Which place is cheaper, Raleigh or Asheville?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Asheville and Raleigh. 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.
Asheville is a progressive, open-minded, and eclectic mountain town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.
Raleigh is a southern, student-friendly, and suburban-style city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the food, museums, and nightlife.
Visitors will generally find more to do in Asheville than Raleigh. While Raleigh is larger than Asheville, Asheville has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Asheville is more popular for its nightlife, music, resorts, historical sights, hiking, shopping, christmas markets, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Raleigh is known for its museums and big city activities. Asheville is more touristy than Raleigh and is known for its fall foliage, artsy downtown, local North Carolina barbecue, and being home to the Biltmore Estate. It is also home to The Biltmore Estate. Raleigh is popular for its many museums and being the home to North Carolina State University.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Raleigh and Asheville. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Raleigh is a good destination for its museums and landmarks. However, Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.
Raleigh offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. As the state capital, there are a number of free museums in the area. There are also some kid-friendly options and other activities that are affiliated with the colleges and universities. Popular options include the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (free), the NC Museum of History (free), the NC Museum of Art (free), and Marbles Kids Museum.
Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.
Dining out at restaurants in both Asheville and Raleigh can be an enjoyable experience.
Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Asheville. Downtown Asheville is filled with local restaurants that serve everything from brunch to late night snacks. There are many vegan and vegetarian options as well as a number of international restaurants. Popular local dishes include North Carolina barbeque and country ham biscuits.
Raleigh is becoming an appealing option for foodies. In addition to the standard chain restaurants, you'll find a number of local eateries with great southern dishes. Try some southern classics like barbecue, pimento cheese, and fried chicken and waffles. There are also good international options including Nepalese, Laotian, and Ethiopian flavors.
Asheville is well known for its evening party scene. Also, Raleigh is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.
Asheville is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. The city has a fun and eclectic nightlife scene that centers around the city's breweries and live music venues.
If you're looking for night time activities Raleigh has a few options to choose from. Head to downtown Raleigh or the areas around NC State University for some of the best nightlife. Trivia nights and happy hours are popular and you'll find breweries popping up in many places.
Asheville is well known for its music scene. However, Raleigh is not a live music destination.
Music is a popular form of entertainment in Asheville. The city has grown into a world famous music destination that holds true to its mountain roots and independent artists.
Raleigh is not a live music destination.
Asheville is a popular place for its resorts. However, Raleigh is not a resort destination.
Asheville has a few great resort options. The most famous resorts in the area are the Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn. Both offer luxury restaurants and beautiful grounds that are particularly nice during the holidays.
Raleigh is not a resort destination.
Asheville is a mountain town with a few options for its historic old town charm. However, Raleigh does not have a historic old town.
The old town area in Asheville is worth visiting. Downtown Asheville maintains much of its historic vibe, but it's smaller than some of the more notable old cities around the country.
Raleigh does not have a historic old town.
Asheville is well known for its hiking experiences. However, Raleigh is not a hiking destination.
You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Asheville. Just outside of town are many great hikes to waterfalls or through the mountains. The hikes range in skill level and length but many pass through local forests or along the beautiful skyline.
Raleigh is not a hiking destination.
Asheville is well known for its shopping areas. However, Raleigh is not a noteworthy shopping destination.
Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Asheville. The city has many local shops that sell local crafts and independent art. The downtown area is filled with art vendors and you'll find the greatest concentration of shopping along the pedestrian-friendly Lexington Avenue.
Raleigh is not a noteworthy shopping destination.
Asheville is well known for its Christmas activities. However, Raleigh does not offer Christmas activities.
Visitors come from all around to experience the Christmas activities in Asheville. Head to the Biltmore Estate to see it fully decorated for the Christmas season. It's also worth going to see the winning Gingerbread Houses on display at the Grove Park Inn.
Raleigh does not offer Christmas activities.
Asheville is a mountain town with a few options for its Christmas markets. However, Raleigh does not offer Christmas markets.
During the holidays, visitors often browse through the Christmas markets in Asheville. There are a handful of local Christmas shops around town where you can buy personalized gifts.
Raleigh does not offer Christmas markets.
Asheville is well known for its family-friendly activities. Also, Raleigh is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.
Asheville is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. With its beautiful hiking, interesting nature centers, and outdoor adventure activities, this mountain town makes a great kid-friendly destination. There are outdoor adventure parks where kids can zipline or climb. There are also hands on farms and orchards for fruit-picking.
Raleigh offers lots of family activities. For such a small city, Raleigh has a number of unique kid-friendly activities like the popular Pullen Park and Marbles Kids' Museum. Pullen Park has small rides and a playground that are perfect for young kids. There's also the NC Museum of Natural History which is free and fun to explore with kids.
Asheville is well known for couples. However, Raleigh is not particularly known for romance.
Couples visit Asheville frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples enjoy exploring the beautiful Biltmore Estates or visiting the spa at the Grove Park Inn. The quaint town makes a great honeymoon destination or a nice romantic getaway. There are luxury hotels or intimate bed and breakfasts that offer different options for couples on a romantic trip.
Raleigh is not the best destination for a couple to visit. While it's often overlooked by couples who want a weekend away, there are a number of museums and some nice restaurants to explore.
Asheville is well known for backpackers. However, Raleigh is not a backpacker-friendly destination.
Asheville is a very popular mountain town for backpackers and budget travelers. The town has an eclectic vibe that backpackers appreciate. There are a few good hostels around town as well as nearby campgrounds that are perfect for budget travelers or hikers.
Raleigh is not a backpacker-friendly destination.
Asheville and Raleigh are superb places to visit for students.
