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

Should you visit Columbia or Dallas?

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

Should I visit Columbia or Dallas? 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 friendly, welcoming, and suburban city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Dallas

Dallas is a upscale, chic, and active city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Columbia and Dallas: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Columbia or Dallas?

You'll generally find more things to do in Dallas than Columbia. Dallas is bigger than Columbia, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Dallas is more touristy than Columbia and is known for its Tex Mex cuisine, upscale shopping venues, and cowboy culture. Also, Dallas is famous for the Sixth Floor Museum. Columbia is well known for its southern hospitality and friendly people.

How is Columbia different from Dallas?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Dallas 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 Dallas?

Columbia
Dallas

Dallas 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.

Dallas offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Museums range from historical to art and science with some of the favorites being the Dallas Contemporary Museum, the African American Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Frontiers of Flight Museum. The city is also home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Nasher Sculpture Center. A must-see is the Sixth Floor Museum, which is in historic Dealey Plaza and is where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots that killed JFK. Today there's a museum that goes over the events of that day.

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 Dallas? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Columbia
Dallas

Dallas is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Columbia is not a good city for its restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Dallas. There's a perfect combination of Texas cuisine and international flavors. You'll find Texas barbecue, Tex Mex, and steakhouses intermixed with Thai, Japanese, and Caribbean cuisine. There's also a great food truck scene and many local eateries.

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

Is Columbia or Dallas Better for Nightlife?

Columbia
Dallas

Dallas is a well-known place for nightlife and partying. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its evening party scene.

Dallas offers plenty to do in the evening. Head to East Dallas for the most active clubs with large dance floors and great music. The city also has rooftop lounges and plenty of live music as well as comedy clubs.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Columbia. You'll find live music venues as well as low key bars and more trendy cocktail lounges.

Is the Shopping Better in Columbia or Dallas?

Columbia
Dallas

Dallas is a well-known place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping areas.

Dallas is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. You'll find a very diverse shopping scene around town, with everything from quirky local vendors to upscale fashion boutiques. There are cowboy outfitters where you can get a feel for the Texas style, but there are also posh shopping centers and local flea markets.

Columbia has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. 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.


Is Columbia or Dallas Better for Families?

Columbia
Dallas

Dallas is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Dallas is a very kid-friendly city. The city is filled with families, and you'll find many kid-friendly activities around town. For some outdoor time you can visit the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden or the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The Dallas Zoo is a favorite for many kids and there are also a number of kid-friendly museums around town such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Dallas World Aquarium.

Columbia is a family-friendly city. 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.

Is Columbia or Dallas Better for Couples?

Columbia
Dallas

Dallas is a well-known place for its romantic activities. However, Columbia is not a good city for couples.

Dallas is a very popular place to visit for couples. Head to the observation deck at Reunion Tower for spectacular views of the night skyline. The city also has many great comedy clubs and performing arts venues as well as fine dining restaurants that make for a great date night.

Columbia is not always the best place to visit for a couple. You'll find parks to explore and some nice restaurants that make for a good date night.

Is Columbia or Dallas Better for Students?

Columbia
Dallas

Columbia is very good for students. However, Dallas is not a good city for its student-friendly activities.

Columbia is a good city to visit for students. The University of South Carolina, and other nearby colleges all bring in a decent student population.

Dallas is a decent spot for students. There are a couple of universities and colleges in the area that keep things interesting for students.


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

Columbia
Dallas

Dallas is a popular place for its public transit. However, Columbia is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

Dallas has a few public transit options. While it's still very much a car-centered city, the public transportation system, DART, is one of the fastest growing in the country. It includes both light rail and bus service.

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

Is Columbia or Dallas a more walkable city?

Columbia
Dallas

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

Dallas is generally not very walkable. The city is not particularly walkable, but there are several more walkable areas such as Ellum and Uptown.

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 Dallas Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Dallas or Columbia?

How long in Columbia or Dallas?

It's fun to spend time in either Columbia or Dallas. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Dallas due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Columbia, and 2-4 days is enough time in Dallas.

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

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

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


  • How many days in Columbia or Dallas? Ideal Length of Stay
    Columbia 1-2 
    Dallas 2-4

One day in Columbia or Dallas?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Columbia. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

The city of Dallas offers food and shopping. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in Columbia or Dallas?

