Which place is cheaper, Chicago or Atlanta?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Atlanta 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.
Atlanta is a cultural, diverse, and sprawling city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.
Chicago is a vibrant, multicultural, and edgey city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and theater.
Tourists will generally find more to do in Chicago than Atlanta. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Chicago is more touristy than Atlanta and is popular for its thriving sports scene, its iconic local cuisine, and its world class shopping at the Magnificent Mile. It is also well known for The Willis Tower (previously the Sears Tower). Atlanta is famous for its world class aquarium, its role as host of the 1996 Olympic Games, and its influence during the Civil Rights Movement.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Chicago and Atlanta. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
You'll find a number of terrific museums and attractions in both Chicago and Atlanta.
With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Atlanta has many famous sights for visitors. The museums range in topic from history to science and art. The country's largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, is in Atlanta as well. It's home to whale sharks, stingrays, and a diversity of marine life. Other museums around town include the Atlanta History Center, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the High Museum of Art, the World of Coca Cola, the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, and the Delta Flight Museum. There are also many monuments and sites including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.
Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Chicago that are not to be missed. There are countless landmarks, museums, and iconic sights in the area. Some of the most famous are the Art Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Notable landmarks include the famous Willis Tower - formerly the Sears Tower, Buckingham Fountain, and the iconic Cloud Gate (the bean).
Chicago is terrific for its shows and theatre. However, Atlanta is not a theatre destination.
Famous for its theaters and plays, you'll find world-renowned shows in Chicago. Theater is big here with many of the major Broadway productions visiting the city. There is also an endless list of smaller, local theaters to choose from.
Atlanta is not a theatre destination.
Chicago is terrific for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Atlanta is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its local cuisine and restaurants.
Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Chicago is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. With everything from award-winning luxury restaurants to local dives, this city has something for everyone. It also has very distinct local flavors and dishes that create an identity and bring great pride to the locals. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.
With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Atlanta makes for a great culinary experience. It's a huge city with a wide selection of restaurants including international, local, and classic southern styles. Fried chicken, biscuits, diner food, and barbecue are all popular. For a classic southern breakfast check out The OK Cafe and for a quintessential Atlanta experience go to The Varsity.
Chicago is terrific for its evening party scene. Also, Atlanta is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife.
Chicago is a must-see party destination. It has a wide range of activities at night, with everything from theater and comedy clubs to dance venues, sporting events, and local bars. It's easy to fill many evenings with whatever activity appeals to you. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.
Atlanta offers plenty to do in the evening. The nightlife scene is diverse with trendy bars, dance clubs, and huge music halls. There are a number of neighborhoods that each have their own atmosphere. For some of the best nightlife check out the upscale bars in Buckhead, the music venues in Midtown, the hipster vibe in Edgewood, or the laid-back atmosphere in Virginia Highland.
Chicago is terrific for its music scene. However, Atlanta is not a live music destination.
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.
Atlanta is not a live music destination.
Chicago is a nice place to visit for the beach. However, Atlanta is not a beach destination.
Chicago has a beach worth visiting. While you don't immediately think of beaches when you think of Chicago, there are some nice beaches by the lake. If the weather is nice, it's a great area to spend some time.
Atlanta is not a beach destination.
If you're looking to go shopping, Atlanta and Chicago both offer plenty of terrific spots.
Many people travel to Atlanta specifically to go shopping. There are a number of great shopping districts around town. Atlantic Station is popular with a movie theater and ice skating. Buckhead has boutique and local vendors and Lenox Square has a large shopping mall.
Chicago is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. There are countless neighborhoods that are filled with boutiques, local vendors, and art galleries. The city has some of the country's best shopping opportunities, and the most notable area is the famous Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile.
Chicago is a great city for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Atlanta does not offer Christmas activities.
Chicago is a very popular destination during Christmas. There's a number of seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and excellent shopping.
Atlanta does not offer Christmas activities.
Chicago is a nice place to visit for visiting Christmas markets. However, Atlanta does not offer Christmas markets.
Chicago has Christmas markets worth visiting. Shopping is a highlight of a trip to the city, and the Christkindlmarkt is not to be missed.
Atlanta does not offer Christmas markets.
Chicago is terrific for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Atlanta is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.
Chicago is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. 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. It's easy to keep kids entertained in this very kid-focused city.
Atlanta is a very family-friendly place to visit. There is no shortage of playgrounds around town, but a highlight of any trip is a visit to the Georgia Aquarium. It's the largest aquarium in the United States and its home to whale sharks, hammerheads, dolphin shows, and more. It is so much more than just an aquarium, and it truly is a not to be missed experience. Also worth a visit are Zoo Atlanta, the Center of Puppetry Arts, Stone Mountain, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and the Lego Discovery Center. If you have the chance to see the Atlanta Braves play, that's also a rewarding experience.
Atlanta and Chicago are both nice to visit as a couple.
Atlanta is a good city for couples to visit. It's a big city, so there are a number of date night activities available such as orchestra concerts, theater shows, and fine dining. The city also has many outdoor areas like Lake Lanier and Piedmont Park. The Georgia Aquarium is world class, and there are other amazing museums around town as well.
Chicago is a nice destination for couples. Couples will enjoy exploring the city's vibrant theater scene and diverse neighborhoods. There are many varied restaurants and entertainment options that make for a great date night. There are also sporting events, parks, and gardens where couples can explore.
For backpackers, both Atlanta and Chicago are nice places to visit.
It's common for backpackers to visit Atlanta. While it's usually overlooked by backpackers, there are actually a couple of hostels around town and a surprising number of activities worth experiencing. The city's large airport make it a convenient entry point for international travelers.
