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

Should you visit Detroit or Pittsburgh?

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

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

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a authentic, under-rated, and industrial city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Detroit and Pittsburgh: 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
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Detroit or Pittsburgh?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Detroit than Pittsburgh, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Detroit is more popular for its music, while Pittsburgh is known for its museums. Detroit is popular for its Motown music, blue collar atmosphere, and influential auto industry. It is also home to the Henry Ford Experience. Pittsburgh is popular for its many bridges, its steel industry, and being the home of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood".

How is Detroit different from Pittsburgh?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh?

Detroit
Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh can be an interesting and educational experience. The museums range from science and nature focused, like the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, to quirky and artsy, like the Mattress Factory. The Warhol Museum is dedicated to the works of Andy Warhol and it's not to be missed. Also worth a visit is the Heinz History Center, Randyland, and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History.

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 Pittsburgh? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Detroit
Pittsburgh

Dining out at restaurants in both Detroit and Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh area. The city is known for its working class roots, and the food is hearty and filling, which is great for those on a budget. Popular local dishes include pierogis, deli sandwiches, Pittsburgh salads (complete with French fries), and hotcakes.

Is Detroit or Pittsburgh Better for Nightlife?

Detroit
Pittsburgh

The superb nightlife scene is relatively similar in Detroit and Pittsburgh.

Detroit has a large number of nightlife venues. 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.

Pittsburgh is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. There's an active music and dance scene in town. For the best bars and clubs, head to the Strip and South Side and for live entertainment and casinos check out the North Shore.

Is Detroit or Pittsburgh Better for Music?

Detroit
Pittsburgh

Detroit is a must-visit destination for its music scene. However, Pittsburgh 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.

Pittsburgh is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Detroit or Pittsburgh?

Detroit
Pittsburgh

Shoppers can find a variety of good stores in both Detroit and Pittsburgh.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Detroit. There are several shopping streets like Woodward Avenue. There are also outlet malls, shopping centers, and Eastern Market.

Many visitors go to Pittsburgh to go shopping. You'll find local fashion boutiques and shopping centers in the city's downtown. Other great shopping neighborhoods include Shadyside, Station Square, and Fifth Avenue Place.

Is Detroit or Pittsburgh Better for Families?

Detroit
Pittsburgh

Detroit and Pittsburgh are both good destinations for the whole family.

Detroit is a family-friendly city. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Pittsburgh. There's a surprising number of kid-friendly activities packed into this city. Check out the National Aviary or visit the popular Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. There are also kid-focused museums and science centers as well as parks and playgrounds. Also make sure you take the cable car up Duquesne Incline or enjoy a boat ride on one of the rivers as well.

Is Detroit or Pittsburgh Better for Couples?

Detroit
Pittsburgh

Neither Detroit or Pittsburgh is generally regarded as a top spot for a couple to visit.

Most people don't think of Detroit as a couple's destination. 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.

Pittsburgh is not always the best place to visit for a couple. There are a few good date night activities like taking river cruises, enjoying dinner and show, or going to a Pirate's game.


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

Detroit
Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Detroit is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Pittsburgh has some public transit options. There are bus and lightrail options through the city's downtown. There's also the unique incline, which is an experience worth doing.

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

Is Detroit or Pittsburgh a more walkable city?

Detroit
Pittsburgh

Detroit and Pittsburgh are good when it comes to walkability.

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

Pittsburgh is a somewhat walkable city. Some of the attractions are spread out, but if you're willing to do a bit of walking, it's possible to get around on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in Pittsburgh or Detroit?

How long in Detroit or Pittsburgh?

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

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

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

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


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

One day in Detroit or Pittsburgh?

With live music and food around the overlooked city of Detroit, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the live music. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Detroit, one day is sufficent for most.

In Pittsburgh, you'll find nightlife and food. This city 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 Pittsburgh?

With food and shopping around the destination of Detroit, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. One of the main draws to the area is the live music. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

In Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh has to offer.

Five days in Detroit or Pittsburgh?

Detroit, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh?

Detroit is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the live music. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Pittsburgh. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Pittsburgh. 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 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, and The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh is $181. 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 Pittsburgh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Detroit $64
    Pittsburgh $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Detroit $128
    Pittsburgh $212
Compare Hotels in Detroit and Pittsburgh

Looking for a hotel in Detroit or Pittsburgh? 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 Pittsburgh


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 Pittsburgh Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Detroit $37
    Pittsburgh $22

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: $190
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $144
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $144
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Luxury SUV: $131
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Business Car: $101
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $95
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $95
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Detroit - Wayne County Airport One Way Transfer : $80
  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pittsburgh

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

  • Pittsburgh City to Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) - Departure Private Transfer: $49
  • Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) to Pittsburgh hotel/address - Arrival Private Transfer: $49
  • Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) to Pittsburgh City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $97

Is it cheaper to fly into Detroit or Pittsburgh?

Prices for flights to both Pittsburgh 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
    Pittsburgh $54

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 Pittsburgh

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

  • Pittsburgh's Strip District Food Tour: $70
  • Pittsburgh's Strip District Food Tour: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Detroit $21
    Pittsburgh $38

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
  • Detroit Pistons Basketball Game Ticket at Little Caesars Arena: $37
  • Detroit Red Wings Ice Hockey Game Ticket at Little Caesars Arena: $72
  • Detroit Tigers Baseball Game Ticket at Comerica Park: $6.69
  • Architectural Beauty and Hidden Gems Walking Tour: $115
  • Detroit Pistons Basketball Game Ticket: $36
  • Ghosts and Spirits Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Segway Tour Strait to the Point: $99
  • Spirit and History Self Guided Audio Tour: $6.50
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Ann Arbor with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Michigan Admission Ticket: $26

Tours and Activities in Pittsburgh

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

  • Best of the Burgh Walking Tour: $30
  • Bike the Burgh Tour: $50
  • Black & Ghost Tour: $30
  • Discover Oakland Tour: $30
  • Eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $6.22
  • Entrance Ticket to AT BLAQK House Collections: $7.00
  • Essential Pittsburgh Experience - The One Tour to Take: $75
  • HOP ON-HOP OFF TOUR PASS- All Day Sightseeing Tour Pass: $40
  • New! Art & Artists Tour: $30
  • New! Bikes & Brews Tour: $75
  • Pittsburg 101 Tour: $30
  • Pittsburgh Penguins Ice Hockey Game Ticket at PPG Paints Arena: $52

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Detroit $20
    Pittsburgh $33

Sample the Local Flavors in Pittsburgh

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

  • Pittsburgh Bar Hunt: Party Through Pittsburgh Bar Crawl: $13
  • Wigle Whiskey Rebellion Distillery Tour: $22
  • New! Bites & Brews: Pittsburgh Brewery Walk: $40
  • Bike and Brewery Tour: $69
  • Pittsburgh Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Detroit and Pittsburgh, we can see that Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Detroit or Pittsburgh?

Detroit has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Pittsburgh. When comparing the sizes of Detroit and Pittsburgh, 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.