A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Hong Kong vs. Chicago for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Hong Kong or Chicago?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Hong Kong or Chicago, 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.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a glamorous, diverse , and compact city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Chicago

Chicago is a vibrant, multicultural, and edgey city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and shopping.

Hong Kong and Chicago: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Willis Tower (previously the Sears Tower)
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Hong Kong or Chicago?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Chicago than Hong Kong. While Hong Kong is larger than Chicago, Chicago has more sights and attractions for tourists. Chicago is more popular for its museums, theatre productions, nightlife, music, and christmas markets, while Hong Kong is known for its beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty. Hong Kong is popular for its modern skyscrapers, colorful waterfront, lush parks, and amazing dim sum. Chicago is popular for its thriving sports scene, its iconic local cuisine, and its world class shopping at the Magnificent Mile. It is also home to The Willis Tower (previously the Sears Tower).

How is Hong Kong different from Chicago?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Hong Kong or Chicago?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Chicago is an unbeatable place for its museums and history. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

The museums and tourist attractions in Chicago are world-renowned. 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).

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Hong Kong. The city's skyline is one of the most famous "landmarks", but you'll also want to visit Victoria Peak, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Wong Tai Sin Temple, and Avenue of Stars.


Is Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Theater?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Chicago is an unbeatable place for its theatre productions. However, Hong Kong is not a theatre destination.

Famous for its theaters and plays, you'll find world-renowned shows in Chicago. 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.

Hong Kong is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Hong Kong or Chicago? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Dining out at restaurants in both Hong Kong and Chicago can be an enjoyable experience.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Hong Kong is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. The city's population is famous for its frequency of dining out, and the prolific diversity of restaurants is obvious from the moment you arrive. There are street food stalls and night markets, as well as luxury award winning restaurants. The city holds tight to its culinary traditions, but fusion restaurants are creeping in as well. Some of the most famous Hong Kong foods include dim sum, sweet and sour pork, and roast goose.

Many restaurants in Chicago have been singled out for their culinary prowess. 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.

Is Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Nightlife?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Chicago is an unbeatable place for nightlife and partying. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Chicago is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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.

Hong Kong is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. The city lights up after the sun sets. You'll find a diverse range of activities in the evening with everything from night markets to concerts and parties. There's a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary activities, particularly around Lan Kwai Fong. Many of the most popular venues are found around Central and, like everything else in Hong Kong, the venues are full of energy.


Is Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Music?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Chicago is an unbeatable place for its live music scene. However, Hong Kong is not a live music destination.

With so many music venues, you're guaranteed a show any night of the week in Chicago. The city is the birthplace of such interesting styles as modern gospel and the Chicago style blues.

Hong Kong is not a live music destination.

Is Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Beaches?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Hong Kong is a great destination for the beach. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for its beaches.

Hong Kong is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. You actually don't have to travel far from the city center to find a relatively quiet, sandy beach. The different beaches on Hong Kong Island are relatively close to each other, and each has its own atmosphere. If you need a break from the heat and the crowds, then a beach day is a fun option. Hong Kong's natural coastline give way to popular beaches including Repulse Bay Beach and Shek O Beach. Each offers a number of amenities and dining options.

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 Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Hiking?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Hong Kong is a great destination for its hiking experiences. However, Chicago is not a hiking destination.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Hong Kong. The city is surrounded by dramatic mountains and beautiful viewpoints, making it easy to enjoy a day in nature. The hikes will offer impressive views and dramatic rock formations. Popular hikes in the area include The Peak, Dragon's Back, and the Violet Hill and Twin Peak hike.

Chicago is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Hong Kong or Chicago?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Shoppers can find a variety of terrific stores in both Hong Kong and Chicago.

Known for shopping, Hong Kong draws large crowds to its stores. There is a high concentration of shopping malls in the city, and you'll likely find yourself cutting through malls to access different parts of town. The city is arguably one of the best shopping cities in the world. Popular items to purchase in the city include designer clothes, handbags, electronics, jewelry, watches, and tailor-made suits.

Chicago is a world class destination for shoppers. 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.

Is Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Christmas?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Chicago is a very popular place for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Hong Kong does not offer Christmas activities.

Since it has plenty to do, Chicago is a very popular place to visit during Christmas. There's a number of seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and excellent shopping.

Hong Kong does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Christmas Markets?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Chicago is a nice place to visit for visiting Christmas markets. However, Hong Kong does not offer Christmas markets.

Chicago has Christmas markets worth visiting. Shopping is a highlight of a trip to the city, and the Christkindlmarkt is not to be missed.

Hong Kong does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Families?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Hong Kong and Chicago are both terrific destinations for the whole family.

Hong Kong is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. In addition to its many fascinating cultural experiences like visiting the markets and historical landmarks, this city also has a diversity of kid-friendly entertainment options. The most obvious is Disneyland, but there are also other amusement parks and aquariums like Ocean Park. Make sure you check out the Symphony of Lights in the evening and head to The Peak Tower during the day.

Chicago is an extremely popular city to visit for families. 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.

Is Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Couples?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Hong Kong is renowned for couples. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

For those traveling as a couple, Hong Kong has plenty to offer. This city is filled with luxury hotels, beautiful parks, and impressive restaurants. For a romantic evening, check out the Symphony of Lights over Victoria Harbour after the sun sets.

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 Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Hong Kong and Chicago are both good destinations for backpackers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Hong Kong. The city is more expensive than many places, but cheap eateries and free activities are abundant. Many backpackers stay in the Tsim Sha Shui area of Kowloon. This is where you'll find the frequently talked about Chungking Mansions. Times are changing though, and you'll find more hostels on Hong Kong Island these days as well.

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


Is Hong Kong or Chicago Better for Students?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Chicago is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. However, Hong Kong is not popular with students.

