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

Should you visit Gainesville or Philadelphia?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Philadelphia, 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.

Gainesville

Gainesville is a vibrant, high energy, and active city. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a diverse, historic, and cultural city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Gainesville and Philadelphia: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Philadelphia?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Philadelphia than Gainesville. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Philadelphia is more touristy than Gainesville and is popular for its diverse population, large number of universities, great restaurant and market scene, and its role in American history. It is also well known for The Liberty Bell. Gainesville is famous for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Philadelphia?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Gainesville or Philadelphia?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is very popular for its sights and museums. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Philadelphia that are not to be missed. The city has a rich history with a number of museums and monuments. Popular sites around the city include the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Jewish American History.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Gainesville. There's a surprising number of museums around town such as the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, and the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention. Also fascinating is the Historic Haile Homestead, the Butterfly Rainforest, and the city's planetarium.


Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Theater?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is notable for theatre. However, Gainesville is not a theatre destination.

Many visitors plan to see a show while visiting Philadelphia. There are major Broadway shows as well as smaller venues. Head to The Avenue of the Arts along Broad Street for a popular stretch of theaters.

Gainesville is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Gainesville or Philadelphia? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is notable for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Philadelphia makes for a great culinary experience. It has grown into a well-recognized food destination. It's diversity of cultures and residents have influenced the restaurant scene and you'll find many great places to dine covering a number of international flavors. The city is famous for its Philly cheesesteak and roast pork sandwich. You can also grab some local favorites at Reading Terminal Market.

Gainesville has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Casual eateries are popular around town, particularly with the student population. There are grills, diners, and bistros that serve local dishes at affordable prices.

Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Evening events are superb in both Gainesville and Philadelphia.

Gainesville has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The nightlife centers around the student population. The two main party areas are Midtown and Downtown. Midtown is between Northwest 17th Street and Northwest 18th Street and it's convenient for students who live on campus. The area has a great stretch of bars and clubs. The Downtown area has many of the city's top clubs, and it's popular with upperclassmen and students who live off campus.

Philadelphia has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city's nightlife scene carries late into the evening with many rooftop and outdoor beer gardens. Most of the clubs and bars are found in the downtown area and you'll find places to dance, listen to live music, or sip a trendy cocktails.


Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Music?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is notable for live music. However, Gainesville is not a live music destination.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in Philadelphia. The city's diverse music scene includes jazz, rock, and hip hop.

Gainesville is not a live music destination.

Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for its Old Town?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a nice place to visit for its historic old town. However, Gainesville does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors go to Philadelphia to see the historical old town. The Old City has a number of Colonial-era sites including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House.

Gainesville does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Philadelphia?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is notable for shopping. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Philadelphia is an extremely popular place for shoppers. With all items tax-free, this city is a great place to shop. It has many boutique shops as well as name brand stores and shopping areas. For a local vibe, head to Reading Terminal Market.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Gainesville. You'll find all of the standard shopping options around town such as malls, shopping centers, and retail outlets. Two popular areas are the Neighborhoods at Butler and Celebration Pointe.


Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Christmas?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is notable for its Christmas activities. However, Gainesville does not offer Christmas activities.

Philadelphia is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. There are a number of holiday events, light shows, and festivals during the holiday season.

Gainesville does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Christmas Markets?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a nice place to visit for its Christmas markets. However, Gainesville does not offer Christmas markets.

Philadelphia has Christmas markets worth visiting. The city has its own German style Christmas market at Love Park and City Hall. It hosts over 80 vendors.

Gainesville does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Families?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Philadelphia is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has many museums and a fascinating history that is interesting to kids and adults alike. Popular activities include a zoo and Sesame Place. Kids also love the hands-on Please Touch Museum.

Gainesville is a family-friendly city. You'll find outdoor activities, nature parks, and a couple of museums that will appeal to all ages. Highlights for families include A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center, the Adventure Outpost, and Alfred A. Ring Park.


Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Gainesville and Philadelphia are both nice to visit as a couple.

