Columbia Travel Guide

Columbia Tourism | Columbia Guide

You're Going to Love Columbia

Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina. Located right in the middle of the state, it makes for a great base when touring in the South and enjoying the stunning surrounding countryside.

Columbia is both a college town and a military center, home to the University of South Carolina and Fort Jackson. This brings a vibrant mix of young people into the city and helps to create an exciting and buzzing atmosphere when night falls.

Columbia is also experiencing something of a renaissance in culture and cuisine. A host of artistic events and an influx of award-winning chefs is transforming the city into a drawcard destination in its own right.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Columbia

What to do in Columbia

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
South Carolina State House

When to Visit Columbia

Estimated hotel price

Columbia in {1}

1 night at 3-star hotel
Prices are not fixed and may vary with time

Columbia can get hot and wet in summer, with temperatures in July and August topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 5.5 inches of rain. Winter temperatures fall to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and it's still quite wet. Spring and fall are perhaps best, with warm temperatures, lower rainfall, and some great cultural events.

Average temperatures
Fahrenheit (°F)
When the weather is nice in Columbia

How to Get to Columbia

Airports near Columbia

Airlines serving Columbia

Excellent (26,433 reviews)
Good (65,080 reviews)
Good (21,777 reviews)
Excellent (22,323 reviews)
Good (40,746 reviews)
Good (3,810 reviews)
Good (26,198 reviews)
KLM
Good (3,319 reviews)
Show more

Where to Stay in Columbia

The Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel is located in an impressive 1930s high-rise building. It has a good location and a modern interior. For something a little different, try the Inn at USC Wyndham Garden on the university campus. It's close to some good restaurants and bars, and has elegant rooms. Chestnut Cottage Bed and Breakfast has comfortable, characterful rooms with original antiques and individual design.

Popular Neighborhoods in Columbia

Where to stay in popular areas of Columbia

Most booked hotels in Columbia

How to Get Around Columbia

The Cost of Living in Columbia

Shopping Streets

The Columbiana Centre is Columbia's biggest shopping mall and has major stores like Belk, Dillard's, JCPenney, and Sears. Richland Mall is a more upscale shopping center and is good for fashion. Dutch Square Center is a better bet for bargain hunters, while Five Points has some good local shopping, including excellent book and music stores.

Groceries and Other

The price of a quart of regular milk in Columbia is around $1.02. A loaf of white bread will cost $2.32 and a dozen eggs are priced at around $2.85. Publix Super Markets on Trenholm Plaza and Gervais Place are good for organic produce, and Whole Foods Market at Cross Hill Market specializes in natural and organic foods. The city also has Trader Joe's, Aldi, and Bi-Lo.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
$11.00
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
$40.67
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket
$1.50
Cappuccino
Cappuccino
$3.85

Where to Eat in Columbia

Blue Cactus Cafe on Greene Street is an enjoyable budget eatery serving up a cosmopolitan blend of Tex-Mex and Korean dishes. Look out for their range of hot sauces. Dishes start well under $10. Yesterdays on Devine Street serves American and Southern fare. It has a good atmosphere and entrees from $10. Mr. Friendly's on Greene Street is a local institution, where people tend to dress up to enjoy a dinner of excellent Southern cuisine. Entrees of mostly meat dishes (with some seafood options) cost around $20.

Most popular restaurants in Columbia

Blue Marlin
Low Country
Excellent (587 reviews)
Motor Supply Company Bistro
Contemporary American
Excellent (447 reviews)
Ruth's Chris Steak House - Columbia
Steakhouse
Excellent (336 reviews)
The Melting Pot - Columbia SC
Fondue
Excellent (222 reviews)
Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse - Columbia
Brazilian Steakhouse
Excellent (214 reviews)
Solstice Kitchen
Contemporary American
Excellent (205 reviews)
Other popular cities in South Carolina