A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Fort Lauderdale vs. Chicago for Food, Nightlife, Beaches, and Couples

Should you visit Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Fort Lauderdale and Chicago. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a bustling, spirited, and luxury coastal city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

Chicago

Chicago is a edgey, cosmopolitan, and diverse city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for beaches, shopping, and museums.

Fort Lauderdale and Chicago: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular with couples


How is Fort Lauderdale different from Chicago?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Chicago and Fort Lauderdale. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Food?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Fort Lauderdale.

Eat your way through Chicago, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.

Fort Lauderdale has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Seafood is the obvious option with popular dishes being fish tacos, sea bass, and scallop risotto.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Nightlife?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

It's hard to distinguish whether Fort Lauderdale or Chicago has a better nightlife scene.

The people in Fort Lauderdale know how to have a good time. Most people head to the beach, Las Olas Blvd, River Front and The New Hard Rock Seminole Hotel Complex for the best bars and clubs.

Chicago is a must-see party destination. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Beaches?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Fort Lauderdale provides a better beach experience than Chicago.

Fort Lauderdale offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches, a fun boardwalk, and impressive views, the beaches here are among the best in the area.

Chicago is a good option for a beach vacation. While you don't immediately think of beaches when you think of Chicago, there are some nice beaches by the lake.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Shopping?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is generally considered to be a more popular shopping destination.

Chicago is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. The most famous shopping area is Michigan Avenue and the famous Magnificent Mile.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Fort Lauderdale. For interesting local boutiques head to Las Olas Boulevard and for name brand stores you'll want to visit Sawgrass Mills Mall.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Families?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Both Fort Lauderdale and Chicago are family-friendly destinations.

Fort Lauderdale is a very family-friendly place to visit. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a number of kid-oriented activities the kids will be entertained. Fun activities include Bluefoot Pirate Adventures, Butterfly World, and Funderdome.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Chicago is very family-friendly. The city has a large number of activities for kids, including zoos, Shedd Aquarium, impressive children's museums, and large and elaborate playgrounds in Millennium Park.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Couples?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Fort Lauderdale offers a wider variety of romantic activities for couples than Chicago.

Fort Lauderdale is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. Fine dining, beautiful beaches, and great shopping make for a great romantic getaway. Couples and honeymooners love relaxing at the beaches in Fort Lauderdale.

Chicago makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples will enjoy exploring the city's vibrant theater scene and diverse neighborhoods.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago a more walkable city?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Fort Lauderdale and Chicago both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Fort Lauderdale is very walkable. It is one of the most walkable Florida communities with a boardwalk and several pedestrian areas that are fun to wander around.

Chicago is a very walkable coastal city. The city has many restaurants, sights, and hotels that are easily accessible on foot.

Should I spend more time in Chicago or Fort Lauderdale?

How long in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

In either Fort Lauderdale or Chicago, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Fort Lauderdale than Chicago because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Fort Lauderdale is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Chicago is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago? Ideal Length of Stay
    Fort Lauderdale 3-7 
    Chicago 3-5

One day in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

In Fort Lauderdale, you'll find nightlife and food. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. This coastal city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Chicago is a big city with plenty to do. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

In Fort Lauderdale, you'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people come for the beaches. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Chicago is a big city with plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.


Five days in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

Fort Lauderdale is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Fort Lauderdale has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Chicago is a great place to explore. This city offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

A week in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Fort Lauderdale. In Fort Lauderdale, you'll find shopping and nightlife. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Chicago. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Which city is cheaper, Chicago or Fort Lauderdale?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Fort Lauderdale is $146, while the average daily cost in Chicago is $221. 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 Fort Lauderdale and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fort Lauderdale $77
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fort Lauderdale $154
    Chicago $304
Compare Hotels in Fort Lauderdale and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago? 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 Fort Lauderdale


