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

Should you visit Washington or Columbus?

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 Columbus can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Washington or Columbus?

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.

Columbus

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 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 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Washington and Columbus in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $91
    Columbus $58
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $182
    Columbus $116
Compare Hotels in Washington and Columbus

Looking for a hotel in Washington or Columbus? 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 Columbus


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: Washington Hotel Prices and Columbus Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $37
    Columbus $40
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, DC: Private Airport Transfer(SUV): To or From: (DCA) Reagan National: $180
  • Washington, DC: Potomac Mills Outlet Private Transfer: $357
  • Washington to Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) - Departure Private Transfer: $61
  • Washington to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) - Departure Private Transfer: $97
  • Washington to Newark International Airport (EWR) - Departure Private Transfer: $491
  • Washington to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) - Departure Private Transfer: $535
  • Washington to New York J.F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) - Departure Private Transfer: $535
  • Washington to Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) - Departure Private Transfer: $109
  • Washington Reagan Airport Transfer to Baltimore & D. C.: $15
  • Washington City to Philadelphia City - Private Car Transfer: $392
  • Washington City to New York City - Private Car Transfer: $516
  • Washington City to Baltimore City - Private Car Transfer: $168

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 - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $174
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $87
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $87

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Columbus?

Prices for flights to both Columbus 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
    Columbus $39
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
    Columbus $37

Tours and Activities in Washington

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

  • "HEROES OF FREEDOM" PRIVATE TOUR (4 Hour Military Tribute): $658
  • "SHINING CITY" PRIVATE TOUR (3 Hour Evening Tour): $658
  • 2 Day Grand Tour with George Washington's Mount Vernon: $95
  • 2-Day Colonial Williamsburg Guided Tour from Washington DC: $330
  • 24/48-Hour Washington, D.C. Hop-on Hop-off Tour: $49
  • 3-Hour "DC After Dark" Night-Time Guided Bus Tour with Stops at Top Attractions: $35
  • 3-Hour Private Jeep Tour of Washington D.C.: $495
  • 3-Hour Washington DC "Monuments By Night" Guided Night-Time Sightseeing Bus Tour: $49
  • 3-Hour Washington DC "Morning Monuments" Guided Sightseeing Walking & Bus Tour: $64
  • 3-Hour Washington, D.C Urban Adventure Scavenger Hunt: $44
  • 30-Minutes Supercar Driving Pilot Experience in Washington DC: $275
  • Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum: $24

Tours and Activities in Columbus

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

  • Central Park Bike Tour: $53
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $21
  • New York City: 3-Hour City Highlights Guided Bike Tour: $60
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus: $11

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $15
    Columbus $16

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Washington and Columbus, we can see that Washington 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 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 Columbus.


When is the best time to visit Washington or Columbus?

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 Washington or Columbus in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and Columbus. Most visitors come to Washington for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Washington is around the same temperature as Columbus in the summer. The temperature in Washington is usually 79°F (26°C) in July, and Columbus stays around 77°F (25°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Columbus this time of the year. In Washington, it's very sunny this time of the year. Washington usually receives more sunshine than Columbus during summer. Washington gets 278 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 254 hours of full sun in the summer.

Columbus receives a lot of rain in the summer. In July, Washington usually receives less rain than Columbus. Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    Columbus 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Washington or Columbus in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Washington as well as Columbus. 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 the autumn, Washington is around the same temperature as Columbus. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Washington in October are around 60°F (15°C), and Columbus is about 57°F (14°C).

In the autumn, Washington often gets more sunshine than Columbus. Washington gets 197 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 179 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets more rain in October than Columbus. Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    Columbus 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Washington or Columbus in the Winter?

Both Columbus and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Washington this time of year.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Columbus. It's quite cold in Washington in the winter. In January, Washington is generally much warmer than Columbus. Temperatures in Washington average around 35°F (1°C), and Columbus stays around 30°F (-1°C).

Washington usually receives more sunshine than Columbus during winter. Washington gets 139 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 105 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Washington usually receives more rain than Columbus. Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Washington or Columbus in the Spring?

Both Columbus and Washington during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Washington for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

Washington is a little warmer than Columbus in the spring. The temperature in Washington is usually 56°F (14°C) in April, and Columbus stays around 54°F (12°C).

It's quite sunny in Washington. In the spring, Washington often gets more sunshine than Columbus. Washington gets 228 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 200 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets less rain in April than Columbus. Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    Columbus 54°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Columbus and Washington

Washington Columbus
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 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
Washington vs. Columbus 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.