A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America New York City vs. Yellowstone National Park for Food, Couples, Backpackers, and Families

Should you visit New York City or Yellowstone National Park?

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 Yellowstone National Park. 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 vibrant, energetic, and cosmopolitan 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.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a world-famous, popular, and immense national park. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking.

New York City and Yellowstone National Park: 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
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Old Faithful
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in New York City or Yellowstone National Park?

Visitors will usually find more to do in New York City than Yellowstone National Park, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. New York City is better known for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, shopping, christmas markets, and big city activities, while Yellowstone National Park is more popular for its resorts, hiking, and impressive beauty. New York City is well 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. Yellowstone National Park is well known for its iconic geysers, breathtaking waterfalls, world-class hikes, and diverse wildlife.

How is New York City different from Yellowstone National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Yellowstone National Park 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 Yellowstone National Park?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for its museums and landmarks. However, Yellowstone National Park does not have museums and landmarks.

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.

Yellowstone National Park does not have museums and landmarks.


Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Theater?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for its shows and theatre. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a theatre destination.

The theater and performance venues in New York City draw crowds from around the world. 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.

Yellowstone National Park is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in New York City or Yellowstone National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for its restaurant scene. However, Yellowstone National Park is not particularly known for its local flavors and cuisine.

For foodies, New York City is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. 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.

Yellowstone National Park offers some easy restaurants to choose from. This is a large park and there are a number of dining options available both inside and just outside of the park. Many places are seasonal so your options will be highest during the summer months. Like most national park venues, prices can be high and the quality is variable. It's recommended that you pack your own food and plan to picnic.

Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Nightlife?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for its evening party scene. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

New York City is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. 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.

Yellowstone National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.


Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Music?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for its music scene. However, Yellowstone National Park 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.

Yellowstone National Park is not a live music destination.

Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Resorts?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, New York City is not a resort destination.

There are plenty of resorts in Yellowstone National Park to choose from. It is a large national park, and there are several impressive lodges nearby. Reservations are recommended well in advance. Within the park, Old Faithful Inn, Roosevelt Lodge, Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are all nice options.

New York City is not a resort destination.

Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Hiking?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a must-visit destination for its hiking trails. However, New York City is not a hiking destination.

Yellowstone National Park is well-known for its hiking and trekking. The park is huge, and there are countless hikes throughout. From short strolls to lengthy endeavors, there really is something for everyone. If you want to see the geysers, some of the best hikes are Grand Prismatic Overlook Trail, the Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful Observation Point Loop, and the Lone Star Geyser Trail. For waterfalls you can check out Brink of the Lower Falls Trail, the North Rim Trail, and Fairy Falls Trail.

New York City is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in New York City or Yellowstone National Park?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for its shopping areas. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

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.

Yellowstone National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Christmas?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for its Christmas activities. However, Yellowstone National Park does not offer Christmas activities.

During Christmas, New York City is not to be missed. 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.

Yellowstone National Park does not offer Christmas activities.

Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Christmas Markets?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is well known for its Christmas markets. However, Yellowstone National Park does not offer Christmas markets.

New York City is a popular destination to visit 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.

Yellowstone National Park does not offer Christmas markets.


Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Families?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

Both New York City and Yellowstone National Park are superb family-friendly destinations.

New York City is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

Yellowstone National Park is a very kid-friendly city. Kids who enjoy the outdoors and exploring new environments will appreciate a visit to this park. The geysers are fascinating for everyone and the waterfalls are breathtaking. There are ranger shows and other activities that are great for kids as well. Make sure you stop by the Visitor's Centers.

Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Couples?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for couples. Also, Yellowstone National Park is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

New York City makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. 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.

Yellowstone National Park is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. This park is a beautiful and romantic destination for couples who enjoy the outdoors. There are world-renowned hikes and breathtaking views. There are also lodges in the area that make for a romantic stay.

Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a must-visit destination for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, New York City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Yellowstone National Park. Backpackers will appreciate the campgrounds and affordable facilities that are found around the park. Reservations are recommended well in advance, particularly if you're hoping to stay inside the park.

New York City is a great city to visit for backpackers. 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.


Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park Better for Students?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for students. However, Yellowstone National Park is not popular with students.

Many students frequent 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.

Yellowstone National Park is not popular with students.

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

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for its public transit. However, Yellowstone National Park is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

New York City has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. 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 quite limited in Yellowstone National Park. There is no public transportation service available in the park. There are private tour options available.

Is New York City or Yellowstone National Park a more walkable city?

New York City
Yellowstone National Park

New York City is very popular for its ease of walking around. However, Yellowstone National Park is not particularly known for its walkability.

Getting around New York City on foot is easy. 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.

Yellowstone National Park is not a very walkable city. This is among the largest national parks and a car is an absolute must if you hope to experience the different landscapes.


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

Should I spend more time in Yellowstone National Park or New York City?

How long in New York City or Yellowstone National Park?

Both New York City and Yellowstone National Park have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, New York City has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in New York City than Yellowstone National Park. In general, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for New York City, and 5-7 days is enough time in Yellowstone National Park.

