A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America New York City vs. Pasadena for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit New York City or Pasadena?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for New York City and Pasadena. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

New York City

New York City is a cosmopolitan, one-of-a-kind, and vibrant city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.

Pasadena

Pasadena is a charming, picturesque, and quaint city. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

New York City and Pasadena: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Statue of Liberty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in New York City or Pasadena?

You'll generally find more things to do in New York City than Pasadena. New York City is bigger than Pasadena, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. New York City is more touristy than Pasadena and is popular for its high-reaching skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, world-class theater scene, and endless energy. Also, New York City is famous for The Statue of Liberty. Pasadena is well known for being the home of the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl.

How is New York City different from Pasadena?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in New York City or Pasadena?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its sights and museums. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put New York City on the map. The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building. This is a city that is filled with iconic landmarks and you could spend weeks here and still not see it all.

Pasadena offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. There's a good number of museums around town that include kids' museums, art museums, and local museums. Popular museums include the USC Pacific Asia Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Pasadena Museum of History. Many people also enjoy touring the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Theater?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its shows and theatre. However, Pasadena is not a theatre destination.

New York City is considered to be a world-class theater destination. Visiting Broadway is a quintessential NYC experience. Whether you enjoy the theater or simply want to experience something new, seeing a Broadway show is a true bucket list activity.

Pasadena is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in New York City or Pasadena? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Eat your way through New York City, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, with everything from local dives to Michelin star options. There are many neighborhoods that are notable for their ethnic cuisine, particularly Little Italy and Chinatown. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Pasadena. Local restaurants feature southern California cuisine as well as international flavors. Dishes often use local ingredients that are fresh and seasonal. Restaurants range from casual to fine dining and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Nightlife?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

New York City has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. There are world class bars and clubs, but also local venues that have a more relaxed atmosphere. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.

Pasadena has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. Much of the nightlife scene is concentrated around Old Pasadena. You'll find clubs, bars, and lounges that begin the evening with Happy Hours and then become more party-focused as the evening progresses.


Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Music?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. However, Pasadena is not a live music destination.

In New York City you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.

Pasadena is not a live music destination.

Is the Shopping Better in New York City or Pasadena?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its shopping areas. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for shopping.

New York City is a world class destination for shoppers. The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items. New York is known for its many flea markets where you can find vintage items at a good price. And if you're looking to pick up a souvenir shirt or knick knack, there are plenty of souvenir shops around town as well.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Pasadena. Old Pasadena is where you'll find some of the best shopping. It's filled with a charming atmosphere and interesting boutiques.

Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Christmas?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its Christmas activities. However, Pasadena does not offer Christmas activities.

New York City is a fantastic destination at Christmas. Christmas in the city is a quintessential experience. From the Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center to seeing a live performance of the Nutcracker, everyone enjoys the holidays in New York.

Pasadena does not offer Christmas activities.


Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Christmas Markets?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is notable for its Christmas markets. However, Pasadena does not offer Christmas markets.

The Christmas markets in New York City offer plenty to see during the holidays. There are a number of Christmas markets that pop up around town during the holiday season. Nothing will get you more in the holiday spirit than wandering these unique venues.

Pasadena does not offer Christmas markets.

Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Families?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

New York City is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has many activities for kids of all ages including world class museums, beautifully designed playgrounds, and theater shows designed just for young ones. There are many kid-friendly restaurants as well and older kids will enjoy visiting the iconic landmarks in this world-class city.

Pasadena is a family-friendly city. There are a number of kid-friendly museums around town including Kidspace Children's Museum. There are also nature centers, playgrounds, and plenty of family-friendly restaurants.

Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Couples?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for couples. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for romance.

New York City is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. From a beautiful carriage ride through Central Park, to a romantic river cruise at night, there is an endless list of unique activities that couples can enjoy in the city. Whether you're interested in theater, the arts, music, or nightlife, this city has it all.

Pasadena is a nice destination for couples. It's a charming town with a bit of a European vibe and plenty of outdoor activities. Fine dining and interesting shopping make this a nice weekend destination.


Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is notable for backpackers. However, Pasadena is a mediocre city for backpackers and budget travelers.

New York City is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. It isn't a particularly budget-friendly destination, but it does get its share of backpackers, so you'll find a nice list of hostels and affordable hangouts that are perfect for the backpacker crowd. This is probably one of the most popular cities for backpackers in the entire United States.

