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

Should you visit Cincinnati or Chicago?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Cincinnati or Chicago? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Cincinnati or Chicago?

Cincinnati

Located on the north banks of the Ohio River, Cincinnati is the third largest city in Ohio having grown from its industrial heritage. It is situated in the southwest part of the state, separated from the Kentucky border by the river. The city is best known for its striking skyline and unique chili.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Chicago or Cincinnati?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cincinnati is $146, while the average daily cost in Chicago is $221. 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 Cincinnati and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cincinnati $82
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cincinnati $164
    Chicago $304
Compare Hotels in Cincinnati and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Cincinnati or Chicago? 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 Cincinnati


Hotels in Chicago


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: Cincinnati Hotel Prices and Chicago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cincinnati $20
    Chicago $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cincinnati

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cincinnati:

  • Cincinnati to Cincinnati Airport (CVG) - Departure Private Transfer: $122

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:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago City by SUV: $96
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago by Sedan Car: $79
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago City by Minibus: $333
  • Chicago Airport Private Arrival Transfer by SUV: $115
  • Chicago Airport Private Arrival Transfer by Sedan: $96
  • Chicago Airport Private Departure Transfer by SUV: $115
  • Chicago Airport Private Departure Transfer by Sedan: $96
  • Chicago Airport Transfer by Private Sedan: $170
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: Midway Airport MDW to O'Hare Airport ORD in Luxury SUV: $133
  • Chicago Airport Transfers : Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD by Luxury SUV: $119
  • Chicago Airport Transfers : Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD in Business Car: $100
  • Chicago Airport Transfers : Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD in Luxury Car: $123

Is it cheaper to fly into Cincinnati or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and Cincinnati 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
    Cincinnati $44
    Chicago $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cincinnati

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

  • Cincy Vegan Streetcar Food Tour in Cincinnati: $69
  • Cincinnati Streetcar Food Tour + Findlay Market: $69
  • Cincinnati Walking Sightseeing Tour with Pizza and Ice-cream: $180

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cincinnati $21
    Chicago $34

Tours and Activities in Cincinnati

Here are a few actual costs in Cincinnati for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Tour of Historic Wesleyan Cemetery: $20
  • Downtown Cincinnati Self-Guided Walking Tour with Smartphone: $24
  • Cellarman's Tour: $26
  • Ohio River: Sunset Sightseeing Cruise: $28
  • 1919: The year that changed baseball tour: $30
  • 1-Hour Escape Room Adventure: $36
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $36
  • The Original Findlay Market Tour: $39
  • Best Bites and Sites City Streetcar Tour of Cincinnati: $59
  • Cincinnati Wine & Dessert Tour: $65
  • Cincinnati Ethnic Eats in Over the Rhine Food and Culture Tour: $69
  • Cincy Let's Do Brunch Food, History + Streecar Tour: $74

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
  • Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Millennium Park Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Chicago Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Skip the Line: American Writers Museum Admission Ticket: $14
  • Pilsen Walking Tour of Local Publicly Displayed Art: $15
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Historic Chicago Theatre: $18
  • Chicago Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Windy City Ghost Tour: $24
  • Street Art & Mural Tours By Native 312- Wabash Arts Corridor: $25
  • In the Streets: Milwaukee Ave Guided Bike Tour: $25

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
    Cincinnati $9.11
    Chicago $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Cincinnati

Also in Cincinnati, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Cincinnati Bar Hunt: Cin-sational Cincinnati Bar Crawl: $12
  • Craft Brewery 3 Stop Hop: $64
  • Cincinnati Original Craft Brewery Tour: $65

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


When is the best time to visit Cincinnati or Chicago?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cincinnati or Chicago in the Summer?

Both Chicago and Cincinnati are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to Chicago for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Cincinnati is around the same temperature as Chicago. Typically, the summer temperatures in Cincinnati in July are around 79°F (26°C), and Chicago is about 77°F (25°C).

It's quite sunny in Chicago. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cincinnati. Cincinnati usually receives less sunshine than Chicago during summer. Cincinnati gets 298 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chicago. In July, Cincinnati usually receives less rain than Chicago. Cincinnati gets 3.5 inches (90 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cincinnati 79°F (26°C) 
    Chicago 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Cincinnati or Chicago in the Autumn?

Both Chicago and Cincinnati during the autumn are popular places to visit. Furthermore, many visitors come to Chicago in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Cincinnati is generally around the same temperature as Chicago. Temperatures in Cincinnati average around 58°F (15°C), and Chicago stays around 56°F (14°C).

In the autumn, Cincinnati often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago. Cincinnati gets 188 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun.

Cincinnati usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Chicago. Cincinnati gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cincinnati 58°F (15°C) 
    Chicago 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Cincinnati or Chicago in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Cincinnati and Chicago. Furthermore, most visitors come to Chicago for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

Chicago can be very cold during winter. Cincinnati can get quite cold in the winter. Cincinnati is much warmer than Chicago in the winter. The temperature in Cincinnati is usually 31°F (-0°C) in January, and Chicago stays around 25°F (-4°C).

Cincinnati usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago during winter. Cincinnati gets 129 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Cincinnati usually receives more rain than Chicago. Cincinnati gets 2.2 inches (57 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cincinnati 31°F (-0°C) 
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Cincinnati or Chicago in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Cincinnati as well as Chicago. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Chicago because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Cincinnati is a little warmer than Chicago. Typically, the spring temperatures in Cincinnati in April are around 56°F (14°C), and Chicago is about 52°F (11°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chicago. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Cincinnati this time of the year. In the spring, Cincinnati often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago. Cincinnati gets 215 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Chicago. Cincinnati usually gets less rain in April than Chicago. Cincinnati gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cincinnati 56°F (14°C) 
    Chicago 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Chicago and Cincinnati

Cincinnati Chicago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 31°F (-0°C) 2.2 inches (57 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Feb 35°F (2°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Mar 46°F (8°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 74°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 77°F (25°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Sep 71°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 58°F (15°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Nov 48°F (9°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Dec 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)


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Cincinnati vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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