A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Aspen vs. Santa Fe for Skiing, Food, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit Aspen or Santa Fe?

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 Santa Fe 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 outdoorsy, authentic, and charming ski town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the shopping, skiing, and nightlife.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a historic, charming, and artsy historic town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include skiing, live music, and food.

Aspen and Santa Fe: Pros and Cons

  • Popular for skiing
  • Good nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Less popular for skiing
  • Less popular for nightlife

How is Aspen different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Aspen or Santa Fe Better for Skiing?

Santa Fe

While Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe is a great destination for skiing with plenty areas to explore. There are a few good ski resorts not far from Santa Fe. Popular options include Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.

Is Aspen or Santa Fe Better for Food?

Santa Fe

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Aspen and Santa Fe.

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.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Santa Fe. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chile peppers.

Is Aspen or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Santa Fe

Aspen has the better options when it comes to nightlife.

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.

Santa Fe doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night.

Is Aspen or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Santa Fe

Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Aspen or Santa Fe.

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

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Santa Fe. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Is Aspen or Santa Fe Better for Shopping?

Santa Fe

Shopping is a popular activity in both Santa Fe and Aspen.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Aspen. The has many great local shops and art galleries where you can pick interesting items or fine art.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Santa Fe. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Is Aspen or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Santa Fe

Both Aspen and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe offers lots of family activities. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Is Aspen or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Santa Fe

Both Aspen and Santa Fe are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

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.

Santa Fe is a nice destination for couples. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.

Is Aspen or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Santa Fe

Aspen and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe is very walkable. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Aspen?

How long in Aspen or Santa Fe?

In either Aspen or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.

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

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

One day in Aspen or Santa Fe?

Aspen is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and skiing. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Santa Fe, many people enjoy the live music and food that this cultural destination offers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This historic 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 Santa Fe?

Aspen is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Santa Fe. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town 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 Santa Fe?

Aspen is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Aspen, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Santa Fe is a fun place to experience. In Santa Fe, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this destination offers. Visiting the old town is also a must. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Aspen or Santa Fe?

Aspen is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This ski town offers something for everyone.

You'll find museums and skiing around the charming destination of Santa Fe. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. 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 city is cheaper, Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe is $127. 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 Santa Fe in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Aspen $136
    Santa Fe $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Aspen $272
    Santa Fe $128
Compare Hotels in Aspen and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Aspen or Santa Fe? 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 Santa Fe

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 Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Aspen $45
    Santa Fe $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:

  • Private Transfer: Aspen to Denver International Airport (DEN): $1,321
  • Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $796
  • 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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Fe

Also for Santa Fe, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125

Is it cheaper to fly into Aspen or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe 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 $68
    Santa Fe $35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Fe

For Santa Fe, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Dinner at the Coffee Farm: $55
  • Santa Fe Railyard Arts District Food Tour: $102
  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $138

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Aspen $36
    Santa Fe $13

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 Santa Fe

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santa Fe.

  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Small-Group Canyon Road Art Tour: $37
  • Beer and Art Tour: $40
  • Land Tour | Bantayan Island - Sightseeing - Guided Tour: $46
  • Walk Granada's Skyline Tour: $49
  • Canyon Road Curated Art Walking Tour: $52
  • Search for The Story-Documentary Film School Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $52
  • Santa Fe Architectural Walking Tour: $115
  • Small-Group E-Bike Adventure Tour through Hidden Santa Fe: $155
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Private Walking Tour of Santa Fe: $170
  • Bantayan Island Day Tour From Cebu: $173
  • The Best of Santa Fe Walking Tour: $498

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Aspen $16
    Santa Fe $7.74

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Fe

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Santa Fe:

  • Join-In Wine Tours: $152
  • White Water Rafting and Wine Tour: $217

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

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Aspen vs. Santa Fe Travel Comparison

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