A Travel Price Comparison for Virginia Norfolk vs. Richmond for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Norfolk or Richmond?

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

Should I visit Norfolk or Richmond? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Norfolk

Norfolk is a authentic, blue collar, and maritime city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Richmond

Richmond is a historical, growing, and friendly city. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Norfolk and Richmond: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
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


Is there more to do in Norfolk or Richmond?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Richmond than Norfolk. While Norfolk is larger than Richmond, Richmond has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Richmond is more touristy than Norfolk and is known for its cultural and historical sights. Also, Richmond is famous for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Norfolk is well known for its naval base and military presence.

How is Norfolk different from Richmond?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Norfolk or Richmond?

Norfolk
Richmond

Richmond is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Norfolk is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Richmond offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city has a long history which you can learn about at one of the many museums. There's the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and the Black History Museum. There are also landmarks and historical homes.

Norfolk offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are some interesting museums in town like the Chrysler Museum, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and the Norfolk Police and Fire Museum. You should also check out the Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin.


Is the Food Better in Norfolk or Richmond? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Norfolk
Richmond

Both Norfolk and Richmond offer a number of notable restaurants to choose from.

Norfolk offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. You'll find a decent collection of restaurants in the downtown area. Food options include local seafood, brunch, casual eateries, and fine dining.

Richmond has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The food scene has been growing around town, and there are food halls and local restaurants that serve diverse and interesting dishes. You'll find Indian, Asian, and European restaurants in addition to local classics.

Is Norfolk or Richmond Better for Nightlife?

Norfolk
Richmond

It's hard to distinguish whether Norfolk or Richmond has a better nightlife scene.

Norfolk has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Downtown is where you'll find the most busy nightlife venues. The city has great breweries, and the live music scene has taken off. There are also lounges, dance clubs, and wine bars to choose from.

If you're looking for night time activities Richmond has a few options to choose from. You'll find diverse bars and clubs around town. Pubs are usually laid back with a relaxed atmosphere. You'll also find live music that includes bluegrass, country, and jazz.

Is the Shopping Better in Norfolk or Richmond?

Norfolk
Richmond

Shopping is a popular activity in both Richmond and Norfolk.

Norfolk is a great destination for shopping. There's a mix of shopping malls, local boutiques, farmer's markets, and shopping centers around town.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Richmond. You'll find shopping malls and shopping centers around town, but there are also eclectic shopping streets and boutique outlets.


Is Norfolk or Richmond Better for Families?

Norfolk
Richmond

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Norfolk or Richmond.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Norfolk. The Norfolk Zoo is always a hit with kids. You should also visit the USS Wisconsin which offers tours, as well as the Douglas MacArthur Memorial Museum.

Richmond offers lots of family activities. The Children's Museum of Richmond offers hands-on exhibits that will keep young ones entertained. Another fun option is the Science Museum of Virginia. The city also has parks and outdoor places to explore as well as playgrounds and kid-friendly restaurants.

Is Norfolk or Richmond Better for Couples?

Norfolk
Richmond

Richmond is a popular place for romance. However, Norfolk is a city with minimal options for its romantic activities.

Richmond is a nice destination for couples. Kayaking or tubing on the James River is a great activity for couples. There are also museums and many restaurants that are perfect for a date night.

Most people don't think of Norfolk as a couple's destination. There are some nice hotels and several great parks and outdoor activities.

Is Norfolk or Richmond Better for Students?

Norfolk
Richmond

Richmond is a popular place for students. However, Norfolk is not popular with students.

Richmond is popular with students. There are a couple of colleges and universities in town such as Virginia Commonwealth University.

Norfolk is not popular with students.


Is Norfolk or Richmond Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Norfolk
Richmond

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Norfolk and Richmond.

Public transit is generally limited in Norfolk. While there are buses, ferries, and even lightrail in the area, you really want to have a car to get around.

Public transit is mostly limited in Richmond. There are buses around town, but the availability and reliability is limited.

Is Norfolk or Richmond a more walkable city?

Norfolk
Richmond

Norfolk and Richmond both are notable when exploring on foot.

Norfolk is somewhat walkable. Downtown is the most walkable part of the city.

Richmond is a somewhat walkable place. There are some walkable neighborhoods such as the Fan and Museum District, but most people prefer to get around by car.

For even more information, also check out Is Norfolk Worth Visiting? and Is Richmond Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Richmond or Norfolk?

How long in Norfolk or Richmond?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Norfolk or Richmond to fill your time. In our opinion, Richmond has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Richmond than Norfolk. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Richmond than Norfolk 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 Richmond.


  • How many days in Norfolk or Richmond? Ideal Length of Stay
    Norfolk 1-2 
    Richmond 1-2

One day in Norfolk or Richmond?

The city of Norfolk offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Richmond, 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.


A weekend in Norfolk or Richmond?

Norfolk is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Norfolk, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

In Richmond, 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 Richmond has to offer.

Five days in Norfolk or Richmond?

Norfolk is a popular choice for travelers. Five days 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Richmond 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 Norfolk or Richmond?

Norfolk is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Richmond. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Richmond. 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 Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Historical Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Richmond or Norfolk?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Norfolk is $166, while the average daily cost in Richmond is $161. 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 Norfolk and Richmond in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Norfolk $84
    Richmond $101
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Norfolk $168
    Richmond $202
Compare Hotels in Norfolk and Richmond

Looking for a hotel in Norfolk or Richmond? 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 Norfolk


Hotels in Richmond


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: Norfolk Hotel Prices and Richmond Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Norfolk $54
    Richmond $72

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Norfolk

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Norfolk:

  • Bamville Transportation (Private & Airport Transfers): $275

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Richmond

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Richmond:

  • Richmond Airport (RIC) to Richmond City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $73
  • Richmond Airport (RIC) to Richmond city - Arrival Private Transfer: $36
  • Richmond City to Richmond Airport (RIC) - Departure Private Transfer: $39

Is it cheaper to fly into Norfolk or Richmond?

Prices for flights to both Richmond and Norfolk 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
    Norfolk $49
    Richmond $21

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Norfolk

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

  • Norfolk Buffet Dinner Cruise : $101
  • Buffet Dinner Cruise: $101
  • Norfolk Mother's Day Signature Dinner Cruise: $119
  • Norfolk Father's Day Buffet Dinner Cruise: $126
  • Norfolk 4th of July Buffet Dinner Cruise: $182

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Richmond

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

  • The Carytown Food Tour in Richmond: $80
  • Church Hill Food Tour in Richmond, VA: $80
  • Church Hill Food Tour: $80
  • Trendy Carytown Food Tour: $80
  • Pizza & Ice Cream Tour: $80
  • Arts District Food Tour in Richmond: $85
  • Arts District Walking Food Tour: $85
  • Delicious Pizza & Ice Cream Tour of Richmond: $90

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Norfolk $14
    Richmond $13

Tours and Activities in Norfolk

Here are a few actual costs in Norfolk for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Norfolk with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Skip the Line: Virginia Living Museum Admission Ticket: $22
  • Neon District Contemporary Art Walking Tour: $32
  • Virginia Zoo & Battleship Wisconsin Combo Ticket: $38
  • Electric Bike Rental Downtown Norfolk (self guided tour) : $60
  • Elizabeth River Candlelit Buffet Lunch Cruise: $76
  • Elizabeth River Sunday Buffet Brunch Cruise: $95
  • Norfolk Buffet Brunch Cruise : $95
  • Norfolk Father's Day Buffet Brunch Cruise: $104

