A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Detroit vs. Lancaster for Attractions, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Detroit or Lancaster?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Detroit or Lancaster, 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.

Detroit

Detroit is a overlooked , under-rated, and hardworking city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Lancaster

Lancaster is a traditional, picturesque, and scenic town. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, and food.

Detroit and Lancaster: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Detroit or Lancaster?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Detroit than Lancaster, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Detroit is more popular for its nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Lancaster is known for its museums, shopping, and impressive beauty. Lancaster is more touristy than Detroit and is known for its history and long running Amish community. Detroit is popular for its Motown music, blue collar atmosphere, and influential auto industry. It is also home to the Henry Ford Experience.

How is Detroit different from Lancaster?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Detroit or Lancaster?

Detroit
Lancaster

Lancaster is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Detroit is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Lancaster can be an interesting and educational experience. Filled with history and local culture, there are many educational opportunities in the area where you can learn about Amish traditions. The Amish Village has tours and unique experiences. The town also has James Buchanan's Wheatland, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, the National Toy Train Museum, the Ephrata Cloister, and the National Watch & Clock Museum, among many others.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Detroit. Popular museums around town include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Michigan Science Center.


Is the Food Better in Detroit or Lancaster? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Detroit
Lancaster

Dining out at restaurants in both Detroit and Lancaster can be an enjoyable experience.

Detroit has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. There's a local flavor to the food with a number of classic dishes that are popular like square pizza, Coney dogs, and corned beef egg rolls.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Lancaster area. You can sample authentic Pennsylvania Dutch dishes at one of the Amish restaurants in the area. Many places serve food family-style and dishes include chicken pot pie, ham balls, and pork and sauerkraut. Whoopie pies also originated in the area.

Is Detroit or Lancaster Better for Nightlife?

Detroit
Lancaster

Detroit is a great city for its evening party scene. However, Lancaster is not known for nightlife.

The nightlife in Detroit has something for everybody. It's long history in music still influences the nightlife scene. You'll find bars, clubs, and other activities around town. Greektown and Midtown are both popular neighborhoods during the evening.

Most people don't head to Lancaster specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. It's a small town, but you'll still find local pubs and cozy bars where you can enjoy a drink in a laid back atmosphere.

Is Detroit or Lancaster Better for Music?

Detroit
Lancaster

Detroit is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. However, Lancaster is not a live music destination.

Detroit has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. Few cities have such an influential music industry. It's home to Motown and is well known for its soul music, jazz, blues, and rap.

Lancaster is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Detroit or Lancaster?

Detroit
Lancaster

Lancaster is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Detroit is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Lancaster is well-known for its shopping. Many visitors pick up hand-crafted Amish items while they're in town. Furniture and Amish quilts are particularly popular. Farmers markets and antique shopping are both unique in the area and there are also art galleries and several outlet stores that you can visit.

Many visitors go to Detroit to go shopping. There are several shopping streets like Woodward Avenue. There are also outlet malls, shopping centers, and Eastern Market.

Is Detroit or Lancaster Better for Families?

Detroit
Lancaster

Lancaster is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Detroit is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Lancaster is very family-friendly. In you area you'll find farms and petting zoos, amusement parks, and train rides. They can learn about a unique lifestyle at the Amish Experience or soak up the local beauty and farmland in the surrounding countryside.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Detroit. Head to the Detroit Zoo or check out one of the amusement parks in the area. Kids will enjoy a visit to Legoland and there's also the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. You could also spend some time visiting the unique museums in the area.

Is Detroit or Lancaster Better for Couples?

Detroit
Lancaster

Lancaster is a very popular place for its romantic activities. However, Detroit is lacking in good options for couples.

Lancaster makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. This region is known for it's local beauty and serene farmland, making it a relaxing and peaceful destination for couples. There are walking trails, outdoor activities, buggy rides, and a variety of dining experiences. You can also stay at a bed and breakfast or local inn.

Detroit is not always the best place to visit for a couple. It's not a city that usually brings to mind romance, but if you find yourself here for a couple of days, there's a RiverWalk area and some interesting local neighborhoods.


Is Detroit or Lancaster Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Detroit
Lancaster

Visitors will find decent public transit in both Detroit and Lancaster.

Public transit is mostly limited in Detroit. There's a streetcar and bus system, but the car is still king in Motor City.

Public transit is generally limited in Lancaster. The city has buses and several transportation options, but once you're outside of the urban core, your options are limited.

Is Detroit or Lancaster a more walkable city?

Detroit
Lancaster

Detroit is a nice place to visit for its ease of walking around. However, Lancaster is not known for its walkability.

Detroit is a somewhat walkable city. There are parts of downtown Detroit that are walkable, but most people need a car to get around.

Lancaster is generally not very walkable. While the city itself has walkable areas, most visitors want to get out and explore the countryside, which requires a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Detroit Worth Visiting? and Is Lancaster Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Lancaster or Detroit?

How long in Detroit or Lancaster?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Detroit and Lancaster. In our opinion, Lancaster has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Lancaster than Detroit. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Detroit, and 2-3 days is enough time in Lancaster.

Families should spend more time in Lancaster than Detroit. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Lancaster, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Lancaster than Detroit. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Lancaster that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Detroit than Lancaster 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 Detroit.


  • How many days in Detroit or Lancaster? Ideal Length of Stay
    Detroit 1-3 
    Lancaster 2-3

One day in Detroit or Lancaster?

You'll find nightlife and live music around the city of Detroit. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Detroit has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Lancaster, you'll find museums and food. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


A weekend in Detroit or Lancaster?

You'll find live music and food around the under-rated destination of Detroit. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

In Lancaster, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Lancaster has to offer.

Five days in Detroit or Lancaster?

