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

Should you visit Columbus or Philadelphia?

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

Should I visit Columbus or Philadelphia? 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 Philadelphia?

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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Columbus and Philadelphia in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or Philadelphia? 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 Philadelphia


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Local Transportation
  • 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.





Food
  • 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

Entertainment
  • 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:

  • Central Park Bike Tour: $53
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $21
  • New York City: 3-Hour City Highlights Guided Bike Tour: $60
  • 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
  • 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
  • Dark Philly Adult Night Tour: $25
  • Discovering Colonial Philadelphia to now Walking Tour: $250
  • Double Decker Bus Tour of Philadelphia: $37
  • Double Decker Night-Time Tour of Philadelphia: $34

Alcohol
  • 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
  • Charleston: Haunted Bar Crawl with Tarot Reading: $64
  • Sip of Philly Brewery Tour: $79


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.


When is the best time to visit Columbus or Philadelphia?

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 Philadelphia in the Summer?

Both Philadelphia and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Also, many visitors come to Philadelphia in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Columbus is around the same temperature as Philadelphia. Typically, the summer temperatures in Columbus in July are around 77°F (25°C), and Philadelphia is about 77°F (25°C).

It's quite sunny in Philadelphia. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbus. Columbus usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Philadelphia during summer. At this time of the year, Columbus gets 254 hours of sunny skies, while Philadelphia receives 273 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Philadelphia. It's quite rainy in Columbus. In July, Columbus usually receives more rain than Philadelphia. At this time of the year, Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    Philadelphia 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Philadelphia in the Autumn?

Both Philadelphia and Columbus during the autumn are popular places to visit. Furthermore, most visitors come to Philadelphia for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Columbus is generally around the same temperature as Philadelphia. Temperatures in Columbus average around 57°F (14°C), and Philadelphia stays around 56°F (14°C).

In Philadelphia, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the autumn, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Philadelphia. Columbus gets 179 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Philadelphia receives 202 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets more rain in October than Philadelphia. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    Philadelphia 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Philadelphia in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and Philadelphia. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Philadelphia because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

The weather in Philadelphia can be very cold. Columbus can be very cold during winter. Columbus is cooler than Philadelphia in the winter. The temperature in Columbus is usually 30°F (-1°C) in January, and Philadelphia stays around 30°F (-1°C).

Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Philadelphia during winter. At this time of the year, Columbus gets 105 hours of sunny skies, while Philadelphia receives 152 hours of full sun.

In January, Columbus usually receives around the same amount of rain as Philadelphia. At this time of the year, Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    Philadelphia 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Philadelphia in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Columbus as well as Philadelphia. Additionally, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Philadelphia this time of year.

In the spring, Columbus is around the same temperature as Philadelphia. Typically, the spring temperatures in Columbus in April are around 54°F (12°C), and Philadelphia is about 52°F (11°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Philadelphia. In the spring, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Philadelphia. Columbus gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Philadelphia receives 216 hours of full sun.

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


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    Philadelphia 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Philadelphia and Columbus

Columbus Philadelphia
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 33°F (1°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 42°F (6°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 56°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 46°F (8°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 36°F (2°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)


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Columbus vs. Philadelphia Travel Comparison

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