Should you visit Columbus or Milwaukee?
Should I visit Columbus or Milwaukee? 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.
Milwaukee is a city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin on Lake Michigan's western shore. It's known for its breweries, many of which offer tours chronicling its role in the beer industry. Overlooking the Menomonee River, the Harley-Davidson Museum displays classic motorcycles, including one of Elvis Presley's. Nearby is the Milwaukee Public Museum, with its large-scale European Village and a recreation of old Milwaukee. In summertime, festivals let loose by the lake almost every weekend. These attractions along with stylish eating and shopping areas have turned Wisconsin's largest city into an interesting and attractive destination.
Which city is cheaper, Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee is $141. 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 Milwaukee 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.
Travelers usually pay around $158 for a double occupancy room in Milwaukee If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
Food in Milwaukee costs travelers about $41 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Milwaukee
For Milwaukee, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Milwaukee:
Milwaukee Secret Food Tour w/ Private Tour Option:
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Milwaukee than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $31 on transportation in Milwaukee on average per day.
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:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Milwaukee
Also for Milwaukee, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Transfer Milwaukee to Milwaukee Airport MKE in an SUV:
Private Transfer Milwaukee to Milwaukee Airport MKE in a Luxury Car:
Private Transfer Milwaukee to Milwaukee Airport MKE in Business Class Car:
Private Transfer Milwaukee Airport MKE to Milwaukee in an SUV:
Private Transfer Milwaukee Airport MKE to Milwaukee in Luxury Class Car:
Private Transfer Milwaukee Airport MKE to Milwaukee in Business Class Car:
Milwaukee - General Mitchell Airport One Way Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Milwaukee?
Prices for flights to both Milwaukee 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 expenses in Milwaukee, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $21 per day, per person.
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:
Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket:
Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus:
Tours and Activities in Milwaukee
For Milwaukee, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Christmas Past, Present and Future Light Tour:
Cruisin' Karaoke Tour:
Discover Iconic Milwaukee Tour:
Donut Boat Cruise:
Fun Milwaukee Tours:
Fun Public Milwaukee Tours:
Harley-Davidson Museum General Admission Ticket with Audio Guided Option:
Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus Tour:
Romantic tour in Milwaukee:
Skip the Line: Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear Admission Ticket:
Skip the Line: Museum Admission Ticket - Grohmann Museum:
Skip the Line: North Point Lighthouse Admission Ticket:
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Milwaukee spend on average $26 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Sample the Local Flavors in Milwaukee
Also in Milwaukee, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Milwaukee Bar Hunt: Milwaukee Bar Crawl:
Operation Mindfall Brewery District in Downtown Milwaukee:
Operation Mindfall Bar Crawl on Brady Street:
When comparing the travel costs between Columbus and Milwaukee, we can see that Milwaukee 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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