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

Should you visit Washington 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 Washington and Columbia can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Washington or Columbia?

Washington

Washington, DC is the capital city of the United States of America. It is also a city rich in history and culture. The city dates back to 1791 when the states of Maryland and Virginia donated the land to create the capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land that was ceded by Virginia and in 1871 it created a single municipal government with the remaining area. Today, Washington, DC has a population of over 600,000 people. The metropolitan area includes suburbs in Maryland and Virginia and has a population of about 5.8 million.

Columbia

Both the largest and capital city of South Carolina, Columbia is literally the center of everything. Geographically it is located in the middle of the state, and it is the home to the University of South Carolina, the Army's Fort Jackson, as well as a variety of museums that celebrate the city's art, history, and culture.

Which city is cheaper, Columbia or Washington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Washington is $155, 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Washington and Columbia in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $91
    Columbia -
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $182
    Columbia $0.00
Compare Hotels in Washington and Columbia

Looking for a hotel in Washington 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 Washington


Hotels in Columbia


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Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Washington Hotel Prices and Columbia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $37
    Columbia -
Typical Local Transportation prices in Washington

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Washington are as follows:


  • Metro Day Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Washington

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

  • Washington Reagan Airport Transfer to Baltimore & D. C.: $15
  • Private Airport Transfer: Washington to Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA): $40
  • Washington to Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) - Departure Private Transfer: $61
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car: $72
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Washington to Dulles International Airport (IAD): $77
  • Private Departure Transfer from Washington City to DCA Regan Washington Airport: $78
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV: $78
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV: $82
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Van: $82
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Van: $82
  • Seattle: Private Transfer to/from Seattle Airport (SEA): $86

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Columbia?

Prices for flights to both Columbia and Washington 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
    Washington $30
    Columbia $4.02
Typical Food prices in Washington

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Washington:


  • Water
    $2.00
  • Snacks on Monuments Tour
    $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington

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

  • Seattle: Pike Place Market Plant-Based Food Tour: $64
  • Washington D.C.: 3.5-Hour Georgetown Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC: 3-Hour Italian Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle: $65
  • Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner: $70
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $76
  • Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience: $79
  • Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour: $79
  • U Street Neighborhood Food Tour: $99
  • Washington DC Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $100
  • Private French Cooking Class with an Expert in the Heart of Washington DC: $108
  • Washington, DC 3-Hour Dinner Buffet Cruise: $122

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $19
    Columbia -

Tours and Activities in Washington

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Washington.

  • Tidal Basin: Stroll around the cherry blossoms and monuments on an audio tour: $5.00
  • The National Mall: Discover the monuments and their memories on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Lincoln's Assassination: Explore Lincoln's final day on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • The Kennedy Homes: Explore the colonial architecture on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Virtual Tour of Martin Luther King Memorial: $18
  • Virtual Tour African American Heritage in Washington DC: $19
  • Washington, DC: US Capitol Building Entry with 1-Hour Tour: $20
  • City Sightseeing Chester Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: $21
  • DC Ghost Tour: $24
  • Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum: $24

Tours and Activities in Columbia

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

  • Cascade Locks: 1-Hour Columbia River Sightseeing Cruise: $50
  • Cascade Locks: Columbia Gorge Sunday Brunch Cruise: $94
  • Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour: $99
  • Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour: $85
  • Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour: $199
  • Savannah: History & Ghosts Guided Tour with Beverage Stops: $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $15
    Columbia $70

Sample the Local Flavors in Washington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:

  • Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Washington DC: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting: $120
  • Seattle All-Inclusive: Hike Mt. Rainier and Wine Tasting: $278
  • NOVA Private Custom Wine Tours & Tasting from DMV: $645
  • 6 Hours Northern VA Wine Tour: $920

Sample the Local Flavors in Columbia

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

  • Savannah: Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour: $30


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


When is the best time to visit Washington or Columbia?

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 Washington or Columbia in the Summer?

Both Columbia and Washington during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Washington for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Washington is around the same temperature as Columbia. Typically, the summer temperatures in Washington in July are around 79°F (26°C), and Columbia is about 82°F (28°C).

In Columbia, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Washington. In the summer, Washington often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Columbia. Washington gets 278 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia receives 293 hours of full sun.

Columbia gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Washington usually gets less rain in July than Columbia. Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    Columbia 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Washington or Columbia in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and Columbia. The autumn months attract visitors to Washington because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Washington is generally cooler than Columbia. Temperatures in Washington average around 60°F (15°C), and Columbia stays around 64°F (18°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Columbia this time of the year. Washington usually receives less sunshine than Columbia during autumn. Washington gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia receives 230 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Washington usually receives around the same amount of rain as Columbia. Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    Columbia 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Washington or Columbia in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Washington as well as Columbia. The museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Washington this time of year.

It's quite cold in Washington in the winter. Washington is much colder than Columbia in the winter. The temperature in Washington is usually 35°F (1°C) in January, and Columbia stays around 45°F (7°C).

In the winter, Washington often gets less sunshine than Columbia. Washington gets 139 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia receives 171 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets less rain in January than Columbia. Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 3.7 inches (93 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    Columbia 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Washington or Columbia in the Spring?

Both Columbia and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Washington for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Washington is cooler than Columbia. Typically, the spring temperatures in Washington in April are around 56°F (14°C), and Columbia is about 64°F (18°C).

It's quite sunny in Columbia. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Washington. Washington usually receives less sunshine than Columbia during spring. Washington gets 228 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia receives 273 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Washington usually receives around the same amount of rain as Columbia. Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Columbia receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    Columbia 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Columbia and Washington

Washington Columbia
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (13°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 64°F (18°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 78°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 82°F (28°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 81°F (27°C) 5.8 inches (147 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 48°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)


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Washington vs. Columbia Travel Comparison

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