Which city is cheaper, Chicago or Columbus?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Columbus or Chicago? 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.
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 in the Midwest, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. It has a population of almost 3 million and a metropolitan area that covers more than 10,000 square kilometers. It is also a hub for music, comedy and theater. It's skyline is beautiful with modern skyscrapers and Lake Michigan as a backdrop. It is easy to stay entertained in Chicago for weeks. There are world class museums, upscale or eclectic shopping opportunities, and impressive architecture.
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 Chicago is $221. 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 Chicago in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Columbus or Chicago? 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.
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Also for Columbus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chicago:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:
Prices for flights to both Chicago 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.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Chicago:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chicago.
For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Here are a few typical costs in Chicago for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in Chicago for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chicago:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbus and Chicago, we can see that Chicago 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 Chicago would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chicago than you might in Columbus.
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.
Both Chicago and Columbus during the summer are popular places to visit. Furthermore, many travelers come to Chicago for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.
In July, Columbus is generally around the same temperature as Chicago. Temperatures in Columbus average around 77°F (25°C), and Chicago stays around 77°F (25°C).
In Chicago, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Columbus. In the summer, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Chicago. Columbus gets 254 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun.
Chicago gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Columbus. Columbus usually gets more rain in July than Chicago. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain this time of the year.
The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and Chicago. Furthermore, many visitors come to Chicago in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.
Columbus is around the same temperature as Chicago in the autumn. The temperature in Columbus is usually 57°F (14°C) in October, and Chicago stays around 56°F (14°C).
Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Chicago during autumn. Columbus gets 179 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun in the autumn.
In October, Columbus usually receives around the same amount of rain as Chicago. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.
The winter brings many poeple to Columbus as well as Chicago. Additionally, most visitors come to Chicago for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.
Chicago can be very cold during winter. Columbus can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Columbus is much warmer than Chicago. Typically, the winter temperatures in Columbus in January are around 30°F (-1°C), and Chicago is about 25°F (-4°C).
In the winter, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Chicago. Columbus gets 105 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun.
Columbus usually gets more rain in January than Chicago. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain this time of the year.
Both Chicago and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Chicago because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.
In April, Columbus is generally around the same temperature as Chicago. Temperatures in Columbus average around 54°F (12°C), and Chicago stays around 52°F (11°C).
It's quite sunny in Chicago. Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Chicago during spring. Columbus gets 200 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun in the spring.
It rains a lot this time of the year in Chicago. In April, Columbus usually receives less rain than Chicago. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain each month for the spring.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||30°F (-1°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)||25°F (-4°C)||1.9 inches (47 mm)|
|Feb||33°F (1°C)||2.2 inches (55 mm)||29°F (-2°C)||1.4 inches (35 mm)|
|Mar||45°F (7°C)||3.2 inches (82 mm)||41°F (5°C)||3.7 inches (93 mm)|
|Apr||54°F (12°C)||3.2 inches (81 mm)||52°F (11°C)||4.3 inches (108 mm)|
|May||65°F (18°C)||4.1 inches (105 mm)||63°F (17°C)||3 inches (75 mm)|
|Jun||73°F (23°C)||4 inches (102 mm)||73°F (23°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)|
|Jul||77°F (25°C)||4.4 inches (112 mm)||77°F (25°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)|
|Aug||75°F (24°C)||3.7 inches (95 mm)||76°F (24°C)||3.5 inches (90 mm)|
|Sep||69°F (20°C)||3 inches (76 mm)||68°F (20°C)||3.8 inches (96 mm)|
|Oct||57°F (14°C)||2.2 inches (55 mm)||56°F (14°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)|
|Nov||47°F (8°C)||3.2 inches (82 mm)||44°F (7°C)||2.2 inches (56 mm)|
|Dec||35°F (2°C)||2.8 inches (72 mm)||31°F (-1°C)||2.8 inches (71 mm)|
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