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

Should you visit Durham or Seattle?

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

Durham

Durham is a diverse, student-filled, and sports oriented city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Seattle

Seattle is a outdoorsy, laid-back, and bustling 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 nightlife, live music, and food.

Durham and Seattle: 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
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Space Needle


Is there more to do in Durham or Seattle?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Seattle than Durham. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Seattle is more touristy than Durham and is known for its beautiful waterfront setting, diverse culinary scene, thriving art and cultural venues, and being the home of many international tech companies. It is also well known for The Space Needle. 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 Seattle?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Durham
Seattle

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Durham or Seattle.

Many visitors head to Durham specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Seattle can be an interesting and educational experience. The city's most iconic landmark is the Space Needle. There's also a zoo, aquarium, and a handful of nice museums. Several favorites include the Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Museum of History & Industry, and the Seattle Art Museum.


Is Durham or Seattle Better for Theater?

Durham
Seattle

Seattle is very good for its shows and theatre. However, Durham is not a theatre destination.

Seattle offers a number of shows and performances. There are a handful of theaters where you can enjoy traveling Broadway shows or smaller productions.

Durham is not a theatre destination.

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

Durham
Seattle

Seattle 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 Seattle is an experience not to be missed. The city has many diverse dining options that make it a popular foodie destination. The seafood is world-class with many restaurants offering fresh caught salmon and oysters. There are also many great Asian restaurants with Pho, sushi, and dim sum all being popular around town. Seattle is also famous as the birthplace of Starbucks coffee, and both chain and independent coffee shops are common. Finally, make sure you check out the donuts at Pike's Place 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 Seattle Better for Nightlife?

Durham
Seattle

Seattle 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.

Seattle offers plenty to do in the evening. The city is known for its breweries and eclectic nightlife scene. There is a thriving theater scene as well as many bars and trendy restaurants. The best neighborhoods for nightlife include Capitol Hill, Belltown, and Downtown.

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 Seattle Better for Music?

Durham
Seattle

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

The music scene in Seattle is very popular with diverse venues. The city has developed its own music culture around several genres including alternative rock and grunge.

Durham is not a live music destination.

Is Durham or Seattle Better for Beaches?

Durham
Seattle

Seattle is very good for the beach. However, Durham is not a beach destination.

Many people head to Seattle to enjoy the beach. The city is surrounded by water so there are a number of rocky and sandy beaches nearby. Some beaches are more popular with locals while others attract a large amount of tourists. Alki Beach Park, Discovery Park, and Golden Gardens Park are among the best.

Durham is not a beach destination.

Is Durham or Seattle Better for Hiking?

Durham
Seattle

Seattle is a well-known place for the nearby hiking options. However, Durham is not a hiking destination.

Seattle is a popular spot for hiking. It's famously an outdoorsy city and the hiking will not disappoint. Within a half hour drive of town you'll find beautiful forests and stunning natural beauty. Head into the Cascades, to the coastal rainforests, or around Mount Rainier for all kinds of diverse landscapes. Seattle is well situated for you to experience hiking through the diverse Pacific Northwest landscapes.

Durham is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Durham or Seattle?

Durham
Seattle

Both Durham and Seattle 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 Seattle. Shopping in town has an eclectic mix of high end brands, local vendors, and vintage shops. There are farmers markets as well as the famous Pike Place Market, but also major malls with all of the standard department stores.

Is Durham or Seattle Better for Families?

Durham
Seattle

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

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.

Seattle is a family-friendly city. This is an outdoor city with plenty of places where kids can run around and experience nature. There are several good museums as well as outdoor activities, parks, and a zoo. Make sure you check out the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Volunteer Park, and Artists at Play Playground.

Is Durham or Seattle Better for Couples?

Durham
Seattle

Both Durham and Seattle 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.

Seattle is a nice destination for couples. The city has a laid back vibe, a nice downtown area, and plenty of outdoor activities. There are a diversity of restaurants to enjoy and a great nightlife scene that makes for a good couple's getaway.


Is Durham or Seattle Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Durham
Seattle

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

Seattle is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Although it's not the most popular city for backpackers in America, the city's chill vibe, fun breweries, and lively setting make it a great spot for young backpackers.

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 Seattle Better for Students?

Durham
Seattle

Durham and Seattle 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.

Seattle is a great city to visit as a student. It is a major IT center with a large university, so international students will have plenty of opportunities here. It's also a vibrant city with many outdoor recreational opportunities and a fun nightlife scene.

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

Durham
Seattle

Seattle is very good for its public transit. However, Durham is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

Seattle has a few public transit options. There is a light rail system, a monorail, a street car, and buses.

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 Seattle a more walkable city?

Durham
Seattle

Seattle is a well-known place for its ease of walking around. However, Durham is not a good city for its walkability.

Seattle is a very walkable destination. Many neighborhoods are very walkable, particularly in the downtown and major tourist areas.

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 Seattle Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Seattle or Durham?

How long in Durham or Seattle?

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

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

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

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


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

One day in Durham or Seattle?

In Durham, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

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

A weekend in Durham or Seattle?

In Durham, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Durham has to offer.

Seattle 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 Seattle?

