A Travel Price Comparison for Pennsylvania Hershey vs. Lancaster for Families, Attractions, Couples, and Food

Should you visit Hershey or Lancaster?

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

Should I visit Hershey or Lancaster? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Hershey

Hershey is a playful, lighthearted, and fun-filled town. It's also popular because of the shopping and museums.

Lancaster

Lancaster is a scenic, traditional, and picturesque town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for food, shopping, and museums.

Hershey and Lancaster: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Nice resorts
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • 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 Hershey or Lancaster?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Lancaster than Hershey, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Lancaster is better known for its museums, food, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Hershey is more popular for its resorts. Hershey is more touristy than Lancaster and is popular for being the home of the Hershey's milk chocolate bar. Lancaster is well known for its history and long running Amish community. Also, Lancaster is famous for Bird-in-Hand Village.

How is Hershey different from Lancaster?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Hershey
Lancaster

Lancaster is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Hershey is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Lancaster offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.

Hershey offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. In addition to Hershey's Chocolate World, there's the Hershey Story Museum, the Hershey Historic Center, and the Pennsylvania State Police Museum. There's also the AACA Museum (a car museum).


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

Hershey
Lancaster

Lancaster is a popular place for its restaurant scene. However, Hershey is a town with minimal options for its local flavors and cuisine.

Lancaster offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. 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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Hershey. Restaurants range from casual to fine dining, and many have a very family-friendly atmosphere.

Is Hershey or Lancaster Better for Nightlife?

Hershey
Lancaster

It's hard to distinguish whether Hershey or Lancaster has a better nightlife scene.

Hershey is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. Head to downtown Harrisburg for the best nightlife. You'll find some bars and casino's in the area.

Lancaster doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. 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 Hershey or Lancaster Better for Resorts?

Hershey
Lancaster

Hershey is a great town for its luxury resorts. However, Lancaster is not a resort destination.

Hershey is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. There are a few of resorts affiliated with Hersheypark including a lodge, a hotel, and even camping.

Lancaster is not a resort destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Hershey or Lancaster?

Hershey
Lancaster

Lancaster is a great destination for shopping. Also, Hershey is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping opportunities.

Lancaster is an extremely popular place for shoppers. 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.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Hershey. You'll find shops, boutiques, and plenty of Hershey apparel that you can pick up in town.

Is Hershey or Lancaster Better for Families?

Hershey
Lancaster

Hershey is an amazing town to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Lancaster is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its family-friendly activities.

Hershey is an amazing family-friendly town to visit. Hersheypark offers family-friendly resorts and camping. There's also the themed amusement park and even a zoo. When the weather's warm there's a water park and, of course, there's the famous Hershey's Chocolate World.

Lancaster is a very family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Is Hershey or Lancaster Better for Couples?

Hershey
Lancaster

With fun activities for couples, both Hershey and Lancaster make for a very good place to visit.

Couples visit Hershey frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. If you don't take yourself too seriously, couples can enjoy a fun and active few days exploring the activities in the area.

Lancaster is a great town if you're traveling as 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.


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

Hershey
Lancaster

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Hershey and Lancaster.

Public transit is generally limited in Hershey. While there is a bus system, it's very limited and most visitors do not rely on it.

Public transit is mostly 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 Hershey or Lancaster a more walkable city?

Hershey
Lancaster

Hershey and Lancaster both are respectable when exploring on foot.

Hershey is generally not very walkable. You really need a car to get to the area's attractions.

Lancaster is generally not a very walkable town. 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 Hershey Worth Visiting? and Is Lancaster Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Lancaster or Hershey?

How long in Hershey or Lancaster?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Hershey and Lancaster. In our opinion, Lancaster has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Lancaster than Hershey. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

Couples should spend more time in Lancaster than Hershey. 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 Lancaster than Hershey 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 Lancaster.


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

One day in Hershey or Lancaster?

You'll find shopping and museums around the town of Hershey. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. 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 Hershey or Lancaster?

You'll find museums and shopping around the playful destination of Hershey. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town 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 Hershey or Lancaster?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the fun-filled town of Hershey. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a relaxing resort destination. 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 Hershey or Lancaster?

