A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Durham vs. San Francisco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Durham or San Francisco?

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 San Francisco can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Durham or San Francisco?

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.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a beautiful city that is famous for it's picturesque neighborhoods, liberal character, and stunning location on the bay. Some people describe San Francisco as the United State's most "European City." This title most likely comes from its compact development and its easy walkability. It also has no shortage of parks and public spaces where you can pass some time. The city sits on the end of a peninsula and offers stunning views of the blue bay, rolling green hills, and the striking Golden Gate Bridge.

Which city is cheaper, San Francisco 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 San Francisco is $175. 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 San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $73
    San Francisco $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $146
    San Francisco $212
Compare Hotels in Durham and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in Durham or San Francisco? 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 San Francisco


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 San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $26
    San Francisco $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durham

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Durham:

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in San Francisco

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


  • Taxi to SFO
    $45
  • Golden Gate Bridge Toll
    $6.00
  • Alcatraz Tour
    $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Francisco

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Francisco Airport SFO: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Francisco Airport SFO: $40
  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Francisco to San Francisco Int. Airport (SFO): $43
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Francisco to SFO San Francisco Airport: $57
  • Cruise Terminal to San Francisco Airport (SFO) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • San Francisco Airport (SFO) to Cruise Terminal - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $65
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $65
  • Private transfer from San Francisco to SFO Airport for up to 4 passengers: $73
  • Private SFO Departure Transfer from San Francisco: $74
  • San Francisco Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $75
  • Private transfer from San Francisco Airport (SFO) to San Francisco City for up to 4 passengers: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco 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
    San Francisco $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Francisco

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

  • San Francisco Virtual Food Tour with Local Guide: $15
  • Traveling Spoon Pad Thai and Papaya Salad Private Online Cooking Class: $25
  • Chinatown Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Cooking with Ale: let's make Tiramisu - private groups: $80
  • San Francisco Food Tour: Ferry Building and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: $80
  • American Cooking Class in San Francisco with a Local near Golden Gate Park: $82
  • San Francisco Chinatown Food Tour: $89
  • Russian Hill Gourmet Food Tour: $97
  • I Can't Believe I Ate My Way Through Chinatown - Food Tour: $98
  • Mamaz Social Food Arepa Class and Dinner: $100
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Francisco: $103
  • Hayes Valley Gourmet Food Tour: $108

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $21
    San Francisco $37

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 San Francisco

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Private Tour: 19th Century Gold Rush Exploration Game: $4.96
  • Syn City SF: The Synesthesia Walking Audio Tour of Haight-Ashbury by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • San Francisco's Barbary Past Walking Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Food, History, and Resistance: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of San Francisco's Japantown: $5.34
  • Union Square to Lotta's Fountain Walking Tour by VoiceMap: $5.40
  • Walk the Haight Audio Tour: Tune into San Francisco‚Äôs Hippie Counterculture: $5.99
  • San Francisco Private Tour: 70s Hippie Culture Exploration Game: $6.21
  • The Remarkable History of San Francisco's Glen Park and Glen Canyon Audio Tour: $7.55
  • Ultimate San Francisco Self-Driving Audio Tour: $8.00
  • Bike Tour of Tucson: $10
  • The Flyer San Francisco Admission Ticket: $12
  • San Francisco Scavenger Hunt: SF Park Tour and Haight-Ashbury Experience: $12

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Museums in San Francisco, The Best Outdoor Activities in San Francisco, and Things to Do In San Francisco on a Rainy Day.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $27
    San Francisco $15

Sample the Local Flavors in San Francisco

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

  • San Francisco Bar Hunt: Soul of San Francisco Bar Crawl: $12
  • San Francisco North Beach Pub Crawl: $60
  • Wine Tasting on the Bay: $70
  • Half-Day Sonoma Wine Tour: $100
  • Shore Excursion: Napa and Sonoma Ultimate Wine Tasting Experience Full-Day Tour: $135
  • San Francisco City & Wine tour: $140
  • Chariot wine tour: $145
  • From Full-Day Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $149
  • Viticulture with Charm: Sonoma Valley Wine Tour from San Francisco: $149
  • Small Group Redwoods and Wine Country Trip Including Wine Tasting and Cave Tour: $152
  • Small Group Muir Woods with Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $169
  • The Perfect Blend: Napa and Sonoma Combo Wine Tour from San Francisco: $169


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durham and San Francisco, we can see that San Francisco 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 San Francisco would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Francisco than you might in Durham.


When is the best time to visit Durham or San Francisco?

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 San Francisco in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Durham as well as San Francisco. Additionally, many travelers come to San Francisco for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Durham is much warmer than San Francisco in the summer. The temperature in Durham is usually 79°F (26°C) in July, and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

Durham receives a lot of rain in the summer. Durham usually gets more rain in July than San Francisco. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Durham or San Francisco in the Autumn?

Both San Francisco and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Also, many visitors come to San Francisco in the autumn for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Durham is around the same temperature as San Francisco. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Durham in October are around 61°F (16°C), and San Francisco is about 63°F (17°C).

In October, Durham usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Durham or San Francisco in the Winter?

Both San Francisco and Durham during the winter are popular places to visit. Also, most visitors come to San Francisco for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

Durham can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Durham is generally much colder than San Francisco. Temperatures in Durham average around 40°F (5°C), and San Francisco stays around 50°F (10°C).

Durham usually gets less rain in January than San Francisco. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Durham or San Francisco in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and San Francisco. Also, the spring months attract visitors to San Francisco because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

Durham is a little warmer than San Francisco in the spring. The temperature in Durham is usually 60°F (16°C) in April, and San Francisco stays around 58°F (14°C).

In April, Durham usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and Durham

Durham San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)


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Durham vs. San Francisco Travel Comparison

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