A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Durham vs. Colorado Springs for Attractions, Families, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Durham or Colorado Springs?

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 Colorado Springs 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.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a welcoming, friendly, and outdoorsy mountain town. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and hiking.

Durham and Colorado Springs: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Pikes Peak


Is there more to do in Durham or Colorado Springs?

You'll generally find more things to do in Colorado Springs than Durham. Colorado Springs is bigger than Durham, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Colorado Springs is better known for its skiing, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Durham is more popular for its museums and shopping. Durham is well known for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team. Colorado Springs is well known for its many outdoor recreation areas, world-class parks, striking red sandstone formations, and beautiful mountain views. Also, Colorado Springs is famous for Pikes Peak.

How is Durham different from Colorado Springs?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Durham or Colorado Springs Better for Skiing?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a moderate mountain town for snow skiing. However, Durham is not a skiing destination.

While in the area, visitors like to go to Colorado Springs for snow skiing. The town isn't as accessible to skiing as Denver is, but there are still options, like Breckenridge, within a few hours drive.

Durham is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Durham or Colorado Springs?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Durham is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Colorado Springs is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

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.

Colorado Springs offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Most people visit this area for the outdoor recreation, not the museums, but in town you'll find the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum, the Peterson Air and Space Museum, the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The U.S. Olympic Complex Training Center is also a unique place to visit and well worth some time.

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

Durham
Colorado Springs

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Durham and Colorado Springs can be difficult as they are each notable in their own way.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Durham area. 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.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Colorado Springs. There's a combination of local restaurants that serve local items such as trout and bison, as well as your standard chain restaurants and more predictable American classics like burgers, pizza, and chicken fingers.

Is Durham or Colorado Springs Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Both Durham and Colorado Springs are notable when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Colorado Springs. The town has a number of breweries and a great craft beer selection. There are local bars along Tejon Street, or head through Downtown Colorado Springs for some of the most active nightlife.


Is Durham or Colorado Springs Better for Hiking?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is an amazing mountain town to visit for the nearby hiking options. However, Durham is not a hiking destination.

Many people visit Colorado Springs specifically for its hiking. There are both world-famous hiking areas, as well as lesser known hikes that the locals often prefer. Some of the more famous places include Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs. For families, check out Seven Bridges Trail or Mount Muscoco Trail. Loud's Cabin is a longer trail that also includes Seven Bridges Trail.

Durham is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Durham or Colorado Springs?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Durham is very good for shopping. However, Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Durham is a great destination for shopping. The Streets of Southpoint is the best mall in the area. Other shopping areas include Brightleaf Square and Nineth Street.

Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Durham or Colorado Springs Better for Families?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Colorado Springs is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The town is conveniently located near many outdoor adventures that are family-friendly. There are many parks, hiking trails, and wildlife centers in the area that make for a fun outing. Popular activities include the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Dinosaur Resource Center, and Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Durham is a family-friendly city. 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.


Is Durham or Colorado Springs Better for Couples?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Both Durham and Colorado Springs 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.

Colorado Springs is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy hiking and exploring nature together will love visiting this town and the areas nearby. There are many hiking trails in easy reach of the town. Hot air balloon rides are also popular and offer an amazing view over the beautiful landscape.

Is Durham or Colorado Springs Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is very good for backpackers. However, Durham is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Colorado Springs is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Just outside of town you'll find campgrounds with all of the amenities that you might need. In town, there's also a hostel and several affordable accommodation options.

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 Colorado Springs Better for Students?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Durham is a great destination for students. Also, Colorado Springs is still popular, but not quite as popular for its student-friendly activities.

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.

It's common for students to visit Colorado Springs. It's a relatively affordable town with easy access to plenty of free activities like hiking, rock climbing, and more.


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

Durham
Colorado Springs

Durham is a city with a few options for its public transit. However, Colorado Springs is a mountain town with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

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 quite limited in Colorado Springs. While there are buses, many people come to the area to visit Pikes Peak or several of the other nearby parks, all of which require a car.

Is Durham or Colorado Springs a more walkable city?

Durham
Colorado Springs

Durham and Colorado Springs 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.

Colorado Springs is generally not a very walkable city. While the downtown area is walkable, you'll really want to have a car so you can explore the areas outside of town.

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

Should I spend more time in Colorado Springs or Durham?

How long in Durham or Colorado Springs?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Durham and Colorado Springs. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Durham, and 2-3 days is enough time in Colorado Springs.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs.


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

One day in Durham or Colorado Springs?

You'll find food and shopping around the diverse destination of Durham. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Many travelers enjoy the food and museums when visiting the destination of Colorado Springs. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Durham or Colorado Springs?

You'll find shopping and museums around the diverse city of Durham. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Colorado Springs is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. 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 Colorado Springs?

Durham is a popular choice for travelers. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Colorado Springs. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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 Colorado Springs?

