A Travel Price Comparison for New Mexico Roswell, New Mexico vs. Santa Fe for Food, Attractions, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

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 Roswell, New Mexico and Santa Fe. 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.

Roswell, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico is a infamous, quirky, and mysterious town. It's also popular because of the food and museums.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a cultural, historic, and charming historic town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the live music, food, and hiking.

Roswell, New Mexico and Santa Fe: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Santa Fe. Although Roswell, New Mexico and Santa Fe are both popular with visitors, Santa Fe has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Roswell, New Mexico is popular for being the site of an alleged UFO crash. Santa Fe is popular for its strong arts scene, its Pueblo-style architecture, and its unique local cuisine. It is also home to The Museum of New Mexico Complex.

How is Roswell, New Mexico different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Santa Fe and Roswell, New Mexico. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe Better for Skiing?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for skiing and snowboarding. However, Roswell, New Mexico is not a skiing destination.

For winter sports and skiing, Santa Fe is a great destination to visit. There are a few good ski resorts not far from Santa Fe. Popular options include Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.

Roswell, New Mexico is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Roswell, New Mexico and Santa Fe.

Roswell, New Mexico offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Most people stop in town specifically for the International UFO Museum and Research Center. It has a lot of information on the 1947 Roswell Crash and other supposed UFO incidents. Other museums in town include the Roswell UFO Spacewalk, the Roswell Museum, and the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Santa Fe. Head to the Museum of New Mexico Complex, which has four museums that give a great overview of the history of the area. Also make sure you visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

Is the Food Better in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Roswell, New Mexico is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Santa Fe has a huge number of terrific restaurants. There are many local restaurants that use regional ingredients and offer great flavors. There are also cafes and bistros where you can enjoy breakfast or brunch. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chili peppers.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Roswell, New Mexico area. It's a good place to grab lunch as there are many casual restaurants that serve everything from burgers to tacos or other Mexican dishes.

Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a decent place to visit for nightlife and partying. However, Roswell, New Mexico is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Santa Fe. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night. Live music is popular and diverse. It often includes different genres such as the blues, country, salsa or bluegrass.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Roswell, New Mexico. There's no real nightlife scene and many visitors stop over in route somewhere else.


Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for its live music scene. However, Roswell, New Mexico is not a live music destination.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Santa Fe. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Roswell, New Mexico is not a live music destination.

Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe Better for its Old Town?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a very popular place for its old town. However, Roswell, New Mexico does not have a historic old town.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Santa Fe. As the 2nd oldest city in the United States, the old town historic district is filled with charm. The Pueblo-style buildings are brightly colored and there are churches throughout.

Roswell, New Mexico does not have a historic old town.

Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe Better for Hiking?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for its hiking trails. However, Roswell, New Mexico is not a hiking destination.

Santa Fe offers some nice hiking trails. Because it's located right by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, there are many beautiful hikes right outside of town. Popular trails include the Picacho Peak Trail and the Nambe Lake Trail. Bandelier National also has many places to hike.

Roswell, New Mexico is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. However, Roswell, New Mexico is lacking in good options for its shopping areas.

Santa Fe is well-known for its shopping. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Roswell, New Mexico has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. You'll find the typical suburban chains where you can pick up essentials or food while you're in town.

Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Both Roswell, New Mexico and Santa Fe are good family-friendly destinations.

Roswell, New Mexico is a family-friendly town. Kids who enjoy a mystery will appreciate a visit to the International UFO Museum and Research Center. There's also the Spring River Park and Zoo which has native animals and a carousel.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Santa Fe. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for its romantic activities. However, Roswell, New Mexico is lacking in good options for couples.

Santa Fe makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.

Roswell, New Mexico is not always the best place to visit for a couple. It's a bit outside the box as far as destinations go, so couples who enjoy the weird and quirky will enjoy a stop here.


Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe Better for Students?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Roswell, New Mexico is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Santa Fe. There are a few colleges and universities in town and students will appreciate the reasonable cost of living and outdoor activities nearby.