Gainesville is a nice destination for couples. Couples can enjoy wine tasting and fine dining or enjoying the city's many outdoor activities. Go on a picnic or explore one of the museums in Downtown Gainesville.

Philadelphia makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Like many large cities, it is a fun place to explore in the evening as a couple. This is also a great foodie destination with great markets, food trucks, and diverse restaurants that reflect the city's diverse population.

Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a nice place to visit for backpackers. However, Gainesville is a mediocre city for backpackers and budget travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Philadelphia. There are a few good hostels for backpackers and budget travelers to choose from.

Gainesville is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not high on the list for many travelers, but there are some cheap motels where budget travelers can stay.

Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Students?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Gainesville and Philadelphia are both superb destinations for students and younger travelers.

Gainesville is a great city to visit as a student. As the location of the University of Florida, you'll find many students around town. This keeps the energy high with plenty of evening activities and affordable entertainment options.

Students come from all over to stay in Philadelphia. With its many universities and diverse population, this city is a great place for international students.


Is Gainesville or Philadelphia Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is notable for its public transit. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit in Philadelphia is fairly effecient and thorough. The system includes a subway, trolleys, buses, and a commuter rail.

Gainesville has some public transit options. There's a decent bus system that's free to students and employees of the university.

Is Gainesville or Philadelphia a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is very popular for its walkability. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its high level of walkability.

It is easy to get around Philadelphia on foot. The Old City is particularly walkable, as is Avenue of the Arts, and Rittenhouse Square.

Gainesville is a somewhat walkable place. Biking is actually a popular way to get around town and some areas are pedestrian-friendly.

For even more information, also check out Is Gainesville Worth Visiting? and Is Philadelphia Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Philadelphia or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Philadelphia?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Gainesville and Philadelphia. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Philadelphia than in Gainesville. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Gainesville, and 2-3 days is enough time in Philadelphia.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Philadelphia than Gainesville 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 Philadelphia.


  • How many days in Gainesville or Philadelphia? Ideal Length of Stay
    Gainesville 1-2 
    Philadelphia 2-3

One day in Gainesville or Philadelphia?

In Gainesville, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this active city offers. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. In one day, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Philadelphia is a historic city where you can fill many days. Most people visit for the museums. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A weekend in Gainesville or Philadelphia?

Gainesville is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Philadelphia is a historic big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Gainesville or Philadelphia?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the vibrant destination of Gainesville. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

The diverse city of Philadelphia offers food and shopping. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Gainesville or Philadelphia?

Gainesville is a popular place to visit. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Many people enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting Philadelphia. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people visit for the museums. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


Which place is cheaper, Philadelphia or Gainesville?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Gainesville is $221, while the average daily cost in Philadelphia is $188. 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 Gainesville and Philadelphia in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Philadelphia $119
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Philadelphia $238
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Philadelphia

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Philadelphia? 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 Gainesville


Hotels in Philadelphia


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: Gainesville Hotel Prices and Philadelphia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Philadelphia $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Philadelphia

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Philadelphia Airport (PHL): $50
  • Sedan Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadelphia Train Station: $63
  • Philadelphia Airport (PHL) to Philadelphia - Arrival Private Transfer: $66
  • Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport (PHL) - Departure Private Transfer: $66
  • Sedan Private Transfer Philadelphia Train Station to Philadelphia: $67
  • Departure Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadelphia Train Station by SUV: $86
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Train Station to Philadelphia by SUV: $92
  • Private Transfer: Philadelphia Airport PHL to Philadelphia in Business Car: $96
  • Private Transfer: Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport PHL in in Business Car: $96
  • Private Transfer Philadephia to Philadelphia Airport PHL by Sedan: $102
  • Philadelphia City to Baltimore City - Private Car Transfer: $104
  • Private Transfer: Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport PHL in Luxury SUV: $106

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Philadelphia?

