A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Boston vs. Bar Harbor for Food, Families, Couples, and Beaches

Should you visit Boston or Bar Harbor?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Boston and Bar Harbor. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Boston

Boston is a historic, traditional, and classic classic. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a relaxed, quaint, and charming coastal town. This is also a fantastic small town with plenty of charm and local activities. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. It's also known for food, beaches, and hiking.

Boston and Bar Harbor: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less attractive beach
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Public transit not as usable


How is Boston different from Bar Harbor?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Boston or Bar Harbor better for Food?

Dining out at restaurants in both Boston and Bar Harbor can be an enjoyable experience.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Boston makes for a great culinary experience. Famous local foods include New England Clam Chowder, lobster rolls, and baked beans.

Bar Harbor has a huge number of terrific restaurants. The town is famous for its Maine lobster, but there are also countless other types of fresh seafood available.

Boston
Bar Harbor


Is Boston or Bar Harbor better for Beaches?

Boston and Bar Harbor both offer beautiful beaches.

Boston is a good spot to see the beach. There are a few urban beaches in the greater Boston area that you can explore on a nice day.

Bar Harbor is a good option for a beach vacation. A nice beach is close by but do note that the sand is very shelly and there is a big difference between high and low tides.

Boston
Bar Harbor

Is Boston or Bar Harbor better for Shopping?

Both Boston and Bar Harbor are good shopping destinations.

Boston is a great destination for shopping. Head to Back Bay for some of the best high end shops.

Bar Harbor is well-known for its shopping. Filled with plenty of local boutique shops, its fun to enjoy some shopping around town.

Boston
Bar Harbor

Is Boston or Bar Harbor better for Families?

Both Boston and Bar Harbor are family-friendly destinations.

Boston is a very family-friendly place to visit. Popular activities for all ages include the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and exploring the history, gardens, and parks around town.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Bar Harbor is very family-friendly. It is a small town with a lot of outdoor activities that kids will enjoy. Whale watching, kayaking, and wildlife spotting are all fun activities for all ages.

Boston
Bar Harbor

Is Boston or Bar Harbor better for Couples?

Boston and Bar Harbor both fun destinations for a couple.

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.

Bar Harbor makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It is a quaint coastal town that is perfect for a couple's getaway or a short honeymoon.

Boston
Bar Harbor


Is Boston or Bar Harbor better for Public Transit?

While Bar Harbor and Boston both provide public transit, overall the system in Boston is considered to be better.

Visitors in Boston can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. There's the T, which is the subway, as well as a trolley, bus, and water transportation system.

Public transit is mostly limited in Bar Harbor. There is a free shuttle bus that will help you get around town if needed.

Boston
Bar Harbor

Is Boston or Bar Harbor a more walkable city?

Boston and Bar Harbor both are comparable when exploring on foot.

It is easy to get around Boston on foot. The many parks and compact neighborhoods are best explored on foot.

Bar Harbor is a very walkable classic. The town is small enough that it's easily explored on foot.

Boston
Bar Harbor

Should I spend more time in Bar Harbor or Boston?

How long in Boston or Bar Harbor?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Boston and Bar Harbor. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Boston than Bar Harbor.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Boston is 3-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Bar Harbor is 2-3 days.


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

One day in Boston or Bar Harbor?

When visiting Boston, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Bar Harbor might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Boston or Bar Harbor?

When visiting Boston, people usually allow for lots of time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Bar Harbor 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.


Five days in Boston or Bar Harbor?

Boston, a popular classic, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Visiting the old town is also a must. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this classic. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

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

A week in Boston or Bar Harbor?

Boston is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Bar Harbor is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Bar Harbor or Boston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Boston is $203, while the average daily cost in Bar Harbor is $161. 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 Boston and Bar Harbor in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boston $132
    Bar Harbor $94
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boston $264
    Bar Harbor $188
Compare Hotels in Boston and Bar Harbor

Looking for a hotel in Boston or Bar Harbor? 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 Boston


Hotels in Bar Harbor


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boston $28
    Bar Harbor $28
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:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Boston Airport BOS: $28
  • Private Departure Transfer to Boston Airport BOS: $28
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Boston Airport to Hotel: $30
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Boston Airport: $30
  • Airport Transfer by Private Car Service: $55
  • Private Arrival Transfer Boston Airport to Boston City: $60
  • Private Departure Transfer from Boston City to Boston Airport: $60
  • Private Airport Transfer: Logan International Airport (BOS) to Boston: $64
  • Arrival Private Transfer Boston Airport BOS to Boston Business or Luxury Vehicle: $67
  • Departure Private Transfer Boston to Boston Airport BOS Business-Luxury Vehicle: $67
  • Boston Logan International Airport Private Transfer: $68
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Boston Airport (BOS) to City Downtown: $69

Is it cheaper to fly into Boston or Bar Harbor?

