Glendale vs. Pasadena: The Ultimate Showdown


Ladies and gentlemen, today we're putting the cities of Glendale and Pasadena head to head in the ultimate showdown. In the blue corner, weighing in at 134,211 people, we have the City of Pasadena. And in the red corner, weighing in at 189,221 people, it's the City of Glendale, California. Let the battle begin!

Round One: Size Matters

In round one, let's talk about size. Pasadena, with its 23 square miles, offers a more intimate urban setting. It's known for its tree-lined streets and charming neighborhoods. Glendale, on the other hand, boasts a larger area, covering 30 square miles. This extra space provides room for a diverse range of communities and recreational opportunities. Round one goes to Glendale for offering a bit more room to stretch out and explore.

Round Two: Parks and Recreation

Moving on to round two, it's all about parks and recreation. Pasadena boasts 30 parks with fantastic natural open spaces. Memorial Park, with its amphitheater and free summer concerts, is a true gem. The Arroyo Seco Park spans eight miles with a variety of hiking trails, making it a nature lover's paradise. Brookside Park offers abundant space for picnicking, playgrounds, and barbecues. And don't forget Nibley Park, a small, family-friendly oasis.

However, Glendale takes the lead with a whopping 50 parks. Brand Park, with its 31 acres of hiking and biking trails, sports facilities, and the serene Whispering Pine Tea House, offers an escape into nature. Verdugo Park boasts a picturesque forest of trees, picnic areas, sports fields, and even a skate park for the more adventurous. Round two goes to Glendale for its extensive park offerings.

Round Three: Public Transportation

Round three brings us to public transportation. Glendale has its B-Line Service, a reliable public bus system that helps you navigate the city easily. It also has a train station with a storied past dating back to Leslie Brand, one of the founders of early 20th-century Glendale. Today, that train system is the Metrolink, connecting you north to Ventura County, east to Lancaster, or south all the way to Orange County.

Pasadena also has its public transit system, a network of buses that covers routes throughout the city and neighboring areas. But Pasadena shines with the Metro Gold Line, a light rail system that connects Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. Unlike a train, this system is commuter-friendly and serves a more practical purpose than the Glendale train system. Round three goes to Pasadena for its efficient public transportation.

Round Four: Crime Rates

In round four, we examine crime rates. Pasadena's crime rate is 3 percent higher than the national average, which, although slightly above average, is still commendable. Glendale, on the other hand, shines with a crime rate that is 28 percent lower than the national average.

Digging deeper, we find that violent crimes in Pasadena are 25 percent lower than the national average, while in Glendale, violent crime is an impressive 73 percent lower than the national average. For property crimes, Pasadena is nine percent higher than average, whereas Glendale is 18 percent higher. Although property crime is a concern in both cities, Glendale still has the edge in overall safety. Glendale takes this round with a strong stand against crime

Round Five: Education

Round five explores education. Both cities have their strengths, but Glendale pulls ahead with an 89 percent high school graduation rate, outshining Pasadena's respectable 82 percent.

In Pasadena, there are 23 schools in its district serving 15,000 kids. The district's average for elementary schoolers' proficiency in reading is an impressive 60 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 32 percent. In math, Pasadena's district average is 42 percent, surpassing the national average of 38 percent.

In Glendale, there are 34 schools serving 25,000 kids. The district scores a remarkable 66 in its elementary school proficiency in reading, outshining the national average by a significant margin. In math, the district's average is 53, once again surpassing the national average. Round five goes to Glendale for its strong educational performance.

Round Six: Cost of Living

Round six dives into the cost of living. Pasadena may be known for its charm, but it comes with a higher price tag for rentals and homes. A one-bedroom apartment in Pasadena will set you back about $2,471, while that same apartment in Glendale is a little more affordable at $2,445. If you're looking for a two-bedroom place, Pasadena will cost you around $3,250, whereas in Glendale, it's approximately $3,400. For a three-bedroom home, Pasadena averages $4,477 per month, while Glendale is more budget-friendly at around $4,797. Round six definitely goes to Pasadena for being a little more affordable, or should we say, a little less unaffordable, considering the prices.

Round Seven: Home Buying

And finally, round seven reveals the cost of buying a home. These are year-to-date stats that began in January 2023 up to today in mid-August. In Glendale, there have been 287 homes sold with an average time of just 22 days on the market. The average price of these sales is $1,557,000, with an average price per square foot of $802.

In Pasadena, there have been 408 homes sold, but they took an average of 32 days to sell, which is about 50 percent longer. The average sold price was $1,759,000, with an average price per square foot of $827. This makes Glendale the more cost-effective option for homebuyers. Round seven is another win for Glendale.

Distance from Glendale to Pasadena

As you weigh your options between these two vibrant cities, let's not forget a crucial aspect: the distance between Glendale and Pasadena. Conveniently, these neighboring cities are just about 8 miles apart. This close proximity allows for a swift and comfortable commute, typically taking about 15 to 20 minutes by car, depending on traffic conditions. This means you can easily enjoy the distinct characteristics and amenities of both cities without much hassle. Whether you’re considering a move, looking for leisure opportunities, or planning your commute, the short distance between Glendale and Pasadena enriches the appeal of living and thriving in either city. If you cherish community ties and swift connectivity, this aspect surely makes both cities alluring contenders as your potential new home.


With a final score of five rounds to two, Glendale emerges as the victor in this friendly rivalry. But remember, both cities have their unique charms and opportunities. Whether you choose Glendale or Pasadena, what truly matters is the happy and fulfilled life you create in your chosen community.

Have additional questions about buying or selling in these cities or throughout Los Angeles, call me I would love to discuss your unique situation.

Dave Robles, founder Think Real Estate

213-712-4343   [email protected]


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