Prices for flights to both Philadelphia and Gainesville 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
    Gainesville $70
    Philadelphia $49
Typical Food Prices in Gainesville

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


  • Diner Breakfast for Two
    $17
  • Lunch at Chop Stix (for 2)
    $24

Typical Food Prices in Philadelphia

For Philadelphia, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Casual Lunch (for 3)
    $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Philadelphia

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

  • Locals' Favorites Food Tour: $52
  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $52
  • Bites and Booze: Walking Food Tour in Philadelphia : $65
  • Locals' Favorites Food Tour: $65
  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $65
  • 9th Street Italian Market Walking Food Tour: $69
  • Best of Philadelphia Food Tour - Small Group Walking Tour: $69
  • Italian Market Food Tour - Small Group Walking Tour: $69
  • Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise: $83
  • Secret Food Tour: $84
  • Secret Food Tours Philadelphia w/ Private Tour Option: $85
  • Highlights of East Passyunk Food Tour: $85

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Philadelphia $28
Typical Entertainment Prices in Gainesville

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


  • Manatee Tour for Two
    $98
  • Tour Guide Tip
    $5.00

Tours and Activities in Gainesville

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

  • Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History Ticket: $15
  • Private Snorkeling Tour in Florida Springs: $250
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Gainesville by Operation City Quest: $10

Typical Entertainment Prices in Philadelphia

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Philadelphia's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Big Bus Tour (family of 3)
    $99

Tours and Activities in Philadelphia

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

  • Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.40
  • Art and Controversy: An audio tour of Philadelphia's most infamous art scandals: $5.40
  • Self Guided Walking Tour of Story of Rebels of the Revolution in Old Town Philly: $6.49
  • Philadelphia Architecture: Discover Every American Style on a GPS Audio Tour: $7.55
  • The Road to Revolution: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in Philadelphia: $8.99
  • Road to Revolution GPS Walking Audio Tour: $8.99
  • Philadelphia Self-Guided Audio Tour : $9.00
  • Philadelphia In App Walking Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Faith & Liberty Discovery Center Entry Ticket: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Allentown by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Philadelphia by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Allentown: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Philadelphia $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Philadelphia

Also in Philadelphia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Philadelphia Band, Brewery, and Beer Garden Evening Trolley Tour: $44
  • Liberty History Tour Pub Crawl: $45
  • Guided Tour with Pub Crawl: $45
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $50
  • Half-Day Philadelphia's Brewery Bike Tour with Tastings: $100
  • Philly Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tours with a Snack: $120


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

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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Philadelphia?

Philadelphia has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Philadelphia, 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 Gainesville or Philadelphia?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Gainesville or Philadelphia in the Summer?

Both Philadelphia and Gainesville during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Gainesville because of the family-friendly experiences. Also, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Philadelphia this time of year.

In the summer, Gainesville is around the same temperature as Philadelphia. Typically, the summer temperatures in Gainesville in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Philadelphia averages at about 77°F (25°C).

Philadelphia gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Gainesville. Gainesville usually gets more rain in July than Philadelphia. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Philadelphia 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Philadelphia in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Philadelphia. The shopping scene are the main draw to Gainesville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Philadelphia for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Gainesville is generally much warmer than Philadelphia. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 71°F (22°C), and Philadelphia fluctuates around 56°F (14°C).

In October, Gainesville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Philadelphia. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. June to November is the hurricane season in Gainesville.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Philadelphia 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Philadelphia in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Philadelphia. Many travelers come to Gainesville for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Philadelphia in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Philadelphia can get quite cold in the winter. Gainesville is much warmer than Philadelphia in the winter. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 54°F (12°C) in January, and Philadelphia fluctuates around 30°F (-1°C).

Gainesville usually gets more rain in January than Philadelphia. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Philadelphia 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Philadelphia in the Spring?

Both Philadelphia and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, most visitors come to Philadelphia for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months.

In the spring, Gainesville is much warmer than Philadelphia. Typically, the spring temperatures in Gainesville in April average around 69°F (20°C), and Philadelphia averages at about 52°F (11°C).

In April, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Philadelphia. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November in Gainesville is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Philadelphia 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Philadelphia and Gainesville

Gainesville Philadelphia
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 33°F (1°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 42°F (6°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 56°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 46°F (8°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 36°F (2°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)