A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charleston vs. Boston for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Couples

Should you visit Charleston or Boston?

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

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

Charleston

Charleston is a charming, southern, and quaint coastal town. 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 nightlife, live music, and food.

Boston

Boston is a classic, historic, and traditional classic. 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. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.

Charleston and Boston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less popular for students
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples


How is Charleston different from Boston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Charleston or Boston Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Charleston
Boston

Head to Boston if you're looking for good museums or notable landmarks, as it has more to offer than Charleston.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Boston on the map. 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.

Charleston is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. This city is famous for its many historic churches and plantations. You can also visit Fort Sumter National Monument by boat or take a tour of the USS Yorktown.


Is Charleston or Boston Better for Food?

Charleston
Boston

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Charleston and Boston can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Charleston is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. Food lovers will enjoy the city's low country classics. Local favorites include she crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Boston. Famous local foods include New England Clam Chowder, lobster rolls, and baked beans.

Is Charleston or Boston Better for Nightlife?

Charleston
Boston

Evening events are similar in both Charleston and Boston.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Charleston. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene.

Boston has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city is known for its breweries, craft beer, and vibrant university neighborhoods. It also hosts regular outdoor movies and world class sporting events.

Is Charleston or Boston Better for Music?

Charleston
Boston

Both Charleston and Boston offer a variety of live music venues.

The music scene helps keep Charleston active and fun. You can hear a number of local bands or enjoy a more widely known group at larger venues in the area.

You'll find some good live music in Boston. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.

Is Charleston or Boston Better for Beaches?

Charleston
Boston

Charleston is considered to be a more popular beach destination than Boston.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Charleston. The area has a number of beautiful and fun nearby beaches including Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island.

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.


Is Charleston or Boston Better for its Old Town?

Charleston
Boston

Charleston and Boston both have historical old towns that attract visitors.

Charleston offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. Charleston's downtown is one of the most charming and well preserved Old Town's in the United States. It's easy to see why it's become a world class destination.

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.

Is Charleston or Boston Better for Shopping?

Charleston
Boston

Charleston usually beats out Boston for shopping.

Charleston is a world class destination for shoppers. The city is famous for its historic market in the center of town. Local goods, foods, and crafts are sold daily here. There are also many clothing and local shops throughout town.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Boston. Head to Back Bay for some of the best high end shops.

Is Charleston or Boston Better for Christmas?

Charleston
Boston

Both Charleston and Boston are fun destinations to visit around Christmas.

Charleston is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. During the Christmas season there are a number of festivals, light shows, and even a boat parade that everyone can enjoy.

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.

Is Charleston or Boston Better for Christmas Markets?

Charleston
Boston

Charleston and Boston are both places where visitors can find Christmas markets.

Charleston has Christmas markets worth visiting. Marion Square hosts Christmas Markets on weekends throughout the holiday season.

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.


Is Charleston or Boston Better for Families?

Charleston
Boston

Charleston and Boston are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Charleston is a family-friendly place to visit. The area has a number of family friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.

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

Is Charleston or Boston Better for Couples?

Charleston
Boston

While Boston and Charleston are both popular destinations, overall Charleston is considered to be a more popular choice.

Charleston has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. This beautiful city is one of the most popular wedding destinations in America. It's a very romantic setting with beautiful hotels and bed and breakfasts that are perfect for couples on their honeymoon or looking for a romantic setting.

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.

Is Charleston or Boston Better for Students?

Charleston
Boston

Boston is generally a better coastal town for students than Charleston.

Boston is a great destination for students. It is a city of students, with a number of world renowned universities located here including Harvard University, Boston College, and MIT.

Plenty of students visit Charleston. The city is a college town with a young vibe that is perfect for students.

Is Charleston or Boston a more walkable city?

Charleston
Boston

Charleston and Boston both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Charleston is a very walkable destination. The downtown area is very walkable, but once you leave the historic heart, it's best to have a car.

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


Should I spend more time in Boston or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or Boston?

