A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Durango vs. Portland for Hiking, Families, Backpackers, and Attractions

Should you visit Durango or Portland?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Durango and Portland. 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.

Durango

Durango is a scenic, nature-filled, and historic small town. Since it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Because of its quaint atmosphere, it draws plenty of visitors, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking and museums.

Portland

Portland is a eclectic, tree-lined, and nature-filled city. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include live music, hiking, and shopping.

Durango and Portland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with couples
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights


Is there more to do in Durango or Portland?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Portland. Although Durango and Portland are both popular with visitors, Portland has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Portland is more popular for its nightlife, music, and shopping, while Durango is known for its skiing, museums, historical sights, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Portland is more touristy than Durango and is known for its independent and vintage shops, thriving art scene, lush parks and gardens, progressive and quirky personality, and easy access to amazing natural beauty. It is also home to Washington Park. Durango is popular for its historic narrow gauge railroad, its charming small town atmosphere, and its many family-friendly activities.

How is Durango different from Portland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Durango or Portland Better for Skiing?

Durango
Portland

Durango is a decent place to visit for skiing and snowboarding. However, Portland is not a skiing destination.

Locals like to visit Durango to take advantage of their winter sports. Purgatory Ski Resort is about 20 minutes from town and it's a family-friendly mountain with beginner and intermediate runs. It's small, and geared specifically to the beginner and younger crowd.

Portland is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Durango or Portland?

Durango
Portland

Durango is a small town with good options for its museums and history. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

Durango is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Most visitors come to town specifically to ride the Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad. There's also the D&SNGRR Railroad Museum, and the Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum.

Portland offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Visitors usually come for the city's outdoor recreation and eclectic personality more than the landmarks and museums. There are a few places to visit on a rainy day though including Pittock Mansion, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Is the Food Better in Durango or Portland? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Durango
Portland

Foodies will find both Durango and Portland both to be decent destinations.

Durango offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Most of the restaurants are casual and family-friendly, serving up burgers or sandwiches for a reasonable price. You'll also find some coffeeshops and even a few food trucks and international restaurants.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Portland. The town is more famous for it's craft beer than it's food, but there are still a number of local restaurants that offer unique Oregon dishes. You'll find no shortage of vegetarian and vegan options on most menus. There is also a big farm-to-table scene with many farmers markets around town as well.

Is Durango or Portland Better for Nightlife?

Durango
Portland

Portland is a good destination for nightlife. However, Durango is lacking in good options for nightlife and partying.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Portland. Famously, this town's nightlife is all about the craft beer and local breweries. Make sure you check out Bailey's Taproom, The Big Legrowlski, and The Commons Brewery.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Durango. It's a small town that attracts tourists mainly for its train, so you won't find much in the way of a nightlife scene.


Is Durango or Portland Better for Music?

Durango
Portland

Portland is a good destination for live music. However, Durango is not a live music destination.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Portland. The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.

Durango is not a live music destination.

Is Durango or Portland Better for its Old Town?

Durango
Portland

Durango is a small town with good options for its historic old town. However, Portland does not have a historic old town.

Durango is a good destination for visiting its old town. Filled with character, the downtown feels like you've stepped into a Western. The town has a long history as a mining and railroad community, which you can see throughout the historic area. It really feels like you're in the "Wild West."

Portland does not have a historic old town.

Is Durango or Portland Better for Hiking?

Durango
Portland

Hiking trails can be found around both Durango and Portland, and they are very good.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Durango. It's surrounded by plenty of natural beautiful and there is an endless supply of hikes in the region. Popular nearby hikes include Animas Mountain Trail, Falls Creek Trail, and Purgatory Trail.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Portland. Just outside of town you'll find amazing hikes and stunning natural beauty. In town there are many urban hikes through parks and gardens, but in just a short drive you also have access to Mount Hood and many of the region's most beautiful hikes around the Columbia River Gorge.


Is the Shopping Better in Durango or Portland?

