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

Should you visit Philadelphia or Lancaster?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Philadelphia or Lancaster, 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.

Where Should I go: Philadelphia or Lancaster?

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 place 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 $188, while the average daily cost in Lancaster is $183. 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 Philadelphia and Lancaster in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Philadelphia $119
    Lancaster $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Philadelphia $238
    Lancaster $182
Compare Hotels in Philadelphia and Lancaster

Looking for a hotel in Philadelphia or Lancaster? 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 Philadelphia


Hotels in Lancaster


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: Philadelphia Hotel Prices and Lancaster Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Philadelphia $28
    Lancaster $69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Philadelphia

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

  • Philadelphia Airport (PHL): Private Transfer to Philadelphia: $356
  • Philadelphia to New York Airport (JFK) Departure Transfer : $191
  • Philadelphia City to New York City - Private Car Transfer: $190
  • Philadelphia to New York Airport (LGA) Departure Transfer : $180
  • Philadelphia to New York J.F. Kennedy Airport(JFK) - Departure Private Transfer : $173
  • Philadelphia to Newark International Airport (EWR) - Departure Private Transfer : $170
  • Philadelphia to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) - Departure Private Transfer : $163
  • Philadelphia City to Washington City - Private Car Transfer: $136
  • Philadelphia Airport (PHL) to Philadelphia - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $132
  • Private Transfer Philadephia Airport PHL to Philadelphia by SUV: $121
  • Private Transfer Philadelphia to Philadephia Airport PHL by SUV: $113
  • Arrival Private Transfer Philadelphia Airport PHL to Philadelphia by Sedan: $108

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Philadelphia $49
    Lancaster $53
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:

  • Locals' Favorites Food Tour: $52
  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $52
  • Bites and Booze: Walking Food Tour in Philadelphia : $65
  • Locals' Favorites Food Tour: $65
  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $65
  • 9th Street Italian Market Walking Food Tour: $69
  • Best of Philadelphia Food Tour - Small Group Walking Tour: $69
  • Italian Market Food Tour - Small Group Walking Tour: $69
  • Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise: $83
  • Secret Food Tour: $84
  • Secret Food Tours Philadelphia w/ Private Tour Option: $85
  • Highlights of East Passyunk Food Tour: $85

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lancaster

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

  • Red Rose Walking Food Tour in Lancaster: $65
  • International Food Tour Lancaster, Pennsylvania: $65

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Philadelphia $28
    Lancaster $19
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:

  • "Bad Things Happen In Philadelphia" True Crime Evening Trolley Tour: $40
  • 1 Hour Philadelphia Private Guided Tour by Deluxe Electric Car: $150
  • 3-Hour Private Favorite & Secret Bars Walking Tour Philadelphia: $35
  • A Magical Christmas Tour in Philadelphia: $558
  • A Magical Christmas Tour in Philadelphia: $284
  • Alexander Hamilton Private Group Walking Tour in Philadelphia: $250
  • Amazing Philadelphia Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Art and Controversy: An audio tour of Philadelphia's most infamous art scandals: $5.40
  • BYOB Historically Hilarious Trolley Tour of Philadelphia: $49
  • Badass Women's History Walking Tour of Philadelphia: $59
  • Beyond the [Liberty] Bell History Walking Tour: $59
  • Black Be Beautiful Mural Small Group Walking Tour in Philadelphia: $25

Tours and Activities in Lancaster

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

  • 45-Minute Private Guided Historic Walking Tour in Lititz: $12
  • Amish Experience SuperSaver Package: $47
  • Authentic Tour & Meal with the Amish!: $89
  • From Philadelphia: Lancaster County Amish Community Tour: $179
  • Guided Ghost Tour of Lititz: $12
  • Guided Tour of the 1792 Johannes Mueller House: $12
  • Historic Columbia, PA: Guided Tour of the Bank Museum: $14
  • Historic Lancaster Photo Shoot Tour: $100
  • Lancaster County: Amish Farmlands, Museum Tour, Farm Visit: $35
  • Lancaster County: Tour and Meal with an Amish Family: $79
  • Lancaster Electric Bicycle Tour: $130
  • Lancaster History and Breakfast Walking Tour: $60

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Philadelphia $21
    Lancaster $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Philadelphia

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

  • Philly Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Philadelphia Band, Brewery, and Beer Garden Evening Trolley Tour: $44
  • Liberty History Tour Pub Crawl: $45
  • Guided Tour with Pub Crawl: $45
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $50
  • Half-Day Philadelphia's Brewery Bike Tour with Tastings: $100
  • Philly Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tours with a Snack: $120

Sample the Local Flavors in Lancaster

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Lancaster:

  • Lancaster City: The Ultimate Walking Craft Brewery Tour: $20
  • Guided Brewery Walking Tour in Lancaster City: $79


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.

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


Which is Bigger, Philadelphia or Lancaster?

Philadelphia has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Lancaster. When comparing the sizes of Philadelphia and Lancaster, 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 Philadelphia or Lancaster?

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 Philadelphia or Lancaster in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Philadelphia and Lancaster. The summer months attract visitors to Philadelphia because of the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Philadelphia is around the same temperature as Lancaster. Typically, the summer temperatures in Philadelphia in July average around 77°F (25°C), and Lancaster averages at about 77°F (25°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Lancaster this time of the year. In Philadelphia, it's very sunny this time of the year. Philadelphia usually receives less sunshine than Lancaster during summer. Philadelphia gets 273 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 310 hours of full sun in the summer.

Philadelphia gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Philadelphia usually receives more rain than Lancaster. Philadelphia gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Philadelphia 77°F (25°C) 
    Lancaster 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Philadelphia or Lancaster in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Philadelphia as well as Lancaster. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Philadelphia this time of year.

In October, Philadelphia is generally around the same temperature as Lancaster. Daily temperatures in Philadelphia average around 56°F (14°C), and Lancaster fluctuates around 56°F (13°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Philadelphia this time of the year. In the autumn, Philadelphia often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster. Philadelphia gets 202 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 194 hours of full sun.

Philadelphia usually gets less rain in October than Lancaster. Philadelphia gets 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Philadelphia 56°F (14°C) 
    Lancaster 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Philadelphia or Lancaster in the Winter?

Both Lancaster and Philadelphia are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Philadelphia for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Lancaster can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is a little warmer than Lancaster in the winter. The daily temperature in Philadelphia averages around 30°F (-1°C) in January, and Lancaster fluctuates around 30°F (-1°C).

Philadelphia usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Lancaster during winter. Philadelphia gets 152 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 153 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Philadelphia usually receives less rain than Lancaster. Philadelphia gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Philadelphia 30°F (-1°C) 
    Lancaster 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Philadelphia or Lancaster in the Spring?

Both Lancaster and Philadelphia during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Philadelphia in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Philadelphia is around the same temperature as Lancaster. Typically, the spring temperatures in Philadelphia in April average around 52°F (11°C), and Lancaster averages at about 53°F (12°C).

In Lancaster, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Philadelphia. In the spring, Philadelphia often gets less sunshine than Lancaster. Philadelphia gets 216 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 237 hours of full sun.

Philadelphia usually gets less rain in April than Lancaster. Philadelphia gets 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Philadelphia 52°F (11°C) 
    Lancaster 53°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Lancaster and Philadelphia

Philadelphia Lancaster
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 33°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Mar 42°F (6°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Apr 52°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
May 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Jun 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Aug 76°F (24°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Sep 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Oct 56°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Nov 46°F (8°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 36°F (2°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 35°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)