Pasadena is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not high on the list for most backpackers.

Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Students?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for students. However, Pasadena is not popular with students.

New York City is a very popular place to visit for students. The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

Pasadena is not popular with students.

Is New York City or Pasadena Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its public transit. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit in New York City is top-notch. The city has one of the largest subway systems in the world. There's also an elaborate bus system, ferry system, and yellow taxis all around town.

Pasadena has some public transit options. Buses and light rail offer local transit and connect the city to nearby Los Angeles.


Is New York City or Pasadena a more walkable city?

New York City
Pasadena

New York City is an amazing city to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, Pasadena is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its walkability.

It is easy to get around New York City on foot. The majority of the neighborhoods in Manhattan are very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Most people prefer not to drive here as it can be overwhelming and chaotic.

Pasadena is somewhat walkable. Most people head to Old Pasadena, which is the most concentrated and walkable part of the city.

For even more information, also check out Is New York City Worth Visiting? and Is Pasadena Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Pasadena or New York City?

How long in New York City or Pasadena?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both New York City and Pasadena. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in New York City than in Pasadena. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for New York City, and 1-3 days is enough time in Pasadena.

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

Couples should spend more time in New York City than Pasadena. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in New York City that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in New York City than Pasadena 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 New York City.


  • How many days in New York City or Pasadena? Ideal Length of Stay
    New York City 3-7 
    Pasadena 1-3

One day in New York City or Pasadena?

New York City is a big city with plenty to do. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the quaint destination of Pasadena. Your budget might influence how long you stay. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one day is just the right amount of time to spend here.

A weekend in New York City or Pasadena?

New York City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Pasadena. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.


Five days in New York City or Pasadena?

New York City is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in New York City, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the quaint destination of Pasadena. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days 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.

A week in New York City or Pasadena?

New York City is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that New York City has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

You'll find food and shopping around the city of Pasadena. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, and The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Pasadena or New York City?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in New York City is $326, while the average daily cost in Pasadena is $62. 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 New York City and Pasadena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New York City $175
    Pasadena $25
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New York City $350
    Pasadena $50
Compare Hotels in New York City and Pasadena

Looking for a hotel in New York City or Pasadena? 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 New York City


Hotels in Pasadena


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: New York City Hotel Prices and Pasadena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New York City $49
    Pasadena $21
Typical Local Transportation Prices in New York City

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New York City are as follows:


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

Also for New York City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Manhattan: Bus Transfer from/to Newark Airport: $21
  • New York: 1-Way Transfer to/from JFK & Grand Central Station: $27
  • Midtown/Lower Manhattan -JFK: Private Airport Departure Transfers: $29
  • Private Departure Transfers from Upper Manhattan to JFK Airport: $34
  • EWR to Manhattan: One Way Shared Arrival Transfer: $34
  • Manhattan to EWR: One Way Shared Departure Transfer: $34
  • JFK to Manhattan: One Way Shared Arrival Transfer : $34
  • Manhattan to JFK: One Way Shared Departure Transfer : $34
  • Manhattan to LGA: One Way Shared Departure Transfer: $34
  • LGA to Manhattan: One Way Shared Arrival Transfer: $34
  • NYC: One-Way Shared Transfer to or from Newark Airport: $36
  • Manhattan: Shared Transfer to or from LaGuardia Airport: $36

Is it cheaper to fly into New York City or Pasadena?

Prices for flights to both Pasadena and New York City 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
    New York City $50
    Pasadena $19
Typical Food Prices in New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

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

  • New York, Queens Culinary Stroll : Food Tour on Foot: $26
  • Half-Day Private Pizza Crawl in Manhattan: $40
  • Shared Food Tour Bohemian Greenwichvillage: $45
  • NYC: Greenwich Village Guided Food Tour: $63
  • East Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • Greenwich Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Pizza Walking Tour Through North Brooklyn: $65
  • Downtown Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Greenwich Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • East Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Pizza Walking Tour of Downtown Brooklyn: $65
  • East Village Food Tour: $65

Typical Food Prices in Pasadena

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


  • Casual Dinner Out (family of 4)
    $58

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    New York City $180
    Pasadena -
Typical Entertainment Prices in New York City

