A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Boston vs. New York City for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit Boston or New York City?

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 New York City. 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. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and theater.

New York City

New York City is a cosmopolitan, one-of-a-kind, and vibrant city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Boston and New York City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less active music scene
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities


How is Boston different from New York City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Boston or New York City Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Boston
New York City

Both Boston and New York City have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Boston that are not to be missed. 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.

The museums and tourist attractions in New York City are world-renowned. The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.


Is Boston or New York City Better for Theater?

Boston
New York City

Both Boston and New York City offer theater options for visitors.

Boston offers many theater and performance venues for visitors. 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.

The theater and performance venues in New York City draw crowds from around the world. Visiting Broadway is a quintessential NYC experience. Whether you enjoy the theater or simply want to experience something new, seeing a Broadway show is a true bucket list activity.

Is Boston or New York City Better for Food?

Boston
New York City

Dining out at restaurants in both Boston and New York City 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.

For foodies, New York City is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, from local dives to Michelin star options. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.

Is Boston or New York City Better for Nightlife?

Boston
New York City

Evening events are similar in both Boston and New York City.

Boston has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The city is known for its breweries, craft beer, and vibrant university neighborhoods. It also hosts regular outdoor movies and world class sporting events.

New York City is a world class party destination. Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.

Is Boston or New York City Better for Music?

Boston
New York City

New York City is more known for its live music scene than Boston.

New York City is a world class music destination. Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.

The music scene in Boston is active and vibrant. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.


Is Boston or New York City Better for Shopping?

Boston
New York City

New York City is generally considered to be a more popular shopping destination.

New York City is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Boston. Head to Back Bay for some of the best high end shops.

Is Boston or New York City Better for Christmas?

Boston
New York City

Both Boston and New York City are fun destinations to visit around Christmas.

Boston is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. Christmas comes to life in the city with its Christmas Trees, holiday shows, and festivals.

Known for its popular Christmas activities, New York City draws large crowds. Christmas in the city is a quintessential experience. From the Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center to seeing a live performance of the Nutcracker, everyone enjoys the holidays in New York.

Is Boston or New York City Better for Christmas Markets?

Boston
New York City

Visitors can find Christmas markets in both Boston and New York City.

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

Many people head to New York City to see its Christmas markets. There are a number of Christmas markets that pop up around town during the holiday season. Nothing will get you more in the holiday spirit than wandering these unique venues.

Is Boston or New York City Better for Families?

Boston
New York City

Both Boston and New York City 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, New York City is very family-friendly. The city has many activities for kids of all ages including world class museums, beautifully designed playgrounds, and theater shows designed just for young ones.


Is Boston or New York City Better for Couples?

Boston
New York City

Boston and New York City 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.

New York City makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. From a beautiful carriage ride through Central Park, to a romantic river cruise at night, there is an endless list of unique activities that couples can enjoy in the city.

Is Boston or New York City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boston
New York City

Both Boston and New York City are popular destinations for backpackers.

Boston is a good classic to visit for backpackers. Like most larger American cities, the city has a handful of hostels to choose from.

Many backpackers visit New York City. It isn't a particularly budget friendly destination, but it does get its share of backpackers, so you'll find a nice list of hostels and affordable hangouts that are perfect for the backpacker crowd.

Is Boston or New York City Better for Students?

Boston
New York City

Boston and New York City are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

Boston is a very popular place to visit 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 students frequent New York City. The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

Is Boston or New York City Better for Public Transit?

Boston
New York City

Both Boston and New York City offer public transit options.

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.

New York City has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The city has one of the largest subway systems in the world. There's also an elaborate bus system, ferry system, and yellow taxis all around town.


Is Boston or New York City a more walkable city?

Boston
New York City

Boston and New York City 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.

It's very easy to get around on foot in New York City. The majority of the neighborhoods in Manhattan are very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Most people prefer not to drive here as it can be overwhelming and chaotic.

Should I spend more time in New York City or Boston?

How long in Boston or New York City?

Both Boston and New York City have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in New York City than Boston.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Boston is 3-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to New York City is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Boston or New York City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boston 3-5 
    New York City 3-7

One day in Boston or New York City?

Boston is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Don't miss the museums, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Many travelers enjoy the live music and food when visiting the big city destination of New York City. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Boston or New York City?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boston. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Don't miss the museums, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

New York City is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Boston or New York City?

Boston is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This classic offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in New York City. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Boston or New York City?

You'll find theater and nightlife around the classic of Boston. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the one-of-a-kind big city of New York City. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Which city is cheaper, New York City 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 New York City is $238. 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 New York City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boston $132
    New York City $137
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boston $264
    New York City $274
Compare Hotels in Boston and New York City

Looking for a hotel in Boston or New York City? 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 New York City


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: Boston Hotel Prices and New York City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boston $28
    New York City $39
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 City Downtown to Boston Airport (BOS): $69
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Boston Airport (BOS) to City Downtown: $69
  • Transfer from Boston Logan International Airport to Boston: $85
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Boston Airport: $30
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Boston Airport to Hotel: $30
  • Round trip transfer in private vehicle from Boston city -to Boston Airport (BOS): $138
  • Round trip Airport Transfer: Logan - Boston: $181
  • Private transfer: Boston to Boston Airport (BOS): $622
  • Private transfer: Boston Airport (BOS) to Boston: $622
  • Private transfer from or to BOS Boston, MA: $113
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Boston (hotel OR airport pick-up): $132
  • Private Transfer from Boston City to Boston (BOS) Airport: $117

Typical Local Transportation prices in New York City

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New York City are as follows:


