A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Baltimore vs. Durham for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Baltimore or Durham?

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 Baltimore and Durham can help you decide which place is right for you.

Baltimore

Baltimore is a vibrant, diverse, and colorful city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Durham

Durham is a sports oriented, diverse, and student-filled city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Baltimore and Durham: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Baltimore or Durham?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Baltimore than Durham, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Baltimore is more touristy than Durham and is known for the Inner Harbor and its many water based activities. It is also home to the National Aquarium. Durham is popular for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team.

How is Baltimore different from Durham?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Baltimore or Durham?

Baltimore
Durham

Plenty of people visit the very good sights and museums in both Baltimore and Durham.

Many visitors head to Baltimore specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city is known for its historic ships that are found in the Inner Harbor. There are many other museums around town as well like the American Visionary Art Museum, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Many days can be filled exploring the many art, history, or science museums in the area.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Durham can be an interesting and educational experience. Duke University is one of the most popular destinations in town. There are several museums on campus as well as the famous Duke Chapel. Elsewhere in Durham there's the Durham Museum of Life and Science.


Is the Food Better in Baltimore or Durham? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Baltimore
Durham

Baltimore is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Dining out in Baltimore is an experience not to be missed. The city's location near the Chesapeake Bay means that there are many great local seafood dishes. Blue crab is a regional favorite and is often served as crab soup, crab dip, or crab cakes. You'll find many famous restaurants in the Inner Harbor, but if you want something more local you should check out Little Italy or Fells Point.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Durham. Barbecue is a favorite around town. You'll also find plenty of restaurants that cater to the student population, particularly along Nineth Street near Duke's campus.

Is Baltimore or Durham Better for Nightlife?

Baltimore
Durham

Baltimore is a well-known place for its evening party scene. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Baltimore offers plenty to do in the evening. It's a vibrant city with many night time activities like breweries, night clubs, and cocktail bars. There's even outside the box activities like ballroom dancing or arcade bars.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Durham. The younger population tends to hang out near campus and along Nineth Street. If you're looking for something less student oriented, head to downtown Durham.

Is the Shopping Better in Baltimore or Durham?

Baltimore
Durham

Baltimore is a well-known place for its shopping areas. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Baltimore. Shopping is a great way to experience the different neighborhoods around town. For high end shopping head to Harbor East. For a bit more history check out Federal Hill. Hampden is known for its quirky style and Fell's Point is particularly popular with tourists.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Durham. The Streets of Southpoint is the best mall in the area. Other shopping areas include Brightleaf Square and Nineth Street.


Is Baltimore or Durham Better for Families?

Baltimore
Durham

Baltimore is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Baltimore is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The National Aquarium is a highlight for many families. It's an impressive aquarium with dolphins, sharks, puffins, and fish. Also in town is the Port Discovery Children’s Museum which has many interactive exhibits. The Maryland Science Center, the Maryland Zoo, and the many historic ships in the harbor also offer educational opportunities for kids. For something a bit different, check out Urban Pirates in the Inner Harbor.

Durham is a family-friendly city. A highlight for kids is a visit to the Durham Museum of Life and Science. It has both an indoor and an outdoor section and brings science to life for families. There's also an impressive playground and climbing area. Other activities in town include the Notasium and Eno River State Park. If you plan ahead you could also organize a trip to the Duke Lemur Center.

Is Baltimore or Durham Better for Couples?

Baltimore
Durham

Both Baltimore and Durham are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Baltimore makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Most visitors spend the majority of their time around the Inner Harbor. There are restaurants and romantic hotels that are perfect for couples. The city also has many entertainment options and other activities that make for a great date night.

Durham is a good city for couples to visit. Have a picnic at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens or spend the day hiking at Eno River State Park. In the evening there's a wonderful selection of restaurants around town. Then you can check out a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center or see a Durham Bulls game.

Is Baltimore or Durham Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Baltimore
Durham

Baltimore is very good for backpackers. However, Durham is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Baltimore is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a couple of hostels around town, but most international travelers overlook this city.

Durham is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. The student population means there are a number of parties and bars around town, but most backpackers overlook this city.


