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

Should you visit Durham or Arlington?

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

Durham

Durham is a diverse, student-filled, and sports oriented city. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Arlington

Arlington is a educational, international, and historical city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Durham and Arlington: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Durham or Arlington?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Arlington. Although Durham and Arlington are popular destinations, Arlington has more sights and attractions for tourists. Arlington is more touristy than Durham and is popular for its international connections, its biking and walking trails, and being the location of the Pentagon. It is also well known for Arlington National Cemetery. Durham is famous for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team.

How is Durham different from Arlington?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Durham
Arlington

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Durham or Arlington.

Many visitors head to Durham specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Arlington can be an interesting and educational experience. Arlington National Cemetery is where you'll find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as the tomb of John F. Kennedy Jr. There are many memorials around town, with the most famous being the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial. There are also several museums like the DEA Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.


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

Durham
Arlington

Arlington 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 Arlington is an experience not to be missed. It's a global city, and the restaurants reflect that. You'll find amazing Thai, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants. There are also less common cuisines to choose from such as Ethiopian, Moroccan, and Peruvian.

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 Durham or Arlington Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Arlington

Arlington 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.

Arlington offers plenty to do in the evening. The city has a huge young population that drives the nightlife scene. There are clubs, bars, and lounges in many neighborhoods. There are also comedy clubs and plenty of live music.

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 Durham or Arlington?

Durham
Arlington

Both Durham and Arlington are nice shopping destinations.

Many visitors go to Durham to go shopping. The Streets of Southpoint is the best mall in the area. Other shopping areas include Brightleaf Square and Nineth Street.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Arlington. Many neighborhoods have local shops or farmer's markets. There are also shopping centers and malls such as Ballston Quarter, The Crossing Clarendon, and The Village at Shirlington.


Is Durham or Arlington Better for Families?

Durham
Arlington

You'll find nice kid-friendly activities in either Durham or Arlington.

Durham is a family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Arlington is a family-friendly city. Kids will enjoy seeing the planes talk off from Gravelly Point park. There are also plenty of outdoor spaces and educational opportunities in the area, including world class museums.

Is Durham or Arlington Better for Couples?

Durham
Arlington

Both Durham and Arlington are nice destinations to visit as a couple.

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.

Arlington is a nice destination for couples. There's a vibrant cultural scene and many international restaurants that couples can enjoy. It's also a great place to take in a show or concert.

Is Durham or Arlington Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Durham
Arlington

Arlington is a well-known place for backpackers. However, Durham is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Arlington is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. There are a couple of hostels and many free activities nearby. There's also great public transportation that makes for a convenient backpacker destination.

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 Durham or Arlington Better for Students?

Durham
Arlington

Durham and Arlington are both excellent destinations for students and younger travelers.

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.

Arlington is a great city to visit as a student. There are a huge number of colleges and museums in the area as well as many great internship and educational opportunities.

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

Durham
Arlington

Arlington is an amazing city to visit for its public transit. However, Durham is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit in Arlington is top-notch. There is a reliable bus system around town as well as many metro connections.

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

Is Durham or Arlington a more walkable city?

Durham
Arlington

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

Arlington is a very walkable destination. There are many pedestrian-friendly areas around town, particularly in the neighborhoods that are concentrated around metro stations.

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 Durham Worth Visiting? and Is Arlington Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Arlington or Durham?

How long in Durham or Arlington?

It's fun to spend time in either Durham or Arlington. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Arlington due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Durham, and 2-4 days is enough time in Arlington.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Arlington 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 Arlington.


  • How many days in Durham or Arlington? Ideal Length of Stay
    Durham 1-3 
    Arlington 2-4

One day in Durham or Arlington?

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.

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

A weekend in Durham or Arlington?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the sports oriented 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.

Arlington 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.

Five days in Durham or Arlington?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the diverse 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Arlington. 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.


A week in Durham or Arlington?

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.

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


Which place is cheaper, Arlington or Durham?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Durham is $162, while the average daily cost in Arlington is $264. 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 Durham and Arlington in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Arlington $131
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Arlington $262
Compare Hotels in Durham and Arlington

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Arlington? 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 Durham


Hotels in Arlington


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: Durham Hotel Prices and Arlington Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Arlington $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arlington

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

  • Ronald Reagan DCA Airport Transfers: $160

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Arlington?

Prices for flights to both Arlington and Durham 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
    Durham $44
    Arlington $81

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Arlington $11

Tours and Activities in Durham

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

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

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


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

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


Which is Bigger, Durham or Arlington?

Durham has a larger population, and is about 10% larger than the population of Arlington. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Arlington, 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 Durham or Arlington?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Durham or Arlington in the Summer?

Both Arlington and Durham during the summer are popular places to visit. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Durham this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Arlington for the family-friendly experiences.

Durham is around the same temperature as Arlington in the summer. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 79°F (26°C) in July, and Arlington fluctuates around 79°F (26°C).

In Arlington, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Durham. In the summer, Durham often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Arlington. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Arlington receives 278 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually gets more rain in July than Arlington. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Arlington 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Durham or Arlington in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Arlington. Many travelers come to Durham for the shopping scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Arlington in the autumn for the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Durham is around the same temperature as Arlington. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Durham in October average around 61°F (16°C), and Arlington averages at about 60°F (15°C).

In Durham, it's very sunny this time of the year. Durham usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Arlington during autumn. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Arlington receives 197 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Durham usually receives around the same amount of rain as Arlington. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Arlington 60°F (15°C)

Should I visit Durham or Arlington in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Durham as well as Arlington. Many visitors come to Durham in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to Arlington for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Arlington can be very cold during winter. Durham can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Durham is generally much warmer than Arlington. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 40°F (5°C), and Arlington fluctuates around 35°F (1°C).

In the winter, Durham often gets more sunshine than Arlington. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Arlington receives 139 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets more rain in January than Arlington. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Arlington 35°F (1°C)

Should I visit Durham or Arlington in the Spring?

Both Arlington and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

Durham is a little warmer than Arlington in the spring. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 60°F (16°C) in April, and Arlington fluctuates around 56°F (14°C).

It's quite sunny in Arlington. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually receives more sunshine than Arlington during spring. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies, while Arlington receives 228 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Durham usually receives more rain than Arlington. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Arlington receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Arlington 56°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Arlington and Durham

Durham Arlington
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)