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

Should you visit Charlotte 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 Charlotte and Chicago can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Charlotte or Chicago?

Charlotte

With a population of almost 800,000, Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina. The city has grown rapidly in recent years and the thriving economy has led to major revitalization efforts in the city's central district. The city is a center for finance, industry, technology, and entertainment within the state. It is the location of the corporate headquarters of Bank of America as well as the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, making it the second largest banking center in the United States. Although Charlotte has never been considered a significant tourist destination, recent efforts to enhance the urban core and develop entertainment venues have begun to appeal to outside visitors.

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 Charlotte?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Charlotte is $153, 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 Charlotte and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charlotte $94
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charlotte $188
    Chicago $304
Compare Hotels in Charlotte and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Charlotte 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 Charlotte


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charlotte $27
    Chicago $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charlotte

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

  • Arrival Private Transfer Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte by SUV: $141
  • Arrival Private Transfer Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte by Sedan car: $86
  • Charlotte City to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Arrival Private Transfer: $54
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $106
  • Departure Private Transfer Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT Sedan Car: $85
  • Departure Private Transfer Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT by SUV: $140
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT: $38
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT): $38

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:

  • Private Sedan Transfer between ORD and Indianapolis IN: $587
  • Private SUV Transfer Between O'Hare airport & Downtown Madison WI: $427
  • Private Sedan Transfer Between O'Hare airport & Downtown Madison WI: $426
  • Departure Private Transfer Chicago to O'Hare Airport ORD in a Minibus: $333
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago City by Minibus: $333
  • Private SUV Transfer Between O'Hare airport & Downtown Milwaukee WI: $298
  • Transfer to Chicago Premium Outlets: $288
  • Private Sedan Transfer Between O'Hare airport & Downtown Milwaukee WI: $266
  • Chicago O'Hare Private Ground Airport/Hotel Transfer - Round-Trip: $256
  • Chicago Midway Airport/Hotel Round Trip Private Ground Transfer: $256
  • Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) to Chicago City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $184
  • Chicago Airport Transfer by Private Sedan: $170

Is it cheaper to fly into Charlotte or Chicago?

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

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Charlotte:


  • Pizza at Airport
    $4.03
  • Cracker Barrel Lunch (family of 4)
    $29

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.
    Charlotte $34
    Chicago $34

Tours and Activities in Charlotte

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Charlotte.

  • Charlotte Beyond the Grave Haunted History Walking Ghost Tour: $18
  • Queen City Ghost Tour: $22
  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour: $23
  • Charlotte Comedy City Tour: $30
  • Charlotte Comedy City PG-13 Tour: $35
  • Charlotte's Historical City Tour: $38
  • 90-Minute Electric Cart City Sightseeing Tour: $40
  • Belize Jungle Limo - Triple Activity Tour: $50
  • Historic Uptown 90-Minute Segway Tour: $60
  • Historic Uptown Neighborhood Segway Tour of Charlotte: $60
  • Private and Custom Tours: $75
  • Discover Charlotte Historic City: Segway Tour: $234

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:

  • 2 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private Stretch Limo / 8 Passengers: $250
  • 2-Hour Chicago City Lights and Skyline Segway Tour: $76
  • 2-Hour Chicago Fireworks Segway Tour: $76
  • 2-Hour Chicago Lakefront and Museum Campus Segway Tour: $73
  • 2-Hour Haunted Segway Tour of Chicago: $76
  • 2-Hour History of Chicago Architecture and Art Segway Tour: $75
  • 3 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private SUV, ALL Inclusive: $392
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private SUV, ALL Inclusive: $220
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private Sedan: $215
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private Stretch Limousine/8 passengers: $728
  • A Most Magnificent Mile Shopping and Sightseeing Tour: $40
  • A Storied Neighborhood: Dance the dialectic with Bill Ayers on an audio tour: $5.00

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
    Charlotte $16
    Chicago $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Charlotte

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

  • Haunted Charlotte Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Trolley Pub Tour of Charlotte: $41
  • 3-Hour Charlotte Brewery Crawl Tour: $54

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


When is the best time to visit Charlotte or Chicago?

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 Charlotte or Chicago in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Charlotte as well as Chicago. Also, the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Chicago this time of year.

Charlotte is around the same temperature as Chicago in the summer. The temperature in Charlotte is usually 81°F (27°C) in July, and Chicago stays around 77°F (25°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chicago. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charlotte this time of the year. In the summer, Charlotte often gets less sunshine than Chicago. Charlotte gets 289 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Chicago. Charlotte receives a lot of rain in the summer. Charlotte usually gets more rain in July than Chicago. Charlotte gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charlotte 81°F (27°C) 
    Chicago 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Chicago in the Autumn?

Both Chicago and Charlotte are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Also, 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 the autumn, Charlotte is a little warmer than Chicago. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Charlotte in October are around 63°F (17°C), and Chicago is about 56°F (14°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charlotte. Charlotte usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during autumn. At this time of the year, Charlotte gets 223 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun.

In October, Charlotte usually receives more rain than Chicago. At this time of the year, Charlotte gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C) 
    Chicago 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Chicago in the Winter?

Both Chicago and Charlotte during the winter are popular places to visit. 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. In January, Charlotte is generally much warmer than Chicago. Temperatures in Charlotte average around 42°F (6°C), and Chicago stays around 25°F (-4°C).

In the winter, Charlotte often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Charlotte gets 173 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun.

Charlotte usually gets more rain in January than Chicago. Charlotte gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charlotte 42°F (6°C) 
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Chicago in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Charlotte and Chicago. Furthermore, most visitors come to Chicago for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months.

Charlotte is much warmer than Chicago in the spring. The temperature in Charlotte is usually 63°F (17°C) in April, and Chicago stays around 52°F (11°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chicago this time of the year. In Charlotte, it's very sunny this time of the year. Charlotte usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during spring. At this time of the year, Charlotte gets 273 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun.

Chicago receives a lot of rain in the spring. In April, Charlotte usually receives less rain than Chicago. At this time of the year, Charlotte gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C) 
    Chicago 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Chicago and Charlotte

Charlotte Chicago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 42°F (6°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Feb 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 63°F (17°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
May 71°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm) 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Dec 46°F (8°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)


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Charlotte vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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