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

Should you visit Columbia or Los Angeles?

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

Should I visit Columbia or Los Angeles? 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 welcoming, suburban, and friendly city. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and shopping.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a dynamic, glamourous, and diverse city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Is there more to do in Columbia or Los Angeles?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Los Angeles than Columbia, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Los Angeles is more touristy than Columbia and is popular for is many A-list celebrities, its world-famous clubs and venues, its glamourous beaches, and being the location of the iconic Hollywood. It is also home to Hollywood. Columbia is popular for its southern hospitality and friendly people.

How is Columbia different from Los Angeles?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its sights and museums. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Los Angeles are among the most recognizable in the world. The city has an eclectic list of monuments and museums. Notable landmarks include the famous Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory, the Getty Center, and the Petersen Automotive Museum.

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 Columbia or Los Angeles Better for Theater?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a well-known place for its theatre productions. However, Columbia is not a theatre destination.

While in town, many visitors enjoy seeing a show in Los Angeles. While most people think of Hollywood when they think of LA, the city also has a thriving stage presence. Musicals and plays are popular throughout the city.

Columbia is not a theatre destination.

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

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Columbia is not a good city for its restaurants.

For foodies, Los Angeles is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. As a huge and diverse city, there is no shortage of amazing food options around town. There are a wide range of cuisines represented and many different neighborhoods that specialize in specific types of food. Popular dishes around town include Cobb Salads, Mexican Tacos, and the French Dip Sandwich.

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 Los Angeles Better for Nightlife?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for nightlife and partying. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its evening party scene.

Los Angeles is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The city's nightlife scene is as diverse as the city itself. There are glamorous clubs where you might spot a celebrity, as well as local dives with a more down-to-earth vibe. Some of the most famous clubs in the city include Academy, Avalon, and Boardner's.

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 Columbia or Los Angeles Better for Music?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its live music scene. However, Columbia is not a live music destination.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Los Angeles Music, movies, and show business - it's all part of what Los Angeles is known for. Several famous music venues include The Greek Theatre, Whiskey a Go Go, and The Roxy Theatre.

Columbia is not a live music destination.

Is Columbia or Los Angeles Better for Resorts?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a well-known place for its resorts. However, Columbia is not a resort destination.

Los Angeles is known as a popular and fun resort destination. The city is home to a number of high end resorts including The Beverly Hill Hotel, The Langham Huntington Pasadena, and The Ritz-Carlton.

Columbia is not a resort destination.

Is Columbia or Los Angeles Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a popular place for its diving and snorkeling. However, Columbia is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Los Angeles has a few good snorkeling spots. The coastal setting means that there are a number of places where you can put on a mask and hop in the water. Popular snorkeling or diving spots near the city include Santa Catalina Island, Diver's Cove, and Crystal Cove State Park. Many visitors find the water to be a bit chili, but the wildlife is unique and beautiful.

Columbia is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Columbia or Los Angeles Better for Beaches?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for the beache. However, Columbia is not a beach destination.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Los Angeles. Ranging from beaches with stunning natural beauty to those with glamourous and fun atmospheres, this city has a number of beaches to choose from. There are many fun and high-energy urban beach settings, and there are also beaches that are lined with parks and offer a more natural environment. Some of the most popular are Santa Monica, Malibu, Huntington Beach, and Redondo Beach.

Columbia is not a beach destination.

Is Columbia or Los Angeles Better for Hiking?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for the nearby hiking options. However, Columbia is not a hiking destination.

People visit Los Angeles specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. In and around the city you'll find world class urban hiking with views of the mountains and the ocean. Some of the most well-known hikes include the Charlie Turner Trail to Mount Hollywood, Runyon Canyon, and the Sara Wan Trailhead at Corral Canyon.

Columbia is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Columbia or Los Angeles?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Los Angeles make it a world-class shopping destination. Although it's most famous for the high end shopping at Rodeo Drive, there are actually many different shopping venues throughout the city. Other famous shopping areas include Robertson Blvd and the Grove.

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 Los Angeles Better for Families?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its family-friendly activities. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Los Angeles is a very family-friendly destination. With its many amusement parks, including nearby Disneyland, and its countless family-friendly parks and playgrounds, there is no shortage of things to do with kids around the city. Favorite activities include the amusement parks, exploring Venice Beach, a trip to the California Science Center, and taking a Warner Brothers Studio Tour.

