A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Gainesville vs. Atlanta for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Gainesville or Atlanta?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Atlanta, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Gainesville

Gainesville is a high energy, active, and vibrant city. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Atlanta

Atlanta is a sprawling, suburban, and cultural city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Gainesville and Atlanta: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Atlanta?

You'll generally find more things to do in Atlanta than Gainesville. Atlanta is bigger than Gainesville, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Atlanta is more touristy than Gainesville and is popular for its world class aquarium, its role as host of the 1996 Olympic Games, and its influence during the Civil Rights Movement. Also, Atlanta is famous for the Georgia Aquarium. Gainesville is well known for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Atlanta?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Gainesville or Atlanta?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Atlanta is very popular for its sights and museums. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Atlanta that are not to be missed. The museums range in topic from history to science and art. The country's largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, is in Atlanta as well. It's home to whale sharks, stingrays, and a diversity of marine life. Other museums around town include the Atlanta History Center, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the High Museum of Art, the World of Coca Cola, the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, and the Delta Flight Museum. There are also many monuments and sites including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Gainesville. There's a surprising number of museums around town such as the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, and the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention. Also fascinating is the Historic Haile Homestead, the Butterfly Rainforest, and the city's planetarium.


Is the Food Better in Gainesville or Atlanta? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Atlanta is notable for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Atlanta makes for a great culinary experience. It's a huge city with a wide selection of restaurants including international, local, and classic southern styles. Fried chicken, biscuits, diner food, and barbecue are all popular. For a classic southern breakfast check out The OK Cafe and for a quintessential Atlanta experience go to The Varsity.

Gainesville has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Casual eateries are popular around town, particularly with the student population. There are grills, diners, and bistros that serve local dishes at affordable prices.

Is Gainesville or Atlanta Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Evening events are superb in both Gainesville and Atlanta.

Gainesville has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The nightlife centers around the student population. The two main party areas are Midtown and Downtown. Midtown is between Northwest 17th Street and Northwest 18th Street and it's convenient for students who live on campus. The area has a great stretch of bars and clubs. The Downtown area has many of the city's top clubs, and it's popular with upperclassmen and students who live off campus.

Atlanta has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The nightlife scene is diverse with trendy bars, dance clubs, and huge music halls. There are a number of neighborhoods that each have their own atmosphere. For some of the best nightlife check out the upscale bars in Buckhead, the music venues in Midtown, the hipster vibe in Edgewood, or the laid-back atmosphere in Virginia Highland.

Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Atlanta?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Atlanta is very popular for shopping. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Atlanta is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. There are a number of great shopping districts around town. Atlantic Station is popular with a movie theater and ice skating. Buckhead has boutique and local vendors and Lenox Square has a large shopping mall.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Gainesville. You'll find all of the standard shopping options around town such as malls, shopping centers, and retail outlets. Two popular areas are the Neighborhoods at Butler and Celebration Pointe.


Is Gainesville or Atlanta Better for Families?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Atlanta is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Atlanta is a very family-friendly place to visit. There is no shortage of playgrounds around town, but a highlight of any trip is a visit to the Georgia Aquarium. It's the largest aquarium in the United States and its home to whale sharks, hammerheads, dolphin shows, and more. It is so much more than just an aquarium, and it truly is a not to be missed experience. Also worth a visit are Zoo Atlanta, the Center of Puppetry Arts, Stone Mountain, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and the Lego Discovery Center. If you have the chance to see the Atlanta Braves play, that's also a rewarding experience.

Gainesville is a family-friendly city. You'll find outdoor activities, nature parks, and a couple of museums that will appeal to all ages. Highlights for families include A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center, the Adventure Outpost, and Alfred A. Ring Park.

Is Gainesville or Atlanta Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Gainesville and Atlanta are both notable to visit as a couple.

Gainesville is a nice destination for couples. Couples can enjoy wine tasting and fine dining or enjoying the city's many outdoor activities. Go on a picnic or explore one of the museums in Downtown Gainesville.

Atlanta makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's a big city, so there are a number of date night activities available such as orchestra concerts, theater shows, and fine dining. The city also has many outdoor areas like Lake Lanier and Piedmont Park. The Georgia Aquarium is world class, and there are other amazing museums around town as well.

