Which place is cheaper, Chicago or Austin?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Austin 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.
Austin is a lively, entrepreneurial, and eccentric city. With a variety of activities, it's a big city. This is a very beautiful destination, too. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.
Chicago is a vibrant, multicultural, and edgey city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for live music, food, and beaches.
You'll generally find more things to do in Chicago than Austin. Chicago is bigger than Austin, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Chicago is better known for its museums, theatre productions, beaches, shopping, christmas markets, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Austin is more popular for its hiking. Chicago is more touristy than Austin and is known for its thriving sports scene, its iconic local cuisine, and its world class shopping at the Magnificent Mile. Also, Chicago is famous for The Willis Tower (previously the Sears Tower). Austin is well known for its live music scene, excellent Texas barbecue, authentic Mexican food, and vibrant student population.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Chicago and Austin. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Chicago is a world-class destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Austin is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.
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).
You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Austin. Austin has a number of great museums and sights including the Blanton Museum of Art, the Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. There's also a huge supply of local art galleries. Perhaps the most notable landmark in town is the beautiful Texas Capital Building
Chicago is a world-class destination for theatre. However, Austin 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.
Austin is not a theatre destination.
Foodies will find both Austin and Chicago both to be terrific destinations.
Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Austin is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. It is credited with being the original food truck city and you'll find many diverse food truck options around town. There is also amazing Mexican food, world renowned Texas barbecue, and many modern restaurants that reflect the city's culinary influence.
Many restaurants in Chicago have been singled out for their culinary prowess. 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.
It's hard to distinguish whether Austin or Chicago has a better nightlife scene.
People head to Austin just to party. It's nightlife is centered around its thriving live music scene. Head for Sixth Street for some of the most popular bars and clubs. There are also many music festivals and outdoor concerts, particularly during the summer months. Popular bars and clubs around town include the White Horse, the Rose Room, and Antone's Nightclub.
The nightlife in Chicago is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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.
Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Austin or Chicago.
Austin is a world class music destination. Music is what gives this city its character. There are many live music venues, concerts, and music festivals to experience. Austin has influenced many music genres such as rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk, and country.
With so many music venues, you're guaranteed a show any night of the week in Chicago. The city is the birthplace of such interesting styles as modern gospel and the Chicago style blues.
Chicago is a nice place to visit for its beaches. However, Austin 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.
Austin is not a beach destination.
Austin is a city with a few options for its hiking experiences. However, Chicago is not a hiking destination.
Hiking is a fun activity while in Austin. Head just outside of town to explore a few great hiking spots right near town.
Chicago is not a hiking destination.
Chicago is a world-class destination for shopping. Also, Austin is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping opportunities.
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.
Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Austin. There are a number of local boutiques around town where you can enjoy shopping.
Chicago is a great destination for its Christmas activities. However, Austin does not offer Christmas activities.
Visitors come from all around to experience the Christmas activities in Chicago. There's a number of seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and excellent shopping.
Austin does not offer Christmas activities.
Chicago is a nice place to visit for its Christmas markets. However, Austin 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.
Austin does not offer Christmas markets.
Chicago is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Austin is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-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.
Austin offers lots of family activities. The city is a popular destination for young travelers, but there are also some family-friendly activities like Barton Springs, Zilker Park, and several natural swimming holes. There's a number of nice parks around town that are great for kids of all ages.
Austin and Chicago are both notable to visit as a couple.
Austin is a nice destination for couples. Young couples will enjoy the city for its lively nightlife, fun music scene, and youthful vibe. There are also many outdoor areas where you can hike or explore. The restaurant scene is among the best as well.
Chicago makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.
Austin is a great destination for backpackers. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for backpackers and budget travelers.
Austin is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. Although the city is relatively small, it does see a disproportionate number of backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in town as well.
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.
Chicago is a world-class destination for students. Also, Austin is still popular, but not quite as popular for its student-friendly activities.
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 Austin. The city has a huge university, the University of Texas at Austin, and it is a young city with tons for international students. There is a great nightlife scene and plenty for students to see and do.
Chicago is a world-class destination for its public transit. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.
With a huge network, the transit system in Chicago can get you around easily. There's a subway (the "L"), a commuter well, as well as buses and countless taxis available.
