A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Cleveland vs. Milwaukee for Attractions, Nightlife, Families, and Food

Should you visit Cleveland or Milwaukee?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Cleveland or Milwaukee, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Cleveland

Cleveland is a diverse, authentic, and under-rated city. Visitors also love the live music, shopping, and museums.

Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a friendly, welcoming, and undiscovered city. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, shopping, and museums.

Cleveland and Milwaukee: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Cleveland or Milwaukee?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Cleveland than Milwaukee. While Milwaukee is larger than Cleveland, Cleveland has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Cleveland is famous for being the home to "rock 'n roll" as well as its friendly and hard working people. It is also well known for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Milwaukee is famous for its many breweries and its baseball culture.

How is Cleveland different from Milwaukee?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cleveland or Milwaukee?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

Cleveland is an excellent place to visit for its museums and history. Also, Milwaukee is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Cleveland. There are diverse museums around town such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (moCa), and the Great Lakes Science Center. Music lovers will appreciate a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Milwaukee. There are several unique museums like the Harley-Davidson Museum, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Milwaukee Public Museum. There's also the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Grohmann Museum as well as outdoor sculpture parks and other cultural and historic museums.


Is the Food Better in Cleveland or Milwaukee? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Cleveland and Milwaukee can be difficult as they are each reasonable in their own way.

Cleveland offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Casual dining with comfort food is the way most residents prefer to eat. There are local foods that have made a name for themselves such as gourmet hot dogs and deli sandwiches. The food is also influenced by the city's German, Irish, Polish, and Italian roots. Pierogis, bratwurst, and chicken paprikash are all common.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Milwaukee. The Midwest is known for its artery clogging comfort foods, and Milwaukee is no exception. Cheese curds, fried fish, fruit dumplings, and frozen custard are all popular.

Is Cleveland or Milwaukee Better for Nightlife?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

The nice nightlife scene is relatively similar in Cleveland and Milwaukee.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Cleveland. Breweries have become a popular nighttime activity. There are also comedy clubs, music venues, and several theaters.

Milwaukee has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. You'll find a decent number of breweries around town. There are also wine bars, nightclubs, and live music venues that are worth checking out.

Is Cleveland or Milwaukee Better for Music?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

Cleveland is an excellent place to visit for its live music scene. However, Milwaukee is not a live music destination.

Whether you like big venues or smaller artists, Cleveland has diverse options. Home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, it has long been a destination for music enthusiasts. There are many independent music venues and it's the perfect place to catch a show.

Milwaukee is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Cleveland or Milwaukee?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

Shoppers can find a variety of nice stores in both Cleveland and Milwaukee.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Cleveland. Large shopping malls offer plenty of selection. There's also West Side Market, which is the oldest public market in the city. Other interesting shopping areas include Little Italy and the Cleveland Flea.

Milwaukee offers some nice shopping areas. You'll find the standard shopping centers and shopping malls around town, but if you want some more local vendors, check out the areas around the Historic Third Ward and The Village in Wauwatosa.

Is Cleveland or Milwaukee Better for Families?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

Cleveland and Milwaukee are both nice destinations for the whole family.

Cleveland is a family-friendly city. Kid-friendly activities in the area include the Children’s Museum of Cleveland, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. There's also the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo as well as the smaller Akron Zoo.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Milwaukee. Kids will enjoy a visit to Discovery World, which is a science center with hands-on exhibits. There's also the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Milwaukee Public Museum. Younger kids will also enjoy a stop at Betty Brinn Children's Museum.

Is Cleveland or Milwaukee Better for Couples?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

Neither Cleveland or Milwaukee is generally regarded as a top spot for a couple to visit.

Cleveland is not the best destination for a couple to visit. There are several romantic date night activities like boat rides on Lake Erie or dining at a nice restaurant.

Most people don't think of Milwaukee as a couple's destination. Take a walk or visit a local restaurant. There are also museums and performances that make for a nice outing.


Is Cleveland or Milwaukee Better for Students?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a nice place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Cleveland is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Milwaukee. It's home to a number of colleges and universities, so there is a bit of a college town vibe.

Cleveland is not popular with students.

Is Cleveland or Milwaukee Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

Visitors will find reasonable public transit in both Cleveland and Milwaukee.

Public transit is mostly limited in Cleveland. There are bus, trolley, and train lines through the city, but a car is the most efficient way to get around.

Public transit is generally limited in Milwaukee. There are buses that travel around town.

Is Cleveland or Milwaukee a more walkable city?

