A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Boston vs. Santa Fe for Attractions, Old Town, Families, and Food

Should you visit Boston or Santa Fe?

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 Santa Fe. 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 proud, loyal, and historic 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.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a artsy, cultural, and historic historic town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for skiing, live music, and food.

Boston and Santa Fe: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Freedom Trail
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less popular for students
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Boston or Santa Fe?

You'll generally find more things to do in Boston than Santa Fe. Boston is bigger than Santa Fe, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Boston is better known for its museums, theatre productions, nightlife, beaches, historical sights, christmas markets, and big city activities, while Santa Fe is more popular for its skiing, hiking, and shopping. Boston is more touristy than Santa Fe and is popular for its enthusiastic sports fans, influential history, beautiful parks, and world-class universities. Also, Boston is famous for The Freedom Trail. Santa Fe is well known for its strong arts scene, its Pueblo-style architecture, and its unique local cuisine.

How is Boston different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Skiing?

Boston
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for snow skiing. However, Boston is not a skiing destination.

Santa Fe is a great destination for skiing with plenty areas to explore. There are a few good ski resorts not far from Santa Fe. Popular options include Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.

Boston is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boston or Santa Fe?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is an unbeatable place for its historical sights. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its sights and museums.

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.

Santa Fe is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Head to the Museum of New Mexico Complex, which has four museums that give a great overview of the history of the area. Also make sure you visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Theater?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is a great city for its shows and theatre. However, Santa Fe is not a theatre destination.

Boston has a number of performance venues where you can see a variety of shows. 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.

Santa Fe is not a theatre destination.

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

Boston
Santa Fe

Dining out at restaurants in both Boston and Santa Fe can be an enjoyable experience.

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.

Santa Fe has a huge number of terrific restaurants. There are many local restaurants that use regional ingredients and offer great flavors. There are also cafes and bistros where you can enjoy breakfast or brunch. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chili peppers.


Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is a great city for its evening party scene. However, Santa Fe is not known for nightlife.

The nightlife in Boston has something for everybody. 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.

Most people don't head to Santa Fe specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night. Live music is popular and diverse. It often includes different genres such as the blues, country, salsa or bluegrass.

Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Boston
Santa Fe

Both Boston and Santa Fe offer notable 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 Santa Fe is active and vibrant. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Beaches?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is adequate for the beach. However, Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe is not a beach destination.


Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for its Old Town?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is an unbeatable place for its historic old town charm. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its historic old town.

With a famous historical old-town, Boston offers plenty to see. 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.

Many visitors go to Santa Fe to see the historical old town. As the 2nd oldest city in the United States, the old town historic district is filled with charm. The Pueblo-style buildings are brightly colored and there are churches throughout.

Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Hiking?

Boston
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a good destination for the nearby hiking options. However, Boston is not a hiking destination.

Santa Fe offers some nice hiking trails. Because it's located right by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, there are many beautiful hikes right outside of town. Popular trails include the Picacho Peak Trail and the Nambe Lake Trail. Bandelier National also has many places to hike.

Boston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Boston or Santa Fe?

Boston
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is notable for shopping. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Santa Fe is an extremely popular place for shoppers. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Boston. 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 Boston or Santa Fe Better for Christmas?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is a great city for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Santa Fe does not offer Christmas activities.

Boston is a very popular destination during Christmas. Christmas comes to life in the city with its Christmas Trees, holiday shows, and festivals.

Santa Fe does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Christmas Markets?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is a great city for visiting Christmas markets. However, Santa Fe does not offer Christmas markets.

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.

Santa Fe does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is an unbeatable place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its family-friendly activities.

Boston is one of the most popular family destinations. 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.

Santa Fe is a family-friendly place to visit. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.


Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston and Santa Fe both notable 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.

Santa Fe makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.

Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is very good for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Santa Fe is not known for backpackers.

Boston is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Like most larger American cities, the city has a handful of hostels to choose from.

Santa Fe is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There's a hostel in town as well as several campgrounds.

Is Boston or Santa Fe Better for Students?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for students.

Students come from all over the world to visit Boston. 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.

Santa Fe is a good city to visit for students. There are a few colleges and universities in town and students will appreciate the reasonable cost of living and outdoor activities nearby.


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

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is an unbeatable place for times when you don't have a car. However, Santa Fe is not known for its public transit.

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 generally limited in Santa Fe. There is a bus system - the Santa Fe Trails Bus Service.

Is Boston or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Boston
Santa Fe

Boston is an unbeatable place for its ease of walking around. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its walkability.

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

Santa Fe is very walkable. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Boston?

