Should you visit Columbus or Columbia?
Should I visit Columbus or Columbia? 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.
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.
Which city is cheaper, Columbia 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 Columbia is $0.00. 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 Columbia 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.
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.
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 to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Columbia?
Prices for flights to both Columbia 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.
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.
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.
Meals for one day
In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
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:
New York City: 3-Hour City Highlights Guided Bike Tour:
Tours and Activities in Columbia
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia are as follows:
Cascade Locks: 1-Hour Columbia River Sightseeing Cruise:
Cascade Locks: Columbia Gorge Sunday Brunch Cruise:
Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour:
Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour:
Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour:
Savannah: History & Ghosts Guided Tour with Beverage Stops:
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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.
Sample the Local Flavors in Columbia
Also in Columbia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Savannah: Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbus and Columbia, we can see that Columbus 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 Columbus would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Columbus than you might in Columbia.
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