Should you visit Charlotte or Columbus?
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 Columbus 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.
The capital city of Ohio, Columbus sits at the meeting point of America's Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Appalachia, and the Plains. It is also home of Ohio State University, which is a major financial and economic force in the city. You'll likely need a car to navigate the city, although there is a bus system, COTA, which can take you to some of Columbus' highlights.
Which city is cheaper, Columbus 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 Columbus is $126. 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 Columbus 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.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $116 in Columbus For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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 average traveler spends about $39 per day in Columbus for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Charlotte
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Charlotte:
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.
To get around in Columbus, the average visitor spends $40 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
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:
Departure Private Transfer Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT by SUV:
Departure Private Transfer Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT Sedan Car:
Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Arrival Private Transfer:
Charlotte City to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) - Departure Private Transfer:
Arrival Private Transfer Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte by Sedan car:
Arrival Private Transfer Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte by SUV:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus
Also for Columbus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer:
Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Charlotte or Columbus?
Prices for flights to both Columbus 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.
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.
In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Charlotte
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Charlotte.
Belize Jungle Limo - Triple Activity Tour:
Charlotte Beyond the Grave Haunted History Walking Ghost Tour:
Charlotte Comedy City PG-13 Tour:
Charlotte Comedy City Tour:
Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour:
Charlotte's Historical City Tour:
Discover Charlotte Historic City: Segway Tour:
Historic Uptown Neighborhood Segway Tour of Charlotte:
Private and Custom Tours:
Tours and Activities in Columbus
For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Central Park Bike Tour:
Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket:
Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus:
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.
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Charlotte and Columbus, we can see that Charlotte is more expensive. And not only is Columbus much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbus would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbus 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 Columbus.
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