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Introduction

Denver

Denver

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Denver is the largest city in Colorado and the capital of the state. It's called the mile-high city, because its elevation is approximately 1,600 metres above sea level. The city itself has about 625,000 inhabitants, but the total metropolitan area is home to 2.6 million people.

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Neighbourhoods

  • LoDo/Larimer/Riverfront
  • Cherry Creek
  • Golden Triangle Museum District
  • Uptown
  • Highlands
  • Art District On Santa Fe
  • El Distrito Arteen de Santa Fe
  • Five Points
  • RiNo / River North
  • Capitol Hill / Congress Park
  • East Colfax
  • Old South Gaylord/Washington Park
  • South Broadway
  • South Pearl
  • Stapleton / Northfield
  • Golden
  • Littleton
  • Olde Town Arvada
  • Belmar/Lakewood

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Sights and Activities

Denver is a vibrant city with plenty of attractions for visitors, plus a diverse collection of neighborhoods that can be attractions in themselves. Many of Denver's older areas are the perfect density for exploration; you'll find an interesting mix of apartments and homes with flowery front gardens, wide flagstone sidewalks, bright green lawns and big, shady trees. Capitol Hill, Highlands, Baker, Berkeley, Uptown, Sloan's Lake, Cheesman, Washington, City and Congress Parks are just some of the neighborhoods bustling with people and places to see.

Denver has many beautiful parks that are full of colorful gardens, meandering paths, crystal clear lakes, abundant wildlife and recreation opportunities. The city has a rich pioneer history, and there are plenty of museums where you can learn all about it. It's also a very environmentally conscious city, with one of the nation’s first municipal “Green Fleets”, public transit vehicles using hybrid and alternative fuel and a city tree-planting initiative. Hop on a green bus, grab a bike or just walk around to discover Denver.

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Events and Festivals

  • Pumpkin Fest - Oct 10-12
  • Denver Arts Week - Nov 7-15
  • Denver International Wine Fest - Nov 20-22
  • Starz Denver film festival - Nov 12-23

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Weather

Denver lies within the semi-arid, continental climate zone and has four distinct seasons and receives a modest amount of precipitation spread through the year. Average highs range from around 7 °C in December and January to around 31 °C in July and August. Nights average between -8 °C and 15 °C respectively, resulting in relatively big differences between day and night. The absolute records are -34 °C and 41 °C which gives you an impression of what you can expect. The average annual amount of precipitation is just about 400 mm and snow is common from late October to early April and even has been recorded as late as May and early as September.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max6.2 °C8.1 °C11.2 °C16.6 °C21.6 °C27.4 °C31.2 °C29.9 °C24.9 °C19.1 °C11.4 °C6.9 °C
Avg Min-8.8 °C-6.6 °C-3.4 °C1.4 °C6.4 °C11.3 °C14.8 °C13.8 °C8.7 °C2.4 °C-3.7 °C-8.1 °C
Rainfall12.7 mm14.5 mm32.5 mm43.4 mm61 mm45.5 mm48.5 mm38.4 mm31.5 mm24.9 mm22.1 mm16.3 mm
Rain Days2.93.56.15.77.45.66.45.94.63.73.83.6

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Getting There

By Plane

Denver International Airport (DEN) is located on the northeast side of the city and is one of the largest airports in the world by size, just after the ones in Ryadh and Montreal. It is located in northeastern Denver, 40 kilometres from the downtown area, and is one of the busiest airports in the USA and even in the world.

Around 20-25 airlines serve Denver and international destinations include Mexico City, Montreal, Toronto, London, Cancun, Cozumel and Vancouver. All other destinations are domestic ones, including flights to Alaska, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas.
Most of the domestic flights are operated by Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Skywest Airlines and budget airline Frontier Airlines.

To/from the airport

  • The Regional Transportation District (RTD) operates five bus routes under the frequent airport express bus service called skyRide, as well as one Express bus route and one Limited bus route, between DIA and various locations throughout the Denver-Aurora and Boulder metropolitan areas.
  • Taxis and rental cars (with companies like Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, Enterprise and Alamo/National) are all widely available at the Denver Airport.

By Train

The California Zephyr travels between Denver and Chicago and Denver and Emeryville (San Francisco).

By Car

Denver can easily be reached along the main Interstates 25 (between Wyoming and New Mexico), 70 (between Utah and Kansas) and 76 (to/from Nebraska).

By Bus

Check Greyhound for options. There are several Greyhound buses leaving from Denver International Airport towards downtown Denver and will cost around $8 for a one-way trip.

