A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Chicago vs. Detroit

Should you visit Chicago or Detroit?

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 Detroit can help you decide which place is right for you.

Chicago

Located in the Midwest, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. It has a population of almost 3 million and a metropolitan area that covers more than 10,000 square kilometers. It is also a hub for music, comedy and theater. It's skyline is beautiful with modern skyscrapers and Lake Michigan as a backdrop. It is easy to stay entertained in Chicago for weeks. There are world class museums, upscale or eclectic shopping opportunities, and impressive architecture.

Detroit

Detroit is the largest city in the Midwestern state of Michigan. Near Downtown, the neoclassical Detroit Institute of Arts is famed for the Detroit Industry Murals painted by Diego Rivera, and inspired by the city's ties to the auto industry, giving it the nickname "Motor City." Detroit is also the birthplace of Motown Records, whose chart-topping history is on display at their original headquarters, Hitsville U.S.A.

Which city is cheaper, Detroit 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 Detroit is $107. 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 Chicago and Detroit in more detail.



Accommodation

Chicago's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $304. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $152.

The prices for places to stay in Detroit can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $51, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $102.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chicago $152
    Detroit $51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chicago $304
    Detroit $102

Food

The price of a meal in Chicago can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $37 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $15 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

In Detroit travelers spend around $36 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Chicago $37
    Detroit $36
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
  • Factories to Calories Fulton Market Food Tour: $46
  • Learn to Make Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza with a Local: $49
  • Chicago Crime & Pizza Walk: $50
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Chicago History and Food Tour: $59
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: River North Historical Food Tour: $61
  • Signature Food Tour at Chicago's Navy Pier: $64
  • Best in Chow: Chicago River North Food Tour: $64
  • Private Fusion Cooking Class in Downtown Chicago: $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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Detroit

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

  • Fresh Mediterranean Inspired Cooking Class in a Unique Detroit Home: $94
  • Detroit Revival Food Tours: $139

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $29 per day to get around in Chicago.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Detroit than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $30 on transportation in Detroit on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chicago $29
    Detroit $30
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:

  • Transfers in Chicago: $107
  • Transfer to Chicago Premium Outlets: $288
  • Transfer from O'Hare International Airport to Chicago: $93
  • Private transfer: Chicago to Chicago International Airport (MDW): $105
  • Private transfer: Chicago International Airport (MDW) to Chicago: $105
  • Private Transfer: O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Chicago: $133
  • Private Transfer: Chicago to O'Hare International Airport (ORD): $133
  • Private Transfer from Chicago City to Chicago (ORD) Airport: $113
  • Private Transfer from Chicago City to Chicago (MDW) Airport: $113
  • Private Transfer from Chicago (ORD) Airport to Chicago City: $113
  • Private Transfer from Chicago (MDW) Airport to Chicago City: $113
  • Private Sedan Transfer from Chicago Downtown to O`Hare airport: $100

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Detroit

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

  • Detroit - Wayne County Airport One Way Transfer: $80
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $106
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $212
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $106
  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $43
  • Private Transfer From Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Detroit City: One Way Arrival Transfer: $149
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $122
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $122
  • Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW): $622
  • Transfer from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Detroit: $100

Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $34 per person, per day in Chicago. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing expenses in Detroit, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $17 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chicago $34
    Detroit $17
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:

  • 2 Hour Chicago Art and Architecture Segway Tour: $71
  • 2 Hour Pier Fireworks and Evening Segway Tour in Chicago: $65
  • 2 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private Stretch Limo / 8 Passengers: $250
  • 2-Hour Chicago City Lights and Skyline Segway Tour: $76
  • 2-Hour Chicago Fireworks Segway Tour: $76
  • 2-Hour Chicago Lakefront and Museum Campus Segway Tour: $73
  • 2-Hour Haunted Segway Tour of Chicago: $76
  • 2-Hour History of Chicago Architecture and Art Segway Tour: $75
  • 3 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private SUV, ALL Inclusive: $392
  • 3-Hour Segway Tour of Chicago: $76
  • 360 Chicago Observation Deck Admission: Skip the Ticket Desk: $25
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private SUV, ALL Inclusive: $220

Tours and Activities in Detroit

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

  • Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Entry & Guided Tour: $15
  • 2020 Preservation Detroit Saturday Eastern Market Tour: $18
  • The Rise, Fall & Renewal Walking Tour: $29
  • Downtown Detroit Walking Tour with a Local: $29
  • Corktown is Popping! Small Group Walking Tour: $29
  • Detroit Walking Tour Including Rides on the People Mover: $29
  • Detroit Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $30
  • Detroit Beer History Walking Tour: $39
  • Pre Mother's Day Detroit Shopping Tour: $49
  • 90 minute Segway Experience: $64
  • Foods and Flavors of Detroit Private Tour: $130

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chicago may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $20 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Detroit spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chicago $20
    Detroit $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


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

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Chicago vs. Detroit Travel Comparison

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