Should you visit Hershey or Lancaster?
Should I visit Hershey or Lancaster? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Often called "Chocolatetown, USA" and "The Sweetest Place on Earth," Hershey, Pennsylvania is most known for being home to the famous Hershey's chocolates. The Hershey Company was founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey, and has grown to sell products in over sixty countries worldwide. Before the town was named Hershey, it was called Derry Church and was the hometown of the chocolatier. While there are now manufacturing plants in many locations, Hershey, PA, remains the location that draws the crowds. It is the place where the Hershey Company originated and is home to attractions like Hershey Park, Hershey Gardens, and Hershey's Chocolate World.
The largest city in Pennsylvania's Dutch Country, Lancaster is surrounded by scenic landscape and a unique culture. The area is predominately agricultural in nature and you will find lush farms growing crops and produce most seasons. The Amish communities are spread throughout the area and although they remain relatively isolated, they are acknowledged by fellow community members and their customs are respected. The Amish community prides themselves on minimalist living. They do not use electricity and travel around in horse and buggy, a sight which you will grow accustomed to while you're in the area. They are excellent farmers and craftsmen and you can find shops that proudly sell Amish made goods. Their close are old fashion in nature. Women generally wear long dresses and bonnets while men wear black suits and hats. The Amish community has their own churches and their own schools. There are a handful of places where you can learn more about the Amish community in the area. The Amish Experience F/X Theater offers shows and the People's Place Quilt Museum shows some handicrafts. It is possible to take an Amish Country tour or visit the Mennonite Information Center for more information.
Which city 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 $170, while the average daily cost in Lancaster is $146. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Hershey and Lancaster in more detail.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $91. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Hershey the cost is $182 on average.
The prices for places to stay in Lancaster can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $73, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $146.
While meal prices in Hershey can vary, the average travelers spends about $49 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Hershey should cost around $20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Hershey is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
On average, meal and food prices in Lancaster cost around $42 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $17.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Hershey
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Hershey:
Frozen Hot Chocolate
Plain and Fancy Farm
Homemade Apple Butter
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lancaster
For Lancaster, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Private Walking Food Tour in Lancaster:
The cost of a taxi ride in Hershey is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $39 per person, per day, on local transportation in Hershey.
Lancaster's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $55 per person, per day on transportation in Lancaster.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lancaster
Also for Lancaster, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Transfer from Lancaster to Manchester Airport (MAN):
Private transfer: Lancaster to Lancaster Airport (LNS):
Entertainment and activities in Hershey typically cost an average of $43 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Lancaster can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Typical Entertainment prices in Hershey
Here are a few typical costs in Hershey for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
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:
Tours and Activities in Lancaster
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Lancaster.
Lancaster County: National Toy Train Museum Admission Ticket:
Evening Ghost Tour by Candlelight:
Ghost Tour of Lancaster:
Premium Amish Country Tour including Amish Farm and House:
Truly Authentic Lancaster Experience!:
Sweet & Savory Tour of Lancaster City!:
Downtown & Amish Country Authentic Lancaster Tour:
Authentic Tour & Meal with an Amish Family!:
Lancaster City VIP Restaurant Tour:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Hershey may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $22 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Lancaster, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.14.
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.
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