A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Durham vs. Raleigh for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Durham or Raleigh?

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

Where Should I go: Durham or Raleigh?

Durham

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

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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Durham and Raleigh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $73
    Raleigh $83
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $146
    Raleigh $166
Compare Hotels in Durham and Raleigh

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Raleigh? 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 Raleigh


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $26
    Raleigh $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durham

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Durham:

  • Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $139
  • Private Transfer from Durham to Manchester Airport (MAN): $407

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Raleigh

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:

  • Raleigh to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $124

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Durham $35
    Raleigh $46

Typical Food prices in Raleigh

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Raleigh:


  • The Pit Authentic BBQ (for 3)
    $84

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: $62

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $21
    Raleigh $30

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: $41

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: $41

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $27
    Raleigh $22

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: $12


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.


When is the best time to visit Durham or Raleigh?

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 Raleigh in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Raleigh. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Raleigh because of the family-friendly experiences.

Durham is around the same temperature as Raleigh in the summer. The temperature in Durham is usually 79°F (26°C) in July, and Raleigh stays around 79°F (26°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Raleigh 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 Raleigh during summer. At this time of the year, Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 259 hours of full sun.

Raleigh receives a lot of rain in the summer. Durham gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Durham usually receives around the same amount of rain as Raleigh. At this time of the year, Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain.


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

Should I visit Durham or Raleigh in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Durham as well as Raleigh.

In the autumn, Durham is around the same temperature as Raleigh. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Durham in October are around 61°F (16°C), and Raleigh is about 61°F (16°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Raleigh. 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 Raleigh. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Raleigh receives 211 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Raleigh. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Durham or Raleigh in the Winter?

Both Raleigh and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to Raleigh for the museums and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Raleigh. It's quite cold in Durham in the winter. In January, Durham is generally around the same temperature as Raleigh. Temperatures in Durham average around 40°F (5°C), and Raleigh stays around 40°F (5°C).

Durham usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Raleigh during winter. At this time of the year, Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 162 hours of full sun.

In January, Durham usually receives around the same amount of rain as Raleigh. At this time of the year, Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Raleigh 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Durham or Raleigh in the Spring?

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

Durham is around the same temperature as Raleigh in the spring. The temperature in Durham is usually 60°F (16°C) in April, and Raleigh stays around 60°F (16°C).

In Raleigh, 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 Raleigh. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Raleigh receives 251 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Raleigh. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Typical Weather for Raleigh and Durham

Durham Raleigh
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)


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Durham vs. Raleigh Travel Comparison

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