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

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
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

You'll generally find more things to do in Chicago than Fort Lauderdale. Chicago is bigger than Fort Lauderdale, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Chicago is better known for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, shopping, christmas markets, and big city activities, while Fort Lauderdale is more popular for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and impressive beauty. Fort Lauderdale is more touristy than Chicago and is known for its canals, beaches, walkable waterfront, and luxury resorts. Chicago is well known for its thriving sports scene, its iconic local cuisine, and its world class shopping at the Magnificent Mile. Also, Chicago is famous for The Willis Tower (previously the Sears Tower).

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.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a must-visit destination for its museums and landmarks. However, Fort Lauderdale does not have museums and landmarks.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Chicago that are not to be missed. There are countless landmarks, museums, and iconic sights in the area. Some of the most famous are the Art Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Notable landmarks include the famous Willis Tower - formerly the Sears Tower, Buckingham Fountain, and the iconic Cloud Gate (the bean).

Fort Lauderdale does not have museums and landmarks.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Theater?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a must-visit destination for theatre. However, Fort Lauderdale is not a theatre destination.

Chicago is considered to be a world-class theater destination. Theater is big here with many of the major Broadway productions visiting the city. There is also an endless list of smaller, local theaters to choose from.

Fort Lauderdale is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a must-visit destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Fort Lauderdale is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Eat your way through Chicago, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. With everything from award-winning luxury restaurants to local dives, this city has something for everyone. It also has very distinct local flavors and dishes that create an identity and bring great pride to the locals. 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. There are many waterfront restaurants or you could head to Las Olas Boulevard, which has many bistros, cafes, and restaurants.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Nightlife?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a must-visit destination for nightlife. Also, Fort Lauderdale is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife and partying.

Chicago is a world class party destination. It has a wide range of activities at night, with everything from theater and comedy clubs to dance venues, sporting events, and local bars. It's easy to fill many evenings with whatever activity appeals to you. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.

The nightlife in Fort Lauderdale has something for everybody. Trendy and upscale partying is the name of the game in this Florida city. 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. You'll find the most activity around the weekends, but there really is something going on any night of the week.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Music?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a must-visit destination for live music. However, Fort Lauderdale is not a live music destination.

Chicago is a world class music destination. The city is the birthplace of such interesting styles as modern gospel and the Chicago style blues.

Fort Lauderdale is not a live music destination.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Resorts?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Fort Lauderdale is renowned for its resorts. However, Chicago is not a resort destination.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Fort Lauderdale is a perfect choice. Luxury beachfront resorts are plentiful in the area. Several of the most impressive include the Ritz-Carlton, W Fort Lauderdale, and the Dalmar. Most resorts have a beachfront pool, hot tubs, and depending on the resort, a kid's club.

Chicago is not a resort destination.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Fort Lauderdale is very good for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Chicago is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Fort Lauderdale. Although the snorkeling doesn't compare to what you'll find further south around the Florida Keys, there are some great places to pull your mask and fins out in the area. Popular snorkeling spots nearby include the Vista Park Reef, Pompano Beach, and Hollywood North Beach Park.

Chicago is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Beaches?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Fort Lauderdale is renowned for the beach. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for its beaches.

With world-famous beaches, Fort Lauderdale is a very popular vacation destination. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches, a fun boardwalk, and impressive views, the beaches here are among the best in the area. They are surprisingly walkable and, while there can be crowds, there's still a laid-back and relaxing atmosphere.

Chicago has a beach worth visiting. While you don't immediately think of beaches when you think of Chicago, there are some nice beaches by the lake. If the weather is nice, it's a great area to spend some time.

Is the Shopping Better in Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a must-visit destination for shopping. Also, Fort Lauderdale is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping opportunities.

Chicago is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. There are countless neighborhoods that are filled with boutiques, local vendors, and art galleries. The city has some of the country's best shopping opportunities, and the most notable area is the famous Michigan Avenue and the 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 Christmas?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a great destination for its Christmas activities. However, Fort Lauderdale does not offer Christmas activities.

