A Travel Price Comparison for Pennsylvania Philadelphia vs. Lancaster for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Philadelphia or Lancaster?

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

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is the fourth largest urban area, and the fifth largest city in the United States. It's located in southeastern Pennsylvania and has a rich history, having once been the capital of the United States. The city has very impressive architecture, museums, universities, and entertainment venues. It's a cultural and artistic center for the country and it continues to climb as a top travel destination.

Lancaster

The largest city in Pennsylvania's Dutch Country, Lancaster is surrounded by scenic landscape and a unique culture. The area is predominately agricultural in nature and you will find lush farms growing crops and produce most seasons. The Amish communities are spread throughout the area and although they remain relatively isolated, they are acknowledged by fellow community members and their customs are respected. The Amish community prides themselves on minimalist living. They do not use electricity and travel around in horse and buggy, a sight which you will grow accustomed to while you're in the area. They are excellent farmers and craftsmen and you can find shops that proudly sell Amish made goods. Their close are old fashion in nature. Women generally wear long dresses and bonnets while men wear black suits and hats. The Amish community has their own churches and their own schools. There are a handful of places where you can learn more about the Amish community in the area. The Amish Experience F/X Theater offers shows and the People's Place Quilt Museum shows some handicrafts. It is possible to take an Amish Country tour or visit the Mennonite Information Center for more information.

Which city is cheaper, Lancaster 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 Lancaster is $146. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Philadelphia and Lancaster in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Philadelphia can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $95, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $190.

The prices for places to stay in Lancaster can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $73, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $146.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Philadelphia $95
    Lancaster $73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Philadelphia $190
    Lancaster $146

Food

Philadelphia food costs typically run travelers around $39 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

On average, meal and food prices in Lancaster cost around $42 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $17.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Philadelphia $39
    Lancaster $42
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: $45
  • 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 Lancaster

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

  • Private Walking Food Tour in Lancaster: $48

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Philadelphia than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $22 on transportation in Philadelphia on average per day.

Lancaster's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $55 per person, per day on transportation in Lancaster.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Philadelphia $22
    Lancaster $55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Philadelphia

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

  • Private Transfer: Philadelphia to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL): $622
  • Private Transfer: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Philadelphia: $622
  • Philadelphia City to Washington City - Private Car Transfer: $392
  • Philadelphia City to Baltimore City - Private Car Transfer: $311
  • Philadelphia to New York J.F. Kennedy Airport(JFK) - Departure Private Transfer: $286
  • Philadelphia to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) - Departure Private Transfer: $280
  • Philadelphia City to New York City - Private Car Transfer: $267
  • Philadelphia to Newark International Airport (EWR) - Departure Private Transfer: $243
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Airport PHL to Philadelphia by Minibus: $204
  • Departure Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport PHL by Minibus: $204
  • Private transfer from or to MDT , PHL airports , Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA: $200
  • RoundTrip transfer in executive private minivan from-to Airpt-Philadelphia City: $191

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lancaster

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

  • Private transfer: Lancaster to Lancaster Airport (LNS): $622
  • Private Transfer from Lancaster to Manchester Airport (MAN): $183

Is it cheaper to fly into Philadelphia or Lancaster?

Prices for flights to both Lancaster 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Philadelphia, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $22 per day, per person.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Lancaster can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Philadelphia $22
    Lancaster $15
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:

  • 1776 History and Cheesesteak Tour: $28
  • 2-Day Philadelphia Tour from Boston: $549
  • 2-Hour German-Language Historic Walking Tour: $195
  • Amazing Philadelphia Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Art and Controversy: An audio tour of Philadelphia's most infamous art scandals: $5.00
  • Badass Women's History Tour of Philadelphia: $40
  • Beyond the [Liberty] Bell History Tour: $40
  • Brandywine Valley Tour with Private Driver: $581
  • Cemetery and Serial Killers Walking Tour of Philadelphia: $35
  • City Sightseeing Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $36
  • Colonial Era Philadelphia Waterfront Walking Tour: $215
  • Colonial Philadelphia Waterfront Walking Tour: $195

Tours and Activities in Lancaster

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

  • Authentic Tour & Meal with an Amish Family!: $65
  • Ghost Tour of Lancaster: $18
  • Lancaster City VIP Restaurant Tour: $75
  • Lancaster County: National Toy Train Museum Admission Ticket: $7.50
  • Downtown & Amish Country Authentic Lancaster Tour: $65
  • Evening Ghost Tour by Candlelight: $18
  • Premium Amish Country Tour including Amish Farm and House: $32
  • Sweet & Savory Tour of Lancaster City!: $60
  • Truly Authentic Lancaster Experience!: $59

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Philadelphia spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Lancaster, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.14.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Philadelphia $17
    Lancaster $9.14

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
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • 2-Hour Philly on Tap Pub Tour: $65
  • Sip of Philly Brewery Tour: $79
  • 2-Hour Old City Wine Tasting Tour: $96


When comparing the travel costs between Philadelphia and Lancaster, we can see that Philadelphia is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Philadelphia vs. Lancaster Travel Comparison

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