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

Should you visit Durham or Pasadena?

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

Durham

Durham is a diverse, student-filled, and sports oriented city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Pasadena

Pasadena is a quaint, charming, and picturesque city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Durham and Pasadena: 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
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Durham or Pasadena?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Pasadena than Durham. While Durham is larger than Pasadena, Pasadena has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Durham is famous for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team. Pasadena is famous for being the home of the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl. It is also well known for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

How is Durham different from Pasadena?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Durham
Pasadena

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Durham or Pasadena.

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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Pasadena can be an interesting and educational experience. There's a good number of museums around town that include kids' museums, art museums, and local museums. Popular museums include the USC Pacific Asia Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Pasadena Museum of History. Many people also enjoy touring the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


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

Durham
Pasadena

Pasadena is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Dining out in Pasadena is an experience not to be missed. Local restaurants feature southern California cuisine as well as international flavors. Dishes often use local ingredients that are fresh and seasonal. Restaurants range from casual to fine dining and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

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.

Is Durham or Pasadena Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Pasadena

Pasadena 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.

Pasadena offers plenty to do in the evening. Much of the nightlife scene is concentrated around Old Pasadena. You'll find clubs, bars, and lounges that begin the evening with Happy Hours and then become more party-focused as the evening progresses.

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 the Shopping Better in Durham or Pasadena?

Durham
Pasadena

Pasadena is a well-known place for its shopping areas. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Pasadena. Old Pasadena is where you'll find some of the best shopping. It's filled with a charming atmosphere and interesting boutiques.

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.


Is Durham or Pasadena Better for Families?

Durham
Pasadena

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

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.

Pasadena is a family-friendly city. There are a number of kid-friendly museums around town including Kidspace Children's Museum. There are also nature centers, playgrounds, and plenty of family-friendly restaurants.

Is Durham or Pasadena Better for Couples?

Durham
Pasadena

Both Durham and Pasadena 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.

Pasadena is a nice destination for couples. It's a charming town with a bit of a European vibe and plenty of outdoor activities. Fine dining and interesting shopping make this a nice weekend destination.

Is Durham or Pasadena Better for Students?

Durham
Pasadena

Durham is notable for students. However, Pasadena is not popular with students.

Many students visit 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.

Pasadena is not popular with students.


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

Durham
Pasadena

Pasadena is very good for its public transit. However, Durham is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

Pasadena has a few public transit options. Buses and light rail offer local transit and connect the city to nearby Los Angeles.

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

Is Durham or Pasadena a more walkable city?

Durham
Pasadena

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

Pasadena is a somewhat walkable city. Most people head to Old Pasadena, which is the most concentrated and 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 Pasadena Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Pasadena or Durham?

How long in Durham or Pasadena?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Durham and Pasadena. In our opinion, Pasadena has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Pasadena than Durham. However, 1-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

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


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

One day in Durham or Pasadena?

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 museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Pasadena. One day is often enough time to do most activities.


A weekend in Durham or Pasadena?

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.

Pasadena 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 Pasadena?

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 Pasadena. 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 Pasadena?

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 quaint destination of Pasadena. 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 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, Pasadena 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 Pasadena is $62. 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 Pasadena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Pasadena $25
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Pasadena $50
Compare Hotels in Durham and Pasadena

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Pasadena? 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 Pasadena


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 Pasadena Hotel Prices.

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Pasadena?

Prices for flights to both Pasadena 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
    Pasadena $19

Typical Food Prices in Pasadena

Some typical examples of dining costs in Pasadena are as follows:


  • Casual Dinner Out (family of 4)
    $58

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Pasadena -

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

Tours and Activities in Pasadena

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

  • Pasadena Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $11
  • Haunted Walking Tour: $30
  • Old Pasadena Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour: $49
  • LA: East Side Guided Film Locations Tour: $350

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Pasadena -


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durham and Pasadena, we can see that Durham is more expensive. And not only is Pasadena much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Pasadena would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Pasadena and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Durham would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Durham than you might in Pasadena.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Durham Expensive? and Is Pasadena Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Durham or Pasadena?

Durham has a larger population, and is about 42% larger than the population of Pasadena. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Pasadena, 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 Pasadena?

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 Pasadena in the Summer?

Both Pasadena and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Durham in the summer for the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Pasadena for the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Durham is a little warmer than Pasadena in the summer. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 79°F (26°C) in July, and Pasadena fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

It's quite rainy in Durham. In July, Durham usually receives more rain than Pasadena. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0 inches (0 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Pasadena 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Durham or Pasadena in the Autumn?

Both Pasadena and Durham during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Durham for the shopping scene during these months. Furthermore, the autumn months attract visitors to Pasadena because of the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Durham is cooler than Pasadena. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Durham in October average around 61°F (16°C), and Pasadena averages at about 68°F (20°C).

Durham usually gets more rain in October than Pasadena. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0.3 inches (7 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Pasadena 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Durham or Pasadena in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Pasadena. The winter months attract visitors to Durham because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Pasadena this time of year.

The weather in Durham can be very cold. In January, Durham is generally much colder than Pasadena. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 40°F (5°C), and Pasadena fluctuates around 56°F (13°C).

In January, Durham usually receives more rain than Pasadena. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 2.5 inches (63 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Pasadena 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Durham or Pasadena in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Durham as well as Pasadena.

Durham is around the same temperature as Pasadena in the spring. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 60°F (16°C) in April, and Pasadena fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

Durham usually gets more rain in April than Pasadena. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Pasadena receives 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Pasadena 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Pasadena and Durham

Durham Pasadena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 59°F (15°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 65°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (4 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 69°F (20°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0 inches (0 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 74°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 62°F (16°C) 1.6 inches (42 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 56°F (13°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm)