Cheap Flights to Houston
- Area City : 1,625.2km² (627.8 sq mi)
- Area Codes : 713, 832, 281, 346
- Currency : Dollar (USD)
- Population City : 2,099,451 (2010)
- Languages spoken : English and over 140 others
- Time Zone : CST (UTC-6) Summer (DST):CDT (UTC-5)
- Airport s : George Bush Intercontinental / William P. Hobby Airport / Ellington Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD)/Houston Spaceport all fall under the umbrella of the Houston Airport System.
IAH is around 23 miles (north) from downtown Houston on Highway 59. It operates 29 passenger airlines and in 2015 catered to almost 43 million passengers.
HOU is about 7 miles (south) from downtown and oversees 5 passenger airlines that reach virtually 60 non-stop destinations. HOU had over 12 million passengers passing through in 2015.
EFD supports operations for the U.S. military, NASA and numerous aviation tenants with Houston Spaceport being a major facet for aerospace innovation.
Airlines taking off from Johannesburg, South Africa to Houston include:
- Delta (via Atlanta) is the shortest flight taking 20h 25m+
- South African, American (via NYC, Charlotte)
- British Airways (via London)
- South African, United (via London)
- Virgin Atlantic, United (via London)
- Air France (via Paris)
- Lufthansa (via Frankfurt)
- Qatar (via Doha)
- South African, Air Canada (via London, Toronto)
Airlines touching down at George Bush International include:
- Qatar Airways
- Air France
- Air China
- British Airways
- South African Airways
Reasons to Visit Houston
- From a distance, Houston is an agglomeration of modern concrete structures with stunning architectural designs that tower up towards the sky. It’s the most populated city in Texas and 4th in the United States and comprises the world’s biggest concentration of research and healthcare institutions such as NASAs Johnson Space Centre and the Texas Medical Centre.
- Houston hosts several annual events that celebrate its diversity of cultures. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in March is on for 20 days and is the largest rodeo and livestock show globally. During the latter part of June, the Pride Parade takes place and is deemed one of the top five art festivals in the USA. Other events include the Bayou City Art Festival, the Houston Auto Show, the Art Car Parade and the Houston Greek Festival.
- The city has a wonderful variety of performing arts and hosts numerous touring Broadway shows, concerts and exhibitions. The Houston Theatre District takes up 17 blocks in downtown Houston and comprises six performance halls and nine major performing arts associations that include the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony Orchestra, The Alley Theatre and Theatre Under the Stars. The Museum District has a great selection of cultural institutions that display contemporary and fine art, natural science and attract over 7 million visitors annually.
- The city affords a great range of luxurious and affordable hotels including backpackers, resorts and B&B Inns. Visitors have an abundance of attractions, live music concerts, fun activities, nightlife, shopping opportunities, fabulous beaches, great parks for walking, hiking and running and plenty of eateries to indulge in.
Places to Visit in Houston
- Space Centre Houston is the hub of NASAs Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre. Providing numerous exhibits, a shuttle simulator and presentations covering the history of NASAs manned space flight programme.
- Museum lovers have plenty to see at the Museum District, home to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Holocaust Museum and more. Close to Museum District is the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum, The Menil Collection and the Rothko Chapel.
- The Beer Can House in Rice Military is a folk house and one of Houston’s landmarks overseen by the Orange Show Centre for Visionary Art.
- The Port of Houston is one of the USAs busiest seaports and home to the Houston Ship Channel for ocean-going vessels.
- The Cypress Creek stream runs from Snake and Mound Creek in Waller County to its source at Spring Creek (in Harris County).
- Market Square Park in downtown is for relaxing, enjoying a game of blanket bingo, music, food and many other events.
- Harris County Precinct 4 has the most parks in the county and includes greenways, reserves, golf and sports facilities and the Mercer Botanic Gardens.
- The 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park has lovely scenery, a nature play area, a go-to dog park, hiking, biking trails and artwork.
