A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbus vs. New York City for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit Columbus or New York City?

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

Should I visit Columbus or New York City? 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 friendly, welcoming, and down-to-earth city. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, shopping, and museums.

New York City

New York City is a one-of-a-kind, vibrant, and energetic city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and theater.

Columbus and New York City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Columbus or New York City?

Travelers will usually find more to do in New York City than Columbus, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. New York City is more touristy than Columbus and is known for its high-reaching skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, world-class theater scene, and endless energy. It is also home to The Statue of Liberty. Columbus is popular for its youthful energy and its growing arts scene.

How is Columbus different from New York City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between New York City 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 New York City?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for its museums and history. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Travelers visit New York City from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building. This is a city that is filled with iconic landmarks and you could spend weeks here and still not see it all.

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 Columbus or New York City Better for Theater?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for theatre. However, Columbus is not a theatre destination.

The theater and performance venues in New York City draw crowds from around the world. Visiting Broadway is a quintessential NYC experience. Whether you enjoy the theater or simply want to experience something new, seeing a Broadway show is a true bucket list activity.

Columbus is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Columbus or New York City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for its restaurants. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

For foodies, New York City is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, with everything from local dives to Michelin star options. There are many neighborhoods that are notable for their ethnic cuisine, particularly Little Italy and Chinatown. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.

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 New York City Better for Nightlife?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for nightlife. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

People head to New York City just to party. Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. There are world class bars and clubs, but also local venues that have a more relaxed atmosphere. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.

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 New York City Better for Music?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for live music. However, Columbus is not a live music destination.

New York City is known as a music capital around the world. Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.

Columbus is not a live music destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Columbus or New York City?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for shopping. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in New York City. The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items. New York is known for its many flea markets where you can find vintage items at a good price. And if you're looking to pick up a souvenir shirt or knick knack, there are plenty of souvenir shops around town as well.

Columbus offers some nice shopping areas. 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.

Is Columbus or New York City Better for Christmas?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Columbus does not offer Christmas activities.

New York City offers plenty of sights and activities around Christmas. Christmas in the city is a quintessential experience. From the Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center to seeing a live performance of the Nutcracker, everyone enjoys the holidays in New York.

Columbus does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Columbus or New York City Better for Christmas Markets?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a very popular place for visiting Christmas markets. However, Columbus does not offer Christmas markets.

New York City offers plenty of Christmas markets. There are a number of Christmas markets that pop up around town during the holiday season. Nothing will get you more in the holiday spirit than wandering these unique venues.

Columbus does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Columbus or New York City Better for Families?

Columbus
New York City

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Columbus or New York City.

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.

New York City is a very kid-friendly city. The city has many activities for kids of all ages including world class museums, beautifully designed playgrounds, and theater shows designed just for young ones. There are many kid-friendly restaurants as well and older kids will enjoy visiting the iconic landmarks in this world-class city.

Is Columbus or New York City Better for Couples?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for romance. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

New York City makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. From a beautiful carriage ride through Central Park, to a romantic river cruise at night, there is an endless list of unique activities that couples can enjoy in the city. Whether you're interested in theater, the arts, music, or nightlife, this city has it all.

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 New York City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for backpackers.

New York City is very popular with the backpacker crowd. It isn't a particularly budget-friendly destination, but it does get its share of backpackers, so you'll find a nice list of hostels and affordable hangouts that are perfect for the backpacker crowd. This is probably one of the most popular cities for backpackers in the entire United States.

Columbus is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Although it's often overlooked by tourists, there is a hostel in town for backpackers and budget travelers.

Is Columbus or New York City Better for Students?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Columbus is not popular with students.

Many students frequent New York City. The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

Columbus is not popular with students.

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

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for times when you don't have a car. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its public transit.

With a huge network, the transit system in New York City can get you around easily. The city has one of the largest subway systems in the world. There's also an elaborate bus system, ferry system, and yellow taxis all around town.

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


Is Columbus or New York City a more walkable city?

Columbus
New York City

New York City is a world-class destination for its walkability. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in New York City. The majority of the neighborhoods in Manhattan are very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Most people prefer not to drive here as it can be overwhelming and chaotic.

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

For even more information, also check out Is Columbus Worth Visiting? and Is New York City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in New York City or Columbus?

How long in Columbus or New York City?

Both Columbus and New York City have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in New York City than in Columbus. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Columbus, and 3-7 days is enough time in New York City.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in New York City 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 New York City.


  • How many days in Columbus or New York City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Columbus 1-2 
    New York City 3-7

One day in Columbus or New York City?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the authentic destination of Columbus. Your budget might influence how long you stay. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one day is just the right amount of time to spend here.

New York City is a big city with plenty to do. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Columbus or New York City?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Columbus. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.

New York City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Columbus or New York City?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the down-to-earth destination of Columbus. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. 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.

New York City is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in New York City, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Columbus or New York City?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the city of Columbus. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

New York City is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that New York City has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.


