A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Philadelphia vs. Boston for Attractions, Old Town, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Philadelphia or Boston?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Philadelphia or Boston, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a diverse, historic, and cultural city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Boston

Boston is a traditional, classic, and historic classic. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

Philadelphia and Boston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular old town
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities


How is Philadelphia different from Boston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Philadelphia and Boston.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Philadelphia can be an interesting and educational experience. The city has a rich history with a number of museums and monuments. Popular sites around the city include the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Jewish American History.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Boston on the map. The city itself feels like a living museum. It is famous for Faneuil Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, the USS Constitution, as well as the many sites along the Freedom Trail. There are also many museums on the campuses of the world renowned universities in the city.

Philadelphia
Boston


Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Theater?

Visitors will find various theaters and performances in Philadelphia and Boston.

Many visitors plan to see a show while visiting Philadelphia. There are major Broadway shows as well as smaller venues. Head to The Avenue of the Arts along Broad Street for a popular stretch of theaters.

Boston attracts a wide-range of world-class performances. The city has many historic, beautifully restored theaters where you can enjoy a show. Head to the theater district for some of the most famous venues.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Food?

Both Philadelphia and Boston offer a number of unique restaurants to choose from.

Philadelphia has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city is famous for its Philly cheesesteak and roast pork sandwich. You can also grab some local favorites at Reading Terminal Market.

Dining out in Boston is an experience not to be missed. Famous local foods include New England Clam Chowder, lobster rolls, and baked beans.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Nightlife?

Both Philadelphia and Boston have similar vibes after the sun sets.

Philadelphia has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city's nightlife scene carries late into the night with many rooftop and outdoor beer gardens.

The people in Boston know how to have a good time. The city is known for its breweries, craft beer, and vibrant university neighborhoods. It also hosts regular outdoor movies and world class sporting events.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Music?

It can be fun to see live music in either Philadelphia and Boston.

Whether you like big venues or smaller artists, Philadelphia has diverse options. The city's diverse music scene includes jazz, rock, and hip hop.

You'll find some good live music in Boston. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.

Philadelphia
Boston


Is Philadelphia or Boston better for its Old Town?

The old town area in Boston has more to offer.

The rich history of Boston can be explored in its historical center. Boston is famous for its Freedom Trail, which takes visitors around the city's rich history. The oldest parts of the city are known as Boston Proper and include the neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Historic Downtown, the North End, and the West End.

Philadelphia offers a nice historic old town area. The Old City has a number of Colonial-era sites including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Shopping?

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Philadelphia and Boston.

Philadelphia is well-known for its shopping. With all items tax-free, this city is a great place to shop. It has many boutique shops as well as name brand stores and shopping areas. For a local vibe, head to Reading Terminal Market.

Many visitors go to Boston to go shopping. Head to Back Bay for some of the best high end shops.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Christmas?

Philadelphia and Boston are fun destinations to visit around the Christmas season.

Since it has plenty to do, Philadelphia is a very popular place to visit during Christmas. There are a number of holiday events, light shows, and festivals during the holiday season.

Visitors come from all around to experience the Christmas activities in Boston. Christmas comes to life in the city with its Christmas Trees, holiday shows, and festivals.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Christmas Markets?

Philadelphia and Boston are both places where visitors can find Christmas markets.

Philadelphia has Christmas markets worth visiting. The city has its own German style Christmas market at Love Park and City Hall. It hosts over 80 vendors.

Boston has plenty of Christmas markets during the holiday season. There are a number of European style Christmas markets that pop up during the holiday season around town.

Philadelphia
Boston


Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Families?

Philadelphia and Boston are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Philadelphia is a family-friendly city. Popular activities include a zoo and Sesame Place. Kids also love the hands-on Please Touch Museum.

Boston is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Popular activities for all ages include the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and exploring the history, gardens, and parks around town.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Couples?

Philadelphia and Boston are both fun to visit as a couple.

Philadelphia makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Like many large cities, this city is a fun place to explore in the evening as a couple.

Boston is a good city for couples to visit. Couples who enjoy history will enjoy exploring the city. Take a swan boat ride in the Public Garden and wander the unique route along the Freedom Trail.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Philadelphia and Boston are both good destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Philadelphia. There are a few good hostels for backpackers and budget travelers to choose from.

Boston is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Like most larger American cities, the city has a handful of hostels to choose from.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Students?

Both Philadelphia and Boston are popular destinations for students.

Philadelphia is a great city to visit as a student. With its many universities and diverse population, this city is a great place for international students.

Boston is a very popular city for students. It is a city of students, with a number of world renowned universities located here including Harvard University, Boston College, and MIT.

Philadelphia
Boston


Is Philadelphia or Boston better for Public Transit?

Visitors will find public transit in both Philadelphia and Boston.

