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

Should you visit Savannah or Columbia?

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

Should I visit Savannah or Columbia? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Savannah

Savannah is a historic, beautiful, and charming city. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. 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.

Savannah and Columbia: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Savannah or Columbia?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Savannah. Although Savannah and Columbia are about the same size, Savannah has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Savannah is very popular for its museums, food, beaches, historical sights, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Columbia attracts visitors for its nightlife. Savannah is more touristy than Columbia and is known for its maritime past, its southern atmosphere, and its Historic District. It is also well known for Forsyth Park. Columbia is famous for its southern hospitality and friendly people.

How is Savannah different from Columbia?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Savannah
Columbia

Savannah is a well-known place for its sights and museums. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

Savannah offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city's long history can be explored at the Savannah History Museum. With the Savannah School of Art and Design in town, you'll also find a great art culture with several museums such as the SCAD Museum of Art and the Jepson Center for the Arts. There's also the Georgia State Railroad Museum and the Sea Maritime Museum. There are several historic houses that you can visit as well, such as the Andrew Low House, the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, and Harper Fowlkes House.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Columbia. 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.


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

Savannah
Columbia

Savannah is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Columbia is not a good city for its restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Savannah. Local restaurants highlight southern hospitality as well as the cuisine. You'll find many classics such as crab cakes, shrimp and grits, and fried fish. There are many restaurants in historic buildings in the Historic District, but you'll also find a number of casual eateries in other neighborhoods.

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 Savannah or Columbia Better for Nightlife?

Savannah
Columbia

Columbia is a popular place for nightlife. However, Savannah is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Columbia. You'll find live music venues as well as low key bars and more trendy cocktail lounges.

Savannah is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife. Downtown Savannah and River Street are filled with bars and clubs that keep things lively when the sun goes down. During the warmer months there are outdoor venues, concerts and events, but even during the cooler seasons things stay busy.

Is Savannah or Columbia Better for Beaches?

Savannah
Columbia

Savannah is a popular place for the beache. However, Columbia is not a beach destination.

Savannah is a good option for a beach vacation. While Savannah doesn't actually have a beach, you can head to nearby Tybee Island for waves and sun. It's about half an hour away and the closest beaches to the city are on the island's north side.

Columbia is not a beach destination.


Is Savannah or Columbia Better for its Old Town?

Savannah
Columbia

Savannah is a well-known place for its old town. However, Columbia does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Savannah. There's an impressive Historic District that is filled with gardens, historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and Oak-lined streets. There are wonderful hotels and traditional restaurants that offer a beautiful experience.

Columbia does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Savannah or Columbia?

Savannah
Columbia

Savannah is a well-known place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Columbia is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping areas.

Savannah is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Shopping opportunities include art galleries, trendy clothing boutiques, and larger shopping malls. Visitors can wander down the popular Broughton Street, but there's also a City Market and Starland District.

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 Savannah or Columbia Better for Families?

Savannah
Columbia

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Savannah or Columbia.

Savannah is a family-friendly place to visit. There's a children's museum in town. There's also many outdoor parks and the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. Kids will enjoy stopping for ice cream or other sweet treats, which are plentiful as well.

Columbia is a family-friendly 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 Savannah or Columbia Better for Couples?

Savannah
Columbia

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

Savannah is a very popular place to visit for couples. Trees with Spanish Moss as well as a charming Historic District make this a nice destination for a couple's weekend. There are parks where you can enjoy a picnic. There are also nature trails and many great southern restaurants.

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 Savannah or Columbia Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Savannah
Columbia

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

Plenty of budget travelers visit Savannah. There's a hostel in town, as well as a number of cheaper motels that are a bit outside of the Historic District.

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 Savannah or Columbia Better for Students?

Savannah
Columbia

Savannah and Columbia are both nice destinations for students and younger travelers.

Savannah is a good city to visit for students. There are a couple of colleges in town including the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Plenty of students visit Columbia. The University of South Carolina, and other nearby colleges all bring in a decent student population.


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

Savannah
Columbia

Both Savannah and Columbia offer reasonable public transit options.

Public transit is generally limited in Savannah. While there are some types of public transit available, the vast majority of visitors have a vehicle, which they use to get around.

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 Savannah or Columbia a more walkable city?

Savannah
Columbia

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

Savannah is a very walkable city. The Historic District is very walkable, and it makes a pleasant place to explore on foot.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Columbia or Savannah?

How long in Savannah or Columbia?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Savannah or Columbia to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Savannah than Columbia because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Savannah, and 1-2 days is enough time in Columbia.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Savannah 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 Savannah.


  • How many days in Savannah or Columbia? Ideal Length of Stay
    Savannah 1-3 
    Columbia 1-2

One day in Savannah or Columbia?

The city of Savannah offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

The city of Columbia offers nightlife and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in Savannah or Columbia?

Savannah is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Savannah, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Columbia is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Columbia, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Savannah or Columbia?

Savannah 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 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.

A week in Savannah or Columbia?

Savannah is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Columbia is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


Which place is cheaper, Columbia or Savannah?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Savannah is $160, 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 Savannah and Columbia in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Savannah $84
    Columbia -
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Savannah $168
    Columbia $0.00
Compare Hotels in Savannah and Columbia

Looking for a hotel in Savannah 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 Savannah


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: Savannah Hotel Prices and Columbia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Savannah $27
    Columbia -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Savannah

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Savannah:

  • Grave Encounters Tour with Guide and Transfers: $32
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Savannah Airport SAV: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer to Savannah Airport SAV: $60
  • African American History Walking Tour w/ Transfer: $64
  • Savannah Hilton Airport (SAV) to Hilton Head Island - Arrival Private Transfer : $90
  • Savannah Hilton Airport (SAV) to Savannah - Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • Savannah to Savannah Hilton Airport (SAV) - Departure Private Transfer: $103
  • Private Savannah Airport to Tybee Island Transfer : $110
  • Private Transfer SAV-Hilton Head Island : $180
  • Savannah Hilton Airport (SAV) to Hilton Head Island - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $180
  • Savannah Hilton Airport (SAV) to Savannah - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $206
  • Private Transfer from SAV to Savannah: $206

Is it cheaper to fly into Savannah or Columbia?

