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

Should you visit Denver or Reno?

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

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

Reno

Reno is a vibrant, energetic, and growing city. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Denver and Reno: 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
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Denver or Reno?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Denver than Reno, 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 Reno is known for its museums, food, and nightlife. Reno is more touristy than Denver and is popular for its casinos and nightlife scene. 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.

How is Denver different from Reno?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Denver or Reno Better for Skiing?

Denver
Reno

Denver is a popular place for skiing and snowboarding. However, Reno 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.

Reno is not a skiing destination.


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

Denver
Reno

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

Reno offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Museums in town range from art and history to local or quirky. The National Automobile Museum, the Nevada Museum of Art, Fleischmann Planetarium, and the Anthropology Museum are some of the favorites.

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 Reno? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Denver
Reno

Reno is a nice place to visit for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Denver is not a good city for its restaurants.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Reno. The food scene has been growing in recent years and you'll find plenty of casual restaurants that serve hearty and filling comfort foods.

Denver may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. 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.

Is Denver or Reno Better for Nightlife?

Denver
Reno

Reno is a well-known place for nightlife and partying. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its evening party scene.

Reno offers plenty to do in the evening. There's a big nightlife scene with a huge number of bars and entertainment options. There are also a growing number of breweries in town.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe 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.


Is Denver or Reno Better for Hiking?

Denver
Reno

Denver is a popular place for its hiking trails. However, Reno 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.

Reno is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Denver or Reno?

Denver
Reno

Both Denver and Reno 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.

Reno has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. In addition to your standard suburban shopping malls and strip malls, there's the Midtown District, which has local retail shops and an eclectic and alternative vibe. The area has thrift shops, music vendors, and more.

Is Denver or Reno Better for Families?

Denver
Reno

Denver and Reno are both good 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. Popular activities include the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.

Reno is a family-friendly city. You'll find some arcades and entertainment options for kids in some of the casinos. There's also the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, which has kid-friendly, hands-on exhibits, and the largest zoo in Nevado, the Sierra Nevada Zoological Park.


Is Denver or Reno Better for Couples?

Denver
Reno

Denver and Reno are both good to visit as a couple.

Denver makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

Reno is a good city for couples to visit. There are outdoor parks and scenic walks like the Truckee River Walk or the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. There's also several great museums and some interesting restaurants.

Is Denver or Reno Better for Students?

Denver
Reno

Denver is a popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Reno 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.

Reno is not popular with students.

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

Denver
Reno

Denver is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Reno 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 Reno. There's a public bus system with routes around town.


Is Denver or Reno a more walkable city?

Denver
Reno

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

Reno is generally not very walkable. While there are some reasonably walkable neighborhoods, you really need a car to get around town.

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 Reno Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Reno or Denver?

How long in Denver or Reno?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Denver and Reno. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. In general, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Denver, and 1-3 days is enough time in Reno.

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

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


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

One day in Denver or Reno?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and skiing when visiting the destination of Denver. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

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

A weekend in Denver or Reno?

Denver is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Reno 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 Reno?

You'll find nightlife and shopping around the accessible destination of Denver. This city offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Reno. 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 Reno?

The suburban city of Denver offers shopping and skiing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week 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.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the growing destination of Reno. 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 One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City.


Which place is cheaper, Reno 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 Reno is $144. 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 Reno in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Denver $87
    Reno $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Denver $174
    Reno $110
Compare Hotels in Denver and Reno

Looking for a hotel in Denver or Reno? 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 Reno


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 Reno Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Denver $101
    Reno $23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Transfer in Private Car from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Downtown: $88
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Denver Intl. Airport to Downtown: $206
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Denver Int. Airport (DEN) to Downtown: $176
  • Private Transfer from Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury Van: $138
  • Private Transfer from Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Business Car: $109
  • Private Transfer from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Luxury Van: $138
  • Private Transfer from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Business Car: $109
  • Private Departure Transfer to Denver Airport (DEN): $44
  • Denver hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $51
  • Denver Airport to Breckenridge/Keystone/Copper - Arrival Transfer: $199
  • Denver Airport Transfer To/From Aspen for 6-14 Sprinter Van: $1,950
  • Denver Airport BJC to Winter Park Ski Resort Arrival Transfer: $94

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Reno

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Reno:


  • Car Wash
    $5.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Reno

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

  • Reno to Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) - Departure Private Transfer: $67
  • Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) to Reno – Private Arrival Transfer : $67
  • Reno Tahoe Airport (RNO) to Heavenly Mountain - Arrival Transfer: $110
  • Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) to Reno – Round-Trip Private Transfer: $135
  • Reno Tahoe Airport to Northstar/Squaw Valley - Arrival Transfer: $166
  • Reno Tahoe Airport (RNO) to Mammoth Mountain: Arrival Transfer: $188
  • Reno Tahoe Airport to Heavenly Mountain - Round-Trip Transfer: $222

Is it cheaper to fly into Denver or Reno?

Prices for flights to both Reno 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
    Reno $54
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.

  • RiNo Arts District Food Tour: $79
  • Downtown Denver Food Tour: $79

Typical Food Prices in Reno

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


  • Dennys for Breakfast
    $22
  • Sushi DInner (for 2)
    $40
  • In-n-Out Burger (for 3)
    $19

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Denver $52
    Reno $88

Tours and Activities in Denver

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

  • Denver's Wild History Tour & Ballpark Museum : $23
  • Small-Group Cocktail Tour in Denver: $99
  • 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: $232
  • Archery Dodgeball - 75 Minute Indoor Experience: $31
  • Beginner Rock Climbing Tour: $200
  • Breckenridge Ultimate Full Day Mountain Tour from Denver: $139
  • Capitol Hill History & Ghost Tour: $22
  • Cheesman Park Ghost Tour: $28
  • Craft Beer Tour in Lower Downtown Denver: $58
  • Denver - Capitol Hill Guided Walking Ghost / History Tour: $28

Tours and Activities in Reno

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

  • From Reno Arch to Truckee River: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Downtown Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Reno by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Discover Reno's Heart: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Reno Scavenger Hunt: Reno Adventure: $12
  • Lake Tahoe: Self-Guided GPS Audio Tour: $14
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Sparks NV: $15
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Carson City NV: $15
  • Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Zero Latency Extreme Virtual Reality Experience Ticket: $25
  • Gangs and Gamblers Haunted Walking Tour: $26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Denver $5.31
    Reno $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

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

  • California Vs. Colorado Wine Tasting: $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Reno

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

  • 1 Hour Distillery Tour and Tasting Flight: $25
  • Brewery Tour: $130


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

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


Which is Bigger, Denver or Reno?

Denver has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Reno. When comparing the sizes of Denver and Reno, 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.