Should you visit Washington or Virginia Beach?
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 Virginia Beach 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.
Virginia Beach sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. It's a popular beach destination and has many of the characteristics of most southeastern beach towns. There are many activities that you can enjoy and there's a concrete boardwalk that runs parallel to the water for about three miles. The boardwalk is a fun place to walk or bicycle. The beach itself is wide and sandy and is a great place to soak up some sun. During the summer months and school holidays it can get quite crowded and you might struggle to find a place for your towel and beach chairs. There are also many beach side resorts that line the water front. Most have pools and hot tubs where you can relax and some hotels have indoor pools as well, which can be nice during the cool winter months.
Which city is cheaper, Virginia Beach 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 Virginia Beach is $104. 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 Virginia Beach 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.
The prices for places to stay in Virginia Beach can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $60, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $120.
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.
Food in Virginia Beach costs travelers about $25 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
Virginia Beach $25
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:
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Virginia Beach than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $31 on transportation in Virginia Beach on average per day.
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:
Washington to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) - Departure Private Transfer:
Washington to New York J.F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) - Departure Private Transfer:
Washington City to New York City - Private Car Transfer:
Washington to Newark International Airport (EWR) - Departure Private Transfer:
Washington City to Philadelphia City - Private Car Transfer:
Washington, DC: Potomac Mills Outlet Private Transfer:
Private transfer from or to IAD , DCA , PHL , MDT airports , VA and Philadelphia:
Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury Car:
Washington, DC: Private Airport Transfer(SUV): To or From: (DCA) Reagan National:
Washington City to Baltimore City - Private Car Transfer:
Airport Transfer to and from Dulles International IAD Airport:
Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury Van:
Typical Local Transportation prices in Virginia Beach
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Virginia Beach:
Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Virginia Beach?
Prices for flights to both Virginia Beach 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Virginia Beach, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $17 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in Washington
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Washington.
"HEROES OF FREEDOM" PRIVATE TOUR (4 Hour Military Tribute):
"SHINING CITY" PRIVATE TOUR (3 Hour Evening Tour):
2 Day Grand Tour with George Washington's Mount Vernon:
2-Day Colonial Williamsburg Guided Tour from Washington DC:
24/48-Hour Washington, D.C. Hop-on Hop-off Tour:
3-Hour "DC After Dark" Night-Time Guided Bus Tour with Stops at Top Attractions:
3-Hour Private Jeep Tour of Washington D.C.:
3-Hour Washington DC "Monuments By Night" Guided Night-Time Sightseeing Bus Tour:
3-Hour Washington DC "Morning Monuments" Guided Sightseeing Walking & Bus Tour:
3-Hour Washington, D.C Urban Adventure Scavenger Hunt:
30-Minutes Supercar Driving Pilot Experience in Washington DC:
Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum:
Tours and Activities in Virginia Beach
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Virginia Beach.
All-Inclusive, Autumn Weekend Tour for GROUPS of 10-16:
RIDE ALONG GREEK GODS & AQUATISM *Certified Tours*:
Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour:
Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours:
Sunset Stand Up Paddleboard Tour of Linkhorn Bay:
Tour of Virginia Beach (half day), for GROUPS of 10-16:
Tour of Virginia Beach, for GROUPS of 10-16:
Wetland Zip Tour:
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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Virginia Beach, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $8.51.
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:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Washington and Virginia Beach, we can see that Washington 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 Washington would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Washington than you might in Virginia Beach.
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