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

Houston Weather

30°C

Local time Houston

Currency

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Travel to Houston

Flying to Houston

British Airways and United operate direct flights to Houston from the UK. Numerous airlines fly to the city from within the USA, and the airport is one of United's major hubs. Spring and autumn are the most expensive times to fly, as well as the Christmas and New Year holidays. You can usually find bargain fares to Houston in January and February.

Flight times

From London - 10 hours 10 minutes; New York - 4 hours; Los Angeles  - 3 hours 10 minutes; Toronto - 3 hours 20 minutes; Sydney  - 19 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

Traffic drives on the right. The minimum driving age is 18, although drivers from out of state with a valid licence can drive at 16.

Overtaking should only be done on the inside lane, although cars on a five-lane highway regularly pass on both sides. At crossroads without traffic lights, the four-way stop system means that it is first come first served for right of way. At traffic lights, a right turn is permitted (with due care) on a red light, unless it is specifically stated not to do so.

The speed limit is 48kph (30mph), if there are no signs, although the general posted speed limit in town is 56-72kph (35-45mph) and 32kph (20mph) near a school. Freeway driving speeds are 88-113kph (55-70mph). A valid national driving licence is required, although it's helpful to have an International Driving Permit if your licence isn't in English. Third-party liability insurance is mandatory.

The AAA (tel: +1 800 765 0766; www.aaa.com) can provide information and basic roadside service.

Emergency breakdown services

AAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357).

Routes

Houston is circled by Interstate I-610 - known as 'The Loop'. This is intersected by Interstate I-10, which links the city to San Antonio to the west and New Orleans to the east and also Interstate I-45 from Dallas to the north and Galveston to the south.

Coaches

Greyhound (tel: +1 800 231 2222; www.greyhound.com) operates regular services to San Antonio, Dallas and New Orleans. There are also Greyhound services to other major towns and cities in Texas and further afield.

Megabus (tel: +1 877 462 6342; www.megabus.com) runs coach services to San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Time to city

From Dallas - 3 hours 30 minutes; New Orleans - 5 hours 30 minutes; San Antonio - 3 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

The cost of rail travel is rather expensive and trains are slow and prone to delays, but the level of comfort is high. The main station in Houston is Houston Amtrak Station, 902 Washington Avenue.

Operators

Amtrak (tel: +1 800 872 7245; www.amtrak.com) operates long-distance services from Houston Amtrak Station. The Sunset Limited service links Houston with San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson and Los Angeles in the west. To the east, the train travels to New Orleans.

Journey times

From Los Angeles - 35 hours 10 minutes; New Orleans - 9 hours 20 minutes; San Antonio - 4 hours 45 minutes.

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Featured Hotels

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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.