A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Raleigh vs. Winston-Salem for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Raleigh or Winston-Salem?

Should I visit Raleigh or Winston-Salem? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Raleigh

Raleigh is the capital city of the state of North Carolina. The city has a population of about 450,000 and is home to many colleges and university including North Carolina State University, Shaw University, Saint Augustine's College, Meredith College and Peace University. The city has a wide range of museums, restaurants, theaters, and parks. There's also an extensive greenway system that is great for biking or running.

Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem is a moderately sized city in Forsyth Country, North Carolina. The city has a population of about 360,000 and is located in the central part of the state in the Piedmont Triad. Winston-Salem goes by several nicknames including the "Twin City", the "City of Arts and Innovation" and "Camel City", a reference to the city's history in the tobacco industry. Like several towns in central North Carolina, the city's economy was also once influenced by the furniture industry, although this sector continues to shrink.

Which city is cheaper, Winston-Salem or Raleigh?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Raleigh is $151, while the average daily cost in Winston-Salem is $120. 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 Raleigh and Winston-Salem in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $83. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Raleigh the cost is $166 on average.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $73. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Winston-Salem the cost is $146 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Raleigh $83
    Winston-Salem $73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Raleigh $166
    Winston-Salem $146

Food

While meal prices in Raleigh can vary, the average travelers spends about $46 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Raleigh should cost around $18 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Raleigh is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

The price of a meal in Winston-Salem can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $34 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Raleigh $46
    Winston-Salem $34
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.

  • Raleigh, NC - Walking Food Tours: $62

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $30 per day to get around in Raleigh.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $18 per day to get around in Winston-Salem.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Raleigh $30
    Winston-Salem $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Raleigh

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:

  • Raleigh to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $124

Is it cheaper to fly into Raleigh or Winston-Salem?

Prices for flights to both Winston-Salem 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.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $30 per person, per day in Raleigh. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $16 per person, per day in Winston-Salem. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Raleigh $30
    Winston-Salem $16

Tours and Activities in Raleigh

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

  • Trolley Pub Public Tour of Raleigh: $41

Tours and Activities in Winston-Salem

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Winston-Salem are as follows:

  • Winston-Salem Historical Ghost Tour: $18

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Raleigh may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $22 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $19 on alcoholic beverages in Winston-Salem per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Raleigh $22
    Winston-Salem $19

Sample the Local Flavors in Raleigh

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

  • Raleigh Bar Hunt: Rowdy Raleigh Bar Crawl: $12


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Raleigh and Winston-Salem, we can see that Raleigh is more expensive. And not only is Winston-Salem much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Winston-Salem would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem.

Budget Your Trip

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Raleigh vs. Winston-Salem Travel Comparison

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