A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbus vs. Berkeley for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Columbus or Berkeley?

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

Should I visit Columbus or Berkeley? 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.

Columbus

Columbus is a authentic, friendly, and welcoming city. Other popular activities here include museums, nightlife, and shopping.

Berkeley

Berkeley is a quirky, progressive, and diverse city. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Columbus and Berkeley: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable


Is there more to do in Columbus or Berkeley?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Berkeley than Columbus. While Columbus is larger than Berkeley, Berkeley has more sights and attractions for tourists. Berkeley is more touristy than Columbus and is popular for its progressive and liberal mindset as well as its farmer's markets and local boutiques. Also, Berkeley is famous for University of California Botanical Garden. Columbus is well known for its youthful energy and its growing arts scene.

How is Columbus different from Berkeley?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Berkeley and Columbus. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Columbus or Berkeley?

Columbus
Berkeley

Berkeley is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Berkeley offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. There are a wide range of museums around town, many of which are affiliated with the university. There are natural history museums, art museums, cultural museums, as well as historical and science museums.

Columbus offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Popular museums around town include the Center of Science and Technology, the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Ohio History Center.


Is the Food Better in Columbus or Berkeley? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Columbus
Berkeley

Berkeley is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Berkeley. There's a huge diversity of restaurants that range from international to California flavors. There are also eateries that cater to the student population, as well as fine dining and everything in between. You'll also find many farmer's markets, vegan options, and restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Columbus. Hearty and heavy comfort food is the mainstay in this town. There's pizza, casseroles, sausage, and milkshakes around town.

Is Columbus or Berkeley Better for Nightlife?

Columbus
Berkeley

Berkeley is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Berkeley has a large number of nightlife venues. With its large student population, you'll find no shortage of nightlife activities around town. There are bars and pubs as well as live music venues and plenty of unique experiences.

Columbus has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The live music scene is growing. There are also a growing number of breweries around town.

Is the Shopping Better in Columbus or Berkeley?

Columbus
Berkeley

Berkeley is a very popular place for shopping. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Berkeley. Quirky and local is what shopping in Berkeley is all about. There are also plenty of thrift stores and farmer's markets. Head to Fourth Street or Telegraph Avenue for some of the most interesting shopping opportunities.

Columbus offers some nice shopping areas. In addition to the standard shopping malls and retail outlets, there are some interesting shops in the Short North Arts District, German Village, and Easton Town Center.


Is Columbus or Berkeley Better for Families?

Columbus
Berkeley

Columbus is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Columbus is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a highlight for many families. Right by it is the Zoombezi Bay Waterpark. For hands-on science-based activities check out the Center of Science and Industry. Kids will also love the Legoland Discovery Center or the Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory. There are also many outdoor parks, greenways, and playgrounds to visit.

Berkeley is a family-friendly city. There are many outdoor places to explore with kids like Tilden Park or UC Botanical Garden. There are also science museums, nature centers, and plenty of kid-friendly restaurants.

Is Columbus or Berkeley Better for Couples?

Columbus
Berkeley

Berkeley is a popular place for romance. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Berkeley is a nice destination for couples. There's a wonderful mix of cultural activities and outdoor parks that you can explore. There's the Berkeley Rose Garden, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and many charming restaurants.

Most people don't think of Columbus as a couple's destination. You'll find restaurants and music venues that make for a nice date night. There are also wine tours and other entertainment options.

Is Columbus or Berkeley Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Columbus
Berkeley

Berkeley is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for backpackers.

Berkeley is very popular with the backpacker crowd. With its eclectic and alternative vibe, backpackers will find their place in this city. There's also a huge student population and a couple of hostels in the area.

Columbus is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Although it's often overlooked by tourists, there is a hostel in town for backpackers and budget travelers.


Is Columbus or Berkeley Better for Students?

Columbus
Berkeley

Berkeley is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Columbus is not popular with students.

Berkeley is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. University of California, Berkeley is a well reviewed university that attracts a progressive and motivated student population. The city is an expensive, but very rewarding place to study with many activities and opportunities for students.

Columbus is not popular with students.

Is Columbus or Berkeley Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Columbus
Berkeley

Berkeley is a world-class destination for times when you don't have a car. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its public transit.

With a huge network, the transit system in Berkeley can get you around easily. It's located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has access to buses and several BART stations.

Public transit is generally limited in Columbus. While there's a bus system, you'll really want to have a vehicle to get around town efficiently.

Is Columbus or Berkeley a more walkable city?

Columbus
Berkeley

Berkeley is a world-class destination for its walkability. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Berkeley. Most of Berkeley is very walkable, particularly the parts around the university.

Columbus is a somewhat walkable place. The older neighborhoods are the most walkable, but if you want to get around town, you'll need to have a car.


For even more information, also check out Is Columbus Worth Visiting? and Is Berkeley Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Berkeley or Columbus?

How long in Columbus or Berkeley?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Columbus and Berkeley. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Berkeley than in Columbus. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Columbus, and 2-3 days is enough time in Berkeley.

