A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Washington vs. New York City for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit Washington or New York City?

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 New York City can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington is a diverse, active, and monument-filled 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. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and theater.

New York City

New York City is a energetic, cosmopolitan, and one-of-a-kind city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and theater.

How is Washington different from New York City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Washington or New York City better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Spend time exploring the signts and museum in either Washington or New York City.

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.

Travelers visit New York City from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.


Is Washington or New York City better for Theater?

There are theater venues available in both Washington and New York City.

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.

New York City is considered to be a world-class theater destination. Visiting Broadway is a quintessential NYC experience. Whether you enjoy the theater or simply want to experience something new, seeing a Broadway show is a true bucket list activity.

Is Washington or New York City better for Food?

Foodies will find both Washington and New York City both to be unique destinations.

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

Eat your way through New York City, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, from local dives to Michelin star options. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.

Is Washington or New York City better for Nightlife?

The vibe at night is comparable in Washington and New York City.

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.

New York City is a world class party destination. Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.

Is Washington or New York City better for Music?

New York City generally offers more live music options than Washington.

New York City is known as a music capital around the world. Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Washington. Notable live music venues include the 9:30 Club, the Anthem, and Union Stage.


Is Washington or New York City better for Shopping?

If you're looking to go shopping, Washington and New York City 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.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in New York City. The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items.

Is Washington or New York City better for Christmas?

With various activities, both Washington and New York City 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.

Known for its popular Christmas activities, New York City draws large crowds. Christmas in the city is a quintessential experience. From the Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center to seeing a live performance of the Nutcracker, everyone enjoys the holidays in New York.

Is Washington or New York City better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Washington or New York City.

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.

New York City is a very family-friendly destination. The city has many activities for kids of all ages including world class museums, beautifully designed playgrounds, and theater shows designed just for young ones.

Is Washington or New York City better for Couples?

Both Washington and New York City 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.

New York City makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. From a beautiful carriage ride through Central Park, to a romantic river cruise at night, there is an endless list of unique activities that couples can enjoy in the city.


Is Washington or New York City better for Students?

For students, both Washington and New York City 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.

New York City is a very popular place to visit for students. The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

Is Washington or New York City better for Public Transit?

Washington and New York City 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.

New York City has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The city has one of the largest subway systems in the world. There's also an elaborate bus system, ferry system, and yellow taxis all around town.

Is Washington or New York City a more walkable city?

Washington and New York City 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's very easy to get around on foot in New York City. The majority of the neighborhoods in Manhattan are very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Most people prefer not to drive here as it can be overwhelming and chaotic.

Washington and New York City: Pros and Cons

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


Should I spend more time in New York City or Washington?

How long in Washington or New York City?

Both Washington and New York City have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Washington is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to New York City is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Washington or New York City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Washington 3-7 
    New York City 3-7

One day in Washington or New York City?

Washington is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

With theater and nightlife around the energetic city of New York City, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Washington or New York City?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Washington. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

With nightlife and live music around the big city destination of New York City, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Five days in Washington or New York City?

Washington is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

New York City, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Washington or New York City?

Washington is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend one week here when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

New York City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this city makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Which city is cheaper, New York City 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 New York City is $238. 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 New York City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $91
    New York City $137
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $182
    New York City $274

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $37
    New York City $39
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, DC: Private Airport Transfer(SUV): To or From: (DCA) Reagan National: $180
  • Washington, DC: Potomac Mills Outlet Private Transfer: $357
  • Washington to Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) - Departure Private Transfer: $61
  • Washington to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) - Departure Private Transfer: $97
  • Washington to Newark International Airport (EWR) - Departure Private Transfer: $491
  • Washington to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) - Departure Private Transfer: $535
  • Washington to New York J.F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) - Departure Private Transfer: $535
  • Washington to Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) - Departure Private Transfer: $109
  • Washington Reagan Airport Transfer to Baltimore & D. C.: $15
  • Washington City to Philadelphia City - Private Car Transfer: $392
  • Washington City to New York City - Private Car Transfer: $516
  • Washington City to Baltimore City - Private Car Transfer: $168

