A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Cincinnati vs. Rapid City for Attractions, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Cincinnati or Rapid City?

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

Should I visit Cincinnati or Rapid City? 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.

Cincinnati

Cincinnati is a blue collar, authentic, and hard-working city. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a activity-filled, friendly, and fascinating city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and food.

Cincinnati and Rapid City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to Mount Rushmore
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Cincinnati or Rapid City?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Rapid City than Cincinnati. While Cincinnati is larger than Rapid City, Rapid City has more sights and attractions for tourists. Rapid City is better known for its museums, food, and hiking, while Cincinnati is more popular for its nightlife. Rapid City is more touristy than Cincinnati and is popular for its proximity to Mount Rushmore and many other iconic parks. Also, Rapid City is famous for Mount Rushmore. Cincinnati is well known for its breweries and down-to-earth personality.

How is Cincinnati different from Rapid City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Rapid City and Cincinnati. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cincinnati or Rapid City?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Rapid City is a world-class destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Cincinnati is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Rapid City are among the most recognizable in the world. You'll find a wide variety of museums and landmarks nearby. Popular places to visit that aren't far from town include the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, the South Dakota Air & Space Museum, and the Journey Museum & Learning Center. There's also the Museum of Geology and the National Presidential Wax Museum. And of course, there's the iconic Mount Rushmore.

Many visitors head to Cincinnati specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. You'll find both traditional and quirky museums around town. For outside-the-box, check out the American Sign Museum or the Behringer-Crawford Museum. Art museums include the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Contemporary Arts Center, and the Taft Museum of Art. Other popular museums include the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.


Is the Food Better in Cincinnati or Rapid City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Rapid City is a popular place for its restaurant scene. However, Cincinnati is not a culinary destination.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Rapid City. You'll find local restaurants in town that serve local specialties such as chislic (grilled meat), fry bread, and walleye (a local fish.

Cincinnati is not a culinary destination.

Is Cincinnati or Rapid City Better for Nightlife?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Cincinnati is very good for nightlife and partying. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Cincinnati. The nightlife scene is diverse and includes music venues, breweries, and nightclubs. In addition to the city's downtown, you'll find trendy places to hang out in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Breweries are popular in the city, in part because of its German roots.

Rapid City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. You'll find some places with live music and good drinks, but the city isn't really known for its nightlife scene.

Is Cincinnati or Rapid City Better for Hiking?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Rapid City is well known for its hiking experiences. However, Cincinnati is not a hiking destination.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Rapid City. The region is filled with national parks, state parks, and natural areas with wonderful hiking trails. You don't have to travel far to get into nature and experience some of South Dakota's best natural beauty.

Cincinnati is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Cincinnati or Rapid City?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Shopping is a popular activity in both Rapid City and Cincinnati.

Cincinnati offers some nice shopping areas. There are large shopping malls and retail outlets. You'll also find local boutiques in the Montgomery or Mariemont areas.

Rapid City has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Rapid City has some interesting local shops as well as larger malls and shopping centers.

Is Cincinnati or Rapid City Better for Families?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Rapid City is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Cincinnati is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Rapid City is a very family-friendly destination. Nearby national parks and outdoor activities, this is the perfect base for exploring the area with kids. Nearby you'll find the Big Thunder Gold Mine, which has tours and lets you pan for gold, and Custer State Park, which is filled with wildlife. Wall Drug is worth a stopoff, as is Dinosaur Park.

Cincinnati offers lots of family activities. There's a surprising number of kid-friendly activities around town like the Cincinnati Zoo, the Cincinnati Museum Center, Newport Aquarium, and Smale Riverfront Park.

Is Cincinnati or Rapid City Better for Couples?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Rapid City is well known for its romantic activities. However, Cincinnati is not particularly known for couples.

Couples visit Rapid City frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples will enjoy the amazing national parks in the area and the easy access to iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore. There are many opportunities for wildlife spotting as well as great hiking trails and unique landscapes.

Cincinnati is not always the best place to visit for a couple. If you do find yourself in town for a few days, there are several good restaurants and a number of music venues that can keep the visit fun and entertaining.


Is Cincinnati or Rapid City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Rapid City is well known for backpackers. Also, Cincinnati is still popular, but not quite as popular for backpackers and budget travelers.

Rapid City is a great city to visit for backpackers. Backpackers will appreciate the surrounding natural beauty and the nearby national parks.

Cincinnati is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are actually a couple of hostels in town for backpackers or students.

Is Cincinnati or Rapid City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Cincinnati is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Cincinnati has some public transit options. There are two bus systems around town - the METRO and TANK bus systems. There's also a streetcar that travels through the downtown.

