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

Should you visit Columbus or Charleston?

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

Should I visit Columbus or Charleston? 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: Columbus or Charleston?

Columbus

The capital city of Ohio, Columbus sits at the meeting point of America's Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Appalachia, and the Plains. It is also home of Ohio State University, which is a major financial and economic force in the city. You'll likely need a car to navigate the city, although there is a bus system, COTA, which can take you to some of Columbus' highlights.

Charleston

Charleston is a beautiful, southern city and seaport town in South Carolina. It has a wonderful, historic downtown area that the city government works hard to maintain. Located on a peninsula that is created by two rivers, the city is a stunning setting with much character. It is a popular place to visit for its culture, architecture and cuisine. In recent years Charleston has gained popularity and it continues to grow as both a regional and international travel destination. With its rising popularity comes increasing costs. Travel costs continue to go up as restaurants and hotels raise their prices, particularly during the peak travel season and holiday periods.

Which city is cheaper, Charleston or Columbus?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbus is $126, while the average daily cost in Charleston 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Columbus and Charleston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $58
    Charleston $72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $116
    Charleston $144
Compare Hotels in Columbus and Charleston

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or Charleston? 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 Charleston


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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: Columbus Hotel Prices and Charleston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $40
    Charleston $26

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: $87
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $87
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $174

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Charleston?

Prices for flights to both Charleston 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 $39
    Charleston $46

Typical Food prices in Charleston

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


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $37
    Charleston $17

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: $11
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $21
  • Central Park Bike Tour: $53
  • New York City: 3-Hour City Highlights Guided Bike Tour: $60

Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

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

  • 2-Hour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour in Charleston: $48
  • 2-Hour Paddle Board Eco Tour of Charleston Lowcountry: $48
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25
  • Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Best of Historic Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston: $61
  • Bruce Knows Insider Walking Tour of Downtown: $26
  • Car Service: Airport to / from Cruise Port: $130
  • Charleston Attraction & Tour Pass for 1, 2, or 3 Days: $73
  • Charleston Boo Hag & Brews Walking Ghost and Bar Tour: $29
  • Charleston Chicora Walking Tour: $26
  • Charleston City Bus Tour with Charleston Museum Admission: $32

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $16
    Charleston $28

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

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

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37


When comparing the travel costs between Columbus and Charleston, we can see that Charleston is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Columbus or Charleston?

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 Charleston in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Columbus as well as Charleston. Also, many visitors come to Charleston in the summer for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Columbus is generally around the same temperature as Charleston. Temperatures in Columbus average around 77°F (25°C), and Charleston stays around 82°F (28°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charleston. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Columbus this time of the year. In the summer, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Charleston. Columbus gets 254 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charleston receives 293 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Charleston. Columbus receives a lot of rain in the summer. Columbus usually gets less rain in July than Charleston. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    Charleston 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Charleston in the Autumn?

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

Columbus is cooler than Charleston in the autumn. The temperature in Columbus is usually 57°F (14°C) in October, and Charleston stays around 67°F (19°C).

Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Charleston during autumn. Columbus gets 179 hours of sunny skies, while Charleston receives 197 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Columbus usually receives less rain than Charleston. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    Charleston 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Charleston in the Winter?

Both Charleston and Columbus during the winter are popular places to visit. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Charleston because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Columbus can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Columbus is much colder than Charleston. Typically, the winter temperatures in Columbus in January are around 30°F (-1°C), and Charleston is about 47°F (9°C).

In the winter, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Charleston. Columbus gets 105 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charleston receives 188 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets less rain in January than Charleston. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    Charleston 47°F (9°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Charleston in the Spring?

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

In April, Columbus is generally cooler than Charleston. Temperatures in Columbus average around 54°F (12°C), and Charleston stays around 64°F (18°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charleston this time of the year. Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Charleston during spring. Columbus gets 200 hours of sunny skies, while Charleston receives 275 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Columbus usually receives more rain than Charleston. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    Charleston 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Charleston and Columbus

Columbus Charleston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)


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Columbus vs. Charleston Travel Comparison

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