A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America New York City vs. Denver for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit New York City 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 New York City 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.

New York City

New York City is a cosmopolitan, one-of-a-kind, and vibrant city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the museums, theater, and nightlife.

Denver

Denver is a park-filled, suburban, and accessible city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, hiking, and shopping.

New York City and Denver: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Statue of Liberty
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less popular for students
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in New York City or Denver?

Tourists will generally find more to do in New York City than Denver. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. New York City is very popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, shopping, christmas markets, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Denver attracts visitors for its skiing and hiking. New York City is more touristy than Denver and is popular for its high-reaching skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, world-class theater scene, and endless energy. It is also well known for The Statue of Liberty. Denver is famous for serving as a gateway to the Rocky Mountains and the many national parks that are in the area.

How is New York City different from Denver?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is New York City or Denver Better for Skiing?

New York City
Denver

Denver is a good destination for skiing and snowboarding. However, New York City is not a skiing destination.

Denver is a great destination for skiing with plenty areas to explore. 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.

New York City is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in New York City or Denver?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for its sights and museums. However, Denver is not a good city for its museums and history.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in New York City are among the most recognizable in the world. The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building. This is a city that is filled with iconic landmarks and you could spend weeks here and still not see it all.

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 New York City or Denver Better for Theater?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for its theatre productions. However, Denver is not a theatre destination.

Famous for its theaters and plays, you'll find world-renowned shows in New York City. Visiting Broadway is a quintessential NYC experience. Whether you enjoy the theater or simply want to experience something new, seeing a Broadway show is a true bucket list activity.

Denver is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in New York City or Denver? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Denver is not a good city for its restaurants.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, New York City is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, with everything from local dives to Michelin star options. There are many neighborhoods that are notable for their ethnic cuisine, particularly Little Italy and Chinatown. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.

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 New York City or Denver Better for Nightlife?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for nightlife and partying. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its evening party scene.

New York City is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. There are world class bars and clubs, but also local venues that have a more relaxed atmosphere. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.

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 New York City or Denver Better for Music?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for its live music scene. However, Denver is not a live music destination.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in New York City Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.

Denver is not a live music destination.

Is New York City or Denver Better for Hiking?

New York City
Denver

Denver is a good destination for its hiking trails. However, New York City 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.

New York City is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in New York City or Denver?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in New York City make it a world-class shopping destination. The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items. New York is known for its many flea markets where you can find vintage items at a good price. And if you're looking to pick up a souvenir shirt or knick knack, there are plenty of souvenir shops around town as well.

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 New York City or Denver Better for Christmas?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for its Christmas activities. However, Denver does not offer Christmas activities.

New York City is a world class destination during the Christmas season. Christmas in the city is a quintessential experience. From the Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center to seeing a live performance of the Nutcracker, everyone enjoys the holidays in New York.

Denver does not offer Christmas activities.

Is New York City or Denver Better for Christmas Markets?

New York City
Denver

New York City is a well-known place for its Christmas markets. However, Denver does not offer Christmas markets.

New York City has a lively atmosphere around its Christmas markets. There are a number of Christmas markets that pop up around town during the holiday season. Nothing will get you more in the holiday spirit than wandering these unique venues.

Denver does not offer Christmas markets.


Is New York City or Denver Better for Families?

New York City
Denver

New York City 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.

New York City is a very kid-friendly city. The city has many activities for kids of all ages including world class museums, beautifully designed playgrounds, and theater shows designed just for young ones. There are many kid-friendly restaurants as well and older kids will enjoy visiting the iconic landmarks in this world-class city.

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 New York City or Denver Better for Couples?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for its romantic activities. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for couples.

New York City has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. From a beautiful carriage ride through Central Park, to a romantic river cruise at night, there is an endless list of unique activities that couples can enjoy in the city. Whether you're interested in theater, the arts, music, or nightlife, this city has it all.

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 New York City or Denver Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

New York City
Denver

New York City is a well-known place for backpackers. However, Denver is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

New York City is a great city to visit for backpackers. It isn't a particularly budget-friendly destination, but it does get its share of backpackers, so you'll find a nice list of hostels and affordable hangouts that are perfect for the backpacker crowd. This is probably one of the most popular cities for backpackers in the entire United States.

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 New York City or Denver Better for Students?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for students. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

New York City is a great destination for students. The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

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

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for its public transit. Also, Denver is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

New York City has a great public transit system. The city has one of the largest subway systems in the world. There's also an elaborate bus system, ferry system, and yellow taxis all around town.

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.

Is New York City or Denver a more walkable city?

New York City
Denver

New York City is renowned for its high level of walkability. However, Denver is not a good city for its ease of walking around.

It is easy to get around New York City on foot. The majority of the neighborhoods in Manhattan are very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Most people prefer not to drive here as it can be overwhelming and chaotic.

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 New York City Worth Visiting? and Is Denver Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Denver or New York City?

How long in New York City or Denver?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both New York City and Denver. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in New York City than in Denver. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for New York City, and 2-3 days is enough time in Denver.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in New York City 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 New York City.


  • How many days in New York City or Denver? Ideal Length of Stay
    New York City 3-7 
    Denver 2-3

One day in New York City or Denver?

New York City 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.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and skiing when visiting the park-filled destination of Denver. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in New York City or Denver?

New York City is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Denver. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Five days in New York City or Denver?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in New York City. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the park-filled destination of Denver. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. 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.


