Houston Travel Guide

A Brief History of Houston

Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, was founded on August 30, 1836, by brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen.

The city is named after General Sam Houston, a prominent military hero in the Texas Revolution. With its port and railroad, Houston rapidly grew as a trade center and eventually expanded its economic base to energy with a focus on oil and gas.

Today, it's recognized for its diverse culture, prominent space and science contributions (NASA's Space Center), and world-class medical care at the Texas Medical Center.

What is the best way to get there?

The best way to get to Houston is via air travel. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) serve the city with flights from around the globe.

Do I need a visa?

Your need for a visa depends on your country of residence. Visitors from many countries require a B-2 tourist visa. Please check the US Department of State's website for the most current information.

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit Houston is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is more comfortable.

Are there local customs I should know?


The legal drinking age in Houston is 21. It's customary to show ID when purchasing alcohol, regardless of age.


A handshake along with a "how do you do" is the common form of greeting.

Public Transit

The METRORail offers light-rail services within Houston. It is customary to give up seats for elderly or disabled passengers.

What is the time zone?

Houston is in the Central Time Zone (CT).

What are the voltage/plug types?

The voltage is 120V. Plug types are A and B.

What is the currency?

The currency is the US Dollar (USD).

Are ATMs readily accessible?

Yes, ATMs are widespread throughout the city.

Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes, most establishments accept major credit cards.

Can you use ApplePay and Google Pay?

Yes, many establishments accept Apple Pay and Google Pay.

How much do I tip?


A 15-20% tip is customary in restaurants and bars, depending on the quality of service.


A $1-$2 tip per bag for bellboys and a $2-$5 per night for housekeeping is customary.


A 15-20% tip is customary for taxi drivers.

Tour guides

For tour guides, a tip of $10-$15 per person for a day tour is customary.

City Information

Founded Population (2022) Elevation
August 30, 1836 2.3 million 80 ft (24 m)


Seasons/Months High (°C / °F) Low (°C / °F)
Spring (March - May) 24-30°C / 75-86°F 13-19°C / 55-66°F
Summer (June - August) 30-35°C / 86-95°F 20-24°C / 68-75°F
Fall (September - November) 24-30°C / 75-86°F 14-20°C / 57-68°F
Winter (December - February) 15-20°C / 59-68°F 5-10°C / 41-50°F