A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Baltimore vs. Columbus for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Baltimore or Columbus?

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 Columbus can help you decide which place is right for you.

Baltimore

Baltimore is a diverse, colorful, and historic city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Columbus

Columbus is a welcoming, down-to-earth, and authentic city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Baltimore and Columbus: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Baltimore or Columbus?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Baltimore than Columbus. While Columbus is larger than Baltimore, Baltimore has more sights and attractions for tourists. Baltimore is more touristy than Columbus and is popular for the Inner Harbor and its many water based activities. It is also well known for the National Aquarium. Columbus is famous for its youthful energy and its growing arts scene.

How is Baltimore different from Columbus?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Baltimore or Columbus?

Baltimore
Columbus

Baltimore is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Baltimore offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city is known for its historic ships that are found in the Inner Harbor. There are many other museums around town as well like the American Visionary Art Museum, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Many days can be filled exploring the many art, history, or science museums in the area.

Columbus offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Popular museums around town include the Center of Science and Technology, the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Ohio History Center.


Is the Food Better in Baltimore or Columbus? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Baltimore
Columbus

Baltimore is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Baltimore. The city's location near the Chesapeake Bay means that there are many great local seafood dishes. Blue crab is a regional favorite and is often served as crab soup, crab dip, or crab cakes. You'll find many famous restaurants in the Inner Harbor, but if you want something more local you should check out Little Italy or Fells Point.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Columbus. Hearty and heavy comfort food is the mainstay in this town. There's pizza, casseroles, sausage, and milkshakes around town.

Is Baltimore or Columbus Better for Nightlife?

Baltimore
Columbus

Baltimore is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Baltimore has a large number of nightlife venues. It's a vibrant city with many night time activities like breweries, night clubs, and cocktail bars. There's even outside the box activities like ballroom dancing or arcade bars.

Columbus has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The live music scene is growing. There are also a growing number of breweries around town.

Is the Shopping Better in Baltimore or Columbus?

Baltimore
Columbus

Baltimore is a very popular place for shopping. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Baltimore. Shopping is a great way to experience the different neighborhoods around town. For high end shopping head to Harbor East. For a bit more history check out Federal Hill. Hampden is known for its quirky style and Fell's Point is particularly popular with tourists.

Columbus offers some nice shopping areas. In addition to the standard shopping malls and retail outlets, there are some interesting shops in the Short North Arts District, German Village, and Easton Town Center.


Is Baltimore or Columbus Better for Families?

Baltimore
Columbus

You'll find great kid-friendly activities in either Baltimore or Columbus.

Baltimore is a very kid-friendly city. The National Aquarium is a highlight for many families. It's an impressive aquarium with dolphins, sharks, puffins, and fish. Also in town is the Port Discovery Children’s Museum which has many interactive exhibits. The Maryland Science Center, the Maryland Zoo, and the many historic ships in the harbor also offer educational opportunities for kids. For something a bit different, check out Urban Pirates in the Inner Harbor.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Columbus. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a highlight for many families. Right by it is the Zoombezi Bay Waterpark. For hands-on science-based activities check out the Center of Science and Industry. Kids will also love the Legoland Discovery Center or the Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory. There are also many outdoor parks, greenways, and playgrounds to visit.

Is Baltimore or Columbus Better for Couples?

Baltimore
Columbus

Baltimore is a popular place for romance. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Baltimore is a nice destination for couples. Most visitors spend the majority of their time around the Inner Harbor. There are restaurants and romantic hotels that are perfect for couples. The city also has many entertainment options and other activities that make for a great date night.

Most people don't think of Columbus as a couple's destination. You'll find restaurants and music venues that make for a nice date night. There are also wine tours and other entertainment options.

Is Baltimore or Columbus Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Baltimore
Columbus

Baltimore is a popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Baltimore. There are a couple of hostels around town, but most international travelers overlook this city.

Columbus is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Although it's often overlooked by tourists, there is a hostel in town for backpackers and budget travelers.


