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

Should you visit New York City or Rapid City?

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 Rapid City. 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 one-of-a-kind, vibrant, and energetic city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a fascinating, activity-filled, and friendly city. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

New York City and Rapid City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Fun shopping
  • 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
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to Mount Rushmore
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


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

Tourists will generally find more to do in New York City than Rapid City. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. New York City is very popular for its theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, shopping, christmas markets, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Rapid City attracts visitors for its hiking. New York City is more touristy than Rapid City and is known for its high-reaching skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, world-class theater scene, and endless energy. It is also well known for The Statue of Liberty. Rapid City is famous for its proximity to Mount Rushmore and many other iconic parks.

How is New York City different from Rapid City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

New York City
Rapid City

Spend time exploring the first-rate sights and museums in either New York City or Rapid City.

Travelers visit New York City from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. 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.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Rapid City are among the most recognizable in the world. You'll find a wide variety of museums and landmarks nearby. Popular places to visit that aren't far from town include the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, the South Dakota Air & Space Museum, and the Journey Museum & Learning Center. There's also the Museum of Geology and the National Presidential Wax Museum. And of course, there's the iconic Mount Rushmore.


Is New York City or Rapid City Better for Theater?

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for its theatre productions. However, Rapid City is not a theatre destination.

The theater scene in New York City is world-class. 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.

Rapid City is not a theatre destination.

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

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for its restaurants. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

New York City has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. 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.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Rapid City area. You'll find local restaurants in town that serve local specialties such as chislic (grilled meat), fry bread, and walleye (a local fish.

Is New York City or Rapid City Better for Nightlife?

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for nightlife and partying. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in New York City is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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.

Rapid City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. You'll find some places with live music and good drinks, but the city isn't really known for its nightlife scene.


Is New York City or Rapid City Better for Music?

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for its live music scene. However, Rapid City is not a live music destination.

With so many music venues, you're guaranteed a show any night of the week in New York City. Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.

Rapid City is not a live music destination.

Is New York City or Rapid City Better for Hiking?

New York City
Rapid City

Rapid City is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. However, New York City is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Rapid City. The region is filled with national parks, state parks, and natural areas with wonderful hiking trails. You don't have to travel far to get into nature and experience some of South Dakota's best natural beauty.

New York City is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in New York City or Rapid City?

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Known for shopping, New York City draws large crowds to its stores. 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.

Many visitors go to Rapid City to go shopping. Rapid City has some interesting local shops as well as larger malls and shopping centers.


Is New York City or Rapid City Better for Christmas?

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Rapid City does not offer Christmas activities.

New York City offers plenty of sights and activities around 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.

Rapid City does not offer Christmas activities.

Is New York City or Rapid City Better for Christmas Markets?

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is a very popular place for visiting Christmas markets. However, Rapid City does not offer Christmas markets.

New York City has a large number of Christmas markets. 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.

Rapid City does not offer Christmas markets.

Is New York City or Rapid City Better for Families?

New York City
Rapid City

Rapid City is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, New York City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Rapid City is very family-friendly. Nearby national parks and outdoor activities, this is the perfect base for exploring the area with kids. Nearby you'll find the Big Thunder Gold Mine, which has tours and lets you pan for gold, and Custer State Park, which is filled with wildlife. Wall Drug is worth a stopoff, as is Dinosaur Park.

New York City is a very kid-friendly city. 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.


Is New York City or Rapid City Better for Couples?

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for its romantic activities. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for couples.

For those traveling as a couple, New York City has plenty to offer. 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.

Couples visit Rapid City frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples will enjoy the amazing national parks in the area and the easy access to iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore. There are many opportunities for wildlife spotting as well as great hiking trails and unique landscapes.

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

New York City
Rapid City

New York City and Rapid City are both high quality destinations for backpackers.

New York City is very popular with the backpacker crowd. 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.

Rapid City is a great city to visit for backpackers. Backpackers will appreciate the surrounding natural beauty and the nearby national parks.

Is New York City or Rapid City Better for Students?

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. However, Rapid City is not popular with students.

Students come from all over the world to visit New York City. 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.

Rapid City is not popular with students.


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

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for times when you don't have a car. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Visitors in New York City can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. 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.

Public transit is generally limited in Rapid City. While there are a few buses, this isn't a realistic option for traveling through the region.

Is New York City or Rapid City a more walkable city?

New York City
Rapid City

New York City is an unbeatable place for its high level of walkability. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

It's very easy to get around on foot in New York City. 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.

Rapid City is generally not very walkable. While the downtown is walkable, most visitors use the city as a base for exploring the surrounding areas, and this requires a car.