Chicago is a good city to visit for backpackers. The city doesn't have a huge backpacker vibe, but it does have a number of hostels that help keep costs in check.
Chicago is terrific for its student-friendly activities. Also, Atlanta is not as popular, but is still a nice city for students.
Chicago is a great destination for students. The city has a large number of universities that bring in students from around the country and around the globe. It's a huge international city with economic ties and many opportunities connected to the universities.
Students come from all over to stay in Atlanta. There are a number of universities in town such as Emory, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, and Morehouse College. The city is sprawling, but it's also full of entertainment and activities that students will enjoy.
Chicago is terrific for times when you don't have a car. However, Atlanta is not known for its public transit.
The thorough and effecient public transit system of Chicago can take you anywhere. There's a subway (the "L"), a commuter well, as well as buses and countless taxis available.
Public transit is generally limited in Atlanta. For such a large city, the public transportation system is very limited. MARTA is the main transit authority and there are a few subway lines that cross the city as well as bus routes running around town.
Chicago is a great city for its ease of walking around. Also, Atlanta is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its walkability.
Chicago is a very walkable destination. The city has many restaurants, sights, and hotels that are easily accessible on foot.
Atlanta is somewhat walkable. Parts of the city are walkable, but most of the sights are spread out and require a car to access. Within neighborhoods, there are a few places that are more pedestrian-friendly such as Downtown, Midtown, Virginia Highlands, and Buckhead.
In either Atlanta or Chicago, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Chicago than Atlanta because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Atlanta, and 3-5 days is enough time in Chicago.
Families should spend more time in Chicago than Atlanta. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Chicago, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Chicago than Atlanta. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Chicago that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chicago than Atlanta if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Chicago.
Because Atlanta is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
In Chicago, you'll find food and shopping. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
Because Atlanta is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Atlanta has to offer.
In Chicago, you'll find shopping and museums. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
Atlanta is a great place to explore. 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.
Chicago is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Chicago has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Atlanta. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Atlanta. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chicago. Many people enjoy the theater and nightlife when visiting Chicago. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Atlanta is $173, 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 Atlanta and Chicago in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Atlanta 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.
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Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Atlanta:
Also for Atlanta, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chicago:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:
Prices for flights to both Chicago and Atlanta 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.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Atlanta:
For Atlanta, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Chicago:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chicago.
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Atlanta.
Here are a few typical costs in Chicago for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in Chicago for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Atlanta:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chicago:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Atlanta and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Atlanta much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Atlanta would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Atlanta 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 Atlanta.
Chicago has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Atlanta. When comparing the sizes of Atlanta and 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.
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.
The summer brings many poeple to Atlanta as well as Chicago. Most visitors come to Atlanta for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Additionally, the summer months attract visitors to Chicago because of the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.
Atlanta is a little warmer than Chicago in the summer. The daily temperature in Atlanta averages around 82°F (28°C) in July, and Chicago fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).
The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chicago. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Atlanta this time of the year. In the summer, Atlanta often gets less sunshine than Chicago. Atlanta gets 271 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun.
It's quite rainy in Chicago. Atlanta receives a lot of rain in the summer. Atlanta usually gets more rain in July than Chicago. Atlanta gets 5.2 inches (133 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain this time of the year.
Both Chicago and Atlanta are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The autumn months attract visitors to Atlanta because of the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. 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, Atlanta is a little warmer than Chicago. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Atlanta in October average around 66°F (19°C), and Chicago averages at about 56°F (14°C).
The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Atlanta. Atlanta usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during autumn. Atlanta gets 222 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun in the autumn.
In October, Atlanta usually receives more rain than Chicago. Atlanta gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.
Both Chicago and Atlanta during the winter are popular places to visit. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Atlanta this time of year. 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. In January, Atlanta is generally much warmer than Chicago. Daily temperatures in Atlanta average around 45°F (7°C), and Chicago fluctuates around 25°F (-4°C).
In the winter, Atlanta often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Atlanta gets 164 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun.
It rains a lot this time of the year in Atlanta. Atlanta usually gets more rain in January than Chicago. Atlanta gets 4.7 inches (120 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain this time of the year.
The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Atlanta and Chicago. Many travelers come to Atlanta for the activities around the city. Also, many visitors come to Chicago in the spring for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.
Atlanta is much warmer than Chicago in the spring. The daily temperature in Atlanta averages around 65°F (18°C) in April, and Chicago fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).
People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chicago this time of the year. In Atlanta, it's very sunny this time of the year. Atlanta usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during spring. Atlanta gets 262 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun in the spring.
Chicago receives a lot of rain in the spring. Atlanta gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Atlanta usually receives around the same amount of rain as Chicago. Atlanta gets 4.1 inches (104 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain each month for the spring.
|4.7 inches (120 mm)
|1.9 inches (47 mm)
|4.8 inches (123 mm)
|1.4 inches (35 mm)
|5.8 inches (147 mm)
|3.7 inches (93 mm)
|4.1 inches (104 mm)
|4.3 inches (108 mm)
|4.2 inches (107 mm)
|3 inches (75 mm)
|3.6 inches (91 mm)
|3.9 inches (100 mm)
|5.2 inches (133 mm)
|3.9 inches (100 mm)
|3.7 inches (95 mm)
|3.5 inches (90 mm)
|3.5 inches (89 mm)
|3.8 inches (96 mm)
|3 inches (77 mm)
|2.2 inches (56 mm)
|3.9 inches (99 mm)
|2.2 inches (56 mm)
|4.4 inches (111 mm)
|2.8 inches (71 mm)