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

Should you visit Miami or Columbia?

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 Columbia can help you decide which place is right for you.

Miami

Miami is a glamorous, exciting, and diverse beach city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the food, beaches, and shopping.

Columbia

Columbia is a suburban, friendly, and welcoming city. It's also known for nightlife, shopping, and museums.

Miami and Columbia: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Miami or Columbia?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Miami than Columbia. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Miami is very popular for its food, nightlife, music, resorts, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Columbia attracts visitors for its museums. Miami is more touristy than Columbia and is known for its long sandy beaches, glitzy nightlife scene, diverse cultures, and award-winning restaurants. It is also well known for South Beach. Columbia is famous for its southern hospitality and friendly people.

How is Miami different from Columbia?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Miami or Columbia?

Miami
Columbia

Columbia is very good for its museums and landmarks. However, Miami does not have museums and landmarks.

Columbia is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. As the state capital, there are some decent museums around town like the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina Military Museum, the South Carolina State Museum, and the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum.

Miami does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Miami or Columbia? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is renowned for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Columbia is not a good city for its restaurants.

For foodies, Miami is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city's food scene is as diverse as its population. It is a blend of Caribbean, Latin American, and South American flavors and it is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. There is everything from award-winning restaurants to local dives that offer excellent dishes and experiences. The city is known for its stone crabs, fish sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches, and key lime pie.

Columbia may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Barbecue and other southern favorites are among the more local dishes, but the city is also filled with fast food joints and other major chain restaurants.

Is Miami or Columbia Better for Nightlife?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is renowned for nightlife and partying. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its evening party scene.

Miami is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. 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. There are many world-renowned clubs that keep the music and drinks flowing through the entire night. There's also a glitzy and glamourous scene where the wealthy like to see and be seen.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Columbia. You'll find live music venues as well as low key bars and more trendy cocktail lounges.

Is Miami or Columbia Better for Music?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is renowned for its live music scene. However, Columbia is not a live music destination.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Miami Popular live music venues include Ball and Chain, Cafe La Trova, Flamingo Theater Bar.

Columbia is not a live music destination.


Is Miami or Columbia Better for Resorts?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is renowned for its resorts. However, Columbia is not a resort destination.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Miami is a great choice. Known for it's luxury, you'll find many resorts in the area. Popular options include The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, Fontainebleau, and Carillon Miami.

Columbia is not a resort destination.

Is Miami or Columbia Better for Beaches?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is renowned for the beache. However, Columbia is not a beach destination.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Miami. If you're looking for long sandy beaches, luxury yacht clubs, and fine dining restaurants, the area's beaches have them all. Some of the best beaches in the area include the world-famous South Beach, the North Beach Oceanside Park, Sunny Isles Beach, and Surfside. Many beaches are lined with high rise hotels that offer an urban beach experience.

Columbia is not a beach destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Miami or Columbia?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Miami make it a world-class shopping destination. The city has every high end brand you could want, along with diverse neighborhoods with local finds and unique purchases. You'll find many diverse shopping opportunities that are influenced by the city's cultural scene. You'll also find many souvenir stands and t-shirt shops.

Columbia has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. You'll find independent and locally owned shops along Devine Street and in the Five Points area. Also interesting are the Vista, which is a warehouse district, and Trenholm Plaza.


Is Miami or Columbia Better for Families?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Miami is a very kid-friendly beach city. Because it's so big, you'll find a number of kid-friendly activities in the area. There's the Miami Zoo, various waterparks, the Everglades Alligator Park, Miccosukee Indian Village, and plenty of indoor playgrounds in case the weather doesn't cooperate.

Columbia is a family-friendly beach city. Around town you'll find parks, playgrounds, and kid-friendly restaurants. There's a zoo in the area as well as a nice state park - Sesquicentennial State Park. There's also EdVenture Children's Museum, which is filled with hands-on exhibits.

Is Miami or Columbia Better for Couples?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is a well-known place for its romantic activities. However, Columbia is not a good city for couples.

