Should you visit Washington or Raleigh?
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, DC is the capital city of the United States of America. It is also a city rich in history and culture. The city dates back to 1791 when the states of Maryland and Virginia donated the land to create the capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land that was ceded by Virginia and in 1871 it created a single municipal government with the remaining area. Today, Washington, DC has a population of over 600,000 people. The metropolitan area includes suburbs in Maryland and Virginia and has a population of about 5.8 million.
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.
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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Washington and Raleigh in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $182 in Washington For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
The average traveler spends about $30 per day in Washington for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street 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.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Washington
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Washington:
Snacks on Monuments Tour
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington
For Washington, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Washington D.C.: 3.5-Hour Georgetown Food Tour:
Washington DC: 3-Hour Italian Food Tour:
Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle:
Adams Morgan Food Tour:
Lonely Planet Experiences: DC Morning Food Tour on H Street:
Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience:
Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour:
Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner:
U Street Neighborhood Food Tour:
Washington DC Odyssey Dinner Cruise:
Private French Cooking Class with an Expert in the Heart of Washington DC:
Washington, DC 3-Hour Dinner Buffet Cruise:
Typical Food prices in Raleigh
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Raleigh:
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:
To get around in Washington, the average visitor spends $37 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $30 per day to get around in Raleigh.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Washington
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Washington are as follows:
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:
DCA Private 1-Way Transfer from D.C. City Center Hotels:
DCA to D.C. City Center Hotels: 1-Way Private Transfer:
Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Business Car:
Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury SUV:
Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury Van:
Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Business Car:
Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury SUV:
Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury Van:
Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car:
Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV:
Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Van:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Raleigh
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:
Raleigh to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer:
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.
In Washington, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.
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.
Tours and Activities in Washington
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Washington.
The National Mall: Discover the monuments and their memories on an audio tour:
Tidal Basin: Stroll around the cherry blossoms and monuments on an audio tour:
Lincoln's Assassination: Explore Lincoln's final day on this audio walking tour:
The Kennedy Homes: Explore the colonial architecture on this audio walking tour:
Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour:
Washington DC: Arlington Nat. Cemetery Ticket & Tram Tour:
Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour:
Virtual Tour of Martin Luther King Memorial:
Virtual Tour African American Heritage in Washington DC:
DC: Museum of the Bible Exclusive Early Admission Ticket:
Washington, DC: US Capitol Building Entry with 1-Hour Tour:
Haunted History Ghost Tour:
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:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Washington, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.
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.
Sample the Local Flavors in Washington
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:
Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam:
Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour:
DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting:
NOVA Private Custom Wine Tours & Tasting from DMV:
6 Hours Northern VA Wine Tour:
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:
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.
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