A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Chicago vs. Anchorage for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Chicago or Anchorage?

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

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 Chicago and Anchorage can help you decide which place is right for you.

Chicago

Chicago is a multicultural, edgey, and cosmopolitan city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for food, beaches, and shopping.

Anchorage

Anchorage is a nature-oriented, cultural, and artsy city.

Chicago and Anchorage: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable


How is Chicago different from Anchorage?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Chicago or Anchorage better for Museums and Historical Sights?

People who enjoy wandering through museums and other attractions will appreciate a visit to Chicago a bit more than Anchorage.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Chicago on the map. Some of the most famous are the Art Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Notable landmarks include the famous Willis Tower - formerly the Sears Tower, Buckingham Fountain, and the iconic Cloud Gate (the bean).

While most people don't head to Anchorage specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. The town has a couple of museums including the Anchorage Museum, the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature and the Alaska Aviation Museum.

Chicago
Anchorage


Is Chicago or Anchorage better for Food?

Chicago has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Anchorage.

Chicago has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.

Anchorage offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Food is expensive in town, but there are some unique local specialties that you must try. Favorites include yak meat, king crab, and fresh oysters.

Chicago
Anchorage

Is Chicago or Anchorage better for Nightlife?

Chicago has the better options when it comes to nightlife.

Chicago is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.

Anchorage doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. The town's nightlife mostly consists of local bars where you can hang out. Check out Koot's, which is a longstanding favorite.

Chicago
Anchorage

Is Chicago or Anchorage better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Chicago or Anchorage.

Chicago is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a large number of activities for kids, including zoos, Shedd Aquarium, impressive children's museums, and large and elaborate playgrounds in Millennium Park.

Anchorage offers lots of family activities. Nature lovers will appreciate this unique setting. You can hang out with the locals in Westchester Lagoon, see the animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and learn about the area at the Anchorage Museum.

Chicago
Anchorage

Is Chicago or Anchorage better for Couples?

Both Chicago and Anchorage are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Chicago is a good city for couples to visit. Couples will enjoy exploring the city's vibrant theater scene and diverse neighborhoods.

Anchorage is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Anchorage makes a good base for couples who want to explore the unique area. There are plenty of outdoor activities and adventure sports that couples can enjoy together.

Chicago
Anchorage


Is Chicago or Anchorage better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Chicago and Anchorage are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Chicago is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. The city doesn't have a huge backpacker vibe, but it does have a number of hostels that help keep costs in check.

It's common for backpackers to visit Anchorage. There are a few good budget places to stay, and backpackers will also have plenty of outdoor wilderness to explore near town. It's important to remember that Alaska is known for its challenging wilderness so, unless you're experienced, you should take a guide.

Chicago
Anchorage

Is Chicago or Anchorage better for Public Transit?

Chicago provides more public transit options than Anchorage.

Chicago has a great public transit system. There's a subway (the "L"), a commuter well, as well as buses and countless taxis available.

Public transit is quite limited in Anchorage. There is the People Mover bus system that transports riders around town.

Chicago
Anchorage

Is Chicago or Anchorage a more walkable city?

Chicago and Anchorage both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Chicago is a very walkable destination. The city has many restaurants, sights, and hotels that are easily accessible on foot.

Anchorage is somewhat walkable. The downtown area is compact so you can wander to the nearby shops and restaurants on foot.

Chicago
Anchorage

Should I spend more time in Anchorage or Chicago?

How long in Chicago or Anchorage?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Chicago and Anchorage. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Chicago than Anchorage.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Chicago is 3-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Anchorage is 1-3 days.


  • How many days in Chicago or Anchorage? Ideal Length of Stay
    Chicago 3-5 
    Anchorage 1-3

One day in Chicago or Anchorage?

People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. 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.

In Anchorage, you'll find . This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A weekend in Chicago or Anchorage?

People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

In Anchorage, you'll find . The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Anchorage has to offer.

