A Travel Price Comparison for Colorado Breckenridge vs. Denver for Skiing, Families, Couples, and Food

Should you visit Breckenridge or Denver?

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

Should I visit Breckenridge or Denver? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Breckenridge

Breckenridge is a charming, breathtaking, and adventurous ski resort. 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 is an attractive and quaint destination worth visiting as well. And you can't forget about the shopping, skiing, and nightlife.

Denver

Denver is a sprawling, park-filled, and suburban city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the skiing, nightlife, and hiking.

Breckenridge and Denver: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for skiing
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Breckenridge or Denver?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Breckenridge than Denver, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Breckenridge is better known for its skiing, food, resorts, historical sights, shopping, christmas markets, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Denver is more popular for its museums and big city activities. Breckenridge is more touristy than Denver and is known for its world-class ski resorts, its charming small town atmosphere, and its family-friendly environment. Also, Breckenridge is famous for The Family-Friendly Ski Resort. Denver is well known for serving as a gateway to the Rocky Mountains and the many national parks that are in the area.

How is Breckenridge different from Denver?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Breckenridge or Denver Better for Skiing?

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is renowned for snow skiing. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for skiing and snowboarding.

The snow ski experience you'll have in Breckenridge is among the best in the world. This is one of the most recognizable ski destinations in the world. It has diverse terrain that is good for all levels including beginners, intermediate, and expert skiers. The resort also has the tallest chairlift in North America.

Head to Denver for some great skiing and other winter activities. 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.


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

Breckenridge
Denver

Denver is a moderate city for its sights and museums. However, Breckenridge does not have museums and landmarks.

Denver offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. 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.

Breckenridge does not have museums and landmarks.

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

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is a nice place to visit for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Denver is not a good city for its restaurants.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Breckenridge. There are a number of restaurants around town serving everything from casual to fine dining. There are bistros, pubs, and luxury options where you can enjoy international or local dishes including elk and buffalo.

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 Breckenridge or Denver Better for Nightlife?

Breckenridge
Denver

Both Breckenridge and Denver are notable when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Breckenridge. The town comes to life in the winter and there are plenty of bars, breweries, and a wide selection of craft beer that you can try. Live music also brings the town to life in the evening.

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 Breckenridge or Denver Better for Resorts?

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is a nice place to visit for its resorts. However, Denver is not a resort destination.

With a selection of resorts, Breckenridge makes a nice vacation spot. The resorts often have pools or hot tubs where you can unwind after a day on the slopes. Many have condos that include a kitchen and separate bedrooms.

Denver is not a resort destination.

Is Breckenridge or Denver Better for its Old Town?

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is a nice place to visit for its old town. However, Denver does not have a historic old town.

Many people head to Breckenridge to see the old town. Originating as a mining town, there is a historic Main Street that is filled with character.

Denver does not have a historic old town.

Is Breckenridge or Denver Better for Hiking?

Breckenridge
Denver

If you're looking to go hiking, Breckenridge and Denver both have notable trails.

Breckenridge is a good destination for hiking. During the summer months there are plenty of beautiful hikes nearby, but you'll likely need a car to reach most trailheads. Popular trails include Hoosier Pass Loop, Blue Lakes Trail, and McCullough Gulch.

Many people include a hike when visiting Denver. 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.


Is the Shopping Better in Breckenridge or Denver?

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is a well-known place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping areas.

Breckenridge is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Quaint shops and galleries are throughout the town where you can by gear, artwork, or souvenirs.

Denver has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. 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 Breckenridge or Denver Better for Christmas?

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is renowned for its Christmas activities. However, Denver does not offer Christmas activities.

Breckenridge is a world class destination during the Christmas season. From sledding to sleigh rides and hot chocolate, this town is absolutely magical during the Christmas season.

Denver does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Breckenridge or Denver Better for Christmas Markets?

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is a well-known place for its Christmas markets. However, Denver does not offer Christmas markets.

Breckenridge has a lively atmosphere around its Christmas markets. During the holiday season the Arts District hosts a Christmas Market.

Denver does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Breckenridge or Denver Better for Families?

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Breckenridge is a very kid-friendly ski resort. It is a fun, family-friendly ski resort town with skiing for all levels. There are lessons for kids starting at the age of three, and slopes that are perfect for all skill levels. The town also has ice skating, sledding, and white water rafting.

Denver is a family-friendly ski resort. 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 Breckenridge or Denver Better for Couples?

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is a well-known place for its romantic activities. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for couples.

Breckenridge is a very popular place to visit for couples. For couples who enjoy skiing, outdoor activities, beautiful hikes, and a charming small town atmosphere, this is the perfect romantic getaway.

Denver is a good ski resort for couples to visit. 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 Breckenridge or Denver Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Breckenridge
Denver

Breckenridge is a nice place to visit for backpackers. However, Denver is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Breckenridge. The town has a hostel or two for skiers who want a social setting at an affordable price.

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 Breckenridge or Denver Better for Students?