Hershey is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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 Train & Rail Tours in United States of America, The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America, The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, and The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Lancaster or Hershey?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Hershey is $212, 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 Hershey and Lancaster in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hershey $114
    Lancaster $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hershey $228
    Lancaster $182
Compare Hotels in Hershey and Lancaster

Looking for a hotel in Hershey 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 Hershey


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: Hershey Hotel Prices and Lancaster Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Hershey $49
    Lancaster $69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hershey

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hershey:

  • Private transfer from MDT airport to Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Hershey: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Hershey or Lancaster?

Prices for flights to both Lancaster and Hershey 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
    Hershey $61
    Lancaster $53
Typical Food Prices in Hershey

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Hershey:


  • Frozen Hot Chocolate
    $4.19
  • Plain and Fancy Farm
    $46
  • Homemade Apple Butter
    $7.98

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lancaster

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

  • International Food Tour Lancaster, Pennsylvania: $62
  • Red Rose Walking Food Tour in Lancaster: $65

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hershey $53
    Lancaster $19
Typical Entertainment Prices in Hershey

Here are a few typical costs in Hershey for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Hershey Chocolate World (for 3)
    $75

Tours and Activities in Hershey

Here are a few actual costs in Hershey for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Skip the Line: AACA Museum Admission Ticket: $25

Tours and Activities in Lancaster

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

  • Guided Tour of the 1792 Johannes Mueller House: $12
  • Guided Ghost Tour of Lititz: $12
  • 45-Minute Private Guided Historic Walking Tour in Lititz: $12
  • Historic Columbia, PA: Guided Tour of the Bank Museum: $14
  • Evening Ghost Tour by Candlelight: $25
  • Lititz Whiskey and History Tour : $25
  • Lancaster Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $25
  • Lancaster Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Premium Amish Country Tour including Amish Farm and House: $36
  • Lancaster County: Amish Farmlands, Museum Tour, Farm Visit: $36
  • Amish Experience SuperSaver Package: $47
  • Lancaster History and Breakfast Walking Tour: $57

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hershey $27
    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 comparing the travel costs between Hershey and Lancaster, we can see that Hershey is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Hershey or Lancaster?

Lancaster has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Hershey. When comparing the sizes of Hershey 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 Hershey or Lancaster?

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 Hershey or Lancaster in the Summer?

Both Lancaster and Hershey during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Hershey for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Lancaster in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Hershey is generally around the same temperature as Lancaster. Daily temperatures in Hershey average around 77°F (25°C), and Lancaster fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

In Lancaster, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Hershey. In the summer, Hershey often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster. Hershey gets 310 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 310 hours of full sun.

Hershey usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Lancaster. Hershey gets 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Hershey 77°F (25°C) 
    Lancaster 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Hershey or Lancaster in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Hershey and Lancaster. Many visitors come to Hershey in the autumn for the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Lancaster for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Hershey is around the same temperature as Lancaster in the autumn. The daily temperature in Hershey averages around 56°F (13°C) in October, and Lancaster fluctuates around 56°F (13°C).

Hershey usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster during autumn. Hershey gets 194 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 194 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Hershey usually receives around the same amount of rain as Lancaster. Hershey gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Hershey 56°F (13°C) 
    Lancaster 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Hershey or Lancaster in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Hershey as well as Lancaster. Most visitors come to Hershey for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Lancaster because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Lancaster can be very cold. Hershey can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Hershey is around the same temperature as Lancaster. Typically, the winter temperatures in Hershey in January average around 30°F (-1°C), and Lancaster averages at about 30°F (-1°C).

In the winter, Hershey often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster. Hershey gets 153 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 153 hours of full sun.

Hershey usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Lancaster. Hershey gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Hershey 30°F (-1°C) 
    Lancaster 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Hershey or Lancaster in the Spring?

Both Lancaster and Hershey are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, the natural beauty are the main draw to Lancaster this time of year.

In April, Hershey is generally around the same temperature as Lancaster. Daily temperatures in Hershey average around 53°F (12°C), and Lancaster fluctuates around 53°F (12°C).

It's quite sunny in Lancaster. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Hershey. Hershey usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster during spring. Hershey gets 237 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 237 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Hershey usually receives around the same amount of rain as Lancaster. Hershey gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Hershey 53°F (12°C) 
    Lancaster 53°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Lancaster and Hershey

Hershey Lancaster
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Feb 33°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 33°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Mar 42°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Apr 53°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
May 63°F (17°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Jun 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Sep 68°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Oct 56°F (13°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Nov 46°F (8°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 35°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)