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

Should you visit Durham or Nashville?

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 Nashville 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.

Nashville

Nashville is a country music lovers, eclectic, and southern 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 Nashville: 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
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for students


Is there more to do in Durham or Nashville?

You'll generally find more things to do in Nashville than Durham. Nashville is bigger than Durham, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Nashville is better known for its nightlife, music, resorts, and big city activities, while Durham is more popular for its museums and shopping. Nashville is more touristy than Durham and is popular for its influence in country music and its many live music venues. Also, Nashville is famous for The Grand Ole Opry. Durham is well known for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team.

How is Durham different from Nashville?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Durham
Nashville

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

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Durham. 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.

Nashville offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. It is famous as the home of the Grand Ole Opry. It's also where you'll find the Country Music Hall of Fame and the unique Johnny Cash Museum.


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

Durham
Nashville

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Durham and Nashville 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 Nashville. The city is known for some southern favorites including southern barbecue, mac and cheese, and biscuits and gravy.

Is Durham or Nashville Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Nashville

Nashville 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.

Nashville offers plenty to do in the evening. The city is popular for it's music scene, particularly the country music scene. You can take in one of the free Honky Tonks or head to a rooftop bar. It's also a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties.

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 Nashville Better for Music?

Durham
Nashville

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

In Nashville you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. The city is famous for country music, blues, and rock and roll. Popular venues include The Basement, The 5 Spot, and The Cannery Complex.

Durham is not a live music destination.


Is Durham or Nashville Better for Resorts?

Durham
Nashville

Nashville is very good for its resorts. However, Durham is not a resort destination.

Nashville has a few great resort options. There are a couple of famous resorts in the area including the Gaylord Opryland Resort, the Hermitage Hotel, and the Omni Nashville Hotel.

Durham is not a resort destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Durham or Nashville?

Durham
Nashville

Durham is a city with good options for shopping. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for its shopping opportunities.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Durham. The Streets of Southpoint is the best mall in the area. Other shopping areas include Brightleaf Square and Nineth Street.

If you're looking to go shopping, Nashville has some nice offerings. The town has a number of boutique shops as well as major department stores. You'll find all of the major American chains around town.

Is Durham or Nashville Better for Christmas?

Durham
Nashville

Nashville is very good for its Christmas activities. However, Durham does not offer Christmas activities.

Many visitors go to Nashville during the Christmas season. Several different venues decorate beautifully for the Christmas season including the Gaylord Opryland.

Durham does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Durham or Nashville Better for Families?

Durham
Nashville

You'll find notable kid-friendly activities in either Durham or Nashville.

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.

Nashville is a family-friendly city. The city has a handful of kid-friendly activities like a science center and kid-friendly music venues.

Is Durham or Nashville Better for Couples?

Durham
Nashville

Both Durham and Nashville 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.

Nashville is a nice destination for couples. For music lovers, this is the ultimate couple's destination. There are also a number of romantic activities around town including horse drawn carriage rides through the downtown. To enjoy the beautiful weather, head to Centennial Park or take a hike in Forest Hills.

Is Durham or Nashville Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Durham
Nashville

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

Nashville is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are one or two hostels around town and there's a great live music scene that attracts a young crowd.

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 Nashville Better for Students?

Durham
Nashville

Durham is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for students.

Students come from all over to stay in Durham. 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.

Nashville is a decent spot for students. Several universities bring in international students, but the city is smaller and it isn't the most popular student destination in America.

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

Durham
Nashville

Durham is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Durham. There are buses around town, but you really need a car to explore the area.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Nashville. Public transportation is very limited and you really need a car to explore the city in depth.

Is Durham or Nashville a more walkable city?

Durham
Nashville

Durham is a decent place to visit for its walkability. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

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

Nashville is not a walkable city. There aren't many parts of the city that are pedestrian-friendly.


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

Should I spend more time in Nashville or Durham?

How long in Durham or Nashville?

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Nashville 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 Nashville.


