A Travel Price Comparison for Pennsylvania Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, 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 cultural, diverse, and historic city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the theater, nightlife, and live music.

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a authentic, under-rated, and industrial city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Philadelphia than Pittsburgh, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Philadelphia is more touristy than Pittsburgh and is known for its diverse population, large number of universities, great restaurant and market scene, and its role in American history. It is also home to The Liberty Bell. Pittsburgh is popular for its many bridges, its steel industry, and being the home of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood".

How is Philadelphia different from Pittsburgh?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is a must-visit destination for its historical sights. Also, Pittsburgh is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Philadelphia has many famous sights for visitors. 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 a good number of museums and monuments packed into Pittsburgh. The museums range from science and nature focused, like the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, to quirky and artsy, like the Mattress Factory. The Warhol Museum is dedicated to the works of Andy Warhol and it's not to be missed. Also worth a visit is the Heinz History Center, Randyland, and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History.


Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Theater?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is great for its shows and theatre. However, Pittsburgh is not a theatre destination.

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.

Pittsburgh is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is great for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Pittsburgh is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Philadelphia has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. It has grown into a well-recognized food destination. It's diversity of cultures and residents have influenced the restaurant scene and you'll find many great places to dine covering a number of international flavors. The city is famous for its Philly cheesesteak and roast pork sandwich. You can also grab some local favorites at Reading Terminal Market.

Pittsburgh offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The city is known for its working class roots, and the food is hearty and filling, which is great for those on a budget. Popular local dishes include pierogis, deli sandwiches, Pittsburgh salads (complete with French fries), and hotcakes.

Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Nightlife?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have superb vibes after the sun sets.

Philadelphia has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city's nightlife scene carries late into the evening with many rooftop and outdoor beer gardens. Most of the clubs and bars are found in the downtown area and you'll find places to dance, listen to live music, or sip a trendy cocktails.

The people in Pittsburgh know how to have a good time. There's an active music and dance scene in town. For the best bars and clubs, head to the Strip and South Side and for live entertainment and casinos check out the North Shore.


Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Music?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is great for its music scene. However, Pittsburgh is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Philadelphia draws a good crowd. The city's diverse music scene includes jazz, rock, and hip hop.

Pittsburgh is not a live music destination.

Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for its Old Town?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is a nice place to visit for its historic old town charm. However, Pittsburgh does not have a historic old town.

Philadelphia has an old town worth visiting. The Old City has a number of Colonial-era sites including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House.

Pittsburgh does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is great for its shopping areas. Also, Pittsburgh is not as popular, but is still a nice city for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Philadelphia. 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.

Pittsburgh is a great destination for shopping. You'll find local fashion boutiques and shopping centers in the city's downtown. Other great shopping neighborhoods include Shadyside, Station Square, and Fifth Avenue Place.


Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Christmas?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is great for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Pittsburgh does not offer Christmas activities.

Philadelphia is a very popular destination during Christmas. There are a number of holiday events, light shows, and festivals during the holiday season.

Pittsburgh does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Christmas Markets?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is a nice place to visit for visiting Christmas markets. However, Pittsburgh does not offer 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.

Pittsburgh does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Families?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is great for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Pittsburgh is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Philadelphia. The city has many museums and a fascinating history that is interesting to kids and adults alike. Popular activities include a zoo and Sesame Place. Kids also love the hands-on Please Touch Museum.

Pittsburgh is a family-friendly place to visit. There's a surprising number of kid-friendly activities packed into this city. Check out the National Aviary or visit the popular Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. There are also kid-focused museums and science centers as well as parks and playgrounds. Also make sure you take the cable car up Duquesne Incline or enjoy a boat ride on one of the rivers as well.


Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Couples?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is a nice place to visit for couples. However, Pittsburgh is not a good destination for romance.

Philadelphia is a good city for couples to visit. Like many large cities, it is a fun place to explore in the evening as a couple. This is also a great foodie destination with great markets, food trucks, and diverse restaurants that reflect the city's diverse population.

Pittsburgh is not the best destination for a couple to visit. There are a few good date night activities like taking river cruises, enjoying dinner and show, or going to a Pirate's game.

Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is a nice place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Pittsburgh is not a good destination for backpackers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Philadelphia. There are a few good hostels for backpackers and budget travelers to choose from.

Pittsburgh is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's usually overlooked by backpackers, but there is some cheap accommodation in town.

Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Students?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is great for its student-friendly activities. However, Pittsburgh is not popular with 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.

Pittsburgh is not popular with students.


Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is great for times when you don't have a car. Also, Pittsburgh is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its public transit.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Philadelphia. The system includes a subway, trolleys, buses, and a commuter rail.

Pittsburgh has a few public transit options. There are bus and lightrail options through the city's downtown. There's also the unique incline, which is an experience worth doing.

