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

Should you visit Denver or Seattle?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Denver or Seattle, 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, park-filled, and suburban city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include skiing, nightlife, and hiking.

Seattle

Seattle is a laid-back, bustling, and progressive city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the nightlife, live music, and food.

Denver and Seattle: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Space Needle


Is there more to do in Denver or Seattle?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Seattle. Although Denver and Seattle are about the same size, Seattle has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Seattle is more popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, beaches, hiking, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Denver is known for its skiing. Seattle is more touristy than Denver and is known for its beautiful waterfront setting, diverse culinary scene, thriving art and cultural venues, and being the home of many international tech companies. It is also home to The Space Needle. Denver is popular for serving as a gateway to the Rocky Mountains and the many national parks that are in the area.

How is Denver different from Seattle?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Denver or Seattle Better for Skiing?

Denver
Seattle

Denver is a nice place to visit for snow skiing. However, Seattle 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.

Seattle is not a skiing destination.


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

Denver
Seattle

Seattle is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Denver is not a good city for its museums and history.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Seattle can be an interesting and educational experience. The city's most iconic landmark is the Space Needle. There's also a zoo, aquarium, and a handful of nice museums. Several favorites include the Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Museum of History & Industry, and the Seattle Art Museum.

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 Denver or Seattle Better for Theater?

Denver
Seattle

Seattle is a nice place to visit for its theatre productions. However, Denver is not a theatre destination.

Seattle offers a number of shows and performances. There are a handful of theaters where you can enjoy traveling Broadway shows or smaller productions.

Denver is not a theatre destination.

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

Denver
Seattle

Seattle is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Denver is not a good city for its restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Seattle. The city has many diverse dining options that make it a popular foodie destination. The seafood is world-class with many restaurants offering fresh caught salmon and oysters. There are also many great Asian restaurants with Pho, sushi, and dim sum all being popular around town. Seattle is also famous as the birthplace of Starbucks coffee, and both chain and independent coffee shops are common. Finally, make sure you check out the donuts at Pike's Place Market.

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 Seattle Better for Nightlife?

Denver
Seattle

Seattle 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.

Seattle offers plenty to do in the evening. The city is known for its breweries and eclectic nightlife scene. There is a thriving theater scene as well as many bars and trendy restaurants. The best neighborhoods for nightlife include Capitol Hill, Belltown, and Downtown.

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 Seattle Better for Music?

Denver
Seattle

Seattle is a well-known place for its live music scene. However, Denver is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Seattle is very popular with diverse venues. The city has developed its own music culture around several genres including alternative rock and grunge.

Denver is not a live music destination.

Is Denver or Seattle Better for Beaches?

Denver
Seattle

Seattle is a nice place to visit for the beache. However, Denver is not a beach destination.

Seattle has a beach worth visiting. The city is surrounded by water so there are a number of rocky and sandy beaches nearby. Some beaches are more popular with locals while others attract a large amount of tourists. Alki Beach Park, Discovery Park, and Golden Gardens Park are among the best.

Denver is not a beach destination.


Is Denver or Seattle Better for Hiking?

Denver
Seattle

Seattle is a well-known place for the nearby hiking options. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its hiking trails.

Seattle is a popular spot for hiking. It's famously an outdoorsy city and the hiking will not disappoint. Within a half hour drive of town you'll find beautiful forests and stunning natural beauty. Head into the Cascades, to the coastal rainforests, or around Mount Rainier for all kinds of diverse landscapes. Seattle is well situated for you to experience hiking through the diverse Pacific Northwest landscapes.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Denver. 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.

Is the Shopping Better in Denver or Seattle?

Denver
Seattle

Both Denver and Seattle 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.

Seattle has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Shopping in town has an eclectic mix of high end brands, local vendors, and vintage shops. There are farmers markets as well as the famous Pike Place Market, but also major malls with all of the standard department stores.

Is Denver or Seattle Better for Families?

Denver
Seattle

Denver and Seattle 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.

Seattle is a family-friendly city. This is an outdoor city with plenty of places where kids can run around and experience nature. There are several good museums as well as outdoor activities, parks, and a zoo. Make sure you check out the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Volunteer Park, and Artists at Play Playground.


Is Denver or Seattle Better for Couples?

Denver
Seattle

Denver and Seattle 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.

Seattle is a good city for couples to visit. The city has a laid back vibe, a nice downtown area, and plenty of outdoor activities. There are a diversity of restaurants to enjoy and a great nightlife scene that makes for a good couple's getaway.

Is Denver or Seattle Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Denver
Seattle

Seattle is a nice place to visit for backpackers. However, Denver is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Seattle. Although it's not the most popular city for backpackers in America, the city's chill vibe, fun breweries, and lively setting make it a great spot for young backpackers.

Denver is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Some backpackers fly into Denver to begin their national park tour. There is a hostel or two around town, and if you leave town quickly you'll find campgrounds not far away.

Is Denver or Seattle Better for Students?

Denver
Seattle

Seattle is a well-known place for students. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Seattle is a great city to visit as a student. It is a major IT center with a large university, so international students will have plenty of opportunities here. It's also a vibrant city with many outdoor recreational opportunities and a fun nightlife scene.

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.


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

Denver
Seattle

Both Denver and Seattle offer good public transit options.

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

Seattle has some public transit options. There is a light rail system, a monorail, a street car, and buses.

Is Denver or Seattle a more walkable city?

Denver
Seattle

Seattle is a well-known place for its high level of walkability. However, Denver is not a good city for its ease of walking around.