Public transit in Philadelphia can get you to some places easily. The system includes a subway, trolleys, buses, and a commuter rail.

The thorough and effecient public transit system of Boston can take you anywhere. There's the T, which is the subway, as well as a trolley, bus, and water transportation system.

Philadelphia
Boston

Is Philadelphia or Boston a more walkable city?

Philadelphia and Boston are similar when it comes to walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Philadelphia. The Old City is particularly walkable, as is Avenue of the Arts, and Rittenhouse Square.

Getting around Boston on foot is easy. The many parks and compact neighborhoods are best explored on foot.

Philadelphia
Boston

Should I spend more time in Boston or Philadelphia?

How long in Philadelphia or Boston?

In either Philadelphia or Boston, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Boston than Philadelphia because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Philadelphia is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Boston is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Philadelphia or Boston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Philadelphia 2-3 
    Boston 3-5

One day in Philadelphia or Boston?

Philadelphia is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Boston, many people enjoy the live music and food that this traditional classic offers. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Philadelphia or Boston?

Philadelphia is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Boston is a fun place to experience. Visiting the old town is also a must. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Lots of people come for the museums. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.


Five days in Philadelphia or Boston?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Philadelphia. Five days may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Boston, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this classic big city offers. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. Lots of people come for the museums. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

A week in Philadelphia or Boston?

Travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the cultural big city of Philadelphia. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Boston is a popular place to visit. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire area has lots to do.

Which city is cheaper, Boston or Philadelphia?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Philadelphia is $151, while the average daily cost in Boston is $203. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Philadelphia and Boston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Philadelphia $95
    Boston $132
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Philadelphia $190
    Boston $264

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Philadelphia $22
    Boston $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Philadelphia

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Philadelphia Airport (PHL): $38
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Philadelphia Airport (PHL): $38
  • Private Airport Transfer: Philadelphia Int. Airport (PHL) to Philadelphia: $44
  • Private Airport Transfer: Philadelphia to Philadelphia Int. Airport (PHL): $44
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Philadelphia Airport: $51
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Philadelphia Airport to Hotel: $51
  • Philadelphia Airport (PHL) to Philadelphia - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport (PHL) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Private Transfer to/from Airport (PHL): $66
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Train Station to Philadelphia by Sedan: $68
  • Departure Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadelphia Train Station by Sedan: $68
  • Departure Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport PHL by Sedan: $68

Typical Local Transportation prices in Boston

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


  • Taxi
    $35
  • Subway Daily Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Boston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Boston:

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Boston City Downtown to Boston Airport (BOS): $69
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Boston Airport (BOS) to City Downtown: $69
  • Transfer from Boston Logan International Airport to Boston: $85
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Boston Airport: $30
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Boston Airport to Hotel: $30
  • Round trip transfer in private vehicle from Boston city -to Boston Airport (BOS): $138
  • Round trip Airport Transfer: Logan - Boston: $181
  • Private transfer: Boston to Boston Airport (BOS): $622
  • Private transfer: Boston Airport (BOS) to Boston: $622
  • Private transfer from or to BOS Boston, MA: $113
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Boston (hotel OR airport pick-up): $132
  • Private Transfer from Boston City to Boston (BOS) Airport: $117

Is it cheaper to fly into Philadelphia or Boston?

Prices for flights to both Boston and Philadelphia 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
    Philadelphia $39
    Boston $40
Typical Food prices in Philadelphia

For Philadelphia, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Casual Lunch (for 3)
    $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Philadelphia

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

  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $44
  • Decadent Gourmet Food Tour: $44
  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $52
  • Highlights of East Passyunk Food Tour: $54
  • South Philly Italian Family Dinner Tour: $75
  • Historic Food Tour: $78
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Philadelphia: $90
  • Spirit of Philadelphia Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $107
  • Secret Food Tours Philadelphia w/ Private Tour Option: $193

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Boston

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Boston.

  • Boston's North End "Little Italy" Pizza, Cannoli, and Freedom Trail Walking Tour: $49
  • Boston's North End Small-Group Walking Food Tour: $71
  • Fenway Neighborhood Food Tour (Boston): $79
  • Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor: $81
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Boston North End: $103
  • Spirit of Boston Sunset Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $105
  • Boston Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $118
  • Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey: $122
  • North End Neighborhood Food Tour: $150

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Philadelphia $22
    Boston $26
Typical Entertainment prices in Philadelphia

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Philadelphia's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Big Bus Tour (family of 3)
    $99

Tours and Activities in Philadelphia

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

  • Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront: Explore the historic city on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Art and Controversy: An audio tour of Philadelphia's most infamous art scandals: $5.00
  • Ultimate Philadelphia Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.00
  • Philadelphia Architecture: Discover Every American Style on a GPS Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Philadelphia Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Penn Museum Admission Ticket: $18
  • Philadelphia Walking Ghost Tour: $20
  • Franklin's Footsteps Walking Tour: $20
  • Skip the Line: Museum of the American Revolution Admission Ticket: $21
  • Philadelphia Historical Independence Walking Tour: $21
  • Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour: $23
  • The Franklin Institute Admission Ticket: $23

