A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Orlando vs. Arlington for Families, Food, Nightlife, and Backpackers

Should you visit Orlando or Arlington?

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

Should I visit Orlando or Arlington? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Orlando

Orlando is a active, family-friendly, and entertaining city. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and theater.

Arlington

Arlington is a international, historical, and educational city. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Orlando and Arlington: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Home to Disney World, Universal Studios, and the city's many amusement parks
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Home to Arlington National Cemetery
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly


Is there more to do in Orlando or Arlington?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Orlando. Although Orlando and Arlington are about the same size, Orlando has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Orlando is better known for its theatre productions, resorts, and shopping, while Arlington is more popular for its museums and nightlife. Orlando is more touristy than Arlington and is known for being the home of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and many other theme parks and family-friendly activities. Also, Orlando is famous for Disney World, Universal Studios, and the city's many amusement parks. Arlington is well known for its international connections, its biking and walking trails, and being the location of the Pentagon.

How is Orlando different from Arlington?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Orlando or Arlington?

Orlando
Arlington

Arlington is great for its historical sights. However, Orlando does not have museums and landmarks.

Arlington offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Arlington National Cemetery is where you'll find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as the tomb of John F. Kennedy Jr. There are many memorials around town, with the most famous being the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial. There are also several museums like the DEA Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Orlando does not have museums and landmarks.


Is Orlando or Arlington Better for Theater?

Orlando
Arlington

Orlando is a nice place to visit for its shows and theatre. However, Arlington is not a theatre destination.

You'll find a nice selection of shows in Orlando. The city has a number of local theaters that are fun to explore. As home to Disney World and Universal Studios, there are also a number of shows available that are affiliated with the parks.

Arlington is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Orlando or Arlington? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Orlando
Arlington

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at very good restaurants in both Orlando and Arlington.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Orlando. There are a diversity of restaurants on the Disney grounds and nearby. You'll also find many restaurants at Universal CityWalk and Disney Springs. Food can be expensive, and the quality can vary dramatically. Many people enjoy going to dinner shows as well. Restaurants can be challenging also, as reservations must be made months in advance.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Arlington. It's a global city, and the restaurants reflect that. You'll find amazing Thai, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants. There are also less common cuisines to choose from such as Ethiopian, Moroccan, and Peruvian.

Is Orlando or Arlington Better for Nightlife?

Orlando
Arlington

Arlington is great for nightlife. Also, Orlando is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife and partying.

Many people head to Arlington for the nightlife scene. The city has a huge young population that drives the nightlife scene. There are clubs, bars, and lounges in many neighborhoods. There are also comedy clubs and plenty of live music.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Orlando. If you need a break from the kids, you'll find some of the best nightlife around Orlando at Disney Springs, Wall Street Plaza and Universal CityWalk.


Is Orlando or Arlington Better for Resorts?

Orlando
Arlington

Orlando is terrific for its luxury resorts. However, Arlington is not a resort destination.

Orlando offers an unforgettable resort vacation. Disney World is famous for its many iconic resorts. Some of the most popular are the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Port Orleans Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort. There are also many resorts that aren't affiliated with the major theme parks. These tend to be more affordable, but transportation options to and from the park are limited. You'll also miss out on the perks that come with staying at a theme park resort.

Arlington is not a resort destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Orlando or Arlington?

Orlando
Arlington

Orlando is an excellent place to visit for its shopping areas. Also, Arlington is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Orlando. Shopping is a dream for any Disney enthusiast. There are countless malls and shops, both on and off the Disney grounds, that sell all of the Disney paraphernalia. Disney Springs and Universal CityWalk are the most famous areas. During the evenings, these areas can be very crowded, but during the day they're less popular as most people are at the theme parks.

Arlington is a great destination for shopping. Many neighborhoods have local shops or farmer's markets. There are also shopping centers and malls such as Ballston Quarter, The Crossing Clarendon, and The Village at Shirlington.

Is Orlando or Arlington Better for Christmas?

Orlando
Arlington

Orlando is terrific for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Arlington does not offer Christmas activities.

Known for its popular Christmas activities, Orlando draws large crowds. Christmas at Disney World is lots of fun. There are decorations and all kinds of seasonal activities around town.

Arlington does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Orlando or Arlington Better for Families?

Orlando
Arlington

Orlando is terrific for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Arlington is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Orlando is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. Known as a theme park capital, here you'll find the iconic Disney World, as well as Universal Studios, SeaWorld and many more. While most people spend their vacation at the Disney or Universal resorts, there is also an endless supply of less mainstream parks and activities in the area.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Arlington. Kids will enjoy seeing the planes talk off from Gravelly Point park. There are also plenty of outdoor spaces and educational opportunities in the area, including world class museums.

