Which would you prefer on your patio, a fireplace or a firepit?
What is the difference?
A firepit is essentially a hole in the patio with a small "ring" around the pit with stone facing. The fire in a firepit is "open air" with flames visible. Most firepits are for burning wood logs. A firepit can also be configured to burn natural gas, ie a fire table. (one photo below is such a firepit). Inside the firepit, the base / floor is typically a foot or so below the patio level and the inside area is filled with gravel and stone. Some customers like to put an iron rack inside to hold the burning logs.
On the other hand, a fireplace is a much larger structure where the fire is contained inside. Fireplaces are typically 6-feet to 8-feet high and 4-feet or so across. A fireplace is much larger and will typically be a feature element on the patio, ie a focal point.
As for cost, a fireplace is much more expensive, and can be $6,000 and up. Not uncommon that a large fireplace can be over $10,000. Whereas, a firepit is a much simpler structure and is typically between $1,000 and $2,000.
Here are photos of each.