A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Washington vs. Austin for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Washington or Austin?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Washington and Austin can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington, DC is the capital city of the United States of America. It is also a city rich in history and culture. The city dates back to 1791 when the states of Maryland and Virginia donated the land to create the capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land that was ceded by Virginia and in 1871 it created a single municipal government with the remaining area. Today, Washington, DC has a population of over 600,000 people. The metropolitan area includes suburbs in Maryland and Virginia and has a population of about 5.8 million.

Austin

Located in the Texas Hill Country, Austin is the capital city of the state. It is a relatively small city with a compact downtown area and many sprawling suburbs stretching out along the interstate. Austin prides itself on its eclectic culture and alternative vibe which is epitomized by the city's unofficial slogan "Keep Austin Weird." The University of Texas at Austin is also located downtown. The school's large student population helps give the city a youthful feel with a lively nightlife and no shortage of activities on weekends. The city is also the self proclaimed live music capital of the country. As such, it has many music venues and bars, most of which are clustered around the 6th Street area downtown. There are also many free outdoor concerts, particularly during the summer months.

Which city is cheaper, Austin or Washington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Washington is $155, while the average daily cost in Austin is $114. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Washington and Austin in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $182 in Washington For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

A hotel room in Austin is about $90 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $91
    Austin $45
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $182
    Austin $90

Food

The average traveler spends about $30 per day in Washington for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The average traveler spends about $28 per day in Austin for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Washington $30
    Austin $28
Typical Food prices in Washington

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


  • Water
    $2.00
  • Snacks on Monuments Tour
    $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington

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

  • Washington D.C.: 3.5-Hour Georgetown Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC: 3-Hour Italian Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle: $65
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $76
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: DC Morning Food Tour on H Street: $79
  • Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience: $79
  • Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour: $79
  • Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner: $81
  • U Street Neighborhood Food Tour: $89
  • Washington DC Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $100
  • Private French Cooking Class with an Expert in the Heart of Washington DC: $108
  • Washington, DC 3-Hour Dinner Buffet Cruise: $122

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Austin

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

  • Austin Food Tour by Bus with Live Band On Board: $93
  • Austin Beer and Food Tour by Bike: $97
  • Private Secret Food Tour of Downtown Austin: $103
  • East Austin Urban Farms & Brewery Food Tour by Bike: $106
  • Wood Fired Dinner Series at the Austin Winery: $159
  • Secret Food Tour of Downtown Austin w/ Private Tour Option: $221
  • Secret Food Tour: $288

Local Transportation

To get around in Washington, the average visitor spends $37 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

The cost of a taxi ride in Austin is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $38 per person, per day, on local transportation in Austin.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $37
    Austin $38
Typical Local Transportation prices in Washington

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Washington are as follows:


  • Metro Day Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Washington

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

  • Airport Transfer to and from Dulles International IAD Airport: $160
  • DCA Private 1-Way Transfer from D.C. City Center Hotels: $97
  • DCA to D.C. City Center Hotels: 1-Way Private Transfer: $102
  • Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Business Car: $118
  • Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury SUV: $154
  • Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury Van: $154
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Business Car: $119
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury SUV: $151
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury Van: $159
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV: $78
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Van: $82

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $187
  • Private Austin Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $128
  • Private Austin Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $114
  • Transfer from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Austin: $109
  • Austin City to Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) - Departure Private Transfer: $93
  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Arrival Private Transfer: $93
  • Private Airport and Hotel Transfer Services in Austin: $86
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport One Way Transfer: $69
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Austin Bergstrom Airport AUS: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer to Austin Bergstrom Airport AUS: $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Austin?

Prices for flights to both Austin and Washington 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.





Entertainment

In Washington, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.

Entertainment and activities in Austin typically cost an average of $22 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $19
    Austin $22

Tours and Activities in Washington

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

  • Tidal Basin: Stroll around the cherry blossoms and monuments on an audio tour: $5.00
  • The National Mall: Discover the monuments and their memories on an audio tour: $5.00
  • The Kennedy Homes: Explore the colonial architecture on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • Lincoln's Assassination: Explore Lincoln's final day on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Washington DC: Arlington Nat. Cemetery Ticket & Tram Tour: $15
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Virtual Tour of Martin Luther King Memorial: $18
  • Virtual Tour African American Heritage in Washington DC: $19
  • DC: Museum of the Bible Exclusive Early Admission Ticket: $20
  • Washington, DC: US Capitol Building Entry with 1-Hour Tour: $20
  • Haunted History Ghost Tour: $21

Typical Entertainment prices in Austin

Here are a few typical costs in Austin for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Austin Duck Tour
    $31

Tours and Activities in Austin

Here are a few actual costs in Austin for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 48-Hour Austin Hop-On Hop-Off Blue Line City Tour: $45
  • Austin Biker Gang E-Bike Adventure: $62
  • Austin Capital Photo Tour: $21
  • Austin City Landmarks and Taco Tour by Bike: $97
  • Austin Digital Private Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $11
  • Austin E-Bike Tour: $69
  • Austin Electric Bike Tour: Let it Ride: $71
  • Austin Electric Minibike Adventure Tour: $77
  • Austin Famous Ghost and Bat Segway Tour: $59
  • Austin Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $81
  • Austin Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour: $33
  • Austin Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour: $30

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Washington, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Austin may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $23 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $15
    Austin $23

Sample the Local Flavors in Washington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:

  • Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting: $120
  • NOVA Private Custom Wine Tours & Tasting from DMV: $645
  • 6 Hours Northern VA Wine Tour: $920

Sample the Local Flavors in Austin

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Austin:

  • Austin Bar Hunt: Sixth Street Spree: Austin Bar Crawl: $12
  • More than a Pub Crawl: $24
  • Haunted Austin Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Brewery Tours through East Austin via Motorized Pedicab: $40
  • Austin Pedicab Brewery Tour with Beer Flights Included Option: $46
  • The Brew Bus: Austin Brewery Tour with Live Band: $81
  • Half-Day Craft Beer and Brewery Tour: $82
  • Private Texas Hill Country Half-Day Wine Tour from Austin: $140
  • Texas Hill Country Wine Tour by Limousine: $175
  • Customizable Austin Distillery and Brewery Tour: $206
  • Half-Day Brewery and Craft Beer Tour in Austin with Tastings: $240


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

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Washington vs. Austin Travel Comparison

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