A Travel Price Comparison for Colorado Aspen vs. Colorado Springs for Skiing, Food, Hiking, and Nightlife

Should you visit Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Aspen and Colorado Springs can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Aspen

Aspen is a authentic, charming, and quaint ski town. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for skiing, nightlife, and live music.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a outdoorsy, healthy, and welcoming mountain town. Don't miss this spot, as it's a charming small town with plenty of activities. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include hiking, museums, and nightlife.

Aspen and Colorado Springs: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for skiing
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Aspen than Colorado Springs, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Aspen is better known for its skiing, food, nightlife, music, resorts, shopping, christmas markets, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere, while Colorado Springs is more popular for its museums and hiking. Aspen is more touristy than Colorado Springs and is known for its world-class skiing, many food, film, and music festivals, and its stunning mountain hikes. Also, Aspen is famous for The Maroon Bells. Colorado Springs is well known for its many outdoor recreation areas, world-class parks, striking red sandstone formations, and beautiful mountain views.

How is Aspen different from Colorado Springs?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Colorado Springs and Aspen. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Skiing?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is terrific for winter skiing. However, Colorado Springs is a mountain town with minimal options for skiing.

Aspen is among the world's best ski destinations. Near the town, there are 4 separate ski resorts. In town you'll find Aspen Mountain, which is known for it's black-diamond runs. Aspen Highlands, a couple miles away, has a mix of slopes and is less crowded. Buttermilk attracts many freestyle skiers and Aspen Snowmass is considered one of the best family-friendly ski areas.

Colorado Springs is a fun local destination for snow skiers. The town isn't as accessible to skiing as Denver is, but there are still options, like Breckenridge, within a few hours drive.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a mountain town with good options for its museums and landmarks. However, Aspen does not have museums and landmarks.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Colorado Springs. Most people visit this area for the outdoor recreation, not the museums, but in town you'll find the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum, the Peterson Air and Space Museum, the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The U.S. Olympic Complex Training Center is also a unique place to visit and well worth some time.

Aspen does not have museums and landmarks.

Is the Food Better in Aspen or Colorado Springs? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is terrific for its restaurant scene. Also, Colorado Springs is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Aspen has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The town hosts many food festivals and there is a growing selection of diverse restaurants. In town you'll find cafes and restaurants that cater to both the local crowd and the travelers who flock to the area during peak seasons.

Colorado Springs has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. There's a combination of local restaurants that serve local items such as trout and bison, as well as your standard chain restaurants and more predictable American classics like burgers, pizza, and chicken fingers.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Nightlife?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is a great destination for nightlife. Also, Colorado Springs is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife and partying.

The people in Aspen know how to have a good time. The people in Aspen know how to have a good time. The nightlife scene includes craft beer, live music, and dancing. There's a local vibe, particularly during the off-season times when the tourist crowds are less.

If you're looking for night time activities Colorado Springs has a few options to choose from. The town has a number of breweries and a great craft beer selection. There are local bars along Tejon Street, or head through Downtown Colorado Springs for some of the most active nightlife.


Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Music?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is a great destination for live music. However, Colorado Springs is not a live music destination.

Aspen has become a hotbed of musicians and artists. Popular music venues in town include Silver City Mountain Saloon and Belly Up Aspen.

Colorado Springs is not a live music destination.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Resorts?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is a great destination for its resorts. However, Colorado Springs is not a resort destination.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Aspen. Popular resorts in the area include The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome, and St. Regis Aspen.

Colorado Springs is not a resort destination.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Hiking?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is renowned for its hiking experiences. Also, Aspen is still popular, but not quite as popular for hiking.

Around Colorado Springs visitors will find world-class hiking trails. There are both world-famous hiking areas, as well as lesser known hikes that the locals often prefer. Some of the more famous places include Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs. For families, check out Seven Bridges Trail or Mount Muscoco Trail. Loud's Cabin is a longer trail that also includes Seven Bridges Trail.