A week in New York City or Denver?

New York City is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

You'll find shopping and skiing around the city of Denver. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, and The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Denver or New York City?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in New York City is $326, 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 New York City and Denver in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New York City $175
    Denver $87
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New York City $350
    Denver $174
Compare Hotels in New York City and Denver

Looking for a hotel in New York City 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 New York City


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: New York City Hotel Prices and Denver Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New York City $49
    Denver $101
Typical Local Transportation Prices in New York City

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New York City are as follows:


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

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

  • Manhattan: Bus Transfer from/to Newark Airport: $21
  • New York: 1-Way Transfer to/from JFK & Grand Central Station: $27
  • Midtown/Lower Manhattan -JFK: Private Airport Departure Transfers: $29
  • Newark Liberty International Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to / from NYC: $34
  • EWR to Manhattan: One Way Shared Arrival Transfer: $34
  • Manhattan to EWR: One Way Shared Departure Transfer: $34
  • Manhattan to LGA: One Way Shared Departure Transfer: $34
  • JFK to Manhattan: One Way Shared Arrival Transfer : $34
  • Manhattan to JFK: One Way Shared Departure Transfer : $34
  • LGA to Manhattan: One Way Shared Arrival Transfer: $34
  • NYC: One-Way Shared Transfer to or from Newark Airport: $36
  • NYC: One-Way Transfer to/from JFK Airport and Manhattan: $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • 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 Airport DEN to Denver in Business Car: $107
  • Private One-way Denver Airport Transfer To/From Denver: $113
  • Private One Way Transfer From and To Denver Colorado: $200
  • Private City Tour in Denver with Transfer: $130
  • Departure Private Transfer: Denver to Denver Airport DEN in Luxury Van: $135
  • Denver hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $50
  • Denver Airport Transfer To/From Aspen for 6-14 Sprinter Van: $1,950
  • Denver Airport BJC to Winter Park Ski Resort Arrival Transfer: $92
  • Denver Airport (DEN): Private Transfer to Denver hotels: $252
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Winter Park - Arrival Private Transfer: $130

Is it cheaper to fly into New York City or Denver?

Prices for flights to both Denver and New York City 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
    New York City $50
    Denver $42
Typical Food Prices in New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

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

  • New York, Queens Culinary Stroll : Food Tour on Foot: $23
  • Lower East Side and Essex Market Multicultural Food Tour: $39
  • Half-Day Private Pizza Crawl in Manhattan: $40
  • Shared Food Tour Bohemian Greenwichvillage: $45
  • NYC: Greenwich Village Guided Food Tour: $63
  • Downtown Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • East Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • Pizza Walking Tour of Downtown Brooklyn: $65
  • East Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Greenwich Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Gastro Pub Pre/Post Theater Dinner in Times Square: $67
  • Chinatown New York Walking Food Tour: $70

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
  • 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.
    New York City $180
    Denver $52
Typical Entertainment Prices in New York City

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New York City's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

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

  • Central Park NYC: First Discovery Walk and Reading Tour: $3.20
  • Central Park: Self-guided Bike Tour App - Audio + Written: $5.00
  • Self Guided Central Park Bike or Walking Tour Application: $5.00
  • Brooklyn Bridge Self-Guided Bike or Walking Tour Application: $5.00
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in New York: $5.45
  • Central Park Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.51
  • Self Guided "Central Park Movie Tour" Solo Walking Tour in New York City: $6.75
  • NYC: Central Park Exploration Game and Tour: $6.93
  • Docent-Led Tour of the Museum at Eldridge Street: $7.50
  • Self-Guided Tour of the Museum at Eldridge Street: $7.50
  • New York City's Financial District: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • NYC: Staten Island Museum Entrance Ticket: $8.00

Tours and Activities in Denver

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

  • Shared Golden's History Wagon Ride Tour in Colorado: $65
  • Small-Group Cocktail Tour in Denver: $99
  • 2 Hour Guided Segway Tour: $69
  • 2 Hour LoDo Historic Walking Tour in Denver: $28
  • 3 Hour Whiskey and History Tour: $99
  • Archery Dodgeball - 75 Minute Indoor Experience: $31
  • Best of Denver Tour: $30
  • Best of Denver Tour: $64
  • Bicycle Tour of Downtown Denver.: $93
  • Bike and Brew Tour: $98
  • Breckenridge Ultimate Full Day Mountain Tour from Denver: $139
  • Cheesman Park Ghost Tour: $28

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Things to do in New York City with Kids, Things to Do in Central Park in NYC, and The Best Museums in New York City.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    New York City $29
    Denver $5.31

Sample the Local Flavors in New York City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New York City:

  • NYC West Village Pub Crawl: $21
  • New York Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • NYC: Brooklyn Nightlife Pub Crawl: $34
  • New York: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • New York Rooftop Pub Crawl: $39
  • NYC: Manhattan's Only Whiskey Distillery Tour & Tasting: $42
  • Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Little Italy Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64
  • East Village Gangster Ghost Pub Crawl: $64
  • Guided Brooklyn Craft Brewery Tour: $99
  • 1920s Schooner Sail with Wine Tasting: $139

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between New York City and Denver, we can see that New York City 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 New York City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in New York City 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 New York City Expensive? and Is Denver Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, New York City or Denver?

New York City has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Denver. When comparing the sizes of New York City 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.