Welcome to Houston, Texas! Our guide will give you everything you need to know about visiting Houston, from getting to and from the airport, to the best Houston-themed books you should read before you go, and local spots you should check out.
Getting to and from IAH or HOU
Public transit is the cheapest option to get from Houston’s two major airports to downtown. Metro buses run from William P. Hobby Airport in the south and Bush Intercontinental Airport Terminal C in the north.
SuperShuttle is available at both Hobby Airport and Bush Airport and transports travellers between the airport and Houston’s major business and entertainment districts.
Catch the 50 bus (Harrisburg/Heights) from Hobby Airport into downtown. The 102 bus (Bush IAH) travels from Bush Intercontinental Airport into downtown. Metro bus one way costs USD 1.25.
Metered taxis are available at both major airports and cost approximately USD 52 from the airport to downtown Houston.
Several airport-area hotels also offer courtesy van pickup.
Getting around Houston
Houston is a very large city, so it is difficult to describe a typical journey, but here are some options for making your way around town.
Public transit: Buses are cheap (USD 1.25 one way, exact change only) and are available up to 24 hours a day, depending on your route.
Taxis: Yellow Cab taxis are readily available. Taxis are easy to hail within downtown Houston, where they charge a flat rate of USD 6 for rides within the Central Business District. Visit Downtown District for more information.
Bus: The Greenlink is a free bus service provided by the City of Houston to provide safe and clean transportation to locals and visitors in the downtown area.
Walking: Houston is a sprawling city, so check the neighbourhood’s location before you start walking. Walkable areas include Market Square, which contains Houston’s historic district and the Allen’s landing walkway. Memorial Park is a beautiful green space with many hiking trails. The Midtown, Galleria, and River Oaks areas also have great shopping and sightseeing.
Things to do in Houston
Houston is a destination for sports lovers, with something for everyone year-round. Watch the Houston Texans play at NRG Stadium. Average ticket prices cost USD 90. Tailgating parties in NRG Park are a fun way to get into the spirit and begin four hours before kickoff. Sports fans can also watch the major league baseball team, The Houston Astros, at Minute Maid Park, where last-minute tickets are usually available. Any true Houstonian knows exactly what you’re talking about if you mention “Clutch City,” named after the city’s basketball team, the Houston Rockets.
The weather in this laid-back city is temperate, making it ideal for spending time outdoors. Houston is home to over 50,000 acres of parkland, 2,500 miles of waterway, and 345 miles of interconnected bikeways. Memorial Park is larger than New York City’s Central Park and a great place to walk or cycle. Clear Lake is home to the nation’s third-largest concentration of sailboats, yachts, and pleasure craft.
Houston Theater District is considered second only to New York’s. Discover what is on — from ballet to opera — at Houston Theatre.
Visit Houston Museum District, home to 19 museums in four walkable zones, including the quirky National Museum of Funeral History. There are also over 150 museums and cultural institutions in the Greater Houston area.
Don your cowboy boots and head to the Rodeo Houston, which takes place each March.
If you have a car available, visit the magical Christmas light displays popping up all over the Bayou City from November to January each year.
For more information about everything happening in the city, go to Visit Houston.
Houston Day Tours
Looking for more things to do? Urban Adventures offers day tours in Houston, all led by local experts that will give you a taste for local life:
Houston, We Have a Tunnel!
Tunnel into the heart of Houston on this adventure from the 1920’s to now. Trade in Art Deco architecture for contemporary infrastructure and head underground into the city’s tunnel system to discover what lies beneath. A nifty chance to escape the Texas heat, this Houston tour even surprises locals.
Historic Downtown Pub Crawl
Houston, we have a problem: there are just too many good pubs in our city. Join this Houston tour to visit a bar that doubles as a tailor shop by day, a watering hole in a 1920s watch and jewelry company, and a bar that features the very first electric elevator in Texas. Fun guaranteed; hangovers optional.
Houston on the big screen
Starring Ben Stiller and Winona Ryder, Reality Bites captures the angst of Generation X college graduates trying to make their way in the world, without selling out. A then-unknown Renee Zellweger had a small part as an actress from suburban Houston.
Rushmore depicts Houston’s upper class as the extracurricular king of Rushmore prep school is put on academic probation. Houstonian, Wes Anderson, filmed Rushmore in two different schools in the city and hired students as extras.
Houston on record
Houston has inspired many a songwriter and singer, from Bob Dylan to Beyoncé. The latter grew up and started her career in Houston, and honours this city in Run the World when she sings, “This is how they made me. Houston, Texas, baby.”
Iggy Pop serenades this city in Houston is Hot Tonite. The 1980’s metal-rock song references heat, oil, violence, Mission Control, the moon, and of course, Houston.
Houston in books
Looking for great read to get you into a Texan mood? Magnolia City, by Duncan W. Alderson is a love story set in 1920s Houston about the rise of oil barons and the opulent lives of the elite.
Rush opens in the parking lot of the Almeda Mall in Houston. Written by Kim Wozencraft, a former undercover narcotics officer in Texas, this dark novel recalls her experience and the effects of drug crime in the city.
Get in touch with us
Houston may be the fourth largest city in the United States, but a day trip with Urban Adventures will show you that it’s really a patchwork of unique neighbourhoods. Whether you choose to wander through the Historic District, or battle the dizzying heights of the tallest building in Texas, our Houston tours are locally run, and unfailingly unique. And that’s a promise!