Public transit is mostly limited in Austin. There are city buses and a very limited lightrail system, but you really need a car to explore the city.
Chicago is a great destination for its walkability. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for its high level of walkability.
Chicago is very walkable. The city has many restaurants, sights, and hotels that are easily accessible on foot.
Austin is generally not a very walkable city. The city, like most southern cities, isn't very walkable and it's important to have a car to get around. There are some downtown areas that are pedestrian-friendly.
In either Austin or Chicago, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Chicago than Austin because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Austin, and 3-5 days is enough time in Chicago.
Families should spend more time in Chicago than Austin. 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 Austin. 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 Austin 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.
In Austin, you'll find shopping and museums. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
Chicago is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.
In Austin, you'll find museums and nightlife. 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 Austin has to offer.
Chicago is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
Austin 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.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chicago. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Austin. Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Austin. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
Travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the edgey big city of Chicago. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Austin is $142, 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 Austin and Chicago in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Austin 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.
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.
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:
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 Austin 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.
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Austin.
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.
Here are a few typical costs in Austin for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in Austin for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
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:
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Austin:
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 Austin and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Austin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Austin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Austin 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 Austin.
Chicago is bigger, and its population is about 4.2 times larger than the population of Austin. When comparing the population of Austin 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.
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.
Both Chicago and Austin are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Austin for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Chicago because of the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.
In July, Austin is generally a little warmer than Chicago. Daily temperatures in Austin average around 87°F (30°C), and Chicago fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).
It's quite sunny in Chicago. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Austin. Austin usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago during summer. Austin gets 318 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. In July, Austin usually receives less rain than Chicago. Austin gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain each month for the summer.
Both Chicago and Austin during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Austin because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. 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.
Austin is much warmer than Chicago in the autumn. The daily temperature in Austin averages around 73°F (23°C) in October, and Chicago fluctuates around 56°F (14°C).
It's quite sunny in Austin. In the autumn, Austin often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Austin gets 214 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun.
Austin usually gets more rain in October than Chicago. Austin gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.
The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Austin and Chicago. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Austin 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 the winter, Austin is much warmer than Chicago. Typically, the winter temperatures in Austin in January average around 51°F (11°C), and Chicago averages at about 25°F (-4°C).
Austin usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during winter. Austin gets 163 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun in the winter.
In January, Austin usually receives around the same amount of rain as Chicago. Austin gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain each month for the winter.
The spring brings many poeple to Austin as well as Chicago. Many travelers come to Austin for the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Chicago in the spring for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.
In April, Austin is generally much warmer than Chicago. Daily temperatures in Austin average around 71°F (22°C), and Chicago fluctuates around 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 Austin this time of the year. In the spring, Austin often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago. Austin gets 209 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun.
It's quite rainy in Chicago. Austin usually gets less rain in April than Chicago. Austin gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain this time of the year.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||51°F (11°C)||1.9 inches (48 mm)||25°F (-4°C)||1.9 inches (47 mm)|
|Feb||55°F (13°C)||3.1 inches (78 mm)||29°F (-2°C)||1.4 inches (35 mm)|
|Mar||63°F (17°C)||1.9 inches (48 mm)||41°F (5°C)||3.7 inches (93 mm)|
|Apr||71°F (22°C)||3.5 inches (89 mm)||52°F (11°C)||4.3 inches (108 mm)|
|May||77°F (25°C)||4 inches (101 mm)||63°F (17°C)||3 inches (75 mm)|
|Jun||83°F (29°C)||3.1 inches (80 mm)||73°F (23°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)|
|Jul||87°F (30°C)||1.9 inches (48 mm)||77°F (25°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)|
|Aug||87°F (31°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)||76°F (24°C)||3.5 inches (90 mm)|
|Sep||82°F (28°C)||3.7 inches (93 mm)||68°F (20°C)||3.8 inches (96 mm)|
|Oct||73°F (23°C)||3 inches (77 mm)||56°F (14°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)|
|Nov||62°F (17°C)||2 inches (52 mm)||44°F (7°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)|
|Dec||54°F (12°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)||31°F (-1°C)||2.8 inches (71 mm)|
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