- Surfside Beach, just 60 minutes from downtown Houston is perfect for relaxing or having fun or enjoying a delectable seafood grill.
- Just over 30 minutes from downtown is the 32-acre Sylvan Beach Park along Galveston Bay that includes picnic tables, a big playground, a skate park, tennis courts and small waves for safer swimming.
- Galveston Island State Park is ideal for nature enthusiasts offering a great beach, camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking and wonderful bird watching opportunities. Hikers and bikers have nine nature trails to choose from and campsites can be set up right on the beach.
- Perfect for shopping addicts is The Galleria situated in the Uptown District of the city. It spans 2.4 million sq. feet and houses 400 stores and restaurants, three office towers plus two high-rise hotels.
- The Children’s Museum of Houston located at 1500 Binz St. has exhibits and a host of events throughout the year.
- Houston Zoo located in Hermann Park affords a unique and fun experience with 6,000 animals and numerous events.
- Glenwood Cemetery was Houston’s first professionally designed cemetery opening in 1871 and is filled with history, tranquillity and natural beauty. It offers guided walking tours, just four times a year.
Getting Around Houston
The thought of getting around downtown Houston can be intimidating, but with new services such as Uber and ParkMobile plus and Greenlink it’s a lot easier than one may think and downtown is a great place for walking.
Parking is affordable with options of surface lots, garages and on-street parking which is metered and allows you to park for up to 3 hours. The meters conveniently accept credit cards, cash and pay-by-phone with hourly prices dependent on location. Meters are free from Mondays to Saturdays after 18h00 and all day on Sundays. Take note not to park in commercial or valet zones and always read the signboards before parking.
the city’s pay-by-phone program is easy to use when needing a metered parking spot, simply sign up at www.parkmobile.com.
Getting around downtown Houston has never been easier with Greenlink, the city’s environmentally friendly buses that are free, comfortable and convenient. The Green Route operates Mondays to Fridays from 06h30 to 18h30, every 7 to 10 minutes. The new Greenlink ORANGE route operates every 12 minutes on Thursdays and Friday from 18h30 to midnight, Saturdays from 09h00 to midnight and Sundays from 09h00 to 18h00. The route has 18 stops covering 2.5 miles and links key office blocks down Smith and Louisiana streets to the METRO transit, the convention strip, restaurants, hotels, entertainment and shopping outlets including many popular downtown destinations. Greenlink doesn’t operate on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day.
The city’s METRORail travels 22.9 miles and comprises Red, Purple and Green lines, each travelling to specific destinations.
The Red Lines route of 13 miles provides a speedy service every 6 minutes during weekdays from 03h35 to 19h47 and at night and over weekends, every 12 to 20 minutes. The Purple and Green Lines run every 12 to 18 minutes between 12 a.m. to midnight each day.
In addition, METRO offers numerous bus services with the local one running mainly on city streets, stopping at every second corner along the way. Conveniently for long-distance commuters there’s a METRO Park & Ride service that has 28 parks and ride lots for bus commuters. For more information on METRORail services visit www.RideMetro.org.
This bike sharing programme is great for short trips on sunny days in and around downtown Houston and neighbouring urban areas. Members can collect a bike at any B-Station and when done, drop it off at the nearest B-Station that’s convenient to them. Credit cards or B-cards are used to unlock the bikes and membership can be procured at any station or online for a day, a week or a whole year. Membership begins when you use your first bike (not when you purchase the membership) and paid memberships affords the first 60 minutes free. You can save on charges by returning the bike within 60 minutes and then taking another bike. Go to www.houston.bcycle.com to register for membership and more information.
Houston’s largest taxi operation is Yellow Cab with a modern fleet and real-time booking available online or via smart phone 24/7. They can also be hailed down, found at taxi ranks and outside hotels.
Additional transportation options in Houston comprise:
- Zipcar Houston (car-sharing)
- Uber and Lyft
- Six in the City ($6 taxi rides in downtown)
- Houston Wave (Houston’s formal Jitney Shuttle service)