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 Los Angeles Better for Couples?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its romantic activities. However, Columbia is not a good city for couples.

Los Angeles makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. It is a large, sprawling city with tucked away romantic scenes that are perfect for a couple's getaway or a dream honeymoon. There are also trendy nightclubs, world-class restaurants, and high-energy beaches that make for iconic date activities.

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 Los Angeles Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a well-known place for backpackers. However, Columbia is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Los Angeles is a great city to visit for backpackers. The city is a major travel destination for all types, and backpackers will find no shortage of hostels or budget friendly accommodation around town.

Columbia is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. While it's not an expensive place to visit, there is little in the area to attract backpackers.


Is Columbia or Los Angeles Better for Students?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for students. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Many students frequent Los Angeles. International students have long flocked to this for its major universities and diverse setting. Major universities in the area include UCLA, the University of Southern California, and the California Institute of Technology.

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

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

Columbia
Los Angeles

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

Los Angeles has a few public transit options. Many of the public transit options are overlooked by visitors for a number of reasons, but options include the subway, light rail, and buses.

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 Los Angeles a more walkable city?

Columbia
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a popular place for its high level of walkability. However, Columbia is not a good city for its ease of walking around.

Los Angeles is a somewhat walkable place. The city is sprawling, but some of the neighborhoods are more walkable than others. Some of the more walkable neighborhoods include Hollywood, Koreatown, Downtown, and MacArthur Park.

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 Los Angeles Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Los Angeles or Columbia?

How long in Columbia or Los Angeles?

Both Columbia and Los Angeles have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Los Angeles than in Columbia. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Columbia, and 5-7 days is enough time in Los Angeles.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles.


  • How many days in Columbia or Los Angeles? Ideal Length of Stay
    Columbia 1-2 
    Los Angeles 5-7

One day in Columbia or Los Angeles?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the suburban city of Columbia. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Los Angeles is a big city with plenty to do. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. 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 Los Angeles?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the suburban destination of Columbia. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Los Angeles is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Columbia or Los Angeles?

The suburban city of Columbia offers museums and nightlife. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Los Angeles is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Los Angeles, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A week in Columbia or Los Angeles?

Many people enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting Columbia. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Los Angeles is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Los Angeles has to offer. 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, Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles is $258. 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 Los Angeles in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbia -
    Los Angeles $140
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbia $0.00
    Los Angeles $280
Compare Hotels in Columbia and Los Angeles

Looking for a hotel in Columbia or Los Angeles? 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 Los Angeles


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 Los Angeles Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbia -
    Los Angeles $42

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Los Angeles

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Los Angeles:


  • Hotel Parking for a Day
    $22
  • Taxi to Airport
    $55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Los Angeles

Also for Los Angeles, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Hollywood Private Transfer to/from Universal Studios or Burbank: $39
  • Private Departure Transfer to Los Angeles Airport LAX: $39
  • Private Departure Transfer to Burbank Airport (BUR): $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Burbank Airport (BUR): $40
  • Los Angeles and Long Beach Cruise Transfers.: $49
  • Private Transfer Los Angeles Downtown to Los Angeles Airport: $51
  • World Cruise Center to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Los Angeles to Los Angeles World Cruise Center-Departure Transfer: $63
  • Los Angeles World Cruise Center to Los Angeles- Arrival Transfer: $63
  • Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Cruise Terminal/Arrival Transfer : $63
  • Los Angeles World Cruise Center to Los Angeles - Arrival Private Transfer: $63
  • Private Transfer from Los Angeles City Center to LA Airport (LAX): $65

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Los Angeles?

Prices for flights to both Los Angeles 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
    Los Angeles $60

Typical Food Prices in Los Angeles

For Los Angeles, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Mexican Dinner (family of 4)
    $32
  • Burritos for Two
    $15
  • Coffee and Danish
    $7.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Los Angeles

For Los Angeles, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Silver Lake Food Tour with Comedian Foodie Guide!: $75
  • Venice Beach Food Tour with Tastings: $75
  • Silverlake Food Tour with Comedian Guide : $79
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour: $89
  • Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour: $89
  • Downtown Food Tour: $89
  • Venice Beach Food Tour: $89
  • LA Venice Beach Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • Original Downtown Los Angeles Walking Food Tour with Six Taste: $110
  • Marina Del Rey: Sunset Cruise with Dinner: $124
  • Marina Del Rey: Thanksgiving Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $136
  • Marina Del Rey: Christmas Eve Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $136

