Which place is cheaper, Portland or Boston?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Boston and Portland. 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 is a historic, traditional, and classic city. 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.
Portland is a tree-lined, nature-filled, and scenic city. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and hiking.
Travelers will usually find more to do in Boston. Although Boston and Portland are roughly the same size, Boston has more sights and attractions for tourists. Boston is more popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, beaches, historical sights, christmas markets, big city activities, and quaint atmosphere, while Portland is known for its hiking and small town charm. Boston is popular for its enthusiastic sports fans, influential history, beautiful parks, and world-class universities. It is also home to The Freedom Trail. Portland is popular for its independent and vintage shops, thriving art scene, lush parks and gardens, progressive and quirky personality, and easy access to amazing natural beauty.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Portland and Boston. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Boston is very popular for its museums and history. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.
Travelers visit Boston from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. 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.
Portland offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Visitors usually come for the city's outdoor recreation and eclectic personality more than the landmarks and museums. There are a few places to visit on a rainy day though including Pittock Mansion, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
Boston is a very popular place for theatre. However, Portland is not a theatre destination.
Boston attracts a wide-range of world-class performances. 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.
Portland is not a theatre destination.
Boston is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.
The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Boston. 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.
You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Portland. The town is more famous for it's craft beer than it's food, but there are still a number of local restaurants that offer unique Oregon dishes. You'll find no shortage of vegetarian and vegan options on most menus. There is also a big farm-to-table scene with many farmers markets around town as well.
Boston is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.
Boston has a large number of nightlife venues. 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.
Portland has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Famously, this town's nightlife is all about the craft beer and local breweries. Make sure you check out Bailey's Taproom, The Big Legrowlski, and The Commons Brewery.
Both Boston and Portland offer good live music venues.
You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Boston. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.
The music scene in Portland is active and vibrant. The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.
Boston is a decent place to visit for its beaches. However, Portland is not a beach destination.
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.
Portland is not a beach destination.
Boston is very popular for its historic old town. However, Portland does not have a historic old town.
Boston has a world-famous historical 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.
Portland does not have a historic old town.
Portland is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Boston is not a hiking destination.
Portland is a popular spot for hiking. Just outside of town you'll find amazing hikes and stunning natural beauty. In town there are many urban hikes through parks and gardens, but in just a short drive you also have access to Mount Hood and many of the region's most beautiful hikes around the Columbia River Gorge.
Boston is not a hiking destination.
Both Boston and Portland are good shopping destinations.
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.
Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Portland. To fully experience shopping in town, head to the local vendors and thrift shops. There are many vintage clothing shops, book stores, and independent sellers around town. The city is also full of farmers markets. For some of the most interesting shopping, check out the Pearl District, Pioneer Place, Union Way, and Downtown neighborhoods.
Boston is a very popular place for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Portland 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.
Portland does not offer Christmas activities.
Boston is a very popular place for visiting Christmas markets. However, Portland does not offer Christmas markets.
Boston is a popular destination to visit Christmas markets. There are a number of European style Christmas markets that pop up during the holiday season around town.
Portland does not offer Christmas markets.
Boston is very popular for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.
Boston is an extremely popular city to visit for families. 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 Portland. This is an outdoor city by nature, so families will appreciate the many parks and outdoor recreational activities around town. It's easy to fill a couple of days exploring and having fun with the kids. Kid-friendly activities include the zoo, the aerial tram, and several great museums.
Boston and Portland both good 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. There are also many sporting and entertainment options around town.
Portland makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The laid-back, alternative vibe is fun to explore as a couple. There are independent bookstores, nice parks, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Couples who enjoy an eclectic city, breweries, and nature, will find a lot to do in town.
Portland 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 Portland. The town has drawn young explorers for years, and backpackers who like to step away from the mainstream will feel right at home here.
Plenty of budget travelers visit Boston. Like most larger American cities, the city has a handful of hostels to choose from.
Boston is very popular for its student-friendly activities. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for students.
Boston is a very popular city 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.
Portland is popular with students. It's a young and relaxed city that attracts independent thinkers. There are many bookstores and breweries around town. The cost of living can be a bit high though.
Boston is very popular for times when you don't have a car. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.