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


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

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

  • Central Park NYC: First Discovery Walk and Reading Tour: $3.24
  • Brooklyn Bridge Self-Guided Bike or Walking Tour Application: $5.00
  • New York City Sake Tour: $5.00
  • Central Park: Self-guided Bike Tour App - Audio + Written: $5.00
  • New York City's Financial District: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.34
  • New York World's Fair Site: Explore its utopian future on an audio tour: $5.39
  • Manhattan Secret Societies Quest Experience in New York: $5.71
  • Manhattan Famous Artists Quest Experience in New York: $5.71
  • Greenwich Village Haunted Quest Experience in New York: $5.71
  • Skyline Celebrity Chef Quest Experience in New York: $5.71
  • Midtown Mob Hits & Hangouts Quest Experience in New York: $5.71
  • Falling in Love Quest Experience in New York: $5.71

Tours and Activities in Pasadena

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

  • LA: East Side Guided Film Locations Tour: $350
  • Haunted Walking Tour: $30
  • Old Pasadena Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour: $49

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Things to do in New York City with Kids, Things to Do in Central Park in NYC, and The Best Museums in New York City.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    New York City $29
    Pasadena -

Sample the Local Flavors in New York City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New York City:

  • NYC: Brooklyn Nightlife Pub Crawl: $17
  • Fall in Love with Brooklyn Nightlife - NYC's Best Bar Crawl : $19
  • NYC West Village Pub Crawl: $20
  • NYC West Village Pub Crawl: $20
  • Pub Crawl and Rooftop Clubbing Experience: $29
  • NYC: Boos & Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $32
  • New York Rooftop Pub Crawl: $39
  • NYC: Manhattan's Only Whiskey Distillery Tour and Tasting: $42
  • Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Lower East Side & Alphabet City divebar crawl with the Bar Buds: $60
  • East Village Gangster Ghost Pub Crawl: $64
  • Little Italy Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64


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

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


Which is Bigger, New York City or Pasadena?

New York City has a larger population, and is about 60 times larger than the population of Pasadena. When comparing the sizes of New York City and Pasadena, 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 New York City or Pasadena?

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 New York City or Pasadena in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to New York City as well as Pasadena. The summer months attract visitors to New York City because of the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Pasadena this time of year.

In July, New York City is generally around the same temperature as Pasadena. Daily temperatures in New York City average around 77°F (25°C), and Pasadena fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

New York City receives a lot of rain in the summer. New York City usually gets more rain in July than Pasadena. New York City gets 4.5 inches (114 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0 inches (0 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    New York City 77°F (25°C) 
    Pasadena 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit New York City or Pasadena in the Autumn?

Both Pasadena and New York City are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to New York City this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Pasadena for the shopping scene.

New York City is cooler than Pasadena in the autumn. The daily temperature in New York City averages around 57°F (14°C) in October, and Pasadena fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

In October, New York City usually receives more rain than Pasadena. New York City gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0.3 inches (7 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    New York City 57°F (14°C) 
    Pasadena 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit New York City or Pasadena in the Winter?

Both Pasadena and New York City during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to New York City for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Pasadena in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in New York City. In the winter, New York City is much colder than Pasadena. Typically, the winter temperatures in New York City in January average around 31°F (-1°C), and Pasadena averages at about 56°F (13°C).

New York City usually gets more rain in January than Pasadena. New York City gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 2.5 inches (63 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    New York City 31°F (-1°C) 
    Pasadena 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit New York City or Pasadena in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both New York City and Pasadena. Many visitors come to New York City in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, New York City is generally cooler than Pasadena. Daily temperatures in New York City average around 52°F (11°C), and Pasadena fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

In April, New York City usually receives more rain than Pasadena. New York City gets 3.8 inches (98 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    New York City 52°F (11°C) 
    Pasadena 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Pasadena and New York City

New York City Pasadena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 31°F (-1°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Mar 42°F (6°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 59°F (15°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Apr 52°F (11°C) 3.8 inches (98 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
May 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 65°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (4 mm)
Jun 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 69°F (20°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0 inches (0 mm)
Aug 76°F (24°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 74°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 68°F (20°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 62°F (16°C) 1.6 inches (42 mm)
Dec 36°F (2°C) 3.4 inches (88 mm) 56°F (13°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm)