HOUSTON TRAVEL GUIDE
This Houston Travel Guide shares everything you need to know before visiting the city, including where to stay, what to do and how to save money in Houston.
As the hub of space exploration, Houston is the fourth largest city in the USA and one of the best places to visit in Texas. Visit one of the many beautiful parks, enjoy the delicious food and make sure to check out the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Typical costs in Houston
Budget: Houston does offer some affordable accommodation options, especially if you don’t mind staying a little further outside of the city. There aren’t too many hostels but you can get a dorm bed at Wanderstay but Houston for $28 a night or stay in a budget hotel for $40.
Midrange: Midrange hotels can be found for around $110 but there are plenty of Airbnb in Houston as well (some quirky options too!). These will help you save money, especially if visiting as a group.
Luxury: 5-star hotels in Downtown Houston start at $260 with the most luxurious options costing around $500.
Transport: The local bus, METRORail or METRARapid costs $1.25 per ride but there are Park and Ride Zones available for those looking to park in the city. A ride from the zone to Downtown Houston will vary but start at $2.
The average cost of food:
Expect to spend around $27 a day on food in Houston with the average meal out costs around $11 per person.
Best time to visit Houston
February to April and September to November are great times to Visit Houston. Because of the pleasant weather and the many festivals available during this time.
Summer is incredibly hot in Houston, which makes sightseeing a little more uncomfortable and June can be a wet month to visit, with many rainfalls.
Where to stay in Houston
The Super 8 by Wyndham Houston NW Beltway 8 is an affordable and decent place to stay in Houston but you will need a car to get around.
Wanderstay Houston is also a colourful hostel that makes for a great stay on a budget with dorm beds costing $28 and private rooms costing $42.
The Holiday Inn Express and Suites Memorial is in a decent location for the price, with rooms starting at $116 and some offers available throughout the year.
Club Quarters Hotel in Houston is ideal for those looking for a great hotel in the city centre. The rooms are smaller but prices start at $77 and the hotel is in Downtown Houston.
The JW Marriott Houston Downtown is one of the most luxurious, recognisable brands in Houston, with king rooms starting at $389. The C. Baldwin (by Hilton) is in a great location and starts at $269 whilst the stunning Four Seasons costs $550 a night.
Save money in Houston
America is not the best place to start if you are travelling on a budget but there are many ways you save money travelling the USA.
- Houston CityPASS – Get discounts on Houston attractions using the CityPass. The pass includes the Space Center, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo, the Museum of Fine Arts, Kemah Boardwalk and the Children’s Museum of Houston.
- Free shows – Head to the Miller Outdoor Theater to enjoy free shows from the lawn.
- Use Happy Hours – There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from in Houston and they all have awesome happy hours. Compare prices and special offers and take advantage of these when planning your trip. Check the bars Facebook page for special offers.
- Free Thursdays – The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is a great place to visit . Visit on Thursdays to enjoy free admission to this popular attractions.
- Use Yelp – In Houston, many restaurants have deals that are tied to checking in on Yelp. Check the website or ask in the restaurant to see if they offer any discounts for reviewing the restaurant or checking in on Yelp.
- Free things to do in Houston – There are lots of things to do in Houston. Visit the Water Wall, head to the Contemporary Arts Museum, bike along the trails in Buffalo Bayou or walk the trails at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. The Art Car Museum is a fantastic sight to see and completely free.
- Stay outside of the city – Find a hotel just outside the city in order to save some money on accommodation but remember to get a hotel with parking or near a metro line to make travel easier.
- Chain hotels – The USA has many budget chain hotels. These are basic and make sure to check reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor first, but you can save some serious money staying in places like Econolodge, Travelodge, Days in and Super 8.
- Download a Wifi Map – This map is fantastic at finding available Wifi Spots in your area. These aren’t just Free Wifi Spots too, they have a database of passwords to make your connection reliable and safe.
- Avoid Public Holidays – Hotel and travel prices rise around the 4th July and Labor Day, so avoiding travelling at this time. If you do want to travel at this time, book everything in advance.
Best things to do in Houston
- Johnson Space Center and Space Center
- Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
- Houston Astros at the Minute Maid Park
- Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Art Car Museum
- Houston Murals
- Holocaust Museum Houston
- Hermann Park
- Houston Museum District
- Buffalo Bayou
- The Menil Collection
- Children’s Museum of Houston
- The Galleria shopping mall
- Houston Zoo
- Discovery Green
How to get to Houston
Flights – Houston has two main airports: Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airport. These connect Houston to over 120 domestic airports and 72 international non-stop destinations, making a flight to Houston easier than you would expect.
Cab fares from William P. Hobby Airport will cost you $31 to Downtown and $48 for Uptown/Galleria destinations. Cabs from George Bush Intercontinental Airport will cost you $58 to Downtown, $71 to Uptown/Galleria and $69 to Greenway Plaza.
Rail – The Sunset Limited runs from New Orleans TO Los Angeles using Amtrak’s Southern route. These include a stop in Houston each day of the week, with trains heading towards California stopping on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays and trains heading towards Lousiana stopping on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Bus – You can so you can catch a Megabus to Houston from destinations such as Austin, Dallas, Galveston, San Antonio and New Orleans. If you book your coach in advance, you can get a ticket for as little as $1.
How to get around Houston
METRARail – The rail system in Houston is easy and accessible, taking you around the heart of the city and between downtown Huston and NRG Park. There are plenty of attractions along the railway system to take advantage of, so you do not need a car to visit Houston.
Bus – There is also a METRO bus service, stopping at every other corner around the downtown area. This costs $1.25 for a one-way fare.
B-Cycle Program – There is a low cost bike share program in Houston with around 90 stations around the city.
For $3 per 30 minutes or $13 per monthly membership, you can undock a bike from one of the stations, ride around the city and and drop off your bike at another bike station.
Park and Ride – There are Park & Ride lots around the city that encourage you to park your car and take the bus service into the city centre. Fares range between $2 and $4.50 depending on the distance from the city centre.
Cab, Uber and Lyft – If you are looking to get somewhere quickly, jump in a cab or book an Uber or Lyft. Cab fares around Downtown Houston have a flat taxi rate of $6 and taxi stands are all over the city as well as hailing cab areas, where you can stand and hail a cab from.
Parking Panda – Many visitors will drive during their Texas trip because it is such a big state. If you are looking to drive in Houston, use Parking Panda to find and reserve parking spaces in the Downtown area at any time. It is 100% guaranteed and parking options are available throughout Houston, including the Theater District, Convention District, NRG Park and Toyota Center.