Which place is cheaper, Seattle or Boulder?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Boulder and Seattle. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.
Boulder is a nature-filled, biker-friendly, and outdoorsy city. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include shopping, nightlife, and live music.
Seattle is a progressive, cultural, and outdoorsy city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the theater, nightlife, and live music.
Travelers will usually find more to do in Seattle than Boulder, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Seattle is more popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, beaches, and big city activities, while Boulder is known for its skiing. Seattle is more touristy than Boulder and is popular for its beautiful waterfront setting, diverse culinary scene, thriving art and cultural venues, and being the home of many international tech companies. It is also home to The Space Needle. Boulder is popular for its outdoor sports, biker-friendly downtown, vibrant downtown, and many local breweries.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Seattle and Boulder. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Boulder is a moderate city for snow skiing. However, Seattle is not a skiing destination.
While in the area, visitors like to go to Boulder for snow skiing. The town offers access within an hour or two to several great ski resorts including Eldora Mountain, Vail, and Breckenridge.
Seattle is not a skiing destination.
Seattle is a great city for its historical sights. However, Boulder is not known for its sights and museums.
Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Seattle. The city's most iconic landmark is the Space Needle. There's also a zoo, aquarium, and a handful of nice museums. Several favorites include the Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Museum of History & Industry, and the Seattle Art Museum.
Boulder offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Most people visit Boulder for the outdoor activities more than the museums and sights. If have the time you can wander around the University of Colorado Boulder campus, visit the Museum of Boulder, or see the Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art.
Seattle is a good destination for its theatre productions. However, Boulder is not a theatre destination.
If you have some extra time in Seattle, take in a show. There are a handful of theaters where you can enjoy traveling Broadway shows or smaller productions.
Boulder is not a theatre destination.
Seattle is a great city for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Boulder is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its local cuisine and restaurants.
Seattle has a huge number of terrific restaurants. The city has many diverse dining options that make it a popular foodie destination. The seafood is world-class with many restaurants offering fresh caught salmon and oysters. There are also many great Asian restaurants with Pho, sushi, and dim sum all being popular around town. Seattle is also famous as the birthplace of Starbucks coffee, and both chain and independent coffee shops are common. Finally, make sure you check out the donuts at Pike's Place Market.
There are many up and coming restaurants in the Boulder area. This is an often overlooked foodie town, with great farmer's markets and restaurants to try. There are many casual places to eat as well as vegetarian and vegan friendly options everywhere.
Seattle is a great city for nightlife and partying. Also, Boulder is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its evening party scene.
The nightlife in Seattle has something for everybody. The city is known for its breweries and eclectic nightlife scene. There is a thriving theater scene as well as many bars and trendy restaurants. The best neighborhoods for nightlife include Capitol Hill, Belltown, and Downtown.
There's a variety of activities in the evening in Boulder. The town has breweries, craft beer, and plenty to do in the evening. Live music is popular and many venues are smaller with a more personal atmosphere. Check out The Bitter Bar or License No. 1 for a local vibe.
Seattle is a great city for its live music scene. Also, Boulder is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its music scene.
Seattle has a thriving music scene. The city has developed its own music culture around several genres including alternative rock and grunge.
The music scene in Boulder is active and vibrant. During the summer months there are often outdoor concerts. Head to Pearl Street for open air stages or see a concert at Boulder Theater.
Seattle is a good destination for the beache. However, Boulder is not a beach destination.
Seattle offers a nice beach destination. The city is surrounded by water so there are a number of rocky and sandy beaches nearby. Some beaches are more popular with locals while others attract a large amount of tourists. Alki Beach Park, Discovery Park, and Golden Gardens Park are among the best.
Boulder is not a beach destination.
Hiking trails can be found around both Boulder and Seattle, and they are great.
Many visitors go to Boulder for the hiking trails. There are many accessible hikes in the area that take you through the mountains, by wildflowers, or up mountain peaks. Popular hikes that are nearby include the Bear Peak Summit Hike, the trails in Eldorado Canyon State Park, and Boulder Falls.
Seattle is a popular spot for hiking. It's famously an outdoorsy city and the hiking will not disappoint. Within a half hour drive of town you'll find beautiful forests and stunning natural beauty. Head into the Cascades, to the coastal rainforests, or around Mount Rainier for all kinds of diverse landscapes. Seattle is well situated for you to experience hiking through the diverse Pacific Northwest landscapes.
