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

Should you visit Washington or Raleigh?

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 Washington and Raleigh can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington is a active, monument-filled, and international city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.

Raleigh

Raleigh is a suburban-style, friendly, and southern city. Other reasons to visit include nightlife and museums.

Washington and Raleigh: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for students
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


How is Washington different from Raleigh?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Washington or Raleigh better for Museums and Historical Sights?

People who enjoy wandering through museums and other attractions will appreciate a visit to Washington a bit more than Raleigh.

Travelers visit Washington from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The city has world class museums that are often free. The Smithsonian Museums are arguably some of the most impressive museums in the United States. The city also has a large collection of monuments that are dedicated to past presidents or historical events.

Raleigh offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. 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.

Washington
Raleigh


Is Washington or Raleigh better for Food?

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Washington a bit more than Raleigh.

Washington has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. You can find restaurants from almost any cuisine here, so it's worth exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Raleigh. Try some southern classics like barbecue, pimento cheese, and fried chicken and waffles.

Washington
Raleigh

Is Washington or Raleigh better for Nightlife?

The vibe at night is comparable in Washington and Raleigh.

Many people head to Washington for the nightlife scene. Head into Dupont Circle, U Street, and even Arlington to enjoy some of the area's best nightlife.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Raleigh. Trivia nights and happy hours are popular.

Washington
Raleigh

Is Washington or Raleigh better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Washington or Raleigh.

Washington is a very family-friendly destination. It is a fun and educational destination where kids can explore world class museums and try unique foods from all around the world.

Raleigh is a family-friendly place to visit. For such a small city, Raleigh has a number of unique kid-friendly activities like the popular Pullen Park and Marbles Kids' Museum.

Washington
Raleigh

Is Washington or Raleigh better for Students?

Students usually think of Washington as better than Raleigh.

Students come from all over the world to visit Washington. International students come from around the world to study, learn, intern, and work in the capital of the United States.

Raleigh is a good city to visit for students. The city has a diverse student population with many nearby universities and colleges.

Washington
Raleigh


Is Washington or Raleigh better for Public Transit?

Washington has better public transit to get you around.

With a huge network, the transit system in Washington can get you around easily. The metro system and the bus system are reliable and efficient ways to explore the city.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Raleigh. The city's public transportation options are limited to a few bus lines.

Washington
Raleigh

Is Washington or Raleigh a more walkable city?

Washington is generally more walkable than Raleigh.

Washington is a very easy city to get around on foot. Many neighborhoods around the city are easy to explore on foot. Most tourists spend a lot of time in the Mall area, which is very pedestrian friendly.

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

Washington
Raleigh

Should I spend more time in Raleigh or Washington?

How long in Washington or Raleigh?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Washington and Raleigh. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Washington than Raleigh.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Washington is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Raleigh is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Washington or Raleigh? Ideal Length of Stay
    Washington 3-7 
    Raleigh 2-3

One day in Washington or Raleigh?

Because Washington is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

With museums and nightlife around the suburban-style city of Raleigh, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Washington or Raleigh?

Because Washington is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

With nightlife and museums around the destination of Raleigh, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.


Five days in Washington or Raleigh?

Washington is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Washington has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Raleigh, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Washington or Raleigh?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Washington. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Raleigh is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Which city is cheaper, Raleigh or Washington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Washington is $155, while the average daily cost in Raleigh is $151. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Washington and Raleigh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $91
    Raleigh $83
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $182
    Raleigh $166
Compare Hotels in Washington and Raleigh

Looking for a hotel in Washington or Raleigh? 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 Washington


Hotels in Raleigh


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $37
    Raleigh $30
Typical Local Transportation prices in Washington

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Washington are as follows:


  • Metro Day Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Washington

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

  • Airport Transfer to and from Dulles International IAD Airport: $160
  • BWI Airport: Transfer to Baltimore or Washington DC: $200
  • DCA Private 1-Way Transfer from D.C. City Center Hotels: $97
  • DCA to D.C. City Center Hotels: 1-Way Private Transfer: $102
  • Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Business Car: $118
  • Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury SUV: $154
  • Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury Van: $154
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Business Car: $119
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury SUV: $151
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury Van: $159
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV: $78

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 Washington or Raleigh?