Is Gainesville or Atlanta Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Atlanta is a nice place to visit for backpackers. However, Gainesville is a mediocre city for backpackers and budget travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Atlanta. While it's usually overlooked by backpackers, there are actually a couple of hostels around town and a surprising number of activities worth experiencing. The city's large airport make it a convenient entry point for international travelers.

Gainesville is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not high on the list for many travelers, but there are some cheap motels where budget travelers can stay.


Is Gainesville or Atlanta Better for Students?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Gainesville and Atlanta are both superb destinations for students and younger travelers.

Gainesville is a great city to visit as a student. As the location of the University of Florida, you'll find many students around town. This keeps the energy high with plenty of evening activities and affordable entertainment options.

Students come from all over to stay in Atlanta. There are a number of universities in town such as Emory, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, and Morehouse College. The city is sprawling, but it's also full of entertainment and activities that students will enjoy.

Is Gainesville or Atlanta Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Gainesville is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Atlanta is not known for its public transit.

While Gainesville offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a decent bus system that's free to students and employees of the university.

Public transit is generally limited in Atlanta. For such a large city, the public transportation system is very limited. MARTA is the main transit authority and there are a few subway lines that cross the city as well as bus routes running around town.

Is Gainesville or Atlanta a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Atlanta

Gainesville and Atlanta both are notable when exploring on foot.

Gainesville is somewhat walkable. Biking is actually a popular way to get around town and some areas are pedestrian-friendly.

Atlanta is a somewhat walkable place. Parts of the city are walkable, but most of the sights are spread out and require a car to access. Within neighborhoods, there are a few places that are more pedestrian-friendly such as Downtown, Midtown, Virginia Highlands, and Buckhead.


For even more information, also check out Is Gainesville Worth Visiting? and Is Atlanta Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Atlanta or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Atlanta?

It's fun to spend time in either Gainesville or Atlanta. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Atlanta due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Gainesville, and 2-4 days is enough time in Atlanta.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Atlanta than Gainesville 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 Atlanta.


  • How many days in Gainesville or Atlanta? Ideal Length of Stay
    Gainesville 1-2 
    Atlanta 2-4

One day in Gainesville or Atlanta?

In Gainesville, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Atlanta is a diverse city where you can fill many days. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Gainesville or Atlanta?

In Gainesville, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Gainesville has to offer.

Atlanta is a diverse big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Gainesville or Atlanta?

Gainesville is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

The cultural city of Atlanta offers shopping and museums. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A week in Gainesville or Atlanta?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Gainesville. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Gainesville. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Atlanta. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


Which place is cheaper, Atlanta or Gainesville?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Gainesville is $221, while the average daily cost in Atlanta is $173. 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 Gainesville and Atlanta in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Atlanta $90
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Atlanta $180
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Atlanta

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Atlanta? 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 Gainesville


Hotels in Atlanta


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: Gainesville Hotel Prices and Atlanta Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Atlanta $44

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Atlanta

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


  • MARTA Subway Ticket
    $4.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Atlanta

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

  • Hartsfield Jackson Airport (ATL) to Lithia Springs - Arrival Private Transfer: $33
  • Atlanta Airport (ATL) to Lithia Springs -Arrival Private Transfer: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer to Atlanta Airport (ATL): $40
  • Transfer in executiveprivate vehicle from Atlanta Downtown -Atlanta Airport(ATL): $53
  • Transfer in executiveprivate vehicle from Atlanta Airport(ATL) -Atlanta Downtown: $53
  • Hartsfield Jackson Airport (ATL) to Lithia Springs - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $66
  • Transfer in Executive Private Minivan from Atlanta Downtown to Atlanta Airport: $67
  • Private Car Transfer From Atlanta Airport to Atlanta Metro Area: $67
  • Transfer in Executive Private Minivan from Atlanta Airport to Atlanta Downtown: $67
  • Atlanta Private Airport Transfers: $67
  • Atlanta Airport (ATL) to Lithia Springs RoundTrip PrivateTransfer: $73
  • Sno Roth Luxury Car Service and Airport Transfer : $75

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Atlanta?

