A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charleston vs. Portland for Food, Couples, Backpackers, and Nightlife

Should you visit Charleston or Portland?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Portland, 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

Charleston is a historic, classic, and picturesque coastal town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.

Portland

Portland is a progressive, quirky, and eclectic city. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include nightlife, live music, and hiking.

Charleston and Portland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples


How is Charleston different from Portland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Charleston or Portland Better for Food?

Charleston
Portland

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Charleston a bit more than Portland.

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. Local favorites include she crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.

Portland offers some easy restaurants to choose from. The town is more famous for it's craft beer than it's food, but there are still a number of local restaurants that offer unique Oregon dishes.


Is Charleston or Portland Better for Nightlife?

Charleston
Portland

Evening events are similar in both Charleston and Portland.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Charleston. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Portland. Famously, this town's nightlife is all about the craft beer and local breweries. Make sure you check out Bailey's Taproom, The Big Legrowlski, and The Commons Brewery.

Is Charleston or Portland Better for Music?

Charleston
Portland

Both Charleston and Portland offer a variety of live music venues.

The music scene helps keep Charleston active and fun. You can hear a number of local bands or enjoy a more widely known group at larger venues in the area.

You'll find some good live music in Portland. The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.

Is Charleston or Portland Better for Shopping?

Charleston
Portland

Charleston usually beats out Portland for shopping.

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.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Portland. To fully experience shopping in town, head to the local vendors and thrift shops.

Is Charleston or Portland Better for Families?

Charleston
Portland

Charleston and Portland are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Charleston is a family-friendly place to visit. The area has a number of family friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.

Portland is a family-friendly coastal town. Kid-friendly activities in town include the zoo, the aerial tram, and several great museums.


Is Charleston or Portland Better for Couples?

Charleston
Portland

While Portland and Charleston are both popular destinations, overall Charleston is considered to be a more popular choice.

Charleston has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. 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.

Portland is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy an eclectic city, breweries, and nature, will find a lot to do in town.

Is Charleston or Portland a more walkable city?

Charleston
Portland

Charleston and Portland both are comparable 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.

Portland is very walkable. It is quite walkable, particularly in the tourist areas such as Downtown, Pearl, and Old Town Chinatown.

Should I spend more time in Portland or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or Portland?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Charleston and Portland. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than Portland.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Charleston is 2-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Portland is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Charleston or Portland? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charleston 2-7 
    Portland 2-3

One day in Charleston or Portland?

The beautiful coastal town of Charleston offers museums and nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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.

With shopping and nightlife around the laid-back city of Portland, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Charleston or Portland?

Charleston is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this coastal town makes for a great vacation. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Charleston, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

With nightlife and live music around the destination of Portland, there's plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.


Five days in Charleston or Portland?

Charleston is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Charleston, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Portland, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Charleston or Portland?

Charleston is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charleston has to offer. This coastal town offers something for everyone.

Portland 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.

Which city is cheaper, Portland or Charleston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Charleston is $136, while the average daily cost in Portland is $143. 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 Charleston and Portland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $72
    Portland $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $144
    Portland $152
Compare Hotels in Charleston and Portland

Looking for a hotel in Charleston or Portland? 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 Charleston


Hotels in Portland


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: Charleston Hotel Prices and Portland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $26
    Portland $23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Portland Airport (PDX): $32
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Portland Airport PDX: $32
  • Portland International Airport One Way Transfer: $69
  • Arrival Business Class Private Transfer Portland Airport PDX to Portland City: $75
  • Departure Business Class Private Transfer from Portland Airport PDX to Portland: $75
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Portland Airport PDX to Oregon, West Linn or Tigar: $82
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Arrival Private Transfer: $102
  • Portland downtown to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $102
  • Transfer from Portland International Airport to Portland: $109
  • PDX - Portland One Way Airport Transfer in a Chauffeured Sedan/SUV: $133
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $141
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Arrival Private Transfer: $141

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Charleston $46
    Portland $35
Typical Food prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Typical Food prices in Portland

For Portland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

For Portland, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Arts District Food Tour: $84
  • Portland's Art District Food Tour: $84
  • Walking Food Tour in Downtown Portland with Brunch: $86
  • Downtown Deluxe Food Tour: $89
  • Tastes of Downtown Portland Walking Food Tour: $89
  • 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise Through Downtown Portland: $108

