A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Raleigh vs. Albuquerque for Attractions, Food, Couples, and Nightlife

Should you visit Raleigh or Albuquerque?

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

Should I visit Raleigh or Albuquerque? 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.

Raleigh

Raleigh is a student-friendly, suburban-style, and friendly city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and museums.

Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a historic, traditional, and cosmopolitan town. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Raleigh and Albuquerque: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Raleigh or Albuquerque?

You'll generally find more things to do in Albuquerque than Raleigh. Albuquerque is bigger than Raleigh, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Albuquerque is better known for its museums, food, historical sights, hiking, shopping, and quaint atmosphere, while Raleigh is more popular for its big city activities. Albuquerque is more touristy than Raleigh and is popular for its adobe architecture, artisan shops, fascinating cultural venues, and surrounding desert landscapes. Also, Albuquerque is famous for The Old Town. Raleigh is well known for its many museums and being the home to North Carolina State University.

How is Raleigh different from Albuquerque?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Raleigh or Albuquerque?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is well known for its museums and landmarks. Also, Raleigh is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Albuquerque offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The old town has a lot of history including the San Felipe de Neri Church. Also worth visiting is the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Unser Racing Museum, and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Raleigh is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. As the state capital, there are a number of free museums in the area. There are also some kid-friendly options and other activities that are affiliated with the colleges and universities. Popular options include the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (free), the NC Museum of History (free), the NC Museum of Art (free), and Marbles Kids Museum.


Is the Food Better in Raleigh or Albuquerque? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is well known for its restaurant scene. Also, Raleigh is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Dining out in Albuquerque is an experience not to be missed. The city's local cuisine combines Native American and Spanish flavors to make a variety of unique specialties. You should try the green chili stew, breakfast burrito, sopaipillas, and blue corn pancakes.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Raleigh. In addition to the standard chain restaurants, you'll find a number of local eateries with great southern dishes. Try some southern classics like barbecue, pimento cheese, and fried chicken and waffles. There are also good international options including Nepalese, Laotian, and Ethiopian flavors.

Is Raleigh or Albuquerque Better for Nightlife?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Raleigh and Albuquerque.

Raleigh has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Head to downtown Raleigh or the areas around NC State University for some of the best nightlife. Trivia nights and happy hours are popular and you'll find breweries popping up in many places.

If you're looking for night time activities Albuquerque has a few options to choose from. Head downtown and to the Nob Hill neighborhood for wine bars, breweries, and billiard halls. These areas have the best nightlife scene and they're also compact enough to explore on foot.

Is Raleigh or Albuquerque Better for its Old Town?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is very popular for its historic old town charm. However, Raleigh does not have a historic old town.

Albuquerque has a world-famous historical area. There is a wonderful old town where the city's first neighborhood was established. It dates back to the early 1700's and has its roots in Spanish colonial history. The area has many adobe houses, great local restaurants, and artisan shops.

Raleigh does not have a historic old town.


Is Raleigh or Albuquerque Better for Hiking?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a popular place for its hiking experiences. However, Raleigh is not a hiking destination.

Albuquerque is a good destination for hiking. The desert landscape is varied and beautiful. Popular trails in the area include Tree Spring Trail, Birdhouse Ridge, and West Ridge.

Raleigh is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Raleigh or Albuquerque?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is well known for its shopping areas. However, Raleigh is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Albuquerque. The city's old town has many cultural artisan shops where you can buy local items. It's a fun and unique shopping experience, and though it sometimes feels a bit touristy, there are many local shops that offer an authentic experience.

Raleigh is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Raleigh or Albuquerque Better for Families?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Raleigh or Albuquerque.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Raleigh. For such a small city, Raleigh has a number of unique kid-friendly activities like the popular Pullen Park and Marbles Kids' Museum. Pullen Park has small rides and a playground that are perfect for young kids. There's also the NC Museum of Natural History which is free and fun to explore with kids.

Albuquerque offers lots of family activities. The city has a number of nature centers as well as the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo. Outside of town there are many parks and natural areas to explore.


Is Raleigh or Albuquerque Better for Couples?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is well known for couples. However, Raleigh is not particularly known for romance.

Couples visit Albuquerque frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Surrounded by natural beauty, and filled with culture and charm, this city makes a great romantic getaway. It's particularly wonderful during the famous International Balloon Fiesta.

Raleigh is not the best destination for a couple to visit. While it's often overlooked by couples who want a weekend away, there are a number of museums and some nice restaurants to explore.

Is Raleigh or Albuquerque Better for Students?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Raleigh is a great city for its student-friendly activities. Also, Albuquerque is not as popular, but is still a nice town for students.

Many students visit Raleigh. The city has a diverse student population with many nearby universities and colleges.

Albuquerque is a good city to visit for students. It offers a unique cultural environment that students can appreciate. There are also many outdoor recreational opportunities.

Is Raleigh or Albuquerque Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a town with a few options for its public transit. However, Raleigh is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in Albuquerque. ABQ Ride is the bus system around town, but most visitors prefer to have their own car.

