A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America San Diego vs. Las Vegas for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Resorts

Should you visit San Diego or Las Vegas?

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 Las Vegas. 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 outdoorsy, idyllic, and fun-filled 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. It's also known for beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a entertaining, sexy, and glamourous entertainment capital. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

San Diego and Las Vegas: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Great resorts
  • Good for shopping
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers


How is San Diego different from Las Vegas?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is San Diego or Las Vegas Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

San Diego
Las Vegas

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both San Diego and Las Vegas.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around San Diego. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.

Las Vegas offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Just wander along the Strip and pop in to any of the hotels to see what makes this city unique.


Is San Diego or Las Vegas Better for Food?

San Diego
Las Vegas

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Las Vegas a bit more than San Diego.

Eat your way through Las Vegas, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The city has become famous for it's all-you-can-eat buffets, which you'll find in almost every hotel along the strip. To fully experience the sin of gluttony, head for one of the more luxurious hotels, which have the more expensive, but also higher quality buffets. Celebrity chefs have also opened many five star restaurants around town that you must try.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the San Diego area. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.

Is San Diego or Las Vegas Better for Nightlife?

San Diego
Las Vegas

The vibe at night is comparable in San Diego and Las Vegas.

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.

Las Vegas has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. From posh dance clubs to glitzy cocktail bars, its nightlife scene puts this city on the map. Many people forget to sleep here, whether they're gambling away their money, checking out a world class show, or partying in one of the many clubs.

Is San Diego or Las Vegas Better for Music?

San Diego
Las Vegas

San Diego and Las Vegas are both destinations where visitors can find live music.

The music scene in San Diego draws a good crowd. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

In Las Vegas you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. The city has a number of long running shows as well as frequent musicians that pass through. There are also free live concerts and music festivals throughout the year.

Is San Diego or Las Vegas Better for Resorts?

San Diego
Las Vegas

With generally more resort options, Las Vegas attracts a high number of vacationers.

Vacationers flock to Las Vegas for its luxury resorts. Along the strip you'll find world class resorts with casinos, shops, theaters, and all kinds of entertainment venues. Many resorts have a detailed décor that immerses you in an ambiance that unique from the world outside. Top rated resorts include the Bellagio, the Wynn, and Park MGM.

San Diego has a few great resort options. Most people prefer to stay in hotels or VRBOs, but several popular resorts include Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Paradise Point, and the famous Hotel del Coronado.


Is San Diego or Las Vegas Better for Shopping?

San Diego
Las Vegas

Las Vegas is generally considered to be a more popular shopping destination.

Known for shopping, Las Vegas draws large crowds to its stores. The city's shopping scene combines high end brands with a style that is uniquely Las Vegas. Many hotels have their own malls or shopping areas where you can by designer names or visit flagship stores.

Many visitors go to San Diego to go shopping. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping.

Is San Diego or Las Vegas Better for Families?

San Diego
Las Vegas

Families may find more to do in San Diego than Las Vegas.

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.

Las Vegas is not the most family-friendly destination. The city is more known for its adult entertainment options than as a family-friendly destination, but there are good kid-friendly activities around town including kid-oriented shows, the Fun Dungeon in the Excalibur, and thrilling rides that are great for all ages.

Is San Diego or Las Vegas Better for Couples?

San Diego
Las Vegas

Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Las Vegas than San Diego.

Las Vegas is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. The city has become a mecca for weddings - whether impromptu or luxuriously planned out. With it's glamourous resorts and wide variety of entertainment options, couples can enjoy a fun-filled visit here.

San Diego is a good coastal city for couples to visit. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

Is San Diego or Las Vegas Better for Public Transit?

San Diego
Las Vegas

San Diego and Las Vegas 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 Las Vegas. Many visitors use the Monorail to get around the Strip and the touristy areas. There's also a bus system that travels throughout the city.


Is San Diego or Las Vegas a more walkable city?

San Diego
Las Vegas

San Diego and Las Vegas 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.

Las Vegas is a somewhat walkable coastal city. The area around The Strip is very walkable and pedestrian-friendly. In this area you can access many restaurants, hotels, and casinos.

Should I spend more time in Las Vegas or San Diego?

How long in San Diego or Las Vegas?

Both San Diego and Las Vegas have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Las Vegas than San Diego.

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 Las Vegas is 2-7 days.


  • How many days in San Diego or Las Vegas? Ideal Length of Stay
    San Diego 3-5 
    Las Vegas 2-7

One day in San Diego or Las Vegas?

You'll find shopping and museums around the coastal city of San Diego. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. 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.

People visit Las Vegas because there is so much to do. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. 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 Las Vegas?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the energetic destination of San Diego. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

People visit Las Vegas because there is so much to do. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this entertainment capital has to offer. This entertainment capital offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in San Diego or Las Vegas?

You'll find nightlife and live music around the fun-filled coastal city of San Diego. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this coastal city makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Most people head to the area for the beaches. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal city has to offer.

People visit Las Vegas because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this entertainment capital makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this entertainment capital has to offer.


A week in San Diego or Las Vegas?

San Diego is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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.