Public transit is generally limited in Rapid City. While there are a few buses, this isn't a realistic option for traveling through the region.

Is Cincinnati or Rapid City a more walkable city?

Cincinnati
Rapid City

Cincinnati is a very popular place for its high level of walkability. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

Cincinnati is a very walkable city. There are several surprisingly walkable areas, particularly downtown and the nearby neighborhoods.

Rapid City is generally not very walkable. While the downtown is walkable, most visitors use the city as a base for exploring the surrounding areas, and this requires a car.


For even more information, also check out Is Cincinnati Worth Visiting? and Is Rapid City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Rapid City or Cincinnati?

How long in Cincinnati or Rapid City?

It's fun to spend time in either Cincinnati or Rapid City. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Rapid City due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Cincinnati, and 2-4 days is enough time in Rapid City.

Families should spend more time in Rapid City than Cincinnati. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Rapid City, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Rapid City than Cincinnati. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Rapid City that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Rapid City than Cincinnati if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Rapid City.


  • How many days in Cincinnati or Rapid City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cincinnati 1-2 
    Rapid City 2-4

One day in Cincinnati or Rapid City?

With museums and nightlife around the blue collar city of Cincinnati, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Cincinnati, one day is sufficent for most.

With museums and food around the activity-filled city of Rapid City, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Cincinnati or Rapid City?

With nightlife and shopping around the destination of Cincinnati, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

With food and shopping around the destination of Rapid City, there's plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Cincinnati or Rapid City?

Cincinnati, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Rapid City, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


A week in Cincinnati or Rapid City?

Cincinnati is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Rapid City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Photography Tours in United States of America, The Best Camping Tours in United States of America, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, and The Best Polar Tours & Cruises in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Rapid City or Cincinnati?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cincinnati is $183, while the average daily cost in Rapid City is $116. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cincinnati and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cincinnati $102
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cincinnati $204
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in Cincinnati and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Cincinnati or Rapid City? 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 Rapid City


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 Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cincinnati $25
    Rapid City $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cincinnati

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cincinnati:

  • Cincinnati to Cincinnati Airport (CVG) - Departure Private Transfer: $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Cincinnati or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City 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 $55
    Rapid City $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cincinnati

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

  • Ohio River Cruise with Buffet Dinner: $61
  • Mainstrasse Village Food Tour in Covington KY: $79
  • Cincinnati Court Street Food Tour with Vegan Options: $85
  • Cincinnati Streetcar Food Tour With Findlay Market : $85
  • Cincinnati Walking Sightseeing Tour with Pizza and Ice-cream: $120

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rapid City

For Rapid City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Roller Coaster Tickets with Dinner and Show in Rapid City: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cincinnati $26
    Rapid City $26

Tours and Activities in Cincinnati

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

  • Cincinnati Ghosts By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Haunted Cincinnati Booze and Boos Ghost Walking Tour: $36
  • Tour of Historic Wesleyan Cemetery: $20
  • 1919: The year that changed baseball tour: $31
  • Brewers & Barons Trail Tour: $45
  • Built on Beer Tour: $45
  • Cellars and Saloons Sunday Brunch Tour in Cincinnati: $75
  • Cincinnati Ballparks & Breweries Bus Tour: $69
  • Cincinnati Bengals Football Game Ticket at Paul Brown Stadium: $28
  • Cincinnati Brewing & Distilling Tasting Tour: $59
  • Cincinnati Ethnic Food and Culture Tour in Over the Rhine: $85
  • Cincinnati Findlay Market Food Walking Tour: $89

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

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

  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours: $20
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Tour with Two Meals and a Music Variety Show: $164
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • NEW! Half Day Tour of the Black Hills: $289
  • Badlands Sunset and Wildlife Adventure : $289
  • From Private Spearfish Canyon Tour: $650
  • From Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike: $650
  • Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour: $650
  • Badlands National Park Private Tour: $650

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cincinnati $11
    Rapid City $6.93

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
  • Hidden Brewery Caverns Tour in Cincinnati with Beer Tasting: $49
  • Craft Brewery 3 Stop Hop: $64
  • Cincinnati Original Craft Brewery Small-Group Tour: $68


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cincinnati and Rapid City, we can see that Cincinnati is more expensive. And not only is Rapid City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Rapid City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Rapid City 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 Cincinnati would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cincinnati than you might in Rapid City.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cincinnati Expensive? and Is Rapid City Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cincinnati or Rapid City?

Cincinnati has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of Cincinnati and Rapid City, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.