A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Denver vs. Boise for Attractions, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Denver or Boise?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Denver or Boise, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Denver

Denver is a park-filled, suburban, and accessible city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the nightlife, hiking, and shopping.

Boise

Boise is a welcoming, authentic, and friendly city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Denver and Boise: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Denver or Boise?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Denver than Boise, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Denver is more popular for its skiing, hiking, and big city activities, while Boise is known for its museums. Denver is popular for serving as a gateway to the Rocky Mountains and the many national parks that are in the area. It is also home to Red Rocks Park. Boise is popular for its many outdoor and recreational activities.

How is Denver different from Boise?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Denver or Boise Better for Skiing?

Denver
Boise

Denver is a popular place for skiing and snowboarding. However, Boise is not a skiing destination.

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.

Boise is not a skiing destination.


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

Denver
Boise

Boise is a nice place to visit for its sights and museums. However, Denver is not a good city for its museums and history.

Boise offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. As the state capital, there's a nice selection of local museums around town. Favorites include the Boise Art Museum, the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, the Idaho Black History Museum, and Discovery Center.

While most people don't head to Denver specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. 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.

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

Denver
Boise

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at decent restaurants in both Denver and Boise.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Denver. 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.

Boise may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. While Idaho has long been associated with the potato, the locals usually think of "finger steaks" when describing local food. These are deep-friend beef strips that are as good as they sound.

Is Denver or Boise Better for Nightlife?

Denver
Boise

Both Denver and Boise are good when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Boise. In downtown Boise you'll find a selection of bars, lounges, and breweries. There's enough around town to keep the nightlife scene interesting.


Is Denver or Boise Better for Hiking?

Denver
Boise

Denver is a popular place for its hiking trails. However, Boise is not a hiking destination.

Denver is a good destination for hiking. 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.

Boise is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Denver or Boise?

Denver
Boise

Both Denver and Boise are good shopping destinations.

Denver offers some nice shopping areas. 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.

Boise has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. You'll find a mix of local boutiques, independent vendors, and suburban shopping centers where you'll find anything that you might need.

Is Denver or Boise Better for Families?

Denver
Boise

Denver is a popular place for its kid-friendly activities. However, Boise is lacking in options for its family-friendly activities.

Denver is a family-friendly city. 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.

Boise doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. You'll find parks, playgrounds, and the Discovery Center which will help keep kids entertained.


Is Denver or Boise Better for Couples?

Denver
Boise

Denver is a popular place for couples. However, Boise is lacking in options for romance.

Denver is a good city 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.

Boise is not the best destination for a couple to visit. Date night activities include dining at a nice restaurants and seeing a show at the theater.

Is Denver or Boise Better for Students?

Denver
Boise

Denver is a popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Boise is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Denver. 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.

Boise is not popular with students.

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

Denver
Boise

Denver is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Boise is lacking in options for its public transit.

Denver has some 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 generally limited in Boise. There are infrequent buses around town, but visitors usually have a car to get around town efficiently.


Is Denver or Boise a more walkable city?

Denver
Boise

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

Boise is generally not very walkable. There are a couple of walkable neighborhoods but, in general, the town isn't very walkable.

Denver is not a very walkable city. 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 Denver Worth Visiting? and Is Boise Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Boise or Denver?

How long in Denver or Boise?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Denver than Boise 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 Denver.


  • How many days in Denver or Boise? Ideal Length of Stay
    Denver 2-3 
    Boise 1-2

One day in Denver or Boise?

In Denver, many people enjoy the skiing and nightlife that this sprawling destination offers. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Boise. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

A weekend in Denver or Boise?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Denver. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Boise is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Denver or Boise?

Denver is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the shopping and skiing when visiting the destination of Denver. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boise. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Denver or Boise?

You'll find skiing and nightlife around the accessible destination of Denver. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the welcoming destination of Boise. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, and The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Boise or Denver?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Denver is $218, while the average daily cost in Boise is $146. 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 Denver and Boise in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Denver $87
    Boise $75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Denver $174
    Boise $150
Compare Hotels in Denver and Boise

Looking for a hotel in Denver or Boise? 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 Denver


Hotels in Boise


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: Denver Hotel Prices and Boise Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Denver $101
    Boise $34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Denver Intl. Airport to Downtown: $173
  • Private Transfer from Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury Van: $137
  • Private Transfer from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Luxury Van: $137
  • Private Transfer from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Business Car: $109
  • Private One-way Denver Airport Transfer To/From Denver: $114
  • Private One Way Transfer From and To Denver Colorado: $200
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Denver International Airport: $125
  • Private Arrival Transfer - Denver International Airport (DEN) : $40
  • Departure Private Transfer: Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury Van: $137
  • Departure Private Transfer: Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury SUV: $137
  • Departure Private Transfer: Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Business Car: $109
  • Denver hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $51

Is it cheaper to fly into Denver or Boise?

Prices for flights to both Boise and Denver 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
    Denver $42
    Boise $45
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.

  • Denver : Paella Cooking Class With Local Chef: $60
  • Denver : Hands-on Cooking Classes With Chef Kevin: $60
  • 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
  • walking Secret Food Tour: $90

Typical Food Prices in Boise

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


  • Hotel
    $59
  • Cracker Barrel Lunch (for 4)
    $55

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Denver $52
    Boise $30

Tours and Activities in Denver

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

  • Small-Group Cocktail Tour in Denver: $99
  • 1-Hour Ghost Tour with Ghost Hunting Gear in Cheeseman Park: $25
  • 1.5 Hour RiNo Art District Walking Tour: $28
  • 2 Hour LoDo Historic Walking Tour in Denver: $28
  • 3 Hour Private Walking Tour in Denver with Professional Guide: $230
  • 3 Hour Whiskey and History Tour: $99
  • Beginner Rock Climbing Tour: $200
  • Best of Denver Tour: $64
  • Best of Denver Walking Tour: $27
  • Bike and Booze Tour of RiNo & Downtown: $95
  • Breckenridge Ultimate Full Day Mountain Tour from Denver: $139
  • Cheesman Park Ghost Tour: $28

Typical Entertainment Prices in Boise

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


  • Edwards Boise Imax
    $27

Tours and Activities in Boise

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

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Boise by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Boise Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Boise Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Boise Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • A Macabre History of Boise Walking Tour: $25
  • Hells Canyon Kirkwood Jet Boat Tour near Boise, Idaho: $218

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Denver $5.31
    Boise $24

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

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

  • Pub Crawl Through Denver RiNo Arts District : $25
  • California Vs. Colorado Wine Tasting: $30
  • Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Vintner's Personalized Wine Tasting Experience: $60
  • Wild West Pub Crawl in Golden: $65
  • Wine Tasting with Cheese, Charcuterie, and Dessert : $74


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

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


Which is Bigger, Denver or Boise?

Denver has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Boise. When comparing the sizes of Denver and Boise, 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.