A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Memphis vs. Houston for Music, Attractions, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Memphis or Houston?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Memphis or Houston, 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.

Memphis

Memphis is a creative, laid-back, and soulful city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the food, museums, and nightlife.

Houston

Houston is a diverse, sprawling, and southern city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Memphis and Houston: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Memphis or Houston?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Houston than Memphis, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Houston is more popular for its museums, shopping, and big city activities, while Memphis is known for its music. Memphis is popular for its influential music scene and its southern barbecue. Houston is popular for its sprawling size, its local Texas restaurants, and being the home to NASA. It is also home to The Space Center Houston.

How is Memphis different from Houston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Memphis or Houston?

Memphis
Houston

Houston is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Memphis is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Houston can be an interesting and educational experience. 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.

Memphis is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Many attractions in town are related to the city's history in music. There is the famed Graceland as well as the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music. The city also has several art museums that are worth checking out.


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

Memphis
Houston

Foodies will find both Memphis and Houston both to be good destinations.

Memphis is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The town has grown into a foodie destination with excellent barbecue and ribs. There are many award winning barbecue joints, but you'll also find casual bars that serve nachos, pizza, and other quick bites.

Houston offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. 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.

Is Memphis or Houston Better for Nightlife?

Memphis
Houston

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find great options in both Memphis and Houston.

The nightlife in Memphis has something for everybody. Music is at the heart of the nightlife scene. Head to Beale Street in Memphis's downtown for the most active nightlife that usually stays open the latest. You'll also find a lot of bars and clubs in Midtown around Overton Square.

Houston offers plenty to do in the evening. 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.

Is Memphis or Houston Better for Music?

Memphis
Houston

Memphis is a world-class destination for its live music scene. Also, Houston is still popular, but not quite as popular for its music scene.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Memphis There are plenty of live music venues in the downtown area that you can explore. Several of the most famous include B.B. King's Blues Club, Handy Park Pavilion, and Blues City Cafe. The city is known for its influential role in several music genres including the blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll. There are also many music related museums and attractions in town like Graceland, the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

The music scene in Houston is active and vibrant. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.


Is the Shopping Better in Memphis or Houston?

Memphis
Houston

Houston is a nice place to visit for its shopping areas. However, Memphis is not known for shopping.

Houston has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. 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.

Memphis is a good destination for shopping. The city has plenty of malls and chain stores where you can grab anything you might need.

Is Memphis or Houston Better for Families?

Memphis
Houston

Houston is a great city for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Memphis is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Houston. 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.

Memphis is a family-friendly place to visit. The town has some great activities for kids including a zoo, several museums, petting farms, and a botanical garden.

Is Memphis or Houston Better for Couples?

Memphis
Houston

Memphis and Houston are both good to visit as a couple.

Memphis is a good city for couples to visit. Couples who enjoy good music and southern food will enjoy a weekend here. There are many music related landmarks including Graceland and the Rock 'n' Soul Museum. Live music is very popular as well.

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.


Is Memphis or Houston Better for Students?

Memphis
Houston

For students, both Memphis and Houston are good places to visit.

It's common for students to visit Memphis. The live music scene and great food options make this is a fun town for students.

Houston is a good city to visit for students. It's a large city with a number of universities and a large student population.

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

Memphis
Houston

Memphis and Houston both offer decent public transit to get you around.

Public transit is mostly limited in Memphis. There is a trolley and bus system that the city operates, but a car is really helpful for getting around.

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.

Is Memphis or Houston a more walkable city?

Memphis
Houston

Memphis is a good destination for its high level of walkability. However, Houston is not particularly known for its ease of walking around.

Memphis is a somewhat walkable place. Most of the touristy parts of town are walkable, but if you want to explore further out you'll need a car.

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


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

Should I spend more time in Houston or Memphis?

How long in Memphis or Houston?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Memphis and Houston. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Houston than Memphis. 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.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Memphis than Houston 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 Memphis.


  • How many days in Memphis or Houston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Memphis 2-3 
    Houston 2-3

One day in Memphis or Houston?

In Memphis, you'll find nightlife and live music. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

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.

A weekend in Memphis or Houston?

In Memphis, you'll find live music and food. 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 Memphis has to offer.

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.

Five days in Memphis or Houston?

Memphis 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.

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.


A week in Memphis or Houston?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Memphis. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Memphis. 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 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, and The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Houston or Memphis?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Memphis is $167, while the average daily cost in Houston is $262. 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 Memphis and Houston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Memphis $84
    Houston $142
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Memphis $168
    Houston $284
Compare Hotels in Memphis and Houston

Looking for a hotel in Memphis or Houston? 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 Memphis


Hotels in Houston


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: Memphis Hotel Prices and Houston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Memphis $59
    Houston $72

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Memphis

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

  • Greater Memphis To MEM International Airport - Luxury Transfer: $95
  • Memphis Airport (MEM) to Memphis City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $135
  • Memphis Airport MEM to Hot Springs Resorts Round-Trip Transfer: $287
  • Memphis Airport Transfers: $60
  • Guided Tour with Riverboat Cruise & Hotel Transfers: $339
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Memphis Airport MEM: $72
  • Private Departure Transfer to Memphis Airport MEM: $72