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbia -
    Los Angeles $82

Typical Entertainment Prices in Los Angeles

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Los Angeles's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Santa Monica Pier Rides (family of 4)
    $37
  • Bowling
    $13
  • Hollywood Tour for Two
    $30
  • Six Flags for 2
    $96

Tours and Activities in Los Angeles

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

  • Los Ángeles self-guided tour App - multilingual AudioGuide: $4.29
  • App self-guided tour Celebrity homes in Beverly Hills: $4.29
  • Gambling Built the Sunset Strip: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $4.99
  • Hollywood Secrets: In App Audio Tour at the Famous District: $5.00
  • Chinatown Self-Guided Audio Tour (ENG): $5.40
  • The Heart of Los Angeles’ Dreamland: A Self-Guide Tour in Culver City: $5.99
  • Los Angeles Chargers Football Game Ticket at SoFi Stadium: $6.79
  • LA: Broad Museum & Downtown Walk In-App Audio Tour: $7.00
  • Venice Boardwalk Quest Experience in Los Angeles: $7.10
  • Ghost Hunt Quest Experience in Hollywood: $7.10
  • Lost Souls of Hollywood Smartphone Ghost Tour: $7.26
  • Pacific Coast Hwy (LA Santa Maria): Smartphone Audio Tour: $7.26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbia $88
    Los Angeles $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Los Angeles

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Los Angeles:

  • LA Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $33
  • LA Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • Street Walking Taco & Wine Tour: $125
  • Salsa Lesson and Burlesque Show: $139
  • Malibu: Vintage VW Sightseeing Tour and Wine Tasting: $195
  • Wine Tour at Fess Parker Winery by Helicopter: $4,299


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


Which is Bigger, Columbia or Los Angeles?

Los Angeles has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Columbia. When comparing the sizes of Columbia and Los Angeles, 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 Los Angeles?

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 Los Angeles in the Summer?

Both Los Angeles and Columbia during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Columbia for the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Los Angeles because of the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Columbia is a little warmer than Los Angeles. Typically, the summer temperatures in Columbia in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Los Angeles averages at about 72°F (22°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Columbia. Columbia usually gets more rain in July than Los Angeles. Columbia gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Los Angeles receives 0 inches (0 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbia 82°F (28°C) 
    Los Angeles 72°F (22°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Los Angeles in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbia and Los Angeles. The autumn months attract visitors to Columbia because of the shopping scene. Also, the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene are the main draw to Los Angeles this time of year.

In October, Columbia is generally around the same temperature as Los Angeles. Daily temperatures in Columbia average around 64°F (18°C), and Los Angeles fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

In October, Columbia usually receives more rain than Los Angeles. Columbia gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Los Angeles receives 0.6 inches (15 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbia 64°F (18°C) 
    Los Angeles 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Los Angeles in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Columbia as well as Los Angeles. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Columbia this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Los Angeles for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Columbia is much colder than Los Angeles in the winter. The daily temperature in Columbia averages around 45°F (7°C) in January, and Los Angeles fluctuates around 55°F (13°C).

Columbia usually gets more rain in January than Los Angeles. Columbia gets 3.7 inches (93 mm) of rain, while Los Angeles receives 3.1 inches (79 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbia 45°F (7°C) 
    Los Angeles 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Los Angeles in the Spring?

Both Los Angeles and Columbia are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, many visitors come to Los Angeles in the spring for the beaches and the activities around the city.

In the spring, Columbia is a little warmer than Los Angeles. Typically, the spring temperatures in Columbia in April average around 64°F (18°C), and Los Angeles averages at about 61°F (16°C).

In April, Columbia usually receives more rain than Los Angeles. Columbia gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Los Angeles receives 1 inches (25 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbia 64°F (18°C) 
    Los Angeles 61°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Los Angeles and Columbia

Columbia Los Angeles
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Feb 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Mar 56°F (13°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 61°F (16°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.4 inches (10 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0 inches (0 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0 inches (0 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 70°F (21°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.6 inches (15 mm)
Nov 56°F (13°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
Dec 48°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)