Is Orlando or Arlington Better for Couples?

Orlando
Arlington

With fun activities for couples, both Orlando and Arlington make for a notable place to visit.

Orlando is a nice destination for couples. While most people visit the area with family, there is a niche crowd that enjoys honeymooning or vacationing here as a couple. There are many beautiful restaurants and interesting activities that couples can enjoy together. This is the perfect trip for fun loving couples who don't take themselves to seriously.

Arlington makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There's a vibrant cultural scene and many international restaurants that couples can enjoy. It's also a great place to take in a show or concert.

Is Orlando or Arlington Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Orlando
Arlington

Arlington is great for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Orlando is not a good destination for backpackers.

Arlington is very popular with the backpacker crowd. There are a couple of hostels and many free activities nearby. There's also great public transportation that makes for a convenient backpacker destination.

Orlando is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not exactly a backpacker destination, but there are a surprising number of cheap motels that aren't affiliated with the major parks.


Is Orlando or Arlington Better for Students?

Orlando
Arlington

Arlington is great for its student-friendly activities. Also, Orlando is not as popular, but is still a nice city for students.

Arlington is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. There are a huge number of colleges and museums in the area as well as many great internship and educational opportunities.

Orlando is a good city to visit for students. Most people don't think about education when they think about Orlando, but there are actually a diversity of internships and opportunities for students to learn in a fun setting.

Is Orlando or Arlington Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Orlando
Arlington

Arlington is renowned for times when you don't have a car. However, Orlando is not a good destination for its public transit.

Arlington has a great public transit system. There is a reliable bus system around town as well as many metro connections.

Public transit is generally limited in Orlando. If you're staying at a Disney Property, there is excellent transportation around the complex, but otherwise, a car is essential.

Is Orlando or Arlington a more walkable city?

Orlando
Arlington

Arlington is great for its walkability. However, Orlando is not a good destination for its high level of walkability.

Arlington is very walkable. There are many pedestrian-friendly areas around town, particularly in the neighborhoods that are concentrated around metro stations.

Orlando is not a walkable city. The city is sprawling, so unless you stay on the Disney grounds, it's best to rent a car.


For even more information, also check out Is Orlando Worth Visiting? and Is Arlington Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Arlington or Orlando?

How long in Orlando or Arlington?

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Arlington than Orlando 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 Arlington.


  • How many days in Orlando or Arlington? Ideal Length of Stay
    Orlando 7 
    Arlington 2-4

One day in Orlando or Arlington?

You'll find shopping and theater around the city of Orlando. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Arlington, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Orlando or Arlington?

You'll find theater and nightlife around the active destination of Orlando. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

In Arlington, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Arlington has to offer.

Five days in Orlando or Arlington?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the active city of Orlando. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Arlington is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Orlando or Arlington?

Orlando is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. One week 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Arlington. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Arlington. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, and The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Arlington or Orlando?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Orlando is $321, while the average daily cost in Arlington is $264. 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 Orlando and Arlington in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Orlando $154
    Arlington $131
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Orlando $308
    Arlington $262
Compare Hotels in Orlando and Arlington

Looking for a hotel in Orlando or Arlington? 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 Orlando


Hotels in Arlington


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: Orlando Hotel Prices and Arlington Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Orlando $66
    Arlington $49
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Orlando

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Orlando are as follows:


  • Parking
    $14
  • Taxi Ride
    $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Orlando

Also for Orlando, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Orlando APT-HTL (MCO): $96
  • Transfer in private minivan Orlando downtown -Orlando Airport (MCO): $60
  • Transfer from Orlando International Airport to Central Florida: $115
  • Sanford Intl. Airport (SFB) to Hotels near Universal - Arrival Private Transfer: $87
  • SUV Transfer TO or FROM MCO to Lake Buena Vista (Disney Hotels): $145
  • SUV Port Transfer TO or FROM Orlando International Airport MCO: $187
  • RoundTrip transfer in private minivan Orlando Airport (MCO) -Orlando downtown: $127
  • Private transfer Orlando Airport - Hotels in Disney and Universal: $47
  • Private Transfers from Port Canaveral to Disney Hotels: $250
  • Private Transfer: Sanford Airport to Lake Buena Vista Resort Area: $75
  • Private Transfer: Orlando Airport MCO to Legoland in Luxury SUV: $152
  • Private Transfer: Lake Buena Vista Resort to MCO Airport in SUV: $111

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arlington

Also for Arlington, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ronald Reagan DCA Airport Transfers: $160

Is it cheaper to fly into Orlando or Arlington?

