A Travel Price Comparison for Colorado Colorado Springs vs. Durango for Hiking, Families, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Colorado Springs or Durango?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Colorado Springs and Durango can help you decide which place is right for you.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a friendly, outdoorsy, and healthy mountain town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include food, hiking, and museums.

Durango

Durango is a charming, quaint, and scenic small town. This is also a fantastic small town with plenty of charm and local activities. It's a gorgeous place to visit. With a quaint atmosphere, it also offers a unique feeling. It's also known for hiking and museums.

Colorado Springs and Durango: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Pikes Peak
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for skiing
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for skiing
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Colorado Springs or Durango?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Durango. Although Colorado Springs and Durango are both popular with visitors, Durango has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Durango is more popular for its historical sights, shopping, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere, while Colorado Springs is known for its food, nightlife, hiking, and impressive beauty. Durango is more touristy than Colorado Springs and is popular for its historic narrow gauge railroad, its charming small town atmosphere, and its many family-friendly activities. It is also home to The Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad. Colorado Springs is popular for its many outdoor recreation areas, world-class parks, striking red sandstone formations, and beautiful mountain views.

How is Colorado Springs different from Durango?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for Skiing?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Both Colorado Springs and Durango are destinations which offer decent snow skiing.

Locals like to visit Colorado Springs to take advantage of their winter sports. The town isn't as accessible to skiing as Denver is, but there are still options, like Breckenridge, within a few hours drive.

Durango is a fun local destination for snow skiers. Purgatory Ski Resort is about 20 minutes from town and it's a family-friendly mountain with beginner and intermediate runs. It's small, and geared specifically to the beginner and younger crowd.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Colorado Springs or Durango?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Both Colorado Springs and Durango have good landmarks and museums for visitors.

Colorado Springs is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Most people visit this area for the outdoor recreation, not the museums, but in town you'll find the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum, the Peterson Air and Space Museum, the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The U.S. Olympic Complex Training Center is also a unique place to visit and well worth some time.

Durango offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Most visitors come to town specifically to ride the Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad. There's also the D&SNGRR Railroad Museum, and the Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum.

Is the Food Better in Colorado Springs or Durango? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Colorado Springs is a good destination for its restaurants. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Colorado Springs. There's a combination of local restaurants that serve local items such as trout and bison, as well as your standard chain restaurants and more predictable American classics like burgers, pizza, and chicken fingers.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Durango. Most of the restaurants are casual and family-friendly, serving up burgers or sandwiches for a reasonable price. You'll also find some coffeeshops and even a few food trucks and international restaurants.

Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for Nightlife?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Colorado Springs is a good destination for nightlife. However, Durango is lacking in good options for nightlife and partying.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Colorado Springs. The town has a number of breweries and a great craft beer selection. There are local bars along Tejon Street, or head through Downtown Colorado Springs for some of the most active nightlife.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Durango. It's a small town that attracts tourists mainly for its train, so you won't find much in the way of a nightlife scene.


Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for its Old Town?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Durango is very good for its historic old town. However, Colorado Springs does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors go to Durango to see the historical old town. Filled with character, the downtown feels like you've stepped into a Western. The town has a long history as a mining and railroad community, which you can see throughout the historic area. It really feels like you're in the "Wild West."

Colorado Springs does not have a historic old town.

Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for Hiking?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Colorado Springs is a world-class destination for its hiking trails. Also, Durango is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Colorado Springs is well-known for its hiking and trekking. There are both world-famous hiking areas, as well as lesser known hikes that the locals often prefer. Some of the more famous places include Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs. For families, check out Seven Bridges Trail or Mount Muscoco Trail. Loud's Cabin is a longer trail that also includes Seven Bridges Trail.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Durango. It's surrounded by plenty of natural beautiful and there is an endless supply of hikes in the region. Popular nearby hikes include Animas Mountain Trail, Falls Creek Trail, and Purgatory Trail.

Is the Shopping Better in Colorado Springs or Durango?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Durango is a small town with a few options for shopping. However, Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Durango is a good destination for shopping. The charming town has some boutiques that sell beautifully made Native American jewelry and other interesting items. There are also souvenir shops and other venues that target tourists specifically.

Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for Christmas?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Durango is very good for its Christmas activities. However, Colorado Springs does not offer Christmas activities.

Durango is a fun destination over Christmas. It is a great Christmas town where you can meet Santa, go skiing, and even take the Polar Express.

Colorado Springs does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for Families?

Colorado Springs
Durango

You'll find high quality kid-friendly activities in either Colorado Springs or Durango.

Colorado Springs is a very family-friendly place to visit. The town is conveniently located near many outdoor adventures that are family-friendly. There are many parks, hiking trails, and wildlife centers in the area that make for a fun outing. Popular activities include the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Dinosaur Resource Center, and Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Durango is very family-friendly. In the area you'll find ziplining, alpine slides, and plenty of outdoor areas to explore - and of course there's the railroad.

Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for Couples?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Colorado Springs is a good destination for romance. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Colorado Springs is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy hiking and exploring nature together will love visiting this town and the areas nearby. There are many hiking trails in easy reach of the town. Hot air balloon rides are also popular and offer an amazing view over the beautiful landscape.

Most people don't think of Durango as a couple's destination. The town may not be the first romantic destination that comes to mind, but the railroad combined with wandering the downtown can make for a great couple's getaway.


Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Colorado Springs and Durango are good places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Colorado Springs is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Just outside of town you'll find campgrounds with all of the amenities that you might need. In town, there's also a hostel and several affordable accommodation options.

It's common for backpackers to visit Durango. With plenty of parks and outdoor areas nearby, backpackers will have plenty of places to explore.

Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for Students?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Colorado Springs is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Durango is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Colorado Springs. It's a relatively affordable town with easy access to plenty of free activities like hiking, rock climbing, and more.

Durango is not popular with students.

Is Colorado Springs or Durango Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Neither Colorado Springs or Durango offer decent public transit.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Colorado Springs. While there are buses, many people come to the area to visit Pikes Peak or several of the other nearby parks, all of which require a car.

Public transit is quite limited in Durango. It's a small town with no real public transit options so a car is a must.


Is Colorado Springs or Durango a more walkable city?

Colorado Springs
Durango

Colorado Springs and Durango both are decent when exploring on foot.

Colorado Springs is generally not very walkable. While the downtown area is walkable, you'll really want to have a car so you can explore the areas outside of town.

Durango is generally not a very walkable mountain town. While the Main Street through town is walkable, it's not as pedestrian-friendly as some small towns.

For even more information, also check out Is Colorado Springs Worth Visiting? and Is Durango Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Durango or Colorado Springs?

How long in Colorado Springs or Durango?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Colorado Springs than Durango 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 Colorado Springs.


  • How many days in Colorado Springs or Durango? Ideal Length of Stay
    Colorado Springs 2-3 
    Durango 2-3

One day in Colorado Springs or Durango?

In Colorado Springs, you'll find museums and nightlife. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. This mountain town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Durango is a small town where visitors enjoy the museums. Hikers are also drawn to this area. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. This small town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

A weekend in Colorado Springs or Durango?

In Colorado Springs, you'll find nightlife 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. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Colorado Springs has to offer.

Durango is a small town with plenty to do. If you have a weekend, this small town makes for a great vacation. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities.


Five days in Colorado Springs or Durango?

Colorado Springs 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.

Durango is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

A week in Colorado Springs or Durango?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Colorado Springs. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Colorado Springs. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. 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.

Durango is a great place to explore. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, and The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Durango or Colorado Springs?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Colorado Springs is $165, while the average daily cost in Durango is $153. 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 Colorado Springs and Durango in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Colorado Springs $81
    Durango $79
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Colorado Springs $162
    Durango $158
Compare Hotels in Colorado Springs and Durango

Looking for a hotel in Colorado Springs or Durango? 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 Colorado Springs


Hotels in Durango


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: Colorado Springs Hotel Prices and Durango Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Colorado Springs $36
    Durango $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Colorado Springs

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Colorado Springs:

  • Winter Park to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $134
  • Private Transfer from Beaver Creek Ski Resort to Denver Airport: $223
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Steamboat - Private Arrival Transfer: $290
  • Denver Airport BJC to Winter Park Ski Resort Round Trip Transfer: $189
  • Colorado Springs COS to Pagosa Springs - Round-Trip Transfer: $178
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS) to Pagosa Springs-Arrival Transfer: $178

Is it cheaper to fly into Colorado Springs or Durango?

Prices for flights to both Durango and Colorado Springs 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
    Colorado Springs $55
    Durango $50
Typical Food Prices in Colorado Springs

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Colorado Springs:


  • Cold Stone Ice Cream (family of 4)
    $22
  • Snacks at the Zoo (family of 4)
    $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Colorado Springs

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

  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show - Colorado Springs, CO: $86
  • Classic 3-Hour Food Tour in Colorado Springs: $88

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Colorado Springs $40
    Durango $46

Tours and Activities in Colorado Springs

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

  • 1-Hour Broadmoor History Segway Tour: $72
  • 1-Hour Segway Tour of Cheyenne Cañon Art, History and Nature: $72
  • 2 Hour Segway Tour in Cheyenne Cañon and Broadmoor Area: $108
  • 3 Hours Private Ice Climbing Experience in Colorado: $240
  • 3-Hour E-Bike Tour of Trail of the Silver Kings (Old Mine Tour): $69
  • Bike Tour in the Garden of The Gods: $245
  • Broadmoor Hotel History Segway Tour: $78
  • Cheyenne Cañon Art and Nature Segway Tour: $78
  • Cocktails & Tastes Tour in Colorado Springs: $94
  • Colorado Red Rocks Amphitheatre Walking Tour: $34
  • Colorado Springs - Guided Walking Ghost / History Tour: $28
  • Colorado Springs Pikes Peak Luxury Jeep Tours: $149

Typical Entertainment Prices in Durango

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Hot Springs (for 2)
    $50
  • Tubing (for 2)
    $40

Tours and Activities in Durango

For Durango, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Million Dollar Highway Self-Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Colorado: Million Dollar Highway Self-Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour in Mesa Verde National Park: $20
  • Mesa Verde Sunrise Tours: $26
  • Durango Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Animas River White Water Rafting Adventure: $72
  • Scenic Waterfall's & Ghost Town Jeep Tour La Plata's~ 2.5 hours: $84
  • La Plata Canyon Scenic Waterfalls Jeep Tour: $86
  • La Plata Canyon Exclusive Access Jeep Tour: $99
  • La Plata Mountains - Half Day Tour: $100
  • 4 Hours Durango Colorado - Jeep Tour : $102
  • Waterfalls and Mountains La Plata Canyon Jeep Tour: $105

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Colorado Springs $24
    Durango $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Colorado Springs

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Colorado Springs:

  • Downtown Colorado Springs 2.5-Hour Brewery Tour: $68
  • Private Scenic Brewery Tour in Cripple Creek, Colorado: $299


When comparing the travel costs between Colorado Springs and Durango, we can see that Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs Expensive? and Is Durango Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Colorado Springs or Durango?

Colorado Springs has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Durango. When comparing the sizes of Colorado Springs and Durango, 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.