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

Should you visit Durham or Reno?

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

Durham

Durham is a diverse, student-filled, and sports oriented city. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Reno

Reno is a energetic, growing, and vibrant city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Durham and Reno: 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 Reno?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Reno. Although Durham and Reno are popular destinations, Reno has more sights and attractions for tourists. Reno is very popular for its nightlife, while Durham attracts visitors for its museums. Reno is more touristy than Durham and is popular for its casinos and nightlife scene. It is also well known for the National Automobile Museum. Durham is famous for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team.

How is Durham different from Reno?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Durham
Reno

Durham is an excellent place to visit for its museums and history. Also, Reno is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

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.

Reno is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Museums in town range from art and history to local or quirky. The National Automobile Museum, the Nevada Museum of Art, Fleischmann Planetarium, and the Anthropology Museum are some of the favorites.


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

Durham
Reno

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Durham and Reno can be difficult as they are each nice 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 Reno. The food scene has been growing in recent years and you'll find plenty of casual restaurants that serve hearty and filling comfort foods.

Is Durham or Reno Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Reno

Reno 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.

Reno offers plenty to do in the evening. There's a big nightlife scene with a huge number of bars and entertainment options. There are also a growing number of breweries in town.

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 Reno?

Durham
Reno

Both Durham and Reno are nice 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 Reno. In addition to your standard suburban shopping malls and strip malls, there's the Midtown District, which has local retail shops and an eclectic and alternative vibe. The area has thrift shops, music vendors, and more.


Is Durham or Reno Better for Families?

Durham
Reno

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

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.

Reno is a family-friendly city. You'll find some arcades and entertainment options for kids in some of the casinos. There's also the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, which has kid-friendly, hands-on exhibits, and the largest zoo in Nevado, the Sierra Nevada Zoological Park.

Is Durham or Reno Better for Couples?

Durham
Reno

Both Durham and Reno 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.

Reno is a nice destination for couples. There are outdoor parks and scenic walks like the Truckee River Walk or the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. There's also several great museums and some interesting restaurants.

Is Durham or Reno Better for Students?

Durham
Reno

Durham is an excellent place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Reno 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.

Reno is not popular with students.


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

Durham
Reno

Both Durham and Reno offer reasonable 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 Reno. There's a public bus system with routes around town.

Is Durham or Reno a more walkable city?

Durham
Reno

Durham and Reno both are reasonable when exploring on foot.

Durham is generally not very walkable. Downtown Durham and a few areas near Duke University are the most walkable areas.

Reno is generally not a very walkable city. While there are some reasonably walkable neighborhoods, you really need a car to get around town.

For even more information, also check out Is Durham Worth Visiting? and Is Reno Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Reno or Durham?

How long in Durham or Reno?

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Durham than Reno 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 Reno? Ideal Length of Stay
    Durham 1-3 
    Reno 1-3

One day in Durham or Reno?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Durham. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Reno. One day is often enough time to do most activities.


A weekend in Durham or Reno?

Durham is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Reno 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 Reno?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the diverse destination of Durham. This city offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Reno. 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 Reno?

The student-filled city of Durham offers nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week 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.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the growing destination of Reno. 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 Camping Tours in United States of America, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Reno 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 Reno is $144. 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 Reno in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Reno $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Reno $110
Compare Hotels in Durham and Reno

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Reno? 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 Reno


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 Reno Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Reno $23

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Reno

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Reno:


  • Car Wash
    $5.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Reno

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

  • Reno to Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) - Departure Private Transfer: $66
  • Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) to Reno – Private Arrival Transfer : $66
  • Reno Tahoe Airport (RNO) to Heavenly Mountain - Arrival Transfer: $109
  • Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) to Reno – Round-Trip Private Transfer: $133
  • Reno Tahoe Airport to Northstar/Squaw Valley - Arrival Transfer: $163
  • Reno Tahoe Airport (RNO) to Mammoth Mountain: Arrival Transfer: $185
  • Reno Tahoe Airport to Heavenly Mountain - Round-Trip Transfer: $218

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Reno?

Prices for flights to both Reno 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
    Reno $54

Typical Food Prices in Reno

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


  • Dennys for Breakfast
    $22
  • Sushi DInner (for 2)
    $40
  • In-n-Out Burger (for 3)
    $19

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Reno $88

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

Tours and Activities in Reno

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

  • From Reno Arch to Truckee River: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Downtown Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Reno by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Discover Reno's Heart: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Reno Scavenger Hunt: Reno Adventure: $12
  • Lake Tahoe: Self-Guided GPS Audio Tour: $14
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Sparks NV: $15
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Carson City NV: $15
  • Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Zero Latency Extreme Virtual Reality Experience Ticket: $25
  • Gangs and Gamblers Haunted Walking Tour: $26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Reno $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Reno

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Reno:

  • 1 Hour Distillery Tour and Tasting Flight: $25
  • Brewery Tour: $130


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


Which is Bigger, Durham or Reno?

Durham has a larger population, and is about 1% larger than the population of Reno. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Reno, 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.