A Travel Price Comparison for Alaska Juneau vs. Anchorage for Hiking, Couples, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Juneau or Anchorage?

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

Should I visit Juneau or Anchorage? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Juneau

Juneau is a scenic, breathtaking, and historic city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for food, hiking, and shopping.

Anchorage

Anchorage is a scenic, breathtaking, and cultural city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the food, hiking, and shopping.

Juneau and Anchorage: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Juneau or Anchorage?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Juneau. Although Juneau and Anchorage are popular destinations, Juneau has more sights and attractions for tourists. Juneau is famous for its wildlife, natural beauty, and Gold Rush in 1880. It is also well known for the Mendenhall Glacier. Anchorage is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, impressive wildlife, stunning hiking trails, and unique local culture.

How is Juneau different from Anchorage?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Juneau or Anchorage?

Juneau
Anchorage

Juneau is a well-known place for its sights and museums. Also, Anchorage is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Juneau. Many museums focus on the history in the area, including the Gold Rush and the mining industry. You can visit several historic mines as well as the Last Chance Mining Museum. Other museums around town include the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, the Walter Soboleff Building, and the Alaska State Museum.

Anchorage offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. While most people visit for the outdoor experiences, there are a few museums where you can learn about the local culture and wildlife. Popular museums include the the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, the Alaska Aviation Museum, and the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature.


Is the Food Better in Juneau or Anchorage? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Juneau
Anchorage

Juneau is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Anchorage is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Juneau makes for a great culinary experience. The seafood is superb and visitors will regret if they miss out on the salmon, halibut, and crab. There are many local restaurants and local chefs serving up the freshest caught fish. For the best seafood, head to the waterfront, and if you're looking for something other than seafood, the downtown is where you'll want to be.

Anchorage has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Food is expensive in town, but there are some unique local specialties that you must try. Many restaurants offer fresh seafood and local meats. Favorites include yak meat, king crab, and fresh oysters.

Is Juneau or Anchorage Better for Nightlife?

Juneau
Anchorage

Both Juneau and Anchorage are reasonable when it comes to partying.

Most people don't head to Juneau specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. There are a couple of bars and breweries, but most people relax in the evening.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Anchorage. The town's nightlife mostly consists of local bars where you can hang out. Check out Koot's, which is a longstanding favorite.

Is Juneau or Anchorage Better for Hiking?

Juneau
Anchorage

If you're looking to go hiking, Juneau and Anchorage both have terrific trails.

People visit Juneau specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. You'll find more than 250 miles of hiking trails in the area, and this really is the best way to experience Alaska. The area is known for its wildlife, but there are also glacier hikes, meadows, mountains, and more. In downtown Juneau there's the Perseverance Trail, the Granite Creek Trail, and the Mount Roberts Trail. From the Mendenhall Visitor Center there's the East Glacier Loop Trail, the West Glacier Trail, and the Nugget Falls Trail. There are also trails on Douglas Island and many options just outside of town.

Many people visit Anchorage specifically for its hiking. The town is surrounded by wilderness and it's not hard to escape into nature. You can choose between short walks, long day trips, and multi-day treks, with everything in between available as well. There are more than 300 miles of hiking trails near town and several favorites include Byron Glacier Trail, Thunderbird Falls Trail, and Flattop Mountain.


Is the Shopping Better in Juneau or Anchorage?

Juneau
Anchorage

Juneau is a well-known place for shopping. Also, Anchorage is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Juneau is an extremely popular place for shoppers. There's a mix of contemporary art and traditional artisan crafts. You'll find gift shops and art galleries around, particularly downtown and in the Mendenhall Valley business district. Visitors often enjoy buying art, wood carvings, jewelry, pottery, quilts, or dolls.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Anchorage. There are plenty of local gift shops and boutiques where you can pick up local Alaskan crafts and products. There's no sales tax, but prices can still be a bit steep. But if you're looking for something uniquely local to remember your trip, you don't have to look hard.

Is Juneau or Anchorage Better for Families?

Juneau
Anchorage

Juneau is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Anchorage is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Juneau is a very family-friendly place to visit. Its is filled with adventure that the whole family will enjoy. There's whale watching, dog sled tours, helicopter rides, hiking, and the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway. This bucket-list destination will have an impact on kids and adults alike.

Anchorage is a family-friendly city. Kids who appreciate nature will appreciate this unique setting. Everyone will enjoy a glacier cruise, but you can hang out with the locals in Westchester Lagoon, see the animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and learn about the area at the Anchorage Museum.

Is Juneau or Anchorage Better for Couples?

Juneau
Anchorage

Juneau is an unbeatable place for romance. Also, Anchorage is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

Juneau is a great city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. Couples who enjoy exploring and adventuring will be in awe of this destination. Glacier trekking, superb gardens, and romantic helicopter rides will leave you feeling like a contestant on "The Bachelor". There are also opportunities for romantic evenings out and cozy hotels where you can stay in.

