Should you visit Columbia or Pittsburgh?
Should I visit Columbia or Pittsburgh? 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.
Pittsburgh is a city in western Pennsylvania at the junction of 3 rivers. Set between the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers, and a mountain ridge called Mt Washington, Pittsburgh has a unique character that is evident from the moment you arrive. Juxtaposed with the rumbling freight trains and the iconic bridges are the Bladerunner-esque self-driving Uber vehicles, scanning the roads with spinning Lidar scanners. Its Gilded Age sites, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, speak to its history as an early-20th-century industrial capital. In the North Shore neighborhood are the modern Andy Warhol Museum, Heinz Field football stadium, and PNC Park baseball stadium. Experiencing periods of boom and bust since its founding, the city is in a boom now, and it's a fun place to visit, with top-notch museums, great gardens and parks, and amazing food.
Which city is cheaper, Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh is $145. 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 Pittsburgh in more detail.
The prices for places to stay in Pittsburgh can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $85, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $170.
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.
Pittsburgh food costs typically run travelers around $43 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
Pittsburgh'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 $18 per person, per day on transportation in Pittsburgh.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pittsburgh
Also for Pittsburgh, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Pittsburgh Departure Private Transfer to Airport:
Pittsburgh International Airport One Way Transfer:
Pittsburgh City to Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) - Departure Private Transfer:
Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) to Pittsburgh hotel/address - Arrival Private Transfer:
Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) to Pittsburgh City - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Pittsburgh?
Prices for flights to both Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $30 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Pittsburgh
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Pittsburgh.
Entrance Ticket to AT BLAQK House Collections:
Pittsburgh to Logstown: Discover the area's settler history on an audio tour:
Pittsburgh Scavenger Hunt Experience:
2-Hr Pittsburgh Walking Tour:
Evening Ghost Tour:
Architecture and History Tour:
Black & Ghost Tour:
Beauty of the Burgh Bike Tour:
Bike the Burgh Tour:
Essential Pittsburgh Experience - The One Tour to Take:
Sip of Pittsburgh Brew Tour:
Pittsburgh Private Tours:
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 Pittsburgh, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $26.
Sample the Local Flavors in Pittsburgh
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Pittsburgh:
Wacky Pittsburgh Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam:
Pittsburgh Bar Hunt: Party Through Pittsburgh Bar Crawl:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbia and Pittsburgh, we can see that Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Pittsburgh than you might in Columbia.
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