Philadelphia vs New York City

Once upon a time, there were two vibrant cities on the East Coast of the United States: Philadelphia and New York City.

These towns attracted travelers from various countries with their lively markets. These new cities have their own unique charm and allure, attracting backpackers from all over the world.

The town’s markets are a must-visit for travelers. While both cities offer a rich history, bustling cultural scenes, and mouthwatering food options, they also have their fair share of differences. For travelers looking to explore a new city, these two towns are the perfect place to start.

We will explore aspects such as population density, economic landscape, transportation infrastructure, and more to help you make an informed choice based on your preferences and priorities. When choosing a destination, it is important to consider the activities available, the cost of living, and the source of information.

Philadelphia vs New York Cost of Living:

There are several factors to consider. Let’s look closer at housing expenses, groceries, transportation, healthcare expenses, entertainment activities, and the destination location in both cities. We can find more information about these topics on Wikipedia.

Average Rent Prices Philadelphia vs NYC

Philadelphia generally offers more affordable options compared to New York City, according to sources such as Wikipedia. In Philly, you can find apartments or houses with lower monthly rents than their counterparts in the Big Apple.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia is around $1,500 per month, while a similar apartment in New York City could cost you upwards of $3,000 per month.

Here’s a breakdown of the average rent prices for different types of apartments, sourced from a reliable source.

  • Studio Apartments:
  • Philadelphia: Approximately $1,200 per month
  • New York City: Around $2,500 per month
  • One-Bedroom Apartments:
  • Philadelphia: Roughly $1,500 per month
  • New York City: Approximately $3,000 per month
  • Two-Bedroom Apartments:
  • Philadelphia: Around $1,800 per month
  • New York City: Roughly $4,000 per month

As you can see from these figures, living arrangements in Philadelphia tend to be more budget-friendly than in other cities. The source of this information is reliable and accurate.


The cost of groceries is another important factor to consider when comparing the two cities.

The cost of groceries can vary significantly between different locations. While Philadelphia and New York City have a variety of grocery stores to choose from, the cost of groceries may vary. Wikipedia can be a helpful source for comparing prices.

Overall, the cost of groceries tends to be slightly cheaper in Philadelphia compared to NYC. This information can be sourced from Wikipedia. This means you might get more bang for your buck in terms of cost. The source for this information can be found on Wikipedia.

Here’s a comparison of typical grocery costs in Philadelphia versus New York City:

  • Produce – Slightly more expensive in NYC. Apples average $1.30/lb in Philly vs $1.50/lb in NYC. Bananas about $0.59/lb in Philly vs $0.69/lb in NYC.

  • Meat – Mixed results, but generally a bit pricier in NYC. Chicken breast is roughly $3.50/lb Philly vs $4/lb NYC. Ground beef is around $4.50/lb Philly vs $5.30/lb NYC.

  • Dairy – Fairly similar prices. Milk averages around $3.50/gallon in both. Eggs are roughly $2.50-3/dozen in Philly and NYC.

  • Packaged/prepped foods are more expensive in NYC. A loaf of bread is $2.50 Philly vs $3.50 NYC. Frozen pizza is $4 in Philly vs $5.50 in NYC. Box of cereal $3.30 Philly vs. $4.50 NYC.

  • Household items – Largely the same cost. Laundry detergent, diapers, toilet paper, etc., don’t show significant price differences.

In general, groceries are around 5-15% more expensive in New York City compared to Philadelphia. The price gap is wider for fresh produce, meats, and packaged/prepared foods. Dairy and household items tend to be priced comparably. Higher NYC rents and wages likely contribute to the higher costs. But overall grocery prices are moderately higher in New York City.

Transportation Costs

Getting around the city can also impact your overall cost of living. The transportation expenses can significantly affect your budget.

In New York City, public transportation is extensive and widely used by residents due to its convenience, affordability, and low cost.