Families should spend more time in New York City than Yellowstone National Park. 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 Yellowstone National Park. 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 Yellowstone National Park 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 Yellowstone National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    New York City 3-7 
    Yellowstone National Park 5-7

One day in New York City or Yellowstone National Park?

New York City is a energetic city where you can fill many days. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the breathtaking destination of Yellowstone National Park. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Don't miss the hiking, 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 Yellowstone National Park?

New York City is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Anyone can find something fun to do here. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Yellowstone National Park. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Five days in New York City or Yellowstone National Park?

New York City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here. It offers something for everyone.

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the stunning destination of Yellowstone National Park. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This national park offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.


A week in New York City or Yellowstone National Park?

New York City is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the beautiful national park of Yellowstone National Park. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. 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, Yellowstone National Park 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 Yellowstone National Park is $147. 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 Yellowstone National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New York City $175
    Yellowstone National Park $74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New York City $350
    Yellowstone National Park $148
Compare Hotels in New York City and Yellowstone National Park

Looking for a hotel in New York City or Yellowstone National Park? 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 Yellowstone National Park


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 Yellowstone National Park Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New York City $49
    Yellowstone National Park $37
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:

  • 10-Minute Helicopter Transfer from Manhattan to JFK : $245
  • 10-Minute Helicopter Transfer from Manhattan to Newark Airport: $245
  • Airport Limousine Transfer one-way - LaGuardia Airport - Lincoln MKT: $275
  • Airport Transfer and Chauffeur Services NYC & New Jersey : $150
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Newark Airport EWR to New York in Business Car: $154
  • Arrival Transfer: Newark Airport EWR to New York by Luxury SUV: $165
  • Bronx to JFK: Private Airport Departure Transfers: $108
  • Brooklyn - JFK: Private Airport Departure Transfers: $100
  • Central Park Private Walking Tour with Transfers : $171
  • Central Park Zoo Skip the line Tickets and Private Transfers : $291
  • Central Park Zoo Skip-the-line Tickets & Private Transfers: $291
  • Departure Private Transfer: New York to J.F. Kennedy Airport JFK in Luxury Car: $217

Is it cheaper to fly into New York City or Yellowstone National Park?

Prices for flights to both Yellowstone National Park 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
    Yellowstone National Park $46
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
  • NYC: Greenwich Village Guided Food Tour: $63
  • Pizza Walking Tour of Downtown Brooklyn: $65
  • Downtown Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • East Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • Greenwich Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • East Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Gastro Pub Pre/Post Theater Dinner in Times Square: $67
  • NYC: Guided Food Tour of the West Village: $70
  • Chinatown New York Walking Food Tour: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    New York City $180
    Yellowstone National Park $34
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: $3.25
  • Central Park: Self-guided Bike Tour App - Audio + Written: $5.00
  • Marvel Universe in New York In-app Audio Tour in English: $5.00
  • Self Guided Central Park Bike or Walking Tour Application: $5.00
  • Brooklyn Bridge Self-Guided Bike or Walking Tour Application: $5.00
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in New York: $5.45
  • Central Park Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.55
  • Self Guided "Central Park Movie Tour" Solo Walking Tour in New York City: $6.75
  • NYC: Central Park Exploration Game and Tour: $7.05
  • Self-Guided Tour of the Museum at Eldridge Street: $7.50
  • Docent-Led Tour of the Museum at Eldridge Street: $7.50
  • New York City's Financial District: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99

Tours and Activities in Yellowstone National Park

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

  • West Thumb Geysers Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • 5-Day Winter Yellowstone Wildlife Tour: $3,349
  • 6-Mile Geyser Hiking Tour in Yellowstone with Lunch: $182
  • E-Bike Tours in Yellowstone National Park: $200
  • Early Morning Guided Kayak Tour: $150
  • Full-Day Guided Yellowstone Day Tour: $299
  • Grand Prismatic Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Lake Yellowstone Half Day Kayak Tours Past Geothermal Features : $135
  • Lamar Valley Safari Hiking Tour with Lunch: $182
  • Self-Guided Grand Teton National Park Driving Tour: $8.99
  • Self-guided tours with Audioguide West Coast Parks U.S.: $27
  • Small-Group Sunset Kayaking Tour on Lake Yellowstone : $150

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
    Yellowstone National Park $19

Sample the Local Flavors in New York City

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

  • NYC West Village Pub Crawl: $21
  • NYC: Brooklyn Nightlife Pub Crawl: $34
  • New York: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • NYC: Manhattan's Only Whiskey Distillery Tour & Tasting: $42
  • Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Little Italy Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64
  • New York Rooftop Pub Crawl: $69
  • Guided Brooklyn Craft Brewery Tour: $99
  • 1920s Schooner Sail with Wine Tasting: $139
  • Hudson Valley Craft Brewery Bike Tour: $145
  • Snow Tubing and Brewery Day Trip From NYC: $159


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

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 Yellowstone National Park Expensive?.