Columbia is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Dallas 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 Dallas, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Columbia or Dallas?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Columbia. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Dallas 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 Dallas?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the suburban destination of Columbia. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Dallas 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 Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, and The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Dallas 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 Dallas is $141. 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 Dallas in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbia -
    Dallas $84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbia $0.00
    Dallas $168
Compare Hotels in Columbia and Dallas

Looking for a hotel in Columbia or Dallas? 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 Dallas


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 Dallas Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbia -
    Dallas $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dallas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dallas:

  • Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) to Dallas - Arrival Private Transfer: $42
  • Dallas to Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) - Departure Private Transfer: $42
  • Dallas Airport (DAL) to Dallas - Arrival Private Transfer: $46
  • Dallas to Dallas Airport (DAL) - Departure Private Transfer: $46
  • Transfer executive private car from Dallas City Center - Dallas Airport (DFW): $60
  • Transfer in private minivan from Dallas City Center - Dallas Airport (DFW): $69
  • Transfer private car from Dallas Airport (DAL) - City Center: $71
  • Transfer in executive private car from Dallas City Center - Dallas Airport (DAL): $71
  • Departure Private Transfer Dowtown Dallas to Dallas Airport DAL Luxury Vehicle: $83
  • Arrival Private Transfer Dallas Airport DAL to Dowtown Dallas by Luxury Vehicle: $83
  • Private Transfer Downtown Dallas to Fort Worth Airport DFW Luxury Vehicle: $92
  • One Way DFW Airport to Hotel Private Transfer: $100

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Dallas?

Prices for flights to both Dallas 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
    Dallas $35

Typical Food Prices in Dallas

Some typical examples of dining costs in Dallas are as follows:


  • Cowboys Stadium Tour (for 2)
    $55
  • Whataburger Lunch (family of 4)
    $21

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dallas

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Dallas.

  • West Village Happy Hour Food Tour: $39
  • Deep Ellum Foodie Lovers Tour with Food Tours of America: $85
  • Dallas Secret Food Tour: $89
  • Secret Food Tour of Dallas with Private Tour Option: $99

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbia -
    Dallas $13

Tours and Activities in Dallas

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

  • Historic Downtown Audio Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.50
  • Historic Dallas Downtown Solo Self Guided Walking Tour : $7.75
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure City Game on Your Phone: $10
  • Dallas in Wonderland: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Dallas Gems: $13
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Dallas Gems: $13
  • Must-See Landmarks & Attractions Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Dallas Scavenger Hunt & Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • The Assassination of John F. Kennedy Experience: $20
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Denton by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Irving by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • John F. Kennedy Trolley Tour in Dallas: $22

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbia $88
    Dallas $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Dallas

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

  • Dallas Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $36
  • Party Bike Pub Crawl in Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas: $55
  • Dallas Party Bike Pub Crawl in Deep Ellum: $55


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


Which is Bigger, Columbia or Dallas?

Dallas has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Columbia. When comparing the sizes of Columbia and Dallas, 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 Dallas?

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 Columbia or Dallas in the Summer?

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

Columbia is cooler than Dallas in the summer. The daily temperature in Columbia averages around 82°F (28°C) in July, and Dallas fluctuates around 88°F (31°C).

It's quite sunny in Dallas. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbia. Columbia usually receives less sunshine than Dallas during summer. Columbia gets 293 hours of sunny skies, while Dallas receives 337 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Columbia. In July, Columbia usually receives more rain than Dallas. Columbia gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Dallas receives 2.4 inches (60 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbia 82°F (28°C) 
    Dallas 88°F (31°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Dallas in the Autumn?

Both Dallas and Columbia during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Columbia for the shopping scene. Also, many visitors come to Dallas in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Columbia is cooler than Dallas. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Columbia in October average around 64°F (18°C), and Dallas averages at about 69°F (21°C).

In Dallas, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Columbia. In the autumn, Columbia often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Dallas. Columbia gets 230 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Dallas receives 222 hours of full sun.

Columbia usually gets less rain in October than Dallas. Columbia gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Dallas receives 3.9 inches (98 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbia 64°F (18°C) 
    Dallas 69°F (21°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Dallas in the Winter?

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

In January, Columbia is generally cooler than Dallas. Daily temperatures in Columbia average around 45°F (7°C), and Dallas fluctuates around 46°F (8°C).

Columbia usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Dallas during winter. Columbia gets 171 hours of sunny skies, while Dallas receives 183 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Columbia usually receives more rain than Dallas. Columbia gets 3.7 inches (93 mm) of rain, while Dallas receives 1.8 inches (45 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbia 45°F (7°C) 
    Dallas 46°F (8°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Dallas in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Columbia as well as Dallas. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Dallas because of the activities around the city.

Columbia is cooler than Dallas in the spring. The daily temperature in Columbia averages around 64°F (18°C) in April, and Dallas fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Dallas. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Columbia this time of the year. In the spring, Columbia often gets more sunshine than Dallas. Columbia gets 273 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Dallas receives 251 hours of full sun.

Columbia usually gets less rain in April than Dallas. Columbia gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Dallas receives 3.9 inches (98 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbia 64°F (18°C) 
    Dallas 68°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Dallas and Columbia

Columbia Dallas
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 46°F (8°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Feb 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 51°F (10°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Mar 56°F (13°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 60°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 76°F (24°C) 5 inches (128 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 83°F (29°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 88°F (31°C) 2.4 inches (60 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm) 87°F (31°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 80°F (27°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 69°F (21°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Nov 56°F (13°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 59°F (15°C) 2.4 inches (60 mm)
Dec 48°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 50°F (10°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)