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

Should you visit Detroit or Phoenix?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Detroit or Phoenix, 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. It's also popular because of the nightlife, live music, and food.

Phoenix

Phoenix is a desert, laid back, and sprawling city. Visitors also love the museums, nightlife, and food.

Detroit and Phoenix: 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
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Detroit or Phoenix?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Detroit than Phoenix. While Phoenix is larger than Detroit, Detroit has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Detroit is more popular for its nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Phoenix is known for its hiking. Detroit is popular for its Motown music, blue collar atmosphere, and influential auto industry. It is also home to the Henry Ford Experience. Phoenix is popular for its desert landscapes, high number of golf courses, and year round warm weather.

How is Detroit different from Phoenix?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Phoenix 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 Phoenix?

Detroit
Phoenix

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Detroit and Phoenix.

Detroit offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Popular museums around town include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Michigan Science Center.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Phoenix. You'll find art, science, and cultural museums around town. Favorites include the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, S'edav Va'aki Museum, and the Arizona Science Museum.


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

Detroit
Phoenix

Dining out at restaurants in both Detroit and Phoenix can be an enjoyable experience.

Detroit has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. 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.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Phoenix area. There are many mom-and-pop shops around town that serve everything from casual meals to quality steaks. There's also a huge selection of Mexican restaurants, as well as other international options such as sushi, dim sum, and Italian.

Is Detroit or Phoenix Better for Nightlife?

Detroit
Phoenix

Detroit is a great city for its evening party scene. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife.

The nightlife in Detroit has something for everybody. 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.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Phoenix. The best nightlife scene is found in downtown and central Phoenix. There are bars, restaurants, and venues where you can catch a show. North Phoenix also has grown into a popular evening spot with cocktail bars and pubs.

Is Detroit or Phoenix Better for Music?

Detroit
Phoenix

Detroit is an unbeatable place for its music scene. However, Phoenix is not a live music destination.

Detroit has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. 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.

Phoenix is not a live music destination.


Is Detroit or Phoenix Better for Hiking?

Detroit
Phoenix

Phoenix is a nice place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Detroit is not a hiking destination.

Phoenix has hiking trails worth exploring. You don't have to head far out of town for impressive hiking opportunities. You'll find trails that range from easy to challenging, and many pass through other-worldly landscapes. You'll find popular trails in Usery Mountain Regional Park, Papago Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, South Mountain Park and many others.

Detroit is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Detroit or Phoenix?

Detroit
Phoenix

Shoppers can find a variety of good stores in both Detroit and Phoenix.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Detroit. There are several shopping streets like Woodward Avenue. There are also outlet malls, shopping centers, and Eastern Market.

Many visitors go to Phoenix to go shopping. There are plenty of shopping centers, outlets, and malls where you'll find the standard chain stores. You'll also find farmer's markets around town.

Is Detroit or Phoenix Better for Families?

Detroit
Phoenix

Detroit and Phoenix 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 Phoenix. Kids will love the Phoenix Zoo, the Arizona Science Center, the SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, and the Bearizona Wildlife Park. There's also a number of parks and gardens as well as a children's museum and several other interactive museums for kids.


Is Detroit or Phoenix Better for Couples?

Detroit
Phoenix

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

Phoenix makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are many parks and gardens in town as well as beautiful hikes and outdoor activities that couples will enjoy. In the evening, there's theater, shows, and many romantic restaurants.

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 Phoenix Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Detroit
Phoenix

Visitors will find decent public transit in both Detroit and Phoenix.

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

Public transit is generally limited in Phoenix. There's a bus and light rail system, but you really need your own vehicle to get around.

Is Detroit or Phoenix a more walkable city?

Detroit
Phoenix

Detroit is a city with good options for its ease of walking around. However, Phoenix is not known for its walkability.

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

Phoenix is generally not very walkable. It's a sprawling city and the only real area that's walkable is the downtown.


