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

Should you visit Durham or Norfolk?

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 Norfolk 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.

Norfolk

Norfolk is a authentic, blue collar, and maritime city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Durham and Norfolk: 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 Norfolk?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Durham than Norfolk, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. 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. Norfolk is well known for its naval base and military presence.

How is Durham different from Norfolk?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Durham
Norfolk

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

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.

Norfolk offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are some interesting museums in town like the Chrysler Museum, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and the Norfolk Police and Fire Museum. You should also check out the Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin.


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

Durham
Norfolk

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Durham and Norfolk 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 Norfolk. You'll find a decent collection of restaurants in the downtown area. Food options include local seafood, brunch, casual eateries, and fine dining.

Is Durham or Norfolk Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Norfolk

Both Durham and Norfolk 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 Norfolk. Downtown is where you'll find the most busy nightlife venues. The city has great breweries, and the live music scene has taken off. There are also lounges, dance clubs, and wine bars to choose from.

Is the Shopping Better in Durham or Norfolk?

Durham
Norfolk

Both Durham and Norfolk 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 Norfolk. There's a mix of shopping malls, local boutiques, farmer's markets, and shopping centers around town.


Is Durham or Norfolk Better for Families?

Durham
Norfolk

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

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.

Norfolk is a family-friendly city. The Norfolk Zoo is always a hit with kids. You should also visit the USS Wisconsin which offers tours, as well as the Douglas MacArthur Memorial Museum.

Is Durham or Norfolk Better for Couples?

Durham
Norfolk

Durham is a popular place for romance. However, Norfolk is a city with minimal 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 Norfolk as a couple's destination. There are some nice hotels and several great parks and outdoor activities.

Is Durham or Norfolk Better for Students?

Durham
Norfolk

Durham is a great destination for students. However, Norfolk 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.

Norfolk is not popular with students.


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

Durham
Norfolk

Both Durham and Norfolk 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 Norfolk. While there are buses, ferries, and even lightrail in the area, you really want to have a car to get around.

Is Durham or Norfolk a more walkable city?

Durham
Norfolk

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

Norfolk is a somewhat walkable city. Downtown is the most walkable part of the city.

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 Norfolk Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Norfolk or Durham?

How long in Durham or Norfolk?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Durham or Norfolk to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Durham than Norfolk 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 Norfolk.

Couples should spend more time in Durham than Norfolk. 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 Norfolk 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 Norfolk? Ideal Length of Stay
    Durham 1-3 
    Norfolk 1-2

One day in Durham or Norfolk?

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 Norfolk. One day is often enough time to do most activities.


A weekend in Durham or Norfolk?

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.

Norfolk 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 Norfolk?

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 Norfolk. 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 Norfolk?

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 shopping and museums when visiting the authentic destination of Norfolk. 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, Norfolk 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 Norfolk is $166. 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 Norfolk in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Norfolk? 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 Norfolk


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 Norfolk Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Norfolk $54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Norfolk

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Norfolk:

  • Bamville Transportation (Private & Airport Transfers): $275

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Norfolk?

Prices for flights to both Norfolk 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
    Norfolk $49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Norfolk

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

  • Norfolk Buffet Dinner Cruise : $89
  • Buffet Dinner Cruise: $89
  • Norfolk Father's Day Buffet Dinner Cruise: $126
  • Norfolk 4th of July Buffet Dinner Cruise: $182

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Norfolk $14

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 Norfolk

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

  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Norfolk with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Skip the Line: Virginia Living Museum Admission Ticket: $22
  • Neon District Contemporary Art Walking Tour: $32
  • Norfolk's Passport to Fun Admission Tickets and Savings: $37
  • Virginia Zoo & Battleship Wisconsin Combo Ticket: $38
  • Electric Bike Rental Downtown Norfolk (self guided tour) : $60
  • Elizabeth River Sunday Buffet Brunch Cruise: $74
  • Norfolk Buffet Brunch Cruise : $74
  • Elizabeth River Candlelit Buffet Lunch Cruise: $76
  • Norfolk Father's Day Buffet Brunch Cruise: $104

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Norfolk $10


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


Which is Bigger, Durham or Norfolk?

Norfolk has a larger population, and is about 14% larger than the population of Durham. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Norfolk, 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 Norfolk?

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 Norfolk in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Norfolk. Most visitors come to Durham for the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Norfolk because of the family-friendly experiences.

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

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Norfolk 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 Norfolk during summer. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies, while Norfolk receives 279 hours of full sun in the summer.

Norfolk receives a lot of rain in the summer. Durham gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Durham usually receives less rain than Norfolk. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 5.7 inches (145 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Norfolk 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Durham or Norfolk in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Durham as well as Norfolk. The autumn months attract visitors to Durham because of the shopping scene. Additionally, the shopping scene are the main draw to Norfolk this time of year.

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

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Norfolk. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durham this time of the year. In the autumn, Durham often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Norfolk receives 211 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets less rain in October than Norfolk. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Durham or Norfolk in the Winter?

Both Norfolk and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Durham this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Norfolk for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Norfolk. It's quite cold in Durham in the winter. Durham is a little warmer than Norfolk in the winter. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Norfolk fluctuates around 39°F (4°C).

Durham usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk during winter. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies, while Norfolk receives 168 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Durham usually receives around the same amount of rain as Norfolk. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Norfolk 39°F (4°C)

Should I visit Durham or Norfolk in the Spring?

Both Norfolk and Durham during the spring are popular places to visit.

In the spring, Durham is a little warmer than Norfolk. Typically, the spring temperatures in Durham in April average around 60°F (16°C), and Norfolk averages at about 58°F (14°C).

In Norfolk, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Durham. In the spring, Durham often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Norfolk receives 253 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets more rain in April than Norfolk. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Norfolk 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Norfolk and Durham

Durham Norfolk
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 49°F (10°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.7 inches (145 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)