A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Austin vs. Denver for Food, Nightlife, Attractions, and Backpackers

Should you visit Austin or Denver?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Austin or Denver, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Austin

Austin is a eccentric, unconventional, and lively city. It's a big city with many activities to entertain visitors, too. This is a very beautiful destination, too. And you can't forget about the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Denver

Denver is a suburban, accessible, and sprawling city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for hiking, shopping, and skiing.

Austin and Denver: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less hiking options
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Austin or Denver?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Austin than Denver. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Austin is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, music, and impressive beauty, while Denver attracts visitors for its skiing, hiking, and big city activities. Austin is more touristy than Denver and is known for its live music scene, excellent Texas barbecue, authentic Mexican food, and vibrant student population. It is also well known for The Texas Capital. Denver is famous for serving as a gateway to the Rocky Mountains and the many national parks that are in the area.

How is Austin different from Denver?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Austin or Denver Better for Skiing?

Austin
Denver

Denver is a nice place to visit for winter skiing. However, Austin is not a skiing destination.

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.

Austin is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Austin or Denver?

Austin
Denver

Austin is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Denver is not a good city for its museums and history.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Austin can be an interesting and educational experience. Austin has a number of great museums and sights including the Blanton Museum of Art, the Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. There's also a huge supply of local art galleries. Perhaps the most notable landmark in town is the beautiful Texas Capital Building

While most people don't head to Denver specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. Many people use Denver as a starting or ending point for their mountain and national park trip, but those who linger can visit some of the city's museums and sights. Popular museums include the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the History Colorado Center, and the Forney Museum of Transportation.

Is the Food Better in Austin or Denver? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Austin
Denver

Austin is renowned for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Denver is not a good city for its restaurants.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Austin is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. It is credited with being the original food truck city and you'll find many diverse food truck options around town. There is also amazing Mexican food, world renowned Texas barbecue, and many modern restaurants that reflect the city's culinary influence.

Denver may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. It's a pretty large city, so you'll find some nice local restaurants, but the foodie scene is still emerging in many neighborhoods. A number of restaurants offer outdoor seating, which is nice. You'll also find a growing selection of international restaurants. For something uniquely local, you should try the Bison steak and fried pickles.

Is Austin or Denver Better for Nightlife?

Austin
Denver

Austin is renowned for nightlife and partying. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its evening party scene.

Austin is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. It's nightlife is centered around its thriving live music scene. Head for Sixth Street for some of the most popular bars and clubs. There are also many music festivals and outdoor concerts, particularly during the summer months. Popular bars and clubs around town include the White Horse, the Rose Room, and Antone's Nightclub.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Denver. The city has come a long way with its nightlife. There's a great craft beer scene and the downtown area has really come to life. Popular bars and clubs in town include the Grizzly Rose and 54Thirty Rooftop. Many places are concentrated in the Soco Nightlife District.


Is Austin or Denver Better for Music?

Austin
Denver

Austin is renowned for its live music scene. However, Denver is not a live music destination.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Austin Music is what gives this city its character. There are many live music venues, concerts, and music festivals to experience. Austin has influenced many music genres such as rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk, and country.

Denver is not a live music destination.

Is Austin or Denver Better for Hiking?

Austin
Denver

Denver is a nice place to visit for its hiking experiences. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for hiking.

Denver has hiking trails worth exploring. The city is very close to many beautiful parks and hiking areas in the Rocky Mountains. It's not hard to make a day trip from town and enjoy some great hiking. Nice options include the Trading Post Trail in Red Rocks Mountain Park, Bergen Peak near Evergreen, and Chimney Gulch Trail near the town of Golden.

Many visitors include a hike while visiting Austin. Head just outside of town to explore a few great hiking spots right near town.

Is the Shopping Better in Austin or Denver?

Austin
Denver

Shopping is a popular activity in both Denver and Austin.