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the hardworking city of Detroit. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Most people head to the area for the live music. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Lancaster is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Detroit or Lancaster?

Detroit is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Lancaster. Many people enjoy the museums and food when visiting Lancaster. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America, The Best Train & Rail Tours in United States of America, and The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Lancaster or Detroit?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Detroit is $133, while the average daily cost in Lancaster is $183. 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 Detroit and Lancaster in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Detroit $64
    Lancaster $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Detroit $128
    Lancaster $182
Compare Hotels in Detroit and Lancaster

Looking for a hotel in Detroit or Lancaster? 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 Detroit


Hotels in Lancaster


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: Detroit Hotel Prices and Lancaster Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Detroit $37
    Lancaster $69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Detroit

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

  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $187
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $142
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $142
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Luxury SUV: $130
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Business Car: $99
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $94
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $94
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $61

Is it cheaper to fly into Detroit or Lancaster?

Prices for flights to both Lancaster and Detroit 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
    Detroit $44
    Lancaster $53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Detroit

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

  • Fresh Mediterranean Inspired Cooking Class in a Unique Detroit Home: $104

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lancaster

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

  • Red Rose Walking Food Tour in Lancaster: $69
  • International Food Tour Lancaster, Pennsylvania: $75

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Detroit $21
    Lancaster $19

Tours and Activities in Detroit

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

  • Ann Arbor Scavenger Hunt: Ann Arbor Adventure: $12
  • Best of Detroit Walking Tour with Observation Tower: $59
  • Best of Detroit with Ford Factory Tour: $169
  • Detroit Sailing Experience: $249
  • Detroit Tigers Baseball Game Ticket at Comerica Park: $13
  • Architectural Beauty and Hidden Gems Walking Tour: $115
  • City Tour with Ford Factory and Boat Cruise: $229
  • Ghosts and Spirits Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • Lake St. Clair Boat Cruise with Choice of Vessel: $75
  • People Mover Audio Tour with VoiceMap App: $4.99
  • Sailing Tour on the Detroit River: $295
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10

Tours and Activities in Lancaster

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

  • 45-Minute Private Guided Historic Walking Tour in Lititz: $12
  • Amish Experience SuperSaver Package: $47
  • Authentic Tour & Meal with the Amish!: $89
  • From Philadelphia: Lancaster County Amish Community Tour: $179
  • Guided Ghost Tour of Lititz: $12
  • Guided Tour of the 1792 Johannes Mueller House: $12
  • Historic Lancaster Photo Shoot Tour: $100
  • Lancaster County: Amish Farmlands, Museum Tour, Farm Visit: $36
  • Lancaster County: Tour and Meal with an Amish Family: $79
  • Lancaster Electric Bicycle Tour: $130
  • Lancaster History and Breakfast Walking Tour: $60
  • Lancaster Puzzling Adventure: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Detroit $20
    Lancaster $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Lancaster

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

  • Guided Brewery Walking Tour in Lancaster City: $79
  • Lancaster City: The Ultimate Walking Craft Brewery Tour: $79


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

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


Which is Bigger, Detroit or Lancaster?

Detroit has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Lancaster. When comparing the sizes of Detroit and Lancaster, 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.


When is the best time to visit Detroit or Lancaster?

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 Detroit or Lancaster in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Detroit and Lancaster. The summer months attract visitors to Detroit because of the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Lancaster this time of year.

In the summer, Detroit is around the same temperature as Lancaster. Typically, the summer temperatures in Detroit in July average around 74°F (24°C), and Lancaster averages at about 77°F (25°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Lancaster this time of the year. In Detroit, it's very sunny this time of the year. Detroit usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster during summer. Detroit gets 319 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 310 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Detroit usually receives around the same amount of rain as Lancaster. Detroit gets 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Detroit 74°F (24°C) 
    Lancaster 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Lancaster in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Detroit as well as Lancaster. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene are the main draw to Detroit this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Lancaster for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Detroit is generally around the same temperature as Lancaster. Daily temperatures in Detroit average around 54°F (12°C), and Lancaster fluctuates around 56°F (13°C).

In the autumn, Detroit often gets less sunshine than Lancaster. Detroit gets 172 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 194 hours of full sun.

Detroit usually gets less rain in October than Lancaster. Detroit gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Detroit 54°F (12°C) 
    Lancaster 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Lancaster in the Winter?

Both Lancaster and Detroit are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Detroit for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Lancaster in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Lancaster can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Detroit. Detroit is much colder than Lancaster in the winter. The daily temperature in Detroit averages around 25°F (-4°C) in January, and Lancaster fluctuates around 30°F (-1°C).

Detroit usually receives less sunshine than Lancaster during winter. Detroit gets 120 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 153 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Detroit usually receives less rain than Lancaster. Detroit gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Detroit 25°F (-4°C) 
    Lancaster 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Lancaster in the Spring?

Both Lancaster and Detroit during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Detroit in the spring for the activities around the city. Also, most visitors come to Lancaster for the natural beauty during these months.

In the spring, Detroit is cooler than Lancaster. Typically, the spring temperatures in Detroit in April average around 49°F (9°C), and Lancaster averages at about 53°F (12°C).

In Lancaster, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Detroit. In the spring, Detroit often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster. Detroit gets 223 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 237 hours of full sun.

Detroit usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Lancaster. Detroit gets 3.2 inches (80 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Detroit 49°F (9°C) 
    Lancaster 53°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Lancaster and Detroit

Detroit Lancaster
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°F (-4°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Feb 27°F (-3°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 33°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Mar 37°F (3°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Apr 49°F (9°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
May 60°F (16°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Jun 70°F (21°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Jul 74°F (24°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Aug 73°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Sep 65°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Oct 54°F (12°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Nov 43°F (6°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 31°F (-1°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 35°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)