Is Baltimore or Columbus Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Baltimore
Columbus

Baltimore is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Public transit in Baltimore is fairly effecient and thorough. There are water taxis and a free downtown bus service that's called the Charm City Circulator. MTA also operates a metro and a light rail system.

Public transit is generally limited in Columbus. While there's a bus system, you'll really want to have a vehicle to get around town efficiently.

Is Baltimore or Columbus a more walkable city?

Baltimore
Columbus

Baltimore is a very popular place for its walkability. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

Baltimore is very walkable. The downtown area is the most walkable part of the city. In particular, the Inner Harbor and Fells Point are particularly walkable.

Columbus is a somewhat walkable place. The older neighborhoods are the most walkable, but if you want to get around town, you'll need to have a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Baltimore Worth Visiting? and Is Columbus Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Columbus or Baltimore?

How long in Baltimore or Columbus?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Baltimore or Columbus to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Baltimore than Columbus because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Baltimore, and 1-2 days is enough time in Columbus.

Families should spend more time in Baltimore than Columbus. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Baltimore, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Baltimore than Columbus. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Baltimore that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Baltimore than Columbus 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 Baltimore.


  • How many days in Baltimore or Columbus? Ideal Length of Stay
    Baltimore 2-3 
    Columbus 1-2

One day in Baltimore or Columbus?

The city of Baltimore offers food and shopping. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Columbus. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Columbus has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Baltimore or Columbus?

Baltimore is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Baltimore, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the down-to-earth destination of Columbus. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Baltimore or Columbus?

Baltimore is a popular choice for travelers. Five days 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the down-to-earth city of Columbus. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Baltimore or Columbus?

Baltimore is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Columbus 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, and The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco.


Which place is cheaper, Columbus or Baltimore?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Baltimore is $184, while the average daily cost in Columbus is $158. 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 Baltimore and Columbus in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Baltimore $93
    Columbus $72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Baltimore $186
    Columbus $144
Compare Hotels in Baltimore and Columbus

Looking for a hotel in Baltimore or Columbus? 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 Columbus


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 Columbus Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Baltimore $21
    Columbus $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Baltimore

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Baltimore:

  • San Francisco Airport to Oakland: Round Trip Private Transfer: $88
  • Private transfer To or Form Bethesda and Ronald Reagan Airport: $174
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Baltimore Washington Airport BWI: $60
  • Departure Private Transfer Baltimore to Baltimore Airport BWI - Business Vehicle: $111
  • Private Transfer to BWI or Washington DC/Airports: $160
  • Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) to Washington - Arrival Private Transfer: $93
  • BWI Airport: Transfer to Baltimore or Washington DC: $150
  • Arrival Private Transfer Baltimore Airport BWI to Baltimore by Business Vehicle: $111
  • Airport transfer to or from Silver Spring, MD & Reagan Airport(DCA): $200
  • Airport Transfer Baltimore/Washington International Airport BWI to Washington,DC: $240
  • Airport Transfer BWI Airport to Baltimore Downtown Area Only: $160

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

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

  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $65
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $131
  • Columbus Ohio (CMH) Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $180
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into Baltimore or Columbus?

Prices for flights to both Columbus 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 $46
    Columbus $49
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.

  • Inner Harbor Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner: $67
  • Federal Hill Food Tour: $71
  • Little Italy and Jonestown Food Tour: $73
  • Fells Point Food Tour in Baltimore: $74
  • Christmas Eve Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $84
  • Christmas Day Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $84
  • Baltimore Signature Dinner Cruise: $88
  • Cross Street Market Small Group Food Tour: $99
  • Baltimore Buffet Dinner/Dance Cruise of the Inner Harbor: $119
  • Baltimore Father's Day Buffet Dinner Cruise : $158
  • Baltimore 4th of July Buffet Dinner Cruise: $194
  • Baltimore New Year's Eve Buffet Dinner Cruise: $251

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Baltimore $18
    Columbus $46

