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

Should you visit Chicago or Seattle?

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 Seattle 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.

Seattle

Situated on the Puget Sound in the state of Washington, Seattle is the largest city in the United States Pacific Northwest. It's a beautiful city surrounded by the water and mountains and filled with evergreen trees. It's also the home of some famous American institutions including Starbucks Coffee, Amazon, and Microsoft. The population of almost 700,000 continues to grow. As of 2014, the city was considered the fastest growing major city in the United States. The entire metropolitan area has about 3.6 million residents, making it the 15th largest metro area in the US. The natural beauty, growing economy, and educational base give Seattle a youthful vibe that keep the city young and energetic.

Which city is cheaper, Seattle 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 Seattle is $156. 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 Seattle 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.

A hotel room in Seattle is about $188 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chicago $152
    Seattle $94
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chicago $304
    Seattle $188

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.

The price of a meal in Seattle can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $38 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Chicago $37
    Seattle $38
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 Seattle

Some typical examples of dining costs in Seattle are as follows:


  • Expresso & cookie at Pier 70
    $7.00
  • Cashews at Pike Place Market
    $6.00
  • 6 Mini Donuts at Pike Place Market
    $3.25
  • Chinese Lunch in International District (for 2)
    $21
  • Breakfast at Lowel's in Pike Place Market (for 2)
    $32
  • Breakfast at French Cafe (for 2)
    $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seattle

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Seattle.

  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 1 Hour: $34
  • Pike Place Market: Walking Food Tour: $48
  • Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour: $56
  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours: $58
  • Pacific Northwest-Style Dinner and Pairing in Seattle: $61
  • Exclusive: Early-Access Food Tour of Pike Place Market: $73
  • Street Theater and Dinner in Seattle's Fremont District: $86
  • Seattle Dinner Cruise: $115

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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $18 per day to get around in Seattle.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chicago $29
    Seattle $18
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:

  • Midway Airport Shared Transfers: $36
  • Private Airport Transfer: O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Chicago: $43
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Chicago to O’Hare International Airport (ORD): $43
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport Shared Transfer: $44
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Chicago to Midway International Airport (MDW): $55
  • Private Airport Transfer: Midway International Airport (MDW) to Chicago: $55
  • Private Departure Transfer from Chicago City to Midway International Airport: $66
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago Midway Airport to Chicago City: $66
  • Private Departure Transfer from Chicago City to O'Hare International Airport: $78
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago City: $78
  • Departure Private Transfer Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD by Sedan Car: $79
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago by Sedan Car: $79

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seattle

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Seattle:


  • Lightrail from Airport (for 2)
    $5.50
  • Roundtrip Ferry to Bainbridge Island (for 2)
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seattle

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seattle:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Seattle Airport SEA to Seattle or Cruise Port - Minibus: $195
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Seattle Airport SEA to Seattle by Business Car: $108
  • Chauffeured Airport Transfer to/from or Sea-Tac International Airport - One Way: $91
  • Cruise Port to Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) - Departure Private Transfer: $71
  • Departure Private Transfer Seattle or Cruise Port to Seattle Airport SEA Minibus: $195
  • Departure Private Transfer from Seattle to Seattle Airport SEA by Business Car: $108
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Seattle Tacoma International Airport to Kent City - One Way: $62
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Seattle Tacoma International Airport to Seattle City - One Way: $149
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Seattle Tacoma International Airport to Tacoma City - One Way: $139
  • One-Way Seattle Private Transfer up to 12 Pax: Cruises, Sea-Tac, Hotels: $319
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seattle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA): $40
  • Private Departure Transfer from Seattle City to SEA Seattle Airport: $46

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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $12 per person, per day in Seattle. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chicago $34
    Seattle $12
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:

  • A Storied Neighborhood: Dance the dialectic with Bill Ayers on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Discovering Vintage The Loop Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Chicago Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Millennium Park Exploration Game & Self-Guided Tour: $12
  • Skip the Line: American Writers Museum Admission Ticket: $14
  • Pilsen Walking Tour of Local Publicly Displayed Art: $15
  • The Chicago Theatre Marquee Tour: $18
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Historic Chicago Theatre: $18
  • Chicago Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Chicago Skydeck Experience Ticket: $22
  • Ghosts of Lincoln Park Walking Tour: $22
  • Best Architecture Walking Tour for Design Lovers: $22

Tours and Activities in Seattle

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Seattle are as follows:

  • Private Auto-guided Tour of Seattle: $4.96
  • Historic Ballard audio tour: A slice of Seattle's quirky history: $5.00
  • Skip the Line: Sky View Observatory Admission Tickets: $10
  • Smith Tower Straight Up Observatory Access Ticket: $12
  • Seattle Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Seattle Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Sky View Observatory General Admission Ticket: $20
  • Seattle Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Haunted Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Seattle Walking Ghost Tour: $23
  • The Museum of Flight Admission Ticket: $25
  • City Harbor Cruise: $26

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.

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in Seattle per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chicago $20
    Seattle $13

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Seattle

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Seattle:

  • Seattle Bar Hunt: Sleepless in Seattle Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Seattle Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Georgetown Brewery Tour: $72
  • Bon Vivant Woodinville Wine Tasting Tour: $98
  • Half-Day Coffee, Chocolate, and Wine Tour: $99
  • Seattle Coffee, Chocolate and Wine Tour: $112
  • Seattle Wine Tour (Hourly): $135
  • 7-Hour Wenatchee White Water Rafting and Wine Tour: $145
  • From Snoqualmie Falls & Woodinville Wine Tasting: $209
  • Seattle All-Inclusive: Hike Mt. Rainier and Wine Tasting: $263


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

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Chicago vs. Seattle Travel Comparison

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