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

Should you visit Durham or Austin?

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 Austin can help you decide which place is right for you.

Durham

Durham is a student-filled, sports oriented, and diverse city. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Austin

Austin is a eccentric, unconventional, and lively city. With a variety of activities, it's a big city. This is a very beautiful destination, too. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Durham and Austin: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Durham or Austin?

You'll generally find more things to do in Austin than Durham. Austin is bigger than Durham, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Austin is more touristy than Durham and is known for its live music scene, excellent Texas barbecue, authentic Mexican food, and vibrant student population. Also, Austin is famous for The Texas Capital. Durham is well known for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team.

How is Durham different from Austin?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Austin 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 Austin?

Durham
Austin

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

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 Austin can be an interesting and educational experience. Austin has a number of great museums and sights including the Blanton Museum of Art, the Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. There's also a huge supply of local art galleries. Perhaps the most notable landmark in town is the beautiful Texas Capital Building


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

Durham
Austin

Austin is an amazing city to visit for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Austin has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. It is credited with being the original food truck city and you'll find many diverse food truck options around town. There is also amazing Mexican food, world renowned Texas barbecue, and many modern restaurants that reflect the city's culinary influence.

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 Austin Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Austin

Austin is an amazing city to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Austin has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. It's nightlife is centered around its thriving live music scene. Head for Sixth Street for some of the most popular bars and clubs. There are also many music festivals and outdoor concerts, particularly during the summer months. Popular bars and clubs around town include the White Horse, the Rose Room, and Antone's Nightclub.

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 Durham or Austin Better for Music?

Durham
Austin

Austin is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. However, Durham is not a live music destination.

In Austin you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. Music is what gives this city its character. There are many live music venues, concerts, and music festivals to experience. Austin has influenced many music genres such as rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk, and country.

Durham is not a live music destination.


Is Durham or Austin Better for Hiking?

Durham
Austin

Austin is a moderate city for the nearby hiking options. However, Durham is not a hiking destination.

Hiking is a fun activity while in Austin. Head just outside of town to explore a few great hiking spots right near town.

Durham is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Durham or Austin?

Durham
Austin

Both Durham and Austin are notable 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 Austin. There are a number of local boutiques around town where you can enjoy shopping.

Is Durham or Austin Better for Families?

Durham
Austin

You'll find notable kid-friendly activities in either Durham or Austin.

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.

Austin is a family-friendly city. The city is a popular destination for young travelers, but there are also some family-friendly activities like Barton Springs, Zilker Park, and several natural swimming holes. There's a number of nice parks around town that are great for kids of all ages.


Is Durham or Austin Better for Couples?

Durham
Austin

Both Durham and Austin are notable 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.

Austin is a nice destination for couples. Young couples will enjoy the city for its lively nightlife, fun music scene, and youthful vibe. There are also many outdoor areas where you can hike or explore. The restaurant scene is among the best as well.

Is Durham or Austin Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Durham
Austin

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

Austin is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. Although the city is relatively small, it does see a disproportionate number of backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in town as well.

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 Austin Better for Students?

Durham
Austin

Durham and Austin 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.

Austin is a great city to visit as a student. The city has a huge university, the University of Texas at Austin, and it is a young city with tons for international students. There is a great nightlife scene and plenty for students to see and do.


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

Durham
Austin

Both Durham and Austin offer respectable public transit options.

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

Public transit is mostly limited in Austin. There are city buses and a very limited lightrail system, but you really need a car to explore the city.

Is Durham or Austin a more walkable city?

Durham
Austin

Durham and Austin both are respectable when exploring on foot.

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

Austin is generally not a very walkable city. The city, like most southern cities, isn't very walkable and it's important to have a car to get around. There are some downtown areas that are pedestrian-friendly.

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

Should I spend more time in Austin or Durham?

How long in Durham or Austin?

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

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

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

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


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

One day in Durham or Austin?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Durham. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

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


A weekend in Durham or Austin?

Durham 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.

Austin 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 Austin?

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

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

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

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the eccentric destination of Austin. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, and The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Austin 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 Austin is $142. 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 Austin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Austin $56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Austin $112
Compare Hotels in Durham and Austin

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Austin? 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 Austin


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 Austin Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Austin $47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

  • Private Transfer Between Airport and Hotels: $80
  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $97
  • Austin Airport Group Pickup / Transfer up to 1 hour away.: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Austin?