Tours and Activities in Baltimore

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

  • Baltimore Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Baltimore Ghosts By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Baltimore Harbor Tour: $28
  • Baltimore Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $92
  • Baltimore Monuments Walking Tour: $20
  • Baltimore Orioles Baseball Game Ticket at Oriole Park: $27
  • Baltimore Ravens Football Game Ticket at M&T Bank Stadium: $24
  • Baltimore Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Baltimore Signature Lunch Cruise: $67
  • Baltimore Walking Foodie Tour in Fells Point: $99
  • Baltimore's Cruise ship Tour-shuttle service: $25
  • Baltimore's Historical Sightseeing Tour: $41

Tours and Activities in Columbus

For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Columbus Gems: $13
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Columbus' Gems: $13
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Columbus Gems: $13
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Hidden Gems of Columbus: $13
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Columbus with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure : $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $28
  • Yoga & Coffee Tour On The Trolley Pub: $36
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Trolley Pub Holiday Lights Tour in Columbus: $45

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Baltimore $17
    Columbus $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Baltimore

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

  • Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Original Fells Point Haunted Pub Tour by Baltimore Ghost Tours: $33
  • From Patapsco Region Wine Tour with Lunch: $175


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Baltimore and Columbus, we can see that Baltimore is more expensive. And not only is Columbus much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbus would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbus 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 Baltimore would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Baltimore than you might in Columbus.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Baltimore Expensive? and Is Columbus Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Baltimore or Columbus?

Columbus has a larger population, and is about 21% larger than the population of Baltimore. When comparing the sizes of Baltimore and Columbus, 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.


When is the best time to visit Baltimore or Columbus?

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 Baltimore or Columbus in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Baltimore as well as Columbus. Most visitors come to Baltimore for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Additionally, the summer months attract visitors to Columbus because of the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Baltimore is generally around the same temperature as Columbus. Daily temperatures in Baltimore average around 78°F (25°C), and Columbus fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbus. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Baltimore this time of the year. In the summer, Baltimore often gets more sunshine than Columbus. Baltimore gets 283 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 254 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Columbus. Baltimore receives a lot of rain in the summer. Baltimore usually gets less rain in July than Columbus. Baltimore gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Baltimore or Columbus in the Autumn?

Both Columbus and Baltimore are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The autumn months attract visitors to Baltimore because of the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Also, the shopping scene are the main draw to Columbus this time of year.

Baltimore is around the same temperature as Columbus in the autumn. The daily temperature in Baltimore averages around 57°F (14°C) in October, and Columbus fluctuates around 57°F (14°C).

Baltimore usually receives more sunshine than Columbus during autumn. Baltimore gets 196 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 179 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Baltimore usually receives more rain than Columbus. Baltimore gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


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

Should I visit Baltimore or Columbus in the Winter?

Both Columbus and Baltimore during the winter are popular places to visit. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Baltimore this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Columbus for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Columbus. It's quite cold in Baltimore in the winter. In the winter, Baltimore is much warmer than Columbus. Typically, the winter temperatures in Baltimore in January average around 32°F (0°C), and Columbus averages at about 30°F (-1°C).

In the winter, Baltimore often gets more sunshine than Columbus. Baltimore gets 153 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 105 hours of full sun.

Baltimore usually gets more rain in January than Columbus. Baltimore gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Baltimore 32°F (0°C) 
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Baltimore or Columbus in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Baltimore and Columbus. Many travelers come to Baltimore for the activities around the city.

In April, Baltimore is generally around the same temperature as Columbus. Daily temperatures in Baltimore average around 54°F (12°C), and Columbus fluctuates around 54°F (12°C).

In Baltimore, it's very sunny this time of the year. Baltimore usually receives more sunshine than Columbus during spring. Baltimore gets 225 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 200 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Baltimore usually receives around the same amount of rain as Columbus. Baltimore gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Baltimore 54°F (12°C) 
    Columbus 54°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Columbus and Baltimore

Baltimore Columbus
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 32°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Feb 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Jul 78°F (25°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Aug 76°F (25°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Sep 69°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Nov 47°F (9°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 37°F (3°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)