A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Denver vs. Rapid City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Denver or Rapid City?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Denver or Rapid City, 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.

Where Should I go: Denver or Rapid City?

Denver

The capital of Colorado, Denver is commonly referred to as "The Mile-High City" because it is at an elevation of 5,280 feet (1,600 meters) above sea level. It also sits where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, giving a beautiful backdrop for this metropolitan city. The city is the largest in the Rocky Mountains with a population of more than 600,000 and nearly 3 million in the metropolitan area. Denver is a cosmopolitan city with cowboy roots. It's cultural scene is thriving, and the outdoor recreation in the area is superb. Denver is a rapidly growing city but with change comes challenges. Urban sprawl is a problem and the city's infrastructure has reached its limits. Still, efforts are in place to maintain the character and personality that Denver is known for.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a large city in western South Dakota that is considered the gateway to the Black Hills National Forest. Rapid City is often used as a base for all types of outdoor activities, including tours to the infamous Mount Rushmore and surrounding parks. The city has a budding art scene and offers the perfect combination of a metropolitan city surrounded by stunning natural scenery. Rapid City experiences the best weather from June-September with temperatures in the 70's and 80's Fahrenheit. Temperatures drop to the low 20's F in the winter and the area receives the most rain pour in April and May.

Which place is cheaper, Rapid City 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 Rapid City is $116. 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 Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Denver $87
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Denver $174
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in Denver and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Denver or Rapid City? 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 Rapid City


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 Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Denver $101
    Rapid City $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Transfer in private minivan from Denver International Airport(DEN) to Downtown: $86
  • Transfer in private minivan from Denver Downtown to International Airport (DEN): $86
  • Transfer in Private Car from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Downtown: $72
  • Transfer in Private Car from Denver Downtown to International Airport (DEN) : $72
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Denver Intl. Airport to Downtown: $173
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Denver Int. Airport (DEN) to Downtown: $144
  • Private Transfer from Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury Van: $137
  • Private Transfer from Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Business Car: $108
  • Private Transfer from Denver City to Denver (DEN) Airport: $132
  • Private Transfer from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Luxury Van: $137
  • Private Transfer from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Business Car: $108
  • Private Transfer from Denver (DEN) Airport to Denver City: $132

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rapid City

Also for Rapid City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Airport Transfer and Orientation: $89

Is it cheaper to fly into Denver or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City 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
    Rapid City $23
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 : Hands-on Cooking Classes With Chef Kevin: $55
  • Denver : Paella Cooking Class With Local Chef: $55
  • Downtown Denver Savory Food Tour: $74
  • RiNo Arts District Food Tour: $75
  • Downtown Denver Food Tour: $75
  • Arts District Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Mystery Puzzle Food Tour in Golden, CO: $80
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Denver, CO: $86

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rapid City

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

  • Roller Coaster Tickets with Dinner and Show in Rapid City: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Denver $52
    Rapid City $26

Tours and Activities in Denver

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

  • Colorado Green Friendly Mountain Sunset Tour from Denver: $79
  • Denver's History Tour + Ghosts: $26
  • Shared Golden's History Wagon Ride Tour in Colorado: $65
  • 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 Guided Segway Tour: $69
  • 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
  • Archery Dodgeball - 75 Minute Indoor Experience: $31
  • Beginner Rock Climbing Tour: $200

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

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

  • Crime Solving Detective Experience Rapid City, SD: $15
  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours: $20
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Bus Tour with Live Commentary: $89
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Tour with Two Meals and a Music Variety Show: $164
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Badlands Sunset and Wildlife Adventure : $239
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • NEW! Sunrise Tour of the Badlands: $289
  • NEW! Half Day Tour of the Black Hills: $289
  • From Private Spearfish Canyon Tour: $650

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Denver $5.31
    Rapid City $6.93

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
  • 4-Hour Downtown Denver Pub Crawl: $25
  • California Vs. Colorado Wine Tasting: $30
  • Denver Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Private Vintner's Wine Tasting Experience in Colorado: $40
  • Golden Ghosts & Spirits Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • Vintner's Personalized Wine Tasting Experience: $60
  • Wild West Pub Crawl in Golden: $65
  • Craft Distillery Bus Tour: $71
  • Wine Tasting with Cheese, Charcuterie, and Dessert : $74
  • Denver Pedicab Brewery Tour: $130


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Denver and Rapid City, we can see that Denver is more expensive. And not only is Rapid City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Rapid City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Rapid City 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 Rapid City.

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


Which is Bigger, Denver or Rapid City?

Denver has a larger population, and is about 9 times larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of Denver and Rapid City, 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.