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

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

How long in New York City or Rapid City?

It's fun to spend time in either New York City or Rapid City. Generally, people tend to spend more time in New York City due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for New York City, and 2-4 days is enough time in Rapid City.

Couples should spend more time in New York City than Rapid City. 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 Rapid City 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 Rapid City? Ideal Length of Stay
    New York City 3-7 
    Rapid City 2-4

One day in New York City or Rapid City?

When visiting New York City, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and food when visiting the activity-filled destination of Rapid City. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Don't miss the museums, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.


A weekend in New York City or Rapid City?

When visiting New York City, people usually allow for lots of time. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Rapid City. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Don't miss the museums, as that's what most people do. 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 Rapid City?

New York City, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the activity-filled destination of Rapid City. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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 Rapid City?

New York City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this city makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

You'll find museums and food around the city of Rapid City. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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, Rapid City 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 Rapid City is $116. 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 Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New York City $175
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New York City $350
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in New York City and Rapid City

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


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 Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New York City $49
    Rapid City $53
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:

  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer in New York HTL-APT (JFK,EWR,LGA): $116
  • Transfer in private Minivan from New York (Manhattan) Airport to City: $122
  • Skip the line One World Observatory Private Tour with Transfers : $296
  • Private transfer: LGA Airport to New York City: $83
  • Private transfer from New York JFK Airport to New York City: $64
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in New York (hotel OR airport pick-up): $293
  • Private Transfer: between Manhattan and Philadelphia: $530
  • Private Transfer: Newark Airport EWR to New York by Luxury SUV: $165
  • Private Transfer: New York to Newark Airport EWR by Luxury SUV: $165
  • Private Transfer: New York to LaGuardia Airport LGA by Sedan Car: $145
  • Private Transfer: New York to J.F. Kennedy Airport JFK in SUV: $155
  • Private Transfer: New York City Center to John F.K. Airport(JFK) : $64

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

Prices for flights to both Rapid City 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
    Rapid City $23
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:

  • Lower East Side and Essex Market Multicultural Food Tour: $39
  • Half-Day Private Pizza Crawl in Manhattan: $40
  • Shared Food Tour Bohemian Greenwichvillage: $45
  • Ultimate Greenwich Village NYC Food Tour: $63
  • Pizza Walking Tour of Downtown Brooklyn: $65
  • Greenwich Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • West Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • Pizza Walking Tour Through North Brooklyn: $65
  • Gastro Pub Pre/Post Theater Dinner in Times Square: $67
  • Italian Food Tour of New York: $70
  • Chinatown New York Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Great Food Tour of New York: $70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rapid City

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

  • Roller Coaster Tickets with Dinner and Show in Rapid City: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    New York City $180
    Rapid City $26
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:

  • 3 Hour Session at Williamsburg's Adventure Park Area 53: $42
  • 9/11 Memorial Tour with Skip-the-Line Museum Ticket: $55
  • Classic 1-Hour Central Park Pedicab Tour : $69
  • Grand Central Terminal Walking Tour: $35
  • New York City Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village: $36
  • Official Central Park Pedicab Tours: $50
  • Private Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour: $190
  • THE VIP CARRIAGE RIDE with photo stops (50min) ~ Skip the line : $150
  • & Juliet on Broadway Ticket with VIP Experience and Lunch: $299
  • 1 Day Tour to Philadelphia and Hershey's Chocolate World: $195
  • 1 HR - NYC Private Classic Car Experience - Downtown: $249
  • 1 HR - NYC Private Classic Car Experience - Midtown: $75

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

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

  • Badlands Sunset and Wildlife Adventure : $289
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Tour with Two Meals and a Music Variety Show: $164
  • NEW! Half Day Tour of the Black Hills: $289

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
    Rapid City $6.93

Sample the Local Flavors in New York City

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

  • NYC West Village Pub Crawl: $22
  • History Tour Pub Crawl of Historic Stone Street: $25
  • New York Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Lower East Side & Alphabet City divebar crawl with the Bar Buds: $60
  • Broadway Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64
  • Little Italy Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64
  • East Village Gangster Ghost Pub Crawl: $64
  • Williamsburg Definitive Dive Bar Crawl with the Bar Buds: $70
  • Lower East Side Prohibition Pub Crawl: $74
  • New York Wine Tasting Experience : $98
  • Underground Brooklyn Walking Brewery Tour: $99


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between New York City and Rapid City, we can see that New York City is more expensive. And not only is Rapid City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Rapid City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Rapid City 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 Rapid City.

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 Rapid City Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, New York City or Rapid City?

New York City has a larger population, and is about 130 times larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of New York City and Rapid City, 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.