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

Should you visit Columbus or Portland?

Should I visit Columbus or Portland? 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.

Portland

Referred to as "The City of Roses", Portland is the largest city in Oregon. It sits on the banks of the Columbia River and offers breathtaking views of Mount Hood when the weather allows. Portland is famous for its alternative vibe, live music scene, and popular microbreweries. It's also a mecca for environmentally conscious urban planning. The downtown area is quite compact and walkable. While the city itself may be smaller than you expect, it is still the largest metropolitan area between San Francisco and Seattle.

Which city is cheaper, Portland 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 Portland is $136. 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 Portland 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.

Travelers usually pay around $152 for a double occupancy room in Portland If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $58
    Portland $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $116
    Portland $152

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.

While meal prices in Portland can vary, the average travelers spends about $34 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Portland should cost around $14 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Portland is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Columbus $39
    Portland $34

Typical Food prices in Portland

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


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

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

  • Arts District Food Tour: $84
  • Portland's Art District Food Tour: $84
  • Walking Food Tour in Downtown Portland with Brunch: $86
  • Downtown Deluxe Food Tour: $89
  • Tastes of Downtown Portland Walking Food Tour: $89
  • 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise Through Downtown Portland: $108

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.

To get around in Portland, the average visitor spends $20 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $40
    Portland $20

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 Portland

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

  • Transfer from Portland International Airport to Portland: $109
  • Private Departure Transfer to Portland Airport (PDX): $32
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Portland Airport PDX: $32
  • Portland downtown to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $102
  • Portland International Airport One Way Transfer: $69
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $281
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $141
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $204
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Arrival Private Transfer: $102
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $281
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Arrival Private Transfer: $141
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Beaverton hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $141

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland 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.

In Portland, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $37
    Portland $19

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

Tours and Activities in Portland

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

  • 1-Hour Private Air Tour of Mount Hood and Columbia Gorge: $430
  • 2-Hour Champagne Brunch Cruise Through Downtown Portland: $78
  • 2-Hour Lunch Cruise Through Downtown Portland: $69
  • 20-Minute Columbia River Gorge Air Tour: $65
  • 20-minute Private Gorge Air Tour for 3: $130
  • 30-minute Multnomah Falls & Columbia Gorge Air Tour: $128
  • 40-minute Aerial Tour of Portland: $184
  • 40-minute Private Downtown Portland Air Tour for 3: $286
  • 5 Lighthouse Bike Tour with XL Lobster Roll: $132
  • A Walk Through Time Tour in Portland: $40
  • Afternoon Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland: $65
  • All Day Northern Oregon Wineries and Forest Bike Tour: $245

Alcohol

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

Typically, people visiting Portland spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $16
    Portland $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Power Through Portland Bar Crawl: $12
  • Oregon Priority Wine Tasting Pass: $40
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $49
  • Portland's Eastside Craft Brewery Walking Tour: $55
  • Portland Brewery Bike Tour: $71
  • Oregon Famous Wine Country Wine Tasting Adventure: $75
  • Brews & Bites - Food Carts & Brewery Tour: $94
  • Views and Brews, Portland Brewery Bike Tour: $118
  • 5-Hour Willamette Valley Wine Tour with Tastings: $120
  • Oregon Coast Brewery Tour: $130
  • Willamette Valley Wine Tasting from Portland: $139
  • Full-Day City & Oregon Wine Tasting Tour: $140


When comparing the travel costs between Columbus and Portland, we can see that Portland 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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Columbus vs. Portland Travel Comparison

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