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

Should you visit Cincinnati or Columbus?

Should I visit Cincinnati or Columbus? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

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 $135, 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Cincinnati and Columbus in more detail.




Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $82. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Cincinnati the cost is $164 on average.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $116 in Columbus For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


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


Food

The average traveler spends about $33 per day in Cincinnati for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The average traveler spends about $39 per day in Columbus for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cincinnati $33
    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


Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Cincinnati is $20 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

To get around in Columbus, the average visitor spends $40 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.
    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


Entertainment

Cincinnati's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $21 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.


  • 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
  • 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
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $36
  • The Original Findlay Market Tour: $39
  • Tour of Historic Wesleyan Cemetery: $20

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


Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cincinnati may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $9.11 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • 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.

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Cincinnati vs. Columbus Travel Comparison

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