A Travel Price Comparison for Virginia Richmond vs. Virginia Beach for Families, Food, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit Richmond or Virginia Beach?

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

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 Richmond and Virginia Beach can help you decide which place is right for you.

Richmond

Richmond is a growing, friendly, and historical city. Visitors also love the museums, nightlife, and food.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a fun-filled, relaxing, and bustling coastal city. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include nightlife and beaches.

Richmond and Virginia Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance


Is there more to do in Richmond or Virginia Beach?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Richmond than Virginia Beach. While Virginia Beach is larger than Richmond, Richmond has more sights and attractions for tourists. Richmond is more popular for its museums, food, and shopping, while Virginia Beach is known for its resorts, beaches, and impressive beauty. Richmond is popular for its cultural and historical sights. It is also home to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Virginia Beach is popular for its fun boardwalk, many seafood restaurants, and classic beach town vibe.

How is Richmond different from Virginia Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Richmond or Virginia Beach?

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Richmond is great for its historical sights. However, Virginia Beach does not have museums and landmarks.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Richmond can be an interesting and educational experience. 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.

Virginia Beach does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Richmond is a nice place to visit for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Virginia Beach is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

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.

Virginia Beach may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Seafood is plentiful around town and there are all-you-can-eat buffets as well as high end, waterfront seafood restaurants. Make sure you try the She Crab Soup, soft shell crabs, and oysters.

Is Richmond or Virginia Beach Better for Nightlife?

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Evening events are good in both Richmond and Virginia Beach.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Richmond. 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Virginia Beach. While it's a family-friendly beach, there's still a great nightlife scene with many bars and clubs in the area. Popular places to hang out at night include Omega Bar, Peabody's Nightclub, and Sky Bar.

Is Richmond or Virginia Beach Better for Resorts?

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is very good for its resorts. However, Richmond is not a resort destination.

Virginia Beach has a few great resort options. Some of the best resorts in the area include the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and The Founders Inn and Spa.

Richmond is not a resort destination.


Is Richmond or Virginia Beach Better for Beaches?

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is very good for the beach. However, Richmond is not a beach destination.

Many people head to Virginia Beach to enjoy the beach. The beaches are long and sandy, but they can get crowded during the summer months. The waves are just the right size for playing in the surf and the water temperature is usually warm enough to swim well into the fall months.

Richmond is not a beach destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Richmond or Virginia Beach?

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Richmond is a nice place to visit for its shopping opportunities. However, Virginia Beach is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

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.

Virginia Beach is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Richmond or Virginia Beach Better for Families?

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Richmond is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Virginia Beach is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. This is a popular family-friendly beach with a nice boardwalk, a fun waterpark, aquarium, and nice beaches. It attracts families in the area for its long beaches and fun atmosphere. Most restaurants have kid's menus and there are ice cream shops and minigolf around.

Richmond is a family-friendly city. 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 Richmond or Virginia Beach Better for Couples?

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Both Richmond and Virginia Beach are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Richmond is a good city for couples to visit. 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.

Virginia Beach is a nice destination for couples. Couples will enjoy a nice escape to the beaches and boardwalk. There are many great seafood restaurants, some with waterfront settings. There's also a variety of activities ranging from many golf to dance clubs.

Is Richmond or Virginia Beach Better for Students?

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Richmond and Virginia Beach are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

Richmond is a good city to visit for students. There are a couple of colleges and universities in town such as Virginia Commonwealth University.

Plenty of students visit Virginia Beach. It's not as popular as more southern beach towns, but you'll still find students heading here for the spring break holidays.

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

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Richmond is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Virginia Beach is not a good destination for its public transit.

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

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Virginia Beach. There is very limited public transit in the area so you'll need to have a car to get around.


Is Richmond or Virginia Beach a more walkable city?

Richmond
Virginia Beach

Richmond is a nice place to visit for its high level of walkability. However, Virginia Beach is not a good destination for its ease of walking around.

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.

Virginia Beach is generally not very walkable. Most people prefer to have a car but do note that parking can be a nightmare, particularly during the summer season.

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

Should I spend more time in Virginia Beach or Richmond?

How long in Richmond or Virginia Beach?

Both Richmond and Virginia Beach have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Virginia Beach than in Richmond. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Richmond, and 5-7 days is enough time in Virginia Beach.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Richmond than Virginia Beach 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 Richmond or Virginia Beach? Ideal Length of Stay
    Richmond 1-2 
    Virginia Beach 5-7

One day in Richmond or Virginia Beach?

In Richmond, you'll find museums and nightlife. So, one day is just the right amount of time to spend here.

The coastal city of Virginia Beach offers nightlife. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Richmond or Virginia Beach?

