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Travel Guide

Discovery Green featuring a garden, a city and street scenes

An icon of America's Deep South, the city of Houston combines modern theme parks and galleries with a rich local tradition to create a distinctive Texan flavour.

Born on the Buffalo Bayou in 1837, the city of Houston is named after the great Texan freedom fighter Sam Houston who led a courageous surprise attack to win independence from Mexico. This battle is commemorated at the battleground in San Jacinto, about 80 kilometres out of the city, by the towering San Jacinto Monument, a great place to learn about local history.

Climb to the top and you’ll get a breath-taking panorama across Galveston Bay towards the renowned Battleship Texas and the modern pyramids of Moody Gardens. The man-made golden beaches and theme parks of Kemah Boardwalk are near here too, perfect for an afternoon’s entertainment. If it’s hot, you can also take a short drive north of Downtown and cool off in the popular Splashtown water park.

Try out the local seafood, which is caught fresh daily in the Gulf and sold throughout the city and surrounding area. One taste of the intense, punchy flavours of Cajun Shrimp and you’ll be hooked for life!

Houston is a staple of modern science fiction and real-life space travel thanks to the world-famous Space Centre Houston, less than an hour’s drive from the city by car. You can’t help but get excited when visiting this incredible building, which has housed the dreams of a Nation for decades.

Back in the city centre, there is a wealth of things to do. Art buffs will be in heaven as Houston is a hub of modern and classical art. Visit the extraordinary Menil Collection or the immense Houston Museum of Fine Arts, housed across several buildings, to see many of the famous masterpieces from the last 100 years.

You may be surprised to find beautiful meadows and landscaped gardens right in the centre of the Metropolis, with numerous parks including the sporty Memorial Park, the theatres and flea markets of Discovery Green and the wilderness of the Houston Arboretum and Nature Centre. To get even closer to some of the wildlife, head to Hermann Park which houses Houston Zoo or take a trip to the Downtown Aquarium.

Hire a car during your stay to get the most out of the area. There is a metro within the city, but some of the attractions are a bit of a drive away.

Houston Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Houston

Hotel Derek
Hotel Derek
4 out of 5
2525 West Loop S, Houston, TX
The price is NZ$184 per night from 5 May to 6 May
Located in The Galleria, this romantic hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Westheimer Rd and within 3 miles (5 km) of Greenway Plaza and Lakewood Church. Memorial ...
3.8/5Good! (1,823 reviews)
"Staff was great the room was perfect only thing is you get free parking for booking with the hotel with them"

Reviewed on 11 Apr. 2021

Hotel Derek
Club Quarters Hotel in Houston
Club Quarters Hotel in Houston
4 out of 5
720 Fannin Street, Houston, TX
The price is NZ$125 per night from 21 Apr. to 22 Apr.
Located in Downtown Houston, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Christ Church Cathedral, Discovery Green and House of Blues Houston. Revention Music Center ...
4.1/5Very Good! (2,264 reviews)
"Check in and out with an iPad at the front! Very neat! Didn’t need to talk to front desk at all really"

Reviewed on 14 Apr. 2021

Club Quarters Hotel in Houston
The Whitehall Houston
The Whitehall Houston
4 out of 5
1700 Smith St, Houston, TX
The price is NZ$257 per night from 21 Apr. to 22 Apr.
Located in Downtown Houston, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Houston Public Library, Hobby Center for Performing Arts and House of Blues Houston. ...
4.2/5Excellent! (960 reviews)
"My stay here was superior and excellent!! Best hotel experience in a long time! Anytime I frequent to Houston this will be my hotel!!"

Reviewed on 12 Apr. 2021

The Whitehall Houston
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
HYATT house Houston/Galleria
HYATT house Houston/Galleria
3 out of 5
3440 Sage Rd, Houston, TX
The price is NZ$160 per night from 12 May to 13 May
Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Memorial Park and Karbach Brewing. NRG Stadium and ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,646 reviews)
"Best hotel in Houston stayed for 2 nights switch to hotel Derek big mistake I wish I would’ve stayed here. Had a full kitchen and free parking felt safe as well. Had google chrome cast you could cast YouTube and Netflix from your phone which was nice. Also had EVERYTHING within the area everything ..."

Reviewed on 2 Apr. 2021

HYATT house Houston/Galleria
Sonder - The Hogg Palace
Sonder - The Hogg Palace
3.5 out of 5
401 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX
The price is NZ$259 per night from 25 Apr. to 26 Apr.
Located in Theater District, this aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Market Square Park and Revention Music Center. Downtown Aquarium and Hobby Center for ...
3.9/5Very Good! (34 reviews)

Reviewed on 23 Mar. 2021

Sonder - The Hogg Palace
Regency Inn & Suites - Baytown
Regency Inn & Suites - Baytown
3.5 out of 5
7420 Garth Rd, Baytown, TX
The price is NZ$95 per night from 22 Apr. to 23 Apr.
Located in the heart of Baytown, this holiday home is within 6 miles (10 km) of San Jacinto Mall, Pirates Bay Water Park and Altus Baytown Hospital. Houston ...
3.7/5Good! (222 reviews)
"Room was nice, bed was comfertable."

Reviewed on 13 Jan. 2021

Regency Inn & Suites - Baytown
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Houston

Top activities in Houston

Reviews of Houston


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 20.58823529411765%
4 - Good
4 - Good 58.8235294117647%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 17.647058823529413%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 2.9411764705882355%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

22 Mar. 2020

great city with much to see and do. space centre the best and could have spent extra day there

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

19 Feb. 2020

We were only there one night, got in quite late, went next door to the DoubleTree for a drink and a bite to eat, was perfect way to end the night and our short stay in HOUSTON.

3/5 - Okay


3 Feb. 2020

Unless you have a specific reason to be in Houston, divert and go to Austin or Dallas instead!!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

22 Jan. 2020

NASA Space Centre really interesting and well worth the visit.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

20 Jan. 2020

Great city to take a young family. Very easy to get around and considering Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S., it never appears to be crowded or congested. People in Houston are very friendly and accommodating too.

3/5 - Okay


18 Jan. 2020

Houston is not much chop. Driving is dangerous, terrible drivers. Space centre was outstanding!

Cities near Houston