Prices for flights to both Bar Harbor and Boston 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
    Boston $40
    Bar Harbor $45

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Boston

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

  • Boston's North End "Little Italy" Pizza, Cannoli, and Freedom Trail Walking Tour: $49
  • Boston's North End Small-Group Walking Food Tour: $71
  • Fenway Neighborhood Food Tour (Boston): $79
  • Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor: $81
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Boston North End: $103
  • Spirit of Boston Sunset Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $105
  • Boston Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $118
  • Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey: $122
  • North End Neighborhood Food Tour: $150

Typical Food prices in Bar Harbor

Some typical examples of dining costs in Bar Harbor are as follows:


  • West Street Cafe (for 4)
    $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boston $26
    Bar Harbor $31
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:

  • Self-Guided Smartphone Ghost Walking Tour in Boston: $3.95
  • Self-Guided Boston Christmas Tour: $4.50
  • The Great Cannoli Tour: $5.00
  • Boston Harborwalk & Tea Party Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.00
  • Boston's Freedom Trail - Smart Phone guided (GPS) walking tour - go anytime: $5.00
  • The Ghosts of Boston's Past Haunted Self-guided Tour: $5.00
  • Boston's Freedom Trail, 3 tours in 1, Smart Phone Guided Tour (GPS) - go anytime: $7.99
  • Freedom Trail Best Tour (Boston Common to Faneuil Hall): $15
  • Boston Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Freedom Trail Walking Tours: $16
  • Tour of The Freedom Trail: $16
  • Downtown Freedom Trail Walking Tour in Boston: $20

Typical Entertainment prices in Bar Harbor

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


  • Acadia National Park Entrance Fee
    $25
  • Sunset Cruise (for 4)
    $96

Tours and Activities in Bar Harbor

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

  • Acadia National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour: $2.50
  • Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour: $8.00
  • Premium Narrated Bus Tour of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park (3.5 Hours): $65
  • 2-Hour Tall Ship Cruise from Bar Harbor: $76
  • Savor Bar Harbor Culinary Walking Tour: $109
  • 3 Hour: ACADIA NATIONAL PARK TOUR Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach & Thunder Hole: $590

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
    Boston $22
    Bar Harbor $24

Sample the Local Flavors in Boston

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:

  • Haunted Boston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Historic Pub Crawl Tour along the Freedom Trail: $56
  • Sip of Boston Guided Brewery Tour: $90


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Boston and Bar Harbor, we can see that Boston is more expensive. And not only is Bar Harbor much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Bar Harbor would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Bar Harbor 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 Boston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Boston than you might in Bar Harbor.


When is the best time to visit Boston or Bar Harbor?

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 Boston or Bar Harbor in the Summer?

Both Bar Harbor and Boston are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Boston for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Bar Harbor because of the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

Boston is a little warmer than Bar Harbor in the summer. The temperature in Boston is usually 73°F (23°C) in July, and Bar Harbor stays around 69°F (21°C).

In July, Boston usually receives less rain than Bar Harbor. At this time of the year, Boston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Bar Harbor receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Boston 73°F (23°C) 
    Bar Harbor 69°F (21°C)

Should I visit Boston or Bar Harbor in the Autumn?

Both Bar Harbor and Boston during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Boston because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Bar Harbor this time of year.

In the autumn, Boston is a little warmer than Bar Harbor. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Boston in October are around 54°F (12°C), and Bar Harbor is about 48°F (9°C).

Boston usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Bar Harbor. Boston gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while Bar Harbor receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Boston 54°F (12°C) 
    Bar Harbor 48°F (9°C)

Should I visit Boston or Bar Harbor in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Boston and Bar Harbor. The museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Boston this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Bar Harbor for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Bar Harbor. It's quite cold in Boston in the winter. In January, Boston is generally much warmer than Bar Harbor. Temperatures in Boston average around 29°F (-2°C), and Bar Harbor stays around 18°F (-8°C).

In January, Boston usually receives more rain than Bar Harbor. At this time of the year, Boston gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Bar Harbor receives 3 inches (77 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Boston 29°F (-2°C) 
    Bar Harbor 18°F (-8°C)

Should I visit Boston or Bar Harbor in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Boston as well as Bar Harbor. Many travelers come to Boston for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty. Additionally, many visitors come to Bar Harbor in the spring for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty.

Boston is a little warmer than Bar Harbor in the spring. The temperature in Boston is usually 48°F (9°C) in April, and Bar Harbor stays around 43°F (6°C).

Boston usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Bar Harbor. Boston gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Bar Harbor receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Boston 48°F (9°C) 
    Bar Harbor 43°F (6°C)

Typical Weather for Bar Harbor and Boston

Boston Bar Harbor
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 29°F (-2°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 18°F (-8°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Feb 30°F (-1°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 20°F (-6°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 38°F (4°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm)
Apr 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
May 58°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Jun 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)
Jul 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 69°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Aug 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 67°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)
Sep 64°F (18°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Oct 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Nov 45°F (7°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 37°F (3°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm)
Dec 33°F (1°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 24°F (-5°C) 4 inches (100 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
Boston vs. Bar Harbor 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.