A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Chicago vs. Lancaster for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chicago or Lancaster?

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

Where Should I go: Chicago or Lancaster?

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.

Lancaster

The largest city in Pennsylvania's Dutch Country, Lancaster is surrounded by scenic landscape and a unique culture. The area is predominately agricultural in nature and you will find lush farms growing crops and produce most seasons. The Amish communities are spread throughout the area and although they remain relatively isolated, they are acknowledged by fellow community members and their customs are respected. The Amish community prides themselves on minimalist living. They do not use electricity and travel around in horse and buggy, a sight which you will grow accustomed to while you're in the area. They are excellent farmers and craftsmen and you can find shops that proudly sell Amish made goods. Their close are old fashion in nature. Women generally wear long dresses and bonnets while men wear black suits and hats. The Amish community has their own churches and their own schools. There are a handful of places where you can learn more about the Amish community in the area. The Amish Experience F/X Theater offers shows and the People's Place Quilt Museum shows some handicrafts. It is possible to take an Amish Country tour or visit the Mennonite Information Center for more information.

Which city is cheaper, Lancaster 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 Lancaster is $146. 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 Lancaster in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chicago $152
    Lancaster $73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chicago $304
    Lancaster $146
Compare Hotels in Chicago and Lancaster

Looking for a hotel in Chicago or Lancaster? 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 Chicago


Hotels in Lancaster


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: Chicago Hotel Prices and Lancaster Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chicago $29
    Lancaster $55
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 Sedan Transfer between ORD and Indianapolis IN: $587
  • Private SUV Transfer Between O'Hare airport & Downtown Madison WI: $427
  • Private Sedan Transfer Between O'Hare airport & Downtown Madison WI: $426
  • Departure Private Transfer Chicago to O'Hare Airport ORD in a Minibus: $333
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago City by Minibus: $333
  • Private SUV Transfer Between O'Hare airport & Downtown Milwaukee WI: $298
  • Transfer to Chicago Premium Outlets: $288
  • Private Sedan Transfer Between O'Hare airport & Downtown Milwaukee WI: $266
  • Chicago O'Hare Private Ground Airport/Hotel Transfer - Round-Trip: $256
  • Chicago Midway Airport/Hotel Round Trip Private Ground Transfer: $256
  • Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) to Chicago City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $184
  • Chicago Airport Transfer by Private Sedan: $170

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lancaster

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

  • Private Transfer from Lancaster to Manchester Airport (MAN): $183
  • Private transfer: Lancaster to Lancaster Airport (LNS): $622

Is it cheaper to fly into Chicago or Lancaster?

Prices for flights to both Lancaster 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
    Lancaster $42
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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lancaster

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

  • Private Walking Food Tour in Lancaster: $48

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chicago $34
    Lancaster $15
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 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
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private SUV, ALL Inclusive: $220
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private Sedan: $215
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private Stretch Limousine/8 passengers: $728
  • A Most Magnificent Mile Shopping and Sightseeing Tour: $40
  • A Storied Neighborhood: Dance the dialectic with Bill Ayers on an audio tour: $5.00

Tours and Activities in Lancaster

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Lancaster.

  • Lancaster County: National Toy Train Museum Admission Ticket: $7.50
  • Evening Ghost Tour by Candlelight: $18
  • Ghost Tour of Lancaster: $18
  • Premium Amish Country Tour including Amish Farm and House: $32
  • Truly Authentic Lancaster Experience!: $59
  • Amish Experience Visit-in-Person Tour of 3 Farms: $60
  • Sweet & Savory Tour of Lancaster City!: $60
  • Authentic Tour & Meal with an Amish Family!: $65
  • Lancaster County: Tour and Meal with an Amish Family: $75
  • Lancaster City VIP Restaurant Tour: $75

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
    Lancaster $9.14

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 Lancaster, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Lancaster much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lancaster would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lancaster 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 Lancaster.


When is the best time to visit Chicago or Lancaster?

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 Chicago or Lancaster in the Summer?

Both Lancaster and Chicago during the summer are popular places to visit. The beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Chicago this time of year.

Chicago is around the same temperature as Lancaster in the summer. The temperature in Chicago is usually 77°F (25°C) in July, and Lancaster stays around 77°F (25°C).

In Lancaster, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Chicago. In the summer, Chicago often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster. Chicago gets 326 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 310 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chicago. Chicago usually gets more rain in July than Lancaster. Chicago gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chicago 77°F (25°C) 
    Lancaster 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Chicago or Lancaster in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Chicago and Lancaster. Many travelers come to Chicago for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Chicago is around the same temperature as Lancaster. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Chicago in October are around 56°F (14°C), and Lancaster is about 56°F (13°C).

Chicago usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster during autumn. Chicago gets 195 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 194 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Chicago usually receives less rain than Lancaster. Chicago gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chicago 56°F (14°C) 
    Lancaster 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Chicago or Lancaster in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Chicago as well as Lancaster. Many visitors come to Chicago in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Lancaster can be very cold during winter. Chicago can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Chicago is generally much colder than Lancaster. Temperatures in Chicago average around 25°F (-4°C), and Lancaster stays around 30°F (-1°C).

In the winter, Chicago often gets less sunshine than Lancaster. Chicago gets 134 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 153 hours of full sun.

Chicago usually gets less rain in January than Lancaster. Chicago gets 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C) 
    Lancaster 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Chicago or Lancaster in the Spring?

Both Lancaster and Chicago are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Chicago for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months.

Chicago is around the same temperature as Lancaster in the spring. The temperature in Chicago is usually 52°F (11°C) in April, and Lancaster stays around 53°F (12°C).

It's quite sunny in Lancaster. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chicago. Chicago usually receives less sunshine than Lancaster during spring. Chicago gets 218 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 237 hours of full sun in the spring.

It's quite rainy in Chicago. In April, Chicago usually receives more rain than Lancaster. Chicago gets 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chicago 52°F (11°C) 
    Lancaster 53°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Lancaster and Chicago

Chicago Lancaster
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Feb 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm) 33°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Mar 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Apr 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
May 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Aug 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Sep 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Oct 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Nov 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 35°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)


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Chicago vs. Lancaster Travel Comparison

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