Which place is cheaper, New York City 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 New York City 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. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.
New York City is a vibrant, energetic, and cosmopolitan city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.
You'll generally find more things to do in New York City than Chicago. New York City is bigger than Chicago, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. New York City is better known for its christmas markets, while Chicago is more popular for its beaches. New York City is more touristy than Chicago and is popular for its high-reaching skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, world-class theater scene, and endless energy. Also, New York City is famous for The Statue of Liberty. Chicago is well known for its thriving sports scene, its iconic local cuisine, and its world class shopping at the Magnificent Mile.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between New York City 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 New York City.
You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Chicago on the map. There are countless landmarks, museums, and iconic sights in the area. 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 New York City from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building. This is a city that is filled with iconic landmarks and you could spend weeks here and still not see it all.
With a variety of venues, both Chicago and New York City provide first-rate 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.
Famous for its theaters and plays, you'll find world-renowned shows in New York City. Visiting Broadway is a quintessential NYC experience. Whether you enjoy the theater or simply want to experience something new, seeing a Broadway show is a true bucket list activity.
There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at first-rate restaurants in both Chicago and New York City.
Chicago has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. With everything from award-winning luxury restaurants to local dives, this city has something for everyone. It also has very distinct local flavors and dishes that create an identity and bring great pride to the locals. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.
Known for it's food and restaurant scene, New York City is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, with everything from local dives to Michelin star options. There are many neighborhoods that are notable for their ethnic cuisine, particularly Little Italy and Chinatown. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.
It's hard to distinguish whether Chicago or New York City has a better nightlife scene.
Chicago is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. It has a wide range of activities at night, with everything from theater and comedy clubs to dance venues, sporting events, and local bars. It's easy to fill many evenings with whatever activity appeals to you. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.
New York City has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. There are world class bars and clubs, but also local venues that have a more relaxed atmosphere. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.
Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Chicago or New York City.
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.
New York City is known as a music capital around the world. Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.
Chicago is a good destination for its beaches. However, New York City is not a beach destination.
Chicago offers a nice beach destination. While you don't immediately think of beaches when you think of Chicago, there are some nice beaches by the lake. If the weather is nice, it's a great area to spend some time.
New York City is not a beach destination.
Shopping is a popular activity in both New York City and Chicago.
Chicago is a world class destination for shoppers. There are countless neighborhoods that are filled with boutiques, local vendors, and art galleries. The city has some of the country's best shopping opportunities, and the most notable area is the famous Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile.
People travel from around the world to go shopping in New York City. The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items. New York is known for its many flea markets where you can find vintage items at a good price. And if you're looking to pick up a souvenir shirt or knick knack, there are plenty of souvenir shops around town as well.
New York City is renowned for its Christmas activities. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for its Christmas holiday experiences.
New York City is a world class destination for shoppers. Christmas in the city is a quintessential experience. From the Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center to seeing a live performance of the Nutcracker, everyone enjoys the holidays in New York.
Chicago is a very popular destination during Christmas. There's a number of seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and excellent shopping.
New York City is a great destination for its Christmas markets. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for visiting Christmas markets.
New York City has a lively atmosphere around its Christmas markets. There are a number of Christmas markets that pop up around town during the holiday season. Nothing will get you more in the holiday spirit than wandering these unique venues.
Chicago has Christmas markets worth visiting. Shopping is a highlight of a trip to the city, and the Christkindlmarkt is not to be missed.
Chicago is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, New York City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.
With a huge array of activities for kids, Chicago is very family-friendly. 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. It's easy to keep kids entertained in this very kid-focused city.
New York City is a very kid-friendly city. The city has many activities for kids of all ages including world class museums, beautifully designed playgrounds, and theater shows designed just for young ones. There are many kid-friendly restaurants as well and older kids will enjoy visiting the iconic landmarks in this world-class city.
New York City is renowned for couples. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.
For those traveling as a couple, New York City has plenty to offer. From a beautiful carriage ride through Central Park, to a romantic river cruise at night, there is an endless list of unique activities that couples can enjoy in the city. Whether you're interested in theater, the arts, music, or nightlife, this city has it all.
Chicago is a nice destination for couples. Couples will enjoy exploring the city's vibrant theater scene and diverse neighborhoods. There are many varied restaurants and entertainment options that make for a great date night. There are also sporting events, parks, and gardens where couples can explore.
New York City is a great destination for backpackers. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for backpackers and budget travelers.
New York City is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. It isn't a particularly budget-friendly destination, but it does get its share of backpackers, so you'll find a nice list of hostels and affordable hangouts that are perfect for the backpacker crowd. This is probably one of the most popular cities for backpackers in the entire United States.
It's common for backpackers to visit Chicago. The city doesn't have a huge backpacker vibe, but it does have a number of hostels that help keep costs in check.
