A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America San Diego vs. Albuquerque for Families, Food, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit San Diego or Albuquerque?

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 San Diego and Albuquerque. 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.

San Diego

San Diego is a hip, dynamic, and energetic coastal city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and live music.

Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a traditional, colonial, and desert town. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and nightlife.

San Diego and Albuquerque: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance


How is San Diego different from Albuquerque?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is San Diego or Albuquerque Better for Food?

San Diego
Albuquerque

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both San Diego and Albuquerque.

San Diego has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.

Dining out in Albuquerque is an experience not to be missed. The city's local cuisine combines Native American and Spanish flavors to make a variety of unique specialties. You should try the green chili stew, breakfast burrito, sopaipillas, and blue corn pancakes.


Is San Diego or Albuquerque Better for Nightlife?

San Diego
Albuquerque

The vibe at night is comparable in San Diego and Albuquerque.

Many people head to San Diego for the nightlife scene. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Albuquerque. Head downtown and to the Nob Hill neighborhood for wine bars, breweries, and billiard halls.

Is San Diego or Albuquerque Better for Shopping?

San Diego
Albuquerque

If you're looking to go shopping, San Diego and Albuquerque both offer plenty of spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting San Diego. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Albuquerque. The city's old town has many cultural artisan shops where you can buy local items.

Is San Diego or Albuquerque Better for Families?

San Diego
Albuquerque

Both San Diego and Albuquerque are family-friendly destinations.

With a huge array of activities for kids, San Diego is very family-friendly. It has a number of kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more.

Albuquerque is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of nature centers as well as the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo. Outside of town there are many parks and natural areas to explore.

Is San Diego or Albuquerque Better for Couples?

San Diego
Albuquerque

San Diego and Albuquerque both fun destinations for a couple.

San Diego makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

Albuquerque is a good coastal city for couples to visit. Surrounded by natural beauty, and filled with culture and charm, this city makes a great romantic getaway. It's particularly wonderful during the famous International Balloon Fiesta.


Is San Diego or Albuquerque Better for Public Transit?

San Diego
Albuquerque

San Diego and Albuquerque both offer public transit to get you around.

Public transit is mostly limited in San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around.

Public transit is generally limited in Albuquerque. ABQ Ride is the bus system around town.

Is San Diego or Albuquerque a more walkable city?

San Diego
Albuquerque

San Diego and Albuquerque are similar when it comes to walkability.

San Diego is a somewhat walkable place. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.

Albuquerque is a somewhat walkable coastal city. Walkable areas include the old town, the area around the University of New Mexico, and the uptown area.

Should I spend more time in Albuquerque or San Diego?

How long in San Diego or Albuquerque?

It's fun to spend time in either San Diego or Albuquerque. Generally, people tend to spend more time in San Diego due to the larger number of activities and things to do.

The ideal length of time for a trip to San Diego is 3-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Albuquerque is 2-4 days.


  • How many days in San Diego or Albuquerque? Ideal Length of Stay
    San Diego 3-5 
    Albuquerque 2-4

One day in San Diego or Albuquerque?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the dynamic coastal city of San Diego. It's also a great beach destination, too. Most people visit for the beaches. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find food and shopping around the town of Albuquerque. Visiting the old town is also a must. 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.

A weekend in San Diego or Albuquerque?

Visitors enjoy the live music and food when visiting the hip destination of San Diego. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This coastal city offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the desert destination of Albuquerque. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in San Diego or Albuquerque?

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the energetic coastal city of San Diego. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the colonial town of Albuquerque. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in San Diego or Albuquerque?

Many people enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting San Diego. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people come for the beaches. Most people visit for the beaches. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Albuquerque is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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.

