Should you visit Chattanooga or Gatlinburg?
Should I visit Chattanooga or Gatlinburg? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Located on the Tennessee River near the border of the U.S. state of Georgia, Chattanooga is Tennessee's fourth largest city and a major transportation hub. The city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its once dilapidated downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront, including the restoration of the historic Walnut Street Bridge.
Located in eastern Tennessee, Gatlinburg is a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and for many it is a destination in and of itself. It's anything but natural, and most of its entertainment is centered around amusement park rides and gimmicky sights. You'll find no shortage of cheap hotels and restaurant options, many of which are the typical chains you would find in most tourist towns. It is a convenient town to pick up any necessities you may have forgotten before your visit to the nearby national park.
Which city is cheaper, Gatlinburg or Chattanooga?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Chattanooga is $145, while the average daily cost in Gatlinburg is $152. 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 Chattanooga and Gatlinburg in more detail.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $73. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Chattanooga the cost is $146 on average.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $128 in Gatlinburg For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
In Chattanooga travelers spend around $47 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
The price of a meal in Gatlinburg can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $68 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $27 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
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chattanooga
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chattanooga.
Small-Group Electric Bike Food Tour in Chattanooga:
2-Hour Small Group Southern Cuisine Food Tour in Chattanooga:
2-Hour Chattanooga Walking Food Tour:
Typical Food prices in Gatlinburg
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Gatlinburg:
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $28 per day to get around in Chattanooga.
To get around in Gatlinburg, the average visitor spends $28 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.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chattanooga
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chattanooga:
Chattanooga Zoo (for 2)
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $42 per person, per day in Chattanooga. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
In Gatlinburg, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Chattanooga
Here are a few actual costs in Chattanooga for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Chattanooga "Awakening" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "C-Block Prison Break" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Locker Room Lockdown: Mascot Rescue" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Secret Agent" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Speakeasy" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "The Hunted" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "The Inheritance Mystery Room" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Vaccine: Search For The Zombie Cure" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga Guided Electric Bike City Tour:
Chattanooga Guided Party Bike Tour:
Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour:
Chattanooga Stand-Up Paddleboarding & Kayak Tour:
Typical Entertainment prices in Gatlinburg
For Gatlinburg, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Horseback Riding Photos
Horseback Riding (for 2)
Tours and Activities in Gatlinburg
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg Ghost Tour:
Ghost and Haunt Tour of Gatlinburg:
Impossibilities Magic Show at the Iris Theater Ticket:
Great Smoky Mountains Waterfall Adventure Hiking Tour:
Foxfire Mountain: Waterfall Canopy Zip Line Tour:
Goliath: Extreme Mountain Zip Lining Adventure:
Can-AM Maverick 1000 Adventure Vehicle Rental:
Polaris 570 Ranger Adventure Vehicle Rental:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chattanooga may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $19 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Gatlinburg, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.
Sample the Local Flavors in Chattanooga
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chattanooga:
Chattanooga Brewery Walking Tour with Beer Tastings:
Half-Day Private Wine Tour in Chattanooga:
Sample the Local Flavors in Gatlinburg
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Gatlinburg:
Gatlinburg's Best Moonshine Distillery Tour and Tastings:
When comparing the travel costs between Chattanooga and Gatlinburg, we can see that Gatlinburg 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.
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