A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Hong Kong vs. San Diego for Food, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Hong Kong or San Diego?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Hong Kong or San Diego, 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.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a dense, cosmopolitan, and glamorous city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.

San Diego

San Diego is a fun-filled, hip, and dynamic coastal city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the live music, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Hong Kong and San Diego: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Hong Kong or San Diego?

You'll generally find more things to do in Hong Kong than San Diego. Hong Kong is bigger than San Diego, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Hong Kong is better known for its food, shopping, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while San Diego is more popular for its music, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and quaint atmosphere. San Diego is more touristy than Hong Kong and is known for its relaxed coastal atmosphere, its many kid-friendly sights, and its beautiful beaches with critter-filled tidal pools. Hong Kong is well known for its modern skyscrapers, colorful waterfront, lush parks, and amazing dim sum. Also, Hong Kong is famous for Victoria Peak.

How is Hong Kong different from San Diego?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Hong Kong or San Diego?

Hong Kong
San Diego

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Hong Kong and San Diego.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Hong Kong can be an interesting and educational experience. The city's skyline is one of the most famous "landmarks", but you'll also want to visit Victoria Peak, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Wong Tai Sin Temple, and Avenue of Stars.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into San Diego. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.


Is the Food Better in Hong Kong or San Diego? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Hong Kong
San Diego

Hong Kong is renowned for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Eat your way through Hong Kong, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The city's population is famous for its frequency of dining out, and the prolific diversity of restaurants is obvious from the moment you arrive. There are street food stalls and night markets, as well as luxury award winning restaurants. The city holds tight to its culinary traditions, but fusion restaurants are creeping in as well. Some of the most famous Hong Kong foods include dim sum, sweet and sour pork, and roast goose.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the San Diego area. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. There are many casual dining options that serve informal foods like burgers or salads, but there are also award-winning fine dining restaurants with elegant atmospheres. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.

Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Nightlife?

Hong Kong
San Diego

The great nightlife scene is relatively similar in Hong Kong and San Diego.

Hong Kong has a large number of nightlife venues. The city lights up after the sun sets. You'll find a diverse range of activities in the evening with everything from night markets to concerts and parties. There's a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary activities, particularly around Lan Kwai Fong. Many of the most popular venues are found around Central and, like everything else in Hong Kong, the venues are full of energy.

San Diego is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues. There's a young student population that keeps the nightlife scene casual and fun.

Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Music?

Hong Kong
San Diego

San Diego is a very popular place for its live music scene. However, Hong Kong is not a live music destination.

It's worth checking out the music scene in San Diego while you're in town. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

Hong Kong is not a live music destination.


Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Resorts?

Hong Kong
San Diego

San Diego is a nice place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Hong Kong is not a resort destination.

With a selection of resorts, San Diego makes a nice vacation spot. Most people prefer to stay in hotels or VRBOs, but several popular resorts include Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Paradise Point, and the famous Hotel del Coronado.

Hong Kong is not a resort destination.

Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Hong Kong
San Diego

San Diego is a nice place to visit for its diving and snorkeling. However, Hong Kong is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

San Diego has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. Popular snorkeling and diving spots include La Jolla Cove, Mission Bay, and Turtle Town. The water's a bit chili, but it's still worth going for a dive or popping on a mask and snorkeling around for a bit.

Hong Kong is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Beaches?

Hong Kong
San Diego

San Diego is an unbeatable place for the beache. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for the beach.

The beaches in San Diego are among the best in the world. The city has great beaches with tidal pools and interesting sea life at low tide. Adults and kids alike will enjoy hitting the beach when the tides are out and looking for local critters in the tidal pools. Popular beaches in the area include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.

The beaches at Hong Kong attract visitors from all over. You actually don't have to travel far from the city center to find a relatively quiet, sandy beach. The different beaches on Hong Kong Island are relatively close to each other, and each has its own atmosphere. If you need a break from the heat and the crowds, then a beach day is a fun option. Hong Kong's natural coastline give way to popular beaches including Repulse Bay Beach and Shek O Beach. Each offers a number of amenities and dining options.


Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Hiking?

Hong Kong
San Diego

Hong Kong and San Diego are both places where visitors can find great hiking trails.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Hong Kong. The city is surrounded by dramatic mountains and beautiful viewpoints, making it easy to enjoy a day in nature. The hikes will offer impressive views and dramatic rock formations. Popular hikes in the area include The Peak, Dragon's Back, and the Violet Hill and Twin Peak hike.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around San Diego. The city is filled with parks and has tons of natural beauty. There is plenty of urban hiking in town, or you can visit more natural areas just out of town. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.

