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

Should you visit Houston or Denver?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Houston and Denver. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Houston

Houston is a sprawling, southern, and one-of-a-kind city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Denver

Denver is a suburban, accessible, and sprawling city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and skiing.

Houston and Denver: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights


Is there more to do in Houston or Denver?

You'll generally find more things to do in Houston than Denver. Houston is bigger than Denver, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Houston is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Denver is more popular for its skiing and hiking. Houston is well known for its sprawling size, its local Texas restaurants, and being the home to NASA. Also, Houston is famous for The Space Center Houston. Denver is well known for serving as a gateway to the Rocky Mountains and the many national parks that are in the area.

How is Houston different from Denver?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Houston or Denver Better for Skiing?

Houston
Denver

Denver is a good destination for winter skiing. However, Houston is not a skiing destination.

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.

Houston is not a skiing destination.


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

Houston
Denver

Houston 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 Houston can be an interesting and educational experience. Head to Houston's Museum District to explore 19 different museums in a walkable area. A highlight of a trip to the city is a visit to the Space Center, but other popular museums include the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Houston Children's 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 the Food Better in Houston or Denver? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Houston
Denver

Houston 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 Houston. The city is famous for its Texas barbecue, Mexican food, and a wide diversity of other different ethnic foods. It's a surprisingly diverse city and this is reflected in the restaurant selection around town.

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 Houston or Denver Better for Nightlife?

Houston
Denver

Houston 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.

Houston offers plenty to do in the evening. The nightlife is at its best on weekends when bars, dance clubs, and concert halls come to life. There are a diversity of venues around town including dance clubs, Honky Tonks, and cocktail bars. Some of the most active nightlife areas are Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, Washington Avenue, and Rice Village.

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 Houston or Denver Better for Music?

Houston
Denver

Houston is a nice place to visit for its live music scene. However, Denver is not a live music destination.

The music scene helps keep Houston active and fun. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Denver is not a live music destination.

Is Houston or Denver Better for Hiking?

Houston
Denver

Denver is a good destination for its hiking experiences. However, Houston is not a hiking destination.

Denver offers some nice hiking trails. 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.

Houston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Houston or Denver?

Houston
Denver

Shopping is a popular activity in both Denver and Houston.

Houston offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of upscale malls and shopping centers that have brand names, chain stores, and the occasional local shop where you can pick up items.

Denver has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. 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.


Is Houston or Denver Better for Families?

Houston
Denver

Houston is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Houston is a very kid-friendly city. It is a large city with plenty of things that kids can enjoy including museums, theaters, a zoo, and even the Space Center. The Children's Museum of Houston is perfect for a rainy day. For science loving kids there's the Health Museum and the Museum of Natural Science. Houston also has a Six Flags nearby which the whole family can enjoy.

Denver is a family-friendly city. 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.

Is Houston or Denver Better for Couples?

Houston
Denver

Houston and Denver both notable destinations for a couple.

Houston makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There's a surprising diversity of restaurants around the city. There are also performing arts productions and many outdoor parks and gardens.

Denver is a good city for couples to visit. 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.

Is Houston or Denver Better for Students?

Houston
Denver

Houston and Denver are notable places to visit for students.

Houston is popular with students. It's a large city with a number of universities and a large student population.

It's common for students to 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 Houston or Denver Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Houston
Denver

Denver is a good destination for its public transit. However, Houston is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Denver, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. If you're not planning to leave town, the light rail and bus systems offer good access to much of Denver.

Public transit is mostly limited in Houston. The system includes buses and a limited light rail. Houston is known as a car-centric city and you really need a car to fully experience it.

Is Houston or Denver a more walkable city?

Houston
Denver

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

Houston is generally not very walkable. The most walkable neighborhood is the historic Houston Heights, but most parts of the city aren't very walkable.

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 Houston Worth Visiting? and Is Denver Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Denver or Houston?

How long in Houston or Denver?

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

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

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

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


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

One day in Houston or Denver?

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

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.


