A Travel Price Comparison for Tennessee Memphis vs. Nashville for Music, Nightlife, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Memphis or Nashville?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Memphis or Nashville, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Memphis

Memphis is a soulful, creative, and laid-back city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include live music, food, and museums.

Nashville

Nashville is a country music lovers, eclectic, and southern city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Memphis and Nashville: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Memphis or Nashville?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Nashville than Memphis. While Memphis is larger than Nashville, Nashville has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Nashville is more touristy than Memphis and is known for its influence in country music and its many live music venues. Also, Nashville is famous for The Grand Ole Opry. Memphis is well known for its influential music scene and its southern barbecue.

How is Memphis different from Nashville?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Nashville and Memphis. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Memphis or Nashville?

Memphis
Nashville

You'll find a number of notable museums and attractions in both Nashville and Memphis.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Memphis. Many attractions in town are related to the city's history in music. There is the famed Graceland as well as the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music. The city also has several art museums that are worth checking out.

Nashville is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. It is famous as the home of the Grand Ole Opry. It's also where you'll find the Country Music Hall of Fame and the unique Johnny Cash Museum.


Is the Food Better in Memphis or Nashville? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Memphis
Nashville

Foodies will find both Memphis and Nashville both to be notable destinations.

Memphis is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The town has grown into a foodie destination with excellent barbecue and ribs. There are many award winning barbecue joints, but you'll also find casual bars that serve nachos, pizza, and other quick bites.

Nashville offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The city is known for some southern favorites including southern barbecue, mac and cheese, and biscuits and gravy.

Is Memphis or Nashville Better for Nightlife?

Memphis
Nashville

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find high quality options in both Memphis and Nashville.

The nightlife in Memphis has something for everybody. Music is at the heart of the nightlife scene. Head to Beale Street in Memphis's downtown for the most active nightlife that usually stays open the latest. You'll also find a lot of bars and clubs in Midtown around Overton Square.

Nashville offers plenty to do in the evening. The city is popular for it's music scene, particularly the country music scene. You can take in one of the free Honky Tonks or head to a rooftop bar. It's also a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Is Memphis or Nashville Better for Music?

Memphis
Nashville

Memphis and Nashville are both destinations where visitors can find first-rate live music.

Memphis has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. There are plenty of live music venues in the downtown area that you can explore. Several of the most famous include B.B. King's Blues Club, Handy Park Pavilion, and Blues City Cafe. The city is known for its influential role in several music genres including the blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll. There are also many music related museums and attractions in town like Graceland, the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

Nashville is a world class music destination. The city is famous for country music, blues, and rock and roll. Popular venues include The Basement, The 5 Spot, and The Cannery Complex.


Is Memphis or Nashville Better for Resorts?

Memphis
Nashville

Nashville is a nice place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Memphis is not a resort destination.

Nashville has a few great resort options. There are a couple of famous resorts in the area including the Gaylord Opryland Resort, the Hermitage Hotel, and the Omni Nashville Hotel.

Memphis is not a resort destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Memphis or Nashville?

Memphis
Nashville

If you're looking to go shopping, Memphis and Nashville both offer plenty of respectable spots.

Memphis has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. The city has plenty of malls and chain stores where you can grab anything you might need.

Nashville is a good destination for shopping. The town has a number of boutique shops as well as major department stores. You'll find all of the major American chains around town.

Is Memphis or Nashville Better for Christmas?

Memphis
Nashville

Nashville is a nice place to visit for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Memphis does not offer Christmas activities.

Nashville worth visiting during the Christmas season. Several different venues decorate beautifully for the Christmas season including the Gaylord Opryland.

Memphis does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Memphis or Nashville Better for Families?

Memphis
Nashville

Memphis and Nashville are both notable destinations for the whole family.

Memphis offers lots of family activities. The town has some great activities for kids including a zoo, several museums, petting farms, and a botanical garden.

Nashville is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has a handful of kid-friendly activities like a science center and kid-friendly music venues.

Is Memphis or Nashville Better for Couples?

Memphis
Nashville

Memphis and Nashville are both notable to visit as a couple.

Memphis is a good city for couples to visit. Couples who enjoy good music and southern food will enjoy a weekend here. There are many music related landmarks including Graceland and the Rock 'n' Soul Museum. Live music is very popular as well.

Nashville is a nice destination for couples. For music lovers, this is the ultimate couple's destination. There are also a number of romantic activities around town including horse drawn carriage rides through the downtown. To enjoy the beautiful weather, head to Centennial Park or take a hike in Forest Hills.

Is Memphis or Nashville Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Memphis
Nashville

Nashville is a nice place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Memphis is not known for backpackers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Nashville. There are one or two hostels around town and there's a great live music scene that attracts a young crowd.