Miami is a very popular place to visit for couples. For couples who love nightlife, wining and dining, and high end beach clubs, this is the place to be. There are many award-winning restaurants and plenty of glitz and glam that make for a great romantic getaway.

Columbia is not always the best place to visit for a couple. You'll find parks to explore and some nice restaurants that make for a good date night.

Is Miami or Columbia Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is a popular place for backpackers. However, Columbia is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

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

Columbia is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. While it's not an expensive place to visit, there is little in the area to attract backpackers.


Is Miami or Columbia Better for Students?

Miami
Columbia

Miami and Columbia are nice places to visit for students.

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

It's common for students to visit Columbia. The University of South Carolina, and other nearby colleges all bring in a decent student population.

Is Miami or Columbia Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is a popular place for its public transit. However, Columbia is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

Miami has a few public transit options. There's an elevated metrorail as well as buses around the city.

Public transit is mostly limited in Columbia. The COMET is the bus system through town, but you really must have your own car to enjoy the city.

Is Miami or Columbia a more walkable city?

Miami
Columbia

Miami is a well-known place for its high level of walkability. However, Columbia is not a good city for its ease of walking around.

Miami is a very walkable beach city. 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.

Columbia is not a very walkable beach city. It's filled with suburban-style development and is generally very car dependent.


For even more information, also check out Is Miami Worth Visiting? and Is Columbia Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Columbia or Miami?

How long in Miami or Columbia?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Miami or Columbia to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Columbia than Miami because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 7 days is a good amount of time for Miami, and 1-2 days is enough time in Columbia.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Miami than Columbia 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 Miami.


  • How many days in Miami or Columbia? Ideal Length of Stay
    Miami 7 
    Columbia 1-2

One day in Miami or Columbia?

Miami is a big city with plenty to do. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Columbia, many people enjoy the nightlife and shopping that this suburban destination offers. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

A weekend in Miami or Columbia?

Miami is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. A weekend 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. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Columbia. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Miami or Columbia?

Miami is a popular choice for travelers. Five days 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Columbia is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Columbia. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.


A week in Miami or Columbia?

Miami is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This beach city offers something for everyone.

You'll find nightlife and shopping around the suburban destination of Columbia. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, and The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Columbia or Miami?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Miami is $206, while the average daily cost in Columbia is $0.00. 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 Miami and Columbia in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Miami $132
    Columbia -
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Miami $264
    Columbia $0.00
Compare Hotels in Miami and Columbia

Looking for a hotel in Miami or Columbia? 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 Miami


Hotels in Columbia


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: Miami Hotel Prices and Columbia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Miami $38
    Columbia -
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:

  • Train Transfer to South Florida Cities: $20
  • Miami International Airport: One-Way Transfer to Miami: $24
  • Private Transfer from Miami Airport to Hotel or Port of Miami: $35
  • Miami Private Transfers: Airport, Cruise, Point-to-Point.: $36
  • From Everglades Wildlife Show, Airboat & Bus Transfer: $40
  • Miami or Ft Lauderdale: Train Transfer to Orlando Airport: $44
  • Miami Int'l Airport: Private 1-Way Transfer to Miami Port: $48
  • From Everglades Airboat, Wildlife Show & Bus Transfer: $55
  • Private One Way Transfer: Miami Airport (MIA) to/from Miami: $55
  • Key West Transfer with Hotel Pickup and Upgrades: $60
  • Private Transfer from Miami Airport (MIA) to Port Everglades: $60
  • Miami & Key West: One-Way Transfer by Motor Coach Bus: $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Miami or Columbia?