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

Should I spend more time in Phoenix or Detroit?

How long in Detroit or Phoenix?

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

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

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

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


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

One day in Detroit or Phoenix?

In Detroit, you'll find shopping and museums. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. 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.

In Phoenix, 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 Phoenix?

In Detroit, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Detroit has to offer.

In Phoenix, 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 Phoenix has to offer.

Five days in Detroit or Phoenix?

Detroit 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.

Phoenix 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 Phoenix?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Detroit. Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Detroit. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Phoenix. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Phoenix. 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, Phoenix 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 Phoenix is $238. 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 Phoenix in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Detroit $64
    Phoenix $144
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Detroit $128
    Phoenix $288
Compare Hotels in Detroit and Phoenix

Looking for a hotel in Detroit or Phoenix? 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 Phoenix


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 Phoenix Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Detroit $37
    Phoenix $39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Detroit

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

  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $187
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $141
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $141
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Luxury SUV: $129
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Business Car: $99
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $93
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $93
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Detroit - Wayne County Airport One Way Transfer : $80
  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix

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

  • Private Transfer from Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury SUV: $103
  • Private Transfer from Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Business Car: $90
  • Private Transfer from Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $103
  • Private Transfer From Hotels To Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport PHX : $41
  • Private Tesla Transfer from Phoenix Airport to all Hotels : $42
  • One-Way Transfer Sky Harbor Airport to Phoenix: $104
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $115
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Arrival Private Transfer: $58
  • Phoenix International Airport (PHX) - Private transfer From/to Hotels: $118
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van: $140
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $103
  • Departure Private Transfer Phoenix City to Phoenix Airport PHX : $110

Is it cheaper to fly into Detroit or Phoenix?

Prices for flights to both Phoenix 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
    Phoenix $52

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 Phoenix

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Phoenix:


  • Nice Lunch (for 2)
    $36
  • Indian Food Dinner (for 2)
    $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phoenix

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

  • Awesome French Crêpes Cooking Class: $75
  • Old Town Scottsdale Food Tour: $92
  • Downtown Phoenix Food Tour: $92
  • Scottsdale Waterfront Food Tour: $95
  • Quiche Lorraine French Cooking Class in Scottsdale: $129

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Detroit $21
    Phoenix $40

Tours and Activities in Detroit

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

  • Ann Arbor Scavenger Hunt: Ann Arbor Adventure: $12
  • Detroit Red Wings Ice Hockey Game Ticket at Little Caesars Arena: $222
  • Detroit Tigers Baseball Game Ticket at Comerica Park: $6.52
  • Architectural Beauty and Hidden Gems Walking Tour: $115
  • Ghosts and Spirits Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Segway Tour Strait to the Point: $99
  • Spirit and History Self Guided Audio Tour: $6.50
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Ann Arbor with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Michigan Admission Ticket: $26
  • Motor City Ghosts Tour: $33
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Ann Arbor, MI: $15

Tours and Activities in Phoenix

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

  • 1.5 Hour Stretch Limo Golf Cart Tour, Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $79
  • 1/2 DAY SONORAN DESERT HIKE. Tour, Workout or Challenge Pace.: $115
  • 2 Hour Scottsdale Segway Tours - Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $90
  • 2 Hour Segway Tour - Sunsets, Segways & City Lights: $89
  • 2-Hour Arizona Desert Guided E-Bike Tour: $135
  • 2.5 Hour FAT Tire E-Bike Tour – Scottsdale Greenbelt Adventure: $119
  • 3 Cities & Nature Tour. Shop, Art, History, Food. Scottsdale, Phoenix, & Tempe.: $168
  • 3 Hour Guided TomCar ATV Tour in Sonoran Desert: $219
  • Adventure Yoga Experience on Camelback Mountain: $75
  • Apache Trail and Dolly Steamboat Van Tour: $160
  • Boat Cruise in Lake Pleasant Arizona: $89
  • Box Canyon ATV Tour in Florence, Arizona: $235

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Detroit $20
    Phoenix $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Phoenix

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

  • Pedal Bar Crawl of Old Town Scottsdale: $55
  • Stretch Limo Party Cart - Custom Bar Crawls, Wine Tastings, Night Clubs & More: $156
  • Ghost town of Jerome, Brew and Wine Tour: $215


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

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


Which is Bigger, Detroit or Phoenix?