Memphis is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There are a couple of hostels and plenty of live music that make this a popular stop off for young travelers.


Is Memphis or Nashville Better for Students?

Memphis
Nashville

Memphis is a city with good options for its student-friendly activities. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for students.

Plenty of students visit Memphis. The live music scene and great food options make this is a fun town for students.

Nashville is a decent spot for students. Several universities bring in international students, but the city is smaller and it isn't the most popular student destination in America.

Is Memphis or Nashville Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Memphis
Nashville

Memphis is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Memphis. There is a trolley and bus system that the city operates, but a car is really helpful for getting around.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Nashville. Public transportation is very limited and you really need a car to explore the city in depth.

Is Memphis or Nashville a more walkable city?

Memphis
Nashville

Memphis is a city with good options for its walkability. However, Nashville is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Memphis is somewhat walkable. Most of the touristy parts of town are walkable, but if you want to explore further out you'll need a car.

Nashville is not a walkable city. There aren't many parts of the city that are pedestrian-friendly.


For even more information, also check out Is Memphis Worth Visiting? and Is Nashville Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Nashville or Memphis?

How long in Memphis or Nashville?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Memphis and Nashville. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Nashville than Memphis 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 Nashville.


  • How many days in Memphis or Nashville? Ideal Length of Stay
    Memphis 2-3 
    Nashville 2-3

One day in Memphis or Nashville?

You'll find food and museums around the city of Memphis. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Nashville, you'll find nightlife and live music. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Memphis or Nashville?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the laid-back destination of Memphis. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

In Nashville, you'll find live music and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Nashville has to offer.

Five days in Memphis or Nashville?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the laid-back city of Memphis. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Most people head to the area for the live music. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Nashville 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.


A week in Memphis or Nashville?

Memphis is a popular choice for travelers. 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Nashville. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Nashville. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, and The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Nashville or Memphis?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Memphis is $167, while the average daily cost in Nashville is $172. 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 Memphis and Nashville in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Memphis $84
    Nashville $99
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Memphis $168
    Nashville $198
Compare Hotels in Memphis and Nashville

Looking for a hotel in Memphis or Nashville? 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 Memphis


Hotels in Nashville


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: Memphis Hotel Prices and Nashville Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Memphis $59
    Nashville $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Memphis

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Memphis Airport MEM: $72
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Memphis Airport MEM: $72
  • Guided Tour with Riverboat Cruise & Hotel Transfers: $339
  • Memphis Airport Transfers: $60
  • Memphis Airport MEM to Hot Springs Resorts Round-Trip Transfer: $282
  • Memphis Airport (MEM) to Memphis City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $133

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nashville

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

  • Private transfer to Nashville Airport and Hotel: $128
  • Nashville Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to Nashville: $111
  • Private Departure Transfer from Downtown Nashville to Nashville Airport (BNA): $84
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Nashville Airport (BNA) to Downtown Nashville: $84
  • Private Arrival Transfer in Nashville International Airport (BNA) : $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Memphis or Nashville?

Prices for flights to both Nashville and Memphis 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
    Memphis $43
    Nashville $41
Typical Food Prices in Memphis

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Memphis:


  • Baskin Robins (for 2)
    $6.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Memphis

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

  • Taste of Downtown Memphis Food Tour: $75

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nashville

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

  • Nashville Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Neighborhood Food Tour on E-bikes: $79
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show - Franklin, TN: $94
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Nashville, TN: $94
  • Nashville 12South Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • Nashville Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • General Jackson Showboat Lunch or Dinner Cruise in Nashville: $113
  • General Jackson Showboat Dinner Cruise: $138

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Memphis $45
    Nashville $27

Tours and Activities in Memphis

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

  • 2.5 Hours Essence of Memphis African American History Tour: $72
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure - Memphis: $44
  • Beale Street & Sun Studio: Private Half-Day Walking Tour: $160
  • Beale Street Experience Audio App Self Guided Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Beale Street Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Best of Memphis Walking Tour: $149
  • Downtown Memphis : Ultimate Party Experience - Public: $35
  • Downtown Memphis : Ultimate Private Party Experience: $387
  • Elvis Presley's Childhood Home Sightseeing Daytrip from Memphis: $111
  • Elvis Unleashed: Private Elvis Walking Tour: $150
  • From Tupelo Elvis Presley's Upbringing Tour: $102
  • Guided Memphis City Tour with Riverboat Cruise along Mississippi River: $85