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

One day in Durham or Nashville?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Durham. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Durham has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

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

A weekend in Durham or Nashville?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the diverse destination of Durham. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Nashville 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 Nashville?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the sports oriented city of Durham. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

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

Durham is a popular choice for travelers. One week 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Travelers enjoy the food and museums when visiting the country music lovers destination of Nashville. 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 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, and The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Nashville 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 Nashville is $172. 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 Nashville in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Nashville $99
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Nashville $198
Compare Hotels in Durham and Nashville

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Nashville? 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 Nashville


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 Nashville Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Nashville $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nashville

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Nashville Airport (BNA) to Downtown Nashville: $84
  • Nashville Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to Nashville: $90
  • Airport to Hotel Private Transfer: $125
  • Private transfer to Nashville Airport and Hotel: $128

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Nashville?

Prices for flights to both Nashville 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
    Nashville $41

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nashville

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

  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show - Franklin, TN: $94
  • The Gulch Walking & Tasting Food Tour: $96
  • Nashville Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • General Jackson Showboat Lunch or Dinner Cruise in Nashville: $113
  • General Jackson Showboat Dinner Cruise: $138

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Nashville $27

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
  • Durham NC: Art Walking Tour: $20
  • True Crime Tour: $13

Tours and Activities in Nashville

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

  • Nashville Music City Smart Phone Self-Guided Audio/App Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Music City Self-Guided Walking Tour w/ Audio App: $6.75
  • Downtown A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Music History Guided Walking Tour: $10
  • Explore Nashville's Melodies: An In-App Audio Tour: $11
  • Willie Nelson and Friends Museum Entry Ticket: $11
  • Nashville Scavenger Hunt and Sightseeing Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Downtown Nashville Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $13
  • Explore Haunted Downtown Walking Tour in Nashville : $20
  • Nashville Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Guided Ghost-Themed Walking Tour: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Nashville $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Nashville

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nashville:

  • Nashville's Annual New Year's Eve Pub Crawl: $25
  • Nashville's Annual Crawl-O-Ween Pub Crawl: $25
  • Music City Pub Crawl: $25
  • Nashville's Annual Saint Patrick's Day Pub Crawl: $25
  • Nashville Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $28
  • Belle Meade Guided Mansion Tour with Complimentary Wine Tasting: $29
  • Seeking Spirits Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Drinkers & Thinkers Pub Crawl: $33
  • Nashville's Lost Spirits: Murder and True Crime Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Nashville Lost Spirits: Murder True Crime Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Ghosts, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Nashville Drinkers & Thinkers Pub Crawl: $35


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


Which is Bigger, Durham or Nashville?

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

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 Nashville in the Summer?

Both Nashville and Durham during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Durham for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Nashville in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Durham is around the same temperature as Nashville. Typically, the summer temperatures in Durham in July average around 79°F (26°C), and Nashville averages at about 81°F (27°C).

In Nashville, 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 Nashville. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nashville receives 276 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually gets more rain in July than Nashville. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Nashville 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Durham or Nashville in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Nashville. Many visitors come to Durham in the autumn for the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Nashville for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene during these months.

In October, Durham is generally around the same temperature as Nashville. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 61°F (16°C), and Nashville fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Nashville 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 Nashville during autumn. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Nashville receives 212 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Durham usually receives around the same amount of rain as Nashville. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Nashville 62°F (17°C)

Should I visit Durham or Nashville in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Durham as well as Nashville. Most visitors come to Durham for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Nashville because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Nashville can be very cold. Durham can be very cold during winter. Durham is a little warmer than Nashville in the winter. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Nashville fluctuates around 38°F (4°C).

In the winter, Durham often gets more sunshine than Nashville. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nashville receives 134 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Nashville. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Nashville 38°F (4°C)

Should I visit Durham or Nashville in the Spring?

Both Nashville and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, the activities around the city are the main draw to Nashville this time of year.

In the spring, Durham is around the same temperature as Nashville. Typically, the spring temperatures in Durham in April average around 60°F (16°C), and Nashville averages at about 62°F (16°C).

It's quite sunny in Nashville. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Nashville during spring. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies, while Nashville receives 234 hours of full sun in the spring.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Nashville. In April, Durham usually receives less rain than Nashville. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 4.3 inches (110 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Nashville 62°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Nashville and Durham

Durham Nashville
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 38°F (4°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 62°F (16°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 70°F (21°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 78°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 81°F (27°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 80°F (27°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 43°F (6°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)