A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Washington vs. Austin for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit Washington or Austin?

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

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 is a active, monument-filled, and international city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Austin

Austin is a entrepreneurial, eccentric, and unconventional city. It's also a big city with many activities. This is beautiful destination to visit. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Washington different from Austin?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Washington or Austin better for Museums and Historical Sights?

People who enjoy wandering through museums and other attractions will appreciate a visit to Washington a bit more than Austin.

Travelers visit Washington from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The city has world class museums that are often free. The Smithsonian Museums are arguably some of the most impressive museums in the United States. The city also has a large collection of monuments that are dedicated to past presidents or historical events.

Austin is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Austin has a number of great museums and sights including the Blanton Museum of Art, the Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. There's also a huge supply of local art galleries.


Is Washington or Austin better for Food?

Foodies will find both Washington and Austin both to be unique destinations.

Washington has long been recognized as a culinary destination. You can find restaurants from almost any cuisine here, so it's worth exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Known for it's food scene, Austin is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. There is amazing Texas barbecue, excellent Mexican food, and diverse food trucks.

Is Washington or Austin better for Nightlife?

The vibe at night is comparable in Washington and Austin.

Many people head to Washington for the nightlife scene. Head into Dupont Circle, U Street, and even Arlington to enjoy some of the area's best nightlife.

People head to Austin just to party. Head for Sixth Street for some of the most popular bars and clubs. Popular bars and clubs include the White Horse, the Rose Room, and Antone's Nightclub.

Is Washington or Austin better for Music?

Austin generally offers more live music options than Washington.

Austin is known as a music capital around the world. Music is what gives this city its character. There are many live music venues, concerts, and music festivals to experience.

The music scene helps keep Washington active and fun. Notable live music venues include the 9:30 Club, the Anthem, and Union Stage.

Is Washington or Austin better for Hiking?

You'll find hiking in both Washington and Austin.

Washington has hiking trails if you want to get outside. Just outside of Washington DC you'll find plenty of places to go hiking. There's also an elaborate bike and walking trail system in the city. To enjoy a bit of nature, head to Teddy Roosevelt Island.

Austin has hiking trails if you want to get outside. Head just outside of town to explore a few great hiking spots right near town.


Is Washington or Austin better for Shopping?

If you're looking to go shopping, Washington and Austin both offer plenty of spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Washington. Head to Georgetown and Dupont Circle for some of the city's best local shopping.

Austin is a great destination for shopping. There are a number of local boutiques around town where you can enjoy shopping.

Is Washington or Austin better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Washington or Austin.

Washington is a very family-friendly destination. It is a fun and educational destination where kids can explore world class museums and try unique foods from all around the world.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Austin. The city is a popular destination for young travelers, but there are also some family friendly activities like Barton Springs, Zilker Park, and several natural swimming holes.

Is Washington or Austin better for Couples?

Both Washington and Austin are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Washington is a nice destination for couples. The city lights up at night, so couples will enjoy wandering by the monuments in the evening or taking in a dinner and show.

Austin is a nice destination for couples. Young couples will enjoy the city for its lively nightlife, fun music scene, and youthful vibe.

Is Washington or Austin better for Students?

For students, both Washington and Austin are fairly comparable places to visit.

Students come from all over the world to visit Washington. International students come from around the world to study, learn, intern, and work in the capital of the United States.

Austin is a great city to visit as a student. The city has a huge university, the University of Texas at Austin, and it is a young city with tons for international students to experience and enjoy.


Is Washington or Austin better for Public Transit?

Washington has better public transit to get you around.

With a huge network, the transit system in Washington can get you around easily. The metro system and the bus system are reliable and efficient ways to explore the city.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Austin.

Is Washington or Austin a more walkable city?

Washington is generally more walkable than Austin.

Washington is a very easy city to get around on foot. Many neighborhoods around the city are easy to explore on foot. Most tourists spend a lot of time in the Mall area, which is very pedestrian friendly.

Austin is not a walkable city. The city, like most southern cities, isn't very walkable and it's important to have a car to get around.

Washington and Austin: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less active music scene
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less hiking options
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Should I spend more time in Austin or Washington?

How long in Washington or Austin?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Washington and Austin. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Washington than Austin.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Washington is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Austin is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Washington or Austin? Ideal Length of Stay
    Washington 3-7 
    Austin 2-3

One day in Washington or Austin?

Washington is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

With live music and food around the lively city of Austin, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Washington or Austin?

Washington is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

With food and shopping around the destination of Austin, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.


Five days in Washington or Austin?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Washington. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Austin, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Washington or Austin?

Washington is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Austin is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Washington and Austin in more detail.



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

Local Transportation
  • 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
  • BWI Airport: Transfer to Baltimore or Washington DC: $200
  • 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

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.





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:

  • Seattle: Pike Place Market Plant-Based Food Tour: $64
  • 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
  • Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner: $70
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $76
  • Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience: $79
  • Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour: $79
  • U Street Neighborhood Food Tour: $99
  • 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.

  • Secret Food Tour: $90
  • 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

Entertainment
  • 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
  • Lincoln's Assassination: Explore Lincoln's final day on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • The Kennedy Homes: Explore the colonial architecture on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Virtual Tour of Martin Luther King Memorial: $18
  • Virtual Tour African American Heritage in Washington DC: $19
  • Washington, DC: US Capitol Building Entry with 1-Hour Tour: $20
  • City Sightseeing Chester Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: $21
  • DC Ghost Tour: $24
  • Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum: $24

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
  • 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
  • Washington DC: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting: $120
  • Seattle All-Inclusive: Hike Mt. Rainier and Wine Tasting: $278
  • 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
  • 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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