Prices for flights to both Columbia and Savannah 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
    Savannah $58
    Columbia $5.03

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Savannah

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

  • Grave Encounters Ghost Tour with Cellar and Dinner: $55
  • 2-Hour Southern Food Tour: $63
  • Savannah Southern Fried Expectations Walking Food Tour: $63
  • Savannah Ghost Trolley Tour with Dinner at the Pirate's House: $72
  • Savannah First Squares Culinary & Cultural Walking Food Tour: $72
  • Savannah's Secret East Side/Port City Walking Food Tour: $72
  • Savannah Riverboat Gospel Music Dinner Cruise: $76
  • Monday Gospel Dinner Cruise: $76
  • 3-Hour First Squares Food Tour: $82
  • Famous and Secret East Side/Port City Food Tour: $82
  • 2-Hour Savannah Riverboat Dinner Cruise with Onboard Entertainment: $91
  • Buffet Dinner Cruise with Live Entertainment: $91

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Savannah $17
    Columbia -
Typical Entertainment Prices in Savannah

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Savannah are as follows:


  • Pub Crawl
    $10

Tours and Activities in Savannah

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

  • Self Guided Audio Ghost Tour in Savannah in 6 Languages: $5.00
  • Old Squares GPS Audio Guided Walking Tour: $5.50
  • Self-Guided 'Old Squares of Savannah' Solo Walking Tour: $5.95
  • Ghosts of Savannah Self-Guided Haunted Tour: $5.95
  • Savannah Historical District: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Savannah’s Historical District: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Chippewa Square to Forsyth Park: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Savannah: $7.99
  • Savannah Self Guided Ghost Tour: $8.37
  • Johnson Square to Independent Presbyterian: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Savannah: $9.99
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Savannah by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Skip the Line: General Admission Webb Military Museum Ticket: $10
  • Savannah Scavenger Hunt: Historic Savannah Adventure: $12

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
    Savannah $34
    Columbia $88

Sample the Local Flavors in Savannah

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Savannah:

  • Epic Savannah Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • 90 Minute Historic Savannah Walking Haunted Bar Pub Crawl: $19
  • Spirits with Spirits Happy Hour Walking Bar Pub Crawl: $19
  • Spanish Moss Haunted Savannah Pub Crawl: $20
  • Bloody Murder Savannah Pub Crawl: $29
  • Bad Kitty Haunted Savannah Pub Crawl - Spooky, naughty ghosts: $29
  • Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Creepy Crawl Night-Time Haunted Pub Walking Tour of Savannah's Historic District: $30
  • Conjuring Cocktails Pub Crawl: $30
  • Savannah Bar Crawl by the Bridge: $32
  • Late Night Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl: $33


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Savannah and Columbia, we can see that Savannah 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 Savannah would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Savannah 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 Savannah Expensive? and Is Columbia Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Savannah or Columbia?

Savannah has a larger population, and is about 13% larger than the population of Columbia. When comparing the sizes of Savannah 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 Savannah 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 Savannah or Columbia in the Summer?

Both Columbia and Savannah are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The summer months attract visitors to Savannah because of the beaches and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Columbia this time of year.

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

It's quite sunny in Columbia. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Savannah. Savannah usually receives less sunshine than Columbia during summer. Savannah gets 267 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia receives 293 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Columbia. It's quite rainy in Savannah. In July, Savannah usually receives more rain than Columbia. Savannah gets 7.9 inches (200 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Savannah or Columbia in the Autumn?

Both Columbia and Savannah during the autumn are popular places to visit. The shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Savannah this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Columbia for the shopping scene.

In October, Savannah is generally a little warmer than Columbia. Daily temperatures in Savannah average around 68°F (20°C), and Columbia fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

In Columbia, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Savannah. In the autumn, Savannah often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Columbia. Savannah gets 223 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia receives 230 hours of full sun.

Savannah usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Columbia. Savannah gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Savannah 68°F (20°C) 
    Columbia 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Savannah or Columbia in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Savannah and Columbia. Many travelers come to Savannah for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Columbia in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Savannah is a little warmer than Columbia in the winter. The daily temperature in Savannah averages around 49°F (9°C) in January, and Columbia fluctuates around 45°F (7°C).

Savannah usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Columbia during winter. Savannah gets 176 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia receives 171 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Savannah usually receives less rain than Columbia. Savannah gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 3.7 inches (93 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Savannah 49°F (9°C) 
    Columbia 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Savannah or Columbia in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Savannah as well as Columbia. Many visitors come to Savannah in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Savannah is around the same temperature as Columbia. Typically, the spring temperatures in Savannah in April average around 66°F (19°C), and Columbia averages at about 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 Savannah this time of the year. In the spring, Savannah often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Columbia. Savannah gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia receives 273 hours of full sun.

Savannah usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Columbia. Savannah gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Savannah 66°F (19°C) 
    Columbia 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Columbia and Savannah

Savannah Columbia
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 49°F (9°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Feb 52°F (11°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Mar 59°F (15°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 56°F (13°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Apr 66°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 64°F (18°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
May 73°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm) 78°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 7.9 inches (200 mm) 82°F (28°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (164 mm) 81°F (27°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm)
Sep 77°F (25°C) 5.6 inches (141 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Oct 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Nov 59°F (15°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Dec 52°F (11°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 48°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)