A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Asheville vs. Durham

Should you visit Asheville or Durham?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Asheville and Durham. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Asheville

Asheville is a beautiful mountain town between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains. It's a popular tourist destination in western North Carolina that attracts hikers, shoppers, and adventurers alike. It's the largest city in the area and is famous for it's liberal mindset and large art community. Local crafts are frequently available for sale in the downtown shops.

Durham

Durham is a city in central North Carolina with about 230,000 residents. Together with Raleigh and Chapel Hill, it forms the Research Triangle area. Durham is often referred to as the "City of Medicine" and is home to the famous Duke University.

Durham's history is rooted in tobacco. The Duke family established American Tobacco, which controlled 90% of all cigarette production in the US during the second half of the 19th century. The family donated money to Trinity College, which changed its name to Duke University in 1924.

Today much of Durham's economy is centered around the university and Research Triangle Park. The area has many technology and pharmaceutical jobs and the economy continues to grow.

Which city is cheaper, Durham or Asheville?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Asheville is $106, while the average daily cost in Durham is $130. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Asheville and Durham in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $142 for a double occupancy room in Asheville.

Durham's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $146. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $73.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $71
    Durham $73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $142
    Durham $146

Food

In Asheville travelers spend around $26 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

On average, meal and food prices in Durham cost around $35 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $14.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Asheville $26
    Durham $35
Typical Food prices in Asheville

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Asheville:


  • Biltmore Estate Entrance Fee
    $60

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Asheville is $11 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Durham.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $11
    Durham $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durham

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Durham:

  • Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $139
  • Private Transfer from Durham to Manchester Airport (MAN): $407

Entertainment

Asheville's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Durham. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $13
    Durham $21
Typical Entertainment prices in Asheville

Here are a few typical costs in Asheville for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Massage
    $40

Tours and Activities in Asheville

Here are a few actual costs in Asheville for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Asheville tip-based sightseeing Walking Tour with Donut & Spirits/Beer Tastings: $5.00
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt: Downtown Asheville Adventure: $12
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Asheville Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Asheville Night-Time Guided Walking Ghost Tour (1 or 1.5-Hour Options Available): $21
  • Asheville Literary Tour: $30
  • Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour: $30
  • History and Architecture Tour: $40
  • Asheville Private Guided Bird Watching Tour: $41
  • Amazing Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Wellness-Focused Walking Tour: $45
  • North Carolina Arboretum Running Tour in Asheville: $45

Tours and Activities in Durham

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Durham are as follows:

  • Trolley Pub Public Tour of Durham: $41

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Asheville may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $27 on alcoholic beverages in Durham per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $13
    Durham $27

Sample the Local Flavors in Asheville

Also in Asheville, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour: $38
  • Private Adventure Brews Cruise Brewery Tours in Asheville (Up To 5 Breweries): $1,013


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Asheville and Durham, we can see that Durham is more expensive. And not only is Asheville much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Asheville would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Asheville 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 Durham would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Durham than you might in Asheville.

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Asheville vs. Durham Travel Comparison

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