Richmond is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

Virginia Beach is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Richmond or Virginia Beach?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Richmond. It offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Virginia Beach is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Virginia Beach, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Richmond or Virginia Beach?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the city of Richmond. Your budget might influence how long you stay. 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.

Virginia Beach is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Virginia Beach has to offer. This coastal city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, and The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Virginia Beach or Richmond?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Richmond is $161, while the average daily cost in Virginia Beach is $126. 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 Richmond and Virginia Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Richmond $101
    Virginia Beach $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Richmond $202
    Virginia Beach $142
Compare Hotels in Richmond and Virginia Beach

Looking for a hotel in Richmond or Virginia Beach? 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 Richmond


Hotels in Virginia Beach


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: Richmond Hotel Prices and Virginia Beach Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Richmond $72
    Virginia Beach $39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Richmond

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Richmond:

  • Richmond Airport (RIC) to Richmond City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $118
  • Richmond Airport (RIC) to Richmond city - Arrival Private Transfer: $59
  • Richmond City to Richmond Airport (RIC) - Departure Private Transfer: $59

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Virginia Beach

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Virginia Beach:


  • Beach Parking
    $10

Is it cheaper to fly into Richmond or Virginia Beach?

Prices for flights to both Virginia Beach and Richmond 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
    Richmond $21
    Virginia Beach $30

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
  • Delicious Pizza & Ice Cream Tour of Richmond: $90
  • Arts District Food Tour in Richmond: $90

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Richmond $13
    Virginia Beach $21

Tours and Activities in Richmond

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

  • Church Hill Chillers Ghost Tour: $25
  • Church Hill Segway Tour in Richmond: $80
  • Guided Walking Tour of Richmond: $38
  • Haunted Capitol Hill Ghost Tour: $30
  • Highlights of Hollywood Cemetery Walking Tour: $30
  • Historic Trolley Tour: $38
  • Hollywood Cemetery Segway Tour in Richmond: $76
  • Hollywood Cemetery Tour Richmond Lore and Civil War: $19
  • Phantoms of Franklin Ghost Tour: $30
  • Private Sightseeing Tour by Electric Cart in Richmond: $165
  • RVATukTuk Sightseeing Tour of Richmond: $187
  • Richmond Downtown Walking Tour: $38

Tours and Activities in Virginia Beach

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

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Virginia Beach by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Neptune Ghosts: Ghosts of the Coast By US Ghost Adventures: $24
  • Ziplining and Climbing at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium: $59
  • Wetland Zip Tour: $65
  • Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours: $68
  • Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour: $68
  • Dolphin Kayak Tour in Virginia Beach Must know how to swim: $77
  • Kayak Dolphin Experience in Virginia Beach Must know how to swim: $77
  • Virginia Historic Adventure!: $200

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Richmond -
    Virginia Beach $11

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 : $27
  • Drink Richmond Craft Brewery Crawl: $59
  • Richmond Craft Brewery Crawl By Junket: $59
  • Brewery Tour of Richmond, VA: $90


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

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


Which is Bigger, Richmond or Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Richmond. When comparing the sizes of Richmond and Virginia Beach, 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 Richmond or Virginia Beach?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Richmond or Virginia Beach in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Richmond as well as Virginia Beach. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Richmond this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Virginia Beach for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.

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

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Virginia Beach. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Richmond this time of the year. In the summer, Richmond often gets more sunshine than Virginia Beach. Richmond gets 305 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Virginia Beach receives 279 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Virginia Beach. Richmond receives a lot of rain in the summer. Richmond usually gets less rain in July than Virginia Beach. Richmond gets 5 inches (128 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 5.7 inches (145 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Richmond or Virginia Beach in the Autumn?

Both Virginia Beach and Richmond are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Richmond for the shopping scene. Also, many visitors come to Virginia Beach in the autumn for the natural beauty of the area.

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

It's quite sunny in Virginia Beach. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Richmond. Richmond usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Virginia Beach during autumn. Richmond gets 221 hours of sunny skies, while Virginia Beach receives 211 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Richmond usually receives more rain than Virginia Beach. Richmond gets 3.5 inches (90 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


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

Should I visit Richmond or Virginia Beach in the Winter?

Both Virginia Beach and Richmond during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Richmond in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Virginia Beach for the cuisine during these months.

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

In the winter, Richmond often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Virginia Beach. Richmond gets 169 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Virginia Beach receives 168 hours of full sun.

Richmond usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Virginia Beach. Richmond gets 3.2 inches (83 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Richmond or Virginia Beach in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Richmond and Virginia Beach. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Virginia Beach because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

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

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Virginia Beach this time of the year. In Richmond, it's very sunny this time of the year. Richmond usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Virginia Beach during spring. Richmond gets 265 hours of sunny skies, while Virginia Beach receives 253 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Richmond usually receives more rain than Virginia Beach. Richmond gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


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

Typical Weather for Virginia Beach and Richmond

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