Seattle is a very walkable city. Many neighborhoods are very walkable, particularly in the downtown and major tourist areas.

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 Seattle Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Seattle or Denver?

How long in Denver or Seattle?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Denver and Seattle. In our opinion, Seattle has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Seattle than Denver. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

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


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

One day in Denver or Seattle?

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

Seattle is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Denver or Seattle?

In Denver, you'll find skiing and nightlife. 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.

Seattle 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 Seattle?

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 Seattle. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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 Seattle?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Denver. Many people enjoy the shopping and skiing when visiting Denver. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Travelers enjoy the museums and theater when visiting the progressive big city of Seattle. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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, Seattle 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 Seattle is $205. 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 Seattle in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Denver $87
    Seattle $120
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Denver $174
    Seattle $240
Compare Hotels in Denver and Seattle

Looking for a hotel in Denver or Seattle? 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 Seattle


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 Seattle Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Denver $101
    Seattle $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Denver hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $50
  • Denver Airport BJC to Winter Park Ski Resort Arrival Transfer: $92
  • Private Transfer from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Business Car: $107
  • Private One-way Denver Airport Transfer To/From Denver: $113
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Glenwood Springs - Round-Trip Transfer: $119
  • Private City Tour in Denver with Transfer: $130
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Winter Park - Arrival Private Transfer: $130
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Luxury Van: $135
  • Departure Private Transfer: Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury Van: $135
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Denver Int. Airport (DEN) to Downtown: $144
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Denver Intl. Airport to Downtown: $173
  • Arrival Private Transfer Denver Airport DEN to Denver City by SUV: $177

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Seattle

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


  • Lightrail from Airport (for 2)
    $5.50
  • Roundtrip Ferry to Bainbridge Island (for 2)
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seattle

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seattle:

  • One-Way Transfer: Cruise Piers to Airport : $28
  • Private One-way Airport Transfer(Seattle Airport To/From Seattle): $58
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) to Seattle - Arrival Private Transfer: $71
  • Smith Cove Terminal to Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) - Departure Private Transfer: $74
  • Smith Cove Terminal to Seattle Hotels Arrival Private Transfer : $74
  • Seattle Airport (SEA) to Smith Cove Terminal - Arrival Transfer: $74
  • Private Transfer from Seattle hotels to Smith Cove Terminal : $74
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) to Smith Cove Terminal - Arrival Private Transfer: $74
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Seattle Airport: $76
  • Seattle Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $81
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Seattle Airport (SEA)- Seattle Downtown: $86
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Seattle Airport SEA to Seattle in Luxury SUV: $103

Is it cheaper to fly into Denver or Seattle?

Prices for flights to both Seattle 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
    Seattle $51
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

Typical Food Prices in Seattle

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


  • Expresso & cookie at Pier 70
    $7.00
  • Cashews at Pike Place Market
    $6.00
  • 6 Mini Donuts at Pike Place Market
    $3.25
  • Chinese Lunch in International District (for 2)
    $21
  • Breakfast at Lowel's in Pike Place Market (for 2)
    $32
  • Breakfast at French Cafe (for 2)
    $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seattle

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

  • Seattle : Fun Cooking Classes With Chef Seamus: $60
  • Secret Food Tours Seattle: $65
  • Seattle Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $65
  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours: $67
  • Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour: $67
  • International District Food Tour: $69
  • Street Food Tour of South Lake Union: $75
  • Secret Food Tours: Seattle Pike Place Market: $86
  • Pike Place Market Food Tour: $99
  • Craft Cocktail Gourmet Food Tour: $135
  • Small Group Cooking Class: $138
  • Market to Table Tour and Cooking Class at Pike Place Market: $159

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Denver $52
    Seattle $16

Tours and Activities in Denver

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

  • Discover A Walking Tour of Denver's Top Sights: $5.00
  • Denver’s Downtown: Past and Present In-App Audio Tour (ENG): $9.00
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure on Your Phone: $10
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Denver by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Denver Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Molly Brown House Museum Self-Guided Tour & Entry: $14
  • Colorado Rockies Baseball Game Ticket at Coors Field: $14
  • Denver Botanic Gardens General Admission Ticket: $16
  • Haunted Tour with Ghost Hunting Gear: $20
  • History and Architecture Walking Tours: $20
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Aurora by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Denver Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21

Tours and Activities in Seattle

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

  • Space Needle Park Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Seattle Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Downtown Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Seattle Mariners Baseball Game Ticket at T Mobile Park: $16
  • Smith Tower Straight Up Observatory Access Ticket: $16
  • National Nordic Museum Entry Ticket: $20
  • Seattle Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Sky View Observatory Admission Tickets: $23
  • MoPOP Entry Ticket: $25
  • Terrors and Ghosts Guided Walking Tour: $26
  • The Museum of Flight Entrance Ticket : $26
  • Woodland Park Zoo Day Admission Ticket: $28

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Denver $5.31
    Seattle $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

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

  • 4-Hour Downtown Denver Pub Crawl: $25
  • Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35

Sample the Local Flavors in Seattle

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

  • Guided Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Seattle Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $38
  • Where the Hops Grow! Yakima Brewery Tour : $45
  • Woodinville Wine Country: Downtown Wine Tasting Pass: $65
  • Woodinville Wine Country: Artisan Hill Wine Tasting Pass: $65
  • Day Private Snoqualmie Falls & Woodinville Wine Tour from Seattle: $179
  • From Snoqualmie Falls & Woodinville Wine Tasting: $262
  • Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tasting: All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour: $263


When comparing the travel costs between Denver and Seattle, 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Denver or Seattle?

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