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

Should you visit New Orleans or Chicago?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between New Orleans and Chicago can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

New Orleans

New Orleans is a fun-filled, festive, and vibrant city. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include food, nightlife, and live music.

Chicago

Chicago is a multicultural, edgey, and cosmopolitan city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include live music, food, and beaches.

New Orleans and Chicago: Pros and Cons

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


How is New Orleans different from Chicago?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is New Orleans or Chicago Better for Food?

New Orleans
Chicago

Foodies will find both New Orleans and Chicago both to be unique destinations.

Many restaurants in New Orleans have been singled out for their culinary prowess. It's the birthplace of bananas foster and popular for it's gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and red beans and rice.

Eat your way through Chicago, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.


Is New Orleans or Chicago Better for Nightlife?

New Orleans
Chicago

Both New Orleans and Chicago have similar vibes after the sun sets.

People head to New Orleans just to party. The nightlife scene is at its best during Mardi Gras. But year-round you'll find Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, spring breakers, and anyone who wants to enjoy a crazy time heads to New Orleans.

The nightlife in Chicago is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.

Is New Orleans or Chicago Better for Music?

New Orleans
Chicago

It can be fun to see live music in either New Orleans and Chicago.

New Orleans is known as a music capital around the world. The city is known for its music festivals that feature jazz, blues, and many other types of live music. The Jazz Festival is a great time to visit.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Chicago The city is the birthplace of such interesting styles as modern gospel and the Chicago style blues.

Is New Orleans or Chicago Better for Shopping?

New Orleans
Chicago

While New Orleans and Chicago are both popular shopping destinations, overall Chicago is considered to be better.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Chicago. The most famous shopping area is Michigan Avenue and the famous Magnificent Mile.

If you're looking to go shopping, New Orleans has some nice offerings. New Orleans shopping is mostly centered around malls and chain stores.

Is New Orleans or Chicago Better for Families?

New Orleans
Chicago

Chicago is considered to a better choice for families.

Chicago is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

New Orleans doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. While there are some family-friendly activities in New Orleans like a zoo and several great parks, the city is more known for its parties and nightlife scene.


Is New Orleans or Chicago Better for Couples?

New Orleans
Chicago

Both New Orleans and Chicago are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

New Orleans is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy a lively evening, fun festivals, and exploring absolutely amazing restaurants will enjoy a visit to New Orleans.

Chicago makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples will enjoy exploring the city's vibrant theater scene and diverse neighborhoods.

Is New Orleans or Chicago Better for Students?

New Orleans
Chicago

While New Orleans and Chicago are both good for students, overall Chicago is genreally more popular.

Chicago is a very popular city for students. The city has a large number of universities that bring in students from around the country and around the globe.

New Orleans is popular with students. Students head to New Orleans to enjoy spring break and Mardi Gras.

Is New Orleans or Chicago Better for Public Transit?

New Orleans
Chicago

Chicago generally offers a better public transit system than New Orleans.

With a huge network, the transit system in Chicago can get you around easily. There's a subway (the "L"), a commuter well, as well as buses and countless taxis available.

Public transit is generally limited in New Orleans. The city has streetcar lines and bus lines that you can use, but you'll want to have a car if you want to venture outside of these main areas.

Is New Orleans or Chicago a more walkable city?

New Orleans
Chicago

New Orleans and Chicago are similar when it comes to walkability.

New Orleans is somewhat walkable. If you stick to the French Quarter and downtown areas, most things are walkable in New Orleans.

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


Should I spend more time in Chicago or New Orleans?

How long in New Orleans or Chicago?

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

The ideal length of time for a trip to New Orleans is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Chicago is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in New Orleans or Chicago? Ideal Length of Stay
    New Orleans 2-3 
    Chicago 3-5

One day in New Orleans or Chicago?

In New Orleans, you'll find food and nightlife. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Chicago 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 New Orleans or Chicago?

In New Orleans, you'll find nightlife and live music. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that New Orleans has to offer.

Chicago is a diverse big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in New Orleans or Chicago?

