A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Detroit vs. Pasadena for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Detroit or Pasadena?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Detroit or Pasadena, 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.

Detroit

Detroit is a overlooked , under-rated, and hardworking city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include live music, food, and shopping.

Pasadena

Pasadena is a picturesque, quaint, and charming city. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Detroit and Pasadena: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Detroit or Pasadena?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Detroit than Pasadena, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Detroit is more popular for its music and big city activities, while Pasadena is known for its museums, food, and shopping. Detroit is popular for its Motown music, blue collar atmosphere, and influential auto industry. It is also home to the Henry Ford Experience. Pasadena is popular for being the home of the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl.

How is Detroit different from Pasadena?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Detroit or Pasadena?

Detroit
Pasadena

Pasadena is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Detroit is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Pasadena can be an interesting and educational experience. There's a good number of museums around town that include kids' museums, art museums, and local museums. Popular museums include the USC Pacific Asia Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Pasadena Museum of History. Many people also enjoy touring the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Detroit. Popular museums around town include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Michigan Science Center.


Is the Food Better in Detroit or Pasadena? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Detroit
Pasadena

Pasadena is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Detroit is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Pasadena has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Local restaurants feature southern California cuisine as well as international flavors. Dishes often use local ingredients that are fresh and seasonal. Restaurants range from casual to fine dining and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Detroit area. There's a local flavor to the food with a number of classic dishes that are popular like square pizza, Coney dogs, and corned beef egg rolls.

Is Detroit or Pasadena Better for Nightlife?

Detroit
Pasadena

The great nightlife scene is relatively similar in Detroit and Pasadena.

Detroit has a large number of nightlife venues. It's long history in music still influences the nightlife scene. You'll find bars, clubs, and other activities around town. Greektown and Midtown are both popular neighborhoods during the evening.

Pasadena is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. Much of the nightlife scene is concentrated around Old Pasadena. You'll find clubs, bars, and lounges that begin the evening with Happy Hours and then become more party-focused as the evening progresses.

Is Detroit or Pasadena Better for Music?

Detroit
Pasadena

Detroit is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. However, Pasadena is not a live music destination.

In Detroit you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. Few cities have such an influential music industry. It's home to Motown and is well known for its soul music, jazz, blues, and rap.

Pasadena is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Detroit or Pasadena?

Detroit
Pasadena

Pasadena is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Detroit is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Pasadena is well-known for its shopping. Old Pasadena is where you'll find some of the best shopping. It's filled with a charming atmosphere and interesting boutiques.

Many visitors go to Detroit to go shopping. There are several shopping streets like Woodward Avenue. There are also outlet malls, shopping centers, and Eastern Market.

Is Detroit or Pasadena Better for Families?

Detroit
Pasadena

Detroit and Pasadena are both good destinations for the whole family.

Detroit is a family-friendly city. Head to the Detroit Zoo or check out one of the amusement parks in the area. Kids will enjoy a visit to Legoland and there's also the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. You could also spend some time visiting the unique museums in the area.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Pasadena. There are a number of kid-friendly museums around town including Kidspace Children's Museum. There are also nature centers, playgrounds, and plenty of family-friendly restaurants.

Is Detroit or Pasadena Better for Couples?

Detroit
Pasadena

Pasadena is a nice place to visit for its romantic activities. However, Detroit is lacking in good options for couples.

Pasadena makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's a charming town with a bit of a European vibe and plenty of outdoor activities. Fine dining and interesting shopping make this a nice weekend destination.

Detroit is not always the best place to visit for a couple. It's not a city that usually brings to mind romance, but if you find yourself here for a couple of days, there's a RiverWalk area and some interesting local neighborhoods.


Is Detroit or Pasadena Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Detroit
Pasadena

Pasadena is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Detroit is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Pasadena has some public transit options. Buses and light rail offer local transit and connect the city to nearby Los Angeles.

Public transit is generally limited in Detroit. There's a streetcar and bus system, but the car is still king in Motor City.

Is Detroit or Pasadena a more walkable city?

Detroit
Pasadena

Detroit and Pasadena are good when it comes to walkability.

Detroit is a somewhat walkable place. There are parts of downtown Detroit that are walkable, but most people need a car to get around.

Pasadena is a somewhat walkable city. Most people head to Old Pasadena, which is the most concentrated and walkable part of the city.

For even more information, also check out Is Detroit Worth Visiting? and Is Pasadena Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Pasadena or Detroit?

How long in Detroit or Pasadena?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Detroit and Pasadena. In our opinion, Pasadena has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Pasadena than Detroit. However, 1-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Pasadena than Detroit 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 Pasadena.


