A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Colorado Springs vs. Santa Fe for Hiking, Food, Families, and Skiing

Should you visit Colorado Springs or Santa Fe?

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 Santa Fe can help you decide which place is right for you.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a healthy, welcoming, and friendly mountain town. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a historic, charming, and artsy historic town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for skiing, live music, and food.

Colorado Springs and Santa Fe: 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
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for skiing
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Colorado Springs or Santa Fe?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Santa Fe than Colorado Springs. While Colorado Springs is larger than Santa Fe, Santa Fe has more sights and attractions for tourists. Santa Fe is better known for its skiing, food, music, historical sights, shopping, and quaint atmosphere, while Colorado Springs is more popular for its nightlife, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Santa Fe is more touristy than Colorado Springs and is popular for its strong arts scene, its Pueblo-style architecture, and its unique local cuisine. Also, Santa Fe is famous for The Museum of New Mexico Complex. Colorado Springs is well known for its many outdoor recreation areas, world-class parks, striking red sandstone formations, and beautiful mountain views.

How is Colorado Springs different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Colorado Springs or Santa Fe Better for Skiing?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is very good for winter skiing. However, Colorado Springs is a mountain town with minimal options for skiing.

Santa Fe is a great destination for skiing with plenty areas to explore. There are a few good ski resorts not far from Santa Fe. Popular options include Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.

Colorado Springs is a fun local destination for snow skiers. The town isn't as accessible to skiing as Denver is, but there are still options, like Breckenridge, within a few hours drive.


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

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Both Colorado Springs and Santa Fe have notable 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.

Santa Fe offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Head to the Museum of New Mexico Complex, which has four museums that give a great overview of the history of the area. Also make sure you visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

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

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Colorado Springs is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Santa Fe makes for a great culinary experience. There are many local restaurants that use regional ingredients and offer great flavors. There are also cafes and bistros where you can enjoy breakfast or brunch. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chili peppers.

Colorado Springs has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. 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.

Is Colorado Springs or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Colorado Springs is very good for its evening party scene. However, Santa Fe is not known for nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Colorado Springs has a few options to choose from. 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.

Most people don't head to Santa Fe specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night. Live music is popular and diverse. It often includes different genres such as the blues, country, salsa or bluegrass.


Is Colorado Springs or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is very good for live music. However, Colorado Springs is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Santa Fe. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Colorado Springs is not a live music destination.

Is Colorado Springs or Santa Fe Better for its Old Town?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a great destination for its historic old town. However, Colorado Springs does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Santa Fe. As the 2nd oldest city in the United States, the old town historic district is filled with charm. The Pueblo-style buildings are brightly colored and there are churches throughout.

Colorado Springs does not have a historic old town.

Is Colorado Springs or Santa Fe Better for Hiking?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Colorado Springs is an unbeatable place for hiking. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for the nearby hiking options.

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.

Santa Fe has hiking trails worth exploring. Because it's located right by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, there are many beautiful hikes right outside of town. Popular trails include the Picacho Peak Trail and the Nambe Lake Trail. Bandelier National also has many places to hike.


Is the Shopping Better in Colorado Springs or Santa Fe?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a great destination for shopping. However, Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Santa Fe is an extremely popular place for shoppers. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Colorado Springs is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Colorado Springs or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Colorado Springs is a great mountain town for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Colorado Springs. 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.

Santa Fe is a family-friendly place to visit. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Is Colorado Springs or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Both Colorado Springs and Santa Fe are notable destinations to visit as a couple.

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.

Santa Fe makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.


Is Colorado Springs or Santa Fe Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Colorado Springs is very good for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Santa Fe is not known 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.

Santa Fe is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There's a hostel in town as well as several campgrounds.

Is Colorado Springs or Santa Fe Better for Students?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Colorado Springs and Santa Fe are notable places to visit for students.

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

It's common for students to visit Santa Fe. There are a few colleges and universities in town and students will appreciate the reasonable cost of living and outdoor activities nearby.

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

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a historic town 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 Santa Fe. There is a bus system - the Santa Fe Trails Bus Service.

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 Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Colorado Springs
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a great destination for its walkability. However, Colorado Springs is a mountain town with minimal options for its high level of walkability.

Santa Fe is very walkable. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Colorado Springs?