Durango
Portland

Portland is a good destination for shopping. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its shopping opportunities.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Portland. To fully experience shopping in town, head to the local vendors and thrift shops. There are many vintage clothing shops, book stores, and independent sellers around town. The city is also full of farmers markets. For some of the most interesting shopping, check out the Pearl District, Pioneer Place, Union Way, and Downtown neighborhoods.

If you're looking to go shopping, Durango has some nice offerings. The charming town has some boutiques that sell beautifully made Native American jewelry and other interesting items. There are also souvenir shops and other venues that target tourists specifically.

Is Durango or Portland Better for Christmas?

Durango
Portland

Durango is a small town with good options for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Portland does not offer Christmas activities.

Plenty of visitors enjoy Christmas activities while in Durango. It is a great Christmas town where you can meet Santa, go skiing, and even take the Polar Express.

Portland does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Durango or Portland Better for Families?

Durango
Portland

Durango is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Durango is a very family-friendly destination. In the area you'll find ziplining, alpine slides, and plenty of outdoor areas to explore - and of course there's the railroad.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Portland. This is an outdoor city by nature, so families will appreciate the many parks and outdoor recreational activities around town. It's easy to fill a couple of days exploring and having fun with the kids. Kid-friendly activities include the zoo, the aerial tram, and several great museums.


Is Durango or Portland Better for Couples?

Durango
Portland

Portland is a good destination for romance. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Portland is a nice destination for couples. The laid-back, alternative vibe is fun to explore as a couple. There are independent bookstores, nice parks, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Couples who enjoy an eclectic city, breweries, and nature, will find a lot to do in town.

Most people don't think of Durango as a couple's destination. The town may not be the first romantic destination that comes to mind, but the railroad combined with wandering the downtown can make for a great couple's getaway.

Is Durango or Portland Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Durango
Portland

Portland is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Durango is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Portland is very popular with the backpacker crowd. The town has drawn young explorers for years, and backpackers who like to step away from the mainstream will feel right at home here.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Durango. With plenty of parks and outdoor areas nearby, backpackers will have plenty of places to explore.

Is Durango or Portland Better for Students?

Durango
Portland

Portland is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Durango is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Portland. It's a young and relaxed city that attracts independent thinkers. There are many bookstores and breweries around town. The cost of living can be a bit high though.

Durango is not popular with students.


Is Durango or Portland Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Durango
Portland

Portland is a good destination for times when you don't have a car. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Portland has some public transit options. The town has a bus and light rail system as well the Aerial tram.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Durango. It's a small town with no real public transit options so a car is a must.

Is Durango or Portland a more walkable city?

Durango
Portland

Portland is a very popular place for its walkability. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Portland is very walkable. It is quite walkable, particularly in the tourist areas such as Downtown, Pearl, and Old Town Chinatown.

Durango is generally not very walkable. While the Main Street through town is walkable, it's not as pedestrian-friendly as some small towns.

For even more information, also check out Is Durango Worth Visiting? and Is Portland Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Portland or Durango?

How long in Durango or Portland?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Durango and Portland. In our opinion, Portland has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Portland than Durango. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Portland than Durango 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 Portland.


  • How many days in Durango or Portland? Ideal Length of Stay
    Durango 2-3 
    Portland 2-3

One day in Durango or Portland?

Durango is a small town where visitors enjoy the museums. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Portland, you'll find shopping and nightlife. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


A weekend in Durango or Portland?

Durango is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this small town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Durango, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

In Portland, you'll find nightlife and live music. 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 Portland has to offer.

Five days in Durango or Portland?

Durango is a popular choice for travelers. Five days 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Portland 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.

A week in Durango or Portland?

Durango is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This small town offers something for everyone.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portland. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Portland. 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.


