A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Colorado Springs vs. El Paso for Families, Attractions, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Colorado Springs or El Paso?

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 El Paso 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.

El Paso

El Paso is a laid-back, low-key, and undiscovered city. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Colorado Springs and El Paso: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • 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
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Colorado Springs or El Paso?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Colorado Springs than El Paso. While El Paso is larger than Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs has more sights and attractions for tourists. Colorado Springs is more popular for its skiing, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while El Paso is known for its shopping. Colorado Springs is popular for its many outdoor recreation areas, world-class parks, striking red sandstone formations, and beautiful mountain views. It is also home to Pikes Peak. El Paso is popular for its Spanish missions and its outstanding Mexican food.

How is Colorado Springs different from El Paso?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Colorado Springs or El Paso Better for Skiing?

Colorado Springs
El Paso

Colorado Springs is a decent place to visit for skiing and snowboarding. However, El Paso is not a skiing destination.

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.

El Paso is not a skiing destination.


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

Colorado Springs
El Paso

Both Colorado Springs and El Paso 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.

El Paso offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Visitors can learn about local art, culture, and history at the El Paso Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of History, the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Museum, and the Eduardo Pedregón Memorial Veterans Museum.

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

Colorado Springs
El Paso

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Colorado Springs and El Paso.

Colorado Springs offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. 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.

El Paso has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Mexican food and barbecue are popular around town but you'll also find burgers, pizza, and other American favorites.

Is Colorado Springs or El Paso Better for Nightlife?

Colorado Springs
El Paso

It's hard to distinguish whether Colorado Springs or El Paso has a better nightlife scene.

Colorado Springs has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. 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.

If you're looking for night time activities El Paso has a few options to choose from. There are a number of bars, nightclubs, and lounges around town where you can enjoy a fun night out.


Is Colorado Springs or El Paso Better for Hiking?

Colorado Springs
El Paso

Colorado Springs is an unbeatable place for its hiking trails. However, El Paso is not a hiking destination.

Many people visit Colorado Springs specifically for its hiking. 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.

El Paso is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Colorado Springs or El Paso?

Colorado Springs
El Paso

El Paso is very good for shopping. However, Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

El Paso is a great destination for shopping. There are a number of malls and outlet centers around town. One of the most well known is Bassett Place, but other options include Cielo Vista Mall and the Fountains at Farah.

Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Colorado Springs or El Paso Better for Families?

Colorado Springs
El Paso

Colorado Springs is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, El Paso is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Colorado Springs is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in El Paso. There are adventure parks, playgrounds, outdoor centers and nature activities that families can enjoy.


Is Colorado Springs or El Paso Better for Couples?

Colorado Springs
El Paso

Colorado Springs is very good for romance. However, El Paso 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 El Paso as a couple's destination. Couples can enjoy dinner and a show or taking a romantic drive up to the overlook.

Is Colorado Springs or El Paso Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Colorado Springs
El Paso

Colorado Springs is very good for backpackers and budget travelers. However, El Paso is lacking in good options for backpackers.

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.

El Paso is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There's little in the area that appeals to backpackers.

Is Colorado Springs or El Paso Better for Students?

Colorado Springs
El Paso

Colorado Springs is very good for its student-friendly activities. However, El Paso 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.

El Paso is not popular with students.


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

Colorado Springs
El Paso

El Paso is a city with a few options for its public transit. However, Colorado Springs is a mountain town with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in El Paso. While there are some bus routes in town, you shouldn't rely on them and must have a private vehicle to efficiently visit the city.

Public transit is quite limited 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.

Is Colorado Springs or El Paso a more walkable city?

Colorado Springs
El Paso

Colorado Springs and El Paso 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.

El Paso is generally not a very walkable mountain town. You really need a car to get around town.

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

Should I spend more time in El Paso or Colorado Springs?

How long in Colorado Springs or El Paso?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Colorado Springs or El Paso to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Colorado Springs than El Paso because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Colorado Springs, and 1-2 days is enough time in El Paso.

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

Couples should spend more time in Colorado Springs than El Paso. 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 El Paso 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 El Paso? Ideal Length of Stay
    Colorado Springs 2-3 
    El Paso 1-2

One day in Colorado Springs or El Paso?

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.

You'll find food and shopping around the low-key destination of El Paso. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.


A weekend in Colorado Springs or El Paso?

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.

You'll find shopping and museums around the undiscovered city of El Paso. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. 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 El Paso?

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.

El Paso is a popular choice for travelers. 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 El Paso?

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.

El Paso is a great place to explore. 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 10-Day Tours in United States of America, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, and The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, El Paso 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 El Paso is $161. 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 El Paso in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Colorado Springs or El Paso? 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 El Paso


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 El Paso Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Colorado Springs $36
    El Paso $37

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: $133
  • Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport to Snowmass -Arrival Transfer: $300
  • Rocky Mountain Metropolitan (BJC) to Steamboat-Arrival Transfer: $233
  • Private Transfer from Beaver Creek Ski Resort to Denver Airport: $222
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Vail/Beaver Creek Private Transfer: $222
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Steamboat - Private Arrival Transfer: $289

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Paso

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

  • El Paso Airport (ELP) to Truth or Consequences Arrival Transfer: $121
  • El Paso Airport to Truth or Consequences Round Trip Transfer: $241
  • El Paso International Airport (ELP) to El Paso - Arrival Private Transfer : $41
  • El Paso International Airport (ELP) to El Paso - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $81
  • El Paso to El Paso International Airport (ELP) - Departure Private Transfer: $41

Is it cheaper to fly into Colorado Springs or El Paso?

Prices for flights to both El Paso 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
    El Paso $54
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

Typical Food Prices in El Paso

For El Paso, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Rudy's BBQ (family of 4)
    $40

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Colorado Springs $38
    El Paso $27

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 15 Minute Aerial Adventure Park in Bailey: $69
  • 2 Hour Segway Tour in Cheyenne Cañon and Broadmoor Area: $108
  • Astronomy Tour: $45
  • 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 Springs - Guided Walking Ghost / History Tour: $28
  • Colorado Springs Pikes Peak Luxury Jeep Tours: $149
  • Colorado Springs Small Group Historic Walking Tour: $54

Tours and Activities in El Paso

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

  • Sun City Ghosts Haunted Cowboys and Outlaws Tour: $24
  • Sun City Ghost Walking Tour: $26
  • Pikes Peak Tour: $110
  • Downtown Historic Walking Tour: $120
  • Colorado Springs: Pikes Peak Jeep Tour: $125
  • Jeep Tour - Pikes Peak or Bust: $190
  • UTV Adventure Tour / Rental: $249

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Colorado Springs $24
    El Paso $27

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: $94


When comparing the travel costs between Colorado Springs and El Paso, 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 El Paso Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Colorado Springs or El Paso?

El Paso has a larger population, and is about 56% larger than the population of Colorado Springs. When comparing the sizes of Colorado Springs and El Paso, 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.