Breckenridge
Denver

Denver is a popular place for students. However, Breckenridge is not popular with students.

Denver is a good city to visit for students. 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.

Breckenridge is not popular with students.

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

Breckenridge
Denver

Denver is a popular place for its public transit. However, Breckenridge is not a good ski resort for times when you don't have a car.

Denver has a few public transit options. 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 Breckenridge. There is a free shuttle service around town.

Is Breckenridge or Denver a more walkable city?

Breckenridge
Denver

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

It is easy to get around Breckenridge on foot. The town is designed to be pedestrian-friendly.

Denver is not a very walkable ski resort. 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 Breckenridge Worth Visiting? and Is Denver Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Denver or Breckenridge?

How long in Breckenridge or Denver?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Breckenridge and Denver. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Breckenridge than in Denver. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Breckenridge, and 2-3 days is enough time in Denver.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Breckenridge 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 Breckenridge.


  • How many days in Breckenridge or Denver? Ideal Length of Stay
    Breckenridge 3-7 
    Denver 2-3

One day in Breckenridge or Denver?

Breckenridge might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the 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 nightlife and shopping that this sprawling city offers. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Breckenridge or Denver?

Breckenridge is a great place to explore. Don't miss the skiing, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Denver is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Breckenridge or Denver?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Breckenridge. Don't miss the skiing, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

You'll find skiing and nightlife around the accessible destination of Denver. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.


A week in Breckenridge or Denver?

Breckenridge is a small town with plenty to do. This ski resort offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Denver is a popular place to visit. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, and The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Denver or Breckenridge?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Breckenridge is $200, 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 Breckenridge and Denver in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Breckenridge $106
    Denver $87
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Breckenridge $212
    Denver $174
Compare Hotels in Breckenridge and Denver

Looking for a hotel in Breckenridge 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 Breckenridge


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: Breckenridge Hotel Prices and Denver Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Breckenridge $19
    Denver $101

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Breckenridge

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Breckenridge:

  • Eagle County Airport to Breckenridge/Keystone-Round-Trip Transfer: $184
  • Breckenridge to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $192
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort to Denver Airport APA Departure Transfer: $195
  • Breckenridge/Keystone/Copper to Denver Airport-Departure Transfer: $196
  • Denver Airport APA to Breckenridge Ski Resort-Arrival Transfer: $196

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Denver hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $50
  • Denver Airport BJC to Winter Park Ski Resort Arrival Transfer: $92
  • Private Transfer from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Business Car: $107
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Glenwood Springs - Arrival Transfer: $119
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Glenwood Springs - Round-Trip Transfer: $119
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Denver International Airport: $125
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Winter Park - Arrival Private Transfer: $130
  • Departure Private Transfer: Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury SUV: $135
  • Departure Private Transfer: Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury Van: $135
  • Private Transfer from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Luxury Van: $135
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Denver Int. Airport (DEN) to Downtown: $144
  • Denver Airport to Breckenridge/Keystone/Copper - Arrival Transfer: $195

Is it cheaper to fly into Breckenridge or Denver?

Prices for flights to both Denver and Breckenridge 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
    Breckenridge $61
    Denver $42

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.

  • 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.
    Breckenridge $94
    Denver $52

Tours and Activities in Breckenridge

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

  • Smartphone Driving Tour b/w Breckenridge & Denver: $7.99
  • Breckenridge Scavenger Hunt: Breckenridge Adventure: $12
  • Self-Guided Snow Shoe Tours: $17
  • Breckenridge Tours - Strange but True: $32
  • Breckenridge Tours - Ghostly Tales : $33
  • Breckenridge Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Real Gold Mine Tour with, gold panning and more: $47
  • Island Kayak Tour Experience in Frisco: $67
  • Half-Day Upper Colorado River Float Tour from Kremmling: $94
  • Continental Divide Tour: $145
  • 3 Hours 30 Minutes Colorado Astrophotography Experience: $260

Tours and Activities in Denver

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

  • Discover A Walking Tour of Denver's Top Sights: $5.00
  • 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 Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Molly Brown House Museum Self-Guided Tour & Entry: $14
  • Denver Botanic Gardens General Admission Ticket: $16
  • General Admission to Denver Botanic Gardens Ticket: $16
  • Colorado Rockies Baseball Game Ticket at Coors Field: $16
  • History and Architecture Walking Tours: $20
  • Haunted Tour with Ghost Hunting Gear: $20
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Aurora by Zombie Scavengers: $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Breckenridge $7.79
    Denver $5.31

Sample the Local Flavors in Breckenridge

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

  • Ridden Fat Bike Beer & Distillery Tour: $85

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

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

  • Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Vintner's Personalized Wine Tasting Experience: $60
  • Wine Tasting with Cheese, Charcuterie, and Dessert : $74
  • Denver Pedicab Brewery Tour: $130


When comparing the travel costs between Breckenridge and Denver, we can see that Denver 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Breckenridge or Denver?

Denver has a larger population, and is about 200 times larger than the population of Breckenridge. When comparing the sizes of Breckenridge 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.