A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Philadelphia vs. Chicago for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Philadelphia or Chicago?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Philadelphia or Chicago, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is the fourth largest urban area, and the fifth largest city in the United States. It's located in southeastern Pennsylvania and has a rich history, having once been the capital of the United States. The city has very impressive architecture, museums, universities, and entertainment venues. It's a cultural and artistic center for the country and it continues to climb as a top travel destination.

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 Philadelphia?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Philadelphia is $151, 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 Philadelphia and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Philadelphia can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $95, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $190.

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
    Philadelphia $95
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Philadelphia $190
    Chicago $304

Food

Philadelphia food costs typically run travelers around $39 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

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
    Philadelphia $39
    Chicago $37
Typical Food prices in Philadelphia

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


  • Casual Lunch (for 3)
    $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Philadelphia

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

  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $44
  • Decadent Gourmet Food Tour: $44
  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $45
  • Highlights of East Passyunk Food Tour: $54
  • South Philly Italian Family Dinner Tour: $75
  • Historic Food Tour: $78
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Philadelphia: $90
  • Spirit of Philadelphia Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $107
  • Secret Food Tours Philadelphia w/ Private Tour Option: $193

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

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Philadelphia than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $22 on transportation in Philadelphia on average per day.

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.
    Philadelphia $22
    Chicago $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Philadelphia

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

  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Airport PHL to Philadelphia City by SUV: $124
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Airport PHL to Philadelphia by Limousine: $117
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Airport PHL to Philadelphia by Minibus: $204
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Airport PHL to Philadelphia by Minivan: $123
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Airport PHL to Philadelphia by Sedan: $68
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Train Station to Philadelphia by SUV: $124
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Train Station to Philadelphia by Sedan: $68
  • Departure Private Transfer Philadelphia City to Philadelphia Airport PHL by SUV: $124
  • Departure Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport PHL by Limousine: $117
  • Departure Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport PHL by Minibus: $204
  • Departure Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport PHL by Minivan: $123
  • Departure Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport PHL by Sedan: $68

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 Philadelphia or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and Philadelphia 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Philadelphia, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $22 per day, per person.

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.
    Philadelphia $22
    Chicago $34
Typical Entertainment prices in Philadelphia

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


  • Big Bus Tour (family of 3)
    $99

Tours and Activities in Philadelphia

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

  • Art and Controversy: An audio tour of Philadelphia's most infamous art scandals: $5.00
  • Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront: Explore the historic city on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Ultimate Philadelphia Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.00
  • Philadelphia Architecture: Discover Every American Style on a GPS Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Philadelphia Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Penn Museum Admission Ticket: $18
  • Grim, Dark, and Twisted History Tour: $19
  • Franklin Footsteps Historic Walking Tour: $19
  • Philadelphia Walking Ghost Tour: $20
  • Franklin's Footsteps Walking Tour: $20
  • Skip the Line: Museum of the American Revolution Admission Ticket: $21
  • Philadelphia Historical Independence Walking Tour: $21

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 Hour Chicago Art and Architecture Segway Tour: $71
  • 2 Hour Pier Fireworks and Evening Segway Tour in Chicago: $65
  • 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
  • 3-Hour Segway Tour of Chicago: $76
  • 360 Chicago Observation Deck Admission: Skip the Ticket Desk: $25
  • 4 Hours Chicago Sightseeing Tour - Luxury Private SUV, ALL Inclusive: $220

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Philadelphia spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

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
    Philadelphia $17
    Chicago $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Philadelphia

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

  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • Philadelphia Prohibition Pub Crawl: $45
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • 2-Hour Philly on Tap Pub Tour: $65
  • Sip of Philly Brewery Tour: $79
  • 2-Hour Old City Wine Tasting Tour: $96

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 Philadelphia and Chicago, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Philadelphia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Philadelphia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

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