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

Also for New York City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer Manhattan to NYC Airports JFK EWR LGA: $22
  • Private Departure Transfer Brooklyn to NYC Airports (JFK) (LGA) (EWR): $29
  • New York City Shared Shuttle Departure Transfer: Hotel to NYC Airports: $30
  • Private All Inclusive New York Transfer: Airport or Manhattan to Cruise Port: $71
  • Private New York airport transfer: New York airport to Manhattan and Brooklyn: $83
  • Private Transfer from New York City to LaGuardia Airport: $85
  • Private transfer: New York to New York Airport (LGA): $86
  • Private All Inclusive New York City Airport Arrival Transfer: $90
  • Private All Inclusive New York City Airport Departure Transfer: $90
  • Manhattan Private Luxury Transfer to NYC Airports: $98
  • New York Airport Luxury Departure Transfer via Stretch Limousine, SUV, Sedan: $100
  • Private Transfer from Manhattan to John F Kennedy Airport JFK by Luxury Car: $111

Is it cheaper to fly into Boston or New York City?

Prices for flights to both New York City 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
    New York City $37

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 New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

For New York City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • New York Pizza, Beer, and History Tour: $69
  • Greenwich Village History, Culture, and Food Tour with Local Expert: $129
  • Private New York City Food Tour of East Village and Greenwich Village: $147
  • JAPANESE guided tour! Bateaux Dinner Cruise tour with hotel transportation. The best way to enjoy the Manhattan night view from the river & sea. Full course French dinner, live band music included.: $333
  • Limo trip Hotel to Dinner round trip in NEW MKT Limousine: $481

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boston $26
    New York City $77
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:

  • 2-Day Trip Philadelphia City Tour from Boston: $519
  • 6-Day Economy East Coast Tour ( Boston Departure) ( BOAP6E): $448
  • 6-Day Economy East Coast Tour (Boston departure)(BO6E): $448
  • 6-Day Tour East Coast Tour ( Boston Departure) ( BOAP6D): $560
  • 6-Day Tour East Coast Tour (Boston Departure)(BO6): $560
  • 6-Day U.S East Coast Tour (Boston departure) BO6U: $560
  • 7-Days Tour US east coast and Canada tour (Boston Departure) (BO7C): $706
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: Boston Harbor: $44
  • Beer Tour: $80
  • Best of Boston Tour - Private Safe Tour: $185
  • Boston Back Bay Tourist Scavenger Hunt: $36
  • Boston Chocolate Tours w/ Private Tour Option: $204

Typical Entertainment prices in New York City

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New York City's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

For New York City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • New York: Brooklyn Heights & DUMBO Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • 9/11 Tribute Museum Admission Ticket: $12
  • Central Park Zoo General Admission Ticket: $14
  • New York Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Brooklyn Museum General Admission Ticket: $14
  • New York: The Rubin Museum of Art Admission Ticket: $19
  • New York Aquarium Admission Tickets: $20
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ticket: $21
  • American Dream: TiLT Interactive Museum Admission Ticket: $21
  • American Museum of Natural History Ticket: $23
  • New York Botanical Garden Admission Ticket: $23
  • American Museum of Natural History Admission Ticket: $23

For more ideas for your next trip, check out Free Things to Do in Boston, Must-See Monuments and Memorials In Boston, The Best Things To Do in Boston with Kids, The Best Things to do in New York City with Kids, Things to Do in Central Park in NYC, and The Best Museums in New York City.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boston $22
    New York City $23

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

Sample the Local Flavors in New York City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New York City:

  • Pub Crawl Tour of Historic Stone Street: $40


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


When is the best time to visit Boston or New York City?

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 Boston or New York City in the Summer?

Both New York City and Boston during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Boston because of the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to New York City this time of year.

Boston is around the same temperature as New York City in the summer. The temperature in Boston is usually 73°F (23°C) in July, and New York City stays around 77°F (25°C).

New York City gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Boston usually gets less rain in July than New York City. Boston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 4.5 inches (114 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Boston 73°F (23°C) 
    New York City 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Boston or New York City in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Boston and New York City. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Boston this time of year. Also, many travelers come to New York City for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Boston is cooler than New York City. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Boston in October are around 54°F (12°C), and New York City is about 57°F (14°C).

In October, Boston usually receives more rain than New York City. Boston gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Boston 54°F (12°C) 
    New York City 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Boston or New York City in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Boston as well as New York City. Many travelers come to Boston for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to New York City in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

New York City can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Boston. In January, Boston is generally much colder than New York City. Temperatures in Boston average around 29°F (-2°C), and New York City stays around 31°F (-1°C).

Boston usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as New York City. Boston gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Boston 29°F (-2°C) 
    New York City 31°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Boston or New York City in the Spring?

Both New York City and Boston are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Boston in the spring for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to New York City for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months.

Boston is cooler than New York City in the spring. The temperature in Boston is usually 48°F (9°C) in April, and New York City stays around 52°F (11°C).

In April, Boston usually receives less rain than New York City. Boston gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while New York City receives 3.8 inches (98 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Boston 48°F (9°C) 
    New York City 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for New York City and Boston

Boston New York City
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 29°F (-2°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Feb 30°F (-1°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 33°F (1°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Mar 38°F (4°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Apr 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.8 inches (98 mm)
May 58°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jun 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Jul 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm)
Aug 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Sep 64°F (18°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Oct 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 57°F (14°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Nov 45°F (7°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Dec 33°F (1°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 36°F (2°C) 3.4 inches (88 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. New York City 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.