Should you visit Columbus or Chattanooga?
Should I visit Columbus or Chattanooga? 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.
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.
Located on the Tennessee River near the border of the U.S. state of Georgia, Chattanooga is Tennessee's fourth largest city and a major transportation hub. The city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its once dilapidated downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront, including the restoration of the historic Walnut Street Bridge.
Which city is cheaper, Chattanooga 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 Chattanooga 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 Columbus and Chattanooga in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $116 in Columbus For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $73. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Chattanooga the cost is $146 on average.
The average traveler spends about $39 per day in Columbus for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
In Chattanooga travelers spend around $47 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chattanooga
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chattanooga.
Small-Group Electric Bike Food Tour in Chattanooga:
2-Hour Small Group Southern Cuisine Food Tour in Chattanooga:
2-Hour Chattanooga Walking Food Tour:
To get around in Columbus, the average visitor spends $40 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.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $28 per day to get around in Chattanooga.
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:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer:
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chattanooga
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chattanooga:
Chattanooga Zoo (for 2)
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Chattanooga?
Prices for flights to both Chattanooga 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.
In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $42 per person, per day in Chattanooga. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
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:
Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket:
Central Park Bike Tour:
Tours and Activities in Chattanooga
Here are a few actual costs in Chattanooga for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Chattanooga "Awakening" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "C-Block Prison Break" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Locker Room Lockdown: Mascot Rescue" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Secret Agent" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Speakeasy" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "The Hunted" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "The Inheritance Mystery Room" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Vaccine: Search For The Zombie Cure" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga Guided Electric Bike City Tour:
Chattanooga Guided Party Bike Tour:
Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour:
Chattanooga Stand-Up Paddleboarding & Kayak Tour:
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chattanooga may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $19 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Sample the Local Flavors in Chattanooga
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chattanooga:
Chattanooga Brewery Walking Tour with Beer Tastings:
Half-Day Private Wine Tour in Chattanooga:
When comparing the travel costs between Columbus and Chattanooga, we can see that Chattanooga 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.
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