Should you visit Columbus or Lancaster?
Should I visit Columbus or Lancaster? 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.
The largest city in Pennsylvania's Dutch Country, Lancaster is surrounded by scenic landscape and a unique culture. The area is predominately agricultural in nature and you will find lush farms growing crops and produce most seasons. The Amish communities are spread throughout the area and although they remain relatively isolated, they are acknowledged by fellow community members and their customs are respected. The Amish community prides themselves on minimalist living. They do not use electricity and travel around in horse and buggy, a sight which you will grow accustomed to while you're in the area. They are excellent farmers and craftsmen and you can find shops that proudly sell Amish made goods. Their close are old fashion in nature. Women generally wear long dresses and bonnets while men wear black suits and hats. The Amish community has their own churches and their own schools. There are a handful of places where you can learn more about the Amish community in the area. The Amish Experience F/X Theater offers shows and the People's Place Quilt Museum shows some handicrafts. It is possible to take an Amish Country tour or visit the Mennonite Information Center for more information.
Which city is cheaper, Lancaster 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 Lancaster is $146. 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 Lancaster 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.
The prices for places to stay in Lancaster can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $73, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $146.
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.
On average, meal and food prices in Lancaster cost around $42 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $17.
Meals for one day
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lancaster
For Lancaster, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Private Walking Food Tour in Lancaster:
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.
Lancaster's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $55 per person, per day on transportation in Lancaster.
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 - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer:
Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lancaster
Also for Lancaster, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private transfer: Lancaster to Lancaster Airport (LNS):
Private Transfer from Lancaster to Manchester Airport (MAN):
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Lancaster?
Prices for flights to both Lancaster 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Lancaster can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
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:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket:
Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus:
Tours and Activities in Lancaster
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Lancaster.
Authentic Tour & Meal with an Amish Family!:
Ghost Tour of Lancaster:
Lancaster City VIP Restaurant Tour:
Lancaster County: National Toy Train Museum Admission Ticket:
Downtown & Amish Country Authentic Lancaster Tour:
Evening Ghost Tour by Candlelight:
Premium Amish Country Tour including Amish Farm and House:
Sweet & Savory Tour of Lancaster City!:
Truly Authentic Lancaster Experience!:
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Lancaster, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.14.
When comparing the travel costs between Columbus and Lancaster, we can see that Lancaster 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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