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $17
    Portland $19
Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Charleston are as follows:

  • 2-Hour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour in Charleston: $48
  • 2-Hour Paddle Board Eco Tour of Charleston Lowcountry: $48
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25
  • Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Best of Historic Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston: $61
  • Bruce Knows Insider Walking Tour of Downtown: $26
  • Car Service: Airport to / from Cruise Port: $130
  • Charleston Attraction & Tour Pass for 1, 2, or 3 Days: $73
  • Charleston Boo Hag & Brews Walking Ghost and Bar Tour: $29
  • Charleston Chicora Walking Tour: $26
  • Charleston City Bus Tour with Charleston Museum Admission: $32

Tours and Activities in Portland

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

  • The Eastern Promenade: Explore the sounds and vistas on an audio walking tour: $5.20
  • Downtown Portland's Outdoor Sculptures Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.20
  • Portland Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Portland Old Town Ghost Tour: $22
  • Intro to Portland Small Group Walking Tour: $29
  • Pink Trolley City Tour of Portland - 2pm: $29
  • Pink Trolley City Tour of Portland - 10am: $29
  • Underground Donut Tour: Portland's Only Donut Tour: $30
  • Portland's Only Underground Donut Tour: $31
  • Vintage Fire Truck Sightseeing Tour of Portland Maine: $35
  • Private Tour: Downtown Portland and City Highlights: $38
  • Essential Portland Bike Tour: $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $28
    Portland $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Charleston:

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Power Through Portland Bar Crawl: $12
  • Oregon Priority Wine Tasting Pass: $40
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $49
  • Eastside Craft Brewery Walking Tour: $55
  • Portland Brewery Bike Tour: $71
  • Oregon Famous Wine Country Wine Tasting Adventure: $75
  • Brews & Bites - Food Carts & Brewery Tour: $94
  • Views and Brews, Portland Brewery Bike Tour: $118
  • 5-Hour Willamette Valley Wine Tour with Tastings: $120
  • Oregon Coast Brewery Tour: $130
  • Willamette Valley Wine Tasting from Portland: $139
  • Full-Day City & Oregon Wine Tasting Tour: $140


When comparing the travel costs between Charleston and Portland, we can see that Portland is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Charleston or Portland?

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 Charleston or Portland in the Summer?

Both Portland and Charleston during the summer are popular places to visit. The beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Charleston this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Portland for the hiking, the small town charm, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Charleston is a little warmer than Portland. Typically, the summer temperatures in Charleston in July are around 82°F (28°C), and Portland is about 68°F (20°C).

In Portland, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Charleston. In the summer, Charleston often gets less sunshine than Portland. Charleston gets 293 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 338 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Charleston. Charleston usually gets more rain in July than Portland. Charleston gets 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charleston 82°F (28°C) 
    Portland 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Portland in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Charleston and Portland. Many travelers come to Charleston for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to Portland in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Charleston is generally much warmer than Portland. Temperatures in Charleston average around 67°F (19°C), and Portland stays around 55°F (13°C).

Charleston usually receives more sunshine than Portland during autumn. Charleston gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 155 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Charleston usually receives more rain than Portland. Charleston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charleston 67°F (19°C) 
    Portland 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Portland in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Charleston as well as Portland. Many visitors come to Charleston in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to Portland for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

Portland can be very cold during winter. Charleston is much warmer than Portland in the winter. The temperature in Charleston is usually 47°F (9°C) in January, and Portland stays around 40°F (4°C).

In the winter, Charleston often gets more sunshine than Portland. Charleston gets 188 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 86 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Portland. Charleston usually gets less rain in January than Portland. Charleston gets 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charleston 47°F (9°C) 
    Portland 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Portland in the Spring?

Both Portland and Charleston are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Charleston for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Portland because of the small town charm and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Charleston is much warmer than Portland. Typically, the spring temperatures in Charleston in April are around 64°F (18°C), and Portland is about 51°F (11°C).

It's quite sunny in Portland. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charleston. Charleston usually receives more sunshine than Portland during spring. Charleston gets 275 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 231 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Charleston usually receives more rain than Portland. Charleston gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charleston 64°F (18°C) 
    Portland 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Portland and Charleston

Charleston Portland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)


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Charleston vs. Portland Travel Comparison

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