Is the Shopping Better in Hong Kong or San Diego?

Hong Kong
San Diego

Hong Kong is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its shopping areas.

Known for shopping, Hong Kong draws large crowds to its stores. There is a high concentration of shopping malls in the city, and you'll likely find yourself cutting through malls to access different parts of town. The city is arguably one of the best shopping cities in the world. Popular items to purchase in the city include designer clothes, handbags, electronics, jewelry, watches, and tailor-made suits.

Many visitors go to San Diego to go shopping. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping. There are suburban shopping malls in the area as well as souvenir shops in the more touristy areas.

Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Families?

Hong Kong
San Diego

Hong Kong and San Diego are both world-class destinations for the whole family.

Hong Kong is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. In addition to its many fascinating cultural experiences like visiting the markets and historical landmarks, this city also has a diversity of kid-friendly entertainment options. The most obvious is Disneyland, but there are also other amusement parks and aquariums like Ocean Park. Make sure you check out the Symphony of Lights in the evening and head to The Peak Tower during the day.

San Diego is an extremely popular city to visit for families. The city is filled with kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world-class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more. The year-round warm weather makes it easy to spend plenty of time outdoors in parks, playgrounds, and beaches where kids can stretch their legs and run around.


Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Couples?

Hong Kong
San Diego

Hong Kong and San Diego are both world-class to visit as a couple.

Hong Kong has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. This city is filled with luxury hotels, beautiful parks, and impressive restaurants. For a romantic evening, check out the Symphony of Lights over Victoria Harbour after the sun sets.

San Diego is a great city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. The beaches offer a great playground for adults who enjoy the water and warm weather. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Hong Kong
San Diego

Hong Kong and San Diego are both notable destinations for backpackers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Hong Kong. The city is more expensive than many places, but cheap eateries and free activities are abundant. Many backpackers stay in the Tsim Sha Shui area of Kowloon. This is where you'll find the frequently talked about Chungking Mansions. Times are changing though, and you'll find more hostels on Hong Kong Island these days as well.

San Diego is a good city to visit for backpackers. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.

Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Students?

Hong Kong
San Diego

San Diego is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. However, Hong Kong is not popular with students.

San Diego is a great destination for students. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego. There are also many great outdoor activities for the adventurous.

Hong Kong is not popular with students.


Is Hong Kong or San Diego Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Hong Kong
San Diego

Hong Kong is renowned for times when you don't have a car. However, San Diego is not a good destination for its public transit.

Hong Kong has a great public transit system. Land transportation includes the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), buses, minibuses, and tramways. There are also ferries that connect the different parts of the city.

Public transit is generally limited in San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around, and you'll likely enjoy your trip a bit more if you have your own vehicle.

Is Hong Kong or San Diego a more walkable city?

Hong Kong
San Diego

Hong Kong is renowned for its high level of walkability. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its ease of walking around.

Hong Kong is a very easy city to get around on foot. The city has many parks and walking paths that connect different areas.

San Diego is a somewhat walkable city. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.

For even more information, also check out Is Hong Kong Worth Visiting? and Is San Diego Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in San Diego or Hong Kong?

How long in Hong Kong or San Diego?

In either Hong Kong or San Diego, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Hong Kong than San Diego because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Hong Kong, and 3-5 days is enough time in San Diego.

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


  • How many days in Hong Kong or San Diego? Ideal Length of Stay
    Hong Kong 3-7 
    San Diego 3-5

One day in Hong Kong or San Diego?

People visit Hong Kong because there is so much to do. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

You'll find shopping and museums around the coastal city of San Diego. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Hong Kong or San Diego?

People visit Hong Kong because there is so much to do. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the dynamic destination of San Diego. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Hong Kong or San Diego?

People visit Hong Kong because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

You'll find nightlife and live music around the relaxed coastal city of San Diego. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this coastal city makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Most people head to the area for the beaches. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal city has to offer.

A week in Hong Kong or San Diego?