Which city is cheaper, Albuquerque or San Diego?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Diego is $161, while the average daily cost in Albuquerque is $108. 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 San Diego and Albuquerque in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Diego $91
    Albuquerque $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Diego $182
    Albuquerque $110
Compare Hotels in San Diego and Albuquerque

Looking for a hotel in San Diego or Albuquerque? 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 San Diego


Hotels in Albuquerque


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: San Diego Hotel Prices and Albuquerque Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Diego $19
    Albuquerque $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Private transfer: San Diego to San Diego Airport (SAN): $622
  • Private transfer: San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $622
  • San Diego Private Transfer To N. Hollywood/Burbank area.: $398
  • Tijuana Border Crossing Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $398
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Palm Springs.: $398
  • Private Transfer from San Diego to Hollywood Burbank: $397
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $389
  • San Diego to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $357
  • San Diego to Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) - Departure Private Transfer: $342
  • Private Transfer From San Diego To Orange County.: $298
  • Private San Diego Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $192
  • Private San Diego Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $128

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albuquerque

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

  • Private Transfer: Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) to Albuquerque: $622
  • Private Transfer: Albuquerque to Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ): $622
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $177
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Arrival Private Transfer: $88
  • Albuquerque to Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) - Departure Private Transfer: $88
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Albuquerque Airport (ABQ): $81
  • Private Departure Transfer To Albuquerque Airport ABQ: $49
  • Albuquerque International Airport One Way Transfer: $48

Is it cheaper to fly into San Diego or Albuquerque?

Prices for flights to both Albuquerque and San Diego 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
    San Diego $36
    Albuquerque $33
Typical Food prices in San Diego

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


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

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

  • San Diego North Park Food Tour: $49
  • Liberty Station Food Tour: $49
  • Market and Guacamole Cooking Class in Tijuana Mexico: $89
  • Private Cooking Demonstration of Indian Fusion Cuisine in San Diego: $96
  • Farmers Market Tour & Social Cooking With A Chef: $100
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $111
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Diego: $129
  • Secret Food Tours San Diego w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Albuquerque

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

  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Albuquerque: $71

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Diego $38
    Albuquerque $20
Typical Entertainment prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

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

  • 1-Hour Voodoo Escape Room Experience in San Diego: $35
  • 1Hr GPS Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $63
  • 2 Hour Whale Watching Kayak Tour for Two: $77
  • 4 Hour Whale Watching/Eco Adventure: $163
  • Affordable, Luxury Sailing Tour of San Diego's Bay and Coastal Waterways: $112
  • All Day San Diego City and Shopping Tour: $95
  • All Inclusive Beer Tour-Party bus: $169
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past: $69
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 12 Guests: $1,200
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 6 Guests: $600
  • Coastal Beauty - Private Sunset & Night Photography Tour: $455

Tours and Activities in Albuquerque

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

  • 12pm - Public High Noon History, Legends & Lore Tour - Guided Old Town Stroll: $35
  • ABQ NM Film locations Tour, tour your favorite movies/shows filmed in ABQ: $45
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Guided Family Walking Tour: $599
  • Turquoise Museum Admission Ticket: $20
  • Breaking Bad RV Tour, visiting locations from Breaking Bad and Better call Saul: $80
  • Breaking Bad RV Virtural Tour: $13
  • Georgia on My Mind: Georgia O'keeffe and Ghost Ranch Country Tour: $395
  • Guided Bicycle Nature Tour of Albuquerque - Daily: $69
  • Mezcla de Culturas A Walking Tour of ABQ Sawmill District & Historic Old Town: $75
  • New Mexico Flavors Tour Of Old Town Albuquerque: $124
  • New Mexico Mines, Wild West Towns and Turquoise Trail Tour from Albuquerque: $295

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Diego $17
    Albuquerque $16

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

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

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $12
  • Wine Tasting Or Beer Tasting: $15
  • San Diego Brewery Tour: $85
  • San Diego Micro Brewery Tour: $91
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $95
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $101
  • Private San Diego Brewery Tour: $107
  • All inclusive brewery tour-Fire Truck: $189
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego.: $249
  • Private Wine Tour of Temecula from San Diego: $475


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

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San Diego vs. Albuquerque Travel Comparison

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