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

Should you visit Durham or Columbus?

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

Durham

Durham is a student-filled, sports oriented, and diverse city. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Columbus

Columbus is a authentic, friendly, and welcoming city. Other popular activities here include museums, nightlife, and shopping.

Durham and Columbus: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Durham or Columbus?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Durham than Columbus. While Columbus is larger than Durham, Durham has more sights and attractions for tourists. Durham is well known for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team. Also, Durham is famous for the Duke University Chapel. Columbus is well known for its youthful energy and its growing arts scene.

How is Durham different from Columbus?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Durham
Columbus

Durham is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Durham offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.

Columbus offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Popular museums around town include the Center of Science and Technology, the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Ohio History Center.


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

Durham
Columbus

Durham is a popular place for its restaurants. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Columbus. Hearty and heavy comfort food is the mainstay in this town. There's pizza, casseroles, sausage, and milkshakes around town.

Is Durham or Columbus Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Columbus

Both Durham and Columbus 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 Columbus. The live music scene is growing. There are also a growing number of breweries around town.

Is the Shopping Better in Durham or Columbus?

Durham
Columbus

Both Durham and Columbus 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 Columbus. In addition to the standard shopping malls and retail outlets, there are some interesting shops in the Short North Arts District, German Village, and Easton Town Center.


Is Durham or Columbus Better for Families?

Durham
Columbus

Columbus 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.

Columbus is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a highlight for many families. Right by it is the Zoombezi Bay Waterpark. For hands-on science-based activities check out the Center of Science and Industry. Kids will also love the Legoland Discovery Center or the Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory. There are also many outdoor parks, greenways, and playgrounds to visit.

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 Columbus Better for Couples?

Durham
Columbus

Durham is a popular place for romance. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Durham is a nice destination for couples. 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.

Most people don't think of Columbus as a couple's destination. You'll find restaurants and music venues that make for a nice date night. There are also wine tours and other entertainment options.

Is Durham or Columbus Better for Students?

Durham
Columbus

Durham is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Columbus is not popular with students.

Durham is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. 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.

Columbus is not popular with students.


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

Durham
Columbus

Both Durham and Columbus 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 Columbus. While there's a bus system, you'll really want to have a vehicle to get around town efficiently.

Is Durham or Columbus a more walkable city?

Durham
Columbus

Columbus is very good for its ease of walking around. However, Durham is not a good city for its walkability.

Columbus is a somewhat walkable city. The older neighborhoods are the most walkable, but if you want to get around town, you'll need to have a car.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Columbus or Durham?

How long in Durham or Columbus?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Durham or Columbus to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Durham than Columbus because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Durham, and 1-2 days is enough time in Columbus.

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

Couples should spend more time in Durham than Columbus. 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 Durham than Columbus 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 Durham.


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

One day in Durham or Columbus?

The city of Durham offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

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


A weekend in Durham or Columbus?

Durham is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Durham, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Columbus 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 Columbus?

Durham is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

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

Durham is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

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


Which place is cheaper, Columbus 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 Columbus is $158. 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 Columbus in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Columbus $72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Columbus $144
Compare Hotels in Durham and Columbus

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Columbus? 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 Columbus


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 Columbus Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Columbus $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

Also for Columbus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $66
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $66
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $132
  • Columbus Ohio (CMH) Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $180

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Columbus?

Prices for flights to both Columbus 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
    Columbus $49

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Columbus $46

Tours and Activities in Durham

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

  • Downtown Durham Historic Walking Tour: $16
  • Durham African American History Tour: $16
  • Durham NC: Art Walking Tour: $20
  • True Crime Tour: $13

Tours and Activities in Columbus

For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Columbus by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Columbus with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure : $21
  • Columbus Blue Jackets Ice Hockey Game Ticket at Nationwide Arena: $23
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $29
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $41
  • 1-Hour Themed Escape Room Adventure & Narrative: $41
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Columbus $20


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


Which is Bigger, Durham or Columbus?

Columbus has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Durham. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Columbus, 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 Columbus?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Durham or Columbus in the Summer?

Both Columbus and Durham during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Durham for the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Columbus because of the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Durham is around the same temperature as Columbus. Typically, the summer temperatures in Durham in July average around 79°F (26°C), and Columbus averages at about 77°F (25°C).

In Columbus, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Durham. In the summer, Durham often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Columbus. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 254 hours of full sun.

Columbus gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually gets more rain in July than Columbus. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Durham or Columbus in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Columbus. The autumn months attract visitors to Durham because of the shopping scene. Also, the shopping scene are the main draw to Columbus this time of year.

In October, Durham is generally a little warmer than Columbus. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 61°F (16°C), and Columbus fluctuates around 57°F (14°C).

In Durham, it's very sunny this time of the year. Durham usually receives more sunshine than Columbus during autumn. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 179 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Durham usually receives more rain than Columbus. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Columbus 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Durham or Columbus in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Durham as well as Columbus. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Durham this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Columbus for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Columbus. It's quite cold in Durham in the winter. Durham is much warmer than Columbus in the winter. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Columbus fluctuates around 30°F (-1°C).

In the winter, Durham often gets more sunshine than Columbus. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 105 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets more rain in January than Columbus. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Durham or Columbus in the Spring?

Both Columbus and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In the spring, Durham is a little warmer than Columbus. Typically, the spring temperatures in Durham in April average around 60°F (16°C), and Columbus averages at about 54°F (12°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually receives more sunshine than Columbus during spring. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 200 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Durham usually receives around the same amount of rain as Columbus. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Columbus 54°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Columbus and Durham

Durham Columbus
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)