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

Should you visit Columbus or Milwaukee?

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

Should I visit Columbus or Milwaukee? 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 Milwaukee?

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. While not always famous for it's sights and attractions, visitors will be pleasantly surprised by what they find here.

Milwaukee

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 place 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 $158, while the average daily cost in Milwaukee is $176. 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 Milwaukee in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $72
    Milwaukee $99
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $144
    Milwaukee $198
Compare Hotels in Columbus and Milwaukee

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or Milwaukee? 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 Milwaukee


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 Milwaukee Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $50
    Milwaukee $38

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: $66
  • 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

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 by SUV: $71
  • Milwaukee - General Mitchell Airport One Way Transfer : $64
  • Departure Private Transfer from Milwaukee to Milwaukee Airport MKE by Luxury Van: $73
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Milwaukee Airport MKE to Milwaukee City by SUV: $87
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Milwaukee Airport MKE to Milwaukee City by Minivan: $87
  • Arrival Private Transfer Milwaukee Airport MKE to Milwaukee City by Business Car: $77

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Columbus $49
    Milwaukee $52

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Milwaukee

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

  • Family Fun Food Tour: $80
  • Milwaukee Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • Local Food Tour: $107
  • Original Milwaukee Guided Brewery Tour with Lunch or Dinner: $139

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $46
    Milwaukee $26

Tours and Activities in Columbus

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

  • Columbus Blue Jackets Ice Hockey Game Ticket at Nationwide Arena: $21
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure : $21
  • 1-Hour Themed Escape Room Adventure & Narrative: $41
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Columbus with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $29
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $41
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus by Crazy Dash: $10

Tours and Activities in Milwaukee

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

  • 2 Hour Sailing Adventure in Lake Michigan (up to 6 people): $128
  • 2 Hours Private Tour of Milwaukee Marvels: $249
  • Brew City Ghosts: Macabre Milwaukee By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Cream City Cannibal: Jeffery Dahmer Walking Tour: $40
  • Discover Iconic Milwaukee Tour : $60
  • Geneva Lake Shore Path: Uncover 21 miles of stories on a self-guided audio tour: $10
  • Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Game Ticket at American Family Field: $11
  • Milwaukee Bucks Basketball Game Ticket at Fiserv Forum: $23
  • Milwaukee Magic: A Private Christmas Lights Tour: $659
  • Milwaukee Marvels: A 2-Hour Private Tour: $490
  • Milwaukee Private Ghost Tour: $90
  • Milwaukee Private Pedal Tavern Tour : $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $20
    Milwaukee $33

Sample the Local Flavors in Milwaukee

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

  • Sip of Milwaukee Guided Brewery Tour with Snack: $99


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.

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


Which is Bigger, Columbus or Milwaukee?

Columbus has a larger population, and is about 27% larger than the population of Milwaukee. When comparing the sizes of Columbus and Milwaukee, 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 Milwaukee?

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 Milwaukee in the Summer?

Both Milwaukee and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Columbus in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Columbus is around the same temperature as Milwaukee. Typically, the summer temperatures in Columbus in July average around 77°F (25°C), and Milwaukee averages at about 74°F (23°C).

It's quite sunny in Milwaukee. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbus. Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Milwaukee during summer. Columbus gets 254 hours of sunny skies, while Milwaukee receives 321 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Columbus. In July, Columbus usually receives more rain than Milwaukee. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Milwaukee receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    Milwaukee 74°F (23°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Milwaukee in the Autumn?

Both Milwaukee and Columbus during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Columbus for the shopping scene during these months.

In October, Columbus is generally a little warmer than Milwaukee. Daily temperatures in Columbus average around 57°F (14°C), and Milwaukee fluctuates around 53°F (12°C).

In the autumn, Columbus often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Milwaukee. Columbus gets 179 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Milwaukee receives 174 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets more rain in October than Milwaukee. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Milwaukee receives 2 inches (50 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    Milwaukee 53°F (12°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Milwaukee in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and Milwaukee. The winter months attract visitors to Columbus because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

It's quite cold in Milwaukee in the winter. The weather in Columbus can be very cold. Columbus is much warmer than Milwaukee in the winter. The daily temperature in Columbus averages around 30°F (-1°C) in January, and Milwaukee fluctuates around 21°F (-6°C).

Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Milwaukee during winter. Columbus gets 105 hours of sunny skies, while Milwaukee receives 138 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Columbus usually receives more rain than Milwaukee. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Milwaukee receives 1.6 inches (41 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    Milwaukee 21°F (-6°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Milwaukee in the Spring?

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

In the spring, Columbus is a little warmer than Milwaukee. Typically, the spring temperatures in Columbus in April average around 54°F (12°C), and Milwaukee averages at about 47°F (8°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Milwaukee. In the spring, Columbus often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Milwaukee. Columbus gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Milwaukee receives 211 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets more rain in April than Milwaukee. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while Milwaukee receives 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    Milwaukee 47°F (8°C)

Typical Weather for Milwaukee and Columbus

Columbus Milwaukee
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 21°F (-6°C) 1.6 inches (41 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 26°F (-4°C) 1.1 inches (29 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 36°F (2°C) 2.2 inches (57 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 47°F (8°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 72°F (22°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 65°F (18°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 41°F (5°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 27°F (-3°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)