Typical Local Transportation prices in New York City

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New York City are as follows:


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

Also for New York City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer from Hamptons, NY to JFK or LGA Airport: $513
  • Private transfer from or to JFK , LGA , EWR , PHL airports , NY and Philadelphia: $288
  • Airport Limousine Transfer one-way - Newark Liberty International Airport - MKT: $256
  • Airport Limousine Transfer one-way - John F Kennedy Airport - Lincoln MKT: $239
  • Private New York City Airport Departure Transfer: $229
  • New York JFK Airport Departure Transfer (Brooklyn Hotels to JFK Airport): $216
  • Airport Limousine Transfer one-way - LaGuardia Airport - Lincoln MKT: $194
  • Private SUV New York City Airport Departure Transfer: $190
  • New York Airport Luxury Transfer : New York City to Newark Airport: $181
  • Private New York City Transfer: New York City Hotel to EWR Airport: $180
  • Private Airport Transfer in New York: $180
  • Private Arrival Transfer From JFK Airport to NYC Hotel: $166

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or New York City?

Prices for flights to both New York City 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
    New York City $37
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

Typical Food prices in New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

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

  • New York Pizza, Beer, and History Tour: $69
  • Greenwich Village History, Culture, and Food Tour with Local Expert: $129
  • Private New York City Food Tour of East Village and Greenwich Village: $147
  • JAPANESE guided tour! Bateaux Dinner Cruise tour with hotel transportation. The best way to enjoy the Manhattan night view from the river & sea. Full course French dinner, live band music included.: $333
  • Limo trip Hotel to Dinner round trip in NEW MKT Limousine: $481

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $19
    New York City $77

Tours and Activities in Washington

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

  • "HEROES OF FREEDOM" PRIVATE TOUR (4 Hour Military Tribute): $658
  • "SHINING CITY" PRIVATE TOUR (3 Hour Evening Tour): $658
  • 2 Day Grand Tour with George Washington's Mount Vernon: $95
  • 2-Day Colonial Williamsburg Guided Tour from Washington DC: $330
  • 24/48-Hour Washington, D.C. Hop-on Hop-off Tour: $49
  • 3-Hour "DC After Dark" Night-Time Guided Bus Tour with Stops at Top Attractions: $35
  • 3-Hour Private Jeep Tour of Washington D.C.: $495
  • 3-Hour Washington DC "Monuments By Night" Guided Night-Time Sightseeing Bus Tour: $49
  • 3-Hour Washington DC "Morning Monuments" Guided Sightseeing Walking & Bus Tour: $64
  • 3-Hour Washington, D.C Urban Adventure Scavenger Hunt: $44
  • 30-Minutes Supercar Driving Pilot Experience in Washington DC: $275
  • Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum: $24

Typical Entertainment prices in New York City

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


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

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

  • 24-Hour NYC Downtown Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Statue of Liberty Cruise: $35
  • 9/11 Memorial & Ground Zero Tour with Optional Skip-the-Line 9/11 Museum Ticket: $35
  • 9/11 Memorial Museum Admission Ticket: $28
  • 9/11 Memorial Tour with Optional One World Observatory Entry: $42
  • 9/11 Tribute Museum Admission Ticket: $12
  • American Dream: Indoor Ice Skating Rink Admission Ticket: $25
  • American Dream: TiLT Interactive Museum Admission Ticket: $21
  • American Museum of Natural History Admission Ticket: $23
  • Amish Country Private Tour from New York plus Outlet Shopping: $999
  • Art Studio Tour of New York City: $140
  • Attraction entrance tickets: $200
  • Best NYC VIP Luxury Photography Sightseeing Leisure Tour ( Up to 4 People ): $5,500

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Things to do in New York City with Kids, Things to Do in Central Park in NYC, and The Best Museums in New York City.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $15
    New York City $23

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 New York City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New York City:

  • Pub Crawl Tour of Historic Stone Street: $40


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Washington and New York City, we can see that New York City 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 New York City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in New York City than you might in Washington.

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Washington vs. New York City Travel Comparison

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