Cleveland
Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a nice place to visit for its walkability. However, Cleveland is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Milwaukee is somewhat walkable. Parts of the city are relatively compact and walkable. The most walkable neighborhoods are East Side, Riverwest, Brewers Hill, Downtown, Avenues West/Marquette, Third Ward, Walker's Point, and Bay View.

Cleveland is generally not very walkable. While some neighborhoods are more walkable than others (Downtown, Ohio City and Buckeye - Shaker), most visitors need a car to easily access everything they wish to do.


For even more information, also check out Is Cleveland Worth Visiting? and Is Milwaukee Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Milwaukee or Cleveland?

How long in Cleveland or Milwaukee?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Cleveland or Milwaukee to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Cleveland than Milwaukee because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Cleveland, and 1-2 days is enough time in Milwaukee.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Milwaukee than Cleveland 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 Milwaukee.


  • How many days in Cleveland or Milwaukee? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cleveland 1-3 
    Milwaukee 1-2

One day in Cleveland or Milwaukee?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Cleveland. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Cleveland has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Milwaukee. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Milwaukee has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Cleveland or Milwaukee?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the authentic destination of Cleveland. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the friendly destination of Milwaukee. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Cleveland or Milwaukee?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the diverse city of Cleveland. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the friendly city of Milwaukee. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Cleveland or Milwaukee?

Cleveland is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Milwaukee is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, and The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Milwaukee or Cleveland?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cleveland is $132, while the average daily cost in Milwaukee is $176. 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 Cleveland and Milwaukee in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cleveland $75
    Milwaukee $99
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cleveland $150
    Milwaukee $198
Compare Hotels in Cleveland and Milwaukee

Looking for a hotel in Cleveland or Milwaukee? 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 Cleveland


Hotels in Milwaukee


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: Cleveland Hotel Prices and Milwaukee Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cleveland $19
    Milwaukee $38
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cleveland

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Cleveland are as follows:


  • Taxi to Airport
    $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cleveland

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Cleveland Airport (CLE): $64
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Cleveland Airprot (CLE): $64
  • Cleveland to Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) - Departure Private Transfer : $90
  • Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) to Cleveland - Round-Trip Private Transfer : $181
  • Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) to Cleveland - Arrival Private Transfer : $90
  • CLE Airport Transfer to Downtown Cleveland: $135

Is it cheaper to fly into Cleveland or Milwaukee?

Prices for flights to both Milwaukee and Cleveland 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
    Cleveland $36
    Milwaukee $52
Typical Food Prices in Cleveland

For Cleveland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Coffee
    $1.79
  • Sandwich
    $9.75
  • Large Pizza
    $15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cleveland

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

  • West Side Market Food Tour: $49
  • Little Italy Neighborhood Food Tour of Cleveland: $74
  • Tremont Neighborhood Food Tour: $75
  • Ohio City Neighborhood Food Tour of Cleveland: $91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Milwaukee

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

  • Family Fun Food Tour: $80
  • Local Food Tour: $89
  • Milwaukee Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Milwaukee: $103
  • Original Milwaukee Guided Brewery Tour with Lunch or Dinner: $139

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cleveland $40
    Milwaukee $26

Tours and Activities in Cleveland

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

  • CLE Mini Bus Group Tour: $55
  • Cleveland Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Cleveland Browns Football Game Ticket at First Energy Stadium: $4.72
  • Cleveland From the Inside Walking Tour: $24
  • Cleveland Guardians Baseball Game Ticket at Progressive Field: $27
  • Cleveland Romance: A Walking Tour for Couples: $476
  • Cleveland Romance: A Walking Tour for Couples: $242
  • Cleveland History Center General Admission Ticket: $15
  • Eerie Ghosts Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • Enchanted Cleveland Holiday Walking Tour: $297
  • Enchanted Cleveland Holiday Walking Tour: $584
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Cleveland with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20

Tours and Activities in Milwaukee

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

  • 2 Hour Sailing Adventure in Lake Michigan (up to 6 people): $126
  • 2 Hours Private Tour of Milwaukee Marvels: $249
  • 2-Hour Bus Tour in Milwaukee City: $40
  • Brew City Ghosts: Macabre Milwaukee By US Ghost Adventures: $24
  • Cream City Cannibal: Jeffery Dahmer Walking Tour: $53
  • Discover Iconic Milwaukee Tour : $67
  • Downtown Kenosha Urban Art and Photography Walking Tour: $30
  • Geneva Lake Shore Path: Uncover 21 miles of stories on a self-guided audio tour: $10
  • Milwaukee - America’s Dairyland Food Walking Tour: $89
  • Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Game Ticket at American Family Field: $12
  • Milwaukee Downtown Ghost Tour - The Shadow of City Hall: $29
  • Milwaukee Magic: A Private Christmas Lights Tour: $657

