Denver

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States Colorado Denver

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Introduction

Denver

Denver

© doublet

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. Denver is a bustling city of more than 650,000 people supporting a fast-growing metropolitan area of nearly 3 million people. The city embraces its cowboy and mining past but also looks toward the future with a vibrant arts and performing arts scene, dozens of great outdoor festivals, and distinct neighborhoods each offering a unique experience. You'll find everything a cosmopolitan city has to offer including a spectacular view of and easy access to the beautiful Rocky Mountains, which are only 12 miles (19 km) west of town.

Denver does have its growing pains. Urban sprawl is becoming a problem, with the metropolitan area sometimes growing faster than the infrastructure can really handle, especially with public transportation. Denver is generally a driving city, and some problems with pollution and traffic are a part of everyday life. Large mass transportation and freeway expansion projects have been completed, including the popular light rail system. By American standards, Denver is betting big on public transportation.

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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.

Museums and architecture

Black American West Museum & Heritage Center, 3091 California St, ☏ +1 720 242-7428. Fr-Sa 10AM-2PM. Set in the home of Dr. Justina Ford, Colorado's first Black woman doctor, this museum is dedicated to the contributions of Black pioneers in the Old West. The 19th-century building was moved 12 blocks to become a museum. $10 adults, $9 seniors, $8 students, $6 children.
Byers-Evans House Museum, 1310 Bannock St, ☏ +1 303-620-4933. M-Sa 10AM-4PM (guided tours at 10:30AM, 11:30AM, 12:30PM, 1:30PM and 2:30PM). One of Denver's great historic homes, built in 1883 by Rocky Mountain News publisher Williams Byers and elegantly furnished with original turn of the (20th) century pieces. Tour the house or catch featured exhibitions in the gallery. $6 adults, $5 seniors/students, $4 children (children under 6 free).
Chamberlin Observatory, 2930 E Warren Ave, ☏ +1 303-871-5172. Built in 1890, this working observatory is a historic landmark and a pride of the University of Denver. Star Parties and other events are open to the public.
Children's Museum of Denver, 2121 Children's Museum Dr, ☏ +1 303-433-7444, fax: +1 303-433-9520. This educational museum takes a fun, hands-on approach to learning.
Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, ☏ +1 303-866-2604. M-F 7:30AM-5PM. A gorgeous domed building at the southern edge of Downtown. Tours are available, though the big attraction for tourists is standing above the words "One Mile Above Sea Level" engraved into one of the steps out front.
Denver Art Museum, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, ☏ +1 720-865-5000. Tu-Th Sa-Su 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-8PM. Closed M and major holidays. A huge museum with art from all over the world. You'll want to give yourself several hours to properly explore the place. $13 adults, $10 seniors/students, $5 youth (6-18), free for children 5 and under. Discounted rates available for Colorado residents. Free admission for eveyone on the first Sa of the month.
Denver Firefighters Museum, 1326 Tremont Pl, ☏ +1 303-892-1436. M-Sa 10AM-4PM. Historical and interactive exhibits, activities and special events celebrating Denver's firefighters. $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 children.
Denver Mint, 320 W Colfax Ave, ☏ +1 303-405-4761. M-Th 8AM-3:30PM, closed on all federal holidays. Thanks to this place, more U.S. money is made in Denver than anywhere else in the world. Fish a coin out of your pocket and look for the "D" on the face side (usually in the bottom right quadrant). That means the money was minted in Denver. Tour times vary by day. Each day, ticket are available starting at 7AM until they run out. Free.
Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, 1880 Gaylord St, ☏ +1 303-322-1053. W-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 1PM-4PM. Houses, trains, planes, circuses and more. Everything's tiny except the giant teddy bears! $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 children (children under age 5 free).
Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd, ☏ +1 303-322-7009. Open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Exhibitions, planetarium and IMAX.
Forney Transportation Museum, 4303 Brighton Blvd, ☏ +1 303-297-1113. M-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. $9 adults, $7 seniors, $5 children (3-15), free for children under 3.
History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway (Entrance is on Broadway between 12th & 13th Ave.), ☏ +1 303-447-8679. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. The center has many displays and exhibits focusing on historical sites throughout Colorado (prairie settlement, mine, Native American life, etc.) Great for families with kids and even adults; only takes 1-1½ hours to take in. Adults $12; seniors (65+)/students (w/ID) $10; children (6-12) $8; children (under 5) free.
Molly Brown House Museum, 1340 Pennsylvania St, ☏ +1 303-832-4092. Tu-Sa 10AM-3:30PM, Su 12PM-3:30-PM (45 min tours). This restored Victorian was once home to labor reformist, actress and Titanic survivor Margaret Brown. It now showcases that era of Colorado history through exhibits and special events. $12 adults, $10 seniors/military/students/teachers, $8 juniors (6-18), free for children 6 and under.
The Money Museum, 1020 16th St (Entrance is on Curtis Street.), ☏ +1 303-572-2300. 8:30AM-4:30PM. Self-guided tour. Small room with a few displays, including $30 million in cash! Free.
Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Dr, ☏ +1 303-571-4401. Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa Su noon-5PM. Denver is home to a large and growing Latino population, and this museum focuses on their art and heritage. $5.
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, 1485 Delgany St, ☏ +1 303-298-7554. Tu-Th noon-7PM, F noon-9PM, Sa Su 10AM-5PM. Housed in an ultra-modern building downtown, this innovative museum seeks to engage the community with workshops, films, lectures, and a relaxing, open environment. Visit the rooftop deck for 360-degree views of Denver, grab a quick bite in the cafe, and check out the functional public performance space called The Lane. $8 adults ($5 after 5PM), $5 students/seniors, children and teens under 18 free.
National Ballpark Museum, 1940 Blake St (off of Blake and 20th, across from Coors Field), ☏ +1 303-974-5835. Open by appointment; call to schedule a visit. A family-run museum that contains one of the best private baseball collections in the country, this museum holds a stunning collection of artifacts from ballparks all over the country, including signs, bricks, and seats from the classic ballparks of old, as well as a section of Fenway Park's "Green Monster". $10 adults, $5 seniors/children, free for active military and children under 6.
Kirkland Museum (Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art), 1201 Bannock St, ☏ +1 303-832-8576, ✉ info@kirklandmuseum.org. Tu-Sa 11AM-5PM; Su noon-5PM. Fine and Decorative art museum featuring over 30,000 works by more than 1,500 artists and designers. Building was moved in Nov 2016. The grand opening at the new Bannock St location was held March 10,2018.