Five days in Chicago or Anchorage?

People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

Anchorage is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Chicago or Anchorage?

Chicago is a popular choice for travelers. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Anchorage. One week may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Which city is cheaper, Anchorage or Chicago?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chicago is $221, while the average daily cost in Anchorage is $153. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chicago and Anchorage in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chicago $152
    Anchorage $93
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chicago $304
    Anchorage $186

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chicago $29
    Anchorage $22
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 Airport Transfer: O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Chicago: $43
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Chicago to O’Hare International Airport (ORD): $43
  • Private Airport Transfer: Midway International Airport (MDW) to Chicago: $55
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Chicago to Midway International Airport (MDW): $55
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago Midway Airport to Chicago City: $66
  • Private Departure Transfer from Chicago City to Midway International Airport: $66
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago City: $78
  • Private Departure Transfer from Chicago City to O'Hare International Airport: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago by Sedan Car: $79
  • Departure Private Transfer Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD by Sedan Car: $79
  • Private Departure Transfer to Chicago Airports (ORD)(MDW): $80
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago Airports (ORD) (MDW): $80

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Anchorage

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Anchorage:

  • Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Anchorage accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $34
  • Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Anchorage accommodation - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $67
  • Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Seward Cruise Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $386
  • Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Seward Cruise Port - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $771
  • Anchorage accommodation to Anchorage Airport (ANC) - Departure Private Transfer: $34
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Anchorage Airport ANC: $54
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Anchorage Airport (ANC): $54
  • Private Transfer Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Whittier Cruise Port: $209
  • Private Transfer Anchorage Airport ANC to Seward Cruise Port: $292
  • Private Transfer: Anchorage to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC): $622
  • Private Transfer: Seward Cruise Port to Anchorage Airport (ANC): $292
  • Private Transfer: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) to Anchorage: $622

Is it cheaper to fly into Chicago or Anchorage?

Prices for flights to both Anchorage and Chicago 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
    Chicago $37
    Anchorage $40
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
  • Learn to Make Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza with a Local: $49
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: River North Historical Food Tour: $61
  • Private Fusion Cooking Class in Downtown Chicago: $64
  • Best in Chow: Chicago River North Food Tour: $64
  • Signature Food Tour at Chicago's Navy Pier: $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
  • River North Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Chicago's Wicker Park Food Tour: $75
  • Private Indian-Mexican Fusion Cooking Class with a Modern Cook: $78

Typical Food prices in Anchorage

Some typical examples of dining costs in Anchorage are as follows:


  • Bread
    $4.25
  • Breakfast for Two
    $17

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chicago $34
    Anchorage $24
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:

  • A Storied Neighborhood: Dance the dialectic with Bill Ayers on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Discovering Vintage The Loop Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Millennium Park Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Chicago Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Skip the Line: American Writers Museum Admission Ticket: $14
  • Pilsen Walking Tour of Local Publicly Displayed Art: $15
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Historic Chicago Theatre: $18
  • Chicago Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Windy City Ghost Tour: $24
  • Street Art & Mural Tours By Native 312- Wabash Arts Corridor: $25
  • In the Streets: Milwaukee Ave Guided Bike Tour: $25

Typical Entertainment prices in Anchorage

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Anchorage are as follows:


  • 1 Day Bike Rental
    $33
  • 1/2 Day Rafting Trip
    $105

Tours and Activities in Anchorage

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Anchorage are as follows:

  • Anchorage Museum General Admission Ticket: $20
  • Anchorage Trolley Tour: $21
  • Anchorage City Tour w/ Taste of Wild Smoked Salmon & Reindeer Sausage: $39
  • Winter - Anchorage All Around City Tour: $49
  • Alaska Native Historic Cultural City Tour of Anchorage: $59
  • Gold Panning Self-Guided Tour: $69
  • Turnagain Arm Tour: "A Must See Destination": $69
  • Beginner’s Snowshoeing Adventure: $81
  • Coastal Trail 3-Hour City Bike Tour: $95
  • Explore Portage Valley a Self-Guided Tour: $99
  • Alaska Wildlife Tour: $99
  • Alyeska Tram - A Self-Guided Tour: $99

