A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbus vs. Galveston for Attractions, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Columbus or Galveston?

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

Should I visit Columbus or Galveston? 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.

Columbus

Columbus is a down-to-earth, authentic, and friendly city. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Galveston

Galveston is a historic, charming, and coastal town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.

Columbus and Galveston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Columbus or Galveston?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Galveston than Columbus. While Columbus is larger than Galveston, Galveston has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Galveston is more touristy than Columbus and is known for its long history that is centered around the shipping industry and hurricanes. It is also well known for Pleasure Pier. Columbus is famous for its youthful energy and its growing arts scene.

How is Columbus different from Galveston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Galveston and Columbus. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Columbus or Galveston?

Columbus
Galveston

Galveston is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Galveston offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. With its long history and Victorian homes, there are a number of museums around town. A favorite mansion is the 1892 Bishop's Palace. There's also the Galveston Railroad Museum and the Galveston Arts Center.

Columbus offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Popular museums around town include the Center of Science and Technology, the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Ohio History Center.


Is the Food Better in Columbus or Galveston? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Columbus
Galveston

Galveston is a popular place for its restaurants. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Galveston. There's a great mix of seafood and Texas favorites. Seafood-lovers will enjoy the oysters, crab cakes, and po boys while land-lovers will like the brisket, Tex Mex, and Texas chili.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Columbus. Hearty and heavy comfort food is the mainstay in this town. There's pizza, casseroles, sausage, and milkshakes around town.

Is Columbus or Galveston Better for Nightlife?

Columbus
Galveston

Galveston is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Galveston has a large number of nightlife venues. There's a bit of a party town vibe in the evenings. Head to Pleasure Pier for rides and entertainment. The town also has taverns, lounges, and bars that you can check out.

Columbus has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The live music scene is growing. There are also a growing number of breweries around town.

Is Columbus or Galveston Better for Beaches?

Columbus
Galveston

Galveston is a popular place for its beaches. However, Columbus is not a beach destination.

Galveston is a good option for a beach vacation. There are miles of beaches that spread out from town. Some of the best include Babe's Beach, Stewart Beach, and Crystal Beach. Because of the proximity to the Mississippi River, the water can be a bit murky, but the beaches are still fun.

Columbus is not a beach destination.


Is Columbus or Galveston Better for its Old Town?

Columbus
Galveston

Galveston is a popular place for its historic old town. However, Columbus does not have a historic old town.

Galveston is a good destination for visiting its old town. The East End Historic District is filled with historic mansions with beautiful porches. It's possible to take a tour or you could explore independently.

Columbus does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Columbus or Galveston?

Columbus
Galveston

Shoppers can find a variety of nice stores in both Columbus and Galveston.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Columbus. In addition to the standard shopping malls and retail outlets, there are some interesting shops in the Short North Arts District, German Village, and Easton Town Center.

Galveston offers some nice shopping areas. There are plenty of places to pick up souvenirs like shell jewelry or t-shirts. There are also more eclectic shops as well as shopping centers and malls.

Is Columbus or Galveston Better for Families?

Columbus
Galveston

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Columbus or Galveston.

Columbus is a very family-friendly destination. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a highlight for many families. Right by it is the Zoombezi Bay Waterpark. For hands-on science-based activities check out the Center of Science and Industry. Kids will also love the Legoland Discovery Center or the Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory. There are also many outdoor parks, greenways, and playgrounds to visit.

Galveston is a very kid-friendly city. Head to Pier 21 where you'll find museums, harbor tours, and other kid-friendly activities. The city also offers a number of pirate-themed activities that kids enjoy as well as spooky ghost tours. For a bit of a thrill you can check out the rides at Galveston Pleasure Pier. And, of course, there are the beaches.


Is Columbus or Galveston Better for Couples?

Columbus
Galveston

Galveston is a very popular place for romance. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Galveston makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The Historic District is the perfect place to enjoy a nice meal and soak up the charm. The area's beaches and parks also offer a bit of romance and there are plenty of outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, or swimming.

Most people don't think of Columbus as a couple's destination. You'll find restaurants and music venues that make for a nice date night. There are also wine tours and other entertainment options.

Is Columbus or Galveston Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Columbus
Galveston

Visitors will find reasonable public transit in both Columbus and Galveston.

Public transit is mostly limited in Columbus. While there's a bus system, you'll really want to have a vehicle to get around town efficiently.

Public transit is generally limited in Galveston. While there are buses and trolley buses, a car is the best way to get around with the greatest flexibility and convenience.

Is Columbus or Galveston a more walkable city?

Columbus
Galveston

Columbus and Galveston are nice when it comes to walkability.

Columbus is somewhat walkable. The older neighborhoods are the most walkable, but if you want to get around town, you'll need to have a car.

Galveston is a somewhat walkable place. There are some walkable areas such as the Historic District.


For even more information, also check out Is Columbus Worth Visiting? and Is Galveston Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Galveston or Columbus?

How long in Columbus or Galveston?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Columbus and Galveston. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Galveston than in Columbus. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Columbus, and 1-3 days is enough time in Galveston.