Is Baltimore or Durham Better for Students?

Baltimore
Durham

Durham is well known for students. However, Baltimore is not popular with students.

Durham is very popular with students. Duke University has a stunning campus with a world class garden. There's also nearby Nineth Street, which has shops, restaurants, and bars that are geared toward the student population.

Baltimore is not popular with students.

Is Baltimore or Durham Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Baltimore
Durham

Baltimore is a well-known place for its public transit. However, Durham is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

The public transit in Baltimore can get you to most places easily. There are water taxis and a free downtown bus service that's called the Charm City Circulator. MTA also operates a metro and a light rail system.

Public transit is mostly limited in Durham. There are buses around town, but you really need a car to explore the area.

Is Baltimore or Durham a more walkable city?

Baltimore
Durham

Baltimore is a well-known place for its ease of walking around. However, Durham is not a good city for its walkability.

Baltimore is a very walkable destination. The downtown area is the most walkable part of the city. In particular, the Inner Harbor and Fells Point are particularly walkable.

Durham is generally not a very walkable city. Downtown Durham and a few areas near Duke University are the most walkable areas.


For even more information, also check out Is Baltimore Worth Visiting? and Is Durham Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Durham or Baltimore?

How long in Baltimore or Durham?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Baltimore and Durham. In our opinion, Baltimore has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Baltimore than Durham. In general, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Baltimore, and 1-3 days is enough time in Durham.

Families should spend more time in Baltimore than Durham. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Baltimore, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Baltimore than Durham. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Baltimore that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Baltimore than Durham 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 Baltimore.


  • How many days in Baltimore or Durham? Ideal Length of Stay
    Baltimore 2-3 
    Durham 1-3

One day in Baltimore or Durham?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Baltimore. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Durham. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Durham has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Baltimore or Durham?

Baltimore is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the diverse destination of Durham. 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.

Five days in Baltimore or Durham?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Baltimore. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the student-filled city of Durham. 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.


A week in Baltimore or Durham?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the historic destination of Baltimore. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Durham 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage.


Which place is cheaper, Durham or Baltimore?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Baltimore is $184, while the average daily cost in Durham is $162. 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 Baltimore and Durham in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Baltimore $93
    Durham $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Baltimore $186
    Durham $184
Compare Hotels in Baltimore and Durham

Looking for a hotel in Baltimore or Durham? 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 Baltimore


Hotels in Durham


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: Baltimore Hotel Prices and Durham Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Baltimore $21
    Durham $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Baltimore

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Baltimore:

  • Oakland to San Francisco Airport (SFO)-Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Baltimore Washington Airport BWI: $60
  • Baltimore City to Washington City - Private Car Transfer: $62
  • Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) to Washington - Arrival Private Transfer: $92
  • Departure Private Transfer Baltimore to Baltimore Airport BWI - Business Vehicle: $111
  • BWI Airport: Transfer to Baltimore or Washington DC: $150
  • Airport Transfer BWI Airport to Baltimore Downtown Area Only: $160
  • Private Transfer to BWI or Washington DC/Airports: $160
  • Private transfer To or Form Bethesda and Dulles International Airport: $209
  • Airport Transfer Baltimore/Washington International Airport BWI to Washington,DC: $240

Is it cheaper to fly into Baltimore or Durham?

Prices for flights to both Durham and Baltimore 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
    Baltimore $46
    Durham $44
Typical Food Prices in Baltimore

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


  • Seafood Dinner (for 2) in Fells Point
    $76

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Baltimore

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Baltimore.

  • Federal Hill Food Tour: $71
  • Little Italy and Jonestown Food Tour: $73
  • Fells Point Food Tour in Baltimore: $74
  • Inner Harbor Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner: $76
  • Christmas Eve Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $84
  • Christmas Day Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $84
  • Baltimore Signature Dinner Cruise: $101
  • Baltimore Buffet Dinner/Dance Cruise of the Inner Harbor: $119
  • Baltimore Father's Day Buffet Dinner Cruise : $126
  • Baltimore 4th of July Buffet Dinner Cruise: $194
  • Baltimore New Year's Eve Buffet Dinner Cruise: $251