Prices for flights to both Columbia 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 $41
    Columbia $5.03
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 Ultimate Food Tour : $64
  • The Ultimate Little Havana Food Tour: $64
  • Wynwood Street Art, Culture, Donuts & Walking Food Tour: $65
  • Little Havana Street Food Tour with Enthusiastic Guide: $69
  • South Beach Food Tour: $70
  • Taste of Little Havana Food Tour in Miami with Cuban Street Food: $75
  • Little Havana Walking Food Tour: $75
  • South Beach Miami Food & Fun Art Deco Food Tour : $79
  • Mango's Tropical Cafe Dinner & Show: $98
  • Miami Dinner Party w/ Night Club Experience: $100
  • Guided Small Group Little Havana Food Tour: $124
  • 3 Hour Regional Indian Cooking Class and Dining Experience in Miami: $150

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Miami $31
    Columbia -

Tours and Activities in Miami

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

  • Haunted a Smartphone Audio Driving Tour : $5.97
  • Little Havana Smartphone guided Audio App Solo Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Haunted Self-Guided Smartphone Audio Driving Tour: $7.35
  • Miami Beach: Self-Guided Walking Tour With Audio Guide: $7.35
  • Private Sightseeing Audio Walking Tour in Miami Beach: $7.99
  • Sights of Downtown a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in Miami: $8.73
  • Miami Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Big Cypress National Preserve Audio Tour Guide: $9.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Little Havana: $10
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Miami by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Audio Tour of Downtown, South Beach, and Wynwood: $11

Tours and Activities in Columbia

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

  • Soda City: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in Columbia: $12

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Miami $22
    Columbia $88
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:

  • Miami Bar Crawl: $25
  • Miami Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Ghosts, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Wynwood Graffiti Brewery Golf Cart Tour: $63
  • Wynwood Party Bike Bar Crawl: $64
  • Wynwood Party Bike Bar Crawl: $64
  • Wynwood Bar Crawl: $100


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

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


Which is Bigger, Miami or Columbia?

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

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 Miami or Columbia in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Miami and Columbia. Most visitors come to Miami for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Columbia because of the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Miami is around the same temperature as Columbia. Typically, the summer temperatures in Miami in July average around 83°F (28°C), and Columbia averages at about 82°F (28°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Columbia this time of the year. In Miami, it's very sunny this time of the year. Miami usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Columbia during summer. Miami gets 316 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia receives 293 hours of full sun in the summer.

Columbia receives a lot of rain in the summer. Miami gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Miami usually receives more rain than Columbia. Miami gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Miami 83°F (28°C) 
    Columbia 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Miami or Columbia in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Miami as well as Columbia. The autumn months attract visitors to Miami because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene. Additionally, the shopping scene are the main draw to Columbia this time of year.

In October, Miami is generally a little warmer than Columbia. Daily temperatures in Miami average around 78°F (26°C), and Columbia fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbia. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Miami this time of the year. In the autumn, Miami often gets more sunshine than Columbia. Miami gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia receives 230 hours of full sun.

Miami receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Miami usually gets more rain in October than Columbia. Miami gets 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Miami 78°F (26°C) 
    Columbia 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Miami or Columbia in the Winter?

Both Columbia and Miami are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Miami this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Columbia for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Miami is much warmer than Columbia in the winter. The daily temperature in Miami averages around 67°F (20°C) in January, and Columbia fluctuates around 45°F (7°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Miami. Miami usually receives more sunshine than Columbia during winter. Miami gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia receives 171 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Miami usually receives less rain than Columbia. Miami gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 3.7 inches (93 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Miami 67°F (20°C) 
    Columbia 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Miami or Columbia in the Spring?

Both Columbia and Miami during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Miami for the beaches and the activities around the city.

In the spring, Miami is a little warmer than Columbia. Typically, the spring temperatures in Miami in April average around 75°F (24°C), and Columbia averages at about 64°F (18°C).

In Columbia, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Miami. In the spring, Miami often gets more sunshine than Columbia. Miami gets 300 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia receives 273 hours of full sun.

Miami usually gets more rain in April than Columbia. Miami gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Miami 75°F (24°C) 
    Columbia 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Columbia and Miami

Miami Columbia
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Feb 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Mar 72°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 56°F (13°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Apr 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 64°F (18°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
May 79°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm) 78°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jul 83°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 82°F (28°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 81°F (27°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Nov 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Dec 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 48°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)