Prices for flights to both Austin 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
    Austin $35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Austin

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

  • Devour Downtown Austin Walking Food Tour: $80
  • Famous Texas BBQ & Food Tour in Austin: $89
  • Famous Texas BBQ & Food Tour in Austin: $89
  • Austin South Congress Walking Food Tour for Small Groups: $95
  • Austin Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • Secret Food Tour: $99
  • Secret Food Tour of South Congress: $109
  • The Brunch Bus: Food Tour with a Live Band on Board the Bus!: $125
  • Private Guided Food Tour of Austin Neighborhoods: $150

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Austin $28

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

Typical Entertainment Prices in Austin

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


  • Austin Duck Tour
    $31

Tours and Activities in Austin

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

  • Explore Austin's Past & Future: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Austin,TX: Murder Mystery Detective Experience: $15
  • Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Haunted Tour with Ghost Hunting Gear: $20
  • Austin Trails Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Downtown Austin Haunted History Tour: $24
  • Family-Friendly Ghosts of Austin Tour: $25
  • KuneKune Pig Farm Tour: $25
  • Ha Ha Haunted Austin Walking Ghost Tour: $26
  • Private 1 Hour Axe Throwing Experience in Texas: $27
  • Haunted Austin Walking History Tour: $28
  • The Story of Downtown History Walking Tour : $30

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Austin $28

Sample the Local Flavors in Austin

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Austin:

  • Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Austin Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Downtown Austin Live Music Pub Crawl: $35
  • Austin Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Downtown Live Music Pub Crawl: $35
  • McKinnie-Gene's Paranormal Pub Crawl: $35
  • Public Pedal Pub Tour in Austin: $39
  • Rainey Street Walking Pub Crawl and Tour: $59
  • From Texas Hill Country Brewery & Distillery Shuttle: $65
  • Private Austin Brewery Tour by Pedicab with All-Inclusive Beer Flight Option: $70
  • Speakeasy and hidden bar crawl : $104
  • The Brew Bus: Austin Brewery Tour with Live Band: $125


When comparing the travel costs between Durham and Austin, we can see that Durham 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 Durham Expensive? and Is Austin Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Durham or Austin?

Austin has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Durham. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Austin, 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 Austin?

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 Durham or Austin in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Austin. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Durham this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Austin for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Durham is cooler than Austin. Typically, the summer temperatures in Durham in July average around 79°F (26°C), and Austin averages at about 87°F (30°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Austin this time of the year. In Durham, it's very sunny this time of the year. Durham usually receives less sunshine than Austin during summer. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies, while Austin receives 318 hours of full sun in the summer.

Durham gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Durham usually receives more rain than Austin. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Austin 87°F (30°C)

Should I visit Durham or Austin in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Durham as well as Austin. Many travelers come to Durham for the shopping scene. Additionally, many visitors come to Austin in the autumn for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Durham is generally cooler than Austin. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 61°F (16°C), and Austin fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Austin. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durham this time of the year. In the autumn, Durham often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Austin. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Austin receives 214 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets less rain in October than Austin. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 3 inches (77 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Austin 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Durham or Austin in the Winter?

Both Austin and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Durham in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Austin for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Durham can get quite cold in the winter. Durham is much colder than Austin in the winter. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Austin fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).

Durham usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Austin during winter. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies, while Austin receives 163 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Durham usually receives more rain than Austin. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Austin 51°F (11°C)

Should I visit Durham or Austin in the Spring?

Both Austin and Durham during the spring are popular places to visit. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Austin because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Durham is cooler than Austin. Typically, the spring temperatures in Durham in April average around 60°F (16°C), and Austin averages at about 71°F (22°C).

In Austin, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Durham. In the spring, Durham often gets more sunshine than Austin. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Austin receives 209 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets less rain in April than Austin. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Austin 71°F (22°C)

Typical Weather for Austin and Durham

Durham Austin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 51°F (11°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4 inches (101 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 83°F (29°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 87°F (30°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 87°F (31°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 82°F (28°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2 inches (52 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)