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

Should you visit Chicago or New York City?

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

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.

New York City

The most populated city in the United States, New York City, sits at the mouth of the Hudson River and encompasses both the island of Manhattan as well as the surrounding land on Long Island, most of which is known as Brooklyn. It's a cultural, culinary, theatrical, and art center that has much to offer domestic and international travelers alike. The city covers an area of 305 square miles and has a population of about 8.2 million people in the city proper with 18.7 million in the metropolitan area.

Which city is cheaper, New York City 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 New York City is $238. 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 New York City 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.

For a normal double-occupancy room in New York City, $274 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in New York City, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $137, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chicago $152
    New York City $137
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chicago $304
    New York City $274

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.

New York City food costs typically run travelers around $37 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Chicago $37
    New York City $37
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

Typical Food prices in New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

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

  • Greenwich Village History, Culture, and Food Tour with Local Expert: $129
  • JAPANESE guided tour! Bateaux Dinner Cruise tour with hotel transportation. The best way to enjoy the Manhattan night view from the river & sea. Full course French dinner, live band music included.: $333
  • Limo trip Hotel to Dinner round trip in NEW MKT Limousine: $481

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.

To get around in New York City, the average visitor spends $39 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chicago $29
    New York City $39
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

Typical Local Transportation prices in New York City

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New York City are as follows:


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

Also for New York City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Manhattan Private Luxury Transfer to NYC Airports: $98
  • New York Airport Luxury Departure Transfer via Stretch Limousine, SUV, Sedan: $100
  • New York Airport Luxury Transfer : New York City to Newark Airport: $181
  • New York Airport Private Luxury Departure transfer via Sedan, Limousine or SUV: $159
  • New York Airport Transfers: New York to J.F. Kennedy Airport JFK in Business Car: $124
  • New York City Shared Shuttle Departure Transfer: Hotel to NYC Airports: $30
  • Private Airport Transfer in New York: $180
  • Private All Inclusive New York City Airport Arrival Transfer: $90
  • Private All Inclusive New York City Airport Departure Transfer: $90
  • Private All Inclusive New York Transfer: Airport or Manhattan to Cruise Port: $71
  • Private Arrival Transfer From JFK Airport to NYC Hotel: $166
  • Private Departure Transfer From NYC Hotel to EWR Airport: $165

Is it cheaper to fly into Chicago or New York City?

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.





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.

In New York City, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $77 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chicago $34
    New York City $77
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

Typical Entertainment prices in New York City

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New York City's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

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

  • 9/11 Tribute Museum Admission Ticket: $12
  • Central Park Zoo General Admission Ticket: $14
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ticket: $21
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Ticket Options with Ferry: $21
  • American Museum of Natural History Tickets: $23
  • American Museum of Natural History Admission Ticket: $23
  • St Patrick's Cathedral Official Tour- NOW OPEN: $24
  • Skip the Line: Shake, Rattle and Roll Dueling Pianos Show Ticket: $25
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Ticket: $25
  • The Museum of Modern Art Admission Ticket: $25
  • Whitney Museum of American Art Admission Ticket: $25
  • NOW OPEN: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry Ticket optional Upgrade: $28

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 New York City spend on average $23 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chicago $20
    New York City $23

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 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.

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Chicago vs. New York City Travel Comparison

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