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

Should you visit Durham or Chicago?

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

Where Should I go: Durham or Chicago?

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.

Chicago

Located in the Midwest, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. It has a population of almost 3 million and a metropolitan area that covers more than 10,000 square kilometers. It is also a hub for music, comedy and theater. It's skyline is beautiful with modern skyscrapers and Lake Michigan as a backdrop. It is easy to stay entertained in Chicago for weeks. There are world class museums, upscale or eclectic shopping opportunities, and impressive architecture.

Which city is cheaper, Chicago 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 Chicago is $221. 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 Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $73
    Chicago $152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $146
    Chicago $304
Compare Hotels in Durham and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Chicago? 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 Chicago


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 Chicago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $26
    Chicago $29

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Chicago

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chicago:


  • Parking
    $19
  • Taxi Ride
    $10
  • Taxi from Airport
    $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chicago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:

  • Private Airport Transfer: O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Chicago: $43
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Chicago to O’Hare International Airport (ORD): $43
  • Private Airport Transfer: Midway International Airport (MDW) to Chicago: $55
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Chicago to Midway International Airport (MDW): $55
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago Midway Airport to Chicago City: $66
  • Private Departure Transfer from Chicago City to Midway International Airport: $66
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago City: $78
  • Private Departure Transfer from Chicago City to O'Hare International Airport: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago by Sedan Car: $79
  • Departure Private Transfer Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD by Sedan Car: $79
  • Private Departure Transfer to Chicago Airports (ORD)(MDW): $80
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago Airports (ORD) (MDW): $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago 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
    Chicago $37

Typical Food prices in Chicago

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Chicago:


  • Dinner for 1
    $24
  • Dinner for 3
    $118

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chicago

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

  • Traveling Spoon Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Learn to Make Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza with a Local: $49
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: River North Historical Food Tour: $61
  • Private Fusion Cooking Class in Downtown Chicago: $64
  • Best in Chow: Chicago River North Food Tour: $64
  • Signature Food Tour at Chicago's Navy Pier: $64
  • Skip the Line: Tommy Gun's Garage Dinner and Show Ticket: $67
  • Small-Group Chicago Food Tour: Gold Coast and Old Town: $75
  • Best of Chicago Tour Including a Deep-Dish Pizza: $75
  • River North Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Chicago's Wicker Park Food Tour: $75
  • Private Indian-Mexican Fusion Cooking Class with a Modern Cook: $78

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $21
    Chicago $34

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 Chicago

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


  • Sears Tower (family of 4)
    $102
  • Aquarium for 4
    $118
  • Water Taxi (family of 4)
    $22
  • IMAX Movie for Two
    $35
  • Shakespeare Play (2)
    $116
  • Art Institute (2)
    $36
  • U-Boat Tour (2)
    $8.00

Tours and Activities in Chicago

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

  • A Storied Neighborhood: Dance the dialectic with Bill Ayers on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Discovering Vintage The Loop Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Millennium Park Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Chicago Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Skip the Line: American Writers Museum Admission Ticket: $14
  • Pilsen Walking Tour of Local Publicly Displayed Art: $15
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Historic Chicago Theatre: $18
  • Chicago Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Windy City Ghost Tour: $24
  • Street Art & Mural Tours By Native 312- Wabash Arts Corridor: $25
  • In the Streets: Milwaukee Ave Guided Bike Tour: $25

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Free Things to Do in Chicago, Chicago Bucket List: The Best Places to See, and The Best Museums in Chicago.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $27
    Chicago $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Chicago

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

  • Haunted Chicago Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $25
  • Walking tour to Chicago dive bars: $41
  • Chicago Barrel Bus Craft Distillery Tour: $90
  • Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour: $90
  • Ultimate Girl's Night Out in Sparkling Wine, Photo Shoot, Burlesque: $900


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durham and Chicago, we can see that Chicago 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 Chicago would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chicago than you might in Durham.


When is the best time to visit Durham or Chicago?

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 Chicago in the Summer?

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

Durham is around the same temperature as Chicago in the summer. The temperature in Durham is usually 79°F (26°C) in July, and Chicago stays around 77°F (25°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chicago this time of the year. In Durham, it's very sunny this time of the year. Durham usually receives less sunshine than Chicago during summer. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun in the summer.

Chicago receives a lot of rain in the summer. Durham gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Durham usually receives more rain than Chicago. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Chicago 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Durham or Chicago in the Autumn?

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

In the autumn, Durham is a little warmer than Chicago. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Durham in October are around 61°F (16°C), and Chicago is about 56°F (14°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durham this time of the year. In the autumn, Durham often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets more rain in October than Chicago. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Chicago 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Durham or Chicago in the Winter?

Both Chicago and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Also, many visitors come to Chicago in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Chicago can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Durham. In January, Durham is generally much warmer than Chicago. Temperatures in Durham average around 40°F (5°C), and Chicago stays around 25°F (-4°C).

Durham usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during winter. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Durham usually receives more rain than Chicago. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Durham or Chicago in the Spring?

Both Chicago and Durham during the spring are popular places to visit. Also, most visitors come to Chicago for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months.

Durham is a little warmer than Chicago in the spring. The temperature in Durham is usually 60°F (16°C) in April, and Chicago stays around 52°F (11°C).

In Chicago, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Durham. In the spring, Durham often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun.

Chicago gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Durham usually gets less rain in April than Chicago. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Chicago 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Chicago and Durham

Durham Chicago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Durham vs. Chicago Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.