Tours and Activities in Richmond

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

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Richmond by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Richmond by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Richmond by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Hollywood Cemetery Tour Richmond Lore and Civil War: $24
  • Church Hill Chillers Ghost Tour: $25
  • Richmond Ghosts: Sinister Scares of Shockoe Bottom Tour: $26
  • Shockoe Bottom Ghost Walking Tour: $30
  • Phantoms of Franklin Walking Ghost Tour: $30
  • Court End Walking Ghost Tour: $30
  • Monroe Park Campus Walking Ghost Tour: $30
  • Church Hill Guided Ghost Tour: $30
  • Downtown & Capitol Square Tour & Scavenger Hunt: $30

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Norfolk $10
    Richmond -

Sample the Local Flavors in Norfolk

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Norfolk:

  • Party Bike Pub Crawl in Downtown Norfolk: $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Richmond

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

  • Richmond Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl : $34
  • Richmond Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Drink Richmond Craft Brewery Crawl: $74
  • Richmond Craft Brewery Crawl By Junket: $74
  • Brewery Tour of Richmond, VA: $90


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


Which is Bigger, Norfolk or Richmond?

Norfolk has a larger population, and is about 23% larger than the population of Richmond. When comparing the sizes of Norfolk and Richmond, 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 Norfolk or Richmond?

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 Norfolk or Richmond in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Norfolk and Richmond. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Norfolk this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Richmond for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Norfolk is generally around the same temperature as Richmond. Daily temperatures in Norfolk average around 79°F (26°C), and Richmond fluctuates around 78°F (26°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Richmond this time of the year. In Norfolk, it's very sunny this time of the year. Norfolk usually receives less sunshine than Richmond during summer. Norfolk gets 279 hours of sunny skies, while Richmond receives 305 hours of full sun in the summer.

Richmond receives a lot of rain in the summer. Norfolk gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Norfolk usually receives more rain than Richmond. Norfolk gets 5.7 inches (145 mm) of rain, while Richmond receives 5 inches (128 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Norfolk 79°F (26°C) 
    Richmond 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Norfolk or Richmond in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Norfolk as well as Richmond. Many travelers come to Norfolk for the shopping scene. Additionally, many visitors come to Richmond in the autumn for the shopping scene.

Norfolk is around the same temperature as Richmond in the autumn. The daily temperature in Norfolk averages around 62°F (16°C) in October, and Richmond fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Richmond. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Norfolk this time of the year. In the autumn, Norfolk often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Richmond. Norfolk gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Richmond receives 221 hours of full sun.

Norfolk usually gets less rain in October than Richmond. Norfolk gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Richmond receives 3.5 inches (90 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Norfolk 62°F (16°C) 
    Richmond 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Norfolk or Richmond in the Winter?

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

Richmond can be very cold during winter. Norfolk can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Norfolk is much warmer than Richmond. Typically, the winter temperatures in Norfolk in January average around 39°F (4°C), and Richmond averages at about 36°F (2°C).

Norfolk usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Richmond during winter. Norfolk gets 168 hours of sunny skies, while Richmond receives 169 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Norfolk usually receives around the same amount of rain as Richmond. Norfolk gets 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Richmond receives 3.2 inches (83 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Norfolk 39°F (4°C) 
    Richmond 36°F (2°C)

Should I visit Norfolk or Richmond in the Spring?

Both Richmond and Norfolk during the spring are popular places to visit.

In April, Norfolk is generally around the same temperature as Richmond. Daily temperatures in Norfolk average around 58°F (14°C), and Richmond fluctuates around 58°F (14°C).

In Richmond, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Norfolk. In the spring, Norfolk often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Richmond. Norfolk gets 253 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Richmond receives 265 hours of full sun.

Norfolk usually gets less rain in April than Richmond. Norfolk gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Richmond receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Norfolk 58°F (14°C) 
    Richmond 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Richmond and Norfolk

Norfolk Richmond
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 39°F (4°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 36°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (83 mm)
Feb 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm)
Mar 49°F (10°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 58°F (14°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 58°F (14°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
May 67°F (19°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.8 inches (98 mm)
Jun 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.7 inches (145 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5 inches (128 mm)
Aug 78°F (25°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 71°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Oct 62°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)