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Free Things to Do in Chicago, Chicago Bucket List: The Best Places to See, and The Best Museums in Chicago.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chicago $20
    Anchorage $16

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Anchorage

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Anchorage:

  • Half-Day Anchorage Craft Brewery Tour and Tastings: $115
  • Anchorage Bike and Brewery Tour: $219
  • Alaska Brewery and Railroad Experience from Anchorage: $349


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chicago and Anchorage, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Anchorage much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Anchorage would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Anchorage 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 Anchorage.


When is the best time to visit Chicago or Anchorage?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Chicago or Anchorage in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Chicago and Anchorage. Many travelers come to Chicago for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Anchorage in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Chicago is much warmer than Anchorage. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chicago in July are around 77°F (25°C), and Anchorage is about 59°F (15°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Anchorage this time of the year. In Chicago, it's very sunny this time of the year. Chicago usually receives more sunshine than Anchorage during summer. At this time of the year, Chicago gets 326 hours of sunny skies, while Anchorage receives 240 hours of full sun.

Chicago gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Chicago usually receives more rain than Anchorage. At this time of the year, Chicago gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 1.7 inches (44 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chicago 77°F (25°C) 
    Anchorage 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Chicago or Anchorage in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Chicago as well as Anchorage. Many visitors come to Chicago in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Anchorage can be very cold during autumn. In October, Chicago is generally much warmer than Anchorage. Temperatures in Chicago average around 56°F (14°C), and Anchorage stays around 35°F (2°C).

In the autumn, Chicago often gets more sunshine than Anchorage. Chicago gets 195 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Anchorage receives 118 hours of full sun.

Chicago usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Anchorage. Chicago gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chicago 56°F (14°C) 
    Anchorage 35°F (2°C)

Should I visit Chicago or Anchorage in the Winter?

Both Anchorage and Chicago are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Chicago for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Anchorage because of the museums and the cuisine.

The weather in Anchorage can be very cold. Chicago can be very cold during winter. Chicago is much warmer than Anchorage in the winter. The temperature in Chicago is usually 25°F (-4°C) in January, and Anchorage stays around 15°F (-9°C).

Chicago usually receives more sunshine than Anchorage during winter. At this time of the year, Chicago gets 134 hours of sunny skies, while Anchorage receives 80 hours of full sun.

In January, Chicago usually receives more rain than Anchorage. At this time of the year, Chicago gets 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 0.7 inches (19 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C) 
    Anchorage 15°F (-9°C)

Should I visit Chicago or Anchorage in the Spring?

Both Anchorage and Chicago during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Chicago because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

It's quite cold in Anchorage in the spring. In the spring, Chicago is much warmer than Anchorage. Typically, the spring temperatures in Chicago in April are around 52°F (11°C), and Anchorage is about 36°F (2°C).

In Anchorage, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Chicago. In the spring, Chicago often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Anchorage. Chicago gets 218 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Anchorage receives 233 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chicago. Chicago usually gets more rain in April than Anchorage. Chicago gets 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chicago 52°F (11°C) 
    Anchorage 36°F (2°C)

Typical Weather for Anchorage and Chicago

Chicago Anchorage
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm) 15°F (-9°C) 0.7 inches (19 mm)
Feb 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm) 19°F (-7°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
Mar 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 26°F (-3°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Apr 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 36°F (2°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
May 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 47°F (8°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 55°F (13°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Aug 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Sep 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 49°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Oct 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 35°F (2°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Nov 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 22°F (-6°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Dec 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 17°F (-8°C) 1.1 inches (28 mm)


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Chicago vs. Anchorage Travel Comparison

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