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

Should you visit New York City or Salt Lake 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 Salt Lake 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. 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. It's also popular because of the theater, nightlife, and live music.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a religious, architectural, and notable city. Other reasons to visit include scuba diving and snorkeling, hiking, and shopping.

New York City and Salt Lake 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 scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Home to Temple Square
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • 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 Salt Lake City?

You'll generally find more things to do in New York City than Salt Lake City. New York City is bigger than Salt Lake City, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. New York City is better known for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, shopping, christmas markets, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Salt Lake City is more popular for its scuba diving & snorkeling and hiking. New York City is more touristy than Salt Lake City and is known 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. Salt Lake City is well known for its religious landmarks and its large Mormon population.

How is New York City different from Salt Lake City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for its museums and history. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, New York City has many famous sights for visitors. 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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Salt Lake City can be an interesting and educational experience. Many of the fascinating sights around town are influenced by the city's Mormon culture. Temple Square is a highlight for most visitors. It spans 35 acres and is beautifully landscaped with several fountains. There are also four main churches - The Temple, the Tabernacle, the Temple Annex, and Assembly Hall. The city also has several museums such as the Natural History Museum and the historic Liberty Park.


Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Theater?

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for its shows and theatre. However, Salt Lake 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.

Salt Lake City is not a theatre destination.

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

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for its restaurants. Also, Salt Lake 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.

Salt Lake City offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. In recent years the food scene has really improved and you'll find a variety of restaurants that serve everything from upscale dishes to more casual fare.

Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Nightlife?

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for its evening party scene. However, Salt Lake City is lacking in good options for nightlife.

People head to New York City just to party. 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.

Salt Lake City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. Known for its large Mormon population, nightlife isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Salt Lake City. While it will likely never be a party city, there are a growing number of entertainment options around town.


Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Music?

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for its music scene. However, Salt Lake City is not a live music destination.

New York City has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.

Salt Lake City is not a live music destination.

Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

New York City
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a good destination for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, New York City is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Salt Lake City. There are a number of good ski resorts nearby, making this a good base or starting point for a ski vacation.

New York City is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Hiking?

New York City
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a good destination for its hiking trails. However, New York City is not a hiking destination.

Salt Lake City offers some nice hiking trails. The city offers easy access to many diverse trails, so if you're a nature enthusiasts, you'll appreciate this destination.

New York City is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in New York City or Salt Lake City?

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for its shopping areas. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for shopping.

Many people travel to New York City specifically to go shopping. 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.

Salt Lake City is a great destination for shopping. The city has sprawling outlet malls as well as local stores and craft shops. City Creek Center is a favorite shopping destination, but there are also several large shopping malls that are worth visiting.

Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Christmas?

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Salt Lake 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.

Salt Lake City does not offer Christmas activities.

Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Christmas Markets?

New York City
Salt Lake City

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

New York City offers plenty 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.

Salt Lake City does not offer Christmas markets.


Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Families?

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in New York 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Salt Lake City. There are museums that kids will enjoy like the Natural History Museum of Utah and the Leonardo Museum. There are also fun-filled activities like a visit to Lagoon Amusement Park. You can learn about history at This Is the Place Heritage Park or learn about the undersea world at Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.

Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Couples?

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for couples. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

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.

Salt Lake City is a nice destination for couples. The city is filled with beautiful gardens like Red Butte Garden. There are also nice restaurants and romantic hotels that will make this a nice place for a couple's getaway.

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

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Salt Lake City is lacking in good options for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit New York City. 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.

Salt Lake City is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There are a couple of hostels in town, but most backpackers overlook this destination or breeze through town quickly.


Is New York City or Salt Lake City Better for Students?

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Salt Lake 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.

Salt Lake City is not popular with students.

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

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for times when you don't have a car. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

With a huge network, the transit system in New York City can get you around easily. 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.

You'll find some public transit in Salt Lake City, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There's a surprisingly good public transit system that includes light rail, buses, and commuter trains, but if you want to get out of town you'll need to have a car.

Is New York City or Salt Lake City a more walkable city?

New York City
Salt Lake City

New York City is a world-class destination for its ease of walking around. However, Salt Lake City is lacking in good options for its walkability.

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.

Salt Lake City is generally not very walkable. While some neighborhoods are walkable, like Temple Square, most visitors prefer to have a car.


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

Should I spend more time in Salt Lake City or New York City?