Prices for flights to both Raleigh and Washington 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
    Washington $30
    Raleigh $46
Typical Food prices in Washington

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


  • Water
    $2.00
  • Snacks on Monuments Tour
    $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington

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

  • Seattle: Pike Place Market Plant-Based Food Tour: $64
  • Washington D.C.: 3.5-Hour Georgetown Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC: 3-Hour Italian Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle: $65
  • Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner: $70
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $76
  • Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience: $79
  • Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour: $79
  • U Street Neighborhood Food Tour: $99
  • Washington DC Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $100
  • Private French Cooking Class with an Expert in the Heart of Washington DC: $108
  • Washington, DC 3-Hour Dinner Buffet Cruise: $122

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $19
    Raleigh $30

Tours and Activities in Washington

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

  • Tidal Basin: Stroll around the cherry blossoms and monuments on an audio tour: $5.00
  • The National Mall: Discover the monuments and their memories on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Lincoln's Assassination: Explore Lincoln's final day on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • The Kennedy Homes: Explore the colonial architecture on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Virtual Tour of Martin Luther King Memorial: $18
  • Virtual Tour African American Heritage in Washington DC: $19
  • Washington, DC: US Capitol Building Entry with 1-Hour Tour: $20
  • City Sightseeing Chester Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: $21
  • DC Ghost Tour: $24
  • Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum: $24

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $15
    Raleigh $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Washington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:

  • Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Washington DC: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting: $120
  • Seattle All-Inclusive: Hike Mt. Rainier and Wine Tasting: $278
  • NOVA Private Custom Wine Tours & Tasting from DMV: $645
  • 6 Hours Northern VA Wine Tour: $920

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 comparing the travel costs between Washington and Raleigh, we can see that Washington 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.


When is the best time to visit Washington or Raleigh?

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 Washington or Raleigh in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Washington as well as Raleigh. Most visitors come to Washington for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Additionally, the summer months attract visitors to Raleigh because of the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Washington is generally around the same temperature as Raleigh. Temperatures in Washington average around 79°F (26°C), and Raleigh stays around 79°F (26°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Raleigh. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Washington this time of the year. In the summer, Washington often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Raleigh. Washington gets 278 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Raleigh receives 259 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Raleigh. Washington usually gets less rain in July than Raleigh. Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    Raleigh 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Washington or Raleigh in the Autumn?

Both Raleigh and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The autumn months attract visitors to Washington because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Washington is around the same temperature as Raleigh in the autumn. The temperature in Washington is usually 60°F (15°C) in October, and Raleigh stays around 61°F (16°C).

It's quite sunny in Raleigh. Washington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Raleigh during autumn. At this time of the year, Washington gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 211 hours of full sun.

In October, Washington usually receives around the same amount of rain as Raleigh. At this time of the year, Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    Raleigh 61°F (16°C)

Should I visit Washington or Raleigh in the Winter?

Both Raleigh and Washington during the winter are popular places to visit. The museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Washington this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Raleigh for the museums and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Raleigh. It's quite cold in Washington in the winter. In the winter, Washington is much colder than Raleigh. Typically, the winter temperatures in Washington in January are around 35°F (1°C), and Raleigh is about 40°F (5°C).

In the winter, Washington often gets less sunshine than Raleigh. Washington gets 139 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Raleigh receives 162 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets less rain in January than Raleigh. Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    Raleigh 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Washington or Raleigh in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and Raleigh. Many travelers come to Washington for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Washington is generally cooler than Raleigh. Temperatures in Washington average around 56°F (14°C), and Raleigh stays around 60°F (16°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Raleigh this time of the year. In Washington, it's very sunny this time of the year. Washington usually receives less sunshine than Raleigh during spring. At this time of the year, Washington gets 228 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 251 hours of full sun.

In April, Washington usually receives less rain than Raleigh. At this time of the year, Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    Raleigh 60°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Raleigh and Washington

Washington Raleigh
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Washington vs. Raleigh Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.