A Travel Price Comparison for California Los Angeles vs. Santa Monica for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Los Angeles or Santa Monica?

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 Los Angeles and Santa Monica. 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.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California is probably one of the most well known cities in the United States. It is the second most populated metro area in the country with more than 17 million people. The city's diversity is wide reaching, giving it a character that is unique from any other place in the country. LA has many world famous sights and neighborhoods including Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, and Santa Monica, but there is really so much more to this city.

Santa Monica

When it comes to visiting Los Angeles, Santa Monica is high on the must-see-and-do list. Chances are you'll recognize the iconic ferris wheel from Pacific Park in films and TV shows, and nothing beats the relaxed yet bustling vibe of this laid-back city.

Santa Monica is a popular and diverse beach town, cultural hub, fitness venue, shopping district, and neighborhood full of unique and trendy restaurants, all rolled into one. Visited by more than 6 million people a year, it's no wonder you'll always find a crowd there.

So whether you're up for a high-end shopping spree, bicycling down the waterfront, an eclectic food crawl or simply a stroll down the promenade, Santa Monica is sure to have something in store for you.

The weather in Santa Monica is moderate, with average summer highs in the low to mid 70s and winter climate that rests comfortably around the low 50s. Though flip flops and sandals are considered year-round footwear in Los Angeles, bring comfortable walking shoes for browsing galleries, malls, and boutiques. Santa Monica is the perfect place to break out your California-casual wardrobe.

Which city is cheaper, Santa Monica or Los Angeles?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Los Angeles is $192, while the average daily cost in Santa Monica is $168. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Los Angeles and Santa Monica in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Los Angeles $111
    Santa Monica $98
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Los Angeles $222
    Santa Monica $196

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Los Angeles $33
    Santa Monica $40
Typical Local Transportation prices in Los Angeles

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Los Angeles:


  • Hotel Parking for a Day
    $22
  • Taxi to Airport
    $55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Los Angeles

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Los Angeles Airport LAX: $30
  • Private Departure Transfer to Los Angeles Airport LAX: $30
  • Los Angeles Arrival Private Transfer: LAX Airport: $31
  • Small-Group Amazing Hollywood Sign Tour with Transfer: $32
  • Transfer to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): $39
  • Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Santa Monica - Arrival Private Transfer: $41
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Los Angeles to Los Angeles Int. Airport (LAX): $52
  • Private Van Airport Arrival Transfer: LAX Airport to Anaheim Resort Area: $53
  • Private Departure Transfer from Los Angeles City to Los Angeles Airport: $53
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Los Angeles Airport to Los Angeles City: $57
  • Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Los Angeles - Arrival Private Transfer: $61
  • Los Angeles to Los Angeles Airport (LAX) - Departure Private Transfer: $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Monica

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santa Monica:

  • Private Transfer to/from LAX Airport: $100
  • Santa Monica to Los Angeles Airport (LAX) - Departure Private Transfer: $61
  • Santa Monica to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Deparure Private Transfer: $113
  • Private Transfer From Santa Monica Area To Los Angeles Airport (LAX).: $79
  • Malibu or Pacific Palisades Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Los Angeles or Santa Monica?

Prices for flights to both Santa Monica and Los Angeles 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
    Los Angeles $35
    Santa Monica $42
Typical Food prices in Los Angeles

For Los Angeles, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Mexican Dinner (family of 4)
    $32
  • Burritos for Two
    $15
  • Coffee and Danish
    $7.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Los Angeles

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

  • How to Cook the Perfect Steak Virtual Cooking Class: $42
  • West Hollywood Food Tour: $75
  • Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour: $77
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Los Angeles Venice Beach: $96
  • Private Authentic Middle Eastern Cooking Class in Reseda, Los Angeles: $102
  • Luxury Vegan Food Tours of Los Angeles: $125
  • Secret Food Tour of Venice Beach, Los Angeles w/ Private Tour Option: $207

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Monica

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Santa Monica.

  • Taste of Santa Monica Walking Food Tour: $84

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Los Angeles $64
    Santa Monica $30
Typical Entertainment prices in Los Angeles

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


  • Santa Monica Pier Rides (family of 4)
    $37
  • Bowling
    $13
  • Hollywood Tour for Two
    $30
  • Six Flags for 2
    $96

Tours and Activities in Los Angeles

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

  • Hollywood Boulevard’s Haunting History and Hidden Gems: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.00
  • Gambling Built the Sunset Strip: A Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $5.13
  • Hollywood Legends: A self-guided audio tour of the Sunset Strip: $5.99
  • Hollywood Celebrity & Star Homes Self-Guided Driving Tour: $6.40
  • City tour Los Angeles Chile: $10
  • TCL Chinese Theatre VIP Tour: $14
  • La Brea Tar Pits Museum Ticket: $15
  • Melrose Self-Guided Tour of Instagrammable Places: $19
  • Half Day Self-Guided Tour of Westwood in Los Angeles: $19
  • Fun Self-Guided Tour of Hollywood in Los Angeles: $19
  • Self-Guided Tour of Downtown Los Angeles with Fun Facts and Best Photo Ops: $19
  • Venice Beach, CA WalkingTour: $19

Tours and Activities in Santa Monica

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

  • 5-Hour Limo Tour with Open Bar: $266
  • Bvc 02 -half Day Tour Santa Monica.: $45
  • California Coastline Helicopter Tour: $219
  • Deluxe 6-Hour Los Angeles Private Limo Tour: $773
  • Experience a beach sĂ©ance with a medium in Santa Monica: $48
  • From The O.J. Simpson Tour: $49
  • Half Day Tour of Santa Monica and Venice Beach: $53
  • Half-Day Private Gas-Powered Scooter Tour in Los Angeles: $70
  • Half-Day Private Gas-Powered Skateboard Tour in Los Angeles: $85
  • Half-Day Private Tour in California by Gas-Powered Bicycle: $90
  • Las Vegas 2 Day Tour from Los Angeles Santa Monica Venice and Marina Del Rey: $147
  • Malibu Celebrity Homes Tour: $55

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Los Angeles $11
    Santa Monica $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Los Angeles

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

  • Brews Cruise- DTLA Brewery tour by bike: $50
  • Brewery Walking Tour -- Downtown / Arts District: $81
  • Santa Barbara Wine Tasting Day Tour from Los Angeles: $249
  • Los Angeles Wine Tour: $250
  • The Private Malibu Wine Tour: $419
  • Food and Wine Tasting Party: $750
  • Private Tour: Malibu Wine Tasting for Two by Limousine from Los Angeles: $999

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Monica

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

  • Vintage VW Hippie Tour to Malibu with wine tasting: $148


When comparing the travel costs between Los Angeles and Santa Monica, we can see that Los Angeles is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Los Angeles vs. Santa Monica Travel Comparison

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