Typical Entertainment prices in Boston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Boston are as follows:


  • Two Tickets to Celtics Game
    $101
  • Duck Tour
    $32

Tours and Activities in Boston

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Boston are as follows:

  • 2-Day Trip Philadelphia City Tour from Boston: $519
  • 6-Day Economy East Coast Tour ( Boston Departure) ( BOAP6E): $448
  • 6-Day Economy East Coast Tour (Boston departure)(BO6E): $448
  • 6-Day Tour East Coast Tour ( Boston Departure) ( BOAP6D): $560
  • 6-Day Tour East Coast Tour (Boston Departure)(BO6): $560
  • 6-Day U.S East Coast Tour (Boston departure) BO6U: $560
  • 7-Days Tour US east coast and Canada tour (Boston Departure) (BO7C): $706
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: Boston Harbor: $44
  • Beer Tour: $80
  • Best of Boston Tour - Private Safe Tour: $185
  • Boston Back Bay Tourist Scavenger Hunt: $36
  • Boston Chocolate Tours w/ Private Tour Option: $204

For more ideas for your next trip, check out Free Things to Do in Boston, Must-See Monuments and Memorials In Boston, and The Best Things To Do in Boston with Kids.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Philadelphia $17
    Boston $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Philadelphia

Also in Philadelphia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • Philadelphia Prohibition Pub Crawl: $45
  • Charleston: Haunted Bar Crawl with Tarot Reading: $64
  • Sip of Philly Brewery Tour: $79

Sample the Local Flavors in Boston

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:

  • Haunted Boston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Historic Pub Crawl Tour along the Freedom Trail: $56
  • Sip of Boston Guided Brewery Tour: $90


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


When is the best time to visit Philadelphia or Boston?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Philadelphia or Boston in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Philadelphia as well as Boston. Many travelers come to Philadelphia for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, many visitors come to Boston in the summer for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Philadelphia is generally around the same temperature as Boston. Temperatures in Philadelphia average around 77°F (25°C), and Boston stays around 73°F (23°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Boston. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Philadelphia this time of the year. In the summer, Philadelphia often gets less sunshine than Boston. Philadelphia gets 273 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 304 hours of full sun.

Philadelphia receives a lot of rain in the summer. Philadelphia usually gets more rain in July than Boston. Philadelphia gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Philadelphia 77°F (25°C) 
    Boston 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Philadelphia or Boston in the Autumn?

Both Boston and Philadelphia are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Philadelphia in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Boston for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Philadelphia is around the same temperature as Boston in the autumn. The temperature in Philadelphia is usually 56°F (14°C) in October, and Boston stays around 54°F (12°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Philadelphia. Philadelphia usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Boston during autumn. At this time of the year, Philadelphia gets 202 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 194 hours of full sun.

In October, Philadelphia usually receives less rain than Boston. At this time of the year, Philadelphia gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Philadelphia 56°F (14°C) 
    Boston 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Philadelphia or Boston in the Winter?

Both Boston and Philadelphia during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Philadelphia for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Boston because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

The weather in Boston can be very cold. Philadelphia can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Philadelphia is much warmer than Boston. Typically, the winter temperatures in Philadelphia in January are around 30°F (-1°C), and Boston is about 29°F (-2°C).

In the winter, Philadelphia often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Boston. Philadelphia gets 152 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 153 hours of full sun.

Philadelphia usually gets less rain in January than Boston. Philadelphia gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Philadelphia 30°F (-1°C) 
    Boston 29°F (-2°C)

Should I visit Philadelphia or Boston in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Philadelphia and Boston. The spring months attract visitors to Philadelphia because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Boston this time of year.

In April, Philadelphia is generally a little warmer than Boston. Temperatures in Philadelphia average around 52°F (11°C), and Boston stays around 48°F (9°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Boston this time of the year. In Philadelphia, it's very sunny this time of the year. Philadelphia usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Boston during spring. At this time of the year, Philadelphia gets 216 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 225 hours of full sun.

In April, Philadelphia usually receives less rain than Boston. At this time of the year, Philadelphia gets 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Philadelphia 52°F (11°C) 
    Boston 48°F (9°C)

Typical Weather for Boston and Philadelphia

Philadelphia Boston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Mar 42°F (6°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 38°F (4°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Apr 52°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
May 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm) 58°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Jun 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Aug 76°F (24°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Sep 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Oct 56°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Nov 46°F (8°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Dec 36°F (2°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 33°F (1°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)


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Philadelphia vs. Boston Travel Comparison

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