A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Arlington vs. Boston for Attractions, Families, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Arlington or Boston?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Arlington or Boston, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Arlington

Arlington is a international, historical, and educational city. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Boston

Boston is a loyal, historic, and traditional city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the theater, nightlife, and live music.

Arlington and Boston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to Arlington National Cemetery
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Freedom Trail


Is there more to do in Arlington or Boston?

You'll generally find more things to do in Boston than Arlington. Boston is bigger than Arlington, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Arlington is well known for its international connections, its biking and walking trails, and being the location of the Pentagon. Boston is well known for its enthusiastic sports fans, influential history, beautiful parks, and world-class universities. Also, Boston is famous for The Freedom Trail.

How is Arlington different from Boston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Boston and Arlington. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Arlington or Boston?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is terrific for its museums and history. Also, Arlington is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Boston has many famous sights for visitors. The city itself feels like a living museum. It is famous for Faneuil Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, the USS Constitution, as well as the many sites along the Freedom Trail. There are also many museums on the campuses of the world renowned universities in the city.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Arlington. Arlington National Cemetery is where you'll find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as the tomb of John F. Kennedy Jr. There are many memorials around town, with the most famous being the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial. There are also several museums like the DEA Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.


Is Arlington or Boston Better for Theater?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is an excellent place to visit for its shows and theatre. However, Arlington is not a theatre destination.

Many visitors plan to see a show while visiting Boston. The city has many historic, beautifully restored theaters where you can enjoy a show. Head to the theater district for some of the most famous venues.

Arlington is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Arlington or Boston? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Arlington
Boston

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Arlington and Boston.

Arlington has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. It's a global city, and the restaurants reflect that. You'll find amazing Thai, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants. There are also less common cuisines to choose from such as Ethiopian, Moroccan, and Peruvian.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Boston makes for a great culinary experience. There are many local dishes that utilize fresh caught seafood and comfort food flavors. The cuisine also takes advantage of the city's Italian and Irish populations. Famous local foods include New England Clam Chowder, lobster rolls, and baked beans. You'll find hearty sandwiches and filling meals that warm your soul.

Is Arlington or Boston Better for Nightlife?

Arlington
Boston

Both Arlington and Boston have great vibes after the sun sets.

Arlington has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city has a huge young population that drives the nightlife scene. There are clubs, bars, and lounges in many neighborhoods. There are also comedy clubs and plenty of live music.

The people in Boston know how to have a good time. The city is known for its breweries, craft beer, and vibrant university neighborhoods. It also hosts regular outdoor movies and world class sporting events. The nightlife scene is varied, with some areas catering to the student population and other areas focused on the professional or sport-loving crowds.


Is Arlington or Boston Better for Music?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is a nice place to visit for its music scene. However, Arlington is not a live music destination.

The music scene helps keep Boston active and fun. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.

Arlington is not a live music destination.

Is Arlington or Boston Better for Beaches?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is a decent place to visit for the beach. However, Arlington is not a beach destination.

The beach in Boston is worth checking out. There are a few urban beaches in the greater Boston area that you can explore on a nice day.

Arlington is not a beach destination.

Is Arlington or Boston Better for its Old Town?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is terrific for its historic old town charm. However, Arlington does not have a historic old town.

Boston has a unique history which comes to life in its historic area. Boston is famous for its Freedom Trail, which takes visitors around the city's rich history. The oldest parts of the city are known as Boston Proper and include the neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Historic Downtown, the North End, and the West End.

Arlington does not have a historic old town.


Is the Shopping Better in Arlington or Boston?

Arlington
Boston

Shoppers can find a variety of notable stores in both Arlington and Boston.

Arlington has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Many neighborhoods have local shops or farmer's markets. There are also shopping centers and malls such as Ballston Quarter, The Crossing Clarendon, and The Village at Shirlington.

Boston is a great destination for shopping. Head to Back Bay for some of the best high end shops. There are luxury brands and boutique venues that sell local art or crafts.

Is Arlington or Boston Better for Christmas?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is an excellent place to visit for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Arlington does not offer Christmas activities.

Since it has plenty to do, Boston is a very popular place to visit during Christmas. Christmas comes to life in the city with its Christmas Trees, holiday shows, and festivals.

Arlington does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Arlington or Boston Better for Christmas Markets?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is an excellent place to visit for visiting Christmas markets. However, Arlington does not offer Christmas markets.

Boston has plenty of Christmas markets during the holiday season. There are a number of European style Christmas markets that pop up during the holiday season around town.