Phoenix has a larger population, and is about 39% larger than the population of Detroit. When comparing the sizes of Detroit and Phoenix, 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 Phoenix?

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 Detroit or Phoenix in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Detroit and Phoenix. The city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Detroit this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Phoenix for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

Phoenix can become quite hot in the summer. In the summer, Detroit is much colder than Phoenix. Typically, the summer temperatures in Detroit in July average around 74°F (24°C), and Phoenix averages at about 98°F (36°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Phoenix this time of the year. In Detroit, it's very sunny this time of the year. Detroit usually receives less sunshine than Phoenix during summer. Detroit gets 319 hours of sunny skies, while Phoenix receives 380 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Detroit usually receives more rain than Phoenix. Detroit gets 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Phoenix receives 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Detroit 74°F (24°C) 
    Phoenix 98°F (36°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Phoenix in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Detroit as well as Phoenix. Many travelers come to Detroit for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene. Additionally, many visitors come to Phoenix in the autumn for the hiking trails and the shopping scene.

In October, Detroit is generally much colder than Phoenix. Daily temperatures in Detroit average around 54°F (12°C), and Phoenix fluctuates around 79°F (26°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Phoenix. In the autumn, Detroit often gets less sunshine than Phoenix. Detroit gets 172 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Phoenix receives 305 hours of full sun.

Detroit usually gets more rain in October than Phoenix. Detroit gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Phoenix receives 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Detroit 54°F (12°C) 
    Phoenix 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Phoenix in the Winter?

Both Phoenix and Detroit are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Detroit in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Phoenix for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Detroit can get quite cold in the winter. Detroit is much colder than Phoenix in the winter. The daily temperature in Detroit averages around 25°F (-4°C) in January, and Phoenix fluctuates around 58°F (14°C).

It's quite sunny in Phoenix. Detroit usually receives less sunshine than Phoenix during winter. Detroit gets 120 hours of sunny skies, while Phoenix receives 254 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Detroit usually receives more rain than Phoenix. Detroit gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Phoenix receives 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Detroit 25°F (-4°C) 
    Phoenix 58°F (14°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Phoenix in the Spring?

Both Phoenix and Detroit during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Detroit for the activities around the city during these months.

In the spring, Detroit is much colder than Phoenix. Typically, the spring temperatures in Detroit in April average around 49°F (9°C), and Phoenix averages at about 74°F (23°C).

In Phoenix, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Detroit. In the spring, Detroit often gets less sunshine than Phoenix. Detroit gets 223 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Phoenix receives 355 hours of full sun.

Detroit usually gets more rain in April than Phoenix. Detroit gets 3.2 inches (80 mm) of rain, while Phoenix receives 0.2 inches (6 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Detroit 49°F (9°C) 
    Phoenix 74°F (23°C)

Typical Weather for Phoenix and Detroit

Detroit Phoenix
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°F (-4°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 58°F (14°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
Feb 27°F (-3°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
Mar 37°F (3°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm)
Apr 49°F (9°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm) 74°F (23°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm)
May 60°F (16°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 83°F (28°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jun 70°F (21°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 92°F (34°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 74°F (24°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 98°F (36°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
Aug 73°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 96°F (35°C) 0.9 inches (24 mm)
Sep 65°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 90°F (32°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm)
Oct 54°F (12°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 79°F (26°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
Nov 43°F (6°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Dec 31°F (-1°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 58°F (15°C) 1 inches (25 mm)