A weekend in Houston or Denver?

Houston 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.

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.

Five days in Houston or Denver?

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

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.

A week in Houston or Denver?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the southern big city of Houston. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage.


Which place is cheaper, Denver or Houston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Houston is $262, while the average daily cost in Denver is $218. 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 Houston and Denver in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Houston $142
    Denver $87
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Houston $284
    Denver $174
Compare Hotels in Houston and Denver

Looking for a hotel in Houston or Denver? 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 Houston


Hotels in Denver


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: Houston Hotel Prices and Denver Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Houston $72
    Denver $101

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston George Bush Airport IAH: $51
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): $51
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $60
  • Private One-way George Bush Airport Transfer To/From Houston: $71
  • Houston to Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) - Departure Private Transfer: $82
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $88
  • Arrival Private Transfer: George Bush Airport IAH to Houston in Business Car: $109
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Houston APT-HTL (IAH): $151
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Houston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $163
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH) to Houston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $163
  • Privat Transfer from Houston Airport (HOU) to Port of Galveston: $170
  • William P. Hobby Airport to Galveston Port Arrival Transfer: $170

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Denver Airport (BJC) to Beaver Creek Ski Resort -Arrival Transfer: $221
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Arrival Private Transfer : $241
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Arrival Private Transfer: $195
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Keystone resort - Arrival Private Transfer: $177
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Snowmass/Aspen - Arrival Private Transfer: $298
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Vail/Beaver Creek/Avon - Arrival Transfer: $221
  • Denver Airport (DEN): Private Transfer to Denver hotels: $256
  • Denver Airport BJC to Winter Park Ski Resort Arrival Transfer: $94
  • Denver Airport Transfer To/From Aspen for 6-14 Sprinter Van: $1,950
  • Denver Airport to Breckenridge/Keystone/Copper - Arrival Transfer: $199
  • Departure Private Transfer: Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury SUV: $137
  • Departure Private Transfer: Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury Van: $137

Is it cheaper to fly into Houston or Denver?

Prices for flights to both Denver and Houston 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
    Houston $35
    Denver $42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • Seasonal Pizza From Scratch Experience in Houston: $55
  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $70
  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $72
  • The Heights Food Tour in Houston: $76
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $76
  • Houston Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $85
  • Houston Downtown: Secret Food Tours: $88
  • Howdy H-Town EADO Food Tour: $90
  • East Downtown Food Tour: $90
  • Houston Heights Culture and Food Tour: $95

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: $60
  • Denver : Paella Cooking Class With Local Chef: $60
  • Downtown Denver Savory Food Tour: $74
  • 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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Houston $14
    Denver $52

Tours and Activities in Houston

Here are a few actual costs in Houston for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Sights of Downtown Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.35
  • Sights of Downtown Houston Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Downtown In App Audio Walking Tour: $9.00
  • Houston Museum of Natural Sciences: Planetarium Ticket: $9.00
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Houston by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Houston by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern History Tour: $12
  • Houston Botanic Garden Entry Ticket: $13
  • Sightseeing Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Austin & Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Houston with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Museum of Natural Science General Admission Ticket: $25

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
  • 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
  • History and Architecture Walking Tours: $20
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Aurora by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Haunted Tour with Ghost Hunting Gear: $20
  • Holiday Lights & History Walking Tour: $24
  • Museum of Nature and Science Admission Ticket: $25

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

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

  • Brewery Pass with Beer Tastings: $50
  • Private Houston Brewery Tour by Cart: $57
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70
  • Downtown Houston Brewery Bike Tour : $71

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

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

  • Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Private Vintner's Wine Tasting Experience in Colorado: $40
  • Craft Distillery Bus Tour: $71
  • Guided Downtown Denver Walking Wine Tour: $190


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Houston and Denver, we can see that Houston is more expensive. And not only is Denver much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Denver would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Denver 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 Houston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Houston than you might in Denver.

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


Which is Bigger, Houston or Denver?

Houston has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Denver. When comparing the sizes of Houston and Denver, 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.