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

Should you visit Durham or Memphis?

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

Durham

Durham is a diverse, student-filled, and sports oriented city. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Memphis

Memphis is a laid-back, soulful, and creative city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include nightlife, live music, and food.

Durham and Memphis: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Durham or Memphis?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Memphis than Durham. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Memphis is very popular for its nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Durham attracts visitors for its museums and shopping. Durham is famous for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team. Memphis is famous for its influential music scene and its southern barbecue. It is also well known for Elvis Presley's Graceland.

How is Durham different from Memphis?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Durham
Memphis

Durham is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Memphis is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Durham can be an interesting and educational experience. 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.

Memphis is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Many attractions in town are related to the city's history in music. There is the famed Graceland as well as the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music. The city also has several art museums that are worth checking out.


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

Durham
Memphis

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Durham and Memphis can be difficult as they are each nice 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 Memphis. The town has grown into a foodie destination with excellent barbecue and ribs. There are many award winning barbecue joints, but you'll also find casual bars that serve nachos, pizza, and other quick bites.

Is Durham or Memphis Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Memphis

Memphis is a well-known place for its evening party scene. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Memphis offers plenty to do in the evening. Music is at the heart of the nightlife scene. Head to Beale Street in Memphis's downtown for the most active nightlife that usually stays open the latest. You'll also find a lot of bars and clubs in Midtown around Overton Square.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe 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.

Is Durham or Memphis Better for Music?

Durham
Memphis

Memphis is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. However, Durham is not a live music destination.

In Memphis you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. There are plenty of live music venues in the downtown area that you can explore. Several of the most famous include B.B. King's Blues Club, Handy Park Pavilion, and Blues City Cafe. The city is known for its influential role in several music genres including the blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll. There are also many music related museums and attractions in town like Graceland, the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

Durham is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Durham or Memphis?

Durham
Memphis

Durham is a nice place to visit for its shopping areas. However, Memphis is not known for shopping.

Durham has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The Streets of Southpoint is the best mall in the area. Other shopping areas include Brightleaf Square and Nineth Street.

Memphis is a good destination for shopping. The city has plenty of malls and chain stores where you can grab anything you might need.

Is Durham or Memphis Better for Families?

Durham
Memphis

You'll find nice kid-friendly activities in either Durham or Memphis.

Durham is a family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Memphis is a family-friendly city. The town has some great activities for kids including a zoo, several museums, petting farms, and a botanical garden.

Is Durham or Memphis Better for Couples?

Durham
Memphis

Both Durham and Memphis are nice 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.

Memphis is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy good music and southern food will enjoy a weekend here. There are many music related landmarks including Graceland and the Rock 'n' Soul Museum. Live music is very popular as well.


Is Durham or Memphis Better for Students?

Durham
Memphis

Durham is a great city for its student-friendly activities. Also, Memphis is not as popular, but is still a nice city for students.

Durham is a great city to visit as a student. 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.

Memphis is a good city to visit for students. The live music scene and great food options make this is a fun town for students.

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

Durham
Memphis

Both Durham and Memphis offer reasonable 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 Memphis. There is a trolley and bus system that the city operates, but a car is really helpful for getting around.

Is Durham or Memphis a more walkable city?

Durham
Memphis

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

Memphis is a somewhat walkable city. Most of the touristy parts of town are walkable, but if you want to explore further out you'll need 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 Memphis Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Memphis or Durham?

How long in Durham or Memphis?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Durham and Memphis. 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 Memphis.

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


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

One day in Durham or Memphis?

In Durham, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Memphis. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Durham or Memphis?

In Durham, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Durham has to offer.

Memphis is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the live music, 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 Memphis?