Durham is a great place to explore. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Travelers enjoy the food and museums when visiting the welcoming destination of Colorado Springs. This mountain town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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 New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles.


Which place is cheaper, Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs is $155. 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 Colorado Springs in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Colorado Springs $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Colorado Springs $162
Compare Hotels in Durham and Colorado Springs

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Colorado Springs? 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 Colorado Springs


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 Colorado Springs Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Colorado Springs $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Colorado Springs

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Colorado Springs:

  • Winter Park Ski Resort to Denver Airport BJC Departure Transfer: $93
  • Snowmass/Aspen to Eagle County Reg. Airport - Departure Transfer: $131
  • Private Transfer from Beaver Creek Ski Resort to Denver Airport: $218
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Vail/Beaver Creek Private Transfer: $218
  • Rocky Mountain Metropolitan (BJC) to Steamboat-Arrival Transfer: $229
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Winter Park - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $262
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Steamboat - Private Arrival Transfer: $284
  • Snowmass/Aspen to Denver Centennial Airport - Departure Transfer: $295

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Colorado Springs?

Prices for flights to both Colorado Springs 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
    Colorado Springs $45

Typical Food Prices in Colorado Springs

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


  • Cold Stone Ice Cream (family of 4)
    $22
  • Snacks at the Zoo (family of 4)
    $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Colorado Springs

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

  • Classic 3-Hour Food Tour in Colorado Springs: $79
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show - Colorado Springs, CO: $86

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Colorado Springs $34

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

Tours and Activities in Colorado Springs

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

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Colorado Springs by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Garden of the Gods: Self-Guided Driving & Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Self Guided Driving and Walking Tour in Garden of the Gods : $20
  • Colorado Springs - Guided Walking Ghost / History Tour: $28
  • Colorado Springs - Guided Walking Ghost / History Tour: $28
  • Colorado: A Scenic Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour Bundle: $30
  • Adventurers Ready To Jump Into The Void Silverton Style Wanted: $35
  • Fort Collins Military Years Tour: $40
  • Astronomy Tour: $45
  • Colorado Springs Small Group Historic Walking Tour: $54
  • 1-Hour Segway Tour of Cheyenne Cañon Art, History and Nature: $72
  • 1-Hour Broadmoor History Segway Tour: $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Colorado Springs $24

Sample the Local Flavors in Colorado Springs

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Colorado Springs:

  • 2.5-Hour Brewery & Bites Walking Tour: $84
  • Downtown Colorado Springs 2.5-Hour Brewery Tour: $89


When comparing the travel costs between Durham and Colorado Springs, 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 Colorado Springs Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Durham or Colorado Springs?

Colorado Springs has a larger population, and is about 76% larger than the population of Durham. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Colorado Springs, 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 Colorado Springs?

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 Colorado Springs in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Colorado Springs. The summer months attract visitors to Durham because of the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Colorado Springs this time of year.

In the summer, Durham is a little warmer than Colorado Springs. Typically, the summer temperatures in Durham in July average around 79°F (26°C), and Colorado Springs averages at about 71°F (22°C).

Durham gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Durham usually receives more rain than Colorado Springs. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Colorado Springs receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Colorado Springs 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Durham or Colorado Springs in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Durham as well as Colorado Springs. The shopping scene are the main draw to Durham this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Colorado Springs for the hiking trails, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Durham is generally much warmer than Colorado Springs. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 61°F (16°C), and Colorado Springs fluctuates around 48°F (9°C).

Durham usually gets more rain in October than Colorado Springs. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Colorado Springs receives 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Colorado Springs 48°F (9°C)

Should I visit Durham or Colorado Springs in the Winter?

Both Colorado Springs and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Durham for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Colorado Springs in the winter for the skiing, the museums, and the cuisine.

Colorado Springs can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Durham. Durham is much warmer than Colorado Springs in the winter. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Colorado Springs fluctuates around 26°F (-3°C).

In January, Durham usually receives more rain than Colorado Springs. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Colorado Springs receives 0.3 inches (8 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Colorado Springs 26°F (-3°C)

Should I visit Durham or Colorado Springs in the Spring?

Both Colorado Springs and Durham during the spring are popular places to visit. Also, most visitors come to Colorado Springs for the small town charm and the natural beauty during these months.

In the spring, Durham is much warmer than Colorado Springs. Typically, the spring temperatures in Durham in April average around 60°F (16°C), and Colorado Springs averages at about 45°F (7°C).

Durham usually gets more rain in April than Colorado Springs. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Colorado Springs receives 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Colorado Springs 45°F (7°C)

Typical Weather for Colorado Springs and Durham

Durham Colorado Springs
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 26°F (-3°C) 0.3 inches (8 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 0.3 inches (8 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 35°F (2°C) 0.9 inches (23 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 45°F (7°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.9 inches (24 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 48°F (9°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 36°F (2°C) 0.5 inches (13 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 27°F (-3°C) 0.3 inches (8 mm)