Should you visit Columbia or Memphis?
Should I visit Columbia or Memphis? 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 banks of the Mississippi River in southwest Tennessee, Memphis is a city famous for the blues, soul, and Rock 'n' Roll music that originated there. There are a number of museums and historic landmarks like Elvis Presley's Graceland dedicated to that history, while areas of the city like Beale Street keep the musical culture alive today with a vibrant scene of bars, restaurants, and live music.
Which city is cheaper, Memphis 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 Memphis is $129. 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 Memphis in more detail.
The prices for places to stay in Memphis can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $67, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $134.
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.
The average traveler spends about $39 per day in Memphis for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Memphis
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Memphis:
Baskin Robins (for 2)
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Memphis
For Memphis, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Taste of Downtown Memphis Food Tour:
Memphis'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 $27 per person, per day on transportation in Memphis.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Memphis
Also for Memphis, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Arrival Transfer from Memphis Airport MEM:
Private Departure Transfer to Memphis Airport MEM:
Private Transfers: Memphis Airport:
Memphis Airport (MEM) to Memphis City - Arrival Private Transfer:
Memphis City to Memphis Airport (MEM) - Departure Private Transfer:
Memphis Airport (MEM) to Memphis City - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Private transfer: Memphis to Memphis Airport (MEM):
Private transfer: Memphis Airport (MEM) to Memphis:
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Memphis?
Prices for flights to both Memphis 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Memphis can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $36 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Memphis
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Memphis.
Memphis Music Hall of Fame Admission Ticket:
Memphis Music Hall of Fame Admission Ticket:
Memphis Cotton Museum Admission Ticket:
Rock 'n' Soul Museum with Audio Tour:
Beale Street Guided Walking Tour:
Skip the Line: Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum Admission Ticket:
1-Hour Beale Street Guided Walking Tour:
Haunted Memphis Walking Ghost Tour:
Memphis Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
Historic Memphis Guided Walking Tour:
2-Hour Haunted Walking Tour:
Memphis Mojo Bus 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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Memphis, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $21.
Sample the Local Flavors in Memphis
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Memphis:
2-Hour Private Pedal Tavern Pub Crawl in Downtown Memphis:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbia and Memphis, we can see that Memphis 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 Memphis would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Memphis than you might in Columbia.
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