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

Should you visit Aspen or Denver?

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 Denver 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 artsy, outdoorsy, and authentic ski town. This is a great small town that is just waiting to be explored. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and skiing.

Denver

Denver is a sprawling and park-filled city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include hiking, skiing, and nightlife.

Aspen and Denver: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less popular for skiing
  • Less popular for food
  • Less walkable


How is Aspen different from Denver?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Aspen or Denver better for Skiing?

While Denver and Aspen both offer snow skiing, overall Aspen has more to offer.

Visitors will find world class skiing in Aspen. 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.

Denver is a great destination for skiing with plenty areas to explore. Although there's no skiing in the immediate area, there is a huge list of world class ski resorts within an hour or two of town. Two of the closest are Echo Mountain Resort and Loveland Ski Area.

Aspen
Denver


Is Aspen or Denver better for Food?

Aspen has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Denver.

Many restaurants in Aspen have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The town hosts many food festivals and there is a growing selection of diverse restaurants.

Denver offers some easy restaurants to choose from. While you're in town you should try the Bison steak and fried pickles.

Aspen
Denver

Is Aspen or Denver better for Nightlife?

It's hard to distinguish whether Aspen or Denver has a better nightlife scene.

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.

If you're looking for night time activities Denver has a few options to choose from. The city has come a long way with its nightlife. Popular bars and clubs in town include the Grizzly Rose and 54Thirty Rooftop. Many places are concentrated in the Soco Nightlife District.

Aspen
Denver

Is Aspen or Denver better for Hiking?

Both Aspen and Denver are destinations which offer hiking.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Aspen. 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.

Denver offers some nice hiking trails. The city is very close to many beautiful parks and hiking areas in the Rocky Mountains.

Aspen
Denver

Is Aspen or Denver better for Families?

Both Aspen and Denver are fun to visit with kids.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Aspen. 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.

Denver offers lots of family activities. It is a family-friendly city with museums, playgrounds, and plenty of outdoor activities. There are also a few ropes courses near town that kids and adults alike will enjoy.

Aspen
Denver


Is Aspen or Denver better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Aspen and Denver.

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.

While Denver offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. If you're not planning to leave town, the light rail and bus systems offers good access to much of Denver.

Aspen
Denver

Is Aspen or Denver a more walkable city?

Aspen is more walkable than Denver.

Aspen is a very walkable destination. 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.

Denver is not a very walkable ski town. While the downtown area is generally walkable, this is still a sprawling city where you'll really want to have a car to access areas outside of town.

Aspen
Denver

Should I spend more time in Denver or Aspen?

How long in Aspen or Denver?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Aspen and Denver. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Aspen than Denver.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Aspen is 3-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Denver is 2-3 days.


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

One day in Aspen or Denver?

Aspen might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Denver, many people enjoy the skiing and nightlife that this park-filled destination offers. This city 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 Denver?

Aspen is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Denver. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. 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 Denver?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Aspen. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Denver is a fun place to experience. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Aspen or Denver?

Aspen is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. This ski town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find nightlife and skiing around the park-filled destination of Denver. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Which city is cheaper, Denver or Aspen?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Aspen is $235, while the average daily cost in Denver is $174. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Aspen and Denver in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Aspen $136
    Denver $69
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Aspen $272
    Denver $138
Compare Hotels in Aspen and Denver

Looking for a hotel in Aspen or Denver? 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 Denver


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Aspen $45
    Denver $81

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Aspen Airport (ASE): $36
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Aspen Airport (ASE): $36
  • Private Eagle County Regional Airport Transfer to Aspen: $400
  • Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $796
  • Private Transfer: Aspen to Denver International Airport (DEN): $1,321

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Denver Airport DEN to Denver City by Luxury Car: $117
  • Arrival Private Transfer Denver Airport DEN to Denver City by Minibus: $217
  • Arrival Private Transfer Denver Airport DEN to Denver City by SUV: $142
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Business Car: $109
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Luxury Van: $130
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Aspen hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $796
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Aspen hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $1,592
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Arrival Private Transfer: $429
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $858
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Arrival Private Transfer: $404
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $809
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Denver hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $68

Is it cheaper to fly into Aspen or Denver?

Prices for flights to both Denver 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 $68
    Denver $34

Typical Food prices in Denver

Some typical examples of dining costs in Denver are as follows:


  • Sushi Dinner (for 2)
    $61

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Denver

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

  • Small-Group Food Tour in Denver: $69
  • Haunted Denver Walking Food Tour: $73
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Denver: $77
  • Walking Food Tour - Best of Union Station & LoDo: $79
  • Denver Cooking Classes-Local, seasonal, and hands on menus: $97

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Aspen $36
    Denver $42

Tours and Activities in Aspen

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

  • Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour: $40
  • Glimpse of Aspen Tour: $40

Tours and Activities in Denver

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Denver are as follows:

  • Spokes and Scoops: Explore Denver's top ice cream spots on an audio bicycle tour: $5.20
  • Denver Ghost Hunt: Mile High Ghost Tour: $12
  • Virtual Reality Experiences for Everyone: $21
  • Denver Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Best of Denver Tour: $22
  • Capitol Hill History & Ghost Tour: $22
  • Twilight Ghost Tour: $22
  • Denver Ghost Tour: $23
  • 1.5 Hour LoDo Walking Tour in Denver: $25
  • Moscow Mule Experience: $32
  • From Mining to Modern Walking Tour of Denver: $35
  • History and Whiskey Tour in Denver: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Aspen $16
    Denver $4.25

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

Also in Denver, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour in Lower Downtown: $26
  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - South Broadway (SoBo): $27
  • 3-Hour Brewery Walking Tour: $49
  • Craft Distillery Bus Tour: $71


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Aspen and Denver, we can see that Aspen is more expensive. And not only is Denver much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Denver would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Denver 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 Denver.

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Aspen vs. Denver Travel Comparison

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