Anchorage makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city makes a good base for couples who want to explore the surrounding beauty. The landscapes make a beautiful backdrop for a romantic trip, and the adventure activities will make for an unforgettable experience. There are plenty of outdoor activities and adventure sports that couples can enjoy together and the beauty of the region is breathtaking.


Is Juneau or Anchorage Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Juneau
Anchorage

Juneau is a well-known place for backpackers. Also, Anchorage is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Juneau. It's a popular destination with budget hotels and even a hostel or two.

Plenty of backpackers visit Anchorage. There are a few good budget places to stay, and backpackers will also have plenty of outdoor wilderness to explore near town. It's important to remember that Alaska is known for its challenging wilderness so, unless you're experienced, you should take a guide.

Is Juneau or Anchorage Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Juneau
Anchorage

Juneau is a moderate city for its public transit. However, Anchorage is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in Juneau. You can only reach Juneau by boat or plane and there are three bus routes through town.

Public transit is quite limited in Anchorage. There is the People Mover bus system that transports riders around town, but to truly experience the region, you must have a car.

Is Juneau or Anchorage a more walkable city?

Juneau
Anchorage

Juneau is a well-known place for its walkability. However, Anchorage is not a good city for its high level of walkability.

Juneau is very walkable. The downtown is very walkable and many places can be reached within a reasonable walk.

Anchorage is generally not a very walkable city. The downtown area is compact so you can wander to the nearby shops and restaurants on foot, but most people visit with the goal of exploring outside of town. For that you need a car.


For even more information, also check out Is Juneau Worth Visiting? and Is Anchorage Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Anchorage or Juneau?

How long in Juneau or Anchorage?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Juneau and Anchorage. In our opinion, Juneau has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Juneau than Anchorage. In general, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Juneau, and 1-3 days is enough time in Anchorage.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Juneau than Anchorage 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 Juneau.


  • How many days in Juneau or Anchorage? Ideal Length of Stay
    Juneau 2-3 
    Anchorage 1-3

One day in Juneau or Anchorage?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Juneau. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Anchorage. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

A weekend in Juneau or Anchorage?

You'll find museums and food around the breathtaking destination of Juneau. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Anchorage is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Juneau or Anchorage?

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the scenic city of Juneau. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Most people head to the area for the hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Anchorage. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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 Juneau or Anchorage?

Juneau is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the nature-oriented destination of Anchorage. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, and The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Anchorage or Juneau?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Juneau is $160, while the average daily cost in Anchorage is $191. 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 Juneau and Anchorage in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Juneau $88
    Anchorage $117
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Juneau $176
    Anchorage $234
Compare Hotels in Juneau and Anchorage

Looking for a hotel in Juneau or Anchorage? 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 Juneau


Hotels in Anchorage


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: Juneau Hotel Prices and Anchorage Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Juneau $38
    Anchorage $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Juneau

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Juneau:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Juneau Airport (JNU): $48
  • Private Departure Transfer to Juneau Airport (JNU): $48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Anchorage

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Anchorage:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Anchorage Airport ANC: $62
  • Seward to Anchorage- Post Cruise Curated Wildlife Tour +Transfer: $197
  • Anchorage to Seward- Pre-Cruise Curated Wildlife Tour +Transfer: $219
  • Private Transfer Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Whittier Cruise Port: $232
  • SUV-Private Transfer, Anchorage to Whittier Cruise Ship Terminal: $299
  • SUV-Private Transfer, Whittier Cruise ship to Anchorage: $299

Is it cheaper to fly into Juneau or Anchorage?

Prices for flights to both Anchorage and Juneau 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
    Juneau $49
    Anchorage $50

Typical Food Prices in Anchorage

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


  • Bread
    $4.25
  • Breakfast for Two
    $17

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Juneau $17
    Anchorage $30
Typical Entertainment Prices in Juneau

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Juneau are as follows:


  • 1 Day Bike Rental
    $25
  • Admission to Alaska State Museum
    $5.00
  • Glacier Gardens
    $22

Tours and Activities in Juneau

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

  • Juneau, The Last Frontier Self Guided (Smart Phone App/GPS) Audio Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Juneau Underground Gold Mine and Panning Experience: $79
  • Historic Gold Mining and Panning Adventure: $99
  • From Whale Watching Cruise with Snacks: $132
  • Historic Gold Panning Adventure & Salmon Bake: $139
  • Whale Watching Adventure in Juneau: $154
  • eBikes Alaska - Rainforest Adventure: $160
  • Whale Watching and Wildlife Cruise with Local Guide: $177
  • 3.5 Hour Crowd-Skipping Whale Tour in Juneau Alaska: $189
  • Juneau Whale Watching Adventure: $189
  • Five-Star Juneau Pedicab Private Tour: $200

Typical Entertainment Prices in Anchorage

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Anchorage are as follows:


