A Travel Price Comparison for Arizona Phoenix vs. Tucson for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Phoenix or Tucson?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Phoenix and Tucson can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Phoenix or Tucson?


The most populous city in the American Southwest, Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and busiest hub of activity in the general area. Geographically it is located in the Sonoran Desert, making for long hot summers and mild winters. This climate has ensured a thriving tourism industry with plenty of attractions both in and around Phoenix.


Tucson, Arizona is the second largest city in the state and sits at an elevation of 2,400 feet. It's temperature is slightly milder than Phoenix and it is a pleasant place to visit. Most people arrive in the city by car, but Amtrak does travel through Tucson, as does Greyhound. The area is also served by the Tucson International Airport. Once in the city, you'll likely want to have access to a car, as the city is not very pedestrian friendly and public transportation is very much lacking. Many popular and beautiful sights are also outside of town in the surrounding desert, so having access to a vehicle is paramount if you hope to visit any of the places.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America.

Which place is cheaper, Tucson or Phoenix?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phoenix is $238, while the average daily cost in Tucson is $157. 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 Phoenix and Tucson in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phoenix $144
    Tucson $93
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phoenix $288
    Tucson $186
Compare Hotels in Phoenix and Tucson

Looking for a hotel in Phoenix or Tucson? 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 Phoenix

Hotels in Tucson

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: Phoenix Hotel Prices and Tucson Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phoenix $39
    Tucson $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix

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

  • Private Transfer from Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Private Transfer from Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Business Car: $96
  • Private Transfer from Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Private Transfer From Hotels To Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport PHX : $41
  • One-Way Transfer Sky Harbor Airport to Phoenix: $104
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $117
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Arrival Private Transfer: $58
  • Phoenix International Airport (PHX) - Private transfer From/to Hotels: $118
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van: $149
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Departure Private Transfer Phoenix City to Phoenix Airport PHX : $110
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury SUV: $110

Is it cheaper to fly into Phoenix or Tucson?

Prices for flights to both Tucson and Phoenix 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 Meals for one day
    Phoenix $52
    Tucson $36
Typical Food Prices in Phoenix

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

  • Nice Lunch (for 2)
  • Indian Food Dinner (for 2)

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phoenix

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

  • Awesome French Crêpes Cooking Class: $75
  • Old Town Scottsdale Food Tour: $92
  • Downtown Phoenix Food Tour: $92
  • Scottsdale Waterfront Food Tour: $95
  • Downtown Gilbert Food Tour: $95
  • Quiche Lorraine French Cooking Class in Scottsdale: $129

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phoenix $40
    Tucson $16

Tours and Activities in Phoenix

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

  • 1.5 Hour Stretch Limo Golf Cart Tour, Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $79
  • 1/2 DAY SONORAN DESERT HIKE. Tour, Workout or Challenge Pace.: $115
  • 2 Hour Scottsdale Segway Tours - Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $90
  • 2 Hour Segway Tour - Sunsets, Segways & City Lights: $89
  • 2-Hour Arizona Desert Guided E-Bike Tour: $135
  • 2.5 Hour FAT Tire E-Bike Tour – Scottsdale Greenbelt Adventure: $119
  • 3 Cities & Nature Tour. Shop, Art, History, Food. Scottsdale, Phoenix, & Tempe.: $168
  • 3 Hour Guided TomCar ATV Tour in Sonoran Desert: $219
  • 3 Hour Sonoran Desert Private Guided Mountain Bike Tour: $135
  • Apache Trail and Dolly Steamboat Van Tour: $160
  • Box Canyon ATV Tour in Florence, Arizona: $235
  • Bulldog Canyon Off-Road Adventure Tour: $125

Tours and Activities in Tucson

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

  • Saguaro National Park Self Guided Driving Audio Tour: $75

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phoenix $17
    Tucson $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Phoenix

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

  • Scottsdale Bar Hunt: Scorching Scottsdale Bar Crawl: $12
  • Pedal Bar Crawl of Old Town Scottsdale: $55
  • Ghost town of Jerome, Brew and Wine Tour: $215
  • Custom Arizona Brewery / Vineyard Tour: $245

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

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

Which is Bigger, Phoenix or Tucson?

Phoenix has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Tucson. When comparing the sizes of Phoenix and Tucson, 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.