Many visitors go to Aspen for the hiking trails. During the summer and fall seasons, hiking is a great way to explore Aspen's nearby beauty. Popular trails include the Ute Trail, the Lost Man Trail, and the famous Maroon Bells Scenic Trail.


Is the Shopping Better in Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is a great destination for shopping. However, Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Aspen is an extremely popular place for shoppers. There are many great local shops and art galleries where you can pick interesting items or fine art.

Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Christmas?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is terrific for its Christmas activities. However, Colorado Springs does not offer Christmas activities.

Aspen is a world class destination for shoppers. There are a number of beautiful activities that will bring the holiday season to life in the town.

Colorado Springs does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Christmas Markets?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is a great destination for its Christmas markets. However, Colorado Springs does not offer Christmas markets.

Aspen has plenty of Christmas markets during the holiday season. The town has a charming Christmas market that is fun to explore and has around 40 vendors.

Colorado Springs does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Families?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a great destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Aspen is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Colorado Springs is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The town is conveniently located near many outdoor adventures that are family-friendly. There are many parks, hiking trails, and wildlife centers in the area that make for a fun outing. Popular activities include the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Dinosaur Resource Center, and Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Aspen offers lots of family activities. Families that enjoy skiing together, hiking, rock climbing, and having adventures will enjoy a visit to this town. Aspen Mountain is not a great option for beginning skiers, but further away, Aspen Snowmass offers good beginner slopes.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Couples?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is a great destination for romance. Also, Colorado Springs is still popular, but not quite as popular for its romantic activities.

Couples visit Aspen frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Aspen is both a popular ski destination as well as an established town. There are many great restaurants and activities that couples can enjoy and the setting is cute and very scenic, making it a beautiful and romantic destination.

Colorado Springs makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy hiking and exploring nature together will love visiting this town and the areas nearby. There are many hiking trails in easy reach of the town. Hot air balloon rides are also popular and offer an amazing view over the beautiful landscape.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a mountain town with good options for backpackers. However, Aspen is a ski town with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Colorado Springs is a good mountain town to visit for backpackers. Just outside of town you'll find campgrounds with all of the amenities that you might need. In town, there's also a hostel and several affordable accommodation options.

Aspen is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Because it is both a town and a ski resort, there are a couple of more affordable accommodation options. Even so, this is an expensive destination that isn't always ideal for budget travelers.


Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Students?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a mountain town with good options for students. However, Aspen is not popular with students.

Colorado Springs is popular with students. It's a relatively affordable town with easy access to plenty of free activities like hiking, rock climbing, and more.

Aspen is not popular with students.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is very good for its public transit. However, Colorado Springs is a mountain town with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Aspen, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There are several shuttle buses around the town.

Public transit is quite limited in Colorado Springs. While there are buses, many people come to the area to visit Pikes Peak or several of the other nearby parks, all of which require a car.

Is Aspen or Colorado Springs a more walkable city?

Aspen
Colorado Springs

Aspen is a great destination for its walkability. However, Colorado Springs is a mountain town with minimal options for its high level of walkability.

Aspen is very walkable. The town is compact enough that it can be explored on foot. If you're planning to head into the mountains to hike, you'll likely need a car.

Colorado Springs is generally not a very walkable ski town. While the downtown area is walkable, you'll really want to have a car so you can explore the areas outside of town.


For even more information, also check out Is Aspen Worth Visiting? and Is Colorado Springs Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Colorado Springs or Aspen?

How long in Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Aspen and Colorado Springs. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Aspen than in Colorado Springs. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Aspen, and 2-3 days is enough time in Colorado Springs.

Families should spend more time in Aspen than Colorado Springs. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Aspen, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Aspen than Colorado Springs. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Aspen that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days in Aspen or Colorado Springs? Ideal Length of Stay
    Aspen 3-5 
    Colorado Springs 2-3

One day in Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Aspen is a small town where visitors enjoy the live music and food. Hikers are also drawn to this area. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. This ski town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

In Colorado Springs, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this healthy destination offers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Lots of people come for the hiking. This mountain town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Aspen is a small town with plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Colorado Springs. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Aspen is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Colorado Springs is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Colorado Springs. Lots of people come for the hiking. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.


