A Travel Price Comparison for Colorado Breckenridge vs. Vail for Skiing, Families, Couples, and Nightlife

Should you visit Breckenridge or Vail?

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

Should I visit Breckenridge or Vail? 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 scenic, nature-filled, and charming ski resort. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Since it has a quaint atmosphere, you'll want to spend time soaking it all in. Visitors also love the food, hiking, and shopping.

Vail

Vail is a upscale, resort-filled, and charming ski town. It also offers plenty of small town charm and also has plenty of sights and activities. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and skiing.

Breckenridge and Vail: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


How is Breckenridge different from Vail?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Skiing?

For skiing and winter sports, both Breckenridge and Vail provide various options.

If you're an avid snow skiier, Breckenridge should be on your list. The town 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.

Vail is among the world's best ski destinations. This ski town has produced its share of Olympians. Vail is the third largest ski resort in the US and it has 31 lifts and 195 runs. There are five different bowls that offer beautiful views.

Breckenridge
Vail


Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Food?

Foodies will find both Breckenridge and Vail both to be unique destinations.

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.

Vail is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The town has a diverse sampling of restaurants that include different ethnic options as well as taverns with comfort food.

Breckenridge
Vail

Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Nightlife?

Both Breckenridge and Vail are comparable when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Breckenridge. The town comes to live 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.

Vail has a large number of nightlife venues. Happy Hours start early, and then the partying can go late into the night.

Breckenridge
Vail

Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Resorts?

Breckenridge and Vail offer a relatively similar set of luxury resort options.

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.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Vail. Designed as a resort town, Vail offers great accommodation. Nice resorts include Four Seasons Resort and Residences, the Ritz Carlton Club, and the Grand Hyatt.

Breckenridge
Vail

Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Hiking?

If you're looking to go hiking, Breckenridge and Vail both have various 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 visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Vail. Popular hikes near Vail include Booth Falls, Davos Trail, and Shrine Ridge.

Breckenridge
Vail


Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Shopping?

Both Breckenridge and Vail are good shopping destinations.

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.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Vail. It's easy to pop into the many shops around downtown Vail.

Breckenridge
Vail

Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Christmas?

Both Breckenridge and Vail are fun destinations to visit around Christmas.

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.

Vail offers plenty of sights and activities around Christmas. The town is a winter wonderland during the holidays. Check out the iconic Christmas tree lighting and wander through the fairytale streets.

Breckenridge
Vail

Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Christmas Markets?

Visiting the Christmas markets is popular activity in both Vail and Breckenridge.

Breckenridge offers plenty of Christmas markets. During the holiday season the Arts District hosts a Christmas Market.

Vail has a large number of Christmas markets. The town's Christmas Market is picturesque, and the perfect place to pick up some unique gifts.

Breckenridge
Vail

Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Breckenridge or Vail.

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.

Vail is one of the most popular family destinations. With its world class skiing, rock climbing, ice skating, and ice cream, kids love this ski resort. The resort town has two terrain parks - Golden Peak and Avanti. Avanti is perfect for kids. It has small jumps, wide rails, and kid-friendly amenities. Golden Peak is designed for more advanced athletes. Vail also has nice beginner slopes that are great for kids.

Breckenridge
Vail


Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Breckenridge and Vail make for a good place to visit.

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.

For those traveling as a couple, Vail has plenty to offer. Couples who enjoy skiing and outdoor adventure will appreciate everything that this ski town has to offer. There are nice restaurants, beautiful gardens, and plenty of romantic activities to choose from.

Breckenridge
Vail

Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Breckenridge and Vail are popular destinations for backpackers.

Breckenridge is a good ski resort to visit for backpackers. The town has a hostel or two for skiers who want a social setting at an affordable price.

Plenty of backpackers visit Vail. This ski town isn't completely closed off to budget travelers as there are a couple of hostels around town.

Breckenridge
Vail

Is Breckenridge or Vail better for Public Transit?