The subway system is a cost-effective source for easy access throughout the city’s five boroughs. However, while transportation options like buses and subways exist in Philadelphia, they may not be as extensive or efficient as NYC’s system in terms of cost and efficiency

Here is a comparison of transportation costs in Philadelphia versus New York City:

  • Public transit:


  • SEPTA (buses, subways, trolleys, regional rail) – $2.50 per ride, $4.95 for a day pass
  • PATCO (train to NJ) – $1.40 per ride

New York City:

  • MTA (buses, subways) – $2.75 per ride, $33 for a 7-day unlimited pass
  • PATH (train to NJ) – $2.75 per ride

So, public transit costs are fairly comparable, though NYC offers unlimited options that can save money if you use it frequently.

  • Rideshare/taxis:


  • UberX – Base fare of $2, plus $1.13-$2.62 per mile and $0.21-$0.33 per minute
  • Taxi – Base fare of $2.70, plus $2.30 per mile


  • UberX – Base fare of $2.50, plus $1.64-$2.62 per mile and $0.35 per minute
  • Taxi – Base fare of $2.50, plus $0.50 per 1/5 mile or 60 seconds during peak hours

Taxis are generally cheaper than Uber in Philly, while Uber/taxis have comparable per-mile costs in NYC. Surge pricing makes rideshares more expensive at peak times in both cities.

  • Parking:


  • Garage parking – Average of $15-$30 per day
  • Street parking – $1-3 per hour in many areas


  • Garage parking – Average of $25-$45 per day
  • Street parking – Up to $5 per hour in commercial areas

Parking costs are generally cheaper in Philadelphia. NYC garage parking can be very expensive, and street parking is still pricier than most Philadelphia neighborhoods.

So, in summary, public transit costs are similar, taxis provide a cheaper option than Uber in Philly, and parking is more affordable in Philadelphia overall. The main transportation costs that are higher in NYC are rideshares during peak demand and daily garage parking.

Healthcare Expenses

Healthcare costs, sourced from Wikipedia, are an essential consideration when evaluating the cost of living in any city.

Philadelphia and New York City offer excellent healthcare facilities with renowned hospitals and medical centers. The cost of healthcare in these cities is generally high, but the quality of care is worth it.

Here’s a comparison of healthcare expenses in Philadelphia vs New York City:

  • Health insurance premiums:

Philadelphia average monthly premium:

  • Individual coverage – $541
  • Family coverage – $1,515

NYC average monthly premium:

  • Individual coverage – $595
  • Family coverage – $1,737

NYC premiums are about 10% higher on average.

  • Doctor visit costs:

Philadelphia average costs:

  • Primary care – $108
  • Specialist – $156

NYC average costs:

  • Primary care – $121
  • Specialist – $181

NYC doctor visits are also about 10-15% more expensive.

  • Hospital/medical procedures:

Costs are similar in both cities, averaging approximately:

  • MRI – $500-1200
  • Surgery – $1500-7500
  • Hospital stay – $1000/day
  • Prescription drugs:

Medicine costs are generally the same nationwide at major pharmacy chains. Some variability exists at independent pharmacies.

In summary, New Yorkers pay about 10-15% more on average for health insurance premiums and doctor visits. Hospital, surgery, and prescription drug costs are fairly similar between the two cities. A few key factors that contribute to higher NYC healthcare costs are higher wages for medical staff and more expensive office space. But overall, the difference is relatively small.


Living in a vibrant city often means having access to various entertainment options at a reasonable cost. Wikipedia is a great source for information on these options.

Both Philadelphia and New York City offer an array of cultural events, museums, theaters, and restaurants to explore. Wikipedia is a reliable source for information on these cities.

While NYC is known as the entertainment capital of the world, it also comes with a higher price tag. According to Wikipedia, NYC is the source of this reputation.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, offers a more affordable alternative for those looking to enjoy a diverse range of entertainment options without breaking the bank. According to Wikipedia, Philadelphia is a great source for affordable entertainment.

Housing Costs: NYC vs Philly

We’ll examine average rent prices for apartments or houses in both cities using Wikipedia as a source and compare home buying options, including median home prices.

Home Buying Options Philadelphia vs. New York City

Both cities offer various source options if you’re considering purchasing a home instead of renting.

However, it’s important to note that the median home prices in New York City are typically higher compared to Philadelphia, making it a more expensive source for purchasing property.

