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

Should you visit Columbus or Detroit?

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

Should I visit Columbus or Detroit? 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 Detroit?

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.

Detroit

Detroit is the largest city in the Midwestern state of Michigan. Near Downtown, the neoclassical Detroit Institute of Arts is famed for the Detroit Industry Murals painted by Diego Rivera, and inspired by the city's ties to the auto industry, giving it the nickname "Motor City." Detroit is also the birthplace of Motown Records, whose chart-topping history is on display at their original headquarters, Hitsville U.S.A.

Which city is cheaper, Detroit 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 Detroit is $112. 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 Detroit in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $58
    Detroit $56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $116
    Detroit $112
Compare Hotels in Columbus and Detroit

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or Detroit? 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 Detroit


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 Detroit Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $40
    Detroit $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

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

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Detroit

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

  • Transfer from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Detroit: $100
  • Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW): $622
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $122
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $122
  • Private Transfer From Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Detroit City: One Way Arrival Transfer: $149
  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $43
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $106
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $212
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $106
  • Detroit - Wayne County Airport One Way Transfer: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Detroit?

Prices for flights to both Detroit 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
    Detroit $36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Detroit

For Detroit, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Fresh Mediterranean Inspired Cooking Class in a Unique Detroit Home: $94
  • Detroit Revival Food Tours: $139

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

Tours and Activities in Columbus

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

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

Tours and Activities in Detroit

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

  • 2020 Preservation Detroit Saturday Eastern Market Tour: $18
  • 90 minute Segway Experience: $64
  • Detroit Beer History Walking Tour: $39
  • Detroit Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $30
  • Detroit Walking Tour Including Rides on the People Mover: $29
  • Pre Mother's Day Detroit Shopping Tour: $49

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $16
    Detroit $16


When comparing the travel costs between Columbus and Detroit, we can see that Columbus 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 Detroit?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Columbus or Detroit in the Summer?

Both Detroit and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

In the summer, Columbus is around the same temperature as Detroit. Typically, the summer temperatures in Columbus in July are around 77°F (25°C), and Detroit is about 74°F (24°C).

It's quite sunny in Detroit. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbus. Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Detroit during summer. Columbus gets 254 hours of sunny skies, while Detroit receives 319 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Columbus. In July, Columbus usually receives more rain than Detroit. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    Detroit 74°F (24°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Detroit in the Autumn?

Both Detroit and Columbus during the autumn are popular places to visit.

In October, Columbus is generally a little warmer than Detroit. Temperatures in Columbus average around 57°F (14°C), and Detroit stays around 54°F (12°C).

In the autumn, Columbus often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Detroit. Columbus gets 179 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Detroit receives 172 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Detroit. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    Detroit 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Detroit in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and Detroit.

The weather in Detroit can be very cold. Columbus can be very cold during winter. Columbus is much warmer than Detroit in the winter. The temperature in Columbus is usually 30°F (-1°C) in January, and Detroit stays around 25°F (-4°C).

Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Detroit during winter. Columbus gets 105 hours of sunny skies, while Detroit receives 120 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Columbus usually receives more rain than Detroit. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 2 inches (50 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    Detroit 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Detroit in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Columbus as well as Detroit.

In the spring, Columbus is a little warmer than Detroit. Typically, the spring temperatures in Columbus in April are around 54°F (12°C), and Detroit is about 49°F (9°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Detroit. In the spring, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Detroit. Columbus gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Detroit receives 223 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Detroit. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 3.2 inches (80 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    Detroit 49°F (9°C)

Typical Weather for Detroit and Columbus

Columbus Detroit
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 27°F (-3°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 37°F (3°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 65°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)


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Columbus vs. Detroit Travel Comparison

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