A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Asheville vs. Chicago for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Families

Should you visit Asheville or Chicago?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Asheville and Chicago. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Asheville

Asheville is a progressive, open-minded, and eclectic mountain town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include hiking, shopping, and nightlife.

Chicago

Chicago is a edgey, cosmopolitan, and diverse city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the food, beaches, and shopping.

Asheville and Chicago: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities


How is Asheville different from Chicago?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Chicago and Asheville. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Asheville or Chicago Better for Food?

Asheville
Chicago

Chicago has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Asheville.

Eat your way through Chicago, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.

Asheville is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Popular local dishes include North Carolina barbeque and country ham biscuits.


Is Asheville or Chicago Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
Chicago

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Asheville and Chicago.

Asheville is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. The city has a fun and eclectic nightlife scene that centers around the city's breweries and live music venues.

Chicago is a world class party destination. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.

Is Asheville or Chicago Better for Music?

Asheville
Chicago

Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Asheville or Chicago.

Music is a popular form of entertainment in Asheville. The city has grown into a world famous music destination that holds true to its mountain roots and independent artists.

Chicago has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. The city is the birthplace of such interesting styles as modern gospel and the Chicago style blues.

Is Asheville or Chicago Better for Shopping?

Asheville
Chicago

Chicago is generally considered to be a more popular shopping destination.

The abundance of shops in Chicago make it a world-class shopping destination. The most famous shopping area is Michigan Avenue and the famous Magnificent Mile.

Asheville has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The city has many local shops that sell local crafts and independent art.

Is Asheville or Chicago Better for Christmas?

Asheville
Chicago

The Christmas season is a nice time to visit both Asheville and Chicago.

Visitors come from all around to experience the Christmas activities in Asheville. Head to the Biltmore Estate to see it fully decorated for the Christmas season. It's also worth going to see the winning Gingerbread Houses on display at the Grove Park Inn.

Chicago is a very popular destination during Christmas. There's a number of seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and excellent shopping.


Is Asheville or Chicago Better for Christmas Markets?

Asheville
Chicago

Visitors can find Christmas markets in both Asheville and Chicago.

Asheville has some Christmas markets worth visiting during the holidays. There are a handful of local Christmas shops around town where you can buy personalized gifts.

Many visitors go to the Christmas markets in Chicago. Shopping is a highlight of a trip to the city, and the Christkindlmarkt is not to be missed.

Is Asheville or Chicago Better for Families?

Asheville
Chicago

Both Asheville and Chicago are family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Asheville. With its beautiful hiking, interesting nature centers, and outdoor adventure activities, this mountain town makes a great kid-friendly destination.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Chicago. The city has a large number of activities for kids, including zoos, Shedd Aquarium, impressive children's museums, and large and elaborate playgrounds in Millennium Park.

Is Asheville or Chicago Better for Couples?

Asheville
Chicago

Asheville and Chicago both fun destinations for a couple.

Asheville makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples enjoy exploring the beautiful Biltmore Estates or visiting the spa at the Grove Park Inn. The quaint town makes a great honeymoon destination or a nice romantic getaway.

Chicago is a good mountain town for couples to visit. Couples will enjoy exploring the city's vibrant theater scene and diverse neighborhoods.

Is Asheville or Chicago Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Asheville
Chicago

Asheville and Chicago are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Asheville is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. The town has an eclectic vibe that backpackers appreciate. There are a few good hostels around town as well as nearby campgrounds that are perfect for budget travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Chicago. The city doesn't have a huge backpacker vibe, but it does have a number of hostels that help keep costs in check.


Is Asheville or Chicago a more walkable city?

Asheville
Chicago

Asheville and Chicago both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Asheville is a somewhat walkable place. If you stay downtown and don't plan to explore the outlying areas, then it's possible to walk around town. Otherwise, you'll need a car.

Chicago is a very walkable destination. The city has many restaurants, sights, and hotels that are easily accessible on foot.

Should I spend more time in Chicago or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Chicago?

In either Asheville or Chicago, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Chicago than Asheville because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Asheville is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Chicago is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Asheville or Chicago? Ideal Length of Stay
    Asheville 2-3 
    Chicago 3-5

One day in Asheville or Chicago?

In Asheville, you'll find nightlife and live music. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This mountain town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Asheville or Chicago?

In Asheville, you'll find live music and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Asheville has to offer.

People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Asheville or Chicago?

Asheville is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.


A week in Asheville or Chicago?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Asheville. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Asheville. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Chicago is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Chicago or Asheville?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Asheville is $106, while the average daily cost in Chicago is $221. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Asheville and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $71
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $142
    Chicago $304
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Asheville 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 Asheville


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: Asheville Hotel Prices and Chicago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $11
    Chicago $29

Typical Local Transportation prices in Chicago

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


  • Parking
    $19
  • Taxi Ride
    $10
  • Taxi from Airport
    $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chicago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago City by SUV: $96
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago by Sedan Car: $79
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago City by Minibus: $333
  • Chicago Airport Private Arrival Transfer by SUV: $115
  • Chicago Airport Private Arrival Transfer by Sedan: $96
  • Chicago Airport Private Departure Transfer by SUV: $115
  • Chicago Airport Private Departure Transfer by Sedan: $96
  • Chicago Airport Transfer by Private Sedan: $170
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: Midway Airport MDW to O'Hare Airport ORD in Luxury SUV: $133
  • Chicago Airport Transfers : Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD by Luxury SUV: $119
  • Chicago Airport Transfers : Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD in Business Car: $100
  • Chicago Airport Transfers : Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD in Luxury Car: $123

