A Travel Price Comparison for Colorado Denver vs. Boulder for Food, Skiing, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Denver or Boulder?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Denver or Boulder, 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 is a sprawling and park-filled city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. Visitors also love the nightlife, hiking, and skiing.


Boulder is a outdoorsy, nature-filled, and biker-friendly city. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the live music, food, and nightlife.

Denver and Boulder: Pros and Cons

  • Popular for skiing
  • Family-friendly
  • Good public transit
  • Less popular for food
  • Less walkable
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Very walkable
  • Less popular for skiing
  • Public transit not as usable

How is Denver different from Boulder?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Denver or Boulder better for Skiing?

For skiing and winter sports, both Denver and Boulder provide various options.

For winter sports and skiing, Denver is a great destination to visit. 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.

While in the area, visitors like to go to Boulder for snow skiing. The town offers access within an hour or two to several great ski resorts including Eldora Mountain, Vail, and Breckenridge.


Is Denver or Boulder better for Food?

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Boulder a bit more than Denver.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Boulder. This is an often overlooked foodie town, with great farmer's markets and restaurants to try.

Denver may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. While you're in town you should try the Bison steak and fried pickles.


Is Denver or Boulder better for Nightlife?

Both Denver and Boulder are comparable 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. 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 Boulder. The town has breweries, craft beer, and plenty to do in the evening. Check out The Bitter Bar or License No. 1 for a local vibe.


Is Denver or Boulder better for Families?

Denver and Boulder are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Denver is a family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Boulder is a family-friendly city. The city has parks, playgrounds, a planetarium, and climbing gyms that are fun for kids of all ages.


Is Denver or Boulder better for Public Transit?

While Boulder and Denver both provide public transit, overall the system in Denver is considered to be better.

Denver has a few public transit options. If you're not planning to leave town, the light rail and bus systems offers good access to much of Denver.

Public transit is quite limited in Boulder. There are buses that run around town.


Is Denver or Boulder a more walkable city?

Boulder is considered more walkable than Denver.

Boulder is a somewhat walkable place. The city has some nice walkable areas and it is very bike friendly.

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.


Should I spend more time in Boulder or Denver?

How long in Denver or Boulder?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Denver and Boulder. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Denver is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Boulder is 2-3 days.

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

One day in Denver or Boulder?

In Denver, you'll find skiing and nightlife. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Many travelers enjoy the live music and food when visiting the destination of Boulder. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Denver or Boulder?

In Denver, you'll find nightlife and skiing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Denver has to offer.

Boulder 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 Boulder?

Denver is a great place to explore. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boulder. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time here 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 Boulder?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Denver. One week may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Travelers enjoy the live music and food when visiting the outdoorsy destination of Boulder. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Boulder or Denver?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Denver is $174, while the average daily cost in Boulder 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Denver and Boulder in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Denver $69
    Boulder $82
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Denver $138
    Boulder $164

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Denver $81
    Boulder $41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Aspen hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $1,592
  • Private Transfer: Denver International Airport (DEN) to Aspen: $1,321
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $858
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $809
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Aspen hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $796
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Keystone resort - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $672
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Denver Airport (DEN) to Vail city: $582
  • Private Transfer: Denver International Airport (DEN) to Vail: $576
  • Private Denver International Airport Transfer to Vail or Beaver Creek: $450
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Arrival Private Transfer: $429
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Arrival Private Transfer: $404
  • Private Denver International Airport Transfer to Breckenridge or Keystone: $400

Is it cheaper to fly into Denver or Boulder?

Prices for flights to both Boulder 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 Meals for one day
    Denver $34
    Boulder $43
Typical Food prices in Denver

Some typical examples of dining costs in Denver are as follows:

  • Sushi Dinner (for 2)

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Denver

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

  • Small-Group Food Tour in Denver: $69
  • Haunted Denver Walking Food Tour: $73
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Denver: $77
  • Walking Food Tour - Best of Union Station & LoDo: $79
  • Denver Cooking Classes-Local, seasonal, and hands on menus: $97

Typical Food prices in Boulder

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Boulder:

  • 2 Coffees
  • Nice Dinner for Two

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Denver $42
    Boulder $26

Tours and Activities in Denver

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

  • 1.5 Hour LoDo Walking Tour in Denver: $25
  • Astrophotography Experience in the Colorado Rockies: $200
  • Best of Denver Tour: $64
  • Best of Denver Tour: $22
  • Bike and Brew Tour: $60
  • Breckenridge Ultimate Full Day Mountain Tour from Denver: $115
  • Capitol Hill History & Ghost Tour: $22
  • Craft Beer Tour in Lower Downtown Denver: $53
  • Denver Ghost Hunt: Mile High Ghost Tour: $12
  • Denver Ghost Tour: $23
  • Denver Guided Sightseeing Tour on Motor Scooters: $112
  • Denver History and Highlights Small Group Tour: $35

Tours and Activities in Boulder

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

  • Listen to a Tour Guide While you Drive between Boulder and Vail: $3.75
  • Downtown An audio tour around this weird and beautiful town: $5.00
  • A natural healing experience in a private epsom salt bath.: $16
  • Astronomy Tour: $41
  • Holistic & Medicinal Tour: $42
  • Amazing Boulder Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Wild West-End Hiking Tour: $49
  • Half-Day eBike Mural Tour in Boulder: $90
  • Electric Cruiser Fat Tire Bike Tour - Best of Boulder: $97
  • Best of Boulder E-Bike Tour: $104
  • High-Vibes Foodie Tour: $106
  • Denver/Rocky Mountain National Park Tour: $139

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Denver $4.25
    Boulder $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

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

  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour in Lower Downtown: $26
  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - South Broadway (SoBo): $27
  • 3-Hour Brewery Walking Tour: $49
  • Craft Distillery Bus Tour: $71

When comparing the travel costs between Denver and Boulder, we can see that Denver 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.

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Denver vs. Boulder Travel Comparison

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