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

Should you visit Durham or Philadelphia?

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

Durham

Durham is a sports oriented, diverse, and student-filled city. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a cultural, diverse, and historic city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.

Durham and Philadelphia: 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
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Durham or Philadelphia?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Philadelphia than Durham, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Philadelphia is more touristy than Durham and is popular for its diverse population, large number of universities, great restaurant and market scene, and its role in American history. It is also home to The Liberty Bell. Durham is popular for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team.

How is Durham different from Philadelphia?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is an amazing city to visit for its sights and museums. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Philadelphia on the map. The city has a rich history with a number of museums and monuments. Popular sites around the city include the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Jewish American History.

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.


Is Durham or Philadelphia Better for Theater?

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a well-known place for its shows and theatre. However, Durham is not a theatre destination.

Philadelphia has a number of performance venues where you can see a variety of shows. There are major Broadway shows as well as smaller venues. Head to The Avenue of the Arts along Broad Street for a popular stretch of theaters.

Durham is not a theatre destination.

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

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia is an experience not to be missed. It has grown into a well-recognized food destination. It's diversity of cultures and residents have influenced the restaurant scene and you'll find many great places to dine covering a number of international flavors. The city is famous for its Philly cheesesteak and roast pork sandwich. You can also grab some local favorites at Reading Terminal Market.

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 Philadelphia Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia 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.

Philadelphia offers plenty to do in the evening. The city's nightlife scene carries late into the evening with many rooftop and outdoor beer gardens. Most of the clubs and bars are found in the downtown area and you'll find places to dance, listen to live music, or sip a trendy cocktails.

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 Philadelphia Better for Music?

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a well-known place for its music scene. However, Durham is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Philadelphia is very popular with diverse venues. The city's diverse music scene includes jazz, rock, and hip hop.

Durham is not a live music destination.

Is Durham or Philadelphia Better for its Old Town?

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is very good for its historic old town charm. However, Durham does not have a historic old town.

Philadelphia offers a nice historic old town area. The Old City has a number of Colonial-era sites including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House.

Durham does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Durham or Philadelphia?

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia. With all items tax-free, this city is a great place to shop. It has many boutique shops as well as name brand stores and shopping areas. For a local vibe, head to Reading Terminal Market.

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 Philadelphia Better for Christmas?

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a well-known place for its Christmas activities. However, Durham does not offer Christmas activities.

Philadelphia is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. There are a number of holiday events, light shows, and festivals during the holiday season.

Durham does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Durham or Philadelphia Better for Christmas Markets?

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is very good for its Christmas markets. However, Durham does not offer Christmas markets.

Philadelphia offers some nice Christmas markets. The city has its own German style Christmas market at Love Park and City Hall. It hosts over 80 vendors.

Durham does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Durham or Philadelphia Better for Families?

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia 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.

Philadelphia is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has many museums and a fascinating history that is interesting to kids and adults alike. Popular activities include a zoo and Sesame Place. Kids also love the hands-on Please Touch Museum.

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 Philadelphia Better for Couples?

Durham
Philadelphia

Both Durham and Philadelphia are good 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.

Philadelphia is a nice destination for couples. Like many large cities, it is a fun place to explore in the evening as a couple. This is also a great foodie destination with great markets, food trucks, and diverse restaurants that reflect the city's diverse population.

Is Durham or Philadelphia Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Durham
Philadelphia

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

Philadelphia is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a few good hostels for backpackers and budget travelers to choose from.

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 Philadelphia Better for Students?

Durham
Philadelphia

Durham and Philadelphia are both excellent destinations for students and younger travelers.

Durham is very popular with students. 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.

Philadelphia is a great city to visit as a student. With its many universities and diverse population, this city is a great place for international students.


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

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a well-known place for its public transit. However, Durham is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

The public transit in Philadelphia can get you to most places easily. The system includes a subway, trolleys, buses, and a commuter rail.

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 Philadelphia a more walkable city?

Durham
Philadelphia

Philadelphia is an amazing city to visit for its ease of walking around. However, Durham is not a good city for its walkability.

It is easy to get around Philadelphia on foot. The Old City is particularly walkable, as is Avenue of the Arts, and Rittenhouse Square.

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 Philadelphia Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Philadelphia or Durham?

How long in Durham or Philadelphia?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Durham and Philadelphia. In our opinion, Philadelphia has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Philadelphia than Durham. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Durham, and 2-3 days is enough time in Philadelphia.

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

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

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


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

One day in Durham or Philadelphia?

In Durham, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this diverse city offers. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. In one day, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Philadelphia is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Durham or Philadelphia?

Durham is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Philadelphia is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the museums, 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 Philadelphia?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the sports oriented destination of Durham. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Philadelphia. Don't miss the museums, 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 Philadelphia?