Austin is a great destination for shopping. There are a number of local boutiques around town where you can enjoy shopping.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Denver. The city has many outlet malls that budget shoppers appreciate. There are also weekend farmer's markets, boutique shopping areas, and all of the major chains that you'll find in most larger cities.


Is Austin or Denver Better for Families?

Austin
Denver

Austin and Denver are both nice destinations for the whole family.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Austin. The city is a popular destination for young travelers, but there are also some family-friendly activities like Barton Springs, Zilker Park, and several natural swimming holes. There's a number of nice parks around town that are great for kids of all ages.

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. Popular activities include the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.

Is Austin or Denver Better for Couples?

Austin
Denver

Austin and Denver are both nice to visit as a couple.

Austin is a nice destination for couples. Young couples will enjoy the city for its lively nightlife, fun music scene, and youthful vibe. There are also many outdoor areas where you can hike or explore. The restaurant scene is among the best as well.

Denver makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are many beautiful and romantic outdoor activities in the area such as parks and botanical gardens. There are also spas, including the impressive Spa at the Brown Palace, as well as upscale restaurants and fun bars and clubs to explore.

Is Austin or Denver Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Austin
Denver

Austin is a well-known place for backpackers. However, Denver is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Austin is a great city to visit for backpackers. Although the city is relatively small, it does see a disproportionate number of backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in town as well.

Denver is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Some backpackers fly into Denver to begin their national park tour. There is a hostel or two around town, and if you leave town quickly you'll find campgrounds not far away.


Is Austin or Denver Better for Students?

Austin
Denver

Austin is a well-known place for students. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Austin is a great city to visit as a student. The city has a huge university, the University of Texas at Austin, and it is a young city with tons for international students. There is a great nightlife scene and plenty for students to see and do.

Plenty of students visit Denver. There are a few students in the city, but there isn't a college town vibe that you'd get at other nearby university areas.

Is Austin or Denver Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Austin
Denver

Denver is a nice place to visit for its public transit. However, Austin is a city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Denver, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. If you're not planning to leave town, the light rail and bus systems offer good access to much of Denver.

Public transit is mostly limited in Austin. There are city buses and a very limited lightrail system, but you really need a car to explore the city.

Is Austin or Denver a more walkable city?

Austin
Denver

Austin is a moderate city for its high level of walkability. However, Denver is not a good city for its ease of walking around.

Austin is generally not very walkable. The city, like most southern cities, isn't very walkable and it's important to have a car to get around. There are some downtown areas that are pedestrian-friendly.

Denver is not a very walkable city. 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.


For even more information, also check out Is Austin Worth Visiting? and Is Denver Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Denver or Austin?

How long in Austin or Denver?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Austin and Denver. In our opinion, Austin has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Austin than Denver. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Austin than Denver if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Austin.


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

One day in Austin or Denver?

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Austin. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the destination of Denver. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Austin or Denver?

Austin is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Denver is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Austin or Denver?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Austin. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Denver. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Austin or Denver?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the eccentric destination of Austin. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the accessible destination of Denver. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


Which place is cheaper, Denver or Austin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Austin is $142, while the average daily cost in Denver is $218. 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 Austin and Denver in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Austin $56
    Denver $87
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Austin $112
    Denver $174
Compare Hotels in Austin and Denver

Looking for a hotel in Austin 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 Austin


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.


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

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Austin $47
    Denver $101

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Arrival Private Transfer: $49
  • Austin City to Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) - Departure Private Transfer: $49
  • Private Airport and Hotel Transfer Services in Austin: $86
  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $97
  • Austin International Airport (AUS) - Private Arrival transfer: $110
  • Private Arrival Transfer Austin Airport AUS to Austin: $150
  • Austin Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Sedan: $150
  • Austin International Airport (AUS) - Private Round trip transfer: $215

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: $172
  • Arrival Private Transfer Denver Airport DEN to Denver City by SUV: $198
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Business Car: $109
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Luxury SUV: $138
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Luxury Van: $137
  • Denver Airport (BJC) to Beaver Creek Ski Resort -Arrival Transfer: $221
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Aspen hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer : $221
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Arrival Private Transfer : $241
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Arrival Private Transfer: $196
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Denver hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer : $102
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Glenwood Springs - Arrival Transfer: $122
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Glenwood Springs - Round-Trip Transfer: $122

Is it cheaper to fly into Austin or Denver?