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
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): Transfer to Houston: $351
  • George Bush Airport (IAH) to Galveston Port - Arrival Transfer: $195
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH) to Galveston Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $195
  • RoundTrip transfer in private minivan from-to HoustonAirport in Houston Downtown: $176
  • William P. Hobby Airport to Galveston Port Arrival Transfer: $170
  • Privat Transfer from Houston Airport (HOU) to Port of Galveston: $170
  • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Port of Galveston - Arrival Private Transfer: $170
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH) to Houston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $163
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Houston APT-HTL (IAH): $151
  • Arrival Private Transfer: George Bush Airport IAH to Houston in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Departure Private Transfer: Houston to George Bush Airport IAH in Luxury SUV: $110

Is it cheaper to fly into Memphis or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston and Memphis 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
    Memphis $43
    Houston $35
Typical Food Prices in Memphis

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


  • Baskin Robins (for 2)
    $6.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Memphis

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

  • Taste of Downtown Memphis Food Tour: $75

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • 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 Downtown: Secret Food Tours: $80
  • Houston Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $85
  • East Downtown Food Tour: $90
  • Houston Heights Culture and Food Tour: $95
  • Montrose Food Tour: $97

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Memphis $45
    Houston $14

Tours and Activities in Memphis

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

  • Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour of Beale Street: $6.50
  • Beale Street Experience Audio App Self Guided Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Memphis Music Hall of Fame Admission Ticket: $8.00
  • Memphis Music Hall of Fame Admission Ticket: $8.00
  • Downtown In-App Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Entry Ticket to the Edge Motor Museum: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure City Game on Your Phone: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Memphis by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Rock 'n' Soul Museum with Audio Tour: $11
  • Brews, Blues and BBQ Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • A Self Guided Walking Tour of Brews, Blues and BBQ in Memphis: $12
  • Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum Admission Ticket in Memphis: $15

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: $24
  • The Art of Fufu Cookbook Experience: West African Soup & Fufu : $100
  • 2 Hours H- Town Tour with 15ft Open Air Party Truck On Wheels: $46
  • Astroville Best of Houston City Driving Tour with Live Guide: $45
  • Astroville Best of Houston City Driving Tour with Live Guide: $45
  • Astroville Driving Tour & NASA Space Center Admission and Shuttle: $80
  • Astroville Private Best of Houston City Driving Tour: $370
  • Astroville Tunnel Tour & NASA Space Center Admission with Shuttle: $80
  • Astroville Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston (Air-Conditioned): $33
  • Austin & Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Downtown Astroville Tunnel Tour (Air-Conditioned): $33
  • Downtown In App Audio Walking Tour: $9.00

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Memphis $26
    Houston $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Memphis

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

  • Drinking Spirits with Spirits Haunted Pub Crawl: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl in Memphis: $27
  • Guided Bar Crawl on a Pedal Bike: $39
  • Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $62
  • Memphis Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $69

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 Memphis and Houston, we can see that Houston is more expensive. And not only is Memphis much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Memphis would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Memphis 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 Memphis.

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


Which is Bigger, Memphis or Houston?

Houston has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Memphis. When comparing the sizes of Memphis and Houston, 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 Memphis or Houston?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Memphis or Houston in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Memphis as well as Houston. Many travelers come to Memphis for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Houston in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Memphis is generally around the same temperature as Houston. Daily temperatures in Memphis average around 83°F (29°C), and Houston fluctuates around 84°F (29°C).

It's quite rainy in Houston. Memphis usually gets less rain in July than Houston. Memphis gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.8 inches (122 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Memphis 83°F (29°C) 
    Houston 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Memphis or Houston in the Autumn?

Both Houston and Memphis are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Memphis in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene. Also, most visitors come to Houston for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene during these months.

Memphis is cooler than Houston in the autumn. The daily temperature in Memphis averages around 64°F (18°C) in October, and Houston fluctuates around 71°F (22°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Houston. In October, Memphis usually receives less rain than Houston. Memphis gets 1.6 inches (41 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Memphis 64°F (18°C) 
    Houston 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Memphis or Houston in the Winter?

Both Houston and Memphis during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Memphis for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Houston because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Memphis can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Memphis is much colder than Houston. Typically, the winter temperatures in Memphis in January average around 40°F (5°C), and Houston averages at about 52°F (11°C).

Memphis usually gets less rain in January than Houston. Memphis gets 2.4 inches (62 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Memphis 40°F (5°C) 
    Houston 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Memphis or Houston in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Memphis and Houston. The spring months attract visitors to Memphis because of the activities around the city. Furthermore, the activities around the city are the main draw to Houston this time of year.

In April, Memphis is generally cooler than Houston. Daily temperatures in Memphis average around 64°F (18°C), and Houston fluctuates around 70°F (21°C).

Memphis gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Memphis usually receives more rain than Houston. Memphis gets 4.3 inches (109 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Memphis 64°F (18°C) 
    Houston 70°F (21°C)

Typical Weather for Houston and Memphis

Memphis Houston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 2.4 inches (62 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Feb 45°F (7°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 76°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 83°F (29°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 84°F (29°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 83°F (29°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 76°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 1.6 inches (41 mm) 71°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)