Prices for flights to both Atlanta and Gainesville 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
    Gainesville $70
    Atlanta $43
Typical Food Prices in Gainesville

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


  • Diner Breakfast for Two
    $17
  • Lunch at Chop Stix (for 2)
    $24

Typical Food Prices in Atlanta

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Atlanta:


  • Fast Food Lunch (for 2)
    $15
  • Lunch
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Atlanta

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

  • 2 Hour Guided Wood Fired Pizza Class in Atlanta: $55
  • Atlanta Wood-Fired Pizza Making Class with Classpop!: $55
  • City Lights Atlanta Night-Time Tour with Photos & Dinner Stop: $65
  • City Lights Night Tour with Photos & Dinner Stop: $65
  • 2 Hour Historic Market Food Tour and Hands-On Biscuit Class: $70
  • Historic Market Food Tour + Biscuit Class: $70
  • Ponce City Market 2.5-Hour Weekend Food Tour: $99
  • Food Tour of Inman Park and the Atlanta Beltline: $99

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Atlanta $56
Typical Entertainment Prices in Gainesville

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


  • Manatee Tour for Two
    $98
  • Tour Guide Tip
    $5.00

Tours and Activities in Gainesville

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

  • Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History Ticket: $15
  • Private Snorkeling Tour in Florida Springs: $250
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Gainesville by Operation City Quest: $10

Tours and Activities in Atlanta

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Atlanta.

  • Atlanta Civil Rights Self Guided Audio App Walk of Freedom Tour: $6.75
  • Civil Rights Self-Guided Audio App Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Atlanta Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Olympic Park & Pemberton Place: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $10
  • Atlanta Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour Guide: $10
  • Georgia Aquarium: Ocean Voyager Virtual Tour: $11
  • Georgia Aquarium at Home: Cold Water Quest Virtual Tour: $11
  • The Civil Rights Movement in A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Civil Rights Movement in A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Atlanta Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • Atlanta Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $14

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Atlanta $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Atlanta

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

  • Guided Brewery Tour in Atlanta: $12
  • Drag Queen Guided Pub Crawl and Cabaret Show: $36
  • ATLANTA Yes, Queen! Drag Queen Pub Crawl : $40
  • Half-Day Wine Tastings in the North Georgia Mountains : $115
  • Full-Day Wine Country Wine Tastings From Atlanta : $120
  • Bartram Trail Hike plus Wine Tasting: $159


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

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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Atlanta?

Atlanta has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Atlanta, 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 Gainesville or Atlanta?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Gainesville or Atlanta in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Atlanta. The summer months attract visitors to Gainesville because of the family-friendly experiences. Also, the city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Atlanta this time of year.

In July, Gainesville is generally around the same temperature as Atlanta. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 81°F (27°C), and Atlanta fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

It's quite rainy in Atlanta. Gainesville receives a lot of rain in the summer. Gainesville usually gets more rain in July than Atlanta. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Atlanta receives 5.2 inches (133 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Atlanta 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Atlanta in the Autumn?

Both Atlanta and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The shopping scene are the main draw to Gainesville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Atlanta for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

Gainesville is a little warmer than Atlanta in the autumn. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 71°F (22°C) in October, and Atlanta fluctuates around 66°F (19°C).

In October, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Atlanta. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Atlanta receives 3 inches (77 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. The hurricane season in Gainesville is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Atlanta 66°F (19°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Atlanta in the Winter?

Both Atlanta and Gainesville during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Gainesville for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, many visitors come to Atlanta in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Gainesville is much warmer than Atlanta. Typically, the winter temperatures in Gainesville in January average around 54°F (12°C), and Atlanta averages at about 45°F (7°C).

Atlanta gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Gainesville usually gets less rain in January than Atlanta. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Atlanta receives 4.7 inches (120 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Atlanta 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Atlanta in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Atlanta. Furthermore, most visitors come to Atlanta for the activities around the city during these months.

In April, Gainesville is generally around the same temperature as Atlanta. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 69°F (20°C), and Atlanta fluctuates around 65°F (18°C).

Atlanta receives a lot of rain in the spring. In April, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Atlanta. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Atlanta receives 4.1 inches (104 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November is the hurricane season in Gainesville.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Atlanta 65°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Atlanta and Gainesville

Gainesville Atlanta
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4.7 inches (120 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 49°F (9°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 57°F (14°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 80°F (27°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 82°F (28°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 82°F (28°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 76°F (25°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 66°F (19°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 57°F (14°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 48°F (9°C) 4.4 inches (111 mm)