Parks and gardens

City Park (between Colorado Blvd, York St, 26th Ave and 17th Ave). Enjoy the Denver sunshine at this 330-acre urban park east of downtown. Two lakes, numerous fields, playgrounds, and a golf course, as well as the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science are all within its expansive bounds.
Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St, ☏ +1 303-376-4800. Open every day of the year, hours vary by season. Denver zoo's pride is Bear Mountain, created using casts of actual Colorado rock outcroppings to simulate the bears' natural habitat. For a different way to watch the wildlife, hop on the Pioneer Train, the first train in a U.S. zoo to be powered by natural gas. Other exhibits include an indoor rainforest and the 7-acre Primate Panorama. $5-12.
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York St, ☏ +1 720-865-3500. May-Sept: Sa-Tu 9AM-8PM, W-F 9AM-5PM. Sept-May: 9AM-5PM daily. Closed on major holidays and for special events. Come for the array of flowers and plants from around the world, stay for the peace and quiet (and the free WiFi), then check out the bonus attractions. Above the gardens' bistro, you'll find Denver's first public green roof, a living example of the benefits of green design. Space and science buffs won't want to miss the OmniGlobe exhibit, a spherical simulation of the Earth from space. $12.50 adults, $9.50 seniors, $9 students/children.
Washington Park, S Downing St and E Louisiana Ave. Beautiful and lush Denver park, with lakes, flower gardens, a recreation center, soccer fields and tennis courts. Over 160 acres of natural beauty, surrounded by turn-of-the-19th-century homes. A favorite jogging, volleyball, and drinking destination. This was formerly the favorite hang out of young residents during the summer months but regulations requiring permits for many common activities have reduced park usage and transferred it to City Park.
Cheesman Park, 12th Ave at High St. The Acropolis-inspired pavilion has a commanding view of the Denver skyline.
Confluence Park, 15th Street at the Platte River. Named for the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River, Confluence Park is a summertime spot for many of Denver's residents. Cool off in the river, or bring a kayak or inner tube for the purpose built rapids near the REI store. The park is also accessible via the Cherry Creek or Platte bike trails. Confluence Park (Q2992562) on Wikidata Confluence Park on Wikipedia edit
Denver Animal Shelter dog sculpture, 1241 W. Bayaud Ave. A 20-foot-high sculpture of a dog, made out of metal dog tags.

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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

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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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

Denver is served by Amtrak via its daily California Zephyr service between Chicago and Emeryville, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Eastbound departures are around 7PM while westbound trains leave at 8AM. However, as this is one of the longest train routes in the world, delays are quite frequent. Trains call at the restored Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St (where 17th and Wynkoop streets meet) (in the LoDo neighborhood). The renovation has restored Union Station to its former glory, and it now boasts an on-premise hotel, several restaurants and bars as well as plenty of seating for the tired traveller. Denver Union Station is often cited as the "poster boy" for the revival of train stations, train travel in general and the adjacent neighborhoods that can be observed in several North American and European cities. Union Station is also known for its iconic "travel by train" sign first put there in the 1950s when arrivals at Stapleton Airport started to outstrip traffic at Union Station. In addition to Amtrak trains, RTD commuter and light rail services also call at Union Station, providing easy access to many places in the Denver area if you arrive by train.

