Should you visit Columbia or Chattanooga?
Should I visit Columbia or Chattanooga? 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 on the Tennessee River near the border of the U.S. state of Georgia, Chattanooga is Tennessee's fourth largest city and a major transportation hub. The city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its once dilapidated downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront, including the restoration of the historic Walnut Street Bridge.
Which city is cheaper, Chattanooga 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 Chattanooga is $145. 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 Chattanooga in more detail.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $73. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Chattanooga the cost is $146 on average.
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 Chattanooga travelers spend around $47 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
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chattanooga
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chattanooga.
Small-Group Electric Bike Food Tour in Chattanooga:
2-Hour Small Group Southern Cuisine Food Tour in Chattanooga:
2-Hour Chattanooga Walking Food Tour:
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $28 per day to get around in Chattanooga.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chattanooga
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chattanooga:
Chattanooga Zoo (for 2)
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Chattanooga?
Prices for flights to both Chattanooga 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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $42 per person, per day in Chattanooga. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Tours and Activities in Chattanooga
Here are a few actual costs in Chattanooga for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Entrance Ticket to National Medal of Honor Heritage Center:
Murder & Mayhem Haunted History Walking Tour in Chattanooga:
Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour:
Chattanooga Guided Party Bike Tour:
Hillbilly Jeep Tours from Chattanooga:
Chattanooga "Awakening" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Speakeasy" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "The Hunted" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Secret Agent" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Locker Room Lockdown: Mascot Rescue" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "C-Block Prison Break" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "The Inheritance Mystery Room" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
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.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chattanooga may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $19 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Sample the Local Flavors in Chattanooga
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chattanooga:
Chattanooga Brewery Walking Tour with Beer Tastings:
Half-Day Private Wine Tour in Chattanooga:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbia and Chattanooga, we can see that Chattanooga 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 Chattanooga would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chattanooga than you might in Columbia.
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