Both Breckenridge and Vail offer public transit options.

Public transit is generally limited in Breckenridge. There is a free shuttle service around town.

Vail has some public transit options. There is a free bus service through the area.

Breckenridge
Vail

Is Breckenridge or Vail a more walkable city?

Breckenridge and Vail both are comparable when exploring on foot.

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

It's very easy to get around on foot in Vail. The main downtown is pedestrian-only and perfect for popping in shops and restaurants.

Breckenridge
Vail


Should I spend more time in Vail or Breckenridge?

How long in Breckenridge or Vail?

Both Breckenridge and Vail have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Breckenridge is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Vail is 3-7 days.


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

One day in Breckenridge or Vail?

Breckenridge is a small town where visitors enjoy the nightlife and food. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

In Vail, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this scenic ski town offers. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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 Vail?

Breckenridge is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the skiing. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire area has lots to do.

Vail is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Lots of people come for the skiing. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

Five days in Breckenridge or Vail?

Breckenridge might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. This ski resort offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. Five days is often enough time to spend here.

In Vail, many people enjoy the skiing and nightlife that this vibrant small town offers. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. Lots of people come for the skiing. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

A week in Breckenridge or Vail?

Even though Breckenridge is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Vail is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

Which city is cheaper, Vail or Breckenridge?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Breckenridge is $160, while the average daily cost in Vail is $233. 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 Breckenridge and Vail in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Breckenridge $85
    Vail $139
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Breckenridge $170
    Vail $278
Compare Hotels in Breckenridge and Vail

Looking for a hotel in Breckenridge or Vail? 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 Vail


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Breckenridge $15
    Vail $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Breckenridge

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Breckenridge:

  • Breckenridge to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $404

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Vail

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

  • Shared Transfer from Vail or Beaver Creek to Denver Downtown: $99
  • Private Departure Transfer to Vail Airport EGE: $128
  • Private Eagle County Regional Airport Transfer to Beaver Creek: $190
  • Private Eagle County Airport Transfer to Vail: $210
  • Transfer in private minivan from Vail city to Denver International Airport (DEN): $291
  • Private Transfer: Vail to Denver International Airport (DEN): $576
  • Private Airport Transfer Service - Vail Hotels to Denver Int'l Airport: $600

Is it cheaper to fly into Breckenridge or Vail?

Prices for flights to both Vail 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 $49
    Vail $60

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Breckenridge $75
    Vail $106

Tours and Activities in Breckenridge

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

  • 1 hour Axe Throwing experience with a Coach: $44
  • Breckenridge Scavenger Hunt: Breckenridge Adventure: $12
  • Breckenridge Tours - Ghostly Tales: $31
  • Breckenridge Tours - Strange but True: $24
  • Colorado: Smartphone Driving Tour Between Vail & Denver: $7.82
  • Listen to a Tour Guide While You Drive between Breckenridge and Denver: $3.75
  • Real Gold Mine Tour with, gold panning and more: $35

Tours and Activities in Vail

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

  • Listen to a Tour Guide While you Drive between Vail & Denver: $3.75
  • Vail Segway Tour from Vail Village: $89
  • Dillon Marina & Shopping Tour: $267
  • Glenwood Adventure Park Tour: $350
  • Fall Leaves Tour from Vail: $373
  • Glenwood Hot Springs Tour: $377
  • Blackhawk-Central City Casino Tour from Vail: $377
  • Aspen Independence Pass Day Tour: $545
  • Historic Mining Town Tour: $693

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Breckenridge $6.23
    Vail $7.83

Sample the Local Flavors in Breckenridge

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

  • Fat Bike Beer & Distillery Tour: $85

Sample the Local Flavors in Vail

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

  • Vail Valley Brewery & Wine Tour: $377
  • Palisade Wine Tour from Vail: $779


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

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Breckenridge vs. Vail Travel Comparison

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