A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Arlington vs. Chicago for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Arlington or Chicago?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Arlington or Chicago, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Arlington or Chicago?


Located just across the Potomac River from Washington DC, capital of the United States, Arlington is a city that also has many government sites and monuments that commemorate the nation's past. Two of its most famous features include Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon-the largest office building in the world.


Located in the Midwest, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. It has a population of almost 3 million and a metropolitan area that covers more than 10,000 square kilometers. It is also a hub for music, comedy and theater. It's skyline is beautiful with modern skyscrapers and Lake Michigan as a backdrop. It is easy to stay entertained in Chicago for weeks. There are world class museums, upscale or eclectic shopping opportunities, and impressive architecture.

Which place is cheaper, Chicago or Arlington?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Arlington is $264, while the average daily cost in Chicago is $279. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Arlington and Chicago in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arlington $131
    Chicago $194
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arlington $262
    Chicago $388
Compare Hotels in Arlington and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Arlington or Chicago? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Arlington

Hotels in Chicago

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Arlington Hotel Prices and Chicago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arlington $49
    Chicago $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arlington

Also for Arlington, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ronald Reagan DCA Airport Transfers: $160

Typical Local Transportation prices in Chicago

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chicago:

  • Parking
  • Taxi Ride
  • Taxi from Airport

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chicago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Chicago Airport (ORD) -Chicago City: $138
  • Private one-way airport transfer O'Hare Airport to/from Chicago : $79
  • Private Transfer in Chicago (ORD/MDW): $130
  • Private Departure Transfer to Chicago Airports (ORD)(MDW): $90
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago Airports (ORD) (MDW): $90
  • From/to Chicago O´Hare International Airport: Private Round Trip Transfer: $69
  • From Chicago to O'Hare Airport Private Sedan Transfer: $200
  • Executive Airport transfer Sedan: $141
  • Chicago O´Hare International Airport Private Transfer One-Way: $27
  • Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD): Private Transfer to Chicago: $186
  • Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD) to Round-Trip Transfer: $56
  • Airport transfer between Chicago O'Hare and Milwaukee: $36

Is it cheaper to fly into Arlington or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and Arlington change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Arlington $81
    Chicago $46

Typical Food prices in Chicago

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Chicago:

  • Dinner for 1
  • Dinner for 3

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chicago

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chicago.

  • Downtown Chicago Walking Pizza Tour: $55
  • Downtown Pizza Guided Walking Tour with Tastings: $58
  • Chicago Food Tour: Deep Roots to Deep Dish: $69
  • Chicago West Loop Pizza Crawl: $69
  • Chicago Small Group Food Tour: $71
  • Chicago Pizza Tour: $75
  • Secret Food Tour: $75
  • Downtown Family Food Tour by Bike with Sightseeing: $80
  • Lake Michigan Gourmet Brunch/Lunch/Dinner Cruise: $82
  • Private Indian-Mexican Fusion Cooking Class with a Modern Cook in Chicago: $84
  • Lake Michigan Buffet Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Cruise: $85
  • Chicago Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $88

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arlington $11
    Chicago $43

Typical Entertainment prices in Chicago

Here are a few typical costs in Chicago for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:

  • Sears Tower (family of 4)
  • Aquarium for 4
  • Water Taxi (family of 4)
  • IMAX Movie for Two
  • Shakespeare Play (2)
  • Art Institute (2)
  • U-Boat Tour (2)

Tours and Activities in Chicago

Here are a few actual costs in Chicago for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Field Museum of Natural History Early Access Ticket : $68
  • Windy City Ghosts: Hauntings of Chicago By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • 2-Hour Chicago Lakefront and Museum Campus Segway Tour: $69
  • 2-Hour Chicago Wine and Cheese Cruise : $65
  • 2-Hour Guided Segway Tour of Chicago: $65
  • 2-Hour Haunted Segway Tour of Chicago: $76
  • 3 Hours Chicago Architecture Tour - Skyscrapers and Photo Ops: $135
  • 360 Chicago Observation Deck Sip and View Ticket: $43
  • 45-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour from Magnificent Mile: $27
  • 6-Hour Chicago City Tour by SUV: $1,200
  • 90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour: $42
  • African American Heritage Tour of Chicago : $125

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Free Things to Do in Chicago, Chicago Bucket List: The Best Places to See, and The Best Museums in Chicago.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arlington $17
    Chicago $25

Sample the Local Flavors in Chicago

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chicago:

  • Haunted Chicago Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $36
  • Chicago Local Brewery Expedition with Homemade Guacamole: $54
  • Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour: $100
  • Craft Brewery Tour by Barrel Bus: $100

When comparing the travel costs between Arlington and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Which is Bigger, Arlington or Chicago?

Chicago is bigger, and its population is about 15.3 times larger than the population of Arlington. When comparing the population of Arlington vs. Chicago, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

When is the best time to visit Arlington or Chicago?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Arlington or Chicago in the Summer?

Both Chicago and Arlington during the summer are popular places to visit. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Chicago because of the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Arlington is around the same temperature as Chicago in the summer. The daily temperature in Arlington averages around 79°F (26°C) in July, and Chicago fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

In Chicago, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Arlington. In the summer, Arlington often gets less sunshine than Chicago. Arlington gets 278 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun.

Chicago gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Arlington usually gets less rain in July than Chicago. Arlington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Arlington 79°F (26°C) 
    Chicago 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Arlington or Chicago in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Arlington and Chicago. Also, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Chicago this time of year.

In the autumn, Arlington is a little warmer than Chicago. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Arlington in October average around 60°F (15°C), and Chicago averages at about 56°F (14°C).

Arlington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago during autumn. Arlington gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Arlington usually receives more rain than Chicago. Arlington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Arlington 60°F (15°C) 
    Chicago 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Arlington or Chicago in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Arlington as well as Chicago. Also, many travelers come to Chicago for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Chicago. It's quite cold in Arlington in the winter. In January, Arlington is generally much warmer than Chicago. Daily temperatures in Arlington average around 35°F (1°C), and Chicago fluctuates around 25°F (-4°C).

In the winter, Arlington often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago. Arlington gets 139 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun.

Arlington usually gets more rain in January than Chicago. Arlington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Arlington 35°F (1°C) 
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Arlington or Chicago in the Spring?

Both Chicago and Arlington are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, many visitors come to Chicago in the spring for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

Arlington is a little warmer than Chicago in the spring. The daily temperature in Arlington averages around 56°F (14°C) in April, and Chicago fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

It's quite sunny in Chicago. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Arlington. Arlington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago during spring. Arlington gets 228 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun in the spring.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chicago. In April, Arlington usually receives less rain than Chicago. Arlington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Arlington 56°F (14°C) 
    Chicago 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Chicago and Arlington

Arlington Chicago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Arlington vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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