How long in Boston or Santa Fe?

In either Boston or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. In our opinion, Boston has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Boston than Santa Fe. In general, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Boston, and 2-5 days is enough time in Santa Fe.

Families should spend more time in Boston than Santa Fe. 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 Santa Fe. 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 Santa Fe 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 Boston or Santa Fe? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boston 3-5 
    Santa Fe 2-5

One day in Boston or Santa Fe?

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 food and shopping when visiting the destination of Santa Fe. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Boston or Santa Fe?

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.

Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe?

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 Santa Fe. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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 Santa Fe?

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 skiing and live music when visiting the artsy destination of Santa Fe. This historic town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America, The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, and The Best Photography Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Santa Fe or Boston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Boston is $255, while the average daily cost in Santa Fe is $159. 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 Santa Fe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boston $166
    Santa Fe $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boston $332
    Santa Fe $162
Compare Hotels in Boston and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Boston or Santa Fe? 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 Santa Fe


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 Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boston $37
    Santa Fe $61
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:

  • Luxor Limo Private Transfer and City Tour: $1,195
  • Private Transfer: between Manhattan and Boston: $964
  • Flynn Cruiseport Private Transfer to Boston: $683
  • Round trip Airport Transfer: Logan - Boston: $300
  • Private Transfer from Boston Airport to Providence RI: $294
  • Boston Logan Airport to Killington/Okemo Private Transfer: $283
  • Boston Logan Airport (BOS): Private Transfer to Boston city: $243
  • Flynn Cruise port Boston to Boston hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer : $231
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Boston (hotel OR airport pick-up): $180
  • Boston’s Logan International Airport to Providence – Arrival Private Transfer : $171
  • Boston Airport (BOS): Transfer to Flynn Cruise Port Boston: $168
  • Private Transfer in Boston (BOS) Airport/Home/Hotel/Work : $160

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Fe

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125
  • New Mexico: Private Transfer from Santa Fe Regional Airport: $196

Is it cheaper to fly into Boston or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe 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 $49
    Santa Fe $43

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
  • North End Pizza Walking Tour with 3 Slices & Cannoli: $55
  • Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor: $60
  • Boston's North End Small Group Food Tour : $81
  • Ultimate Boston Food Tour: North End & Boston Public Market: $89
  • Ultimate Food Tour of North End & Public Market: $89
  • Union Square, Somerville Neighborhood Food Tour: $90
  • Boston Harbor: Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $95
  • Local Gems of the South End Neighborhood Food Tour: $110
  • Boston's North End: Secret Food Tour: $115

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Fe

For Santa Fe, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $184
  • Santa Fe Farmers Market & Railyard Food Tour: $184
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Railyard Arts District: $189
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Downtown Plaza 'Sip & Savor': $209
  • Downtown Plaza "Sip and Savor" Half-day Food Tour: $209
  • Savor Wine Pairing Dinner: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boston $33
    Santa Fe $17
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:

  • Boston Massachusetts Private Photography Tour: $130
  • "Ghosts of Boston" Walking Ghost Tour: $25
  • "Witch Trials" Walking Tour in Salem: $25
  • 1 If By Land Walking Tours: $45
  • 1 If By Land Walking Tours: History Walking Tour of Boston: $45
  • 1 or 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Boston: $46
  • 1-Day Tour to Portland-Maine from Boston: $175
  • 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
  • 2.5-Hour Salem History & Sightseeing Guided Walking Tour: $40

Tours and Activities in Santa Fe

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santa Fe.

  • Historic Downtown Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Santa Fe Historic Downtown Smart Phone Audio App Self Guided GPS Walking Tour : $7.80
  • Santa Fe's Historic Gems: A Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Santa Fe by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour of Historic Santa Fe: $15
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Santa Fe NM: $15
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Santa Fe Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Willa Cather's Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $40
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $49
  • Canyon Road Arts District Walking Tour: $69
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $70

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 $27
    Santa Fe $9.68

Sample the Local Flavors in Boston

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:

  • Salem Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $27
  • Boston Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl : $27
  • Salem Booze and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl by US Ghost Adventures: $28
  • Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Boston Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of Historic Pubs and Taverns: $30
  • 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

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Fe

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Santa Fe:

  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery Tour and Tasting: $18


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Boston and Santa Fe, we can see that Boston is more expensive. And not only is Santa Fe much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Santa Fe would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe.

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


Which is Bigger, Boston or Santa Fe?

Boston has a larger population, and is about 9 times larger than the population of Santa Fe. When comparing the sizes of Boston and Santa Fe, 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.