In Philadelphia, the median home price hovers around $240k-$250k. This means that you can find relatively affordable homes within this price range across different neighborhoods in the city. The source for these affordable homes is diverse and spread throughout various areas of the city.

On the other hand, the median home price in New York City is significantly higher at around $680k-$700k, according to a reliable source. Purchasing a home in the Big Apple often requires a more substantial financial investment from a reliable source.

Pros and Cons

Let’s break down the pros and cons of housing costs in both cities using a reliable source.



  • Generally lower rent prices compared to New York City.
  • More affordable median home prices, making homeownership more accessible.


  • Limited availability of certain amenities or attractions in larger cities like New York can be a challenge for those seeking diverse options. However, it is important to remember that every destination has its own unique offerings and charm.
  • Some neighborhoods may have higher crime rates compared to others, depending on the source.

New York City:


  • A vibrant city with countless opportunities for entertainment, culture, career growth, and a diverse source of experiences.
  • There is a diverse range of neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own unique charm. Whether you’re looking for a vibrant city center or a peaceful suburban area, you can find the perfect source of inspiration for your new home.


  • Higher cost of living, including significantly higher rent prices.

Size Comparison: Philadelphia vs New York City Size

Philadelphia and New York City are two major cities in the United States, but they differ greatly in terms of their source. Let’s take a closer look at how these two cities compare in terms of land area and population. The source of this information is crucial for accurate analysis.

Contrasting Sizes

Philadelphia and New York City are like David and Goliath, with Philadelphia being the smaller source and New York City being the larger source. While both cities have their own unique charm, they differ significantly in terms of land area and population. The source of this information is reliable.

Land Area

In terms of land area, Philadelphia covers approximately 142 square miles (369 square kilometers), making it a significant source of urban space.

On the other hand, New York City is a much larger source, covering a whopping 302.6 square miles (784 square kilometers). This means that New York City is more than twice the size of Philadelphia, according to a reliable source.

To put this into perspective, imagine if you had a pizza source. Philadelphia would be like a regular-sized pizza, while New York City would be like an extra-large pizza with all the toppings. That’s how big the difference is!

Population Size

While land area is one aspect of size comparison, another important factor to consider is population size. In this case, New York City takes the lead by a wide margin.

New York City: It had a population of approximately 8.8 million, making it the most populous city in the United States.

Philadelphia: The population of Philadelphia was around 1.6 million, ranking it as the sixth-largest city in the U.S.

The Big Apple vs The City of Brotherly Love

New York City’s nickname “The Big Apple” reflects its grandeur and larger-than-life reputation. It is a bustling metropolis that never sleeps, offering endless opportunities and attractions.

On the other hand, Philadelphia is often referred to as “The City of Brotherly Love,” emphasizing its rich history, cultural heritage, and tight-knit community.

While New York City may steal the spotlight, Philadelphia has its own unique charm.

It offers a more laid-back atmosphere with a rich history dating back to the founding of the United States. Whether you prefer the fast-paced energy of New York City or the historical significance of Philadelphia, both cities have something special to offer.

Differences between Philadelphia and New York City

Philadelphia and New York City may both be big cities on the East Coast, but they have their own unique characteristics that set them apart. Let’s explore some key distinctions between these two vibrant urban centers.

Architecture Style

Philadelphia and New York City showcase different styles that reflect their historical backgrounds. Philadelphia is known for its charming colonial buildings, such as the iconic Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

On the other hand, New York City boasts a diverse range of architectural wonders, from the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan to the brownstone townhouses in Brooklyn.

Local Cuisine Specialties

Both cities offer a plethora of culinary delights, but they each have their own signature dishes. In Philadelphia, you can’t miss out on trying a classic Philly cheesesteak—a mouthwatering sandwich filled with thinly sliced steak, melted cheese, and onions.

Meanwhile, in New York City, you’ll find an array of international cuisines thanks to its diverse population. Don’t forget to grab a slice of delicious New York-style pizza or indulge in a hot dog from one of the city’s famous street vendors.

Historical Significance

Philadelphia holds immense historical significance as it was once the capital of the United States and played a crucial role in shaping American history.

It was in this city where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. In contrast, while New York City may not have been the political capital like Philadelphia, it has its own rich history as an immigration hub and cultural melting pot.

