Should you visit Washington or Columbus?
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.
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.
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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Washington and Columbus in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $182 in Washington For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
The average traveler spends about $30 per day in Washington 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.
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
Typical Food prices in Washington
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Washington:
Snacks on Monuments Tour
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington
For Washington, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Washington D.C.: 3.5-Hour Georgetown Food Tour:
Washington DC: 3-Hour Italian Food Tour:
Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle:
Adams Morgan Food Tour:
Lonely Planet Experiences: DC Morning Food Tour on H Street:
Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience:
Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour:
Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner:
U Street Neighborhood Food Tour:
Washington DC Odyssey Dinner Cruise:
Private French Cooking Class with an Expert in the Heart of Washington DC:
Washington, DC 3-Hour Dinner Buffet Cruise:
To get around in Washington, the average visitor spends $37 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.
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.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Washington
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Washington are as follows:
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:
Washington, DC: Potomac Mills Outlet Private Transfer:
Washington to Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) - Departure Private Transfer:
Washington to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) - Departure Private Transfer:
Washington to Newark International Airport (EWR) - Departure Private Transfer:
Washington to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) - Departure Private Transfer:
Washington to New York J.F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) - Departure Private Transfer:
Washington to Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) - Departure Private Transfer:
Washington Reagan Airport Transfer to Baltimore & D. C.:
Washington DC: Private Transfer to Airports or Baltimore:
Washington City to Philadelphia City - Private Car Transfer:
Washington City to New York City - Private Car Transfer:
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:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer:
Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer:
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.
In Washington, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.
In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
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):
"SHINING CITY" PRIVATE TOUR (3 Hour Evening Tour):
2 Day Grand Tour with George Washington's Mount Vernon:
2-Day Colonial Williamsburg Guided Tour from Washington DC:
24/48-Hour Washington, D.C. Hop-on Hop-off Tour:
3-Hour "DC After Dark" Night-Time Guided Bus Tour with Stops at Top Attractions:
3-Hour Private Jeep Tour of Washington D.C.:
3-Hour Washington DC "Monuments By Night" Guided Night-Time Sightseeing Bus Tour:
3-Hour Washington DC "Morning Monuments" Guided Sightseeing Walking & Bus Tour:
3-Hour Washington, D.C Urban Adventure Scavenger Hunt:
30-Minutes Supercar Driving Pilot Experience in Washington DC:
Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum:
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:
Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket:
Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Washington, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Sample the Local Flavors in Washington
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:
Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam:
Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour:
DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting:
NOVA Private Custom Wine Tours & Tasting from DMV:
6 Hours Northern VA Wine Tour:
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.
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