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Baltimore $18
    Durham $26

Tours and Activities in Baltimore

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

  • Self-guided Waterfall Hiking Tour through Great Falls National Park: $5.00
  • Downtown Baltimore In-App Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Baltimore Orioles Baseball Game Ticket at Oriole Park: $12
  • Historic & Cultural Baltimore Self-Driving Audio Guided Tour: $14
  • Antietam National Battlefield Self-Guided Driving Tour: $15
  • Historical Baltimore Self-Driving Sightseeing Audio Tour: $17
  • Baltimore Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • The Original Fells Point Ghost Walk by Baltimore Ghost Tours: $24
  • Baltimore Ghosts By US Ghost Adventures: $24
  • Baltimore's Cruise ship Tour-shuttle service: $25
  • The Original Fells Point Ghost Walk by Baltimore Ghost Tours: $30
  • Sights and Sips Private City Sightseeing Cruise: $31

Tours and Activities in Durham

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

  • True Crime Tour: $13
  • Downtown Durham Historian-Guided Walking Tour: $16
  • Durham African American History Tour: $16
  • Durham NC: Art Walking Tour: $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Baltimore $17
    Durham $34

Sample the Local Flavors in Baltimore

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

  • Original Fells Point Haunted Pub Tour by Baltimore Ghost Tours: $33
  • Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • From Patapsco Region Wine Tour with Lunch: $175


When comparing the travel costs between Baltimore and Durham, we can see that Baltimore 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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Baltimore Expensive? and Is Durham Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Baltimore or Durham?

Baltimore has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Durham. When comparing the sizes of Baltimore and Durham, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Baltimore or Durham?

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 Baltimore or Durham in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Baltimore and Durham. The summer months attract visitors to Baltimore because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Durham this time of year.

In the summer, Baltimore is around the same temperature as Durham. Typically, the summer temperatures in Baltimore in July average around 78°F (25°C), and Durham averages at about 79°F (26°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durham this time of the year. In Baltimore, it's very sunny this time of the year. Baltimore usually receives more sunshine than Durham during summer. Baltimore gets 283 hours of sunny skies, while Durham receives 259 hours of full sun in the summer.

Durham receives a lot of rain in the summer. Baltimore gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Baltimore usually receives less rain than Durham. Baltimore gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Baltimore 78°F (25°C) 
    Durham 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Baltimore or Durham in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Baltimore as well as Durham. The city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene are the main draw to Baltimore this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Durham for the shopping scene.

In October, Baltimore is generally cooler than Durham. Daily temperatures in Baltimore average around 57°F (14°C), and Durham fluctuates around 61°F (16°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. In the autumn, Baltimore often gets less sunshine than Durham. Baltimore gets 196 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Durham receives 211 hours of full sun.

Baltimore usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Durham. Baltimore gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Baltimore 57°F (14°C) 
    Durham 61°F (16°C)

Should I visit Baltimore or Durham in the Winter?

Both Durham and Baltimore are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Baltimore for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Durham in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Durham can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Baltimore. Baltimore is much colder than Durham in the winter. The daily temperature in Baltimore averages around 32°F (0°C) in January, and Durham fluctuates around 40°F (5°C).

Baltimore usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Durham during winter. Baltimore gets 153 hours of sunny skies, while Durham receives 162 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Baltimore usually receives less rain than Durham. Baltimore gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Baltimore 32°F (0°C) 
    Durham 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Baltimore or Durham in the Spring?

Both Durham and Baltimore during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Baltimore in the spring for the activities around the city.

In the spring, Baltimore is cooler than Durham. Typically, the spring temperatures in Baltimore in April average around 54°F (12°C), and Durham averages at about 60°F (16°C).

In Durham, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Baltimore. In the spring, Baltimore often gets less sunshine than Durham. Baltimore gets 225 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Durham receives 251 hours of full sun.

Baltimore usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Durham. Baltimore gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Baltimore 54°F (12°C) 
    Durham 60°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Durham and Baltimore

Baltimore Durham
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 32°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 78°F (25°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Aug 76°F (25°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm)
Sep 69°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 47°F (9°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Dec 37°F (3°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)