A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Miami vs. Chicago for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Families

Should you visit Miami or Chicago?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Miami and Chicago can help you decide which place is right for you.

Miami

Miami is a exciting, diverse, and bustling beach city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. Other popular activities here include beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

Chicago

Chicago is a diverse, vibrant, and multicultural 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 theater, nightlife, and live music.

How is Miami different from Chicago?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Miami or Chicago better for Food?

Picking the best between Miami and Chicago can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Miami has long been recognized as a culinary destination. The city's food scene is as diverse as its population. It is known for its Stone Crabs, fish sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches, and Key Lime pie.

Chicago has long been recognized as a culinary destination. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.


Is Miami or Chicago better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Miami and Chicago.

Miami has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. From the posh nightlife clubs in South Beach, to the local salsa dancing venues in Little Havana, Miami is a city that thrives with energy.

Chicago is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.

Is Miami or Chicago better for Music?

Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Miami or Chicago.

Miami is a world class music destination. Popular live music venues include Ball and Chain, Cafe La Trova, Flamingo Theater Bar.

In Chicago you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. The city is the birthplace of such interesting styles as modern gospel and the Chicago style blues.

Is Miami or Chicago better for Beaches?

Miami and Chicago are good choices for a beach vacation.

Many people head to Miami to enjoy the beach. If you're looking for long sandy beaches, luxury yacht clubs, and fine dining restaurants, the area's beaches have them all.

Many people head to Chicago to enjoy the beach. While you don't immediately think of beaches when you think of Chicago, there are some nice beaches by the lake.

Is Miami or Chicago better for Shopping?

Shopping in a popular activity in both Chicago and Miami.

Miami is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city has every high end brand you could want, along with diverse neighborhoods with local finds and unique purchases.

Chicago is a world class destination for shoppers. The most famous shopping area is Michigan Avenue and the famous Magnificent Mile.


Is Miami or Chicago better for Families?

Chicago offers a wider variety of activities for kids than Miami.

Chicago is a very family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Miami doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. Because it's so big, you'll find some kid-friendly options in the area. There are kid-friendly museums and activities around the city.

Is Miami or Chicago better for Couples?

Both Miami and Chicago are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Couples visit Miami frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. For couples who love nightlife, wining and dining, and high end beach clubs, this is the place to be.

Chicago is a good beach city for couples to visit. Couples will enjoy exploring the city's vibrant theater scene and diverse neighborhoods.

Is Miami or Chicago better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Miami and Chicago are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Miami is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. This city is large enough to have something for everyone, so you'll find several hostels in the area that bring in the backpackers.

Chicago is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. The city doesn't have a huge backpacker vibe, but it does have a number of hostels that help keep costs in check.

Is Miami or Chicago better for Students?

Students usually think of Chicago as better than Miami.

Students come from all over the world to visit Chicago. The city has a large number of universities that bring in students from around the country and around the globe.

Miami is popular with students. Spring break in Miami is the stuff of legends.


Is Miami or Chicago better for Public Transit?

Chicago provides more public transit options than Miami.

Public transit in Chicago is top-notch. There's a subway (the "L"), a commuter well, as well as buses and countless taxis available.

You'll find some public transit in Miami, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There's an elevated metrorail as well as buses around the city.

Is Miami or Chicago a more walkable city?

Miami and Chicago both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Miami is very walkable. Many parts of city are surprisingly walkable and pedestrian friendly, allowing you to eat out, go shopping, or explore without the need for a car.

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

Miami and Chicago: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular for students
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities


Should I spend more time in Chicago or Miami?

How long in Miami or Chicago?

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

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


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

One day in Miami or Chicago?

Because Miami is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This beach city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

In Chicago, many people enjoy the nightlife and live music that this cosmopolitan big city offers. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Miami or Chicago?

Because Miami 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. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chicago. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Miami or Chicago?

Miami is a great place to explore. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. 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.

Chicago is a fun place to experience. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Miami or Chicago?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Miami. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One week may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

You'll find shopping and museums around the vibrant big city of Chicago. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Which city is cheaper, Chicago or Miami?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Miami is $165, while the average daily cost in Chicago is $221. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Miami and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Miami $106
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Miami $212
    Chicago $304

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Miami $32
    Chicago $29
Typical Local Transportation prices in Miami

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Miami are as follows:


  • Car Rental for a Day
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Miami

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Miami:

  • 2019 50 Passenger Bus Transport Airport/port Transfers, Miami/broward: $613
  • 56 Passenger Motor Coach Transport Airport/port Transfers, Miami/broward: $669
  • Airport Transfers, Car Service, Executive Transportation: $89
  • Arrival Private Transfer Miami Airport MIA to Miami by Business Car: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Miami Airport MIA to Miami Beach in Business Car: $98
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Miami Airport MIA to Miami Beach in Luxury SUV: $123
  • Cruise Port of Miami to Miami Airport (MIA) - Departure Private Transfer: $62
  • Everglades Airboat Tour with Transfer from Miami: $124
  • Luxury Airport Transfer from Miami International Airport: $33
  • Miami Airport (MIA) to Boca Raton - Arrival Private Transfer: $153
  • Miami Airport (MIA) to Boca Raton - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $306
  • Miami Airport (MIA) to Boynton Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $180

Typical Local Transportation prices in Chicago

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


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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chicago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Miami or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and Miami 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
    Miami $33
    Chicago $37
Typical Food prices in Miami

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


  • Lunch with Drinks (for 2)
    $45
  • David's Cafe Lunch (for 1)
    $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Miami

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

  • Little Havana Street Food Tours: $61
  • Haitian Cooking Experience: $85
  • Private Little Havana Cuban Food Tour: $99
  • Private VIP Historical Citywide Food Tour: $159

Typical Food prices in Chicago

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


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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chicago

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

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Miami $25
    Chicago $34

Tours and Activities in Miami

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

  • 1/2 Hour Jet Ski Island Adventure: $5.00
  • Haunted Themed Smartphone Audio Driving Tour: $7.84
  • Miami Dance Cruise: $11
  • Little Havana: Beyond Cuba Tour: $20
  • La Perle de Little Haiti Tour: $20
  • La Perle De Little Haiti Tour: $20
  • Pirates Adventures Sightseeing Tour from Miami: $23
  • Miami Skyline View Cruise: $23
  • Skip the Line: Zoo Miami Ticket with Optional Upgrade: $25
  • Biscayne Bay Boat Tour in Miami: $25
  • Best of Little Havana Miami Tour: $25
  • Sightseeing Cruise of Biscayne Bay: $27

Typical Entertainment prices in Chicago

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


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

Tours and Activities in Chicago

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

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

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


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Miami $18
    Chicago $20
Typical Alcohol prices in Miami

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


  • Evening at a Bar
    $32

Sample the Local Flavors in Miami

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Miami:

  • Making Your Own Gin Distillery Tour and Tasting Experience: $190

Sample the Local Flavors in Chicago

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

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Miami and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Miami much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Miami would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Miami 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 Miami.

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Miami vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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