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

Should you visit Houston or El Paso?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Houston and El Paso. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Houston

Houston is a southern, one-of-a-kind, and diverse city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

El Paso

El Paso is a low-key, undiscovered, and laid-back city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Houston and El Paso: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Houston or El Paso?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Houston than El Paso. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Houston is famous for its sprawling size, its local Texas restaurants, and being the home to NASA. It is also well known for The Space Center Houston. El Paso is famous for its Spanish missions and its outstanding Mexican food.

How is Houston different from El Paso?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Houston or El Paso?

Houston
El Paso

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

Many visitors head to Houston specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.

El Paso offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Visitors can learn about local art, culture, and history at the El Paso Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of History, the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Museum, and the Eduardo Pedregón Memorial Veterans Museum.


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

Houston
El Paso

Foodies will find both Houston and El Paso both to be nice destinations.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Houston. 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.

El Paso is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Mexican food and barbecue are popular around town but you'll also find burgers, pizza, and other American favorites.

Is Houston or El Paso Better for Nightlife?

Houston
El Paso

Houston is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, El Paso is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

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.

El Paso has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. There are a number of bars, nightclubs, and lounges around town where you can enjoy a fun night out.

Is Houston or El Paso Better for Music?

Houston
El Paso

Houston is very good for live music. However, El Paso 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.

El Paso is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Houston or El Paso?

Houston
El Paso

Shopping is a popular activity in both El Paso and Houston.

Houston offers some nice shopping areas. 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.

El Paso has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are a number of malls and outlet centers around town. One of the most well known is Bassett Place, but other options include Cielo Vista Mall and the Fountains at Farah.

Is Houston or El Paso Better for Families?

Houston
El Paso

Houston is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, El Paso is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Houston is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in El Paso. There are adventure parks, playgrounds, outdoor centers and nature activities that families can enjoy.

Is Houston or El Paso Better for Couples?

Houston
El Paso

Houston is very good for romance. However, El Paso is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

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

Most people don't think of El Paso as a couple's destination. Couples can enjoy dinner and a show or taking a romantic drive up to the overlook.


Is Houston or El Paso Better for Students?

Houston
El Paso

Houston is very good for its student-friendly activities. However, El Paso is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Houston. It's a large city with a number of universities and a large student population.

El Paso is not popular with students.

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

Houston
El Paso

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Houston and El Paso.

Public transit is generally 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.

Public transit is mostly limited in El Paso. While there are some bus routes in town, you shouldn't rely on them and must have a private vehicle to efficiently visit the city.

Is Houston or El Paso a more walkable city?

Houston
El Paso

Houston and El Paso both are reasonable when exploring on foot.

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

El Paso is generally not a very walkable city. You really need a car to get around town.


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

Should I spend more time in El Paso or Houston?

How long in Houston or El Paso?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Houston or El Paso to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Houston than El Paso because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Houston, and 1-2 days is enough time in El Paso.

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

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


  • How many days in Houston or El Paso? Ideal Length of Stay
    Houston 2-3 
    El Paso 1-2

One day in Houston or El Paso?

Because Houston is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

In El Paso, 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 Houston or El Paso?

Because Houston is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. 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 Houston has to offer.

In El Paso, 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 El Paso has to offer.

Five days in Houston or El Paso?

Houston 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.

El Paso 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 Houston or El Paso?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Houston. Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Houston. 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 El Paso. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting El Paso. 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 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, and The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, El Paso or Houston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Houston is $262, while the average daily cost in El Paso is $161. 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 Houston and El Paso in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Houston $142
    El Paso $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Houston $284
    El Paso $162
Compare Hotels in Houston and El Paso

Looking for a hotel in Houston or El Paso? 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 Houston


Hotels in El Paso


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: Houston Hotel Prices and El Paso Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Houston $72
    El Paso $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • William P.Hobby Airport (HOU): Transfer to Port of Galveston: $548
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $88
  • RoundTrip transfer in private minivan from-to HoustonAirport in Houston Downtown: $176
  • Private One-way George Bush Airport Transfer To/From Houston: $70
  • Private Hotel Transfer in Houston: $80
  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston George Bush Airport IAH: $51
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): $51
  • Privat Transfer from Houston Airport (HOU) to Port of Galveston: $167
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Houston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $161
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Houston - Arrival Private Transfer: $80
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): Transfer to Houston: $351
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH) to Houston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $161

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Paso

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

  • El Paso Airport (ELP) to Truth or Consequences Arrival Transfer: $121
  • El Paso Airport to Truth or Consequences Round Trip Transfer: $243
  • El Paso International Airport (ELP) to El Paso - Arrival Private Transfer : $40
  • El Paso International Airport (ELP) to El Paso - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $82
  • El Paso to El Paso International Airport (ELP) - Departure Private Transfer: $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Houston or El Paso?

Prices for flights to both El Paso and Houston 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
    Houston $35
    El Paso $54

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: $72
  • 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: $88
  • Howdy H-Town EADO Food Tour: $90
  • East Downtown Food Tour: $90
  • Montrose Food Tour: $97

Typical Food Prices in El Paso

For El Paso, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Rudy's BBQ (family of 4)
    $40

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Houston $14
    El Paso $27

Tours and Activities in Houston

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

  • Houston Ghosts and Hauntings By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • 2 Hours H- Town Tour with 15ft Open Air Party Truck On Wheels: $46
  • 2-Hour Private Sightseeing Cart Tour of Houston and Galveston: $256
  • Astroville Best of Houston City Driving Tour with Live Guide: $45
  • Astroville Best of Houston City Driving Tour with Live Guide: $45
  • Astroville Private Best of Houston City Driving Tour: $375
  • Astroville Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston (Air-Conditioned): $32
  • Astroville Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston (Air-Condtioned): $35
  • Austin & Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Downtown In App Audio Walking Tour: $9.00
  • Driving City Tour & NASA Space Center Admission with Shuttle: $85
  • Enchanting A Romantic Urban Adventure: $467

Tours and Activities in El Paso

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

  • Sun City Ghost Walking Tour: $26
  • Sun City Ghosts Haunted Cowboys and Outlaws Tour: $30
  • Colorado Springs: Pikes Peak Jeep Tour: $115
  • Downtown Historic Walking Tour: $120
  • Jeep Tour - Pikes Peak or Bust: $175
  • UTV Adventure Tour / Rental: $249

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Houston $13
    El Paso $27

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
  • Downtown Houston Brewery Bike Tour : $71


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Houston and El Paso, we can see that Houston is more expensive. And not only is El Paso much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to El Paso would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in El Paso 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 El Paso.

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


Which is Bigger, Houston or El Paso?

Houston has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of El Paso. When comparing the sizes of Houston and El Paso, 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.