  • How many days in Detroit or Pasadena? Ideal Length of Stay
    Detroit 1-3 
    Pasadena 1-3

One day in Detroit or Pasadena?

The city of Detroit offers museums and nightlife. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Pasadena, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A weekend in Detroit or Pasadena?

Detroit is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Detroit, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

In Pasadena, 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 Pasadena has to offer.

Five days in Detroit or Pasadena?

Detroit is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that live music is why people visit. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Pasadena 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.

A week in Detroit or Pasadena?

Detroit is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that live music is why people visit. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

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


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, and The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Pasadena or Detroit?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Detroit is $133, while the average daily cost in Pasadena is $62. 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 Detroit and Pasadena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Detroit $64
    Pasadena $25
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Detroit $128
    Pasadena $50
Compare Hotels in Detroit and Pasadena

Looking for a hotel in Detroit or Pasadena? 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 Detroit


Hotels in Pasadena


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: Detroit Hotel Prices and Pasadena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Detroit $37
    Pasadena $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Detroit

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $61
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $95
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $95
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Business Car: $101
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Luxury SUV: $132
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $144
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $144
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $190

Is it cheaper to fly into Detroit or Pasadena?

Prices for flights to both Pasadena and Detroit 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
    Detroit $44
    Pasadena $19

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Detroit

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

  • Fresh Mediterranean Inspired Cooking Class in a Unique Detroit Home: $104

Typical Food Prices in Pasadena

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


  • Casual Dinner Out (family of 4)
    $58

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Detroit $21
    Pasadena -

Tours and Activities in Detroit

For Detroit, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Spirit and History Self Guided Audio Tour: $6.50
  • Self Guided "Detroit's Spirit and History" Solo Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ann Arbor by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ann Arbor by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Windsor by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Detroit Tigers Baseball Game Ticket at Comerica Park: $12
  • Ann Arbor Scavenger Hunt: Ann Arbor Adventure: $12
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Ann Arbor, MI: $15
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Ann Arbor with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium Admission Ticket: $25
  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Michigan Admission Ticket: $26

Tours and Activities in Pasadena

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

  • LA: East Side Guided Film Locations Tour: $350
  • Haunted Walking Tour: $30
  • Old Pasadena Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour: $49

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Detroit $20
    Pasadena -


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

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


Which is Bigger, Detroit or Pasadena?

Detroit has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Pasadena. When comparing the sizes of Detroit and Pasadena, 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 Detroit or Pasadena?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Detroit or Pasadena in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Detroit as well as Pasadena. Many travelers come to Detroit for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Pasadena in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Detroit is around the same temperature as Pasadena. Typically, the summer temperatures in Detroit in July average around 74°F (24°C), and Pasadena averages at about 73°F (23°C).

Detroit usually gets more rain in July than Pasadena. Detroit gets 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0 inches (0 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Detroit 74°F (24°C) 
    Pasadena 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Pasadena in the Autumn?

Both Pasadena and Detroit are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Detroit in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene. Also, most visitors come to Pasadena for the shopping scene during these months.

In October, Detroit is generally much colder than Pasadena. Daily temperatures in Detroit average around 54°F (12°C), and Pasadena fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

In October, Detroit usually receives more rain than Pasadena. Detroit gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0.3 inches (7 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Detroit 54°F (12°C) 
    Pasadena 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Pasadena in the Winter?

Both Pasadena and Detroit during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Detroit for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Pasadena because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Detroit can be very cold during winter. Detroit is much colder than Pasadena in the winter. The daily temperature in Detroit averages around 25°F (-4°C) in January, and Pasadena fluctuates around 56°F (13°C).

Detroit usually gets less rain in January than Pasadena. Detroit gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 2.5 inches (63 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Detroit 25°F (-4°C) 
    Pasadena 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Pasadena in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Detroit and Pasadena. The spring months attract visitors to Detroit because of the activities around the city.

In the spring, Detroit is much colder than Pasadena. Typically, the spring temperatures in Detroit in April average around 49°F (9°C), and Pasadena averages at about 62°F (17°C).

In April, Detroit usually receives more rain than Pasadena. Detroit gets 3.2 inches (80 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Detroit 49°F (9°C) 
    Pasadena 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Pasadena and Detroit

Detroit Pasadena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°F (-4°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Feb 27°F (-3°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Mar 37°F (3°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 59°F (15°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Apr 49°F (9°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
May 60°F (16°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 65°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (4 mm)
Jun 70°F (21°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 69°F (20°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Jul 74°F (24°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0 inches (0 mm)
Aug 73°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 74°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 65°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 54°F (12°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Nov 43°F (6°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 62°F (16°C) 1.6 inches (42 mm)
Dec 31°F (-1°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (13°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm)