Should you visit Durham or Wilmington?
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 Wilmington 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.
Wilmington is a port city in southeastern North Carolina. It's a great city to visit for it's nearby beaches, large historic district, and quaint atmosphere. The city has a population of about 115,000 and it's the eighth largest city in the state.
Wilmington is also home to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as well as the EUE Screen Gems Studios. This is the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California. The studio, which opened in 1984, helped grow Wilmington into a major base for film and television production. The city has been the backdrop for many movies and tv shows including Iron Man 3, Sleepy Hollow, One Tree Hill, and Revolution.
Which city is cheaper, Wilmington 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 Wilmington is $163. 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 Wilmington 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.
The prices for places to stay in Wilmington can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $96, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $192.
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.
Wilmington food costs typically run travelers around $45 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
Meals for one day
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Durham.
To get around in Wilmington, the average visitor spends $38 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durham
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Durham:
Private Transfer from Durham to Manchester Airport (MAN):
Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Wilmington?
Prices for flights to both Wilmington 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.
In Wilmington, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $14 per person, per day.
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:
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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Wilmington, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $31.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durham and Wilmington, we can see that Wilmington 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 Wilmington would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Wilmington than you might in Durham.
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