Prices for flights to both Arlington and Orlando 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
    Orlando $65
    Arlington $81
Typical Food Prices in Orlando

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Orlando:


  • Lunch for Two at Epcot
    $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Orlando

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

  • The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show: $38
  • Tastes of the World Food Tour in Winter Haven : $50
  • Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe with Live Music: $58
  • Downtown Murder Mystery Walking Dinner Tour: $66
  • Sleuth's Mystery Dinner Show, Orlando: $69
  • Polynesian Fire Luau with Dinner and Live Show: $75
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure - Top Orlando Dinner Attraction: $78
  • Teatro Martini Dinner Show in Orlando: $79
  • Food Tour of Local Orlando's Ivanhoe Village : $89

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Orlando $204
    Arlington $11
Typical Entertainment Prices in Orlando

For Orlando, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Universal Studios for Two
    $110

Tours and Activities in Orlando

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Orlando.

  • 2 HR Interactive Walking Ghost Tour in Downtown Orlando: $77
  • Everglades Airboat Tour near Orlando Florida: $89
  • 16 mile Heli Tour Over Disney Spring, Epcot, Hollywood Studios: $86
  • 2 Hour Historical Wildlife Tour of the Chain of Lakes: $42
  • 2 Hour Investigative Walking Ghost Tour of Downtown Orlando: $50
  • 2 Hour Kissimmee St. Cloud Self-Guided Lakefront Tour on EBike: $36
  • 2-hr. Kissimmee and St. Cloud Beach Tour on Fully Electric Trike: $44
  • 25 Minutes Adventure Rooms in Max Action Arena ICON Park: $12
  • 3- or 4-Park Magic Ticket at Walt Disney World Resort: $284
  • 4-hr. Kissimmee and St. Cloud Beach Tour on Fully Electric Trike: $85
  • 8-Hour Automatic Polaris Slingshot SL Adventure Rental: $300
  • 90 Minute Pontoon Cruise in Florida: $70

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Orlando $30
    Arlington $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Orlando

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Orlando:

  • Orlando Virtual Bar Crawl & Scavenger Hunt: $12
  • Orlando Haunts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Happy Hour Downtown Pub Crawl: $170
  • Chef's Table and Wine Tasting Tour: $300


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

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


Which is Bigger, Orlando or Arlington?

Orlando has a larger population, and is about 12% larger than the population of Arlington. When comparing the sizes of Orlando and Arlington, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Orlando or Arlington?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Orlando or Arlington in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Orlando and Arlington. Many travelers come to Orlando for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Arlington in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Orlando is generally around the same temperature as Arlington. Daily temperatures in Orlando average around 82°F (28°C), and Arlington fluctuates around 79°F (26°C).

Orlando gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Orlando usually receives more rain than Arlington. Orlando gets 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Orlando 82°F (28°C) 
    Arlington 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Orlando or Arlington in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Orlando as well as Arlington. Many visitors come to Orlando in the autumn for the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Arlington for the shopping scene during these months.

Orlando is much warmer than Arlington in the autumn. The daily temperature in Orlando averages around 75°F (24°C) in October, and Arlington fluctuates around 60°F (15°C).

Orlando receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Orlando usually gets more rain in October than Arlington. Orlando gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Orlando 75°F (24°C) 
    Arlington 60°F (15°C)

Should I visit Orlando or Arlington in the Winter?

Both Arlington and Orlando are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Orlando for the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Arlington because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Arlington can be very cold. In the winter, Orlando is much warmer than Arlington. Typically, the winter temperatures in Orlando in January average around 59°F (15°C), and Arlington averages at about 35°F (1°C).

In January, Orlando usually receives less rain than Arlington. Orlando gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Orlando 59°F (15°C) 
    Arlington 35°F (1°C)

Should I visit Orlando or Arlington in the Spring?

Both Arlington and Orlando during the spring are popular places to visit.

In April, Orlando is generally much warmer than Arlington. Daily temperatures in Orlando average around 72°F (22°C), and Arlington fluctuates around 56°F (14°C).

Orlando usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Arlington. Orlando gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Orlando 72°F (22°C) 
    Arlington 56°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Arlington and Orlando

Orlando Arlington
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 59°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Feb 62°F (16°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 72°F (22°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm) 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)