Which place is cheaper, Portland or Durango?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Durango is $153, while the average daily cost in Portland is $180. 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 Durango and Portland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durango $79
    Portland $97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durango $158
    Portland $194
Compare Hotels in Durango and Portland

Looking for a hotel in Durango or Portland? 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 Durango


Hotels in Portland


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: Durango Hotel Prices and Portland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durango $27
    Portland $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland

Also for Portland, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Waterfall Express -PDX: Waterfall Trolley Tickets + Transfer: $60
  • Tigard hotel or address to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $76
  • Private Transfer from Portland City Hotels to Astoria Cruise Port: $88
  • Private Transfer from Portland Airport (PDX) to Astoria Port: $88
  • Private Departure Transfer to Portland Airport (PDX): $40
  • Private Departure Transfer from Portland Airport PDX to Portland: $106
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Portland Airport PDX: $40
  • Portland downtown to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $62
  • Portland International Airport - Private transfer from/to Oregon City: $127
  • Portland Airport to The Summit at Snoqualmie Arrival Transfer: $187
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $152
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $76

Is it cheaper to fly into Durango or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland and Durango 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
    Durango $50
    Portland $43

Typical Food Prices in Portland

For Portland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

For Portland, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Walking Pizza Tour: $75
  • Portland Pizza Tour : $75
  • Secret Food Tour with Local Guide: $95
  • Brunch on Mississippi Food Tour: $95
  • Brunch on Mississippi Food Tour: $95
  • Mississippi Avenue Walking Food Tour: $105
  • The Vibrant Kerns Hood Food Tour: $105
  • The Bustling Buckman Hood Food Tour: $105
  • Portland Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $109
  • All-Inclusive Downtown Portland Food Tour: $119
  • All-Inclusive Walking Food Tour: $119
  • 2.5-hour Dinner Cruise on Willamette River: $127

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durango $46
    Portland $24
Typical Entertainment Prices in Durango

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Hot Springs (for 2)
    $50
  • Tubing (for 2)
    $40

Tours and Activities in Durango

For Durango, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Scenic Waterfall's & Ghost Town Jeep Tour La Plata's~ 2.5 hours: $84
  • 12-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango: $173
  • 12-zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango: $173
  • 4 Hours Durango Colorado - Jeep Tour : $102
  • 6-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango: $140
  • 6-zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango: $140
  • 700 Year Tour - Half Day Mesa Verde Cultural Tour: $108
  • Colorado: Million Dollar Highway Self-Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Durango Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Durango Rafting - Animas River Adventure Day: $185
  • La Plata Canyon Exclusive Access Jeep Tour: $99
  • La Plata Canyon Scenic Waterfalls Jeep Tour: $84

Tours and Activities in Portland

For Portland, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2-hour Champagne Brunch Cruise on Willamette River: $102
  • 2 Hour Guided Segway Tour: $69
  • 2-hour Lunch Cruise on Willamette River: $86
  • 7 Wonders of the Gorge 3.5-hour Jetboat Cruise: $90
  • 8-Hour Guided Fishing Adventure in Portland, Oregon: $250
  • 90 Minute Sailing Tour of Portland: $99
  • A Full Day of Wonder: Wine, Waterfalls, and Timberline Tour: $189
  • Afternoon Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland: $75
  • Airplane Flight Tour over Portland, Oregon: $99
  • Airplane Tour of Portland, Oregon: $189
  • All Day Northern Oregon Wineries and Forest Bike Tour: $245
  • Amazing Private Gorge Air Tour for 3: $219

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durango $30
    Portland $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Power Through Portland Bar Crawl: $12
  • Weird Portland Pub Tour: $29
  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Oregon Priority Wine Tasting Pass: $40
  • Haunted Underground Shanghai Tunnel Tour with Brewery Tastings: $40
  • Haunted Pub Tour: $45
  • Guided Bike Tour with Brewery Visits: $49
  • Eastside Craft Brewery Walking Tour: $59
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $59
  • Distillery Row of Portland's Eastside Walking Tour : $75
  • Portland, Maine: Old Port Brewery & Pub Walking Tour: $87


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

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


Which is Bigger, Durango or Portland?

Portland has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of Durango. When comparing the sizes of Durango and Portland, 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.