5 Tips for discovering Denver on a budget
Making plans to visit the Mile-High City? You don’t need to have a mile-high budget to make the most of this gem in the Rockies. From cheap activities to affordable accommodations to inexpensive nightlife options, you can leave your money worries behind and enjoy your trip to Colorado – or just keep enjoying the city if you’re a local. If you want to experience the best of Denver without breaking the bank, take note of these six recommendations for visiting Denver on a budget.
1. Visit during spring or autumn
Thanks to its high-elevation climate with four distinct seasons, there’s really not a bad time to visit Denver, but the busiest seasons for tourists are winter and summer. Snow sport lovers make their way to the mountains during the winter, while hikers, mountain bikers, and concertgoers flock to Denver during the summer.
As a result, you can expect higher prices for hotels, vacation rentals, rental cars, tours, and more during the winter and summer seasons. Looking for a bargain? Book your trip during Denver’s crisp spring weather or beautiful fall colors for a less expensive trip that’s no less fun.
TIP: When traveling on a budget, it can help to think outside the box for how to have great experiences without breaking the bank. That’s why I’ve partnered with Quiptu.com! Quiptu is a website that allows you to rent outdoor gear (bikes, kayaks/SUPs, camping gear) directly from locals and local shops. It’s a one-stop-shop for comparing different rental options and selecting the perfect piece of gear for having an adventure. They even have delivery options!
2. Ride the rails (and the bus)
Renting or owning a car in Denver can be expensive – especially when you factor in parking costs and gas fillups. And ridesharing isn’t always cheap or convenient. When your Mile-High City adventures take you farther than walking distance, hop on Denver’s public transportation network (RTD) that covers the entire metro area, including the airport.
An Uber from Denver International Airport to Downtown can easily cost upwards of $50, but the train from the airport to Union Station costs only $10.50 and doesn’t take much longer than driving. When you’re exploring Downtown Denver, consider purchasing a local zone Day Pass for $6. For extra convenience, download the RTD app to check schedules and purchase mobile tickets from the palm of your hand.
3. Check out some free attractions
Sure, a ski pass will cost you a pretty penny, but there are plenty of things do to in Denver that are 100% free. Pay a visit (but no admission price!) to historic landmarks like the Colorado State Capitol Building, the Colorado Governor’s Mansion, and the U.S. Mint of Denver. Or admire some art at the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum, or on the walls of buildings in the River North Art District.
If you’re looking for family-friendly Denver on a budget tips, you’ll find a slew of free things to do that are perfect for kids, like a behind-the-scenes tour at Hammond’s Candies Factory and one of the free admission days at the Denver Zoo and the Denver Children’s Museum.
4. Spend time in the great outdoors
One of Denver’s most famous attractions is the area’s natural beauty, so grab your camera and head outside to hike, bike, or picnic in a public park. A breath of fresh air is easily accessible from Downtown at urban green spaces like Confluence Park and the massive City Park, or you can head out to the suburbs for local favorites like Cheesman Park, Ruby Hill Park, and Cherry Creek Park. But perhaps the most iconic park near Denver is Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, which features a one-of-a-kind concert venue set among hiking trails and bike paths.
5. Book a travel apartment
Denver hotels can get expensive, especially on weekends and during the summer. And even if you fork over all that dough, you’ll likely end up in a cramped room with limited amenities. To get a better value, check into a travel apartment in Denver. Especially if you’re staying for a while, like if you’re coming for an extended work trip or in the middle of relocating to Denver. In addition to a full kitchen and a walk-in closet, you might even enjoy amenities like an outdoor pool and gym.
Ready to get out and explore Denver on a budget? With these 5 tips, you’re sure to have a memorable trip to the mountains that doesn’t require a mountain of cash.