Visitors come from all around to experience the Christmas activities in Chicago. There's a number of seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and excellent shopping.

Fort Lauderdale does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Christmas Markets?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a good destination for its Christmas markets. However, Fort Lauderdale does not offer Christmas markets.

Visiting the Christmas markets is popular in Chicago. Shopping is a highlight of a trip to the city, and the Christkindlmarkt is not to be missed.

Fort Lauderdale does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Families?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a must-visit destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Fort Lauderdale is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, 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. It's easy to keep kids entertained in this very kid-focused city.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Fort Lauderdale is very family-friendly. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a number of kid-oriented activities, the kids will love it here. Fun activities include Bluefoot Pirate Adventures, Butterfly World, and Funderdome. On sunny days there are many outdoor recreation areas and when the weather isn't cooperating, there are hands-on museums.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Couples?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Fort Lauderdale is renowned for couples. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

For those traveling as a couple, Fort Lauderdale has plenty to offer. Fine dining, beautiful beaches, and great shopping make for a great romantic getaway. Couples and honeymooners love relaxing at the beaches in Fort Lauderdale. A sunset walk on the beach and a stay at a romantic resort will make for an unforgettable trip.

Chicago is a nice destination for couples. Couples will enjoy exploring the city's vibrant theater scene and diverse neighborhoods. There are many varied restaurants and entertainment options that make for a great date night. There are also sporting events, parks, and gardens where couples can explore.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a good destination for backpackers. However, Fort Lauderdale is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Plenty of backpackers visit Chicago. The city doesn't have a huge backpacker vibe, but it does have a number of hostels that help keep costs in check.

Fort Lauderdale is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Students?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a must-visit destination for students. However, Fort Lauderdale is not popular with students.

Chicago is a very popular place to visit for students. The city has a large number of universities that bring in students from around the country and around the globe. It's a huge international city with economic ties and many opportunities connected to the universities.

Fort Lauderdale is not popular with students.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Chicago is a must-visit destination for its public transit. However, Fort Lauderdale is a coastal city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

Chicago has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. There's a subway (the "L"), a commuter well, as well as buses and countless taxis available.

Public transit is mostly limited in Fort Lauderdale. Transportation options include a water taxi and the Sun Trolley Hop-on Bus.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Chicago a more walkable city?

Fort Lauderdale
Chicago

Fort Lauderdale and Chicago both are high quality 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.

For even more information, also check out Is Fort Lauderdale Worth Visiting? and Is Chicago Worth Visiting?.

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. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Fort Lauderdale, and 3-5 days is enough time in Chicago.

Families should spend more time in Chicago than Fort Lauderdale. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Chicago, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Chicago than Fort Lauderdale. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Chicago that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chicago than Fort Lauderdale if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Chicago.


  • 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 place 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 $182, while the average daily cost in Chicago is $279. 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 destination. 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 $96
    Chicago $194
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fort Lauderdale $192
    Chicago $388
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 $51
    Chicago $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Fort Lauderdale Airport Private Transfer to Port Everglades: $160
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Airport FLL to Fort Lauderdale in Business Car: $80
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Airport FLL to Fort Lauderdale in Luxury Car: $116
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Airport FLL to Fort Lauderdale in Luxury SUV: $103
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Airport FLL to Fort Lauderdale in Luxury Van: $88
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Airport FLL to Hollywood Beach in Business Car : $72
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Airport FLL to Hollywood Beach in Luxury Car: $116
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Airport FLL to Hollywood Beach in Luxury SUV: $92
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Airport FLL to Hollywood Beach in Luxury Van: $88
  • Bimini Day Cruise from Fort Lauderdale with Round-Trip Miami Transfer: $259
  • Departure Private Transfer: Fort Lauderdale to Airport FLL in Business Car: $80
  • Departure Private Transfer: Fort Lauderdale to Airport FLL in Luxury Car: $116

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:

