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

Should you visit Columbia or Cleveland?

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

Should I visit Columbia or Cleveland? 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.

Columbia

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

Cleveland

Cleveland is a diverse, authentic, and under-rated city. And you can't forget about the nightlife, live music, and shopping.

Columbia and Cleveland: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Columbia or Cleveland?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Cleveland than Columbia. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Cleveland is more touristy than Columbia and is popular 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. Columbia is famous for its southern hospitality and friendly people.

How is Columbia different from Cleveland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Columbia
Cleveland

Cleveland is a well-known place for its sights and museums. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

Cleveland offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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 Columbia. As the state capital, there are some decent museums around town like the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina Military Museum, the South Carolina State Museum, and the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum.


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

Columbia
Cleveland

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at reasonable restaurants in both Columbia and Cleveland.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Columbia. Barbecue and other southern favorites are among the more local dishes, but the city is also filled with fast food joints and other major chain restaurants.

Cleveland may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. 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.

Is Columbia or Cleveland Better for Nightlife?

Columbia
Cleveland

Both Columbia and Cleveland are nice when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Columbia. You'll find live music venues as well as low key bars and more trendy cocktail lounges.

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.

Is Columbia or Cleveland Better for Music?

Columbia
Cleveland

Cleveland is a well-known place for its live music scene. However, Columbia is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Cleveland is very popular with diverse venues. 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.

Columbia is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Columbia or Cleveland?

Columbia
Cleveland

Both Columbia and Cleveland are nice shopping destinations.

Columbia offers some nice shopping areas. You'll find independent and locally owned shops along Devine Street and in the Five Points area. Also interesting are the Vista, which is a warehouse district, and Trenholm Plaza.

Cleveland has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. 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.

Is Columbia or Cleveland Better for Families?

Columbia
Cleveland

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Columbia or Cleveland.

Columbia is a family-friendly place to visit. Around town you'll find parks, playgrounds, and kid-friendly restaurants. There's a zoo in the area as well as a nice state park - Sesquicentennial State Park. There's also EdVenture Children's Museum, which is filled with hands-on exhibits.

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.

Is Columbia or Cleveland Better for Couples?

Columbia
Cleveland

Most people don't think of either Columbia or Cleveland as a couple's destination.

Most people don't think of Columbia as a couple's destination. You'll find parks to explore and some nice restaurants that make for a good date night.

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


Is Columbia or Cleveland Better for Students?

Columbia
Cleveland

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

Plenty of students visit Columbia. The University of South Carolina, and other nearby colleges all bring in a decent student population.

Cleveland is not popular with students.

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

Columbia
Cleveland

Both Columbia and Cleveland offer reasonable public transit options.

Public transit is generally limited in Columbia. The COMET is the bus system through town, but you really must have your own car to enjoy the city.

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.

Is Columbia or Cleveland a more walkable city?

Columbia
Cleveland

Cleveland is a moderate city for its high level of walkability. However, Columbia is not a good city for its ease of walking around.

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.

Columbia is not a very walkable city. It's filled with suburban-style development and is generally very car dependent.


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

Should I spend more time in Cleveland or Columbia?

How long in Columbia or Cleveland?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Columbia and Cleveland. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Cleveland than in Columbia. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Columbia, and 1-3 days is enough time in Cleveland.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Columbia 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 Columbia.


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

One day in Columbia or Cleveland?

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

The city of Cleveland offers live music and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Columbia or Cleveland?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the suburban destination of Columbia. 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.

Cleveland is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Cleveland, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Columbia or Cleveland?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the welcoming city of Columbia. 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.

Cleveland is a popular choice for travelers. Five days 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A week in Columbia or Cleveland?

Columbia 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.

Cleveland is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Historical Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Cleveland 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 Cleveland is $132. 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 Columbia and Cleveland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbia -
    Cleveland $75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbia $0.00
    Cleveland $150
Compare Hotels in Columbia and Cleveland

Looking for a hotel in Columbia or Cleveland? 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 Columbia


Hotels in Cleveland


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: Columbia Hotel Prices and Cleveland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbia -
    Cleveland $19

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 Arrival Transfer from Cleveland Airprot (CLE): $64
  • Private Departure Transfer to Cleveland Airport (CLE): $64
  • Cleveland to Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) - Departure Private Transfer : $91
  • Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) to Cleveland - Arrival Private Transfer : $91
  • CLE Airport Transfer to Downtown Cleveland: $135
  • Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) to Cleveland - Round-Trip Private Transfer : $182

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Cleveland?