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and Asheville 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Asheville $26
    Chicago $37
Typical Food prices in Asheville

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


  • Biltmore Estate Entrance Fee
    $60

Typical Food prices in Chicago

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


  • Dinner for 1
    $24
  • Dinner for 3
    $118

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chicago

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

  • Traveling Spoon Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Learn to Make Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza with a Local: $49
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: River North Historical Food Tour: $61
  • Private Fusion Cooking Class in Downtown Chicago: $64
  • Best in Chow: Chicago River North Food Tour: $64
  • Signature Food Tour at Chicago's Navy Pier: $64
  • Skip the Line: Tommy Gun's Garage Dinner and Show Ticket: $67
  • Small-Group Chicago Food Tour: Gold Coast and Old Town: $75
  • Best of Chicago Tour Including a Deep-Dish Pizza: $75
  • River North Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Chicago's Wicker Park Food Tour: $75
  • Private Indian-Mexican Fusion Cooking Class with a Modern Cook: $78

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $13
    Chicago $34
Typical Entertainment prices in Asheville

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


  • Massage
    $40

Tours and Activities in Asheville

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

  • Asheville tip-based sightseeing Walking Tour with Donut & Spirits/Beer Tastings: $5.00
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt: Downtown Asheville Adventure: $12
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Asheville Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Asheville Night-Time Guided Walking Ghost Tour (1 or 1.5-Hour Options Available): $21
  • 1-Hour Haunted Walking Ghost Tour: $22
  • Asheville Literary Tour: $30
  • Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour: $30
  • Asheville Private Guided Bird Watching Tour: $41
  • North Carolina Arboretum Running Tour in Asheville: $45
  • French Broad River Kayak Tour in Asheville: $55
  • 2-Hour Guided Segway Tour of Asheville: $68

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)
    $102
  • Aquarium for 4
    $118
  • Water Taxi (family of 4)
    $22
  • IMAX Movie for Two
    $35
  • Shakespeare Play (2)
    $116
  • Art Institute (2)
    $36
  • U-Boat Tour (2)
    $8.00

Tours and Activities in Chicago

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

  • A Storied Neighborhood: Dance the dialectic with Bill Ayers on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Discovering Vintage The Loop Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Millennium Park Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Chicago Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Skip the Line: American Writers Museum Admission Ticket: $14
  • Pilsen Walking Tour of Local Publicly Displayed Art: $15
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Historic Chicago Theatre: $18
  • Chicago Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Windy City Ghost Tour: $24
  • Street Art & Mural Tours By Native 312- Wabash Arts Corridor: $25
  • In the Streets: Milwaukee Ave Guided Bike Tour: $25

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
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $13
    Chicago $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Asheville

Also in Asheville, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour: $38
  • Private Adventure Brews Cruise Brewery Tours in Asheville (Up To 5 Breweries): $1,013

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: $25
  • Walking tour to Chicago dive bars: $41
  • Chicago Barrel Bus Craft Distillery Tour: $90
  • Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour: $90
  • Ultimate Girl's Night Out in Sparkling Wine, Photo Shoot, Burlesque: $900


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Asheville and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Asheville much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Asheville would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Asheville and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Chicago would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chicago than you might in Asheville.


When is the best time to visit Asheville or Chicago?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Asheville or Chicago in the Summer?

Both Chicago and Asheville are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Asheville for the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Chicago in the summer for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Asheville is around the same temperature as Chicago. Typically, the summer temperatures in Asheville in July are around 82°F (28°C), and Chicago is about 77°F (25°C).

It's quite sunny in Chicago. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually receives less sunshine than Chicago during summer. Asheville gets 268 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chicago. It's quite rainy in Asheville. In July, Asheville usually receives more rain than Chicago. Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Asheville 82°F (28°C) 
    Chicago 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Chicago in the Autumn?

Both Chicago and Asheville during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Asheville in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Chicago for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Asheville is generally a little warmer than Chicago. Temperatures in Asheville average around 64°F (18°C), and Chicago stays around 56°F (14°C).

It's quite sunny in Asheville. In the autumn, Asheville often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Asheville gets 229 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun.

Asheville usually gets more rain in October than Chicago. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Chicago 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Chicago in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Asheville and Chicago. Most visitors come to Asheville for the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Chicago because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

The weather in Chicago can be very cold. Asheville is much warmer than Chicago in the winter. The temperature in Asheville is usually 44°F (7°C) in January, and Chicago stays around 25°F (-4°C).

Asheville usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during winter. Asheville gets 176 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun in the winter.

Asheville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Asheville usually receives more rain than Chicago. Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Asheville 44°F (7°C) 
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Chicago in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Asheville as well as Chicago. The spring months attract visitors to Asheville because of the natural beauty. Additionally, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Chicago this time of year.

In the spring, Asheville is much warmer than Chicago. Typically, the spring temperatures in Asheville in April are around 64°F (18°C), and Chicago is about 52°F (11°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chicago. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Asheville this time of the year. In the spring, Asheville often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Asheville gets 266 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Chicago. Asheville receives a lot of rain in the spring. Asheville usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Chicago. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Chicago 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Chicago and Asheville

Asheville Chicago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Feb 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Mar 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
May 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Nov 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Dec 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)


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Asheville vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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