, but most parts of the city aren't very walkable.


For even more information, also check out Is Dallas Worth Visiting? and Is Houston Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Houston or Dallas?

How long in Dallas or Houston?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Dallas and Houston. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Dallas than in Houston. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Dallas, and 2-3 days is enough time in Houston.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Dallas than Houston 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 Dallas.


  • How many days in Dallas or Houston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Dallas 2-4 
    Houston 2-3

One day in Dallas or Houston?

In Dallas, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Houston is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Dallas or Houston?

In Dallas, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Dallas has to offer.

Houston 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 Dallas or Houston?

Dallas is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

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


A week in Dallas or Houston?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Dallas. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Dallas. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the diverse big city of Houston. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage.


Which place is cheaper, Houston or Dallas?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dallas is $141, while the average daily cost in Houston is $262. 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 Dallas and Houston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dallas $84
    Houston $142
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dallas $168
    Houston $284
Compare Hotels in Dallas and Houston

Looking for a hotel in Dallas or Houston? 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 Dallas


Hotels in Houston


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: Dallas Hotel Prices and Houston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dallas $28
    Houston $72

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dallas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dallas:

  • Allen or Plano to Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) - Departure Private Transfer: $61
  • Arrival Private Transfer Dallas Airport DAL to Dowtown Dallas by Luxury Vehicle: $83
  • Arrival Private Transfer Dallas Airport DAL to Fort Worth by Luxury Vehicle: $135
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Dallas Airport DFW to Dallas in Business Car: $105
  • Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) to Plano / Allen - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $122
  • Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW): Transfer to Dallas: $202
  • Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) to Dallas - Arrival Private Transfer: $41
  • Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) to Dallas - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $83
  • Dallas to Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) - Departure Private Transfer: $41
  • Departure Private Transfer Dowtown Dallas to Dallas Airport DAL Luxury Vehicle: $83
  • Departure Private Transfer: Dallas to Dallas Airport DFW in Luxury SUV: $126
  • Private Departure Transfer to Dallas Fort Worth Airport DFW: $40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): $51
  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston George Bush Airport IAH: $51
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $60
  • Round-Trip Shuttle Transfer to NASA Space Center: $62
  • Private Hotel Transfer in Houston: $80
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $88
  • Departure Private Transfer: Houston to George Bush Airport IAH in Business Car: $105
  • Arrival Private Transfer: George Bush Airport IAH to Houston in Business Car: $107
  • Arrival Private Transfer: George Bush Airport IAH to Houston in Luxury SUV: $108
  • Departure Private Transfer: Houston to George Bush Airport IAH in Luxury SUV: $108
  • Round trip transfer in private car from-to Houston Airport in Houston Downtown: $120
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Houston APT-HTL (IAH): $151

Is it cheaper to fly into Dallas or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston and Dallas 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
    Dallas $35
    Houston $35
Typical Food Prices in Dallas

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


  • Cowboys Stadium Tour (for 2)
    $55
  • Whataburger Lunch (family of 4)
    $21

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dallas

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

  • West Village Happy Hour Food Tour: $39
  • Deep Ellum Foodie Lovers Tour with Food Tours of America: $85
  • Dallas Secret Food Tour: $96
  • Secret Food Tour of Dallas with Private Tour Option: $99

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • Seasonal Pizza From Scratch Experience in Houston: $55
  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $70
  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $70
  • The Heights Food Tour in Houston: $76
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $76
  • Houston Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $85
  • Houston Downtown: Secret Food Tours: $86
  • Howdy H-Town EADO Food Tour: $90
  • East Downtown Food Tour: $90
  • Houston Heights Culture and Food Tour: $95

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dallas $13
    Houston $14

Tours and Activities in Dallas

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

  • Historic Downtown Audio Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.50
  • Historic Dallas Downtown Solo Self Guided Walking Tour : $7.75
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure City Game on Your Phone: $10
  • Dallas in Wonderland: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Must-See Landmarks & Attractions Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • JFK Assassination Walking Tour (Self-Guided): $16
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Denton by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • The Assassination of John F. Kennedy Experience: $20
  • Texas Rangers Baseball Game Ticket at Globe Life Field: $21
  • John F. Kennedy Trolley Tour in Dallas: $22
  • Dallas' Reunion Tower GeO-Deck Observation Ticket: $25
  • Historic West End Ghost Walking Tour: $26

Tours and Activities in Houston

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

  • Sights of Downtown Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.26
  • Sights of Downtown Houston Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Houston Museum of Natural Sciences: Planetarium Ticket: $9.00
  • Downtown In App Audio Walking Tour: $9.00
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Houston by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Houston by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern History Tour: $12
  • Houston Botanic Garden Entry Ticket: $13
  • Sightseeing Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $14
  • Austin & Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Children's Museum Houston Entry Ticket: $17
  • Houston Astros Baseball Game Ticket at Minute Maid Park: $18

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dallas $12
    Houston $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Dallas

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

  • Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Party Bike Pub Crawl in Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas: $55
  • Dallas Party Bike Pub Crawl in Deep Ellum: $55

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

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

  • Brewery Pass with Beer Tastings: $50
  • Private Houston Brewery Tour by Cart: $57
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70


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

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


Which is Bigger, Dallas or Houston?

Houston has a larger population, and is about 67% larger than the population of Dallas. When comparing the sizes of Dallas and Houston, 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 Dallas or Houston?

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 Dallas or Houston in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Dallas and Houston. Many visitors come to Dallas in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Houston for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Dallas is around the same temperature as Houston in the summer. The daily temperature in Dallas averages around 88°F (31°C) in July, and Houston fluctuates around 84°F (29°C).

Houston receives a lot of rain in the summer. In July, Dallas usually receives less rain than Houston. Dallas gets 2.4 inches (60 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.8 inches (122 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Dallas 88°F (31°C) 
    Houston 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Dallas or Houston in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Dallas as well as Houston. Most visitors come to Dallas for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Houston because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene.

In the autumn, Dallas is around the same temperature as Houston. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Dallas in October average around 69°F (21°C), and Houston averages at about 71°F (22°C).

It's quite rainy in Houston. Dallas usually gets less rain in October than Houston. Dallas gets 3.9 inches (98 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Dallas 69°F (21°C) 
    Houston 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Dallas or Houston in the Winter?

Both Houston and Dallas are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Dallas because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Houston this time of year.

In January, Dallas is generally cooler than Houston. Daily temperatures in Dallas average around 46°F (8°C), and Houston fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

In January, Dallas usually receives less rain than Houston. Dallas gets 1.8 inches (45 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Dallas 46°F (8°C) 
    Houston 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Dallas or Houston in the Spring?

Both Houston and Dallas during the spring are popular places to visit. The activities around the city are the main draw to Dallas this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Houston for the activities around the city.

Dallas is around the same temperature as Houston in the spring. The daily temperature in Dallas averages around 68°F (20°C) in April, and Houston fluctuates around 70°F (21°C).

Dallas usually gets more rain in April than Houston. Dallas gets 3.9 inches (98 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Dallas 68°F (20°C) 
    Houston 70°F (21°C)

Typical Weather for Houston and Dallas

Dallas Houston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 46°F (8°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Feb 51°F (10°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Mar 60°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 76°F (24°C) 5 inches (128 mm) 76°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Jun 83°F (29°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 88°F (31°C) 2.4 inches (60 mm) 84°F (29°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm)
Aug 87°F (31°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 83°F (29°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 80°F (27°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Oct 69°F (21°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 71°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 59°F (15°C) 2.4 inches (60 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)
Dec 50°F (10°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)