Which place is cheaper, New York City 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 New York City is $326. 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 New York City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $72
    New York City $175
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $144
    New York City $350
Compare Hotels in Columbus and New York City

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or New York City? 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 New York City


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 New York City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $50
    New York City $49

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

Typical Local Transportation Prices in New York City

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New York City are as follows:


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

Also for New York City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer in New York HTL-APT (JFK,EWR,LGA): $119
  • Transfer in private Minivan from New York (Manhattan) Airport to City: $122
  • Skip-the-line Tickets to Bronx Zoo with Private Transfers: $389
  • Skip-the-line One World Observatory Tour with Transfers: $251
  • Skip-the-line Metropolitan Museum of Art Tour with Transfers: $235
  • Skip the line One World Observatory Private Tour with Transfers : $251
  • Private transfer: LGA Airport to New York City: $82
  • Private transfer from New York JFK Airport to New York City: $64
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in New York (hotel OR airport pick-up): $291
  • Private Transfers between JFK Airport and New York City: $106
  • Private Transfer: Newark Airport EWR to New York in Luxury SUV: $198
  • Private Transfer: Newark Airport EWR to New York in Business Car: $157

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or New York City?

Prices for flights to both New York City 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
    New York City $50

Typical Food Prices in New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

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

  • Lower East Side and Essex Market Multicultural Food Tour: $39
  • New York City Pizza Crawl: Best of Manhattan route: $41
  • Shared Food Tour Bohemian Greenwichvillage: $45
  • Half-Day Private Pizza Crawl in Manhattan: $46
  • New York Walking and Food Tour in Flushing : $59
  • East Village Food Tour: $60
  • East Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Downtown Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Greenwich Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • Greenwich Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Pizza Walking Tour of Downtown Brooklyn: $65
  • West Village Pizza Walk: $65

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $46
    New York City $180

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

Typical Entertainment Prices in New York City

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New York City's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

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

  • 2-Days Niagara Falls USA, Watkins Glen and Scenic Hotel Tour : $257
  • 3 Hour Session at Williamsburg's Adventure Park Area 53: $42
  • 9/11 Memorial Tour with Skip-the-Line Museum Ticket: $55
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and Amish FarmNHouse Tour from NY: $114
  • Central Park Electric Scooter Tour NYC: $76
  • Classic 1-Hour Central Park Pedicab Tour : $69
  • Downtown NYC Walking Tour & One World Observatory Standard Admission Ticket: $164
  • Grand Central Terminal Walking Tour: $35
  • New York City Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village: $36
  • Official Central Park Pedicab Tours: $50
  • Private Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour: $190
  • THE VIP CARRIAGE RIDE with photo stops (50min) ~ Skip the line : $150

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Things to do in New York City with Kids, Things to Do in Central Park in NYC, and The Best Museums in New York City.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $20
    New York City $29

Sample the Local Flavors in New York City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New York City:

  • New York Rooftop Pub Crawl: $0.90
  • NYC West Village Pub Crawl: $21
  • History Tour Pub Crawl of Historic Stone Street: $25
  • New York Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • NYC: Brooklyn Nightlife Pub Crawl: $34
  • New York: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • The Bar Crawl and History Experience! : $36
  • NYC: Great Jones Distillery Guided Tour & Whiskey Tasting: $42
  • Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • East Village Gangster Ghost Pub Crawl: $64
  • Little Italy Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64


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


Which is Bigger, Columbus or New York City?

New York City has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Columbus. When comparing the sizes of Columbus and New York City, 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 New York City?

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 New York City in the Summer?

Both New York City and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Columbus for the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to New York City because of the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Columbus is around the same temperature as New York City in the summer. The daily temperature in Columbus averages around 77°F (25°C) in July, and New York City fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in New York City. It's quite rainy in Columbus. In July, Columbus usually receives around the same amount of rain as New York City. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 4.5 inches (114 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    New York City 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Columbus or New York City in the Autumn?

Both New York City and Columbus during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Columbus because of the shopping scene. Furthermore, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to New York City this time of year.

In the autumn, Columbus is around the same temperature as New York City. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Columbus in October average around 57°F (14°C), and New York City averages at about 57°F (14°C).

Columbus usually gets less rain in October than New York City. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    New York City 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Columbus or New York City in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and New York City. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Columbus this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to New York City for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in New York City. It's quite cold in Columbus in the winter. In January, Columbus is generally cooler than New York City. Daily temperatures in Columbus average around 30°F (-1°C), and New York City fluctuates around 31°F (-1°C).

In January, Columbus usually receives less rain than New York City. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    New York City 31°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Columbus or New York City in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Columbus as well as New York City. Additionally, many visitors come to New York City in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

Columbus is around the same temperature as New York City in the spring. The daily temperature in Columbus averages around 54°F (12°C) in April, and New York City fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

Columbus usually gets less rain in April than New York City. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 3.8 inches (98 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    New York City 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for New York City and Columbus

Columbus New York City
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 33°F (1°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.8 inches (98 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 57°F (14°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 36°F (2°C) 3.4 inches (88 mm)