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

Should you visit Columbia or Portland?

Should I visit Columbia or Portland? 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.

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 $136. 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 Portland in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $152 for a double occupancy room in Portland If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


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

Food

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.

While meal prices in Portland can vary, the average travelers spends about $34 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Portland should cost around $14 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Portland is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Columbia $4.02
    Portland $34

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

Local Transportation

To get around in Portland, the average visitor spends $20 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbia -
    Portland $20

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.





Entertainment

In Portland, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.


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

Tours and Activities in Portland

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

  • Downtown Portland's Outdoor Sculptures Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.20
  • The Eastern Promenade: Explore the sounds and vistas on an audio walking tour: $5.20
  • Portland Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Portland Old Town Ghost Tour: $22
  • Downtown Ghost Tour: $23
  • Intro to Portland Small Group Walking Tour: $29
  • Pink Trolley City Tour of Portland - 10am: $29
  • Pink Trolley City Tour of Portland - 2pm: $29
  • Underground Donut Tour: Portland's Only Donut Tour: $30
  • Underground Donut Tour: $30
  • Portland's Only Underground Donut Tour: $31
  • Portland, Maine: 2.5-Hour History Tour with Sweet Treat: $35

Alcohol

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.

Typically, people visiting Portland spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


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

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
  • Portland's 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.

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Columbia vs. Portland Travel Comparison

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