New Orleans is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. 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 diverse city where you can fill many days. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in New Orleans or Chicago?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in New Orleans. Many people enjoy the food and nightlife when visiting New Orleans. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

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

Which city is cheaper, Chicago or New Orleans?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in New Orleans is $191, 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 New Orleans and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New Orleans $100
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New Orleans $200
    Chicago $304
Compare Hotels in New Orleans and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in New Orleans 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 New Orleans


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: New Orleans Hotel Prices and Chicago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New Orleans $41
    Chicago $29
Typical Local Transportation prices in New Orleans

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New Orleans are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New Orleans

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

  • 11 Passenger Executive Van: New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $197
  • 14 Passenger New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $203
  • 20 Passenger New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $227
  • 25 Passenger New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $237
  • 28 Passenger New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $267
  • Airport Transfer in New Orleans: $114
  • Cruise Port to New Orleans L.Armstrong Airport(MSY) - Departure Private Transfer: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer New Orleans to New Orleans MSY or Port - Business Car: $67
  • Departure Private Transfer New Orleans to New Orleans MSY or Port by SUV: $76
  • Handicap New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $139
  • LimoBus New Orleans Airport or Hotel Transfer: $400
  • Luxury Transfer from New Orleans International Airport to Downtown Hotels: $59

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:

  • Transfers in Chicago: $107
  • Transfer to Chicago Premium Outlets: $288
  • Transfer from O'Hare International Airport to Chicago: $93
  • Private transfer: Chicago to Chicago International Airport (MDW): $105
  • Private transfer: Chicago International Airport (MDW) to Chicago: $105
  • Private Transfer: O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Chicago: $133
  • Private Transfer: Chicago to O'Hare International Airport (ORD): $133
  • Private Transfer from Chicago City to Chicago (ORD) Airport: $113
  • Private Transfer from Chicago City to Chicago (MDW) Airport: $113
  • Private Transfer from Chicago (ORD) Airport to Chicago City: $113
  • Private Transfer from Chicago (MDW) Airport to Chicago City: $113
  • Private Sedan Transfer from Chicago Downtown to O`Hare airport: $100

Is it cheaper to fly into New Orleans or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and New Orleans 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
    New Orleans $36
    Chicago $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New Orleans

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

  • New Orleans Cooking Class: $34
  • New Orleans Lunch & Lesson: Cajun & Creole Cooking Class: $35
  • French Quarter Food Tour: $42
  • New Orleans Food Tour: $44
  • Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner Option: $50
  • Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Jazz Cruise with Optional Dinner: $52
  • Dinner at Tujague's Restaurant in New Orleans: $68
  • New Orleans French Quarter Food Tour: $69
  • French Quarter Food Tour: $75
  • New Orleans' Lower Garden Food Tour: $75
  • French Quarter Food Tour: $75
  • Lower Garden District Food Tour: $75

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.
    New Orleans $44
    Chicago $34
Typical Entertainment prices in New Orleans

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


  • Zoo & Aquarium Tickets (2)
    $75
  • Riverboat Cruise
    $70
  • French Quarter City Tour
    $100

Tours and Activities in New Orleans

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

  • New Orleans City Park Private Tour and Exploration Game: $3.72
  • Your new addiction! The best women’s shoe shopping experience in NOLA!: $5.00
  • Struttin' Down Royal Street Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • New Orleans Esplanade Ridge: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Metairie Cemetery Stories Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • A Walk in the Park: City Park New Orleans Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Walking the Tremé: A Self-guided Audio Tour of New Orleans: $5.34
  • Bywater Stroll: Explore the Evolving Neighbourhood on an Audio Walking Tour: $5.40
  • Beyond the French Quarter: New Orleans Off the Beaten Path Audio Tour: $5.40
  • New Orleans Virtual Self-Paced Guided City Tour: $5.99
  • One Hour Saint Louis Cemetery Number One Walking Tour: $10
  • Skip the Line: Historic House Tour Ticket: $10

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:

  • 2 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private Stretch Limo / 8 Passengers: $250
  • 2-Hour Chicago City Lights and Skyline Segway Tour: $76
  • 2-Hour Chicago Fireworks Segway Tour: $76
  • 2-Hour Chicago Lakefront and Museum Campus Segway Tour: $73
  • 2-Hour Haunted Segway Tour of Chicago: $76
  • 2-Hour History of Chicago Architecture and Art Segway Tour: $75
  • 3 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private SUV, ALL Inclusive: $392
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private SUV, ALL Inclusive: $220
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private Sedan: $215
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private Stretch Limousine/8 passengers: $728
  • A Most Magnificent Mile Shopping and Sightseeing Tour: $40
  • A Storied Neighborhood: Dance the dialectic with Bill Ayers on an audio tour: $5.00

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
    New Orleans $48
    Chicago $20

Sample the Local Flavors in New Orleans

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New Orleans:

  • New Orleans Bar Hunt: New Orleans Ballin' Bar Crawl: $12
  • Big Easy Ghost and Vampire Pub Crawl: $20
  • Haunted Pub Crawl in New Orleans: $22
  • New Orleans Haunted Pub Crawl: $25
  • Haunted New Orleans Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • NOLA Distillery Tour: $28
  • Pub Crawl & Historical Chronicles Walking Tour: $30
  • Haunted Pub Tour: $35
  • Frenchmen Street Live Music Pub Crawl: $48
  • Frenchmen Street VIP Live Music Pub Crawl: $49

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 New Orleans 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.


When is the best time to visit New Orleans or Chicago?

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 New Orleans or Chicago in the Summer?

Both Chicago and New Orleans during the summer are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to New Orleans in the summer for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Chicago for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, New Orleans is generally around the same temperature as Chicago. Temperatures in New Orleans average around 82°F (28°C), and Chicago stays around 77°F (25°C).

In Chicago, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in New Orleans. In the summer, New Orleans often gets less sunshine than Chicago. New Orleans gets 264 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun.

Chicago gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in New Orleans. New Orleans usually gets more rain in July than Chicago. New Orleans gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    New Orleans 82°F (28°C) 
    Chicago 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit New Orleans or Chicago in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both New Orleans and Chicago. Most visitors come to New Orleans for the shopping scene and the music scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Chicago because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

New Orleans is much warmer than Chicago in the autumn. The temperature in New Orleans is usually 69°F (21°C) in October, and Chicago stays around 56°F (14°C).

In New Orleans, it's very sunny this time of the year. New Orleans usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during autumn. New Orleans gets 240 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, New Orleans usually receives more rain than Chicago. New Orleans gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    New Orleans 69°F (21°C) 
    Chicago 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit New Orleans or Chicago in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to New Orleans as well as Chicago. The winter months attract visitors to New Orleans because of the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Chicago this time of year.

It's quite cold in Chicago in the winter. In the winter, New Orleans is much warmer than Chicago. Typically, the winter temperatures in New Orleans in January are around 51°F (11°C), and Chicago is about 25°F (-4°C).

In the winter, New Orleans often gets more sunshine than Chicago. New Orleans gets 158 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun.

New Orleans receives a lot of rain in the winter. New Orleans usually gets more rain in January than Chicago. New Orleans gets 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    New Orleans 51°F (11°C) 
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit New Orleans or Chicago in the Spring?

Both Chicago and New Orleans are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to Chicago for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In April, New Orleans is generally much warmer than Chicago. Temperatures in New Orleans average around 68°F (20°C), and Chicago stays around 52°F (11°C).

It's quite sunny in Chicago. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in New Orleans. New Orleans usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during spring. New Orleans gets 254 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun in the spring.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chicago. It's quite rainy in New Orleans. In April, New Orleans usually receives around the same amount of rain as Chicago. New Orleans gets 4.5 inches (114 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    New Orleans 68°F (20°C) 
    Chicago 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Chicago and New Orleans

New Orleans Chicago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 51°F (11°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Mar 62°F (16°C) 5 inches (126 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 5.9 inches (151 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 6.2 inches (157 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (140 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 69°F (21°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Nov 61°F (16°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm) 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Dec 55°F (13°C) 5.7 inches (146 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
New Orleans vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.