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

Should you visit New York City or Yosemite 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 Yosemite 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 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.

Yosemite National Park

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

New York City and Yosemite 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 El Capitan
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


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

Visitors will usually find more to do in New York City than Yosemite 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 Yosemite 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. Yosemite National Park is well known for its stunning hikes, giant Sequoias, breathtaking vistas, and the granite cliffs of Half Dome.

How is New York City different from Yosemite National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for its sights and museums. However, Yosemite 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.

Yosemite National Park does not have museums and landmarks.


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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

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

Yosemite National Park is not a theatre destination.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Yosemite National Park is not a good national park for its restaurants.

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.

Yosemite National Park offers some easy restaurants to choose from. There are a few varied restaurants in the park that offer casual food or packaged meals that you can take away. The food is generally expensive and not always the best, so you'll likely enjoy packing your own picnic food to enjoy within the park.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for its evening party scene. However, Yosemite National Park is not a destination with noteworthy 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.

Yosemite National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.


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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for its music scene. However, Yosemite 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.

Yosemite National Park is not a live music destination.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite 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 Yosemite National Park to choose from. There are several grand hotels and lodges within the park. Reservations are a must, especially if you're traveling during peak seasons.

New York City is not a resort destination.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

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

Yosemite National Park is well-known for its hiking and trekking. This park has many famous hikes that take you by Half Dome, near Yosemite Falls, and through breathtaking landscapes. Popular hikes in the area include Mist Trail to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall and Mirror Lake Trail.

New York City is not a hiking destination.


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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for its shopping areas. However, Yosemite 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.

Yosemite National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for its Christmas activities. However, Yosemite National Park does not offer Christmas activities.

New York City is a world class destination during the Christmas season. 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.

Yosemite National Park does not offer Christmas activities.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a well-known place for its Christmas markets. However, Yosemite National Park 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.

Yosemite National Park does not offer Christmas markets.


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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

Both New York City and Yosemite 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.

Yosemite National Park is a very kid-friendly city. This park has many hikes, climbs, and activities that kids of all ages can enjoy. When the weather's warm the kids will enjoy getting wet in Merced River. They'll also be impressed by the giant sequoias and the beautiful waterfalls. In the evening the staff host ranger programs that are fun and educational for everyone. The park also has kid-friendly camping and lodges.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for couples. Also, Yosemite National Park is not as famous, but is still a good national park to visit 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.

Yosemite National Park makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy nature, rock climbing, hiking, and being outside will enjoy a visit to this park. There is an endless supply of romantic views and fun-filled activities that are perfect for avid hikers or those looking for a more relaxing travel experience.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite 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 Yosemite National Park. Campgrounds and back country trails make this area a backpacker's paradise.

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 Yosemite National Park Better for Students?

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for students. However, Yosemite 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.

Yosemite National Park is not popular with students.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for its public transit. Also, Yosemite National Park is not as famous, but is still a good national park to visit for times when you don't have a car.

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.

Yosemite National Park has some public transit options. There is a free bus service that travels around Yosemite Valley.

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

New York City
Yosemite National Park

New York City is a world-class destination for its ease of walking around. However, Yosemite National Park is not a good national park 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.

Yosemite National Park is generally not a very walkable city. The park is large and a car is necessary to reach many places within the park.


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

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

How long in New York City or Yosemite National Park?

Both New York City and Yosemite 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 Yosemite National Park. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

One day in New York City or Yosemite National Park?

New York City is a big city with plenty to do. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the world-famous destination of Yosemite 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 Yosemite National Park?

New York City is a big city with plenty to do. This city 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 Yosemite 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 Yosemite National Park?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in New York City. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the world-famous destination of Yosemite 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 Yosemite National Park?

New York City is a fun place to experience. New York City is a big city with plenty to do. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the beautiful national park of Yosemite 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, Yosemite 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 Yosemite National Park is $129. 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 Yosemite National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New York City $175
    Yosemite National Park $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New York City $350
    Yosemite National Park $128
Compare Hotels in New York City and Yosemite National Park

Looking for a hotel in New York City or Yosemite 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 Yosemite 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 Yosemite National Park Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New York City $49
    Yosemite National Park $41
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
  • Manhattan to EWR: One Way Shared Departure Transfer: $34
  • EWR to Manhattan: One Way Shared Arrival 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
  • NYC: One-Way Transfer to/from JFK Airport and Manhattan: $36

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

Prices for flights to both Yosemite 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
    Yosemite National Park $40
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
  • East Village Food Tour: $60
  • Ultimate Greenwich Village NYC Food Tour: $63
  • NYC: Greenwich Village Guided Food Tour: $63
  • Greenwich Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Downtown Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Greenwich Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • Pizza Walking Tour of Downtown Brooklyn: $65
  • West Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • East Village Pizza Walk: $65

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    New York City $180
    Yosemite National Park $19
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
  • Brooklyn Bridge Self-Guided Bike or Walking Tour Application: $5.00
  • 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
  • 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
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in New York: $5.51
  • Central Park Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.62
  • Self Guided "Central Park Movie Tour" Solo Walking Tour in New York City: $6.75
  • NYC: Central Park Exploration Game and Tour: $7.05
  • Docent-Led Tour of the Museum at Eldridge Street: $7.50

Tours and Activities in Yosemite National Park

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Yosemite National Park are as follows:

  • Big Trees Hike & Riverside Cookout Adventure: $180
  • El Capitan, Yosemite: A Rock Climber's Odyssey - Private Tour: $225
  • Family Fun Private Half Day Fly Fishing Adventure: $215
  • Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup: $169
  • Private Guided Hiking Tour in Yosemite: $293
  • Semi Private Yosemite Tour with Ahwahnee Lunch and Hotel Pickup: $250
  • Waterfalls of Yosemite - Private Tour: $229
  • Yosemite Full Day Small Group High Country / Mariposa Tour: $299
  • Yosemite Highlights Small Group Tour: $200
  • Yosemite National Park Audio Driving Tour: $14
  • Yosemite Panorama Trail Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Yosemite Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14

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
    Yosemite National Park $11

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
  • New York Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • 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
  • East Village Gangster Ghost Pub Crawl: $64
  • Little Italy Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64
  • Broadway Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64
  • New York Rooftop Pub Crawl: $69
  • Guided Brooklyn Craft Brewery Tour: $99


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