Hotels in Chicago


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: Fort Lauderdale Hotel Prices and Chicago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fort Lauderdale $41
    Chicago $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Arrival Private Transfers from Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Hollywood: $103
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Hollywood: $117
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Hollywood: $100
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Hollywood: $77
  • Florida Transfers and Tours: $150
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) Private Arrival Transfer: $77
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Boca Raton - Arrival Private Transfer: $98
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Boca Raton - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $197
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Boynton Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $137
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Boynton Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $274
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Coral Gables - Arrival Private Transfer: $71
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Coral Gables - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $142

Typical Local Transportation prices in Chicago

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


  • Parking
    $19
  • Taxi Ride
    $10
  • Taxi from Airport
    $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chicago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago City by SUV: $96
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago by Sedan Car: $79
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago City by Minibus: $333
  • Chicago Airport Private Arrival Transfer by SUV: $115
  • Chicago Airport Private Arrival Transfer by Sedan: $96
  • Chicago Airport Private Departure Transfer by SUV: $115
  • Chicago Airport Private Departure Transfer by Sedan: $96
  • Chicago Airport Transfer by Private Sedan: $170
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: Midway Airport MDW to O'Hare Airport ORD in Luxury SUV: $133
  • Chicago Airport Transfers : Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD by Luxury SUV: $119
  • Chicago Airport Transfers : Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD in Business Car: $100
  • Chicago Airport Transfers : Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD in Luxury Car: $123

Is it cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and Fort Lauderdale 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
    Fort Lauderdale $39
    Chicago $37
Typical Food prices in Fort Lauderdale

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Fort Lauderdale:


  • Quick Lunch
    $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Fort Lauderdale

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Fort Lauderdale.

  • All You Can Eat BBQ Dinner and Show at Tropical Isle with Sightseeing Cruise: $60

Typical Food prices in Chicago

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Chicago:


  • Dinner for 1
    $24
  • Dinner for 3
    $118

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chicago

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chicago.

  • Traveling Spoon Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Learn to Make Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza with a Local: $49
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: River North Historical Food Tour: $61
  • Private Fusion Cooking Class in Downtown Chicago: $64
  • Best in Chow: Chicago River North Food Tour: $64
  • Signature Food Tour at Chicago's Navy Pier: $64
  • Skip the Line: Tommy Gun's Garage Dinner and Show Ticket: $67
  • Small-Group Chicago Food Tour: Gold Coast and Old Town: $75
  • Best of Chicago Tour Including a Deep-Dish Pizza: $75
  • River North Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Chicago's Wicker Park Food Tour: $75
  • Private Indian-Mexican Fusion Cooking Class with a Modern Cook: $78

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fort Lauderdale $12
    Chicago $34

Tours and Activities in Fort Lauderdale

Here are a few actual costs in Fort Lauderdale for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Beach Cruiser Bike Rentals in Fort Lauderdale: $11
  • Fort Lauderdale Historical Walking Tour: $12
  • 1-Hour Interactive Pirate Adventure Cruise in Fort Lauderdale (Family-Friendly): $23
  • 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Cruises: $23
  • Fort Lauderdale Daily Sightseeing Cruise - On the Venice of America: $27
  • Everglades Eco Adventure: 2-Hour Sawgrass Recreation Park: $28
  • Jungle Queen Sightseeing Cruise: $33
  • Everglades Airboat Tour & Gator Boys Alligator Rescue Show from Fort Lauderdale: $37
  • Ft Lauderdale Cocktail Cruise: $45
  • Island Time Boat Cruise: $45
  • 1-Hour Bike Tour of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: $47
  • SUP PUP Paddleboard Tour: $47

Typical Entertainment prices in Chicago

Here are a few typical costs in Chicago for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Sears Tower (family of 4)
    $102
  • Aquarium for 4
    $118
  • Water Taxi (family of 4)
    $22
  • IMAX Movie for Two
    $35
  • Shakespeare Play (2)
    $116
  • Art Institute (2)
    $36
  • U-Boat Tour (2)
    $8.00

