Should you visit Durham or Raleigh?
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 Raleigh can help you decide which place is right for you.
Durham is a city in central North Carolina with about 230,000 residents. Together with Raleigh and Chapel Hill, it forms the Research Triangle area. Durham is often referred to as the "City of Medicine" and is home to the famous Duke University.
Durham's history is rooted in tobacco. The Duke family established American Tobacco, which controlled 90% of all cigarette production in the US during the second half of the 19th century. The family donated money to Trinity College, which changed its name to Duke University in 1924.
Today much of Durham's economy is centered around the university and Research Triangle Park. The area has many technology and pharmaceutical jobs and the economy continues to grow.
Raleigh is the capital city of the state of North Carolina. The city has a population of about 450,000 and is home to many colleges and university including North Carolina State University, Shaw University, Saint Augustine's College, Meredith College and Peace University. The city has a wide range of museums, restaurants, theaters, and parks. There's also an extensive greenway system that is great for biking or running.
Which city is cheaper, Raleigh or Durham?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Durham is $130, while the average daily cost in Raleigh is $151. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Durham and Raleigh in more detail.
Durham's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $146. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $73.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $83. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Raleigh the cost is $166 on average.
On average, meal and food prices in Durham cost around $35 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $14.
While meal prices in Raleigh can vary, the average travelers spends about $46 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Raleigh should cost around $18 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Raleigh is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Raleigh
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Raleigh:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Raleigh
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Raleigh.
Raleigh, NC - Walking Food Tours:
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Durham.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $30 per day to get around in Raleigh.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durham
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Durham:
Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer:
Private Transfer from Durham to Manchester Airport (MAN):
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Raleigh
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:
Raleigh to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Raleigh?
Prices for flights to both Raleigh 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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Durham. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $30 per person, per day in Raleigh. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Tours and Activities in Durham
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Durham are as follows:
Trolley Pub Public Tour of Durham:
Tours and Activities in Raleigh
Here are a few actual costs in Raleigh for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Trolley Pub Public Tour of Raleigh:
The average person spends about $27 on alcoholic beverages in Durham per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Raleigh may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $22 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Sample the Local Flavors in Raleigh
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Raleigh:
Raleigh Bar Hunt: Rowdy Raleigh Bar Crawl:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durham and Raleigh, we can see that Raleigh is more expensive. And not only is Durham much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Durham would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Durham 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 Raleigh would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Raleigh than you might in Durham.
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