How long in Colorado Springs or Santa Fe?

In either Colorado Springs or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santa Fe than Colorado Springs because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Colorado Springs, and 2-5 days is enough time in Santa Fe.

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

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


  • How many days in Colorado Springs or Santa Fe? Ideal Length of Stay
    Colorado Springs 2-3 
    Santa Fe 2-5

One day in Colorado Springs or Santa Fe?

The beautiful mountain town of Colorado Springs offers nightlife and food. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find food and shopping around the charming destination of Santa Fe. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. This historic town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

A weekend in Colorado Springs or Santa Fe?

Colorado Springs is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this mountain town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Colorado Springs, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find shopping and museums around the historic historic town of Santa Fe. If you have a weekend, this historic town makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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 Santa Fe?

Colorado Springs is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Santa Fe is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Colorado Springs or Santa Fe?

Colorado Springs is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This mountain town offers something for everyone.

Santa Fe is a great place to explore. Most visitors spend time around the old town 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.


Which place is cheaper, Santa Fe or Colorado Springs?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Colorado Springs is $155, while the average daily cost in Santa Fe is $159. 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 Santa Fe in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Colorado Springs or Santa Fe? 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 Santa Fe


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 Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Colorado Springs $38
    Santa Fe $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Colorado Springs

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Colorado Springs:

  • Snowmass/Aspen to Denver Airport DEN - Departure Private Transfer: $296
  • Snowmass/Aspen to Denver Centennial Airport - Departure Transfer: $296
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Snowmass/Aspen - Arrival Transfer: $296
  • Snowmass Ski Resort to BJC Airport - Departure Transfer: $296
  • Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport to Snowmass -Arrival Transfer: $296
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Steamboat - Private Arrival Transfer: $285
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Winter Park - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $263
  • Rocky Mountain Metropolitan (BJC) to Steamboat-Arrival Transfer: $230
  • Denver Centennial Airport to Vail/Beaver Creek Private Transfer: $219
  • Private Transfer from Beaver Creek Ski Resort to Denver Airport: $219
  • Denver Airport BJC to Winter Park Ski Resort Round Trip Transfer: $186
  • Colorado Springs COS to Pagosa Springs - Round-Trip Transfer: $176

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Fe

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125

Is it cheaper to fly into Colorado Springs or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe 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 $45
    Santa Fe $43
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.

  • Classic 3-Hour Food Tour in Colorado Springs: $79
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show - Colorado Springs, CO: $86

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Fe

For Santa Fe, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Wander NM Food Tour - Tuesday Farmers' Market: $149
  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $184
  • Santa Fe Farmers Market & Railyard Food Tour: $184
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Railyard Arts District: $189
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Downtown Plaza 'Sip & Savor': $209
  • Downtown Plaza "Sip and Savor" Half-day Food Tour: $209
  • Savor Wine Pairing Dinner: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Colorado Springs $34
    Santa Fe $17

Tours and Activities in Colorado Springs

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

  • 2 Hour Private Walking Tour In Garden Of The Gods: $90
  • Red Rocks Private 2 Hour Walking Tour: $80
  • 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
  • Astronomy Tour: $41
  • 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: $89
  • Colorado Springs - Guided Walking Ghost / History Tour: $28

Tours and Activities in Santa Fe

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

  • The Town Too High To Die: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in New Mexico: $5.13
  • Santa Fe Historic Downtown Smart Phone Audio App Self Guided GPS Walking Tour : $6.75
  • Historic Downtown Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Santa Fe's Historic Gems: A Self-Guided Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Santa Fe by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Santa Fe by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Crime Solving Detective Experience Santa Fe: $15
  • Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour of Historic Santa Fe: $15
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Santa Fe Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $49

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Colorado Springs $24
    Santa Fe $9.68

Sample the Local Flavors in Colorado Springs

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Colorado Springs:

  • 2.5-Hour Brewery & Bites Walking Tour: $84
  • Downtown Colorado Springs 2.5-Hour Brewery Tour: $89

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Fe

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Santa Fe:

  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery Tour and Tasting: $18
  • White Water Rafting and Wine Tour: $217


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


Which is Bigger, Colorado Springs or Santa Fe?

Colorado Springs has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Santa Fe. When comparing the sizes of Colorado Springs and Santa Fe, 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.