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cleveland $45
    Milwaukee $33
Typical Alcohol Prices in Cleveland

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Cleveland are as follows:


  • A Night of Shots
    $36

Sample the Local Flavors in Milwaukee

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

  • Sip of Milwaukee Guided Brewery Tour with Snack: $99


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

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


Which is Bigger, Cleveland or Milwaukee?

Milwaukee has a larger population, and is about 29% larger than the population of Cleveland. When comparing the sizes of Cleveland and Milwaukee, 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.


When is the best time to visit Cleveland or Milwaukee?

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 Cleveland or Milwaukee in the Summer?

Both Milwaukee and Cleveland are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The music scene and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Cleveland this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Milwaukee for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Cleveland is around the same temperature as Milwaukee. Typically, the summer temperatures in Cleveland in July average around 75°F (24°C), and Milwaukee averages at about 74°F (23°C).

It's quite sunny in Milwaukee. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cleveland. Cleveland usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Milwaukee during summer. Cleveland gets 307 hours of sunny skies, while Milwaukee receives 321 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Cleveland. In July, Cleveland usually receives more rain than Milwaukee. Cleveland gets 4 inches (101 mm) of rain, while Milwaukee receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cleveland 75°F (24°C) 
    Milwaukee 74°F (23°C)

Should I visit Cleveland or Milwaukee in the Autumn?

Both Milwaukee and Cleveland during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Cleveland for the shopping scene and the music scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Milwaukee in the autumn for the shopping scene.

In October, Cleveland is generally a little warmer than Milwaukee. Daily temperatures in Cleveland average around 56°F (13°C), and Milwaukee fluctuates around 53°F (12°C).

In the autumn, Cleveland often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Milwaukee. Cleveland gets 165 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Milwaukee receives 174 hours of full sun.

Cleveland usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Milwaukee. Cleveland gets 1.9 inches (49 mm) of rain, while Milwaukee receives 2 inches (50 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cleveland 56°F (13°C) 
    Milwaukee 53°F (12°C)

Should I visit Cleveland or Milwaukee in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Cleveland and Milwaukee. Many visitors come to Cleveland in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Milwaukee for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Milwaukee can be very cold during winter. Cleveland can get quite cold in the winter. Cleveland is much warmer than Milwaukee in the winter. The daily temperature in Cleveland averages around 28°F (-2°C) in January, and Milwaukee fluctuates around 21°F (-6°C).

Cleveland usually receives less sunshine than Milwaukee during winter. Cleveland gets 95 hours of sunny skies, while Milwaukee receives 138 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Cleveland usually receives around the same amount of rain as Milwaukee. Cleveland gets 1.5 inches (39 mm) of rain, while Milwaukee receives 1.6 inches (41 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cleveland 28°F (-2°C) 
    Milwaukee 21°F (-6°C)

Should I visit Cleveland or Milwaukee in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Cleveland as well as Milwaukee.

In the spring, Cleveland is a little warmer than Milwaukee. Typically, the spring temperatures in Cleveland in April average around 51°F (10°C), and Milwaukee averages at about 47°F (8°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Milwaukee. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Cleveland this time of the year. In the spring, Cleveland often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Milwaukee. Cleveland gets 213 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Milwaukee receives 211 hours of full sun.

Cleveland usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Milwaukee. Cleveland gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Milwaukee receives 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cleveland 51°F (10°C) 
    Milwaukee 47°F (8°C)

Typical Weather for Milwaukee and Cleveland

Cleveland Milwaukee
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 28°F (-2°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm) 21°F (-6°C) 1.6 inches (41 mm)
Feb 30°F (-1°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm) 26°F (-4°C) 1.1 inches (29 mm)
Mar 40°F (5°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm) 36°F (2°C) 2.2 inches (57 mm)
Apr 51°F (10°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 47°F (8°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
May 61°F (16°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Jun 71°F (21°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Jul 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Aug 73°F (23°C) 2.4 inches (60 mm) 72°F (22°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Sep 67°F (19°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 65°F (18°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Oct 56°F (13°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Nov 45°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (57 mm) 41°F (5°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Dec 34°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 27°F (-3°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)