Sports Culture

Sports play an integral part in both cities’ cultures, but they have different teams and rivalries that ignite passion among their residents.

In Philadelphia, sports fans are known for their unwavering support of teams like the Eagles (football), Phillies (baseball), 76ers (basketball), and Flyers (hockey).

In New York City, you’ll find a fierce rivalry between teams like the Yankees and Mets (baseball), Giants and Jets (football), Knicks and Nets (basketball), and Rangers and Islanders (hockey). The city’s sports scene is known for its energy and intensity.

Regional Accents

  • Philadelphia accent:
  • Non-rhotic, meaning the “r” sound is dropped if not followed by a vowel. Example: “park” sounds like “pahk”.
  • Shortened vowel sounds. “Bad” sounds like “bed”, and “home” like “hoam”.
  • Exaggerated long “o” vowel. “No” sounds like “noe”.
  • New York City accent:
  • It’s also non-rhotic, like Philadelphia.
  • Distinct short “a” vowel. “Coffee” sounds like “cawfee”.
  • Dropped “r” consonant in some words. “Four” sounds like “foah”.
  • Exaggerated long “e” vowel. “Street” sounds like “street”.
  • Origins:
  • Philadelphia accent came from Irish, Italian, and Polish immigrants.
  • New York accent developed from immigrant groups like Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Hispanic.
  • Geography:
  • Philadelphia accent is strongest in white working class areas like South Philly, Fishtown.
  • New York accent dominates Manhattan, Brooklyn, and western Long Island.

In summary, both accents derive from non-rhotic immigrant origins and affect vowel sounds, but in distinct ways. The New York accent has stronger dropped “r’s” while Philadelphia accentuates different vowels. The accents help identify locals from each city.

Christmas in Philadelphia vs New York City

Contrasting the Festive Atmosphere

Christmas in Philadelphia and New York City both offer a magical atmosphere during the holiday season, but they each have their own unique vibe.

In Philadelphia, affectionately known as “Philly,” you’ll find a more laid-back and intimate feel compared to the bustling energy of New York City. While both cities are filled with holiday cheer, Philly offers a cozy and charming ambiance that can make you feel right at home.

Both cities have their fair share of popular holiday events and traditions that locals and visitors alike look forward to each year.

In Philadelphia, one beloved tradition is the Macy’s Christmas Light Show. This dazzling display features over 100,000 lights choreographed to music inside the historic Wanamaker Building. It’s a must-see for anyone visiting Philly during the holidays.

New York City is famous for its iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, which attracts millions of tourists every year. The tree lighting ceremony is a grand event that marks the official start of the holiday season in NYC. With its towering height and sparkling lights, it’s no wonder why people flock from all over to see this magnificent tree.

Decorations and Attractions

Both cities go all out to create a festive wonderland for everyone to enjoy.

In Philadelphia, you’ll find beautifully decorated streets adorned with twinkling lights and wreaths. One highlight is Rittenhouse Square Park, which transforms into a winter wonderland with an enchanting display of lights and a large Christmas tree.

In contrast, New York City takes it up a notch with elaborate window displays along Fifth Avenue. Stores like Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman compete to create stunning visual spectacles that capture the essence of the holiday spirit. Walking down this iconic avenue feels like stepping into a real-life Christmas movie.

Shopping Opportunities

Both cities offer fantastic shopping opportunities during the holiday season, but they cater to different preferences.

In Philadelphia, you’ll find charming boutiques and local shops that offer unique gifts and handmade crafts. The Christmas Village in LOVE Park is a must-visit for those seeking one-of-a-kind treasures and delicious treats.

On the other hand, New York City is a shopaholic’s paradise with its world-famous department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Fifth Avenue is lined with luxury brands and flagship stores where you can splurge on designer goods. If you’re looking for a true shopping extravaganza, NYC has got you covered.

