Which place is cheaper, Chicago or Charleston?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston 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.
Charleston is a quaint, historic, and classic coastal town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. Other popular activities here include food, beaches, and shopping.
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. Other popular activities here include theater, nightlife, and live music.
Tourists will generally find more to do in Chicago than Charleston. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Chicago is very popular for its museums, theatre productions, nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Charleston attracts visitors for its resorts, beaches, historical sights, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Charleston is famous for its historic city market, low-country cuisine, Civil War history, and antebellum houses. Chicago is famous 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).
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Chicago and Charleston. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its sights and museums. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its museums and history.
You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Chicago on the map. 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).
Charleston is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. This city is famous for its many historic churches and plantations. The plantations are open to visit and will educate you on the city's past, which is heavily involved in slavery. You can also visit Fort Sumter National Monument by boat or take a tour of the USS Yorktown.
Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its shows and theatre. However, Charleston 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.
Charleston is not a theatre destination.
Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Charleston and Chicago can be difficult as they are each terrific in their own way.
Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Charleston is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. Food lovers will enjoy the city's low country classics. There are many local restaurants in town that serve southern specialties. You can also head a bit out of the town center if you want a waterfront restaurant. Local favorites include she crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.
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.
Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for nightlife.
Chicago has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. 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.
With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Charleston. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene. Head to the areas near the college for the most affordable and active nightlife. Popular clubs in town include Cure Night Club, Deco Nightclub, and Mynt.
Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for live music.
In Chicago you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. The city is the birthplace of such interesting styles as modern gospel and the Chicago style blues.
You'll find some good live music in Charleston. You can hear a number of local bands or enjoy a more widely known group at larger venues in the area.
Charleston is very good for its resorts. However, Chicago is not a resort destination.
Charleston has a few great resort options. The town has mostly hotels and bed and breakfasts in the downtown area, but nearby Kiawah Island has a number of nice resorts to choose from. Kiawah Island is particularly kid-friendly if you're looking for a family beach vacation. If you have a bit more money to spend and want something more residential, check out nearby Seabrook Island.
Chicago is not a resort destination.
Charleston is a great destination for the beach. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for its beaches.
Charleston is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. The area has a number of beautiful and fun nearby beaches including Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island. Folly Beach is an active and quirky beach area, while Kiawah is more family-friendly. Seabrook is more residential and more expensive.
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.
Charleston is renowned for its historic old town charm. However, Chicago does not have a historic old town.
The old town of Charleston is one of the most recognized in the world. Charleston's downtown is one of the most charming and well preserved Old Town's in the United States. It's easy to see why it's become a world class destination.
Chicago does not have a historic old town.
Both Charleston and Chicago are terrific shopping destinations.
Charleston is a world class destination for shoppers. The city is famous for its historic market in the center of town. Local goods, foods, and crafts are sold daily here. There are also many clothing and local shops throughout town, particularly along King Street, which has boutiques and high end outlets. Outside of town, stop by Tanger Outlet Mall if you want name brands at a discount price.
People travel from around the world to go shopping in Chicago. 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.
Both Charleston and Chicago are excellent destinations to visit around Christmas.
Charleston is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. During the Christmas season there are a number of festivals, light shows, and even a boat parade that everyone can enjoy.
Since it has plenty to do, Chicago is a very popular place to visit during Christmas. There's a number of seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and excellent shopping.
Charleston and Chicago are both places where visitors can find nice Christmas markets.
Charleston has Christmas markets worth visiting. Marion Square hosts Christmas Markets on weekends throughout the holiday season.
Chicago is a nice place to see Christmas markets. Shopping is a highlight of a trip to the city, and the Christkindlmarkt is not to be missed.
Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its family-friendly activities. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit 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.
Charleston is a family-friendly coastal town. The city has a number of family-friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. There's also an aquarium, a waterfront park, and many kid-friendly museums. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.
Charleston is renowned for couples. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.
For those traveling as a couple, Charleston has plenty to offer. This beautiful city is one of the most popular wedding destinations in America. It's a very romantic setting with beautiful hotels and bed and breakfasts that are perfect for couples on their honeymoon or looking for a romantic setting.
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.
Chicago is a nice place to visit for backpackers. However, Charleston is a mediocre coastal town for backpackers and budget 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.
Charleston is a good destination for this activity. Hotels in the old town tend to be pricey and there isn't the backpacker community that you find in many other destinations. Still, there are a couple of hostels.
Chicago is an amazing city to visit for students. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit 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.
Plenty of students visit Charleston. The city is a college town with a young vibe that is perfect for students. There's a nice university area where you'll find cheaper places to eat and a good nightlife scene.
Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its public transit. However, Charleston is a mediocre coastal town for times when you don't have a car.
Public transit in Chicago is top-notch. There's a subway (the "L"), a commuter well, as well as buses and countless taxis available.
Public transit is mostly limited in Charleston. While there are some buses, you really must have a car to fully experience the entire area.
Charleston and Chicago both are excellent when exploring on foot.
Charleston is a very walkable destination. The downtown area is very walkable, but once you leave the historic heart, it's best to have a car.
Chicago is very walkable. The city has many restaurants, sights, and hotels that are easily accessible on foot.
In either Charleston or Chicago, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than Chicago because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-7 days is a good amount of time for Charleston, and 3-5 days is enough time in Chicago.
Families should spend more time in Chicago than Charleston. 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 Charleston than Chicago. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Charleston that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chicago than Charleston 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 Charleston, you'll find shopping and museums. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This coastal town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
When visiting Chicago, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.
In Charleston, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charleston has to offer.
When visiting Chicago, people usually allow for lots of time. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.
Charleston is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charleston has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Chicago, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Charleston. In Charleston, you'll find live music and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.
Chicago is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Charleston is $170, 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 Charleston and Chicago in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Charleston 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 Charleston:
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 Charleston 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.
Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Charleston.
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.
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Charleston are as follows:
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 Charleston:
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 Charleston and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Charleston much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Charleston would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Charleston 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 Charleston.
Chicago is bigger, and its population is about 29.4 times larger than the population of Charleston. When comparing the population of Charleston 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.
The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Charleston and Chicago. Most visitors come to Charleston for the beaches, 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.
Charleston is around the same temperature as Chicago in the summer. The daily temperature in Charleston averages around 82°F (28°C) in July, and Chicago fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).
People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chicago this time of the year. In Charleston, it's very sunny this time of the year. Charleston usually receives less sunshine than Chicago during summer. Charleston gets 293 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun in the summer.
Chicago receives a lot of rain in the summer. Charleston gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Charleston usually receives more rain than Chicago. Charleston gets 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain each month for the summer.
The autumn brings many poeple to Charleston as well as Chicago. The autumn months attract visitors to Charleston because of 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.
In the autumn, Charleston is a little warmer than Chicago. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Charleston in October average around 67°F (19°C), and Chicago averages at about 56°F (14°C).
In the autumn, Charleston often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago. Charleston gets 197 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun.
Charleston usually gets more rain in October than Chicago. Charleston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.
Both Chicago and Charleston are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Charleston 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, Charleston is generally much warmer than Chicago. Daily temperatures in Charleston average around 47°F (9°C), and Chicago fluctuates around 25°F (-4°C).
Charleston usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during winter. Charleston gets 188 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun in the winter.
In January, Charleston usually receives more rain than Chicago. Charleston gets 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain each month for the winter.
Both Chicago and Charleston during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Charleston for the beaches and the natural beauty. Furthermore, many visitors come to Chicago in the spring for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.
Charleston is much warmer than Chicago in the spring. The daily temperature in Charleston averages around 64°F (18°C) in April, and Chicago fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).
In Chicago, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Charleston. In the spring, Charleston often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Charleston gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun.
Chicago gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Charleston usually gets less rain in April than Chicago. Charleston gets 2.7 inches (69 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||47°F (9°C)||3.3 inches (85 mm)||25°F (-4°C)||1.9 inches (47 mm)|
|Feb||50°F (10°C)||3.3 inches (85 mm)||29°F (-2°C)||1.4 inches (35 mm)|
|Mar||58°F (14°C)||4.3 inches (110 mm)||41°F (5°C)||3.7 inches (93 mm)|
|Apr||64°F (18°C)||2.7 inches (69 mm)||52°F (11°C)||4.3 inches (108 mm)|
|May||72°F (22°C)||4.2 inches (106 mm)||63°F (17°C)||3 inches (75 mm)|
|Jun||78°F (26°C)||6.4 inches (163 mm)||73°F (23°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)|
|Jul||82°F (28°C)||6.9 inches (176 mm)||77°F (25°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)|
|Aug||81°F (27°C)||7.1 inches (181 mm)||76°F (24°C)||3.5 inches (90 mm)|
|Sep||76°F (25°C)||4.8 inches (121 mm)||68°F (20°C)||3.8 inches (96 mm)|
|Oct||67°F (19°C)||2.9 inches (74 mm)||56°F (14°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)|
|Nov||58°F (15°C)||2.5 inches (63 mm)||44°F (7°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)|
|Dec||51°F (10°C)||3.1 inches (78 mm)||31°F (-1°C)||2.8 inches (71 mm)|
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