Durham is a popular place to visit. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the diverse big city of Philadelphia. 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, Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia is $188. 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 Philadelphia in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Philadelphia $119
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Philadelphia $238
Compare Hotels in Durham and Philadelphia

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Philadelphia? 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 Philadelphia


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 Philadelphia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Philadelphia $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Philadelphia

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Philadelphia Airport (PHL): $50
  • Philadelphia to Philadelphia Airport (PHL) - Departure Private Transfer: $66
  • Private Transfer: Philadelphia Airport PHL to Philadelphia in Business Car: $95
  • Philadelphia Airport (PHL) to Philadelphia - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $131
  • Philadelphia City to Washington City - Private Car Transfer: $136
  • Philadelphia to New York Airport (LGA) Departure Transfer : $179
  • Philadelphia City to New York City - Private Car Transfer: $189
  • Philadelphia Airport (PHL): Private Transfer to Philadelphia: $357

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Philadelphia?

Prices for flights to both Philadelphia 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
    Philadelphia $49

Typical Food Prices in Philadelphia

For Philadelphia, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Casual Lunch (for 3)
    $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Philadelphia

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

  • Locals' Favorites Food Tour: $52
  • Best of Philly Food Tour: $55
  • Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise: $58
  • Center City Philadelphia Food Tour with Reading Market : $59
  • 9th Street Italian Market Walking Food Tour: $61
  • Bites and Booze: Walking Food Tour in Philadelphia : $65
  • Philadelphia's Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $65
  • Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $65
  • Chef-Led Taste of the Italian Market Food Tour: $80
  • Secret Food Tours Philadelphia w/ Private Tour Option: $85
  • Highlights of East Passyunk Food Tour: $85
  • Secret Food Tour: $85

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Philadelphia $28

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

Typical Entertainment Prices in Philadelphia

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Philadelphia's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Big Bus Tour (family of 3)
    $99

Tours and Activities in Philadelphia

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

  • Art and Controversy: An audio tour of Philadelphia's most infamous art scandals: $5.40
  • Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.40
  • Solve the Case Quest Experience in Philadelphia: $5.68
  • Self Guided Walking Tour of Story of Rebels of the Revolution in Old Town Philly: $6.49
  • Road to Revolution GPS Walking Audio Tour: $8.99
  • The Road to Revolution: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in Philadelphia: $8.99
  • Philadelphia In App Walking Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Philadelphia by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Allentown by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Philly's Architectural Wonders: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • National Liberty Museum Entrance Ticket: $12

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Philadelphia $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Philadelphia

Also in Philadelphia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Liberty History Tour Pub Crawl: $45
  • Guided Tour with Pub Crawl: $45
  • Half-Day Philadelphia's Brewery Bike Tour with Tastings: $100
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tours with a Snack: $120


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


Which is Bigger, Durham or Philadelphia?

Philadelphia has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Durham. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Philadelphia, 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 Philadelphia?

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 Philadelphia in the Summer?

Both Philadelphia and Durham during the summer are popular places to visit. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Durham this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Philadelphia for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Durham is generally around the same temperature as Philadelphia. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 79°F (26°C), and Philadelphia fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

In Philadelphia, 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 Philadelphia. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Philadelphia receives 273 hours of full sun.

Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Durham or Philadelphia in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Philadelphia. Many travelers come to Durham for the shopping scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Philadelphia in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Durham is a little warmer than Philadelphia in the autumn. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 61°F (16°C) in October, and Philadelphia fluctuates around 56°F (14°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia during autumn. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Philadelphia receives 202 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Durham usually receives more rain than Philadelphia. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Philadelphia 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Durham or Philadelphia in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Durham as well as Philadelphia. Many visitors come to Durham in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to Philadelphia for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

Philadelphia can be very cold during winter. Durham can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Durham is much warmer than Philadelphia. Typically, the winter temperatures in Durham in January average around 40°F (5°C), and Philadelphia averages at about 30°F (-1°C).

In the winter, Durham often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Philadelphia. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Philadelphia receives 152 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets more rain in January than Philadelphia. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Durham or Philadelphia in the Spring?

Both Philadelphia and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Philadelphia because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Durham is generally a little warmer than Philadelphia. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 60°F (16°C), and Philadelphia fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

It's quite sunny in Philadelphia. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually receives more sunshine than Philadelphia during spring. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies, while Philadelphia receives 216 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Durham usually receives more rain than Philadelphia. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Philadelphia receives 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Philadelphia 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Philadelphia and Durham

Durham Philadelphia
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 33°F (1°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 42°F (6°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 56°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 46°F (8°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 36°F (2°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)