A Travel Price Comparison for Tennessee Chattanooga vs. Nashville for Nightlife, Attractions, Food, and Families

Should you visit Chattanooga or Nashville?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Chattanooga or Nashville? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a outdoorsy, thriving, and bustling city. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and hiking.

Nashville

Nashville is a country music lovers, eclectic, and southern city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include food, museums, and nightlife.

Chattanooga and Nashville: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Chattanooga or Nashville?

You'll generally find more things to do in Nashville than Chattanooga. Nashville is bigger than Chattanooga, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Nashville is better known for its nightlife, music, resorts, and big city activities, while Chattanooga is more popular for its hiking and shopping. Chattanooga is well known for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas. Nashville is well known for its influence in country music and its many live music venues. Also, Nashville is famous for The Grand Ole Opry.

How is Chattanooga different from Nashville?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Nashville and Chattanooga. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Chattanooga or Nashville?

Chattanooga
Nashville

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Chattanooga or Nashville.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Chattanooga. It's a thriving city and there are a number of museums to explore. The Hunter Museum of American Art is great for art enthusiasts. There's also the Creative Discovery Museum, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, and the 6th Cavalry Museum, as well as several smaller museums that you can visit.

Nashville is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. It is famous as the home of the Grand Ole Opry. It's also where you'll find the Country Music Hall of Fame and the unique Johnny Cash Museum.


Is the Food Better in Chattanooga or Nashville? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Dining out at restaurants in both Chattanooga and Nashville can be an enjoyable experience.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Chattanooga area. There are a growing number of restaurants that range from local dives to fine dining. Fried food is common, but you'll also find Mexican and classic hamburgers. Popular dishes that are local to the area include catfish, southern barbecue, and hush puppies.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Nashville. The city is known for some southern favorites including southern barbecue, mac and cheese, and biscuits and gravy.

Is Chattanooga or Nashville Better for Nightlife?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Nashville is a great destination for its evening party scene. Also, Chattanooga is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.

The people in Nashville know how to have a good time. The city is popular for it's music scene, particularly the country music scene. You can take in one of the free Honky Tonks or head to a rooftop bar. It's also a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties.

If you're looking for night time activities Chattanooga has a few options to choose from. You'll find plenty of bars and clubs around town. There are also a number of comedy and improv clubs that are fun to check out.

Is Chattanooga or Nashville Better for Music?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Nashville is an unbeatable place for its music scene. However, Chattanooga is not a live music destination.

In Nashville you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. The city is famous for country music, blues, and rock and roll. Popular venues include The Basement, The 5 Spot, and The Cannery Complex.

Chattanooga is not a live music destination.


Is Chattanooga or Nashville Better for Resorts?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Nashville is a popular place for its resorts. However, Chattanooga is not a resort destination.

Nashville has a few great resort options. There are a couple of famous resorts in the area including the Gaylord Opryland Resort, the Hermitage Hotel, and the Omni Nashville Hotel.

Chattanooga is not a resort destination.

Is Chattanooga or Nashville Better for Hiking?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Chattanooga is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Nashville is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Chattanooga. It's proximity to the mountains means that you don't have to go far to find good hiking. Within a half hour of town there are more than 50 trailheads. Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain are both hiking destinations. Several trails have swimming spots and many pass through nice forests or head to impressive viewpoints.

Nashville is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Chattanooga or Nashville?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Chattanooga is a city with good options for shopping. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for its shopping opportunities.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Chattanooga. Head downtown for local shops or to the larger malls if you want mainstream stores. Many visitors enjoy antiquing while they're in town, but there are also farmer's markets and thrift stores.

If you're looking to go shopping, Nashville has some nice offerings. The town has a number of boutique shops as well as major department stores. You'll find all of the major American chains around town.


Is Chattanooga or Nashville Better for Christmas?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Nashville is a popular place for its Christmas activities. However, Chattanooga does not offer Christmas activities.

Many visitors go to Nashville during the Christmas season. Several different venues decorate beautifully for the Christmas season including the Gaylord Opryland.

Chattanooga does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Chattanooga or Nashville Better for Families?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Chattanooga or Nashville.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Chattanooga. Many people enjoy a visit to the Tennessee Aquarium, which has a touch tank and a butterfly exhibit, among other things. Near downtown, Coolidge Park is a great place for kids to get their energy out. There's also the popular Lookout Mountain Incline Railway as well as many hiking trails in the area.

Nashville offers lots of family activities. The city has a handful of kid-friendly activities like a science center and kid-friendly music venues.

Is Chattanooga or Nashville Better for Couples?

Chattanooga
Nashville

With fun activities for couples, both Chattanooga and Nashville make for a notable place to visit.