Las Vegas is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Las Vegas, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Las Vegas 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 Las Vegas is $246. 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 Las Vegas in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Diego $91
    Las Vegas $127
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Diego $182
    Las Vegas $254
Compare Hotels in San Diego and Las Vegas

Looking for a hotel in San Diego or Las Vegas? 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 Las Vegas


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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 Las Vegas Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Diego $19
    Las Vegas $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Diego to San Diego Int. Airport (SAN): $35
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Diego to SAN San Diego Airport: $46
  • Private Airport Transfer: San Diego International Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $46
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Diego Airport SAN: $48
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Diego Airport SAN: $48
  • Private Arrival Transfer from SAN San Diego Airport to San Diego City: $49
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • San Diego hotel/address to San Diego Airport (SAN) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Transfer from San Diego International Airport to San Diego: $62
  • Departure Private Transfer San Diego to San Diego Airport SAN in Business Car: $63
  • Private Airport Transfer San Deigo Arrival And Departure: $67
  • Private Airport Transfer: Hotel to and from San Diego International Airport: $70

Typical Local Transportation prices in Las Vegas

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Las Vegas are as follows:


  • 24 Hr Bus Pass
    $15
  • 24 hrs Deuce Bus
    $7.00
  • Taxi from Airport to the Strip
    $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Las Vegas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Las Vegas:

  • Departure Private Transfer Las Vegas to Los Angeles Airport LAX by Minibus: $1,928
  • Departure Private Transfer Las Vegas to Los Angeles Airport LAX by Executive SUV: $1,818
  • Departure Private Transfer Las Vegas to Los Angeles Airport LAX by SUV: $1,653
  • Las Vegas Private Transfer: Mercedes Sprinter Van: $1,300
  • Las Vegas Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sprinter: $200
  • Private Las Vegas Airport to Hotel Luxury Limousine Transfer: $195
  • Private Las Vegas Hotel to Airport Luxury Limousine Transfer: $175
  • Airport Transfer - Round Trip to or from Your Hotel: $165
  • Departure Private Transfers: Las Vegas to Las Vegas Airport LAS in Luxury Car: $163
  • Las Vegas Airport Transfers : Las Vegas to Airport LAS in Luxury Car: $163
  • Arrival Private Transfers: Las Vegas Airport LAS to Las Vegas in Luxury Car: $163
  • Las Vegas Airport Transfers : Airport LAS to Las Vegas in Luxury Car: $163

Is it cheaper to fly into San Diego or Las Vegas?

Prices for flights to both Las Vegas 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
    Las Vegas $64
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

Typical Food prices in Las Vegas

Some typical examples of dining costs in Las Vegas are as follows:


  • Coffee
    $5.00
  • Deep Fried Twinkie
    $1.07
  • Chocolate Dip Banana
    $1.07
  • Gelato
    $5.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Las Vegas

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

  • Only On The Strip Food Tour: $79
  • The "What The Frog?" Senor Frogs Dinner Package: $80
  • Chinatown Vegan Food Tour: $87
  • Downtown Vegan Food Tour: $87
  • Walking Food Tour of Downtown Las Vegas: $99
  • Evening Walking Food Tour on the Las Vegas Strip: $103
  • Walking Food Tour of the Las Vegas Strip: $103
  • Fremont Street Dinner Tour with Photographer: $129
  • Secret Food Tours Las Vegas: $136
  • Downtown Las Vegas Food Tour by Segway: $149
  • Wild West Sunset Horseback Ride with Dinner from Las Vegas: $150
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Las Vegas: $156

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Diego $38
    Las Vegas $63
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.

  • La Jolla: Explore California's Riviera on a self-guided audio tour: $5.40
  • La Jolla: Ultimate Self-Guided Combo Tour: $12
  • San Diego Zoo Hunt: Roar with Rex Adventure at the San Diego Zoo: $12
  • San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter Historic True Crime Tour: $16
  • San Diego Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • San Diego Balboa Park Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • San Diego Gaslamp District Ghost Tour: $24
  • Ghost-Themed Walking Tour: $25
  • Skip-the-Line: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket: $26
  • San Diego Harbor Cruise: $28
  • Tijuana Walking Tour from San Diego: $28

Typical Entertainment prices in Las Vegas

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Las Vegas are as follows:


  • Wedding Chapel
    $139
  • Atomic Testing Museum (two people)
    $12
  • Gondola Ride (4 person)
    $64
  • Monorail Ride
    $5.00
  • NY NY Rollercoaster
    $14
  • Circus Circus Adventure Dome Day Pass
    $26

Tours and Activities in Las Vegas

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Las Vegas are as follows:

  • 1 Hour Private Limo Photo Tour: $343
  • 1-Day Grand Canyon West Rim Sunset Tour: $135
  • 1-Day Hoover Dam - Lake Mead - Oatman Ghost Town Tour: $291
  • 1-Day Tour to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend from Las Vegas: $176
  • 1.5-Hour BLACKOUT: Dining in the Dark Experience in Las Vegas: $81
  • 11 Day Best of the West National Parks Tour Las Vegas to San Francisco: $2,151
  • 15-Day Southwest Grand Circle Tour: $6,000
  • 2 Day Zion and Bryce in depth National Tour Camp or Lodge options: $330
  • 2 Hour Photo Tour by Luxury Rolls Royce: $986
  • 2 Hour Private Limo Photo Tour: $549
  • 2-Day Grand Canyon Tour from Las Vegas: $330
  • 2-Day Private Tour: Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon and Bryce Canyon from Las Vegas: $1,198

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Diego $17
    Las Vegas $44

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Las Vegas

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Las Vegas:

  • Zombie Burlesque at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino: $49
  • Fantasy Burlesque Show at Luxor Hotel & Casino: $61
  • The Weird, Wacky and Wonderful Bar Crawl of Fremont Street: $89
  • Las Vegas Bar Crawl: $90
  • Las Vegas Brewery Tour by Party Bus: $103
  • Bar Crawl On Fremont Street: $260
  • Small Group Pahrump Wine Tasting with Death Valley Sightseeing and Stargazing: $295


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

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San Diego vs. Las Vegas Travel Comparison

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