In either Charleston or Boston, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than Boston because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Charleston is 2-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Boston is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Charleston or Boston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charleston 2-7 
    Boston 3-5

One day in Charleston or Boston?

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the quaint destination of Charleston. 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.

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.

A weekend in Charleston or Boston?

Charleston 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.

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.

Five days in Charleston or Boston?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Charleston. 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.

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.

A week in Charleston or Boston?

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the classic destination of Charleston. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. 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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Boston or Charleston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Charleston is $136, while the average daily cost in Boston is $203. 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 Charleston and Boston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $72
    Boston $132
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $144
    Boston $264
Compare Hotels in Charleston and Boston

Looking for a hotel in Charleston or Boston? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Charleston


Hotels in Boston


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Charleston Hotel Prices and Boston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $26
    Boston $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124
  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622

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 Charleston or Boston?

Prices for flights to both Boston and Charleston 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
    Charleston $46
    Boston $40
Typical Food prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $17
    Boston $26
Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

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


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

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

  • Charleston's Haunted Ghost Tour - Smart Phone Guided Tour: $5.00
  • Charleston Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $16
  • Charleston's Pleasing Terrors Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Downtown Charleston Walking Tour with Certified Local Guide: $21
  • Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour: $21
  • Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Charleston French Quarter Historic Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Drayton Hall Plantation Admission Ticket in Charleston: $22
  • Small-Group Tour: Charleston Old Walled City Historical Walking Tour: $23
  • Charleston Terrors Walking Ghost Tour: $23
  • Charleston Ghosts of Liberty Guided Walking Tour: $25
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25

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

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
    Charleston $28
    Boston $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

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

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37

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 Charleston and Boston, we can see that Boston is more expensive. And not only is Charleston much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Charleston would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Charleston 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 Charleston.


When is the best time to visit Charleston or Boston?

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 Charleston or Boston in the Summer?

Both Boston and Charleston are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Charleston for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Boston in the summer for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Charleston is a little warmer than Boston. Typically, the summer temperatures in Charleston in July are around 82°F (28°C), and Boston is about 73°F (23°C).

It's quite sunny in Boston. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charleston. Charleston usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Boston during summer. Charleston gets 293 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 304 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Charleston. In July, Charleston usually receives more rain than Boston. Charleston gets 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charleston 82°F (28°C) 
    Boston 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Boston in the Autumn?

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

In October, Charleston is generally much warmer than Boston. Temperatures in Charleston average around 67°F (19°C), and Boston stays around 54°F (12°C).

In the autumn, Charleston often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Boston. Charleston gets 197 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 194 hours of full sun.

Charleston usually gets less rain in October than Boston. Charleston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charleston 67°F (19°C) 
    Boston 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Boston in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Charleston and Boston. Most visitors come to Charleston for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Boston because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

The weather in Boston can be very cold. Charleston is much warmer than Boston in the winter. The temperature in Charleston is usually 47°F (9°C) in January, and Boston stays around 29°F (-2°C).

Charleston usually receives more sunshine than Boston during winter. Charleston gets 188 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 153 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Charleston usually receives around the same amount of rain as Boston. Charleston gets 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charleston 47°F (9°C) 
    Boston 29°F (-2°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Boston in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Charleston as well as Boston. The spring months attract visitors to Charleston because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Boston this time of year.

In the spring, Charleston is much warmer than Boston. Typically, the spring temperatures in Charleston in April are around 64°F (18°C), and Boston is about 48°F (9°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Boston. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charleston this time of the year. In the spring, Charleston often gets more sunshine than Boston. Charleston gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 225 hours of full sun.

Charleston usually gets less rain in April than Boston. Charleston gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charleston 64°F (18°C) 
    Boston 48°F (9°C)

Typical Weather for Boston and Charleston

Charleston Boston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Feb 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Mar 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm) 38°F (4°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm) 58°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Sep 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Oct 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Nov 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Dec 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 33°F (1°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)


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Charleston vs. Boston Travel Comparison

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