Prices for flights to both Cleveland 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Columbia $5.03
    Cleveland $36

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbia -
    Cleveland $40

Tours and Activities in Columbia

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia are as follows:

  • Soda City: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in Columbia: $12

Tours and Activities in Cleveland

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

  • Cleveland Browns Football Game Ticket at First Energy Stadium: $4.77
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Cleveland by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Skip the Line: Cleveland History Center Admission Ticket: $14
  • Cleveland History Center General Admission Ticket: $15
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Cleveland by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Cleveland with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Eerie Ghosts Haunted Walking Tour: $24
  • Downtown Cleveland Public Art Walking Tour : $24
  • Cleveland From the Inside Walking Tour: $24
  • Guided Walking Tour: Downtown Highlights: $24
  • Smartphone-Guided Walking Tour of University Circle: $25
  • Smartphone-Guided Walking Tour of Downtown Cleveland: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbia $88
    Cleveland $45

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbia and Cleveland, we can see that Cleveland 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 Cleveland would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cleveland than you might in Columbia.

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


Which is Bigger, Columbia or Cleveland?

Cleveland has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Columbia. When comparing the sizes of Columbia and Cleveland, 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 Columbia or Cleveland?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Columbia or Cleveland in the Summer?

Both Cleveland and Columbia during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Columbia for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Cleveland in the summer for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Columbia is generally a little warmer than Cleveland. Daily temperatures in Columbia average around 82°F (28°C), and Cleveland fluctuates around 75°F (24°C).

In Cleveland, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Columbia. In the summer, Columbia often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Cleveland. Columbia gets 293 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cleveland receives 307 hours of full sun.

Cleveland gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Columbia. Columbia usually gets more rain in July than Cleveland. Columbia gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Cleveland receives 4 inches (101 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbia 82°F (28°C) 
    Cleveland 75°F (24°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Cleveland in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbia and Cleveland. Many visitors come to Columbia in the autumn for the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Cleveland for the shopping scene and the music scene during these months.

Columbia is a little warmer than Cleveland in the autumn. The daily temperature in Columbia averages around 64°F (18°C) in October, and Cleveland fluctuates around 56°F (13°C).

In Columbia, it's very sunny this time of the year. Columbia usually receives more sunshine than Cleveland during autumn. Columbia gets 230 hours of sunny skies, while Cleveland receives 165 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Columbia usually receives more rain than Cleveland. Columbia gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Cleveland receives 1.9 inches (49 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbia 64°F (18°C) 
    Cleveland 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Cleveland in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Columbia as well as Cleveland. Most visitors come to Columbia for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Cleveland because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Cleveland can be very cold. In the winter, Columbia is much warmer than Cleveland. Typically, the winter temperatures in Columbia in January average around 45°F (7°C), and Cleveland averages at about 28°F (-2°C).

In the winter, Columbia often gets more sunshine than Cleveland. Columbia gets 171 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cleveland receives 95 hours of full sun.

Columbia usually gets more rain in January than Cleveland. Columbia gets 3.7 inches (93 mm) of rain, while Cleveland receives 1.5 inches (39 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbia 45°F (7°C) 
    Cleveland 28°F (-2°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Cleveland in the Spring?

Both Cleveland and Columbia are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In April, Columbia is generally much warmer than Cleveland. Daily temperatures in Columbia average around 64°F (18°C), and Cleveland fluctuates around 51°F (10°C).

It's quite sunny in Cleveland. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbia. Columbia usually receives more sunshine than Cleveland during spring. Columbia gets 273 hours of sunny skies, while Cleveland receives 213 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Columbia usually receives around the same amount of rain as Cleveland. Columbia gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Cleveland receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbia 64°F (18°C) 
    Cleveland 51°F (10°C)

Typical Weather for Cleveland and Columbia

Columbia Cleveland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 28°F (-2°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Feb 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm)
Mar 56°F (13°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 40°F (5°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 51°F (10°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 71°F (21°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.4 inches (60 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 56°F (13°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Nov 56°F (13°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 45°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (57 mm)
Dec 48°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 34°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)