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

Should you visit Washington or Philadelphia?

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 Philadelphia can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington is a diverse, active, and monument-filled city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a diverse, historic, and cultural city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and theater.

Washington and Philadelphia: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • 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
Cons
  • Less popular for food


How is Washington different from Philadelphia?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Washington
Philadelphia

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

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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Philadelphia can be an interesting and educational experience. 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.


Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Theater?

Washington
Philadelphia

There are theater venues available in both Washington and Philadelphia.

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 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.

Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Food?

Washington
Philadelphia

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Washington a bit more than Philadelphia.

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.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Philadelphia. The city is famous for its Philly cheesesteak and roast pork sandwich. You can also grab some local favorites at Reading Terminal Market.

Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Nightlife?

Washington
Philadelphia

The vibe at night is comparable in Washington and Philadelphia.

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.

Philadelphia has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The city's nightlife scene carries late into the night with many rooftop and outdoor beer gardens.

Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Music?

Washington
Philadelphia

Washington and Philadelphia 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.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in Philadelphia. The city's diverse music scene includes jazz, rock, and hip hop.


Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Shopping?

Washington
Philadelphia

If you're looking to go shopping, Washington and Philadelphia 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.

Philadelphia is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. 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.

Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Christmas?

Washington
Philadelphia

With various activities, both Washington and Philadelphia 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.

Philadelphia is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. There are a number of holiday events, light shows, and festivals during the holiday season.

Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Families?

Washington
Philadelphia

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

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.

Philadelphia is a family-friendly place to visit. Popular activities include a zoo and Sesame Place. Kids also love the hands-on Please Touch Museum.

Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Couples?

Washington
Philadelphia

Both Washington and Philadelphia 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.

Philadelphia makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Like many large cities, this city is a fun place to explore in the evening as a couple.


Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Students?

Washington
Philadelphia

For students, both Washington and Philadelphia 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.

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.

Is Washington or Philadelphia Better for Public Transit?

Washington
Philadelphia

Washington and Philadelphia 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.

The public transit in Philadelphia can get you around easily. The system includes a subway, trolleys, buses, and a commuter rail.

Is Washington or Philadelphia a more walkable city?

Washington
Philadelphia

Washington and Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia on foot. The Old City is particularly walkable, as is Avenue of the Arts, and Rittenhouse Square.

Should I spend more time in Philadelphia or Washington?

How long in Washington or Philadelphia?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Washington and Philadelphia. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Washington than Philadelphia.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Washington is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Philadelphia is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Washington or Philadelphia? Ideal Length of Stay
    Washington 3-7 
    Philadelphia 2-3

One day in Washington or Philadelphia?

Each neighborhood in Washington has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. 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.

With theater and nightlife around the cultural city of Philadelphia, 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 Philadelphia?

Washington is a fun place to experience. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

With nightlife and live music around the big city destination of Philadelphia, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Washington or Philadelphia?

Each neighborhood in Washington has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

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.

A week in Washington or Philadelphia?

Washington is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Philadelphia is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. 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, Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia is $151. 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 Philadelphia in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $91
    Philadelphia $95
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $182
    Philadelphia $190
Compare Hotels in Washington and Philadelphia

Looking for a hotel in Washington or Philadelphia? 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 Philadelphia


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 Philadelphia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $37
    Philadelphia $22
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

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Philadelphia?

Prices for flights to both Philadelphia 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
    Philadelphia $39
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 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: $52
  • 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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $19
    Philadelphia $22

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 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
  • 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
  • Dark Philly Adult Night Tour: $25
  • Discovering Colonial Philadelphia to now Walking Tour: $250
  • Double Decker Bus Tour of Philadelphia: $37
  • Double Decker Night-Time Tour of Philadelphia: $34

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $15
    Philadelphia $17

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 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
  • Charleston: Haunted Bar Crawl with Tarot Reading: $64
  • Sip of Philly Brewery Tour: $79


When comparing the travel costs between Washington and Philadelphia, we can see that Washington 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.


When is the best time to visit Washington or Philadelphia?

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 Washington or Philadelphia in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and Philadelphia. The hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Washington this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Philadelphia for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Washington is around the same temperature as Philadelphia. Typically, the summer temperatures in Washington in July are around 79°F (26°C), and Philadelphia is about 77°F (25°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Philadelphia this time of the year. In Washington, it's very sunny this time of the year. Washington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Philadelphia during summer. Washington gets 278 hours of sunny skies, while Philadelphia receives 273 hours of full sun in the summer.

Philadelphia receives a lot of rain in the summer. In July, Washington usually receives less rain than Philadelphia. Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    Philadelphia 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Washington or Philadelphia in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Washington as well as Philadelphia. Many travelers 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. Also, many visitors come to Philadelphia in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Washington is generally a little warmer than Philadelphia. Temperatures in Washington average around 60°F (15°C), and Philadelphia stays around 56°F (14°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Philadelphia. In the autumn, Washington often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Philadelphia. Washington gets 197 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Philadelphia receives 202 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets more rain in October than Philadelphia. Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    Philadelphia 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Washington or Philadelphia in the Winter?

Both Philadelphia and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Washington in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Philadelphia for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

Philadelphia can be very cold during winter. Washington can get quite cold in the winter. Washington is much warmer than Philadelphia in the winter. The temperature in Washington is usually 35°F (1°C) in January, and Philadelphia stays around 30°F (-1°C).

Washington usually receives less sunshine than Philadelphia during winter. Washington gets 139 hours of sunny skies, while Philadelphia receives 152 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Washington usually receives more rain than Philadelphia. Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    Philadelphia 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Washington or Philadelphia in the Spring?

Both Philadelphia and Washington during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Washington for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Philadelphia because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Washington is a little warmer than Philadelphia. Typically, the spring temperatures in Washington in April are around 56°F (14°C), and Philadelphia is about 52°F (11°C).

In Philadelphia, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Washington. In the spring, Washington often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Philadelphia. Washington gets 228 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Philadelphia receives 216 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Philadelphia. Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    Philadelphia 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Philadelphia and Washington

Washington Philadelphia
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 33°F (1°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 42°F (6°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 56°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 46°F (8°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 36°F (2°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)


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Washington vs. Philadelphia Travel Comparison

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