  • Chicago to Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD): Departure Transfer: $57
  • Airport transfer between Chicago O'Hare and Milwaukee: $34
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Midway Airport MDW to Chicago in Luxury SUV: $180
  • Arrival Private Transfer: O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago in Business Car: $153
  • Arrival Private Transfer: O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago in Luxury Car: $236
  • Arrival Private Transfer: O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago in Luxury SUV: $204
  • Chicago Airport (MDW) to Chicago - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $117
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: Chicago to O'Hare Airport ORD in Business Car: $153
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: Chicago to O'Hare Airport ORD in Luxury SUV: $204
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: Chicago to O'Hare Airport in Luxury SUV: $150
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago in Business Car: $153
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago in Luxury SUV: $204

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 $49
    Chicago $46
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.

  • Food Tour in Lauderdale By The Sea: $60
  • Downtown Fort Lauderdale Dinner & Drinks Tour: $98
  • Hollywood Florida Walking Food Tour : $99
  • Downtown Fort Lauderdale Dinner and Drinks Tour: $103
  • Fort Lauderdale Beach Food Tour: $114

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 : $40
  • Downtown Chicago Walking Pizza Tour: $55
  • Chicago : Hands-on Cooking Classes With Local Chef: $55
  • Downtown Pizza Guided Walking Tour with Tastings: $58
  • Chicago Small Group Food Tour: $69
  • Friday Pizza Walk of Downtown Chicago: $69
  • Chicago Style Food Tour: $70
  • Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Self-Guided Tour: $75
  • Chicago Pizza Tour: $75
  • Secret Food Tour: $78
  • Chicago West Loop Pizza Crawl: $79
  • Downtown Family Food Tour by Bike with Sightseeing: $80

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fort Lauderdale $15
    Chicago $43

Tours and Activities in Fort Lauderdale

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

  • Audio Walking Tour of Las Olas Riverwalk: $7.39
  • Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk Self-guided Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Pembroke Pines by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Pompano Beach by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Davie by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Coral Springs by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Pompano Beach by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Skip the Line: Flamingo Gardens Admission Ticket in Fort Lauderdale: $24
  • 1-Hour Interactive Pirate Cruise in Ft. Lauderdale (arrive 30 minutes early): $25
  • Private BLU3 Nomad Scuba Demo Experience in Deerfield: $25
  • Ghosts and Ghouls Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • Florida Everglades Airboat Adventure and Wildlife Encounter: $29

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: A Self-Guided Audio Tour with Bill Ayers: $5.40
  • United States eSIM Tourist Roaming Data Plan: $5.42
  • Discovering Chicago with Walking In App Audio Tour: $6.00
  • Haunted Sites Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.50
  • Chicago's Dark Side Smartphone (GPS/APP) Audio / Self Guided Walking Tour: $6.95
  • Vice, Crime and Gangsters in A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Vice, Crime and Gangsters Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Chicago’s Ragtime & Jazz Eras: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Chicago Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Must-Sees & Hidden Gems In-App Audio Tour (ENG): $9.00
  • Chicago Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Chicago Millennium Park Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99

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 $33
    Chicago $25
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:

  • Ft Lauderdale Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $37
  • Guided Happy Hour Bar Crawl by Beer Bike: $64
  • Pedibus Pub Crawl in Fort Lauderdale: $69
  • Party Bike Bar Crawl: $74

Sample the Local Flavors in Chicago

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

  • Walking tour to Chicago dive bars: $41
  • Chicago Local Brewery Expedition with Homemade Guacamole: $54
  • Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour: $100
  • Craft Brewery Tour by Barrel Bus: $100


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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Fort Lauderdale Expensive? and Is Chicago Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Fort Lauderdale or Chicago?

Chicago has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Fort Lauderdale. When comparing the sizes of Fort Lauderdale and Chicago, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


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. Daily temperatures in Fort Lauderdale average around 83°F (28°C), and Chicago fluctuates 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 daily temperature in Fort Lauderdale averages around 78°F (26°C) in October, and Chicago fluctuates 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 average around 67°F (20°C), and Chicago averages at 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. Daily temperatures in Fort Lauderdale average around 75°F (24°C), and Chicago fluctuates 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)