Is Philadelphia or Pittsburgh a more walkable city?

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Philadelphia is a must-visit destination for its ease of walking around. Also, Pittsburgh is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its walkability.

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

Pittsburgh is somewhat walkable. Some of the attractions are spread out, but if you're willing to do a bit of walking, it's possible to get around on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Philadelphia Worth Visiting? and Is Pittsburgh Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia?

How long in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In our opinion, Philadelphia has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Philadelphia than Pittsburgh. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

Couples should spend more time in Philadelphia than Pittsburgh. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Philadelphia that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Philadelphia than Pittsburgh 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 Philadelphia.


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

One day in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

When visiting Philadelphia, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Pittsburgh, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this authentic city offers. 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 Pittsburgh?

When visiting Philadelphia, people usually allow for lots of time. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Pittsburgh is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

Philadelphia, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the authentic destination of Pittsburgh. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

A week in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

Philadelphia is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Pittsburgh is a popular place to visit. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America, The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, and The Best Photography Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh is $181. 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 Pittsburgh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Philadelphia $119
    Pittsburgh $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Philadelphia $238
    Pittsburgh $212
Compare Hotels in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh

Looking for a hotel in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh? 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 Pittsburgh


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 Pittsburgh Hotel Prices.

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

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: $351
  • Philadelphia to New York Airport (JFK) Departure Transfer : $190
  • Philadelphia to New York J.F. Kennedy Airport(JFK) - Departure Private Transfer : $173
  • Philadelphia to Newark International Airport (EWR) - Departure Private Transfer : $169
  • Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport (PHL) - Departure Private Transfer: $66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pittsburgh

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

  • Pittsburgh City to Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) - Departure Private Transfer: $48
  • Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) to Pittsburgh hotel/address - Arrival Private Transfer: $48
  • Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) to Pittsburgh City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $95

Is it cheaper to fly into Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

Prices for flights to both Pittsburgh 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
    Pittsburgh $54
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: $52
  • Locals' Favorites Food Tour: $52
  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $65
  • Philadelphia's Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $65
  • Bites and Booze: Walking Food Tour in Philadelphia : $65
  • Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise: $66
  • 9th Street Italian Market Walking Food Tour: $69
  • Best of Philadelphia Food Tour - Small Group Walking Tour: $69
  • Secret Food Tour: $83
  • Highlights of East Passyunk Food Tour: $85
  • Chef-Led Taste of the Italian Market Food Tour: $90
  • Spirit of Philadelphia Signature Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Pittsburgh

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

  • Pittsburgh's Strip District Food Tour: $70
  • Pittsburgh's Strip District Food Tour: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Philadelphia $28
    Pittsburgh $38
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:

  • 2-Hour Ben Franklin Yacht Sunset Cruise : $75
  • A Magical Christmas Tour in Philadelphia: $551
  • 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
  • Best of Philadelphia Small Group Walking Tour: $104
  • Beyond the [Liberty] Bell History Walking Tour: $59
  • City Sightseeing Philadelphia Double Decker Hop-On Hop-Off (24, 48, 72 Hours): $68
  • City Sightseeing Philadelphia HOHO Bus Tour + Bookable Extras: $36
  • City Sightseeing Walking Tour – Founding Fathers and Mothers: $32
  • Classic Philadelphia City Bike Tour: $75

Tours and Activities in Pittsburgh

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

  • Best of the Burgh Walking Tour: $30
  • Bike the Burgh Tour: $50
  • Black & Ghost Tour: $30
  • Discover Oakland Tour: $30
  • Eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $6.22
  • Entrance Ticket to AT BLAQK House Collections: $7.00
  • Essential Pittsburgh Experience - The One Tour to Take: $75
  • HOP ON-HOP OFF TOUR PASS- All Day Sightseeing Tour Pass: $40
  • New! Art & Artists Tour: $30
  • New! Bikes & Brews Tour: $75
  • Pittsburg 101 Tour: $30
  • Pittsburgh Penguins Ice Hockey Game Ticket at PPG Paints Arena: $51

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Philadelphia $21
    Pittsburgh $33

Sample the Local Flavors in Philadelphia

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

  • Liberty History Tour Pub Crawl: $45
  • Guided Tour with Pub Crawl: $45
  • 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 Pittsburgh

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

  • Pittsburgh Bar Hunt: Party Through Pittsburgh Bar Crawl: $13
  • Wigle Whiskey Rebellion Distillery Tour: $22
  • New! Bites & Brews: Pittsburgh Brewery Walk: $40
  • Bike and Brewery Tour: $69
  • Pittsburgh Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105


When comparing the travel costs between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

Philadelphia has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Pittsburgh. When comparing the sizes of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, 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.