If you're looking to go shopping, Boulder and Seattle both offer plenty of good spots.
Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Boulder. The downtown area has many local retailers where you can shop for clothing, art, or home goods. You can also pick up outdoor gear, camping equipment, and any other items you may need in town. Make sure you wander down the pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall.
Many visitors go to Seattle to go shopping. Shopping in town has an eclectic mix of high end brands, local vendors, and vintage shops. There are farmers markets as well as the famous Pike Place Market, but also major malls with all of the standard department stores.
Both Boulder and Seattle are good family-friendly destinations.
Boulder offers lots of family activities. The city has parks, playgrounds, a planetarium, and climbing gyms that are fun for kids of all ages. There are plenty places to get outdoors with hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor recreational activities. Eldorado Canyon State Park is a great place to explore as well.
Seattle is a family-friendly place to visit. This is an outdoor city with plenty of places where kids can run around and experience nature. There are several good museums as well as outdoor activities, parks, and a zoo. Make sure you check out the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Volunteer Park, and Artists at Play Playground.
Boulder and Seattle both good destinations for a couple.
Boulder makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. This is a great city for couples who love outdoor adventures, hiking, rock climbing, and cycling. You can wander down Pearl Street or go for a bike ride. There are also great restaurants where you can enjoy a meal and then head to Panorama Point to take in the view.
Seattle is a good city for couples to visit. The city has a laid back vibe, a nice downtown area, and plenty of outdoor activities. There are a diversity of restaurants to enjoy and a great nightlife scene that makes for a good couple's getaway.
For backpackers, both Boulder and Seattle are good places to visit.
Plenty of backpackers visit Boulder. There are a number of backcountry areas in the region that are perfect for backpackers. The city also has a young population and several affordable places to stay.
Plenty of budget travelers visit Seattle. Although it's not the most popular city for backpackers in America, the city's chill vibe, fun breweries, and lively setting make it a great spot for young backpackers.
For students, both Boulder and Seattle are great places to visit.
Many students visit Boulder. With the University of Colorado, Boulder in town, this city is a popular spot for students. It's an outdoor enthusiast's perfect base with many outdoor recreational activities in the area.
Seattle is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. It is a major IT center with a large university, so international students will have plenty of opportunities here. It's also a vibrant city with many outdoor recreational opportunities and a fun nightlife scene.
Seattle is a good destination for times when you don't have a car. However, Boulder is not known for its public transit.
While Seattle offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There is a light rail system, a monorail, a street car, and buses.
Public transit is generally limited in Boulder. There are buses that run around town, but you really need a car to fully experience everything that the city has to offer.
Seattle is a great city for its high level of walkability. Also, Boulder is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its ease of walking around.
Seattle is a very walkable city. Many neighborhoods are very walkable, particularly in the downtown and major tourist areas.
Boulder is a somewhat walkable city. The city has some nice walkable areas and it is very bike-friendly.
Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Boulder and Seattle. In our opinion, Seattle has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Seattle than Boulder. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.
Families should spend more time in Seattle than Boulder. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Seattle, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Seattle than Boulder. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Seattle that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Seattle than Boulder 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 Seattle.
In Boulder, you'll find nightlife and live music. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
Because Seattle is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
In Boulder, you'll find live music and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Boulder has to offer.
Because Seattle is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Seattle has to offer.
Boulder is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Seattle is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boulder. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Boulder. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Seattle. Many people enjoy the theater and nightlife when visiting Seattle. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Boulder is $191, while the average daily cost in Seattle is $205. 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 Boulder and Seattle in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Boulder or Seattle? 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.
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.
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Seattle:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seattle:
Prices for flights to both Seattle and Boulder 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.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Boulder:
Some typical examples of dining costs in Seattle are as follows:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Seattle.
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Boulder.
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Seattle are as follows:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Seattle:
When comparing the travel costs between Boulder and Seattle, we can see that Seattle is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
Seattle is bigger, and its population is about 6.2 times larger than the population of Boulder. When comparing the population of Boulder vs. Seattle, 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 and the activities that interest you.
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