Prices for flights to both Denver and Austin 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
    Austin $35
    Denver $42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Austin

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

  • East Austin Food Tour: $44
  • Secret Food Tour: $85
  • Austin Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $88
  • Famous Texas BBQ & Food Tour in Austin: $89
  • Famous Texas BBQ & Food Tour in Austin: $89
  • The Brunch Bus: Food Tour with a Live Band on Board the Bus!: $125
  • Private Guided Food Tour of Austin Neighborhoods: $150

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.

  • Denver : Hands-on Cooking Classes With Chef Kevin: $55
  • Denver : Paella Cooking Class With Local Chef: $55
  • Downtown Denver Savory Food Tour: $74
  • RiNo Arts District Food Tour: $79
  • Downtown Denver Food Tour: $79
  • Arts District Walking Food Tour: $79
  • Mystery Puzzle Food Tour in Golden, CO: $80
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Denver, CO: $86

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Austin $28
    Denver $52
Typical Entertainment Prices in Austin

Here are a few typical costs in Austin for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Austin Duck Tour
    $31

Tours and Activities in Austin

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

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Austin by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Round Rock by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Austin by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Austin,TX: Murder Mystery Detective Experience: $15
  • Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Austin Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour Guide: $15
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Austin, TX: $15
  • Austin Trails Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Downtown Austin Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Downtown Austin Haunted History Tour: $24
  • Austin Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Ghost Maker Tour in Georgetown: Adults Only: $25

Tours and Activities in Denver

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

  • Denver's Art District Self Guided Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Discover A Walking Tour of Denver's Top Sights: $5.00
  • Denver's Spokes and Scoops: A Self-Guided Cycle Tour: $5.20
  • Denver’s Downtown: Past and Present In-App Audio Tour (ENG): $9.00
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Denver by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure on Your Phone: $10
  • Denver Ghost Hunt: Mile High Ghost Tour: $12
  • Denver Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • Denver Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • Molly Brown House Museum Self-Guided Tour & Entry: $14
  • Colorado Rockies Baseball Game Ticket at Coors Field: $14
  • Colorado Rockies Baseball Game Ticket at Coors Field: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Austin $28
    Denver $5.31

Sample the Local Flavors in Austin

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Austin:

  • Austin Bar Hunt: Sixth Street Spree: Austin Bar Crawl: $12
  • Austin Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Downtown Austin Live Music Pub Crawl: $35
  • Downtown Live Music Pub Crawl: $35
  • Austin Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Public Pedal Pub Tour in Austin: $39
  • Austin Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • From Texas Hill Country Brewery & Distillery Shuttle: $60
  • Half-Day Hill Country Brewery and Distillery Shuttle from Austin: $60
  • Private Austin Brewery Tour by Pedicab with All-Inclusive Beer Flight Option: $70
  • Metro Rail Brewery Tour Across Austin: $90

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

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

  • Pub Crawl Through Denver RiNo Arts District : $25
  • 4-Hour Downtown Denver Pub Crawl: $25
  • California Vs. Colorado Wine Tasting: $30
  • Denver Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Private Vintner's Wine Tasting Experience in Colorado: $40
  • Golden Ghosts & Spirits Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • Vintner's Personalized Wine Tasting Experience: $60
  • Wild West Pub Crawl in Golden: $65
  • Craft Distillery Bus Tour: $71
  • Wine Tasting with Cheese, Charcuterie, and Dessert : $74
  • Denver Pedicab Brewery Tour: $130


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

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


Which is Bigger, Austin or Denver?

Austin has a larger population, and is about 22% larger than the population of Denver. When comparing the sizes of Austin and Denver, 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.