A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Fairbanks vs. Anchorage

Should you visit Fairbanks or Anchorage?

Should I visit Fairbanks or Anchorage? 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.

Fairbanks

Fairbanks is the only 'city' in the interior region of Alaska, and the largest settlement for hundreds of miles, but it has many characteristics of a small town where everyone seems to know everyone. Because the city sits at the nexus of some truly epic routes - north to the Arctic, east to Canada and south to Denali - you'll almost inevitably end up spending time here, and that time is rarely boring. The residential streets of compact downtown are pretty as a picture, and during winter, this is ground zero for viewing the aurora borealis.

Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, is in the south-central part of the state on the Cook Inlet. It's known for its cultural sites and also as a gateway to nearby wilderness areas and mountains. From the sparkling waters of Cook Inlet to the tallest peaks of the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage encompasses incredible adventures and metropolitan appeals that are larger than life. With 1,500 moose, incredible national parks nearby and 60 glaciers a short drive away, it's a dream destination in Alaska.

Which city is cheaper, Anchorage or Fairbanks?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Fairbanks is $218, while the average daily cost in Anchorage is $153. 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 Fairbanks and Anchorage in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $246 in Fairbanks For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Anchorage is $186. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fairbanks $123
    Anchorage $93
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fairbanks $246
    Anchorage $186

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Fairbanks cost around $50 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $20.

In Anchorage travelers spend around $40 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Fairbanks $50
    Anchorage $40
Typical Food prices in Fairbanks

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


  • Lunch for Two at Pike's Landing
    $63
  • Totem Inn Breakfast for Two
    $46

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Fairbanks

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

  • Northern Lights Experience and Cabin Dinner: $180
  • Late Night Yurt Dinner and Northern Lights: $180
  • Moonlight Dog Sled, Dinner, & Northern Lights: $275
  • Northern Lights Viewing including Dinner and 1-Hour Dog Sledding: $275

Typical Food prices in Anchorage

Some typical examples of dining costs in Anchorage are as follows:


  • Bread
    $4.25
  • Breakfast for Two
    $17

Local Transportation

Fairbanks's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $53 per person, per day on transportation in Fairbanks.

The cost of a taxi ride in Anchorage is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $22 per person, per day, on local transportation in Anchorage.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fairbanks $53
    Anchorage $22
Typical Local Transportation prices in Fairbanks

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Fairbanks:


  • Full Tank of Gas
    $90

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Fairbanks

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

  • Fairbanks International Airport One Way Transfer: $48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Anchorage

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Anchorage:

  • Private Transfer: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) to Anchorage: $622
  • Private Transfer: Seward Cruise Port to Anchorage Airport (ANC): $292
  • Private Transfer: Anchorage to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC): $622
  • Private Transfer Anchorage Airport ANC to Seward Cruise Port: $292
  • Private Transfer Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Whittier Cruise Port: $209
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Anchorage Airport (ANC): $54
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Anchorage Airport ANC: $54
  • Anchorage accommodation to Anchorage Airport (ANC) - Departure Private Transfer: $34
  • Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Seward Cruise Port - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $771
  • Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Seward Cruise Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $386
  • Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Anchorage accommodation - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $67
  • Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Anchorage accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $34

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Fairbanks can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $52 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in Anchorage typically cost an average of $24 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fairbanks $52
    Anchorage $24
Typical Entertainment prices in Fairbanks

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


  • The Riverboat Discovery Trip
    $55
  • 1 Day Mountain Bike Rental
    $27
  • Canoe Rental with Pickup
    $56

Tours and Activities in Fairbanks

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

  • Thrilling Sledding Adventure Alaska: $75
  • Northern Lights Tour at Murphy Dome: $92
  • Snowshoe Alaska Wilderness Adventure: $95
  • Northern Lights / Murphy Dome Tour: $95
  • Fairbanks Heritage Sightseeing Tour: $105
  • Alaskan Heritage and Sightseeing Tour in Fairbanks: $105
  • Incredible Aurora Viewing Adventure: $110
  • Fairbanks City Tour: $115
  • Fairbanks City Highlight Tour: $115
  • The Best of Half-Day City Highlights Tour: $115
  • Fairbanks Autumn/Winter City Tour: $115
  • Fairbanks Evening Aurora Viewing Tour: $118

Typical Entertainment prices in Anchorage

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Anchorage are as follows:


  • 1 Day Bike Rental
    $33
  • 1/2 Day Rafting Trip
    $105

Tours and Activities in Anchorage

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Anchorage are as follows:

  • 2 Hour eBike Adventure along Tony Knowles, Chester Creek Trails and Cook Inlet: $120
  • 30 Minute Flightseeing Tour from Girdwood: $326
  • 9 Day Alaska Wildlife Tour w. Bear+Whale Viewing, 2 Nat'l Parks, Boutique Hotels: $5,985
  • Alaska 7-Day Brown Bears and Denali Adventure from Anchorage: $5,899
  • Alaska Crafted Tour and Railroad Adventure: $339
  • Alaska Helicopter Tour with Glacier Landing - 60 mins: $390
  • Alaska Helicopter and Glacier Dogsled Tour: $527
  • Alaska Native Historic Cultural City Tour of Anchorage: $59
  • Alaska Wildlife Day Tour with Free Hotel Pickup: $105
  • Alaska Wildlife Tour: $99
  • Alaska: 7-Day Brown Bear and Denali National Park Adventure: $5,899
  • Alyeska Tram - A Self-Guided Tour: $99

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Fairbanks spend on average $21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $16 on alcoholic beverages in Anchorage per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fairbanks $21
    Anchorage $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Anchorage

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Anchorage:

  • Half-Day Anchorage Craft Brewery Tour and Tastings: $115
  • Anchorage Bike and Brewery Tour: $219
  • Alaska Brewery and Railroad Experience from Anchorage: $349


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Fairbanks and Anchorage, we can see that Fairbanks is more expensive. And not only is Anchorage much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Anchorage would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Anchorage 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 Fairbanks would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Fairbanks than you might in Anchorage.

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Fairbanks vs. Anchorage Travel Comparison

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