Which city is cheaper, Boston or Chicago?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
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 Boston can help you decide which place is right for you.
Chicago is a edgey, cosmopolitan, and diverse 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.
Boston is a classic, historic, and traditional classic. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Boston and Chicago. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Chicago or Boston.
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).
Travelers visit Boston from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The city itself feels like a living museum. It is famous for Faneuil Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, the USS Constitution, as well as the many sites along the Freedom Trail. There are also many museums on the campuses of the world renowned universities in the city.
With a variety of venues, both Chicago and Boston provide options for theater-goers.
The theater scene in Chicago is world-class. Theater is big here with many of the major Broadway productions visiting the city. There is also an endless list of smaller, local theaters to choose from.
Many visitors plan to see a show while visiting Boston. The city has many historic, beautifully restored theaters where you can enjoy a show. Head to the theater district for some of the most famous venues.
There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Chicago and Boston.
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.
The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Boston. Famous local foods include New England Clam Chowder, lobster rolls, and baked beans.
It's hard to distinguish whether Chicago or Boston has a better nightlife scene.
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.
The nightlife in Boston has something for everybody. The city is known for its breweries, craft beer, and vibrant university neighborhoods. It also hosts regular outdoor movies and world class sporting events.
Chicago generally offers more live music options than Boston.
In Chicago you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. The city is the birthplace of such interesting styles as modern gospel and the Chicago style blues.
The music scene helps keep Boston active and fun. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.
Chicago and Boston are good choices for a beach vacation.
Many people head to Chicago to enjoy the beach. While you don't immediately think of beaches when you think of Chicago, there are some nice beaches by the lake.
Boston is a good spot to see the beach. There are a few urban beaches in the greater Boston area that you can explore on a nice day.
Most people pick Chicago for the shopping over Boston.
Chicago is a world class destination for shoppers. The most famous shopping area is Michigan Avenue and the famous Magnificent Mile.
Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Boston. Head to Back Bay for some of the best high end shops.
The Christmas season is a nice time to visit both Chicago and Boston.
Visitors come from all around to experience the Christmas activities in Chicago. There's a number of seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and excellent shopping.
Boston is a very popular destination during Christmas. Christmas comes to life in the city with its Christmas Trees, holiday shows, and festivals.
If you're looking for Christmas markets, Chicago and Boston both offer plenty of nice places.
Chicago offers some nice Christmas markets. Shopping is a highlight of a trip to the city, and the Christkindlmarkt is not to be missed.
The Christmas markets in Boston offer plenty to see during the holidays. There are a number of European style Christmas markets that pop up during the holiday season around town.
You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Chicago or Boston.
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.
Boston is a very family-friendly destination. Popular activities for all ages include the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and exploring the history, gardens, and parks around town.
Both Chicago and Boston 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.
Boston is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy history will enjoy exploring the city. Take a swan boat ride in the Public Garden and wander the unique route along the Freedom Trail.
Chicago and Boston 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 Boston. Like most larger American cities, the city has a handful of hostels to choose from.
Chicago and Boston are comparable places to visit for students.
Students come from all over the world to visit Chicago. The city has a large number of universities that bring in students from around the country and around the globe.
Boston is a great destination for students. It is a city of students, with a number of world renowned universities located here including Harvard University, Boston College, and MIT.
You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Chicago and Boston.
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 in Boston is top-notch. There's the T, which is the subway, as well as a trolley, bus, and water transportation system.
Chicago and Boston 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.
Boston is a very easy city to get around on foot. The many parks and compact neighborhoods are best explored on foot.
In either Chicago or Boston, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.
The ideal length of time for a trip to Chicago is 3-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Boston is 3-5 days.
Chicago is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.
In Boston, you'll find food and shopping. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the museums. This classic offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
Chicago is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
In Boston, you'll find shopping and museums. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Visiting the old town is also a must. One reason most visitors come is for the museums. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chicago. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
Boston is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Boston has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the diverse big city of Chicago. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boston. Many people enjoy the theater and nightlife when visiting Boston. One reason most visitors come is for the museums. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
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 Boston is $203. 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 Boston in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Chicago or Boston? 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.