How long in New York City or Salt Lake City?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both New York City and Salt Lake City. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in New York City than in Salt Lake City. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for New York City, and 2-3 days is enough time in Salt Lake City.

Families should spend more time in New York City than Salt Lake City. 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 Salt Lake 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 Salt Lake 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 Salt Lake City? Ideal Length of Stay
    New York City 3-7 
    Salt Lake City 2-3

One day in New York City or Salt Lake City?

Because New York City is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the architectural destination of Salt Lake City. 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 Salt Lake City?

New York City is a great place to explore. Anyone can find something fun to do here. 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 Salt Lake City. 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 Salt Lake City?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in New York City. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

Travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the religious destination of Salt Lake City. 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 Salt Lake City?

Because New York City is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Your budget might influence how long you stay. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities.

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the city of Salt Lake City. 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, Salt Lake 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 Salt Lake City is $246. 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 Salt Lake City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New York City $175
    Salt Lake City $119
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New York City $350
    Salt Lake City $238
Compare Hotels in New York City and Salt Lake City

Looking for a hotel in New York City or Salt Lake 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 Salt Lake 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 Salt Lake City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New York City $49
    Salt Lake City $45
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 from New York JFK Airport to New York City: $64
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in New York (hotel OR airport pick-up): $292
  • 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 in Business Car: $153
  • Private Transfer: New York to Newark Airport EWR by Luxury SUV: $165
  • Private Transfer: New York to LaGuardia Airport LGA by Sedan Car: $144
  • Private Transfer: New York to LaGuardia Airport LGA by Luxury SUV: $165
  • Private Transfer: New York City Center to John F.K. Airport(JFK) : $64

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salt Lake City

Also for Salt Lake City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC): Transfer to Salt Lake City: $205
  • Salt Lake Airport (SLC) to Canyons Village - Round-Trip Transfer: $231
  • Salt Lake Airport (SLC) to Canyons Village - Arrival Transfer: $116
  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) : $108
  • Private Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City : $121
  • Private Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Park City hotel or address: $263
  • Private Transfer from SLC to Salt Lake City : $121
  • Private Transfer from SLC to Park City UT : $263
  • Private Departure Transfer to Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36

Is it cheaper to fly into New York City or Salt Lake City?

Prices for flights to both Salt Lake 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
    Salt Lake City $50
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
  • Ultimate Greenwich Village NYC Food Tour: $63
  • Greenwich Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • Pizza Walking Tour Through North Brooklyn: $65
  • West Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • East Village Food Tour: $65
  • Gastro Pub Pre/Post Theater Dinner in Times Square: $67
  • Great Food Tour of New York: $70
  • Chinatown New York Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Times Square Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour (Small Group): $72
  • East Village Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour (Small Group): $72

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    New York City $180
    Salt Lake City $28
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
  • New York City Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village: $36
  • 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
  • 1 Hour Live Interactive Driving Virtual Tour of Manhattan: $200
  • 1 Hour Morning Walking Tour in Times Square NYC: $44

Tours and Activities in Salt Lake City

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

  • 2 Hour Salt Lake Boat Tour with Swimming on the Lake: $79
  • 4-Day Winter Yellowstone Tour: $2,499
  • 45 Minute Great Salt Lake Boat Tour: $37
  • From 3-Day Yellowstone Wildlife Adventure: $999
  • From Private Bryce Canyon National Park Tour: $1,475
  • From Private Canyonlands National Park Tour: $1,475
  • From Private Capitol Reef National Park Tour: $1,475
  • From Private Goblin Valley State Park Tour: $1,475
  • From Private Tour of Arches National Park: $1,475
  • Grand Teton,Yellowstone National Park 3-Day Tour from SLC: $770
  • Great Salt Lake Flying Tour: $249
  • Great Salt Lake Guided Bus Tour from Salt Lake City: $70

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
    Salt Lake City $17

Sample the Local Flavors in New York City

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

  • Fall in Love with Brooklyn Nightlife - NYC's Best Bar Crawl : $19
  • NYC West Village Pub Crawl: $22
  • New York Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $27
  • Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Broadway Prohibition 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
  • Long Island Wine Tour from Manhattan (3 Wineries & Tasty Lunch): $149
  • Full-Day Long Island Wine Tour from New York: $150


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


Which is Bigger, New York City or Salt Lake City?

New York City has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of Salt Lake City. When comparing the sizes of New York City and Salt Lake 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.