A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Houston vs. Chicago

Should you visit Houston or Chicago?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Houston 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. So, let's dig into it.

Houston

The largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States, Houston is a sprawling urban center that has grown from its wealth in the oil industry. Visitors today are drawn to its cultural diversity which has additionally made Houston a foodie destination. Other attractions to Houston include its proximity to NASA's Space Center Houston on the Gulf coast, and its Downtown which features a vibrant museum and arts scene, shopping, and dining.

Chicago

Located in the Midwest, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. It has a population of almost 3 million and a metropolitan area that covers more than 10,000 square kilometers. It is also a hub for music, comedy and theater. It's skyline is beautiful with modern skyscrapers and Lake Michigan as a backdrop. It is easy to stay entertained in Chicago for weeks. There are world class museums, upscale or eclectic shopping opportunities, and impressive architecture.

Which city is cheaper, Chicago or Houston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Houston is $210, 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Houston and Chicago in more detail.




Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $226 for a double occupancy room in Houston.

Chicago's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $304. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $152.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Houston $113
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Houston $226
    Chicago $304


Food

The average traveler spends about $28 per day in Houston for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The price of a meal in Chicago can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $37 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $15 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Houston $28
    Chicago $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $65
  • Culinary Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $67
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $74
  • The Heights Food Tour: $74

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
  • Factories to Calories Fulton Market Food Tour: $46
  • Learn to Make Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza with a Local: $49
  • Chicago Crime & Pizza Walk: $50
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Chicago History and Food Tour: $59
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: River North Historical Food Tour: $61
  • Signature Food Tour at Chicago's Navy Pier: $64
  • Best in Chow: Chicago River North Food Tour: $64
  • Private Fusion Cooking Class in Downtown Chicago: $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


Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Houston is $58 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $29 per day to get around in Chicago.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Houston $58
    Chicago $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston Airport HOU to Houston City by Executive SUV: $92
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston Airport HOU to Houston City by Sedan Car: $67
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston Airport HOU to Houston City by Sprinter Minibus: $200
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston George Bush Airport IAH to Houston by Minibus: $175
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston George Bush Airport IAH to Houston by SUV: $92
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston George Bush Airport IAH to Houston by Sedan Car: $62
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston City to Houston Airport HOU by Executive SUV: $92
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston City to Houston Airport HOU by Minibus: $200
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston City to Houston Airport HOU by Sedan Car: $67
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston to Houston George Bush Airport IAH by Minibus: $175
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston to Houston George Bush Airport IAH by SUV: $92
  • Departure Private Transfer Houston to Houston George Bush Airport IAH by Sedan: $62

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: $119
  • 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


Entertainment

Houston's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $11 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $34 per person, per day in Chicago. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Houston $11
    Chicago $34

Tours and Activities in Houston

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

  • Ultimate Houston Self-Driving Audio Tour: $8.00
  • Haunted Houston Ghost Walking Tour (All Ages): $21
  • Space Center Houston Admission Ticket: $25
  • Astroville Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston: $26
  • Houston Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $30
  • 3D Printer Factory Tour plus 2 ft Tall Rocket!: $31
  • Houston's Official Hop on-Hop off Tour: $32
  • Houston Hop on-City Tour: 2-Day Pass: $35
  • Hop-on Houston City Tour: $35
  • Astroville Weekend Downtown Houston Tour With Tunnel Access: $35
  • Astroville Rockets Basketball Game Day Tour with Tunnel Access: $36
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $37

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
  • Chicago Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Millennium Park Exploration Game & Self-Guided Tour: $12
  • Skip the Line: American Writers Museum Admission Ticket: $14
  • Pilsen Walking Tour of Local Publicly Displayed Art: $15
  • The Chicago Theatre Marquee Tour: $18
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Historic Chicago Theatre: $18
  • Chicago Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Chicago Skydeck Experience Ticket: $22
  • Ghosts of Lincoln Park Walking Tour: $22
  • Best Architecture Walking Tour for Design Lovers: $22


Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Houston may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chicago may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $20 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Houston $11
    Chicago $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

Also in Houston, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Skip the Line: Distillery Tour Ticket: $21
  • Haunted Houston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Brewery Pass with Beer Tastings: $29
  • Brewery Tour: $53
  • Astroville Downtown Bar Crawl & Tunnel Access (2 Cocktails Beverages Included): $58
  • Bar Crawl with Tunnel Access and 2 Cocktails: $67
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70
  • SUV St. Arnold Brewery Tour: $487

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 comparing the travel costs between Houston and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Houston vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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