Which city is cheaper, San Diego 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 San Diego can help you decide which place is right for you.
Chicago is a edgey, cosmopolitan, and diverse city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the museums, theater, and nightlife.
San Diego is a fun-filled, hip, and dynamic coastal city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. 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 shopping, museums, and nightlife.
For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Chicago or San Diego.
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).
Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around San Diego. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.
Chicago has a longer list of notable local restaurants than San Diego.
Chicago has long been recognized as a culinary destination. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.
San Diego has a delicious food scene that relies on local flavors. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.
It's hard to distinguish whether Chicago or San Diego 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.
Many people head to San Diego for the nightlife scene. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues.
Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Chicago or San Diego.
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 in San Diego draws a good crowd. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.
San Diego is considered to be a more popular beach destination.
With world-famous beaches, San Diego is a very popular vacation destination. The city has great beaches with tidal pools and interesting sea life at low tide. Popular beaches include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.
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.
Most people pick Chicago for the shopping over San Diego.
Chicago is a world class destination for shoppers. The most famous shopping area is Michigan Avenue and the famous Magnificent Mile.
Shopping is a popular activity when visiting San Diego. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping.
You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Chicago or San Diego.
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.
With a huge array of activities for kids, San Diego is very family-friendly. It has a number of kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more.
Both Chicago and San Diego 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.
San Diego makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.
Chicago and San Diego 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 San Diego. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.
Chicago and San Diego 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.
San Diego is a very popular place to visit for students. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego.
Chicago provides more public transit options than San Diego.
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 is mostly limited in San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around.
Chicago and San Diego 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.
San Diego is a somewhat walkable place. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.
In either Chicago or San Diego, 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 San Diego is 3-5 days.
People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
In San Diego, you'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. This coastal city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.
In San Diego, you'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.
San Diego is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that San Diego has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Chicago is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Diego. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. One week may feel like too much time here 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 San Diego is $161. 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 San Diego in more detail.
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chicago:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:
Also for San Diego, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Prices for flights to both San Diego 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.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:
For San Diego, 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:
For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Diego.
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chicago:
Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chicago and San Diego, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is San Diego much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Diego would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Diego 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 San Diego.
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