Should you visit Columbia or Arlington?
Should I visit Columbia or Arlington? 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.
Located just across the Potomac River from Washington DC, capital of the United States, Arlington is a city that also has many government sites and monuments that commemorate the nation's past. Two of its most famous features include Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon-the largest office building in the world.
Which city is cheaper, Arlington 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 Arlington is $211. 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 Arlington in more detail.
The prices for places to stay in Arlington can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $105, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $210.
Arlington's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $39 per person, per day on transportation in Arlington.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arlington
Also for Arlington, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Arrival Transfer from Washington Reagan Airport DCA:
Private Airport Transfer: Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) to Washington:
Private Arrival Transfer DCA Ronald Regan Washington Airport to Washington City:
Washington - Ronald Reagan National Airport One Way Transfer:
Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) to Washington - Arrival Private Transfer:
Transfer in private car from Washington Ronald Reagan Airport to Washington City:
Washington Airport Transfers: National Airport DCA to Washington in Business Car:
Arrival Private Transfers: National Airport DCA to Washington in Business Car:
Private Transfer Ronald Reagan Airport DCA to Washington DC by Business Car:
Arrival Private Transfers: National Airport DCA to Washington in Luxury Van:
Arrival Private Transfers: National Airport DCA to Washington in Luxury SUV:
Transfer in private minivan from Washington Ronald Reagan Airport to City:
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Arlington?
Prices for flights to both Arlington 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.
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.
Food in Arlington costs travelers about $64 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Arlington can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $8.50 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Columbia
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia are as follows:
Cascade Locks: 1-Hour Columbia River Sightseeing Cruise:
Cascade Locks: Columbia Gorge Sunday Brunch Cruise:
Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour:
Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour:
Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour:
Savannah: History & Ghosts Guided Tour with Beverage Stops:
Tours and Activities in Arlington
For Arlington, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Tasting & Tour:
Arlington National Cemetery Hop-On Hop-Off Tour:
Arlington National Cemetery Guided Walking Tour:
DC: Monuments Tour with Optional Arlington National Cemetery:
Arlington National Cemetery Guided Walking Tour - 8ppl Max:
Arlington National Cemetery Guided Walking Tour - Private Tour:
Arlington Cemetery & American History Museum Guided Tour - 8ppl Max:
Arlington Cemetery & American History Museum Guided Combo Tour - Private Tour:
Arlington Cemetery Private Tour:
Arlington National Cemetery Private Walking Tour:
4 Hours Private Chauffeured DC Sight Seeing Tour / SUV & Sedan:
Stuck at the Airport Washington DC 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.
Typically, people visiting Arlington spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Sample the Local Flavors in Columbia
Also in Columbia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Savannah: Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbia and Arlington, we can see that Arlington 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 Arlington would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arlington than you might in Columbia.
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