Should you visit Saint Louis or Columbus?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Saint Louis and Columbus. 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.
Nicknamed the "Gateway to the West" and perhaps best known for its iconic Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri, has grown from a last stop for pioneers journeying west to a thriving metropolis notable for its diverse culture, impressive architecture, and unique neighborhoods. It sits on the Mississippi River and has plenty to offer in dining, shopping, sight-seeing, and entertainment.
The capital city of Ohio, Columbus sits at the meeting point of America's Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Appalachia, and the Plains. It is also home of Ohio State University, which is a major financial and economic force in the city. You'll likely need a car to navigate the city, although there is a bus system, COTA, which can take you to some of Columbus' highlights.
Which city is cheaper, Columbus or Saint Louis?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Saint Louis is $147, while the average daily cost in Columbus is $126. 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 Saint Louis and Columbus in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $162 for a double occupancy room in Saint Louis.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $116 in Columbus For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
On average, meal and food prices in Saint Louis cost around $43 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $17.
The average traveler spends about $39 per day in Columbus 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.
Meals for one day
Saint Louis $43
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Saint Louis
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Saint Louis.
The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - St. Louis:
The cost of a taxi ride in Saint Louis is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $21 per person, per day, on local transportation in Saint Louis.
To get around in Columbus, the average visitor spends $40 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Saint Louis
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Saint Louis:
STL - St. Louis Lambert Int'l Airport Round Trip Car Transfer to/from Your Hotel:
STL - St Louis International Airport Ground Transfer to/from Your Hotel:
Private Departure Transfer to Lambert Saint Louis Airport STL:
Private Arrival Transfer Lambert Saint Louis Airport STL:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus
Also for Columbus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Saint Louis or Columbus?
Prices for flights to both Columbus and Saint Louis 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 and activities in Saint Louis typically cost an average of $37 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
Typical Entertainment prices in Saint Louis
Here are a few typical costs in Saint Louis for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Gateway Arch parking
Tours and Activities in Columbus
For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus:
Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Saint Louis may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $15 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Saint Louis and Columbus, we can see that Saint Louis is more expensive. And not only is Columbus much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbus would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbus 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 Saint Louis would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Saint Louis than you might in Columbus.
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