A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Washington vs. Boston for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Washington or Boston?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Washington and Boston can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington is a international, diverse, and active city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Boston

Boston is a historic, traditional, and classic classic. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and theater.

Washington and Boston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular with backpackers
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


How is Washington different from Boston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Washington or Boston Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Washington
Boston

Spend time exploring the sights and museums in either Washington or Boston.

Travelers visit Washington from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The city has world class museums that are often free. The Smithsonian Museums are arguably some of the most impressive museums in the United States. The city also has a large collection of monuments that are dedicated to past presidents or historical events.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Boston are among the most recognizable in the world. 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.


Is Washington or Boston Better for Theater?

Washington
Boston

There are theater venues available in both Washington and Boston.

Washington has a number of performance venues where you can see a variety of shows. Theater is popular in the city. From major theaters like the Kennedy Center and Ford's Theater, to lesser known smaller venues, there are options for everyone.

Many visitors plan to see a show while visiting Boston. 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.

Is Washington or Boston Better for Food?

Washington
Boston

Foodies will find both Washington and Boston both to be unique destinations.

Washington has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. You can find restaurants from almost any cuisine here, so it's worth exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Boston. Famous local foods include New England Clam Chowder, lobster rolls, and baked beans.

Is Washington or Boston Better for Nightlife?

Washington
Boston

The vibe at night is comparable in Washington and Boston.

Many people head to Washington for the nightlife scene. Head into Dupont Circle, U Street, and even Arlington to enjoy some of the area's best nightlife.

Boston has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The city is known for its breweries, craft beer, and vibrant university neighborhoods. It also hosts regular outdoor movies and world class sporting events.

Is Washington or Boston Better for Music?

Washington
Boston

Washington and Boston are both destinations where visitors can find live music.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Washington. Notable live music venues include the 9:30 Club, the Anthem, and Union Stage.

The music scene helps keep Boston active and fun. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.


Is Washington or Boston Better for Shopping?

Washington
Boston

If you're looking to go shopping, Washington and Boston both offer plenty of spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Washington. Head to Georgetown and Dupont Circle for some of the city's best local shopping.

Boston offers some nice shopping areas. Head to Back Bay for some of the best high end shops.

Is Washington or Boston Better for Christmas?

Washington
Boston

With various activities, both Washington and Boston are good places to visit during Christmas.

With so many activities, Washington is a top place to visit during Christmas. With it's beautiful lights and holiday shows, Christmas is beautiful in the capital of the United States.

Boston is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. Christmas comes to life in the city with its Christmas Trees, holiday shows, and festivals.

Is Washington or Boston Better for Families?

Washington
Boston

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Washington or Boston.

Washington is a very family-friendly destination. It is a fun and educational destination where kids can explore world class museums and try unique foods from all around the world.

Boston is a very kid-friendly city. Popular activities for all ages include the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and exploring the history, gardens, and parks around town.

Is Washington or Boston Better for Couples?

Washington
Boston

Both Washington and Boston are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Washington is a nice destination for couples. The city lights up at night, so couples will enjoy wandering by the monuments in the evening or taking in a dinner and show.

Boston makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.


Is Washington or Boston Better for Students?

Washington
Boston

For students, both Washington and Boston are fairly comparable places to visit.

Students come from all over the world to visit Washington. International students come from around the world to study, learn, intern, and work in the capital of the United States.

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

Is Washington or Boston Better for Public Transit?

Washington
Boston

Washington and Boston both offer public transit to get you around.

With a huge network, the transit system in Washington can get you around easily. The metro system and the bus system are reliable and efficient ways to explore the city.

Visitors in Boston can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. There's the T, which is the subway, as well as a trolley, bus, and water transportation system.

Is Washington or Boston a more walkable city?

Washington
Boston

Washington and Boston are similar when it comes to walkability.

Washington is a very easy city to get around on foot. Many neighborhoods around the city are easy to explore on foot. Most tourists spend a lot of time in the Mall area, which is very pedestrian friendly.

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

Should I spend more time in Boston or Washington?

How long in Washington or Boston?

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

The ideal length of time for a trip to Washington is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Boston is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Washington or Boston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Washington 3-7 
    Boston 3-5

One day in Washington or Boston?

Washington 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.

With theater and nightlife around the historic classic of Boston, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Washington or Boston?

Washington is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

With nightlife and live music around the big city destination of Boston, there's plenty to do. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Five days in Washington or Boston?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Washington. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Boston, a popular classic, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Visiting the old town is also a must. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this classic. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Washington or Boston?

Washington is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Boston 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.

