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

Should you visit Baltimore or Chicago?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Baltimore and Chicago can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Baltimore or Chicago?

Baltimore

Baltimore is a large, industrial city and popular tourist destination in the state of Maryland. It is about an hour outside of Washington, D.C. and is a hub of tourism and entertainment for the area. It has a vibrant nightlife, comfortable climate, and is a great place to visit when you're in the area. The city proper has a population of about 600,000 and the metropolitan area has 2.7 million. Its economy is centered around science, technology, engineering and math and it has many undergraduate and graduate schools including the world renowned Johns Hopkins University.

Chicago

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 city is cheaper, Chicago or Baltimore?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Baltimore is $145, 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 Baltimore and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Baltimore $75
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Baltimore $150
    Chicago $304
Compare Hotels in Baltimore and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Baltimore 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 Baltimore


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: Baltimore Hotel Prices and Chicago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Baltimore $17
    Chicago $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Baltimore

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Baltimore:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Washington Airport BWI to Washington DC by SUV: $129
  • Baltimore City to New York City - Private Car Transfer: $454
  • Baltimore City to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) - Departure Private Transfer: $448
  • Baltimore City to Newark International Airport (EWR)- Departure Private Transfer: $411
  • Baltimore City to Philadelphia City - Private Car Transfer: $311
  • Baltimore City to Washington City - Private Car Transfer: $168
  • Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) to Washington - Arrival Private Transfer: $109
  • Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) to Washington - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $219
  • Baltimore Washington International Airport Transfer to Downtown Baltimore: $120
  • Baltimore to New York J.F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) - Departure Private Transfer: $448
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport One Way Transfer: $69
  • Departure Private Transfer Baltimore to Baltimore Airport BWI - Business Vehicle: $74

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 Baltimore or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and Baltimore 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
    Baltimore $37
    Chicago $37
Typical Food prices in Baltimore

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


  • Seafood Dinner (for 2) in Fells Point
    $76

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Baltimore

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

  • Federal Hill Food Tour: $71
  • Little Italy and Jonestown Food Tour: $71
  • Fells Point Food Tour in Baltimore: $73
  • Spirit of Baltimore Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $100
  • Baltimore Helicopter Sightseeing Tour Plus Dinner: $288
  • Platinum Package - Helicopter Tour with Dinner at Ruth's Chris or Capital Grille: $315
  • Baltimore Helicopter Tour plus Lunch or Dinner Cruise: $321

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.
    Baltimore $14
    Chicago $34

Tours and Activities in Baltimore

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

  • Baltimore Monuments Walking Tour: $12
  • 2 Hour Chesapeake Signature Cruise: $15
  • Baltimore Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Baltimore Ghosts Haunted Walking Tour: $22
  • Baltimore Inner Harbor Sightseeing Tour: $23
  • History & Culture Small-Group Tour with a Local: $41
  • History of Chesapeake Bay Sailing Tour: $49
  • Baltimore Inner Harbor Sailing Experience: $49
  • West Bank Tour: $60
  • Inner Harbor Small-Group Culture Tour with a Local: $69
  • Small-Group Food and Drink Tour with Local Snacks: $73
  • Private Baltimore Historical Sightseeing Tours: $75

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
    Baltimore $14
    Chicago $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Baltimore

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

  • Sip of Baltimore Brewery Tour: $90
  • Westminster Region Wine Tour: $97
  • Chesapeake Region Wine Tour: $97
  • Heritage Region Wine Tour: $97
  • Chocolate and Wine Tour: $106

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 Baltimore and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Baltimore much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Baltimore would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Baltimore 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 Baltimore.


When is the best time to visit Baltimore 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 Baltimore or Chicago in the Summer?

Both Chicago and Baltimore are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Also, the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Chicago this time of year.

In the summer, Baltimore is around the same temperature as Chicago. Typically, the summer temperatures in Baltimore in July are around 78°F (25°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 Baltimore. Baltimore usually receives less sunshine than Chicago during summer. Baltimore gets 283 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 Baltimore. In July, Baltimore usually receives around the same amount of rain as Chicago. Baltimore gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Baltimore 78°F (25°C) 
    Chicago 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Baltimore or Chicago in the Autumn?

Both Chicago and Baltimore during the autumn are popular places to visit. Furthermore, many travelers come to Chicago for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Baltimore is generally around the same temperature as Chicago. Temperatures in Baltimore average around 57°F (14°C), and Chicago stays around 56°F (14°C).

In the autumn, Baltimore often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago. Baltimore gets 196 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun.

Baltimore usually gets more rain in October than Chicago. Baltimore gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Baltimore 57°F (14°C) 
    Chicago 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Baltimore or Chicago in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Baltimore and Chicago. Furthermore, many visitors come to Chicago in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Chicago can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Baltimore. Baltimore is much warmer than Chicago in the winter. The temperature in Baltimore is usually 32°F (0°C) in January, and Chicago stays around 25°F (-4°C).

Baltimore usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during winter. Baltimore gets 153 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Baltimore usually receives more rain than Chicago. Baltimore gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Baltimore 32°F (0°C) 
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Baltimore or Chicago in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Baltimore as well as Chicago. Additionally, most visitors come to Chicago for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months.

In the spring, Baltimore is around the same temperature as Chicago. Typically, the spring temperatures in Baltimore in April are around 54°F (12°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 Baltimore this time of the year. In the spring, Baltimore often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago. Baltimore gets 225 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Chicago. Baltimore usually gets less rain in April than Chicago. Baltimore gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Baltimore 54°F (12°C) 
    Chicago 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Chicago and Baltimore

Baltimore Chicago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 32°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Feb 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 78°F (25°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 76°F (25°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Sep 69°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Nov 47°F (9°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Dec 37°F (3°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)


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Baltimore vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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