Chicago and New York City are first-rate 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. It's a huge international city with economic ties and many opportunities connected to the universities.
New York City is a great destination for students. The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.
You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Chicago and New York City.
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 New York City is top-notch. The city has one of the largest subway systems in the world. There's also an elaborate bus system, ferry system, and yellow taxis all around town.
New York City is renowned for its ease of walking around. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for its walkability.
Getting around New York City on foot is easy. The majority of the neighborhoods in Manhattan are very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Most people prefer not to drive here as it can be overwhelming and chaotic.
Chicago is very walkable. The city has many restaurants, sights, and hotels that are easily accessible on foot.
Both Chicago and New York City have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in New York City than in Chicago. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Chicago, and 3-7 days is enough time in New York City.
Families should spend more time in Chicago than New York City. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Chicago, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in New York City than Chicago. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in New York City that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in New York City than Chicago 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 New York City.
Chicago is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.
In New York City, you'll find food and shopping. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chicago. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
In New York City, you'll find shopping and museums. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
Chicago is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.
New York City is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that New York City has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
You'll find theater and nightlife around the city of Chicago. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in New York City. In New York City, you'll find theater and nightlife. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Chicago is $279, while the average daily cost in New York City is $316. 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 Chicago and New York City in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Chicago or New York City? 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 New York City are as follows:
Also for New York City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Prices for flights to both New York City 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.
For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
For New York City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
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:
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New York City's activities, tours, and tickets:
For New York City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
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, The Best Things to do in New York City with Kids, Things to Do in Central Park in NYC, and The Best Museums in New York City.
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chicago:
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New York City:
When comparing the travel costs between Chicago and New York City, we can see that New York City 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.
New York City is bigger, and its population is about 2.8 times larger than the population of Chicago. When comparing the population of Chicago vs. New York City, 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 and the activities that interest you.
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.
The summer brings many poeple to Chicago as well as New York City. Many visitors come to Chicago in the summer for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, most visitors come to New York City for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.
In the summer, Chicago is around the same temperature as New York City. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chicago in July average around 77°F (25°C), and New York City averages at about 77°F (25°C).
It's quite rainy in New York City. Chicago receives a lot of rain in the summer. Chicago usually gets less rain in July than New York City. Chicago gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 4.5 inches (114 mm) of rain this time of the year.
Both New York City and Chicago are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. 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. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to New York City 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 New York City. Daily temperatures in Chicago average around 56°F (14°C), and New York City fluctuates around 57°F (14°C).
In October, Chicago usually receives less rain than New York City. Chicago gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.
Both New York City and Chicago during the winter are popular places to visit. 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 New York City this time of year.
It's quite cold in New York City in the winter. The weather in Chicago can be very cold. Chicago is much colder than New York City in the winter. The daily temperature in Chicago averages around 25°F (-4°C) in January, and New York City fluctuates around 31°F (-1°C).
Chicago usually gets less rain in January than New York City. Chicago gets 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain this time of the year.
The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Chicago and New York City. 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 New York City for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.
In the spring, Chicago is around the same temperature as New York City. Typically, the spring temperatures in Chicago in April average around 52°F (11°C), and New York City averages at about 52°F (11°C).
Chicago gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Chicago usually receives more rain than New York City. Chicago gets 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 3.8 inches (98 mm) of rain each month for the spring.
|Chicago||New York City|
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||25°F (-4°C)||1.9 inches (47 mm)||31°F (-1°C)||3.4 inches (86 mm)|
|Feb||29°F (-2°C)||1.4 inches (35 mm)||33°F (1°C)||3 inches (77 mm)|
|Mar||41°F (5°C)||3.7 inches (93 mm)||42°F (6°C)||3.9 inches (98 mm)|
|Apr||52°F (11°C)||4.3 inches (108 mm)||52°F (11°C)||3.8 inches (98 mm)|
|May||63°F (17°C)||3 inches (75 mm)||63°F (17°C)||4.1 inches (105 mm)|
|Jun||73°F (23°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)||72°F (22°C)||3.2 inches (82 mm)|
|Jul||77°F (25°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)||77°F (25°C)||4.5 inches (114 mm)|
|Aug||76°F (24°C)||3.5 inches (90 mm)||76°F (24°C)||3.9 inches (99 mm)|
|Sep||68°F (20°C)||3.8 inches (96 mm)||68°F (20°C)||3.7 inches (93 mm)|
|Oct||56°F (14°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)||57°F (14°C)||3.1 inches (78 mm)|
|Nov||44°F (7°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)||47°F (8°C)||3.9 inches (99 mm)|
|Dec||31°F (-1°C)||2.8 inches (71 mm)||36°F (2°C)||3.4 inches (88 mm)|
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