A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Durham vs. Charleston for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Durham or Charleston?

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

Where Should I go: Durham or Charleston?

Durham

Durham is a city in central North Carolina with about 230,000 residents. Together with Raleigh and Chapel Hill, it forms the Research Triangle area. Durham is often referred to as the "City of Medicine" and is home to the famous Duke University.

Durham's history is rooted in tobacco. The Duke family established American Tobacco, which controlled 90% of all cigarette production in the US during the second half of the 19th century. The family donated money to Trinity College, which changed its name to Duke University in 1924.

Today much of Durham's economy is centered around the university and Research Triangle Park. The area has many technology and pharmaceutical jobs and the economy continues to grow.

Charleston

Charleston is a beautiful, southern city and seaport town in South Carolina. It has a wonderful, historic downtown area that the city government works hard to maintain. Located on a peninsula that is created by two rivers, the city is a stunning setting with much character. It is a popular place to visit for its culture, architecture and cuisine. In recent years Charleston has gained popularity and it continues to grow as both a regional and international travel destination. With its rising popularity comes increasing costs. Travel costs continue to go up as restaurants and hotels raise their prices, particularly during the peak travel season and holiday periods.

Which city is cheaper, Charleston or Durham?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Durham is $130, while the average daily cost in Charleston is $136. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Durham and Charleston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $73
    Charleston $72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $146
    Charleston $144
Compare Hotels in Durham and Charleston

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Charleston? 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 Charleston


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 Charleston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $26
    Charleston $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durham

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Durham:

  • Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $139
  • Private Transfer from Durham to Manchester Airport (MAN): $407

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124
  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Charleston?

Prices for flights to both Charleston 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 $35
    Charleston $46

Typical Food prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $21
    Charleston $17

Tours and Activities in Durham

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

  • Trolley Pub Public Tour of Durham: $41

Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

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

  • Charleston's Haunted Ghost Tour - Smart Phone Guided Tour: $5.00
  • Charleston Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $16
  • Charleston's Pleasing Terrors Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Downtown Charleston Walking Tour with Certified Local Guide: $21
  • Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour: $21
  • Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Charleston French Quarter Historic Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Drayton Hall Plantation Admission Ticket in Charleston: $22
  • Small-Group Tour: Charleston Old Walled City Historical Walking Tour: $23
  • Charleston Terrors Walking Ghost Tour: $23
  • Charleston Ghosts of Liberty Guided Walking Tour: $25
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $27
    Charleston $28

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Charleston:

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37


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


When is the best time to visit Durham or Charleston?

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 Charleston in the Summer?

Both Charleston and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to Charleston for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Durham is around the same temperature as Charleston in the summer. The temperature in Durham is usually 79°F (26°C) in July, and Charleston stays around 82°F (28°C).

It's quite sunny in Charleston. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually receives less sunshine than Charleston during summer. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies, while Charleston receives 293 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Charleston. It's quite rainy in Durham. In July, Durham usually receives less rain than Charleston. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Charleston 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Durham or Charleston in the Autumn?

Both Charleston and Durham during the autumn are popular places to visit. Furthermore, many visitors come to Charleston in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Durham is cooler than Charleston. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Durham in October are around 61°F (16°C), and Charleston is about 67°F (19°C).

It's quite sunny in Durham. In the autumn, Durham often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Charleston. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charleston receives 197 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Charleston. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Charleston 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Durham or Charleston in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Charleston. Furthermore, most visitors come to Charleston for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Durham can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Durham is generally much colder than Charleston. Temperatures in Durham average around 40°F (5°C), and Charleston stays around 47°F (9°C).

Durham usually receives less sunshine than Charleston during winter. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies, while Charleston receives 188 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Durham usually receives around the same amount of rain as Charleston. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Charleston 47°F (9°C)

Should I visit Durham or Charleston in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Durham as well as Charleston. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Charleston because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

Durham is cooler than Charleston in the spring. The temperature in Durham is usually 60°F (16°C) in April, and Charleston stays around 64°F (18°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charleston. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durham this time of the year. In the spring, Durham often gets less sunshine than Charleston. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charleston receives 275 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets more rain in April than Charleston. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Charleston 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Charleston and Durham

Durham Charleston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)


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Durham vs. Charleston Travel Comparison

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