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

Should you visit Columbus or Philadelphia?

Should I visit Columbus or Philadelphia? 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.

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. 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.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is the fourth largest urban area, and the fifth largest city in the United States. It's located in southeastern Pennsylvania and has a rich history, having once been the capital of the United States. The city has very impressive architecture, museums, universities, and entertainment venues. It's a cultural and artistic center for the country and it continues to climb as a top travel destination.

Which city is cheaper, Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia is $151. 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 Philadelphia in more detail.



Accommodation

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 Philadelphia can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $95, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $190.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $58
    Philadelphia $95
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $116
    Philadelphia $190

Food

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.

Philadelphia food costs typically run travelers around $39 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Columbus $39
    Philadelphia $39

Typical Food prices in Philadelphia

For Philadelphia, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Casual Lunch (for 3)
    $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Philadelphia

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

  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $44
  • Decadent Gourmet Food Tour: $44
  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $52
  • Highlights of East Passyunk Food Tour: $54
  • South Philly Italian Family Dinner Tour: $75
  • Historic Food Tour: $78
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Philadelphia: $90
  • Spirit of Philadelphia Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $107
  • Secret Food Tours Philadelphia w/ Private Tour Option: $193

Local Transportation

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 Philadelphia than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $22 on transportation in Philadelphia on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $40
    Philadelphia $22

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: $87
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $174
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $87

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Philadelphia

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

  • Transfer in executive private vehicle from Philadelphia City Center to Airport: $70
  • Transfer in executive private vehicle from Philadelphia Airport to City Center: $70
  • Transfer in executive private minivan from Philadelphia City Center to Airport: $95
  • Transfer in executive private minivan from Philadelphia Airport to City Center: $95
  • Transfer from Philadelphia International Airport to Philadelphia: $100
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Philadelphia Airport: $51
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Philadelphia Airport to Hotel: $51
  • RoundTrip transfer in executive private minivan from-to Airpt-Philadelphia City: $191
  • Round-Trip Transfer in Executive Private Car from-to Airport - Philadelphia City: $140
  • Private transfer from or to MDT , PHL airports , Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA: $200
  • Private Transfer: Philadelphia to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL): $622
  • Private Transfer: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Philadelphia: $622

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Philadelphia?

Prices for flights to both Philadelphia 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.





Entertainment

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 Philadelphia, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $22 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $37
    Philadelphia $22

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
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $21
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus: $11

Typical Entertainment prices in Philadelphia

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


  • Big Bus Tour (family of 3)
    $99

Tours and Activities in Philadelphia

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

  • 1776 History and Cheesesteak Tour: $28
  • 2-Day Philadelphia Tour from Boston: $549
  • 2-Hour German-Language Historic Walking Tour: $195
  • Amazing Philadelphia Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Art and Controversy: An audio tour of Philadelphia's most infamous art scandals: $5.00
  • Badass Women's History Tour of Philadelphia: $40
  • Beyond the [Liberty] Bell History Tour: $40
  • Brandywine Valley Tour with Private Driver: $581
  • Cemetery and Serial Killers Walking Tour of Philadelphia: $35
  • City Sightseeing Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $36
  • Colonial Era Philadelphia Waterfront Walking Tour: $215
  • Colonial Philadelphia Waterfront Walking Tour: $195

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Philadelphia spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $16
    Philadelphia $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Philadelphia

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

  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • Philadelphia Prohibition Pub Crawl: $45
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • 2-Hour Philly on Tap Pub Tour: $65
  • Sip of Philly Brewery Tour: $79
  • 2-Hour Old City Wine Tasting Tour: $96


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

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Columbus vs. Philadelphia Travel Comparison

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