Chicago is a great destination 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.

Hong Kong is not popular with students.

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

Hong Kong
Chicago

Visitors will find terrific public transit in both Hong Kong and Chicago.

Visitors in Hong Kong can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. Land transportation includes the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), buses, minibuses, and tramways. There are also ferries that connect the different parts of the city.

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.

Is Hong Kong or Chicago a more walkable city?

Hong Kong
Chicago

Hong Kong is renowned for its ease of walking around. Also, Chicago is still popular, but not quite as popular for its walkability.

Getting around Hong Kong on foot is easy. The city has many parks and walking paths that connect different areas.

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


For even more information, also check out Is Hong Kong Worth Visiting? and Is Chicago Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Chicago or Hong Kong?

How long in Hong Kong or Chicago?

In either Hong Kong or Chicago, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Hong Kong than Chicago because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Hong Kong, and 3-5 days is enough time in Chicago.

Families should spend more time in Chicago than Hong Kong. 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 Hong Kong than Chicago. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Hong Kong that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chicago than Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong or Chicago? Ideal Length of Stay
    Hong Kong 3-7 
    Chicago 3-5

One day in Hong Kong or Chicago?

Because Hong Kong is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

You'll find museums and theater around the city of Chicago. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Hong Kong or Chicago?

Because Hong Kong is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find theater and nightlife around the multicultural big city of Chicago. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Hong Kong or Chicago?

Hong Kong is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Hong Kong has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

You'll find nightlife and live music around the edgey city of Chicago. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.


A week in Hong Kong or Chicago?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Hong Kong. Because Hong Kong is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Chicago is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, and The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Chicago or Hong Kong?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Hong Kong is $160, while the average daily cost in Chicago is $288. 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 Hong Kong and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hong Kong $75
    Chicago $198
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hong Kong $150
    Chicago $396
Compare Hotels in Hong Kong and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong


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: Hong Kong Hotel Prices and Chicago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Hong Kong $8.73
    Chicago $37
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hong Kong

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Hong Kong:


  • MTR (for 2)
    $2.82
  • Local Bus
    $2.82
  • Ferry Ticket
    $0.26
  • Hong Kong Airport Express Train Ticket
    $15

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:

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Chicago APT-HTL (ORD) , (MDW): $128
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Chicago APT-HTL (ORD) , (MDW): $126
  • Private Transfer: Midway Airport MDW to Chicago by Luxury SUV: $174
  • Private Transfer from Chicago City to Chicago Airport (ORD): $58
  • Private Transfer from Chicago City to Chicago (MDW) Airport: $144
  • Private Transfer from Chicago Airport (ORD) - Chicago City: $58
  • Private Transfer from Chicago (MDW) Airport to Chicago City: $144
  • Private Transfer Chicago to Chicago Airport by Luxury Car or SUV: $87
  • Private Sedan Transfer from Chicago Downtown to Midway airport: $220
  • Private SUV Transfer from Chicago Downtown to Midway airport: $240
  • Private RoundTrip Transfer Chicago Airport (ORD)- Chicago City: $116
  • Private Round trip Transfer - Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD): $189

Is it cheaper to fly into Hong Kong or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and Hong Kong 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
    Hong Kong $33
    Chicago $49
Typical Food Prices in Hong Kong

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


  • Dinner for 2
    $12

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
  • Bucktown Pizza Crawl in Chicago: $53
  • Fulton Market Delicious Donut Adventure and Walking Food Tour: $63
  • Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Self-Guided Tour: $75
  • Chicago Bucktown-Wicker Park Pizza Crawl: $79
  • Friday Pizza Walk of Downtown Chicago: $79
  • Chicago Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $89
  • Chicago Buffet Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan: $96
  • Chicago Food Tour in Devon Ave: $125
  • Chicago Fireworks Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $129
  • Mother's Day Signature Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan: $130
  • Chicago Gourmet Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan: $132

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hong Kong $95
    Chicago $47
Typical Entertainment Prices in Hong Kong

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


  • Peak Tram
    $7.68
  • Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
    $24

Tours and Activities in Hong Kong

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

  • Plover Cove Bicycling and Hiking Adventure: $110
  • Ma On Shan Climbing Adventure: $115

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:

  • Field Museum of Natural History Early Access Ticket : $73
  • Windy City Ghosts: Hauntings of Chicago Walking Tour: $28
  • 1 Hour E-Bike Tour Of The Chicago Lakefront And Nearby Landmarks: $30
  • 2 Hour Magnificent Chicago Tour with Photos: $75
  • 2-Hour Chicago Wine and Cheese Cruise : $65
  • 2-Hour Guided Segway Tour of Chicago: $65
  • 2-Hour Haunted Segway Tour of Chicago: $78
  • 3 Hours Chicago Architecture Tour - Skyscrapers and Photo Ops: $135
  • A Storied Neighborhood: A Self-Guided Audio Tour with Bill Ayers: $5.40
  • Architectural and Historical Private Tour in Downtown Chicago: $199
  • Art Institute of Chicago Private Expert Guided Tour: $215
  • Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Guided Museum Tour : $133

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
    Hong Kong $21
    Chicago $25

Sample the Local Flavors in Chicago

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

  • Chicago Walking Brewery Tour in Malt Row: $30
  • Walking tour to Chicago dive bars: $41
  • Milwaukee,Miller Brewery Tour&Tasting 1-Day Tour from Chicago: $93
  • Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour: $100


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Hong Kong and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Hong Kong much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Hong Kong is in Asia and Chicago is in North America, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Hong Kong would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong.

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


Which is Bigger, Hong Kong or Chicago?

Hong Kong has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Chicago. When comparing the sizes of Hong Kong 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.