Durham is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Memphis. Don't miss the live music, as that's what most people do. 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 Memphis?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Durham. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Durham. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

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


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Camping Tours in United States of America, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Memphis 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 Memphis is $167. 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 Memphis in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Memphis $84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Memphis $168
Compare Hotels in Durham and Memphis

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Memphis? 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 Memphis


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 Memphis Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Memphis $59

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Memphis

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

  • Memphis Airport Transfers: $60
  • Private Departure Transfer to Memphis Airport MEM: $72
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Memphis Airport MEM: $72
  • Greater Memphis To MEM International Airport - Luxury Transfer: $95
  • Memphis Airport (MEM) to Memphis City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $134

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Memphis?

Prices for flights to both Memphis 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
    Memphis $43

Typical Food Prices in Memphis

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Memphis:


  • Baskin Robins (for 2)
    $6.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Memphis

For Memphis, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Taste of Downtown Memphis Food Tour: $75

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Memphis $45

Tours and Activities in Durham

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

  • Downtown Durham Historian-Guided Walking Tour: $16
  • Durham African American History Tour: $16
  • True Crime Tour: $13

Tours and Activities in Memphis

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Memphis.

  • Beale Street Experience Audio App Self Guided Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Memphis Music Hall of Fame Admission Ticket: $8.00
  • A Self Guided Walking Tour of Brews, Blues and BBQ in Memphis: $12
  • Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum Admission Ticket in Memphis: $15
  • Memphis Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Beale Street Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Walking Ghost Tour in Memphis: $27
  • Memphis Ghosts Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Haunted Memphis Walking Ghost Tour: $31
  • Memphis True Crime Tour: $33
  • Memphis Haunted History Bus Tour: $33
  • Historic Memphis Guided Walking Tour: $33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Memphis $26

Sample the Local Flavors in Memphis

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

  • Haunted Pub Crawl in Memphis: $27
  • Memphis Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $69


When comparing the travel costs between Durham and Memphis, we can see that Memphis 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 Memphis Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Durham or Memphis?

Memphis has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Durham. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Memphis, 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 Memphis?

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 Memphis in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Durham as well as Memphis. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Durham this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Memphis for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Durham is around the same temperature as Memphis in the summer. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 79°F (26°C) in July, and Memphis fluctuates around 83°F (29°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Memphis. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durham this time of the year. In the summer, Durham often gets less sunshine than Memphis. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Memphis receives 328 hours of full sun.

Durham receives a lot of rain in the summer. Durham usually gets more rain in July than Memphis. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Memphis receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Memphis 83°F (29°C)

Should I visit Durham or Memphis in the Autumn?

Both Memphis and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Durham for the shopping scene. Also, many visitors come to Memphis in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene.

In the autumn, Durham is around the same temperature as Memphis. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Durham in October average around 61°F (16°C), and Memphis averages at about 64°F (18°C).

It's quite sunny in Memphis. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually receives less sunshine than Memphis during autumn. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Memphis receives 240 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Durham usually receives more rain than Memphis. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Memphis receives 1.6 inches (41 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Memphis 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Durham or Memphis in the Winter?

Both Memphis and Durham during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Durham in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Memphis for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Memphis can be very cold during winter. Durham can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Durham is generally around the same temperature as Memphis. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 40°F (5°C), and Memphis fluctuates around 40°F (5°C).

In the winter, Durham often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Memphis. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Memphis receives 163 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets more rain in January than Memphis. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Memphis receives 2.4 inches (62 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Memphis 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Durham or Memphis in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Memphis. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Memphis because of the activities around the city.

Durham is cooler than Memphis in the spring. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 60°F (16°C) in April, and Memphis fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Memphis this time of the year. In Durham, it's very sunny this time of the year. Durham usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Memphis during spring. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies, while Memphis receives 254 hours of full sun in the spring.

Memphis receives a lot of rain in the spring. In April, Durham usually receives less rain than Memphis. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Memphis receives 4.3 inches (109 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


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

Typical Weather for Memphis and Durham

Durham Memphis
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 40°F (5°C) 2.4 inches (62 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 54°F (12°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 64°F (18°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 80°F (27°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 83°F (29°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 82°F (28°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 76°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.6 inches (41 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 44°F (7°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)