  • 1 Day Bike Rental
    $33
  • 1/2 Day Rafting Trip
    $105

Tours and Activities in Anchorage

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

  • Anchorage Museum General Admission Ticket: $25
  • Anchorage Trolley Tour: $25
  • 1-Hour Trolley Tour: $25
  • Adventurers Ready To Jump Into the Void Alaska Style Wanted: $39
  • Botanical Garden Walking Tour: $40
  • Deluxe Trolley City Tour: $50
  • Anchorage Trolley's Deluxe City Tour: $50
  • Anchorage City Tour, Smoked Salmon and Reindeer Sausage Samplings: $59
  • Last Frontier Anchorage City & Wilderness Tour - Top Winter Value: $65
  • Anchorage City Tour w/ Taste of Wild Smoked Salmon & Reindeer Sausage: $69
  • Turnagain Arm Tour: "A Must See Destination": $69
  • Anchorage City Tour w/ Wild Smoked Salmon & Reindeer Sausage: $73

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Juneau $16
    Anchorage $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Anchorage

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Anchorage:

  • Chocolate and Wine Tasting Tour: $109
  • Half-Day Anchorage Craft Brewery Tour and Tastings: $179
  • Guided Tour on Matanuska Glacier w/Alaska Honey & Wine Tasting: $285


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

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


Which is Bigger, Juneau or Anchorage?

Anchorage has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Juneau. When comparing the sizes of Juneau and Anchorage, 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 Juneau or Anchorage?

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 Juneau or Anchorage in the Summer?

Both Anchorage and Juneau are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Juneau in the summer for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Anchorage for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Juneau is generally cooler than Anchorage. Daily temperatures in Juneau average around 56°F (13°C), and Anchorage fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

It's quite sunny in Anchorage. Juneau usually receives less sunshine than Anchorage during summer. Juneau gets 179 hours of sunny skies, while Anchorage receives 240 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Juneau. In July, Juneau usually receives more rain than Anchorage. Juneau gets 4.2 inches (106 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 1.7 inches (44 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Juneau 56°F (13°C) 
    Anchorage 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Juneau or Anchorage in the Autumn?

Both Anchorage and Juneau during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Juneau for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Anchorage because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

The weather in Anchorage can be very cold. Juneau is much warmer than Anchorage in the autumn. The daily temperature in Juneau averages around 42°F (6°C) in October, and Anchorage fluctuates around 35°F (2°C).

In the autumn, Juneau often gets less sunshine than Anchorage. Juneau gets 69 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Anchorage receives 118 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Juneau. Juneau usually gets more rain in October than Anchorage. Juneau gets 7.8 inches (199 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Juneau 42°F (6°C) 
    Anchorage 35°F (2°C)

Should I visit Juneau or Anchorage in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Juneau and Anchorage. The winter months attract visitors to Juneau because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Anchorage this time of year.

It's quite cold in Anchorage in the winter. The weather in Juneau can be very cold. In the winter, Juneau is much warmer than Anchorage. Typically, the winter temperatures in Juneau in January average around 24°F (-4°C), and Anchorage averages at about 15°F (-9°C).

Juneau usually receives more sunshine than Anchorage during winter. Juneau gets 87 hours of sunny skies, while Anchorage receives 80 hours of full sun in the winter.

Juneau gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Juneau usually receives more rain than Anchorage. Juneau gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 0.7 inches (19 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Juneau 24°F (-4°C) 
    Anchorage 15°F (-9°C)

Should I visit Juneau or Anchorage in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Juneau as well as Anchorage. The natural beauty are the main draw to Juneau this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Anchorage for the natural beauty.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Anchorage. It's quite cold in Juneau in the spring. In April, Juneau is generally much warmer than Anchorage. Daily temperatures in Juneau average around 40°F (4°C), and Anchorage fluctuates around 36°F (2°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Anchorage. In the spring, Juneau often gets less sunshine than Anchorage. Juneau gets 185 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Anchorage receives 233 hours of full sun.

Juneau usually gets more rain in April than Anchorage. Juneau gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Juneau 40°F (4°C) 
    Anchorage 36°F (2°C)

Typical Weather for Anchorage and Juneau

Juneau Anchorage
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 24°F (-4°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 15°F (-9°C) 0.7 inches (19 mm)
Feb 28°F (-2°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 19°F (-7°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
Mar 33°F (0°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 26°F (-3°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Apr 40°F (4°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 36°F (2°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
May 47°F (8°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 47°F (8°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm)
Jun 53°F (12°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 55°F (13°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Jul 56°F (13°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Aug 55°F (13°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Sep 49°F (10°C) 7 inches (179 mm) 49°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Oct 42°F (6°C) 7.8 inches (199 mm) 35°F (2°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Nov 32°F (-0°C) 4.9 inches (123 mm) 22°F (-6°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Dec 27°F (-3°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm) 17°F (-8°C) 1.1 inches (28 mm)