Arlington does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Arlington or Boston Better for Families?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is terrific for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Arlington is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Boston is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. It's filled with history, but there are also many activities for kids who need a break from all of the historical stuff. Popular activities for all ages include the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and exploring the waterfront, gardens, and parks around town.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Arlington. Kids will enjoy seeing the planes talk off from Gravelly Point park. There are also plenty of outdoor spaces and educational opportunities in the area, including world class museums.

Is Arlington or Boston Better for Couples?

Arlington
Boston

Arlington and Boston are both notable to visit as a couple.

Arlington is a good city for couples to visit. There's a vibrant cultural scene and many international restaurants that couples can enjoy. It's also a great place to take in a show or concert.

Boston is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy history will enjoy exploring the city. Take a swan boat ride in the Public Garden and wander the unique route along the Freedom Trail. There are also many sporting and entertainment options around town.

Is Arlington or Boston Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Arlington
Boston

Arlington is notable for backpackers. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Arlington. There are a couple of hostels and many free activities nearby. There's also great public transportation that makes for a convenient backpacker destination.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Boston. Like most larger American cities, the city has a handful of hostels to choose from.


Is Arlington or Boston Better for Students?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is terrific for its student-friendly activities. Also, Arlington is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for students.

Boston is a great destination for students. It is a city of students, with a number of world renowned universities located here including Harvard University, Boston College, and MIT. Many neighborhoods are filled with students and there are many student-centered activities around town including festivals and an active nightlife scene.

Students come from all over to stay in Arlington. There are a huge number of colleges and museums in the area as well as many great internship and educational opportunities.

Is Arlington or Boston Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Arlington
Boston

Visitors will find world-class public transit in both Arlington and Boston.

The thorough and effecient public transit system of Arlington can take you anywhere. There is a reliable bus system around town as well as many metro connections.

Boston has a great public transit system. There's the T, which is the subway, as well as a trolley, bus, and water transportation system.

Is Arlington or Boston a more walkable city?

Arlington
Boston

Boston is terrific for its ease of walking around. Also, Arlington is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Boston. The many parks and compact neighborhoods are best explored on foot.

Arlington is very walkable. There are many pedestrian-friendly areas around town, particularly in the neighborhoods that are concentrated around metro stations.


For even more information, also check out Is Arlington Worth Visiting? and Is Boston Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Boston or Arlington?

How long in Arlington or Boston?

In either Arlington or Boston, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Boston than Arlington because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Arlington, and 3-5 days is enough time in Boston.

Families should spend more time in Boston than Arlington. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Boston, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Boston than Arlington. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Boston that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Boston than Arlington if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Boston.


  • How many days in Arlington or Boston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Arlington 2-4 
    Boston 3-5

One day in Arlington or Boston?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Arlington. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

People visit Boston because there is so much to do. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Arlington or Boston?

Arlington is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

People visit Boston because there is so much to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Arlington or Boston?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Arlington. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

People visit Boston because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the museums. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.


A week in Arlington or Boston?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the educational destination of Arlington. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Boston is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America, and The Best Train & Rail Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Boston or Arlington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Arlington is $264, while the average daily cost in Boston is $255. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Arlington and Boston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arlington $131
    Boston $166
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arlington $262
    Boston $332
Compare Hotels in Arlington and Boston

Looking for a hotel in Arlington or Boston? 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 Arlington


Hotels in Boston


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: Arlington Hotel Prices and Boston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arlington $49
    Boston $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arlington

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

  • Ronald Reagan DCA Airport Transfers: $160

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Boston

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


  • Taxi
    $35
  • Subway Daily Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Boston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Boston:

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Boston Downtown to Boston Airport (BOS): $69
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Boston Airport (BOS) to City Downtown: $69
  • Round trip transfer in private vehicle from Boston downtown-to the Airport (BOS): $138
  • Round trip Airport Transfer: Logan - Boston: $300
  • Private transfer: Boston to Boston Airport (BOS): $95
  • Private transfer: Boston Airport (BOS) to Boston : $95
  • Private Transfer: between Manhattan and Boston: $960
  • Private Transfer in Boston (BOS) Airport/Home/Hotel/Work : $160
  • Private Transfer from Boston to Flynn Cruiseport Boston: $115
  • Private Transfer from Boston City Hotels to Newport Cruise Port: $87
  • Private Transfer between Boston Logan Airport and Boston City: $150
  • Private Transfer Boston Airport BOS to Boston by Business or Luxury Vehicle: $122

Is it cheaper to fly into Arlington or Boston?

Prices for flights to both Boston and Arlington 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
    Arlington $81
    Boston $49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Boston

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Boston.

