Time series analysis can facilitate the detection of complex behavioral patterns and potentially provide new opportunities to assess animal welfare. The aim was to investigate whether dairy cows exhibit daily, individual patterns in activity and in area use in the barn. We predicted that behavioral patterns will be more consistent (1) within than between cows, (2) when area categorization is more specific and, thus, allows the detection of individual preferences for areas, and (3) during the night. We conducted the study at an experimental farm with 20 lactating Brown Swiss and Swiss Fleckvieh cows. The animals were housed in cubicles, and they received feed and were milked twice daily. Activity was recorded with IceTag pedometers (IceRobotics Ltd.), and area use with the SMARTBOW sensor system (Zoetis). Data were collected for 55 consecutive days and analyzed at 1-min intervals. To investigate the behavioral time series, we performed a hierarchical clustering analysis. A clustering process calculated distances between days, which were compared within and between cows based on t-tests and analyses of variance. Dendrograms of activity and area use showed that days of individual cows could not be grouped more closely together than those of different cows. A slightly better grouping was achieved with a more specific area categorization, but not during a specific time period. However, the average distances between days were always smaller within (mean ± SD; activity: 95.62 ± 76.88, lying areas: 0.14 ± 0.03, functional areas: 0.12 ± 0.01) than between cows (activity: 109.62 ± 75.33, lying areas: 0.16 ± 0.02, functional areas 0.13 ± 0.01). Considering that the time series of individual cows were slightly but always more similar compared with those between cows, and that more consistent patterns were found when the area categorization was more specific, it can be concluded that the cows exhibited weak individual preferences in area use and also weak daily individual patterns in activity and area use. Because the visual exploratory and empirical approaches used in this study do not account for variability, they do not seem to be suitable for the detection of patterns in animals that display greater plasticity in their temporal structure of activity. Thus, although determining the temporal structure of activity and area use bears the potential to assess the behavior and, in turn, for example, the physiological state and health status of cows, it does not seem to be achievable with a cluster analysis. Therefore, time series methods that account for temporal fluctuations in behavior should be further explored.