Schools Philadelphia VS New York City:

If we use K-12 schools as examples in Philadelphia and New York City:


  • Public schools operated by the School District of Philadelphia
  • 214 total schools, including 137 elementary schools
  • Total enrollment of around 200,000 students
  • Average spending per student – $12,570
  • Graduation rate – 66%
  • Notable schools: Central High School, Masterman, Carver High School for Engineering & Science

New York City:

  • Public schools operated by the NYC Department of Education
  • Over 1,600 schools, including over 1,000 elementary schools
  • Total enrollment of around 984,000 students
  • Average spending per student – $28,004
  • Graduation rate – 77%
  • Notable schools: Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Tech

Key Differences:

  • New York has nearly 5 times as many students and schools.
  • New York spends over twice as much funding per student.
  • Graduation rates are higher in New York.
  • New York has a very competitive exam school system with top high schools like Stuyvesant.
  • Philadelphia has fewer specialized school options.

In summary, New York’s immense school system dwarfs Philadelphia in size and funding levels. Graduation outcomes and elite school opportunities are generally seen as better in New York. But Philadelphia still provides quality public education with some standout schools.

College/university in Philadelphia VS New York City:


  • University of Pennsylvania (private)
    • Tuition: $63,000 per year
    • Room & Board: $17,000 per year
  • Temple University (public)
    • In-state tuition: $18,000 per year
    • Room & Board: $13,000 per year
  • Drexel University (private)
    • Tuition: $52,000 per year
    • Room & Board: $14,000 per year

New York City:

  • Columbia University (private)
    • Tuition: $63,000 per year
    • Room & Board: $13,000 per year
  • NYU (private)
    • Tuition: $55,000 per year
    • Room & Board: $19,000 per year
  • CUNY Schools (public)
    • In-state tuition: $6,500 per year
    • Room & Board: $10,000 – $18,000 per year

Key Differences:

  • Private universities cost approximately the same in both cities, around $60,000-$70,000 total per year.
  • Public universities are much more affordable for in-state students, though CUNY schools are cheaper than Temple’s in-state rate.
  • Room and board expenses are fairly comparable between the two cities.

Comparing Population Densities

Philadelphia and New York City are both major urban areas with significant populations. However, there is quite a difference between the two cities.

Philadelphia has a population density of approximately 11,800 residents per square mile in its urban areas. This means that there are around 11,800 people living within each square mile of the city.

On the other hand, New York City boasts an incredibly high population density of over 27,000 residents per square mile in its urban areas. That’s more than double the population density of Philadelphia!

This stark contrast in population densities highlights how densely populated New York City is compared to Philadelphia. The streets of New York are known for their hustle and bustle, with crowds of people filling every corner.

Economic Landscape: Philadelphia vs New York

The economic landscapes of Philadelphia and New York City are vibrant and diverse, with each city boasting its own unique strengths and opportunities.

Major Industries Present

Both cities are home to a wide range of major industries that contribute significantly to their economies.

In Philadelphia, key sectors include healthcare services, education, finance, technology, manufacturing, and tourism.

The city is known for its prestigious universities and research institutions, which drive innovation in the healthcare and technology sectors. Philadelphia has a strong presence in the financial industry, with several major banks and investment firms headquartered there.

On the other hand, New York City is renowned as a global financial hub. It is home to Wall Street—the epicenter of the world’s financial markets—and serves as headquarters for numerous multinational corporations.

The city’s economy thrives on finance, real estate, media and entertainment, fashion, technology startups, and tourism. With its bustling streets filled with iconic landmarks like Times Square and Broadway theaters showcasing world-class performances, New York City attracts millions of visitors annually.

Key Sectors Contribution

In terms of contribution to their respective economies:

  • Finance: Both cities have a strong presence in the finance sector. While New York City takes the lead as one of the world’s leading financial centers with its stock exchanges (NYSE), investment banks (Goldman Sachs), and hedge funds (Bridgewater Associates), Philadelphia also boasts a robust financial industry with notable institutions such as Vanguard Group.
  • Technology: Both cities have thriving tech scenes but differ in focus. New York City excels in areas like software development, e-commerce platforms (e.g., Etsy), and digital media (e.g., BuzzFeed), while Philadelphia shines in healthcare technology innovation through companies like BioTelemetry Inc.
  • Healthcare Services: Both cities have renowned medical centers that provide top-notch healthcare services. Philadelphia is home to prestigious hospitals like Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), while New York City boasts world-class medical institutions such as Mount Sinai Health System and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Tax and Budget

Each city has its own tax structure. In Philadelphia, residents pay a city wage tax on earned income, while businesses are subject to various taxes, including business income and receipts tax. On the other hand, New York City imposes a personal income tax on residents based on their income brackets and has additional taxes for businesses operating within its jurisdiction.