Tours and Activities in Nashville

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

  • Downtown Nashville Sightseeing Walking Tour: $39
  • Franklin Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour with Live Narration: $39
  • "Murder in Music City" Night-Time Ghost Walking Tour of Nashville: $35
  • 1 Hour Nashville Insider Photoshoot Tour in the Gulch: $79
  • 2 Hour Narrated Sightseeing Tractor Tour of Nashville: $59
  • 2-Hour Guided E-Bicycle Sightseeing Tour of Nashville: $117
  • 90-Minute Monster Truck Joyride City Tour of Nashville: $53
  • Adventure Park Ziplining and Climbing in Nashville : $52
  • Adventureworks Ziplines at Nashville West: $61
  • Amazing Nashville Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Axe Throwing Experience with Private Lane and Coach in Nashville: $46
  • Belmont Mansion All Day Admission Ticket in Nashville: $18

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Memphis $26
    Nashville $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Memphis

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

  • Drinking Spirits with Spirits Haunted Pub Crawl: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl in Memphis: $27
  • Memphis Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $59
  • Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $62

Sample the Local Flavors in Nashville

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nashville:

  • Nashville's Annual Saint Patrick's Day Pub Crawl: $25
  • Nashville's Annual Crawl-O-Ween Pub Crawl: $25
  • Music City Pub Crawl: $25
  • Nashville's Annual New Year's Eve Pub Crawl: $25
  • Belle Meade Guided Mansion Tour with Complimentary Wine Tasting: $29
  • Seeking Spirits Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Nashville Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Drinkers & Thinkers Pub Crawl: $33
  • Nashville's Lost Spirits: Murder and True Crime Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Nashville Lost Spirits: Murder True Crime Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Ghosts, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Nashville Drinkers & Thinkers Pub Crawl: $35


When comparing the travel costs between Memphis and Nashville, we can see that Nashville 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 Memphis Expensive? and Is Nashville Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Memphis or Nashville?

Memphis has a larger population, and is about 22% larger than the population of Nashville. When comparing the sizes of Memphis and Nashville, 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 Memphis or Nashville?

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 Memphis or Nashville in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Memphis and Nashville. The city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Memphis this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Nashville for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Memphis is around the same temperature as Nashville. Typically, the summer temperatures in Memphis in July average around 83°F (29°C), and Nashville averages at about 81°F (27°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Nashville this time of the year. In Memphis, it's very sunny this time of the year. Memphis usually receives more sunshine than Nashville during summer. Memphis gets 328 hours of sunny skies, while Nashville receives 276 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Memphis usually receives less rain than Nashville. Memphis gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Memphis 83°F (29°C) 
    Nashville 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Memphis or Nashville in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Memphis as well as Nashville. Many travelers come to Memphis for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene. Also, many visitors come to Nashville in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene.

In October, Memphis is generally around the same temperature as Nashville. Daily temperatures in Memphis average around 64°F (18°C), and Nashville fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Nashville. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Memphis this time of the year. In the autumn, Memphis often gets more sunshine than Nashville. Memphis gets 240 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nashville receives 212 hours of full sun.

Memphis usually gets less rain in October than Nashville. Memphis gets 1.6 inches (41 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Memphis 64°F (18°C) 
    Nashville 62°F (17°C)

Should I visit Memphis or Nashville in the Winter?

Both Nashville and Memphis are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Memphis in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Nashville for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Nashville can be very cold during winter. Memphis can get quite cold in the winter. Memphis is a little warmer than Nashville in the winter. The daily temperature in Memphis averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Nashville fluctuates around 38°F (4°C).

Memphis usually receives more sunshine than Nashville during winter. Memphis gets 163 hours of sunny skies, while Nashville receives 134 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Memphis usually receives less rain than Nashville. Memphis gets 2.4 inches (62 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Memphis 40°F (5°C) 
    Nashville 38°F (4°C)

Should I visit Memphis or Nashville in the Spring?

Both Nashville and Memphis during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Memphis for the activities around the city during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Nashville because of the activities around the city.

In the spring, Memphis is around the same temperature as Nashville. Typically, the spring temperatures in Memphis in April average around 64°F (18°C), and Nashville averages at about 62°F (16°C).

In Nashville, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Memphis. In the spring, Memphis often gets more sunshine than Nashville. Memphis gets 254 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nashville receives 234 hours of full sun.

Nashville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Memphis. Memphis usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Nashville. Memphis gets 4.3 inches (109 mm) of rain, while Nashville receives 4.3 inches (110 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Memphis 64°F (18°C) 
    Nashville 62°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Nashville and Memphis

Memphis Nashville
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 2.4 inches (62 mm) 38°F (4°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Feb 45°F (7°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 62°F (16°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 70°F (21°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 78°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 83°F (29°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 81°F (27°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 80°F (27°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Sep 76°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 1.6 inches (41 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 43°F (6°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)