Hong Kong is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Hong Kong, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

San Diego is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. One week 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, and The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, San Diego or Hong Kong?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Hong Kong is $160, while the average daily cost in San Diego is $202. 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 Hong Kong and San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hong Kong $75
    San Diego $115
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hong Kong $150
    San Diego $230
Compare Hotels in Hong Kong and San Diego

Looking for a hotel in Hong Kong or San Diego? 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 Hong Kong


Hotels in San Diego


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: Hong Kong Hotel Prices and San Diego Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Hong Kong $8.73
    San Diego $24
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hong Kong

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Hong Kong:


  • MTR (for 2)
    $2.82
  • Local Bus
    $2.82
  • Ferry Ticket
    $0.26
  • Hong Kong Airport Express Train Ticket
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in San Diego HTL-APT(SAN): $47
  • Transfer in private vehicle from San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego Downtown: $47
  • Transfer in private minivan from San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego Downtown: $68
  • Tijuana to Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $110
  • Tijuana to Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) – Departure Private Transfer: $55
  • Tijuana Intl Airport (TIJ) to Playas de Rosarito -Round-Trip Private Transfer: $242
  • Tijuana Intl Airport (TIJ) to Playas de Rosarito - Arrival Private Transfer: $121
  • Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) to Tijuana hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $55
  • San Diego hotel/address to San Diego Airport (SAN) - Departure Private Transfer: $75
  • San Diego Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to San Diego: $70
  • San Diego Airport - Private Round Trip Transfer: $70
  • San Diego Airport (SAN): Private Transfer to San Diego: $190

Is it cheaper to fly into Hong Kong or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego and Hong Kong 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
    Hong Kong $33
    San Diego $45
Typical Food Prices in Hong Kong

For Hong Kong, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner for 2
    $12

Typical Food Prices in San Diego

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


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

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

  • Old Town Tequila and Tacos Walking Food Tour: $81
  • Little Italy Food and Drink Walking Tour: Pizza, Pasta & Piazzas: $85
  • Gaslamp Quarter Food Tour: $89
  • Gaslamp Quarter Downtown San Diego Food Tour: $89
  • Guided Secret Food Tour: $94
  • San Diego Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $95
  • San Diego, Seaport Village: Waterfront Walking Food Tour: $99
  • Scenic Buffet Dinner Cruise: $108
  • San Diego Dinner Cruise: $108
  • Gourmet Dinner Cruise: $118
  • Thanksgiving Day Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $121
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $125

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hong Kong $95
    San Diego $48
Typical Entertainment Prices in Hong Kong

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Hong Kong's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Peak Tram
    $7.68
  • Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
    $24

Tours and Activities in Hong Kong

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

  • Ma On Shan Climbing Adventure: $115
  • Plover Cove Bicycling and Hiking Adventure: $110

Typical Entertainment Prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

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

  • Maritime Museum of San Diego Admission Ticket: $24
  • 1 Hour GPS Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $92
  • 1.5 Hour Walking Tour from La Jolla in San Diego: $59
  • 1Hr GPS Self Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $63
  • 2-Hour GoCar Tour of Downtown San Diego and Old Town: $62
  • 2-Hour San Diego Pier Fishing Experience: $75
  • 2Hr GPS Self Guided Scooter Tour: Downtown & Balboa Park: $82
  • 4 Hour Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour or Rental: $87
  • A Seaside Stroll: La Jolla's Hidden Treasures Self-Guided Tour: $9.99
  • All Day San Diego Scenic Tour: $125
  • Beaches & Bluffs San Diego's Ultimate Coastal Driving Tour: $12
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $38

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hong Kong $21
    San Diego $21

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

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

  • History Tour Pub Crawl of Famous Gaslamp Quarter: $30
  • Brewery Tour with Tastings and Food Pairings: $85
  • Private Wine Tasting Tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $123
  • Vino! Vino! Little Italy Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $125
  • Little Italy Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $125
  • Cruise & Booze Brewery tours : $149
  • Wine Tasting Sidecar: 2.5-Hour Private Tour in San Diego: $165
  • Baja Tour Guide wine tour: $169
  • Sidecar Wine Tasting Tour: $199
  • Brewery and Tap Room Sidecar Tour: $199
  • California Sunset Brewery Tour: $199
  • Brewery and Beer Tasting Tour in San Diego: $215


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Hong Kong and San Diego, we can see that San Diego is more expensive. And not only is Hong Kong much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Hong Kong is in Asia and San Diego is in North America, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Hong Kong would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hong Kong 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 San Diego would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Diego than you might in Hong Kong.

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


Which is Bigger, Hong Kong or San Diego?

Hong Kong has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of San Diego. When comparing the sizes of Hong Kong and San Diego, 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.