A Travel Price Comparison for Ohio Cincinnati vs. Columbus for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cincinnati or Columbus?

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

Should I visit Cincinnati or Columbus? 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 Columbus?

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.

Columbus

The capital city of Ohio, Columbus sits at the meeting point of America's Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Appalachia, and the Plains. It is also home of Ohio State University, which is a major financial and economic force in the city. You'll likely need a car to navigate the city, although there is a bus system, COTA, which can take you to some of Columbus' highlights.

Which city is cheaper, Columbus 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 Columbus is $126. 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 Columbus in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cincinnati $82
    Columbus $58
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cincinnati $164
    Columbus $116
Compare Hotels in Cincinnati and Columbus

Looking for a hotel in Cincinnati or Columbus? 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 Columbus


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 Columbus Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cincinnati $20
    Columbus $40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cincinnati

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cincinnati:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

Also for Columbus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $87
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $174
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $87

Is it cheaper to fly into Cincinnati or Columbus?

Prices for flights to both Columbus 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
    Columbus $39

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cincinnati $21
    Columbus $37

Tours and Activities in Cincinnati

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

  • 1919: The year that changed baseball tour: $30
  • Best Bites and Sites City Streetcar Tour of Cincinnati: $59
  • Cellarman's Tour: $26
  • Cincinnati Ethnic Eats in Over the Rhine Food and Culture Tour: $69
  • Cincinnati Wine & Dessert Tour: $65
  • 1-Hour Escape Room Adventure: $36
  • Cincy Let's Do Brunch Food, History + Streecar Tour: $74
  • Downtown Cincinnati Self-Guided Walking Tour with Smartphone: $24
  • Explore Over-the-Rhine Cruise: $358
  • Ohio River: Sunset Sightseeing Cruise: $28
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $36
  • The Original Findlay Market Tour: $39

Tours and Activities in Columbus

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

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus: $11
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $21
  • Central Park Bike Tour: $53
  • New York City: 3-Hour City Highlights Guided Bike Tour: $60

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cincinnati $9.11
    Columbus $16

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


When comparing the travel costs between Cincinnati and Columbus, we can see that Cincinnati 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.


When is the best time to visit Cincinnati or Columbus?

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.

Should I visit Cincinnati or Columbus in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Cincinnati as well as Columbus.

In July, Cincinnati is generally around the same temperature as Columbus. Temperatures in Cincinnati average around 79°F (26°C), and Columbus stays around 77°F (25°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbus. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Cincinnati this time of the year. In the summer, Cincinnati often gets more sunshine than Columbus. Cincinnati gets 298 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 254 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Columbus. Cincinnati usually gets less rain in July than Columbus. Cincinnati gets 3.5 inches (90 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Cincinnati or Columbus in the Autumn?

Both Columbus and Cincinnati are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

Cincinnati is around the same temperature as Columbus in the autumn. The temperature in Cincinnati is usually 58°F (15°C) in October, and Columbus stays around 57°F (14°C).

Cincinnati usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Columbus during autumn. Cincinnati gets 188 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 179 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Cincinnati usually receives around the same amount of rain as Columbus. Cincinnati gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cincinnati 58°F (15°C) 
    Columbus 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Cincinnati or Columbus in the Winter?

Both Columbus and Cincinnati during the winter are popular places to visit.

Columbus can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Cincinnati. In the winter, Cincinnati is much warmer than Columbus. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cincinnati in January are around 31°F (-0°C), and Columbus is about 30°F (-1°C).

In the winter, Cincinnati often gets more sunshine than Columbus. Cincinnati gets 129 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 105 hours of full sun.

Cincinnati usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Columbus. Cincinnati gets 2.2 inches (57 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cincinnati 31°F (-0°C) 
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Cincinnati or Columbus in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Cincinnati and Columbus.

In April, Cincinnati is generally a little warmer than Columbus. Temperatures in Cincinnati average around 56°F (14°C), and Columbus stays around 54°F (12°C).

In Cincinnati, it's very sunny this time of the year. Cincinnati usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Columbus during spring. Cincinnati gets 215 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 200 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Cincinnati usually receives more rain than Columbus. Cincinnati gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cincinnati 56°F (14°C) 
    Columbus 54°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Columbus and Cincinnati

Cincinnati Columbus
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 31°F (-0°C) 2.2 inches (57 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Feb 35°F (2°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm) 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Mar 46°F (8°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jun 74°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Aug 77°F (25°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Sep 71°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Oct 58°F (15°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Nov 48°F (9°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)


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Cincinnati vs. Columbus Travel Comparison

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