A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Denver vs. Santa Fe for Food, Skiing, Attractions, and Nightlife

Should you visit Denver or Santa Fe?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Denver or Santa Fe, 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 sprawling and park-filled city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the hiking, skiing, and nightlife.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a artsy, cultural, and historic historic town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. And you can't forget about the museums, skiing, and live music.

How is Denver different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Denver or Santa Fe better for Skiing?

For skiing and winter sports, both Denver and Santa Fe 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.

Head to Santa Fe for some great skiing and other winter activities. 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.


Is Denver or Santa Fe better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Plenty of people visit the sights and museums in both Denver and Santa Fe.

Denver offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Popular museums include the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the History Colorado Center, and the Forney Museum of Transportation.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Santa Fe. 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 Denver or Santa Fe better for Food?

Most foodies will appreciate the options in Santa Fe a bit more than Denver.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Santa Fe. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chile peppers.

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 Santa Fe better for Nightlife?

Both Denver and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night.

Is Denver or Santa Fe better for Families?

Denver and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe offers lots of family activities. 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 Denver or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Santa Fe is considered more walkable than Denver.

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

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.

Denver and Santa Fe: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Very walkable


Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Denver?

How long in Denver or Santa Fe?

In either Denver or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santa Fe than Denver because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Denver is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Santa Fe is 2-5 days.


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

One day in Denver or Santa Fe?

The city of Denver offers nightlife and skiing. 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.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Santa Fe. 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 Santa Fe?

Denver is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Denver, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe?

Denver is a popular choice for travelers. 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 area has lots to do.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Santa Fe. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Denver or Santa Fe?

Denver is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Travelers enjoy the skiing and live music when visiting the historic destination of Santa Fe. This historic town 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, Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe is $127. 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 Santa Fe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Denver $69
    Santa Fe $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Denver $138
    Santa Fe $128

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Denver $81
    Santa Fe $49

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

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 Denver or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe 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 $34
    Santa Fe $35
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.

  • 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

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:

  • Dinner at the Coffee Farm: $55
  • Santa Fe Railyard Arts District Food Tour: $102
  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $138

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Denver $42
    Santa Fe $13

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 Santa Fe

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

  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Small-Group Canyon Road Art Tour: $37
  • Beer and Art Tour: $40
  • Land Tour | Bantayan Island - Sightseeing - Guided Tour: $46
  • Walk Granada's Skyline Tour: $49
  • Canyon Road Curated Art Walking Tour: $52
  • Search for The Story-Documentary Film School Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $52
  • Santa Fe Architectural Walking Tour: $115
  • Small-Group E-Bike Adventure Tour through Hidden Santa Fe: $155
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Private Walking Tour of Santa Fe: $170
  • Bantayan Island Day Tour From Cebu: $173
  • The Best of Santa Fe Walking Tour: $498

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Denver $4.25
    Santa Fe $7.74

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Fe

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

  • Join-In Wine Tours: $152
  • White Water Rafting and Wine Tour: $217


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

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Denver vs. Santa Fe Travel Comparison

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