FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Texas > Houston

Houston Weather

30°C

Local time Houston

Currency

US$

Getting around Houston

Public transport

The Metro (tel: +1 713 635 4000; www.ridemetro.org) operates an extensive bus service and a light rail system, Metrorail, with stops in Downtown, Midtown and the Museum District. There are fare boxes on the bus (correct change is required) but for trains pay at the ticket vending machines before boarding. Day passes are available.

For longer stays buy a Metro Q Card, a smartcard which is used like a debit card. You can also buy a disposable Metro Money Card, which is loaded with a set amount of money. You can get information from the RideStore at 1900 Main Street.

Taxis

Taxis are plentiful. The Six in the City programme is a cheap way to travel in the downtown area, where a US$6 flat-rate fare applies (www.houstontx.gov/downtowncab). A tip of around 10% of the fare is usual.

Companies include Taxis Fiesta (tel: +1 713 225 2666) and Yellow Cab Company (tel: +1 713 236 1111).

Driving

Driving in the morning and evening rush hours should be avoided. The highways have Protected High Occupancy Vehicle lanes for buses and carpools. Parking is generally not a problem, with plenty of car parks right across the city. Many attractions or venues have free parking for visitors. Some on-street parking is available, although difficult to find in the downtown areas.

Car hire

To hire a car, you must be in possession of a full national driving licence. The minimum age is generally 25 years, although some companies hire cars (at a higher rate) to drivers aged between 21 and 24 years. Avis (tel: +1 713 571 8572; www.avis.com), Budget (tel: +1 713 659 2513; www.budget.com) and Hertz (tel: +1 713 652 0436; www.hertz.com) all have offices in Houston.

Bicycle hire

Cycling is an ideal way to take advantage of the many cycle trails in Houston's parks. You can hire bikes from West End Bicycles, 5427 Blossom Street (tel: +1 713 861 2271; www.westendbikes.com), east of Memorial Park.

Houston B-cycle (tel: +1 713 865 3662; http://houston.bcycle.com) is the city's bikeshare scheme; 24-hour and seven-day passes are available.

Browse our Video Guides

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

Hilton Americas

This impressive 1,200-room Houston hotel is connected to the George R Brown Convention Center. Hilton Americas' rooms have modern facilities including internet, a fitness room and pool and three restaurants serving American fare with The Skyline Grill on the 24th floor having panoramic views of the city.

The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa

Set in eight hectares (18 acres) of parkland close to the Galleria, this award-winning hotel has an old world charm and oozes sophistication. The rooms are tastefully decorated and have floor-to-ceiling windows. The excellent facilities include a health club, three pools and a spa facility. There are four restaurants serving regional American dishes and lighter meals.

Hotel ZaZa

After making a huge splash in Dallas Hotel ZaZa is a fun addition to the Houston hotel scene. The 315-room 12-storey property features a dynamic mix of rooms bungalows and suites - including the city's largest and most decadent accommodations with contemporary chic and bold designs. Among concept suites are the 'Rock Star' and the 'Casablanca' and there's a fabulous spa and outdoor pool too.

La Quinta Inn & Suites

Part of a chain of extremely good-value hotels this one is in the upscale Galleria area. There are 173 bright clean and spacious rooms featuring free high-speed internet access. The hotel also features a pool spa and fitness centre. Breakfast is included in the rate. It is extremely good value for its location but far enough away to not be too noisy.

La Colombe d'Or Hotel

This tiny luxury hotel is situated just a few minutes from downtown with just five luxury suites and nine villas with one- and two-bedroom suites, each with a private dining room and marble bathroom. Built in 1923, the elegant French furnishings in this hotel are complemented by original art and antiques. La Colombe d'Or has a stylish restaurant serving modern French cuisine with a Texan twist, a library and a bar.

Comfort Inn Downtown

Part of a chain of budget hotels, this property is close to the Downtown Aquarium and just minutes from many major attractions. All rooms are comfortable, modern and spacious and some even have fridges and microwaves. There are limited facilities on site but there is a swimming pool. Breakfast is included.