Should you visit Charlotte or Columbia?
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 Columbia can help you decide which place is right for you.
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.
Both the largest and capital city of South Carolina, Columbia is literally the center of everything. Geographically it is located in the middle of the state, and it is the home to the University of South Carolina, the Army's Fort Jackson, as well as a variety of museums that celebrate the city's art, history, and culture.
Which city is cheaper, Columbia 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 Columbia is $0.00. 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 Columbia in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $188 in Charlotte For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charlotte
Also for Charlotte, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Departure Transfer to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT):
Private Arrival Transfer from Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT:
Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Arrival Private Transfer:
Charlotte City to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) - Departure Private Transfer:
Departure Private Transfer Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT Sedan Car:
Arrival Private Transfer Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte by Sedan car:
Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Departure Private Transfer Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT by SUV:
Arrival Private Transfer Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte by SUV:
Is it cheaper to fly into Charlotte or Columbia?
Prices for flights to both Columbia 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 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 Columbia can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $4.02 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $1.61 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Charlotte
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Charlotte:
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.
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:
Queen City Ghost Tour:
Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour:
Charlotte Comedy City Tour:
Charlotte Comedy City PG-13 Tour:
Charlotte's Historical City Tour:
90-Minute Electric Cart City Sightseeing Tour:
Belize Jungle Limo - Triple Activity Tour:
Historic Uptown 90-Minute Segway Tour:
Historic Uptown Neighborhood Segway Tour of Charlotte:
Private and Custom Tours:
Discover Charlotte Historic City: Segway Tour:
Tours and Activities in Columbia
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia are as follows:
Cascade Locks: 1-Hour Columbia River Sightseeing Cruise:
Cascade Locks: Columbia Gorge Sunday Brunch Cruise:
Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour:
Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour:
Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour:
Savannah: History & Ghosts Guided Tour with Beverage Stops:
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.
The average person spends about $70 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
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:
Trolley Pub Tour of Charlotte:
3-Hour Charlotte Brewery Crawl Tour:
Sample the Local Flavors in Columbia
Also in Columbia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Savannah: Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Charlotte and Columbia, we can see that Charlotte is more expensive. And not only is Columbia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbia 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 Charlotte would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Charlotte than you might in Columbia.
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