Should you visit Durham or Charleston?
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.
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 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Durham and Charleston in more detail.
Durham's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $146. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $73.
A hotel room in Charleston is about $144 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
On average, meal and food prices in Durham cost around $35 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $14.
On average, meal and food prices in Charleston cost around $46 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $18.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Charleston
Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Charleston.
Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise & Live Music:
Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour:
Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour:
Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour:
Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour:
Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston:
Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class:
3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option:
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Durham.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Charleston.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durham
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Durham:
Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer:
Private Transfer from Durham to Manchester Airport (MAN):
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:
Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS):
Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer:
Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS):
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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Durham. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $17 per person, per day in Charleston. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
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:
Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:
Patriots Point (for 2)
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:
Charleston Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
Charleston's French Quarter Guided Walking Tour:
Shem Creek Culture Tour:
Downtown Charleston Walking Tour with Certified Local Guide:
Charleston's Pleasing Terrors Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour:
Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour:
Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour:
Charleston Historical Walking Tour:
Charleston French Quarter Historic Guided Walking Tour:
Drayton Hall Plantation Admission Ticket in Charleston:
Small-Group Tour: Charleston Old Walled City Historical Walking Tour:
The average person spends about $27 on alcoholic beverages in Durham per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
The average person spends about $28 on alcoholic beverages in Charleston per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
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:
Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston:
Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market:
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.
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