Roswell, New Mexico is not popular with students.

Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Visitors will find decent public transit in both Roswell, New Mexico and Santa Fe.

Public transit is mostly limited in Roswell, New Mexico. There are buses, but it's easier to have your own car.

Public transit is generally limited in Santa Fe. There is a bus system - the Santa Fe Trails Bus Service.

Is Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a very popular place for its high level of walkability. Also, Roswell, New Mexico is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its ease of walking around.

Santa Fe is a very walkable historic town. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

Roswell, New Mexico is a somewhat walkable town. The historic district is compact and walkable.


For even more information, also check out Is Roswell, New Mexico Worth Visiting? and Is Santa Fe Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Roswell, New Mexico?

How long in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

In either Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santa Fe than Roswell, New Mexico because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Roswell, New Mexico, and 2-5 days is enough time in Santa Fe.

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

Couples should spend more time in Santa Fe than Roswell, New Mexico. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Santa Fe that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Santa Fe than Roswell, New Mexico 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 Santa Fe.


  • How many days in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe? Ideal Length of Stay
    Roswell, New Mexico 1-2 
    Santa Fe 2-5

One day in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

The town of Roswell, New Mexico offers museums and food. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Santa Fe, many people enjoy the skiing and live music that this destination offers. Visiting the old town is also a must. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

Roswell, New Mexico is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Roswell, New Mexico, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Many people visit Santa Fe for a weekend. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Santa Fe, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

Roswell, New Mexico is a popular choice for travelers. Five days 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

In Santa Fe, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this destination offers. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Many people spend five days here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Santa Fe, five days is sufficent for most.


A week in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

Roswell, New Mexico is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

Many people enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting Santa Fe. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This historic town offers something for everyone. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles.


Which place is cheaper, Santa Fe or Roswell, New Mexico?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Roswell, New Mexico is $117, while the average daily cost in Santa Fe is $159. 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 Roswell, New Mexico and Santa Fe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Roswell, New Mexico $46
    Santa Fe $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Roswell, New Mexico $92
    Santa Fe $162
Compare Hotels in Roswell, New Mexico and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe? 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 Roswell, New Mexico


Hotels in Santa Fe


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: Roswell, New Mexico Hotel Prices and Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Roswell, New Mexico $38
    Santa Fe $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Fe

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe and Roswell, New Mexico 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
    Roswell, New Mexico $44
    Santa Fe $43

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Fe

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

  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $184
  • Santa Fe Farmers Market & Railyard Food Tour: $184
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Railyard Arts District: $189
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Downtown Plaza 'Sip & Savor': $209
  • Downtown Plaza "Sip and Savor" Half-day Food Tour: $209
  • Savor Wine Pairing Dinner: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Roswell, New Mexico $33
    Santa Fe $17

Tours and Activities in Santa Fe

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

  • 2 Hour Pottery Experience (Wheel or Hand-Building): $160
  • 2-Hour Photography Class While Touring Downtown Santa Fe, Smart Phones Welcome!: $85
  • A Walking Tour of Santa Fe's Most Beautiful and Historic Sites: $217
  • Canyon Road Art & History Walking Tour: $70
  • Downtown Santa Fe Walking Wine & Tapas Tour: $149
  • Enchanted Eats of Santa Fe Half-Day Tour: $959
  • Explore Santa Fe's Old Town & the Museum of Art: Private Tour: $195
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Santa Fe, NM: $15
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $70
  • Plaza Sip, Savor, & History Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $119
  • Private Canyon Road Art & History Walking Tour: $138
  • Railyard Sip, Savor, & History Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $119

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Roswell, New Mexico $9.29
    Santa Fe $9.68

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Fe

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

  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery Tour and Tasting: $18
  • Architectural Walking Tour & Wine Tasting: $135


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Roswell, New Mexico Expensive? and Is Santa Fe Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Roswell, New Mexico or Santa Fe?

Santa Fe has a larger population, and is about 57% larger than the population of Roswell, New Mexico. When comparing the sizes of Roswell, New Mexico and Santa Fe, 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.