A Travel Price Comparison for Colorado Aspen vs. Durango for Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Aspen or Durango?

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 Durango 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 is a vibrant, artsy, and outdoorsy ski town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include food, hiking, and shopping.


Durango is a scenic and nature-filled small town. Because it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. With a quaint atmosphere, it also offers a unique feeling. Other popular activities here include hiking.

Aspen and Durango: Pros and Cons

  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Small town charm
  • Quaint atmosphere
  • Less popular at Christmas
  • Less popular with couples

How is Aspen different from Durango?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Aspen or Durango Better for Hiking?


Both Aspen and Durango 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.

Many visitors go to Durango for the hiking trails. Popular nearby hikes include Animas Mountain Trail, Falls Creek Trail, and Purgatory Trail.

Is Aspen or Durango Better for Christmas?


While Durango and Aspen are often visited around Christmas, overall Aspen is considered to have more to offer.

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.

Plenty of visitors enjoy Christmas activities while in Durango. It is a great Christmas town where you can meet Santa, go skiing, and even take the Polar Express.

Is Aspen or Durango Better for Families?


Both Aspen and Durango 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.

Durango is a very family-friendly destination. In the area you'll find ziplining, alpine slides, and plenty of outdoor areas to explore - and of course there's the railroad.

Is Aspen or Durango Better for Couples?


Aspen offers a wider variety of romantic activities for couples than Durango.

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.

Durango is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The town may not be the first romantic destination that comes to mind, but the railroad combined with wandering the downtown can make for a great couple's getaway.

Is Aspen or Durango a more walkable city?


Aspen and Durango both are comparable when exploring on foot.

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.

Durango is somewhat walkable. While the Main Street through town is walkable, it's not as pedestrian-friendly as some small towns.

Should I spend more time in Durango or Aspen?

How long in Aspen or Durango?

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

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

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

One day in Aspen or Durango?

Aspen is a small town with plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This ski town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

In Durango, many people enjoy the that this nature-filled small town offers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. This small 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 Durango?

Aspen might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Durango. 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 Durango?

Aspen is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Aspen has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Durango is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the when visiting the quaint small town of Durango. 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 Durango?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Aspen. Since Aspen is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

You'll find around the scenic small town of Durango. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Which place is cheaper, Durango 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 Durango is $153. 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 Durango in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Aspen $170
    Durango $79
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Aspen $340
    Durango $158
Compare Hotels in Aspen and Durango

Looking for a hotel in Aspen or Durango? 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 Durango

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 Durango Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Aspen $56
    Durango $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Aspen or Durango?

Prices for flights to both Durango 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 Meals for one day
    Aspen $85
    Durango $50

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Aspen $45
    Durango $46

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Durango

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:

  • Hot Springs (for 2)
  • Tubing (for 2)

Tours and Activities in Durango

For Durango, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Private Guided Tour by tuk tuk of Durango and Atxondo: $93
  • Private Tour in Durango and Mendiola by Tuk Tuk: $93
  • Fun Tour by Tuk Tuk around Durango Old Town, Garai and Goiuria: $93
  • Private Guided Tour by Tuk Tuk of Durango and Elorrio: $93
  • 12-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango: $141
  • Province of Vizcaya Half-Day Private Guided Tuk Tuk Tour: $218
  • Private Full-Day Fishing Experience in San Juan River: $400

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Aspen $20
    Durango $30

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

Budget Your Trip

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Aspen vs. Durango Travel Comparison

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