Boston has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. There's the T, which is the subway, as well as a trolley, bus, and water transportation system.
You'll find some public transit in Portland, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The town has a bus and light rail system as well the Aerial tram.
Boston is very popular for its walkability. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.
It's very easy to get around on foot in Boston. The many parks and compact neighborhoods are best explored on foot.
Portland is a very walkable city. It is quite walkable, particularly in the tourist areas such as Downtown, Pearl, and Old Town Chinatown.
Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Boston and Portland. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Boston than in Portland. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Boston, and 2-3 days is enough time in Portland.
Families should spend more time in Boston than Portland. 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 Portland. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Boston that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Boston than Portland 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.
Boston is a big city with plenty to do. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.
Many travelers enjoy the live music and shopping when visiting the destination of Portland. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.
Boston is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. 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 a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.
Portland 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.
Boston is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that museums is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Boston, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portland. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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.
Boston is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that museums is why people visit. 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. This city offers something for everyone.
Travelers enjoy the live music and shopping when visiting the laid-back destination of Portland. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Boston is $254, while the average daily cost in Portland is $180. 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 Boston and Portland in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Boston or Portland? 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.
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.
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Boston are as follows:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Boston:
Also for Portland, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Prices for flights to both Portland 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.
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Boston.
For Portland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
For Portland, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Boston are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Boston are as follows:
For Portland, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Boston and Portland, we can see that Boston is more expensive. And not only is Portland much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Portland would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Portland 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 Portland.
Boston has a larger population, and is about 9% larger than the population of Portland. When comparing the sizes of Boston and Portland, 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.
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.
Both Portland and Boston during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Boston for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Portland because of the hiking, the small town charm, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.
Boston is a little warmer than Portland in the summer. The daily temperature in Boston averages around 73°F (23°C) in July, and Portland fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).
In Portland, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Boston. In the summer, Boston often gets less sunshine than Portland. Boston gets 304 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 338 hours of full sun.
Boston usually gets more rain in July than Portland. Boston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.
The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Boston and Portland. 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 music scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Portland this time of year.
In the autumn, Boston is around the same temperature as Portland. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Boston in October average around 54°F (12°C), and Portland averages at about 55°F (13°C).
Boston usually receives more sunshine than Portland during autumn. Boston gets 194 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 155 hours of full sun in the autumn.
In October, Boston usually receives more rain than Portland. Boston gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.
The winter brings many poeple to Boston as well as Portland. The museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Boston this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Portland for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.
Be prepared for some very cold days in Portland. It's quite cold in Boston in the winter. In January, Boston is generally much colder than Portland. Daily temperatures in Boston average around 29°F (-2°C), and Portland fluctuates around 40°F (4°C).
In the winter, Boston often gets more sunshine than Portland. Boston gets 153 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 86 hours of full sun.
It's quite rainy in Portland. Boston usually gets less rain in January than Portland. Boston gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain this time of the year.
Both Portland and Boston are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Boston for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Portland in the spring for the small town charm and the natural beauty.
Boston is cooler than Portland in the spring. The daily temperature in Boston averages around 48°F (9°C) in April, and Portland fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).
It's quite sunny in Portland. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Boston. Boston usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Portland during spring. Boston gets 225 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 231 hours of full sun in the spring.
In April, Boston usually receives more rain than Portland. Boston gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain each month for the spring.
|3.4 inches (87 mm)
|5.2 inches (132 mm)
|3.7 inches (94 mm)
|3.9 inches (98 mm)
|3.7 inches (95 mm)
|3.6 inches (92 mm)
|3.5 inches (89 mm)
|2.4 inches (61 mm)
|3.2 inches (82 mm)
|2 inches (51 mm)
|3.1 inches (79 mm)
|1.5 inches (39 mm)
|2.9 inches (74 mm)
|0.7 inches (18 mm)
|3.2 inches (82 mm)
|1 inches (25 mm)
|3.1 inches (79 mm)
|1.7 inches (44 mm)
|3.3 inches (84 mm)
|2.6 inches (67 mm)
|4.3 inches (108 mm)
|5.4 inches (136 mm)
|3.9 inches (99 mm)
|6.1 inches (156 mm)