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Getting Around

By Car

  • Numbered streets run east-west in the north half of the metro area, including suburbs. Ellsworth Avenue is the "equatorial" street. Numbered streets increase as you travel north and are generally called avenues. Avenues south of Ellsworth are named.
  • Named streets run north-south. Broadway is the "meridian" street. Ordered alphabetically going up as you travel east or west away from city center. Addresses on named streets correspond to intersecting numbered streets, so "1701 Broadway" is at 17th and Broadway. North-south streets are generally called streets, not avenues.
  • Downtown Streets - The diagonal layout of the downtown area can be tricky, especially for first-time visitors. North of Colfax and west of Broadway, the streets are canted 45 degrees from all other streets in the city. The transition between the two systems is confusing even for locals. Southeast-northwest streets are numbered, while southwest-northeast streets are named. As this was the original grid system of Denver, some vestiges of it exist outside of downtown, creating diagonal cuts in certain parts of the city. Some of those streets include Park Avenue, Speer Boulevard and Morrison Road.

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

Denver has a great public transportation system, The light rail, RTD which runs from downtown to different destinations and it's very easy to use it. Tickets are reasonable and the trains run every 5 minutes. The bus system is also great. If you are in the downtown area where the 16th street mall is, you get to use the free public transportation.
RTD's six light rail lines stop at 46 stations, including major hot spots like the Theater District, Convention Center, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Pepsi Center, the 16th Street Mall, and Park Meadows Mall ( One of the best shopping areas in Denver). Hop on board and get where you need to go fast.

By Foot

Downtown Denver is really easy and it's a walkable city. The 16th street mall is a great place to walk around with a lot of restaurants, tourists shops, coffee shops etc. Winter is cold so dress appropriately. Go to the visitors bureau in downtown and get a map to get around the city. Here is the Visitor's Center link to it.

By Bike

Denver is a bike friendly city. Bike paths are everywhere and it is easy to get around. Paths are well designated, paved and wide. There are so many bike enthusiasts in the city. Winter times may be tricky but you still can get around.

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Eat

Mexican food is abundant and satisfying and takes a local Denver flavor. Green chili is the order of the day: a brown, chunky and spicy sauce made from pork and Pueblo or Hatch green chilies that works well on everything from chorizo and eggs to tamales. Denver is also known for "western" food using ingredients such as angus beef, buffalo, rattlesnake, cutthroat trout and Rocky Mountain oysters. The city also embraces its cultural diversity with a wide range of ethnic restaurants. Southeast Asian restaurants are especially abundant with a multitude of Thai and Vietnamese restaurants in every style and price range. Denver has most types of cuisine as other large cities and has several restaurants recently noted in top food publications. A recently passed bill had outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants statewide. However, some places with outdoor patios still allow smoking there.

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Drink

Colorado produces more beer by volume than any other state and Denver ranks first for US cities. In fact, Colorado Governor (and former Denver mayor) John Hickenlooper was a microbrewer before running for office.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Denver International Youth Hostel630 East 16th AvenueHostel52
Holiday Chalet - A Victorian B&B1820 E. Colfax AvenueGUESTHOUSE-
InnKeeper of the Rockies1717 Race St.Hostel-
AAE 11th Avenue Hostel1112 Broadway Greyhound Bus Amtrak Downtown LocationHostel72
AAE Denver Ramada1150 E Colfax Ave Downtown City CenterHotel69
Super 8 Denver7201 E 36th AveHotel-
Comfort Inn & Suites Denver4685 Quebec St.Hotel-
America's Best Value Inn Boulder/Denver970 28th Street BoulderHotel-
Sleep INN9257 E Costilla AveHotel-
Motel 6 Denver - Airport12020 E 39th Avenue I-70 East at Exit #281/West at Exit #282HOTEL-
Motel 6 Denver Central - Federal Boulevard3050 West 49th Avenue I-70 at Federal Boulevard, Exit #272HOTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 39.755092
  • Longitude: -104.988123

Accommodation in Denver

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Denver searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Denver and areas nearby.

Contributors

as well as BagsandBiscuits (1%), Lavafalls (1%)

Denver Travel Helpers

  • wanderfit

    I currently live in Denver. If you're interested in active adventures (hike, bike, run, climb ...) around or near the metro, let me know.

    Ask wanderfit a question about Denver

This is version 31. Last edited at 12:42 on Sep 5, 16 by Utrecht. 101 articles link to this page.

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