Families should spend more time in Columbus than Berkeley. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Columbus, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Berkeley than Columbus. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Berkeley that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Berkeley than Columbus if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Berkeley.


  • How many days in Columbus or Berkeley? Ideal Length of Stay
    Columbus 1-2 
    Berkeley 2-3

One day in Columbus or Berkeley?

The city of Columbus offers nightlife and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

The city of Berkeley offers food and shopping. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Columbus or Berkeley?

Columbus is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Columbus, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Berkeley is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Berkeley, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Columbus or Berkeley?

Columbus is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Berkeley is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A week in Columbus or Berkeley?

Columbus is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Berkeley is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles.


Which place is cheaper, Berkeley or Columbus?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbus is $158, while the average daily cost in Berkeley is $190. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Columbus and Berkeley in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $72
    Berkeley $131
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $144
    Berkeley $262
Compare Hotels in Columbus and Berkeley

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or Berkeley? 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 Columbus


Hotels in Berkeley


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Columbus Hotel Prices and Berkeley Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $50
    Berkeley $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

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

  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $65
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $65
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $131
  • Columbus Ohio (CMH) Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $180

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Berkeley

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Berkeley:

  • Private Transfer: Oakland International Airport to Hotel: $200
  • Private Departure Transfer to Oakland Airport OAK: $97
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland: $93
  • Oakland hotel or address to Oakland Airport (OAK) - Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco hotel/address - Private Arrival Transfer: $63
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco - Round-Trip Private Car Transfer: $127
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $87
  • Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport OAK to San Francisco by SUV: $232

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Berkeley?

Prices for flights to both Berkeley and Columbus 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
    Columbus $49
    Berkeley $36

Typical Food Prices in Berkeley

Some typical examples of dining costs in Berkeley are as follows:


  • Chocolates at Sweet Dreams
    $4.46

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Berkeley

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Berkeley.

  • North 3-Hour Food Tour: $116
  • Best of North Berkeley Food Tour: $130
  • Black Food Tour - Downtown Oakland: $140

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $46
    Berkeley $30

Tours and Activities in Columbus

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

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Columbus with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure : $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $28
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Trolley Pub Holiday Lights Tour in Columbus: $45

Tours and Activities in Berkeley

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

  • 2 Hours Private Walking Tour in Berkeley: $20
  • Classic Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour: $135
  • Comedy Oakland at The Washington Inn Show Tickets: $20
  • Historic Houseboat Tour: $65
  • Oakland Athletics Baseball Game Ticket at RingCentral Coliseum: $11
  • Oakland's Temescal Tastes Tour: $120
  • Redwoods of Marin and Mt. Tamalpais Walking Tour with Local Guide: $59
  • Ruth Bancroft Garden General Admission Ticket: $12
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Berkeley by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Self-Guided Oakland Tour in an Urban Excursion: $20
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Antioch by Zombie Scavengers: $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $20
    Berkeley $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Berkeley

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Berkeley:

  • Guided Wine Tasting at Berkeley Wineries with Local Sommelière : $175
  • Guided Wine Tasting with Local Sommelière: $175


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbus and Berkeley, we can see that Berkeley is more expensive. And not only is Columbus much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbus would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbus 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 Berkeley would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Berkeley than you might in Columbus.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Columbus Expensive? and Is Berkeley Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Columbus or Berkeley?

Columbus has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Berkeley. When comparing the sizes of Columbus and Berkeley, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Columbus or Berkeley?

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 Columbus or Berkeley in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Columbus as well as Berkeley. Many travelers come to Columbus for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Berkeley in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Columbus is generally a little warmer than Berkeley. Daily temperatures in Columbus average around 77°F (25°C), and Berkeley fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

Columbus receives a lot of rain in the summer. Columbus usually gets more rain in July than Berkeley. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Berkeley receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    Berkeley 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Berkeley in the Autumn?

Both Berkeley and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Columbus in the autumn for the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Berkeley for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Columbus is cooler than Berkeley in the autumn. The daily temperature in Columbus averages around 57°F (14°C) in October, and Berkeley fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

In October, Columbus usually receives more rain than Berkeley. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Berkeley receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    Berkeley 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Berkeley in the Winter?

Both Berkeley and Columbus during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Columbus for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Berkeley because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Columbus can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Columbus is much colder than Berkeley. Typically, the winter temperatures in Columbus in January average around 30°F (-1°C), and Berkeley averages at about 50°F (10°C).

Columbus usually gets less rain in January than Berkeley. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Berkeley receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    Berkeley 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Berkeley in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and Berkeley. Furthermore, the natural beauty are the main draw to Berkeley this time of year.

In April, Columbus is generally cooler than Berkeley. Daily temperatures in Columbus average around 54°F (12°C), and Berkeley fluctuates around 58°F (14°C).

In April, Columbus usually receives more rain than Berkeley. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while Berkeley receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    Berkeley 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Berkeley and Columbus

Columbus Berkeley
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)