These twin cities on the Tees River hold little interest to most travellers, however Captain James Cook was born in the Middlesbrough suburb of Marton where there is now a museum dedicated to the famous explorer.
The Old Town Hall Box Office, Albert Road, Middlesbrough
Tel (01642) 729 700
Open Mon-Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-4.30pm, Sat 9am-1.30pm
Durham Tees Valley Airport handles scheduled flights to Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Belfast, Dublin, Jersey, London, Nice and Prague and charter flights to Greece, Spain and Florida. The low-cost airlines, Fly Thomas Cook, Ryanair and Thomsonfly fly to Spain from here. Arriva bus route 20 goes to the airport from Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees.
National Express has bus services from Middlesborough to Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and York. Arriva and Stagecoach run buses to nearby towns and cities including Durham, Hartlepool, Newcastle, Scarborough and Whitby.
Megabus operate coaches to Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester and Sheffield.
Buses depart from Middlesbrough Bus Station, which is on Newport Road next to the Captain Cook Square Shopping Centre.
Arriva One Day ticket costs £4.50 and gives you one day's unlimited travel on Arriva buses in Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool.
There aren't any hostels here, but there is a cheap Metro Inn hotel in Stockton-on-Tees.
Captain Cook's birthplace on the grounds of Stewart Park, 6km from Middlesbrough city centre, features displays and audio-visual presentations on the life of Captain James Cook, who is credited with discovering Australia, Hawaii and New Zealand.
Stewart Park, Marton, Middlesbrough
Bus 27, 27A, 29, 66, 67
Tel (01642) 311 211
Open Jan-Feb Tue-Sun 9am-3.30pm; Mar-Oct Tue-Sun 10am-5.30pm; Nov-Dec Tue-Sun 9am-3.30pm
This museum has displays that include natural history and Victorian art and craft.
Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough
Tel (01642) 813 781
Open Tue-Wed 10am-5.30pm, Thu 11am-6.30pm, Fri-Sun 10am-5.30pm
Located just south of Middlesbrough's famous Transporter Bridge, this museum has interactive displays about Middlesbrough's industrial heritage.
Ferry Road, Middlesbrough
Tel (01642) 248 566
Admission 50p; tours £1.50-2.50