Chattanooga is a good city for couples to visit. Many couples enjoy staying at a local inn and then dining in a nice restaurant or visiting a winery. There's an eclectic art district to explore as well as horse drawn carriages and plenty of nearby hiking trails.

Nashville is a nice destination for couples. For music lovers, this is the ultimate couple's destination. There are also a number of romantic activities around town including horse drawn carriage rides through the downtown. To enjoy the beautiful weather, head to Centennial Park or take a hike in Forest Hills.


Is Chattanooga or Nashville Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Nashville is a popular place for backpackers. However, Chattanooga is a city with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Nashville. There are one or two hostels around town and there's a great live music scene that attracts a young crowd.

Chattanooga is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's proximity to the mountains and diverse outdoor activities make this an under-rated destination for many backpackers.

Is Chattanooga or Nashville Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Chattanooga is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Visitors to Chattanooga can move around easily with public transportation. The city has a convenient and free electric shuttle service. It travels through the downtown and has stops at many points of interest such as the Chattanooga Choo Choo and the Tennessee Aquarium.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Nashville. Public transportation is very limited and you really need a car to explore the city in depth.

Is Chattanooga or Nashville a more walkable city?

Chattanooga
Nashville

Chattanooga is a very popular place for its walkability. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Chattanooga is very walkable. The city has put a lot of effort into improving its walkability. In particular, the downtown is nice to explore on foot.

Nashville is not a walkable city. There aren't many parts of the city that are pedestrian-friendly.


For even more information, also check out Is Chattanooga Worth Visiting? and Is Nashville Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Nashville or Chattanooga?

How long in Chattanooga or Nashville?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Chattanooga and Nashville. In our opinion, Nashville has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Nashville than Chattanooga. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Nashville than Chattanooga. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Nashville, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Nashville than Chattanooga if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Nashville.


  • How many days in Chattanooga or Nashville? Ideal Length of Stay
    Chattanooga 2-3 
    Nashville 2-3

One day in Chattanooga or Nashville?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Chattanooga. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the country music lovers city of Nashville. Most people visit for the live music. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Chattanooga or Nashville?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the outdoorsy destination of Chattanooga. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Visitors enjoy the live music and food when visiting the eclectic destination of Nashville. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Chattanooga or Nashville?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the outdoorsy city of Chattanooga. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

The eclectic city of Nashville offers food and museums. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A week in Chattanooga or Nashville?

Chattanooga is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Nashville. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people visit for the live music. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, The Best Photography Tours in United States of America, and The Best Camping Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Nashville or Chattanooga?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chattanooga is $182, while the average daily cost in Nashville is $172. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chattanooga and Nashville in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chattanooga $92
    Nashville $99
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chattanooga $184
    Nashville $198
Compare Hotels in Chattanooga and Nashville

Looking for a hotel in Chattanooga or Nashville? 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 Chattanooga


Hotels in Nashville


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Chattanooga Hotel Prices and Nashville Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chattanooga $35
    Nashville $21
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Chattanooga

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chattanooga:


  • Chattanooga Zoo (for 2)
    $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nashville

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

  • Nashville Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to Nashville: $111
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Nashville Airport (BNA) to Downtown Nashville: $84
  • Private Arrival Transfer in Nashville International Airport (BNA) : $50
  • Private Departure Transfer from Downtown Nashville to Nashville Airport (BNA): $84
  • Private transfer to Nashville Airport and Hotel: $128

Is it cheaper to fly into Chattanooga or Nashville?

Prices for flights to both Nashville and Chattanooga 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
    Chattanooga $59
    Nashville $41

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chattanooga

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chattanooga.

  • MLK Walking Art History & Food Tour: $65
  • Historic Southside Food Tour in Chattanooga: $99
  • ChattaBrunch Food Tour: $99
  • Downtown Chattanooga Food Tour: $119

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nashville

For Nashville, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show - Franklin, TN: $94
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Nashville, TN: $94
  • Nashville 12South Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • Nashville Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • General Jackson Showboat Lunch or Dinner Cruise in Nashville: $113
  • General Jackson Showboat Dinner Cruise: $138

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chattanooga $52
    Nashville $27

Tours and Activities in Chattanooga

Here are a few actual costs in Chattanooga for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Virtual Reality Simulator Bundle for Outdoor Experiences: $27
  • ChattaBOOga Ghost Walk Tour in Chattanooga: $23
  • Chattanooga "C-Block Prison Break" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
  • Chattanooga "Locker Room Lockdown: Mascot Rescue" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $34
  • Chattanooga "Secret Agent" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $34
  • Chattanooga "The Inheritance Mystery Room" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
  • Chattanooga "Vaccine: Search For The Zombie Cure" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
  • Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour: $23
  • A Spooky and Family-Friendly Walking Tour: $25
  • Adults-Only Haunted City Walking Tour: $35
  • City Trolley Tour with Coker Automotive Museum visit: $44
  • City Trolley Tour with Coker Museum visit: $44

