Should you visit Columbia or Anchorage?
Should I visit Columbia or Anchorage? 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.
Both the largest and capital city of South Carolina, Columbia is literally the center of everything. Geographically it is located in the middle of the state, and it is the home to the University of South Carolina, the Army's Fort Jackson, as well as a variety of museums that celebrate the city's art, history, and culture.
Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, is in the south-central part of the state on the Cook Inlet. It's known for its cultural sites and also as a gateway to nearby wilderness areas and mountains. From the sparkling waters of Cook Inlet to the tallest peaks of the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage encompasses incredible adventures and metropolitan appeals that are larger than life. With 1,500 moose, incredible national parks nearby and 60 glaciers a short drive away, it's a dream destination in Alaska.
Which city is cheaper, Anchorage or Columbia?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Columbia is $0.00, while the average daily cost in Anchorage is $153. 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 Columbia and Anchorage in more detail.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Anchorage is $186. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
The price of a meal in Columbia can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $4.02 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $1.61 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
In Anchorage travelers spend around $40 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Anchorage
Some typical examples of dining costs in Anchorage are as follows:
Breakfast for Two
The cost of a taxi ride in Anchorage is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $22 per person, per day, on local transportation in Anchorage.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Anchorage
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Anchorage:
Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Anchorage accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer:
Anchorage accommodation to Anchorage Airport (ANC) - Departure Private Transfer:
Private Departure Transfer - to Anchorage Airport (ANC):
Private Arrival Transfer from Anchorage Airport ANC:
Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Anchorage accommodation - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Private Transfer Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Whittier Cruise Port:
Private Transfer Anchorage Airport ANC to Seward Cruise Port:
Private Transfer: Seward Cruise Port to Anchorage Airport (ANC):
Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Seward Cruise Port - Arrival Private Transfer:
Private Transfer: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) to Anchorage:
Private Transfer: Anchorage to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC):
Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Seward Cruise Port - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Anchorage?
Prices for flights to both Anchorage and Columbia 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.
Entertainment and activities in Anchorage typically cost an average of $24 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Typical Entertainment prices in Anchorage
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Anchorage are as follows:
1 Day Bike Rental
1/2 Day Rafting Trip
Tours and Activities in Anchorage
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Anchorage are as follows:
Seward: Self-Guided Audio Tour:
Anchorage Museum General Admission Ticket:
1-Hour Trolley Tour:
Anchorage Trolley Tour:
Anchorage City Tour w/ Taste of Wild Smoked Salmon & Reindeer Sausage:
Winter - Anchorage All Around City Tour:
Alaska Native Historic Cultural City Tour of Anchorage:
Gold Panning Self-Guided Tour:
Turnagain Arm Tour: "A Must See Destination":
Beginner’s Snowshoeing Adventure:
Coastal Trail 3-Hour City Bike Tour:
Explore Portage Valley a Self-Guided Tour:
The average person spends about $70 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
The average person spends about $16 on alcoholic beverages in Anchorage per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Sample the Local Flavors in Anchorage
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Anchorage:
Half-Day Anchorage Craft Brewery Tour and Tastings:
Anchorage Bike and Brewery Tour:
Alaska Brewery and Railroad Experience from Anchorage:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbia and Anchorage, we can see that Anchorage is more expensive. And not only is Columbia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbia 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 Anchorage would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Anchorage than you might in Columbia.
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