Durham is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Seattle. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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 Seattle?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Durham. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Durham. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the bustling big city of Seattle. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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, Seattle 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 Seattle is $205. 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 Seattle in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Seattle $120
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Seattle $240
Compare Hotels in Durham and Seattle

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Seattle? 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 Seattle


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 Seattle Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Seattle $30

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Seattle

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


  • Lightrail from Airport (for 2)
    $5.50
  • Roundtrip Ferry to Bainbridge Island (for 2)
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seattle

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seattle:

  • One-Way Transfer: Cruise Piers to Airport : $28
  • Private One-way Airport Transfer(Seattle Airport To/From Seattle): $58
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) to Seattle - Arrival Private Transfer: $71
  • Smith Cove Terminal to Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) - Departure Private Transfer: $74
  • Smith Cove Terminal to Seattle Hotels Arrival Private Transfer : $74
  • Seattle Airport (SEA) to Smith Cove Terminal - Arrival Transfer: $74
  • Private Transfer from Seattle hotels to Smith Cove Terminal : $74
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) to Smith Cove Terminal - Arrival Private Transfer: $74
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Seattle Airport: $76
  • Seattle Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $81
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Seattle Airport (SEA)- Seattle Downtown: $86
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Seattle Airport SEA to Seattle in Luxury SUV: $103

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Seattle?

Prices for flights to both Seattle 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
    Seattle $51

Typical Food Prices in Seattle

Some typical examples of dining costs in Seattle are as follows:


  • Expresso & cookie at Pier 70
    $7.00
  • Cashews at Pike Place Market
    $6.00
  • 6 Mini Donuts at Pike Place Market
    $3.25
  • Chinese Lunch in International District (for 2)
    $21
  • Breakfast at Lowel's in Pike Place Market (for 2)
    $32
  • Breakfast at French Cafe (for 2)
    $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seattle

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Seattle.

  • Seattle : Fun Cooking Classes With Chef Seamus: $60
  • Secret Food Tours Seattle: $65
  • Seattle Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $65
  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours: $67
  • Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour: $67
  • International District Food Tour: $69
  • Street Food Tour of South Lake Union: $75
  • Secret Food Tours: Seattle Pike Place Market: $86
  • Pike Place Market Food Tour: $99
  • Craft Cocktail Gourmet Food Tour: $135
  • Small Group Cooking Class: $138
  • Market to Table Tour and Cooking Class at Pike Place Market: $159

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Seattle $16

Tours and Activities in Durham

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Durham are as follows:

  • True Crime Tour: $13
  • Downtown Durham Historian-Guided Walking Tour: $16
  • Durham African American History Tour: $16
  • Durham NC: Art Walking Tour: $20

Tours and Activities in Seattle

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Seattle are as follows:

  • Space Needle Park Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Seattle Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Downtown Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Seattle Mariners Baseball Game Ticket at T Mobile Park: $16
  • Smith Tower Straight Up Observatory Access Ticket: $16
  • National Nordic Museum Entry Ticket: $20
  • Seattle Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Sky View Observatory Admission Tickets: $23
  • MoPOP Entry Ticket: $25
  • Terrors and Ghosts Guided Walking Tour: $26
  • The Museum of Flight Entrance Ticket : $26
  • Woodland Park Zoo Day Admission Ticket: $28

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Seattle $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Seattle

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

  • Guided Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Seattle Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $38
  • Where the Hops Grow! Yakima Brewery Tour : $45
  • Woodinville Wine Country: Downtown Wine Tasting Pass: $65
  • Woodinville Wine Country: Artisan Hill Wine Tasting Pass: $65
  • Day Private Snoqualmie Falls & Woodinville Wine Tour from Seattle: $179
  • From Snoqualmie Falls & Woodinville Wine Tasting: $262
  • Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tasting: All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour: $263


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Durham Expensive? and Is Seattle Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Durham or Seattle?

Seattle has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Durham. When comparing the sizes of Durham and Seattle, 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 Seattle?

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 Seattle in the Summer?

Both Seattle and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Durham this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Seattle for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Durham is a little warmer than Seattle in the summer. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 79°F (26°C) in July, and Seattle fluctuates around 67°F (19°C).

It's quite sunny in Seattle. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually receives less sunshine than Seattle during summer. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies, while Seattle receives 313 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Durham. In July, Durham usually receives more rain than Seattle. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 0.9 inches (22 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Seattle 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Durham or Seattle in the Autumn?

Both Seattle and Durham during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Durham for the shopping scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Seattle 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 a little warmer than Seattle. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Durham in October average around 61°F (16°C), and Seattle averages at about 54°F (12°C).

It's quite sunny in Durham. In the autumn, Durham often gets more sunshine than Seattle. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Seattle receives 143 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets less rain in October than Seattle. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Seattle 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Durham or Seattle in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Seattle. Many visitors come to Durham in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Seattle 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 cooler than Seattle. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 40°F (5°C), and Seattle fluctuates around 42°F (5°C).

Durham usually receives more sunshine than Seattle during winter. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies, while Seattle receives 67 hours of full sun in the winter.

Seattle receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Durham usually receives less rain than Seattle. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 5.4 inches (136 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Seattle 42°F (5°C)

Should I visit Durham or Seattle in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Durham as well as Seattle. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Seattle because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

Durham is much warmer than Seattle in the spring. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 60°F (16°C) in April, and Seattle fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Seattle. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durham this time of the year. In the spring, Durham often gets more sunshine than Seattle. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Seattle receives 212 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets more rain in April than Seattle. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 2.5 inches (64 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Seattle 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Seattle and Durham

Durham Seattle
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 42°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 67°F (19°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 47°F (8°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 42°F (6°C) 6 inches (152 mm)