Tours and Activities in Nashville

For Nashville, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Music City Self-Guided Walking Tour w/ Audio App: $6.75
  • Nashville Music City Smart Phone Self-Guided Audio/App Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Downtown A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Music History Guided Walking Tour: $10
  • Wander Nashville- Guided Historic Walking Tour: $10
  • Willie Nelson and Friends Museum Entry Ticket: $11
  • Downtown Nashville Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $13
  • Nashville Scavenger Hunt and Sightseeing Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Nashville Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Private Tour: $13
  • Explore Haunted Downtown Walking Tour in Nashville : $20
  • Nashville Unveiled: History, Highlights, and Hacks Walking Tour: $24
  • Cruising Nashville Narrated Sightseeing Tour by Open-Air Vehicle: $24

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chattanooga $24
    Nashville $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Nashville

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nashville:

  • Nashville's Annual Saint Patrick's Day Pub Crawl: $25
  • Nashville's Annual Crawl-O-Ween Pub Crawl: $25
  • Music City Pub Crawl: $25
  • Nashville's Annual New Year's Eve Pub Crawl: $25
  • Belle Meade Guided Mansion Tour with Complimentary Wine Tasting: $29
  • Seeking Spirits Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Nashville's Honky-Tonk Walking Sightseeing Pub Crawl: $31
  • Drinkers & Thinkers Pub Crawl: $33
  • Nashville's Lost Spirits: Murder and True Crime Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Nashville Lost Spirits: Murder True Crime Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Ghosts, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Nashville Brewery & Distillery Tour by Golf Cart: $58


When comparing the travel costs between Chattanooga and Nashville, we can see that Chattanooga 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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Chattanooga Expensive? and Is Nashville Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Chattanooga or Nashville?

Nashville has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Chattanooga. When comparing the sizes of Chattanooga and Nashville, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Chattanooga or Nashville?

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 Chattanooga or Nashville in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Chattanooga as well as Nashville. Many visitors come to Chattanooga in the summer for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Nashville for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Chattanooga is around the same temperature as Nashville. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chattanooga in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Nashville averages at about 81°F (27°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Nashville. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chattanooga this time of the year. In the summer, Chattanooga often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Nashville. Chattanooga gets 265 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nashville receives 276 hours of full sun.

Chattanooga receives a lot of rain in the summer. Chattanooga usually gets more rain in July than Nashville. Chattanooga gets 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chattanooga 81°F (27°C) 
    Nashville 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Nashville in the Autumn?

Both Nashville and Chattanooga are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Chattanooga for the hiking trails and the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Nashville because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene.

In October, Chattanooga is generally around the same temperature as Nashville. Daily temperatures in Chattanooga average around 63°F (17°C), and Nashville fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

It's quite sunny in Nashville. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. Chattanooga usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Nashville during autumn. Chattanooga gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Nashville receives 212 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Chattanooga usually receives more rain than Nashville. Chattanooga gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chattanooga 63°F (17°C) 
    Nashville 62°F (17°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Nashville in the Winter?

Both Nashville and Chattanooga during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Chattanooga because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Nashville this time of year.

It's quite cold in Nashville in the winter. The weather in Chattanooga can be very cold. Chattanooga is a little warmer than Nashville in the winter. The daily temperature in Chattanooga averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Nashville fluctuates around 38°F (4°C).

In the winter, Chattanooga often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Nashville. Chattanooga gets 145 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nashville receives 134 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. Chattanooga usually gets more rain in January than Nashville. Chattanooga gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chattanooga 40°F (5°C) 
    Nashville 38°F (4°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Nashville in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Chattanooga and Nashville. Furthermore, many travelers come to Nashville for the activities around the city.

In the spring, Chattanooga is around the same temperature as Nashville. Typically, the spring temperatures in Chattanooga in April average around 62°F (17°C), and Nashville averages at about 62°F (16°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Nashville this time of the year. In Chattanooga, it's very sunny this time of the year. Chattanooga usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Nashville during spring. Chattanooga gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Nashville receives 234 hours of full sun in the spring.

Nashville receives a lot of rain in the spring. Chattanooga gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Chattanooga usually receives around the same amount of rain as Nashville. Chattanooga gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 4.3 inches (110 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chattanooga 62°F (17°C) 
    Nashville 62°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Nashville and Chattanooga

Chattanooga Nashville
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 38°F (4°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Feb 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Mar 53°F (12°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 62°F (16°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm)
May 70°F (21°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 70°F (21°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 78°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 81°F (27°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 80°F (27°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm) 43°F (6°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)