Many students visit Asheville. With its progressive personality and charming downtown, students enjoy spending time in this great town.
Raleigh is a very popular mountain town for students and younger travelers. The city has a diverse student population with many nearby universities and colleges.
Asheville is a mountain town with a few options for its public transit. However, Raleigh is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.
Public transit is generally limited in Asheville. There are buses around town, but almost everyone gets around town with their own vehicle.
Public transit is quite limited in Raleigh. The city's public transportation options are limited to a few bus lines that are mostly used by students.
Asheville is a popular place for its ease of walking around. However, Raleigh is not particularly known for its walkability.
Asheville is a somewhat walkable mountain town. If you stay downtown and don't plan to explore the outlying areas, then it's possible to walk around town. Otherwise, you'll need a car.
Raleigh is generally not a very walkable mountain town. The city is somewhat walkable in the downtown area, but everywhere else you'll need a car.
Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Asheville and Raleigh. In our opinion, Asheville has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Asheville than Raleigh. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.
Families should spend more time in Asheville than Raleigh. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Asheville, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Asheville than Raleigh. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Asheville that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Asheville than Raleigh if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Asheville.
In Asheville, you'll find nightlife and live music. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This mountain town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
You'll find food and museums around the city of Raleigh. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
In Asheville, you'll find live music and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Asheville has to offer.
You'll find museums and nightlife around the student-friendly destination of Raleigh. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.
Asheville is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the friendly city of Raleigh. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Asheville. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Asheville. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
Raleigh is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Asheville is $133, while the average daily cost in Raleigh is $189. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Asheville and Raleigh in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Raleigh? 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.
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.
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:
Prices for flights to both Raleigh and Asheville 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.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Asheville:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Asheville.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Raleigh:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Raleigh.
Here are a few typical costs in Asheville for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in Asheville for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Here are a few actual costs in Raleigh for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Also in Asheville, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Raleigh:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Asheville and Raleigh, we can see that Raleigh 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 Raleigh would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Raleigh than you might in Asheville.
Raleigh is bigger, and its population is about 4 times larger than the population of Asheville. When comparing the population of Asheville vs. Raleigh, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.
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.
Both Raleigh and Asheville are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Asheville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Raleigh for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.
In the summer, Asheville is around the same temperature as Raleigh. Typically, the summer temperatures in Asheville in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Raleigh averages at about 79°F (26°C).
It's quite sunny in Raleigh. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Raleigh during summer. Asheville gets 268 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 259 hours of full sun in the summer.
It rains a lot this time of the year in Raleigh. It's quite rainy in Asheville. In July, Asheville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Raleigh. Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain each month for the summer.
Both Raleigh and Asheville during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Asheville for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Raleigh in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions.
In October, Asheville is generally around the same temperature as Raleigh. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 64°F (18°C), and Raleigh fluctuates around 61°F (16°C).
In Raleigh, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Asheville. In the autumn, Asheville often gets more sunshine than Raleigh. Asheville gets 229 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Raleigh receives 211 hours of full sun.
Asheville usually gets more rain in October than Raleigh. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain this time of the year.
The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Asheville and Raleigh. Many visitors come to Asheville in the winter for the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Raleigh for the museums and the cuisine during these months.
Raleigh can be very cold during winter. Asheville is a little warmer than Raleigh in the winter. The daily temperature in Asheville averages around 44°F (7°C) in January, and Raleigh fluctuates around 40°F (5°C).
Asheville usually receives more sunshine than Raleigh during winter. Asheville gets 176 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 162 hours of full sun in the winter.
Asheville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Asheville usually receives more rain than Raleigh. Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the winter.
The spring brings many poeple to Asheville as well as Raleigh. Most visitors come to Asheville for the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Raleigh because of the activities around the city.
In the spring, Asheville is a little warmer than Raleigh. Typically, the spring temperatures in Asheville in April average around 64°F (18°C), and Raleigh averages at about 60°F (16°C).
The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Raleigh. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Asheville this time of the year. In the spring, Asheville often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Raleigh. Asheville gets 266 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Raleigh receives 251 hours of full sun.
Asheville receives a lot of rain in the spring. Asheville usually gets more rain in April than Raleigh. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||44°F (7°C)||3.9 inches (100 mm)||40°F (5°C)||3.2 inches (82 mm)|
|Feb||47°F (8°C)||4.3 inches (109 mm)||43°F (6°C)||3.3 inches (84 mm)|
|Mar||55°F (13°C)||5.4 inches (137 mm)||52°F (11°C)||3.4 inches (87 mm)|
|Apr||64°F (18°C)||4.4 inches (112 mm)||60°F (16°C)||3.1 inches (78 mm)|
|May||71°F (22°C)||3.1 inches (79 mm)||68°F (20°C)||3.3 inches (84 mm)|
|Jun||79°F (26°C)||3.8 inches (96 mm)||76°F (24°C)||3.7 inches (93 mm)|
|Jul||82°F (28°C)||5.4 inches (137 mm)||79°F (26°C)||5.1 inches (129 mm)|
|Aug||81°F (27°C)||4.6 inches (118 mm)||78°F (26°C)||4.9 inches (125 mm)|
|Sep||75°F (24°C)||4 inches (101 mm)||73°F (23°C)||3.8 inches (96 mm)|
|Oct||64°F (18°C)||3.4 inches (86 mm)||61°F (16°C)||2.8 inches (71 mm)|
|Nov||55°F (13°C)||3.2 inches (81 mm)||53°F (11°C)||2.8 inches (72 mm)|
|Dec||47°F (8°C)||4.1 inches (103 mm)||44°F (7°C)||3.1 inches (78 mm)|
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