Which city is cheaper, Boston or Washington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Washington is $155, 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 Washington and Boston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $91
    Boston $132
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $182
    Boston $264
Compare Hotels in Washington and Boston

Looking for a hotel in Washington or Boston? 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 Washington


Hotels in Boston


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: Washington Hotel Prices and Boston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $37
    Boston $28
Typical Local Transportation prices in Washington

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


  • Metro Day Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Washington

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

  • Washington Reagan Airport Transfer to Baltimore & D. C.: $15
  • Private Airport Transfer: Washington to Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA): $40
  • Washington to Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) - Departure Private Transfer: $61
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car: $72
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Washington to Dulles International Airport (IAD): $77
  • Private Departure Transfer from Washington City to DCA Regan Washington Airport: $78
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV: $78
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV: $82
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Van: $82
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Van: $82
  • Seattle: Private Transfer to/from Seattle Airport (SEA): $86

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:

  • Private transfer: Boston to Boston Airport (BOS): $622
  • Private transfer: Boston Airport (BOS) to Boston: $622
  • Boston’s Logan International Airport to Providence - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $361
  • Boston Airport Transfer Arrival And Departure: $340
  • Round trip Airport Transfer: Logan - Boston: $181
  • Boston’s Logan International Airport to Providence – Arrival Private Transfer: $180
  • Boston Airport Private Sedan Transfer: $143
  • Boston Logan Airport (BOS) to Boston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $142
  • Round trip transfer in private vehicle from Boston city -to Boston Airport (BOS): $138
  • Private Boston Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $136
  • Private Boston Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $136
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Boston (hotel OR airport pick-up): $132

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Boston?

Prices for flights to both Boston and Washington 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
    Washington $30
    Boston $40
Typical Food prices in Washington

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


  • Water
    $2.00
  • Snacks on Monuments Tour
    $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington

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

  • Seattle: Pike Place Market Plant-Based Food Tour: $64
  • Washington D.C.: 3.5-Hour Georgetown Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC: 3-Hour Italian Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle: $65
  • Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner: $70
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $76
  • Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience: $79
  • Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour: $79
  • U Street Neighborhood Food Tour: $99
  • Washington DC Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $100
  • Private French Cooking Class with an Expert in the Heart of Washington DC: $108
  • Washington, DC 3-Hour Dinner Buffet Cruise: $122

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.
    Washington $19
    Boston $26

Tours and Activities in Washington

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

  • Tidal Basin: Stroll around the cherry blossoms and monuments on an audio tour: $5.00
  • The National Mall: Discover the monuments and their memories on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Lincoln's Assassination: Explore Lincoln's final day on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • The Kennedy Homes: Explore the colonial architecture on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Virtual Tour of Martin Luther King Memorial: $18
  • Virtual Tour African American Heritage in Washington DC: $19
  • Washington, DC: US Capitol Building Entry with 1-Hour Tour: $20
  • City Sightseeing Chester Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: $21
  • DC Ghost Tour: $24
  • Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum: $24

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
    Washington $15
    Boston $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Washington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:

  • Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Washington DC: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting: $120
  • Seattle All-Inclusive: Hike Mt. Rainier and Wine Tasting: $278
  • NOVA Private Custom Wine Tours & Tasting from DMV: $645
  • 6 Hours Northern VA Wine Tour: $920

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 Washington and Boston, we can see that Boston is more expensive. And not only is Washington much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Washington would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Washington 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 Washington.


When is the best time to visit Washington 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 Washington or Boston in the Summer?

Both Boston and Washington during the summer are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Washington in the summer for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Boston for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Washington is a little warmer than Boston in the summer. The temperature in Washington is usually 79°F (26°C) in July, and Boston stays around 73°F (23°C).

In Boston, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Washington. In the summer, Washington often gets less sunshine than Boston. Washington gets 278 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 304 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets more rain in July than Boston. Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    Boston 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Washington or Boston in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and Boston. Most visitors come to Washington for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Boston because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Washington is a little warmer than Boston. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Washington in October are around 60°F (15°C), and Boston is about 54°F (12°C).

Washington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Boston during autumn. Washington gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 194 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Washington usually receives less rain than Boston. Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    Boston 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Washington or Boston in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Washington as well as Boston. The winter months attract visitors to Washington because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Boston this time of year.

It's quite cold in Boston in the winter. The weather in Washington can be very cold. In January, Washington is generally much warmer than Boston. Temperatures in Washington average around 35°F (1°C), and Boston stays around 29°F (-2°C).

In the winter, Washington often gets less sunshine than Boston. Washington gets 139 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Boston receives 153 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets less rain in January than Boston. Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    Boston 29°F (-2°C)

Should I visit Washington or Boston in the Spring?

Both Boston and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Washington this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Boston for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

Washington is much warmer than Boston in the spring. The temperature in Washington is usually 56°F (14°C) in April, and Boston stays around 48°F (9°C).

It's quite sunny in Boston. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Washington. Washington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Boston during spring. Washington gets 228 hours of sunny skies, while Boston receives 225 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Washington usually receives less rain than Boston. Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Boston receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    Boston 48°F (9°C)

Typical Weather for Boston and Washington

Washington Boston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 38°F (4°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 58°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 33°F (1°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Washington vs. Boston Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.