Tours and Activities in Chicago

Here are a few actual costs in Chicago for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • A Storied Neighborhood: Dance the dialectic with Bill Ayers on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Discovering Vintage The Loop Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Millennium Park Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Chicago Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Skip the Line: American Writers Museum Admission Ticket: $14
  • Pilsen Walking Tour of Local Publicly Displayed Art: $15
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Historic Chicago Theatre: $18
  • Chicago Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Windy City Ghost Tour: $24
  • Street Art & Mural Tours By Native 312- Wabash Arts Corridor: $25
  • In the Streets: Milwaukee Ave Guided Bike Tour: $25

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Free Things to Do in Chicago, Chicago Bucket List: The Best Places to See, and The Best Museums in Chicago.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fort Lauderdale $27
    Chicago $20
Typical Alcohol prices in Fort Lauderdale

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Fort Lauderdale are as follows:


  • Beer
    $7.30

Sample the Local Flavors in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Party Bike Bar Crawl: $59

Sample the Local Flavors in Chicago

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chicago:

  • Haunted Chicago Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $25
  • Walking tour to Chicago dive bars: $41
  • Chicago Barrel Bus Craft Distillery Tour: $90
  • Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour: $90
  • Ultimate Girl's Night Out in Sparkling Wine, Photo Shoot, Burlesque: $900


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


When is the best time to visit Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

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 Fort Lauderdale or Chicago in the Summer?

Both Chicago and Fort Lauderdale are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Fort Lauderdale for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Chicago in the summer for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Fort Lauderdale is generally a little warmer than Chicago. Temperatures in Fort Lauderdale average around 83°F (28°C), and Chicago stays around 77°F (25°C).

It's quite sunny in Chicago. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago during summer. Fort Lauderdale gets 316 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chicago. It's quite rainy in Fort Lauderdale. In July, Fort Lauderdale usually receives more rain than Chicago. Fort Lauderdale gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Fort Lauderdale 83°F (28°C) 
    Chicago 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Chicago in the Autumn?

Both Chicago and Fort Lauderdale during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Fort Lauderdale in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Chicago for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Fort Lauderdale is much warmer than Chicago in the autumn. The temperature in Fort Lauderdale is usually 78°F (26°C) in October, and Chicago stays around 56°F (14°C).

It's quite sunny in Fort Lauderdale. In the autumn, Fort Lauderdale often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Fort Lauderdale gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale usually gets more rain in October than Chicago. Fort Lauderdale gets 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Fort Lauderdale 78°F (26°C) 
    Chicago 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Chicago in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Fort Lauderdale and Chicago. Most visitors come to Fort Lauderdale for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Chicago because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

The weather in Chicago can be very cold. In the winter, Fort Lauderdale is much warmer than Chicago. Typically, the winter temperatures in Fort Lauderdale in January are around 67°F (20°C), and Chicago is about 25°F (-4°C).

In Fort Lauderdale, it's very sunny this time of the year. Fort Lauderdale usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during winter. Fort Lauderdale gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Fort Lauderdale usually receives more rain than Chicago. Fort Lauderdale gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Fort Lauderdale 67°F (20°C) 
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Chicago in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Fort Lauderdale as well as Chicago. The spring months attract visitors to Fort Lauderdale because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Chicago this time of year.

In April, Fort Lauderdale is generally much warmer than Chicago. Temperatures in Fort Lauderdale average around 75°F (24°C), and Chicago stays around 52°F (11°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chicago. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Fort Lauderdale this time of the year. In the spring, Fort Lauderdale often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Fort Lauderdale gets 300 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Chicago. Fort Lauderdale usually gets less rain in April than Chicago. Fort Lauderdale gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Fort Lauderdale 75°F (24°C) 
    Chicago 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Chicago and Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Chicago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Feb 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Mar 72°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
May 79°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 83°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Nov 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Dec 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)


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Fort Lauderdale vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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