Should you visit Columbia or Norfolk?
Should I visit Columbia or Norfolk? 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.
The city of Norfolk in the U.S. state of Virginia is a port city holding a large Navy and shipping presence in its harbor. With a long history as a strategic military point, Norfolk is home to the largest Navy base in the world, Naval Station Norfolk. Other attractions include opportunities for dining, shopping, and entertainment as well as many parks and memorials.
Which city is cheaper, Norfolk 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 Norfolk is $133. 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 Norfolk in more detail.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $68. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Norfolk the cost is $136 on average.
The cost of a taxi ride in Norfolk is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $44 per person, per day, on local transportation in Norfolk.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Norfolk
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Norfolk:
Private Arrival Transfer: PFH to Outer Banks North Carolina by Luxury Vehicle:
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Norfolk?
Prices for flights to both Norfolk 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.
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.
Norfolk food costs typically run travelers around $39 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
Meals for one day
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Norfolk
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Norfolk.
Spirit of Norfolk Dinner Cruise on the Elizabeth River:
Spirit of Norfolk Buffet Dinner Cruise:
Entertainment and activities in Norfolk typically cost an average of $11 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in Columbia
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia are as follows:
Savannah: History & Ghosts Guided Tour with Beverage Stops:
Cascade Locks: 1-Hour Columbia River Sightseeing Cruise:
Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour:
Cascade Locks: Columbia Gorge Sunday Brunch Cruise:
Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour:
Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour:
Tours and Activities in Norfolk
Here are a few actual costs in Norfolk for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
City Sightseeing Norwich Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour:
Neon District Contemporary Art Walking Tour:
Norfolk Chronicles History Walking Tour:
Self-Guided E-Bike Tour Elizabeth River Trail 2-Hour/3rd Hour Free:
Norfolk Passport to Fun City Sightseeing and Discount Book:
E-Bike Cannonball Trail Guided History Tour of Norfolk:
Spirit of Norfolk Lunch Cruise on the Elizabeth River:
Candle Making Experience:
Spirit of Norfolk Buffet Lunch Cruise:
1/2 Day E-Bike Tour of Norfolk's History and Art:
1/2 Day E-Bike Tour of Norfolk's History and Art:
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 Norfolk may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $8.39 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Sample the Local Flavors in Columbia
Also in Columbia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Savannah: Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbia and Norfolk, we can see that Norfolk 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 Norfolk would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Norfolk than you might in Columbia.
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