A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbia vs. Portland for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Columbia or Portland?

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

Should I visit Columbia or Portland? 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.

Where Should I go: Columbia or Portland?

Columbia

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.

Portland

Referred to as "The City of Roses", Portland is the largest city in Oregon. It sits on the banks of the Columbia River and offers breathtaking views of Mount Hood when the weather allows. Portland is famous for its alternative vibe, live music scene, and popular microbreweries. It's also a mecca for environmentally conscious urban planning. The downtown area is quite compact and walkable. While the city itself may be smaller than you expect, it is still the largest metropolitan area between San Francisco and Seattle.

Which city is cheaper, Portland 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 Portland is $143. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Columbia and Portland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbia -
    Portland $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbia $0.00
    Portland $152
Compare Hotels in Columbia and Portland

Looking for a hotel in Columbia or Portland? 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 Portland


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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 Portland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbia -
    Portland $23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Portland Airport (PDX): $32
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Portland Airport PDX: $32
  • Portland International Airport One Way Transfer: $69
  • Arrival Business Class Private Transfer Portland Airport PDX to Portland City: $75
  • Departure Business Class Private Transfer from Portland Airport PDX to Portland: $75
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Portland Airport PDX to Oregon, West Linn or Tigar: $82
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Arrival Private Transfer: $102
  • Portland downtown to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $102
  • Transfer from Portland International Airport to Portland: $109
  • PDX - Portland One Way Airport Transfer in a Chauffeured Sedan/SUV: $133
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $141
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Arrival Private Transfer: $141

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland 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 $4.02
    Portland $35

Typical Food prices in Portland

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


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

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

  • Arts District Food Tour: $84
  • Portland's Art District Food Tour: $84
  • Walking Food Tour in Downtown Portland with Brunch: $86
  • Downtown Deluxe Food Tour: $89
  • Tastes of Downtown Portland Walking Food Tour: $89
  • 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise Through Downtown Portland: $108

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbia -
    Portland $19

Tours and Activities in Columbia

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

  • Cascade Locks: 1-Hour Columbia River Sightseeing Cruise: $50
  • Cascade Locks: Columbia Gorge Sunday Brunch Cruise: $94
  • Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour: $99
  • Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour: $85
  • Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour: $199
  • Savannah: History & Ghosts Guided Tour with Beverage Stops: $20

Tours and Activities in Portland

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

  • The Eastern Promenade: Explore the sounds and vistas on an audio walking tour: $5.20
  • Downtown Portland's Outdoor Sculptures Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.20
  • Portland Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Portland Old Town Ghost Tour: $22
  • Intro to Portland Small Group Walking Tour: $29
  • Pink Trolley City Tour of Portland - 2pm: $29
  • Pink Trolley City Tour of Portland - 10am: $29
  • Underground Donut Tour: Portland's Only Donut Tour: $30
  • Portland's Only Underground Donut Tour: $31
  • Vintage Fire Truck Sightseeing Tour of Portland Maine: $35
  • Private Tour: Downtown Portland and City Highlights: $38
  • Essential Portland Bike Tour: $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbia $70
    Portland $14

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: $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Power Through Portland Bar Crawl: $12
  • Oregon Priority Wine Tasting Pass: $40
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $49
  • Eastside Craft Brewery Walking Tour: $55
  • Portland Brewery Bike Tour: $71
  • Oregon Famous Wine Country Wine Tasting Adventure: $75
  • Brews & Bites - Food Carts & Brewery Tour: $94
  • Views and Brews, Portland Brewery Bike Tour: $118
  • 5-Hour Willamette Valley Wine Tour with Tastings: $120
  • Oregon Coast Brewery Tour: $130
  • Willamette Valley Wine Tasting from Portland: $139
  • Full-Day City & Oregon Wine Tasting Tour: $140


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


When is the best time to visit Columbia or Portland?

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 Portland in the Summer?

Both Portland and Columbia during the summer are popular places to visit. Also, most visitors come to Portland for the hiking, the small town charm, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Columbia is generally a little warmer than Portland. Temperatures in Columbia average around 82°F (28°C), and Portland stays around 68°F (20°C).

In Portland, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Columbia. In the summer, Columbia often gets less sunshine than Portland. Columbia gets 293 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 338 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Columbia. Columbia usually gets more rain in July than Portland. Columbia gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbia 82°F (28°C) 
    Portland 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Portland in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbia and Portland. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Portland because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

Columbia is a little warmer than Portland in the autumn. The temperature in Columbia is usually 64°F (18°C) in October, and Portland stays around 55°F (13°C).

In Columbia, it's very sunny this time of the year. Columbia usually receives more sunshine than Portland during autumn. Columbia gets 230 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 155 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Columbia usually receives more rain than Portland. Columbia gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbia 64°F (18°C) 
    Portland 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Portland in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Columbia as well as Portland. Also, the shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Portland this time of year.

It's quite cold in Portland in the winter. In the winter, Columbia is much warmer than Portland. Typically, the winter temperatures in Columbia in January are around 45°F (7°C), and Portland is about 40°F (4°C).

In the winter, Columbia often gets more sunshine than Portland. Columbia gets 171 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 86 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Portland. Columbia usually gets less rain in January than Portland. Columbia gets 3.7 inches (93 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbia 45°F (7°C) 
    Portland 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Columbia or Portland in the Spring?

Both Portland and Columbia are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to Portland for the small town charm and the natural beauty.

In April, Columbia is generally much warmer than Portland. Temperatures in Columbia average around 64°F (18°C), and Portland stays around 51°F (11°C).

It's quite sunny in Portland. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbia. Columbia usually receives more sunshine than Portland during spring. Columbia gets 273 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 231 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Columbia usually receives more rain than Portland. Columbia gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbia 64°F (18°C) 
    Portland 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Portland and Columbia

Columbia Portland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 56°F (13°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 56°F (13°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 48°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)


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Columbia vs. Portland Travel Comparison

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