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Which City is Better: Norfolk or Portsmouth?

Comparing these two cities – what you need to know

If you’re thinking of moving to a city in Virginia but you can’t decide between Norfolk and Portsmouth, this guide will help.

There are a lot of things to consider before moving your entire life to a new location. And everyone has different needs and priorities. While many places in Virginia and around the country are attractive, how will you decide where to call home?

Let’s look at some of the similarities and differences between two of the most popular places in Virginia.

Is Norfolk cheaper than Portsmouth?

For most people cost of living is a huge consideration when they decide where to live. Virginia is a great state overall compared to the national average. But how do Norfolk and Portsmouth compare?

  • Portsmouth is 39.2% more expensive than Norfolk.
  • Portsmouth housing costs are 132.6% more expensive than Norfolk housing costs.
  • Health related expenses are 21.0% less in Portsmouth.

Winner: Norfolk

Is Norfolk bigger than Portsmouth?

If you prefer small town vibes to the big city, size matters! Or, if you want to live somewhere with lots of nightlife and culture, you may gravitate to bigger metropolitan areas.

  • The Norfolk population is 235,089
  • The Portsmouth population is 97,840

Norfolk is considerably larger than Portsmouth. If you prefer a smaller population, choose Portsmouth.

Winner: Portsmouth

Distance from Virginia military bases

There are many military bases all around Virginia. Let’s take a look at the distance of each city from the various bases in the state.

US Army Garrison Fort A.P. Hill HQ

Portsmouth: 137 miles

Norfolk: 131 miles

Fort Pickett

Portsmouth: 113 miles

Norfolk: 114 miles

U.S. Army Port

Portsmouth: 5 miles

Norfolk: 7 miles

Fort Lee

Portsmouth: 79 miles

Norfolk: 80 miles

Quantico USMC Base

Portsmouth: 167 miles

Norfolk: 161 miles

Fort Lee MEPS

Portsmouth: 74 miles

Norfolk: 76 miles

Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek–Fort Story

Portsmouth: 14 miles

Norfolk: 12 miles

Fort Belvoir

Portsmouth: 188 miles

Norfolk: 183 miles

Winner: Tie

Does Norfolk or Portsmouth have better weather?

Norfolk is about 10 minutes from Portsmouth. They both have similar hot Virginia summers and gorgeous fall colors. As for weather, the two cities are not too different.

  • On average, there are 217 sunny days per year in Portsmouth. Norfolk averages 215 sunny days per year.
  • Portsmouth, Virginia gets 47.4 inches of rain, on average, per year. Norfolk, Virginia gets 47.3 inches of rain, on average, per year.
  • Portsmouth averages 5 inches of snow per year.

Winner: Norfolk

What is Norfolk famous for?

The world’s biggest naval base and the North American Headquarters for NATO are located in Norfolk. USA Today recognized Norfolk as one of the Top 10 booming downtowns because of its thriving housing, retail, and financial industries that have prospered for decades.

What is Portsmouth famous for?

Portsmouth, Virginia, a beloved Coastal Virginia treasure, has a vibrant history as a coastal seaport. Its distinct allure lies in its varied collection of three-century-old vintage homes, quirky shops, locally-owned eateries, and scenic waterfront along the lively Hampton Roads harbor. Despite being the smallest coastal city, Portsmouth retains its legendary hospitality dating back to 1752, exuding a stylish and trendy vibe. With its captivating mix of antique homes, distinct shops, and restaurants, and breathtaking waterfront, Portsmouth remains a Coastal Virginia gem.

Kelvin Reed can help you find the right home in Virginia

Trying to decide between Norfolk or Portsmouth can be a tough choice. They’re both amazing and friendly southern cities. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what you want or don’t want in the place you call home.

If you’re looking for more people and larger city vibes, choose Norfolk. But if you want a smaller population and lower cost of living, go with Portsmouth.

And if you’re ready to buy a house Kelvin Reed can help. To find the perfect home in Virginia call Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty – Reeds Real Estate.

Kelvin is a top realtor in Norfolk and surrounding areas. Give his office a call at (757) 799-4824 and start house hunting today.


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