Families should spend more time in Galveston than Columbus. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Galveston, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Galveston than Columbus. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Galveston that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Galveston than Columbus if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Galveston.


  • How many days in Columbus or Galveston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Columbus 1-2 
    Galveston 1-3

One day in Columbus or Galveston?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Columbus. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Columbus has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

The town of Galveston offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Columbus or Galveston?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the authentic destination of Columbus. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Galveston is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Galveston, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Columbus or Galveston?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the down-to-earth city of Columbus. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Galveston is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A week in Columbus or Galveston?

Columbus is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Galveston is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, and The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco.


Which place is cheaper, Galveston or Columbus?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbus is $158, while the average daily cost in Galveston is $183. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Columbus and Galveston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $72
    Galveston $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $144
    Galveston $162
Compare Hotels in Columbus and Galveston

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or Galveston? 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 Galveston


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 Galveston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $50
    Galveston $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

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

  • Columbus Ohio (CMH) Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $180
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $132
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $66
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Galveston

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

  • Private Transfer from Port of Galveston to Houston Airport (HOU): $170
  • Private Departure Transfer from Galveston to HOU Airport: $170
  • Private Departure Transfer from Galveston Port to HOU Airport: $170
  • Privat Transfer from Galveston Port to Houston Airport (IAH): $195
  • Galveston to Houston George Bush Airport (IAH) Private Transfer: $197
  • Galveston Port to William Hobby Airport Departure Transfer: $170
  • Galveston Port to George Bush Airport Private Departure Transfer: $195

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Galveston?

Prices for flights to both Galveston 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 $49
    Galveston $52

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Galveston

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

  • Taste of the Strand Food Tour on Galveston Island: $105

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $46
    Galveston $15

Tours and Activities in Columbus

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

  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure : $21
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Columbus with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $28
  • Trolley Pub Holiday Lights Tour in Columbus: $45
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus by Crazy Dash: $10

Tours and Activities in Galveston

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Galveston.

  • 2 Hours Private Cemeteries of Galveston Walking Tour: $183
  • Al's Authentic Paranormal Excursion Tour: $16
  • Authentic Galveston Ghost City Tour: $25
  • Bay Queen River Boat Experience of Galveston Bay: $49
  • Baywatch Dolphin Tour : $25
  • Baywatch Galveston Island Bus Tours: $25
  • Dark Side and Cemeteries of Galveston – Walking Tour: $356
  • Demo and Reno Galveston Reconstructed Private Tour: $85
  • Dolphin Sightseeing Tour with Guide: $34
  • Galveston Cemetery Tour with Ghost Hunting Equipment: $20
  • Galveston Dark of the Moon Ghost Tour with Red Light District: $20
  • Galveston Dark of the Moon Tour: $999

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $20
    Galveston $37

Sample the Local Flavors in Galveston

Also in Galveston, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Historical Walking Tour and Pub Crawl: $20
  • Experience Best the Happy Hour Pub Crawl Tour in Galveston: $20
  • Happy Hour Pub Crawl: $25
  • Galveston's Best Pub Crawl: $25
  • Galveston Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbus and Galveston, we can see that Galveston 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 Galveston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Galveston than you might in Columbus.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Columbus Expensive? and Is Galveston Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Columbus or Galveston?

Columbus has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Galveston. When comparing the sizes of Columbus and Galveston, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Columbus or Galveston?

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 Galveston in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and Galveston. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Columbus this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Galveston for the beaches, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Columbus is cooler than Galveston. Typically, the summer temperatures in Columbus in July average around 77°F (25°C), and Galveston averages at about 84°F (29°C).

Columbus gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Columbus usually receives more rain than Galveston. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Galveston receives 3 inches (77 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    Galveston 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Galveston in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Columbus as well as Galveston. Many travelers come to Columbus for the shopping scene. Also, many visitors come to Galveston in the autumn for the shopping scene and the small town atmosphere.

In October, Columbus is generally much colder than Galveston. Daily temperatures in Columbus average around 57°F (14°C), and Galveston fluctuates around 71°F (22°C).

Columbus usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Galveston. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Galveston receives 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    Galveston 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Galveston in the Winter?

Both Galveston and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Columbus in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Galveston for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Columbus can get quite cold in the winter. Columbus is much colder than Galveston in the winter. The daily temperature in Columbus averages around 30°F (-1°C) in January, and Galveston fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

In January, Columbus usually receives less rain than Galveston. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Galveston receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    Galveston 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Galveston in the Spring?

Both Galveston and Columbus during the spring are popular places to visit. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Galveston because of the beaches and the small town charm.

In the spring, Columbus is much colder than Galveston. Typically, the spring temperatures in Columbus in April average around 54°F (12°C), and Galveston averages at about 70°F (21°C).

Columbus usually gets more rain in April than Galveston. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while Galveston receives 2.4 inches (60 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    Galveston 70°F (21°C)

Typical Weather for Galveston and Columbus

Columbus Galveston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 70°F (21°C) 2.4 inches (60 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 76°F (25°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 81°F (27°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 84°F (29°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 83°F (29°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (141 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)