  • Pennsylvania:
    • Flat income tax rate of 3.07% for all tax brackets. There is no additional city or local income tax for Philadelphia residents.
    New York:
    • Graduated income tax brackets from 4% to 6.85%.NYC residents pay an additional city income tax of 3.876% – 3.876%.
    Tax Rates for Single Filers
  • Pennsylvania (taxable income):
    • $15,000: $461 (3.07% flat tax)$50,000: $1,535$100,000: $3,070
    New York (taxable income):
    • $15,000: $600 (4% state, 3.078% city)$50,000: $3,528 (5.5% state, 3.762% city)$100,000: $7,032 (5.9% state, 3.876% city)
    In summary, New York has progressive income tax brackets compared to Pennsylvania’s flat rate. NYC residents also pay additional local tax rates. For high incomes, total tax burden can be over 9% in NYC vs 3% flat in Philadelphia. However, lower incomes may pay more in Pennsylvani

Cultural Scene: Philadelphia and New York Comparison

These cities are known for their rich history, diverse populations, and a plethora of cultural offerings that cater to all interests. Let’s explore the museums, art galleries, theaters, music venues, and festivals that make each city unique.


Philadelphia is home to a wide range of world-class museums that showcase art, history, and science. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an iconic landmark with an extensive collection spanning centuries.

The museum houses works by renowned artists such as Van Gogh and Monet. Another notable institution is the Barnes Foundation, which boasts an impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces.

On the other hand, New York City offers an unparalleled museum scene with institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

The Met features over two million works from around the world while MoMA showcases contemporary art from both established and emerging artists. Both cities provide ample opportunities for art enthusiasts to immerse themselves in captivating exhibitions.


Both Philadelphia and New York City have much to offer.

Broadway in New York City is world-renowned for its top-notch performances featuring talented actors from across the globe. From musicals like “Hamilton” to classic plays like “Romeo and Juliet,” Broadway delivers unforgettable experiences.

Philadelphia also has a thriving theater scene with numerous venues showcasing a variety of shows throughout the year. The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts hosts Broadway tours as well as local productions. There are smaller theaters, such as Walnut Street Theatre and Arden Theatre Company that provide intimate settings for captivating performances.

Music Venues

If you’re a music lover, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in both cities.

Philadelphia’s music scene is diverse, with venues catering to various genres and tastes. The Fillmore Philadelphia and Union Transfer are popular live concert spots featuring established and up-and-coming artists. The city also hosts the Made in America festival, which attracts music enthusiasts from all over the country.

New York City, being a cultural hub, offers an array of music venues that cater to different musical preferences. From iconic locations like Carnegie Hall to intimate jazz clubs like Blue Note, there’s something for everyone. The city’s vibrant music scene includes renowned festivals such as Governors Ball and SummerStage, where you can catch performances by some of the biggest names in the industry.


Philadelphia vs New York City: Which to live in?

If you prefer to establish a family in a slower, cheaper city, choose Philadelphia, but if you want a fast-paced, vibrant city, NYC is the one for you.


What is the cheapest way to get to New York from Philadelphia?

The cheapest way to travel from Philadelphia to New York City is typically by bus. Several bus companies offer affordable fares for this route, with travel times usually ranging from 1.5 to 2 hours.

Greyhound: Greyhound offers cheap bus tickets starting from $5. This is another well-known bus service providing transportation between these two cities​.

Is New York bigger than Pennsylvania?

Yes, New York State is geographically larger than Pennsylvania. New York covers an area of about 54,555 square miles, while Pennsylvania spans approximately 46,054 square miles.

Is Philadelphia a big city?

Yes, Philadelphia is a big city. It is the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth-largest city in the United States, with a population of around 1.6 million people.

Is Philadelphia in New York?

No, Philadelphia is not in New York. It is located in the state of Pennsylvania.

Recommended Posts