Columbia MO

Short History of Columbia

In 1818, settlers from Kentucky staked out land in Central Missouri for a new town. Named after Christopher Columbus, Columbia, came to life in 1821. Initially, the economy centered around agriculture, but soon, Columbia transformed into an educational hub with the establishment of the University of Missouri in 1839. The city also played an integral part during the Civil War era. Its central location made it an ideal neutral ground between the Union and Confederate forces, earning it the nickname 'Athens of Missouri' for its emphasis on education and civil discourse. Today, Columbia retains its reputation for intellectual vigor, cultural diversity, and college-town energy.

FAQ for Columbia

What is the best way to get there?

The most convenient way to reach Columbia, is by air via the Columbia Regional Airport. Alternatively, road travel is feasible, with major highways such as I-70 and U.S. Route 63 serving the city.

What is Columbia famous for?

Columbia is famous as a vibrant college town, home to the University of Missouri, and for its rich history and culture, abundant parks and trails, and the annual True/False Film Fest.

What are five interesting facts about Columbia?

1. Columbia is often called "College Town, USA" due to its high student population.
2. The city's Stephens Lake Park was once a quarry.
3. It is home to the largest university in Missouri, the University of Missouri.
4. Columbia's District downtown has been named a "Great American Main Street".
5. It hosts the renowned True/False Film Fest every year.

How did Columbia get its name?

Columbia was named after Christopher Columbus, the renowned explorer who made four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain in the 15th Century.

What are some travel tips for Columbia, MO?

When visiting Columbia, take advantage of the vibrant downtown area, explore the expansive park system, check the local event calendar for festivals and cultural events, and enjoy a college sports game if possible. Also, don't miss out on trying local delicacies.

Do I need a visa?

Whether you need a visa to visit Columbia, depends on your nationality. Please check the US Department of State's website for visa requirements for your country.

When is the best time to visit Columbia?

The best time to visit Columbia is in the fall (September to November) and spring (March to May) when the weather is mild and the college town atmosphere is vibrant.

Are there local customs I should know for Columbia?

Drinking: The legal drinking age is 21.
Greetings: Standard American greetings apply, typically a handshake or a casual "Hello".
Public transit: Be prepared to pay exact fare as drivers usually don't provide change.

What is the time zone for Columbia?

Columbia, MO is in the Central Standard Time (CST) zone.

What are the voltage/plug types?

The standard voltage is 120 V, and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are type A and B.

What is the currency?

The currency of Columbia, is the United States Dollar (USD).

Are ATMs readily accessible?

Yes, ATMs are readily accessible in Columbia.

Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes, credit cards are widely accepted in Columbia.

Can you use Apple Pay and Google Pay?

Yes, many businesses in Columbia, accept both Apple Pay and Google Pay.

How much do I tip in Columbia?

Tipping: Tipping is customary in the U.S. and generally expected for good service.
Restaurants/bars: Typically, a tip of 15-20% of the total bill is suggested.
Hotels: A tip of $1-2 per bag for bellhop service, $2-5 per night for housekeeping is customary.
Taxis: A tip of 10-15% of the fare is standard.
Tour guides: Depending on the length and quality of the tour, tipping $5-10 per person is common.

City Information Table

Founded Population Elevation
1821 128,555(source) 220 m


Seasons High (°C/°F) Low (°C/°F)
Winter (Dec - Feb) 5/41 -6/21
Spring (Mar - May) 19/66 5/41
Summer (Jun - Aug) 30/86 17/63
Fall (Sep - Nov) 20/68 6/43
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