A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Charlotte vs. Chicago

Should you visit Charlotte or Chicago?

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.

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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Charlotte and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $188 in Charlotte For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Chicago's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $304. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $152.


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

Food

Food in Charlotte costs travelers about $37 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

The price of a meal in Chicago can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $37 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $15 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • 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
  • Factories to Calories Fulton Market Food Tour: $46
  • Learn to Make Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza with a Local: $49
  • Chicago Crime & Pizza Walk: $50
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Chicago History and Food Tour: $59
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: River North Historical Food Tour: $61
  • Signature Food Tour at Chicago's Navy Pier: $64
  • Best in Chow: Chicago River North Food Tour: $64
  • Private Fusion Cooking Class in Downtown Chicago: $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

Local Transportation

Charlotte's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $27 per person, per day on transportation in Charlotte.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $29 per day to get around in Chicago.


  • 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 Midway Airport/Hotel Round Trip Private Ground Transfer: $256
  • Chicago O'Hare Private Ground Airport/Hotel Transfer - Round-Trip: $256
  • Private One-Way Midway Airport Transfer: $225
  • Chicago O'Hare Airport Private Transfers: $195

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Charlotte can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $34 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $34 per person, per day in Chicago. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • 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
  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour: $23
  • Charlotte Comedy City Tour: $30
  • Charlotte Comedy City PG-13 Tour: $35
  • Charlotte's Historical City Tour: $38
  • Belize Jungle Limo - Triple Activity Tour: $50
  • 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 Hour Chicago Art and Architecture Segway Tour: $71
  • 2 Hour Pier Fireworks and Evening Segway Tour in Chicago: $65
  • 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
  • 3-Hour Segway Tour of Chicago: $76
  • 360 Chicago Observation Deck Admission: Skip the Ticket Desk: $25
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private SUV, ALL Inclusive: $220

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Charlotte, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $16.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chicago may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $20 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • 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.

Budget Your Trip

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Charlotte vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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