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.
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chicago:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Boston are as follows:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Boston:
Prices for flights to both Boston 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.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Chicago:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chicago.
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Boston.
Here are a few typical costs in Chicago for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in Chicago for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Boston are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Boston are as follows:
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, The Best Museums in Chicago, Free Things to Do in Boston, Must-See Monuments and Memorials In Boston, and The Best Things To Do in Boston with Kids.
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chicago:
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:
When comparing the travel costs between Chicago and Boston, we can see that Chicago 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.
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.
The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Chicago and Boston. Many visitors come to Chicago in the summer for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, most visitors come to Boston for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.
In the summer, Chicago is around the same temperature as Boston. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chicago in July are around 77°F (25°C), and Boston is about 73°F (23°C).
People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Boston this time of the year. In Chicago, it's very sunny this time of the year. Chicago usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Boston during summer. Chicago gets 326 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 304 hours of full sun in the summer.
Chicago gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Chicago usually receives more rain than Boston. Chicago gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the summer.
The autumn brings many poeple to Chicago as well as Boston. Most visitors come to Chicago for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Additionally, the autumn months attract visitors to Boston because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.
In October, Chicago is generally around the same temperature as Boston. Temperatures in Chicago average around 56°F (14°C), and Boston stays around 54°F (12°C).
In the autumn, Chicago often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Boston. Chicago gets 195 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 194 hours of full sun.
Chicago usually gets less rain in October than Boston. Chicago gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain this time of the year.
Both Boston and Chicago are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Chicago because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Boston this time of year.
It's quite cold in Boston in the winter. The weather in Chicago can be very cold. Chicago is much colder than Boston in the winter. The temperature in Chicago is usually 25°F (-4°C) in January, and Boston stays around 29°F (-2°C).
Chicago usually receives less sunshine than Boston during winter. Chicago gets 134 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 153 hours of full sun in the winter.
In January, Chicago usually receives less rain than Boston. Chicago gets 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain each month for the winter.
Both Boston and Chicago during the spring are popular places to visit. The beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Chicago this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Boston for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.
In the spring, Chicago is a little warmer than Boston. Typically, the spring temperatures in Chicago in April are around 52°F (11°C), and Boston is about 48°F (9°C).
In Boston, 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 Boston. Chicago gets 218 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 225 hours of full sun.
It rains a lot this time of the year in Chicago. Chicago usually gets more rain in April than Boston. Chicago gets 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain this time of the year.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||25°F (-4°C)||1.9 inches (47 mm)||29°F (-2°C)||3.4 inches (87 mm)|
|Feb||29°F (-2°C)||1.4 inches (35 mm)||30°F (-1°C)||3.7 inches (94 mm)|
|Mar||41°F (5°C)||3.7 inches (93 mm)||38°F (4°C)||3.7 inches (95 mm)|
|Apr||52°F (11°C)||4.3 inches (108 mm)||48°F (9°C)||3.5 inches (89 mm)|
|May||63°F (17°C)||3 inches (75 mm)||58°F (15°C)||3.2 inches (82 mm)|
|Jun||73°F (23°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)||68°F (20°C)||3.1 inches (79 mm)|
|Jul||77°F (25°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)||73°F (23°C)||2.9 inches (74 mm)|
|Aug||76°F (24°C)||3.5 inches (90 mm)||72°F (22°C)||3.2 inches (82 mm)|
|Sep||68°F (20°C)||3.8 inches (96 mm)||64°F (18°C)||3.1 inches (79 mm)|
|Oct||56°F (14°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)||54°F (12°C)||3.3 inches (84 mm)|
|Nov||44°F (7°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)||45°F (7°C)||4.3 inches (108 mm)|
|Dec||31°F (-1°C)||2.8 inches (71 mm)||33°F (1°C)||3.9 inches (99 mm)|
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