  • Self Guided "The North End Pizza, Cannoli and Picnic" Solo Walking Tour : $5.50
  • AM Coffee Walks with Salem Food Tours: $34
  • Boston's North End Pizza & History Walking Food Tour: $49
  • Pizza Beer and Paul Revere Tour: $54
  • North End Pizza Tour with 3 Slices and Cannoli: $55
  • North End Food Experience with Pizza, Meats & Cheese: $68
  • Boston Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor: $77
  • Ultimate Boston Food Tour: North End & Boston Public Market: $80
  • Ultimate Food Tour of North End & Public Market: $80
  • Boston's North End Small Group Food Tour : $81
  • Union Square, Somerville Neighborhood Food Tour: $90

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arlington $11
    Boston $33

Typical Entertainment Prices in Boston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Boston are as follows:


  • Two Tickets to Celtics Game
    $101
  • Duck Tour
    $32

Tours and Activities in Boston

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

  • "Ghosts of Boston" Walking Ghost Tour: $25
  • "Witch Trials" Walking Tour in Salem: $25
  • 1 If By Land Walking Tours: History Walking Tour of Boston: $45
  • 1 or 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with Harbor Cruise Option: $46
  • 1692 Salem Day Tour: $32
  • 1692 Salem Night Walking Tour: $32
  • 2 Hour North End 'Little Italy' Walking Tour : $35
  • 2-Hour Beacon Hill True Crime Expert Guided Tour: $35
  • 90-Minute Boston Harbor Sunset Sightseeing Cruise: $44
  • A Bostonian Christmas Tour: $421
  • A Bostonian Christmas Tour: $215
  • A Ghost Hunting Tour Specters and Apparitions in Salem: $33

For more ideas for your next trip, check out Free Things to Do in Boston, Must-See Monuments and Memorials In Boston, and The Best Things To Do in Boston with Kids.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arlington $17
    Boston $27

Sample the Local Flavors in Boston

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:

  • Haunted Pub Crawl of Historic Pubs and Taverns: $30
  • Boston Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Salem Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • Boston Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl : $34
  • Salem Booze and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl by US Ghost Adventures: $35
  • Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • History Pub Crawl Tour Along the Freedom Trail: $59
  • Boston Small-Group Freedom Trail History Tour Pub Crawl: $60
  • Boston Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tour with a Snack: $105


When comparing the travel costs between Arlington and Boston, we can see that Arlington is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Arlington Expensive? and Is Boston Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Arlington or Boston?

Boston has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Arlington. When comparing the sizes of Arlington and Boston, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Arlington or Boston?

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 Arlington or Boston in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Arlington as well as Boston. Many travelers come to Arlington for the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, many visitors come to Boston in the summer for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Arlington is a little warmer than Boston. Typically, the summer temperatures in Arlington in July average around 79°F (26°C), and Boston averages at about 73°F (23°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Boston. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Arlington this time of the year. In the summer, Arlington often gets less sunshine than Boston. Arlington gets 278 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 304 hours of full sun.

Arlington usually gets more rain in July than Boston. Arlington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Arlington 79°F (26°C) 
    Boston 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Arlington or Boston in the Autumn?

Both Boston and Arlington are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Arlington in the autumn for the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Boston for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Arlington is generally a little warmer than Boston. Daily temperatures in Arlington average around 60°F (15°C), and Boston fluctuates around 54°F (12°C).

Arlington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Boston during autumn. Arlington gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 194 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Arlington usually receives less rain than Boston. Arlington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Arlington 60°F (15°C) 
    Boston 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Arlington or Boston in the Winter?

Both Boston and Arlington during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Arlington for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Boston because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

The weather in Boston can be very cold. Arlington can be very cold during winter. Arlington is much warmer than Boston in the winter. The daily temperature in Arlington averages around 35°F (1°C) in January, and Boston fluctuates around 29°F (-2°C).

In the winter, Arlington often gets less sunshine than Boston. Arlington gets 139 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 153 hours of full sun.

Arlington usually gets less rain in January than Boston. Arlington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Arlington 35°F (1°C) 
    Boston 29°F (-2°C)

Should I visit Arlington or Boston in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Arlington and Boston. Also, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Boston this time of year.

In the spring, Arlington is much warmer than Boston. Typically, the spring temperatures in Arlington in April average around 56°F (14°C), and Boston averages at about 48°F (9°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Boston this time of the year. In Arlington, it's very sunny this time of the year. Arlington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Boston during spring. Arlington gets 228 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 225 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Arlington usually receives less rain than Boston. Arlington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Arlington 56°F (14°C) 
    Boston 48°F (9°C)

Typical Weather for Boston and Arlington

Arlington Boston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 38°F (4°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 58°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 33°F (1°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)