A week in Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Aspen is a great place to explore. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find nightlife and food around the outdoorsy destination of Colorado Springs. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the hiking. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


Which place is cheaper, Colorado Springs or Aspen?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Aspen is $293, while the average daily cost in Colorado Springs is $155. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Aspen and Colorado Springs in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Aspen $170
    Colorado Springs $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Aspen $340
    Colorado Springs $162
Compare Hotels in Aspen and Colorado Springs

Looking for a hotel in Aspen or Colorado Springs? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Aspen


Hotels in Colorado Springs


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Aspen Hotel Prices and Colorado Springs Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Aspen $56
    Colorado Springs $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:

  • Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $221
  • Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) - Private Transfer Arrival or Departure: $269

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Colorado Springs

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Colorado Springs:

  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS) to Pagosa Springs-Arrival Transfer: $176
  • Colorado Springs COS to Pagosa Springs - Round-Trip Transfer: $176
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Winter Park - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $265
  • Denver Airport BJC to Winter Park Ski Resort Round Trip Transfer: $188
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Snowmass/Aspen - Arrival Transfer: $298
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Steamboat - Private Arrival Transfer: $287
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Vail/Beaver Creek Private Transfer: $221
  • Keystone resort to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $177
  • Private Transfer from Beaver Creek Ski Resort to Denver Airport: $221
  • Rocky Mountain Metropolitan (BJC) to Steamboat-Arrival Transfer: $232
  • Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport to Snowmass -Arrival Transfer: $298
  • Snowmass Ski Resort to BJC Airport - Departure Transfer: $298

Is it cheaper to fly into Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Prices for flights to both Colorado Springs and Aspen 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Aspen $85
    Colorado Springs $45

Typical Food Prices in Colorado Springs

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Colorado Springs:


  • Cold Stone Ice Cream (family of 4)
    $22
  • Snacks at the Zoo (family of 4)
    $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Colorado Springs

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Colorado Springs.

  • Classic 3-Hour Food Tour in Colorado Springs: $79
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show - Colorado Springs, CO: $86

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Aspen $45
    Colorado Springs $34

Tours and Activities in Aspen

Here are a few actual costs in Aspen for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Aspen Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Highlights of Aspen Tour: $40
  • Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour: $40
  • Dark History Ghost-Themed Guided Walking Tour: $40
  • From Past to Present History Walking Tour: $40
  • City Highlights Walking Tour: $40

Tours and Activities in Colorado Springs

Here are a few actual costs in Colorado Springs for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Colorado Springs by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Mesa Verde National Park Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Colorado Springs - Guided Walking Ghost / History Tour: $28
  • Colorado Springs - Guided Walking Ghost / History Tour: $28
  • Colorado Springs Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Pueblo Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Puzzling Adventures Loveland: $35
  • Fort Collins Military Years Tour: $40
  • Fort Collins Early Settlement/Town Beginnings Tour: $40
  • Astronomy Tour: $41
  • Colorado Springs Small Group Historic Walking Tour: $54
  • 1-Hour Segway Tour of Cheyenne Cañon Art, History and Nature: $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Aspen $20
    Colorado Springs $24

Sample the Local Flavors in Colorado Springs

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Colorado Springs:

  • 2.5-Hour Brewery & Bites Walking Tour: $84
  • Downtown Colorado Springs 2.5-Hour Brewery Tour: $89


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Aspen and Colorado Springs, we can see that Aspen is more expensive. And not only is Colorado Springs much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Colorado Springs would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Colorado Springs 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 Aspen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Aspen than you might in Colorado Springs.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Aspen Expensive? and Is Colorado Springs Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Aspen or Colorado Springs?

Colorado Springs has a larger population, and is about 60 times larger than the population of Aspen. When comparing the sizes of Aspen and Colorado Springs, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.