Public transit is quite limited in Raleigh. The city's public transportation options are limited to a few bus lines that are mostly used by students.


Is Raleigh or Albuquerque a more walkable city?

Raleigh
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a popular place for its ease of walking around. However, Raleigh is not particularly known for its walkability.

Albuquerque is a somewhat walkable town. Walkable areas include the old town, the area around the University of New Mexico, and the uptown area.

Raleigh is generally not a very walkable city. The city is somewhat walkable in the downtown area, but everywhere else you'll need a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Raleigh Worth Visiting? and Is Albuquerque Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Albuquerque or Raleigh?

How long in Raleigh or Albuquerque?

It's fun to spend time in either Raleigh or Albuquerque. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Albuquerque due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Raleigh, and 2-4 days is enough time in Albuquerque.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Albuquerque than Raleigh 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 Albuquerque.


  • How many days in Raleigh or Albuquerque? Ideal Length of Stay
    Raleigh 2-3 
    Albuquerque 2-4

One day in Raleigh or Albuquerque?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the suburban-style city of Raleigh. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

In Albuquerque, you'll find nightlife and food. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Raleigh or Albuquerque?

Visitors enjoy the food and museums when visiting the southern destination of Raleigh. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

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


Five days in Raleigh or Albuquerque?

The suburban-style city of Raleigh offers museums and nightlife. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Albuquerque is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. 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 Raleigh or Albuquerque?

Many people enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting Raleigh. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Albuquerque. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Albuquerque. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Albuquerque or Raleigh?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Raleigh is $189, while the average daily cost in Albuquerque is $135. 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 Raleigh and Albuquerque in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Raleigh $104
    Albuquerque $69
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Raleigh $208
    Albuquerque $138
Compare Hotels in Raleigh and Albuquerque

Looking for a hotel in Raleigh or Albuquerque? 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 Raleigh


Hotels in Albuquerque


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: Raleigh Hotel Prices and Albuquerque Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Raleigh $37
    Albuquerque $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Raleigh

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:

  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Durham - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $126
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Raleigh - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $120
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Durham - Arrival Private Transfer: $63
  • Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $63
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Raleigh Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • Raleigh to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albuquerque

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

  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Arrival Private Transfer: $40
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $80
  • Albuquerque Airport to Truth or Consequences Private Transfer: $127
  • Albuquerque Airport to Truth or Consequences Round-Trip Transfer: $255
  • Albuquerque to Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) - Departure Private Transfer: $40
  • Balloon Fiesta Albuquerque 2024 transfers: $999
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Albuquerque Airport (ABQ): $40
  • Private Departure Transfer To Albuquerque Airport ABQ: $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Raleigh or Albuquerque?

Prices for flights to both Albuquerque and Raleigh 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
    Raleigh $57
    Albuquerque $41
Typical Food Prices in Raleigh

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Raleigh:


  • The Pit Authentic BBQ (for 3)
    $84

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Raleigh

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

  • Private Cooking Class in Durham with an Expert Home Cook: $104

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Albuquerque

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

  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Albuquerque, NM: $79

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Raleigh $37
    Albuquerque $24

Tours and Activities in Raleigh

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

  • Create Your Own Lipstick or Lip Gloss Class Experience in Raleigh: $60
  • Guided Walking Historian Tour in Downtown Durham: $16
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Chapel Hill, NC: $15
  • Private Pedicab Tour of Downtown Raleigh: $65
  • Raleigh African American History Tour: $16
  • Raleigh Downtown: Historic Walking Tours: $13
  • Raleigh Ghost and Urban Legend Tour: $16
  • Raleigh Ghosts and Ghouls Hauntings Tour: $26
  • Raleigh Ghosts and Ghouls Hauntings Tour: $33
  • Raleigh Guided E-Bike Tour: Burgers, Brews, and History too: $107
  • Raleigh Guided E-Bike Tour: Tacos, Taps, and Local Facts: $107
  • Raleigh Guided E-bike Tour: Ghosts, Mystery, Local History: $76

Tours and Activities in Albuquerque

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

  • Old Town Self-Guided Walking Tour by App: $6.50
  • Historic Old Town Albuquerque smart phone App/Audio Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Albuquerque by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Turquoise Museum Admission Ticket: $20
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Albuquerque by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • The Turquoise Museum Curator's Tour: $20
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Old Town Albuquerque Ghost Tour: $26
  • The Ghost Tour of Old Town - New Mexico's oldest Ghost Walk - Since 2001: $35
  • 12pm - Public High Noon History, Legends & Lore Tour - Guided Old Town Stroll: $35
  • ABQ City Guided History Tour: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Raleigh $27
    Albuquerque $20


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Raleigh and Albuquerque, we can see that Raleigh is more expensive. And not only is Albuquerque much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Albuquerque would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Albuquerque 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 Raleigh would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Raleigh than you might in Albuquerque.

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


Which is Bigger, Raleigh or Albuquerque?

Albuquerque has a larger population, and is about 77% larger than the population of Raleigh. When comparing the sizes of Raleigh and Albuquerque, 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.