By Car

I-25 (north and south), I-70 (east and west), and I-76 (northeast) are the major interstates leading in and out of the city. I-225 and I-270 cross the Denver area.
U.S. Highway 40 connects Denver to Salt Lake City to the west.
Interstate 70 connects Denver to Summit County, the location of many major ski areas, to the west.
Interstate 25 connects Denver to Colorado Springs in the south and Cheyenne, Wyoming in the north.
U.S. Highway 36 connects to the northwestern suburbs and on to Boulder.
C-470 Connects to the southern end of E-470 (also accessible from I-25) leading to the south, southwest, and western suburbs.
Toll Roads There are a couple of major toll roads in the Denver area, and they can help you avoid some serious rush hour traffic on I-70 and I-25. E-470 connects the airport to the southeast, east, northeast and northwest suburbs, C-470 at its southern terminus, and the Northwest Parkway at its northern terminus, leading to Boulder. E-470 is a "cashless" toll road - there are no longer any toll plazas and no way to pay tolls except via an in-car device or a billing service. If renting a car, check to see if the rental car agency provides for proper billing; otherwise, you may be subject to billed tolls and hefty service charges. Tolls are $2–4 and without an in-car device, service charges can run to $25 or more.
Northwest Parkway connects to the north end of E-470 leading to north, northeast and northwest suburbs, and Boulder. Also accessible from I-25. Tolls are up to $3 each, and booths accept only cash. There's no attendant between 10PM and 6AM, so pay attention to the signs; though some booths still accept exact change, others require you to pay online or by mail.

By Bus

The central bus station is at Denver Bus Center (Greyhound Bus Station) on 1055 19th St, just a few blocks away from Coors Field and other central attractions. Serviced by Burlington Trailways, Greyhound, Express Arrow and Bustang; the station also has storage lockers that can be rented hourly. Some of the same bus companies make an additional stop at the Union Station (Amtrak), Denver Tech Center (DTC) and/or other places. Skyride now operates the 'A' Line train from the downtown Union Station to the airport. The hispanic bus companies from El Paso maintain their own separate bus stations nearby the Denver Bus Center. Passengers transfer buses in El Paso to continue to/from Mexico. Expect the bus stations to be crowded and dirty:

Burlington Trailways, Denver Bus Center at 1055 19th St, ☏ +1 303-293-6555, +1 319-753-2864, toll-free: +1-800-992-4618. Goes east on I-76/80 towards Des Moines, IA through Ft Morgan, Sterling, Ogallala, North Platte, Lincoln, Omaha, etc. Passengers transfer in Iowa City to reach additional destinations.
Bustang, Denver Bus Center at 1055 19th St (19th St between Arapahoe & Curtis St. Another stop at Union Station). Service to Denver from Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Gunnison and Grand Junction four separate routes. Passengers transfer in Grand Junction to continue towards Durango and in Colorado Springs to continue to Lamar via Pueblo. Bus stops at the Denver Bus Center (Greyhound station) and the Union Station depots.
El Paso Los Angeles Limousine Express, depot at 2215 E California St (Corner of E California & 22nd St), ☏ +1 303-293-2244, toll-free: +1-866-691-9732. Travels along I-25 between Greeley, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Demig, Las Cruces and El Paso. The depot in Greeley is at 2410 8th Ave.
Express Arrow (Black Hills Stage Lines), Denver Bus Center at 1055 19th St (19th St between Arapahoe & Curtis St. Another stop at Union Station), ☏ +1 402-371-3850, toll-free: +1-877-779-2999. Travels between several cities & towns in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska & Wyoming on multiple routes. From Denver their buses go north towards Buffalo WY via Casper, Cheyenne; east towards Omaha; and southwest to Alamosa and Gunnison through Fairplay, Buena Vista and Salida.
Greyhound & Autobus Americanos, Denver Bus Center at 1055 19th St (19th St between Arapahoe & Curtis St). Service to Salt Lake City (some schedules continue to Portland via Boise); Los Angeles (via St George, Las Vegas, Barstow); St Louis, Dallas (via Amarillo) and El Paso (via Pueblo, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, etc) on multiple routes.
Los Paisanos, depot at 2147 Broadway (Broadway & Champa St), ☏ +1 303-291-1366, toll-free: +1-866-771-7575. Travels between Boise and El Paso via Salt Lake City, Greely, Denver and Roswell.

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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

The RTD (Regional Transportation District) is the region's primary public transit provider, operating buses and light rail throughout the Denver area.

Denver has a fairly extensive and rapidly growing light rail system that can efficiently get you from Downtown to many of the city's suburbs. There are eight rail lines that branch out of Downtown along six corridors: the A line east to Denver International Airport, the B line north to Westminster, the C/D lines south to Englewood and Littleton, the E/F/H lines southeast along I-25, the G line northwest to Arvada and Wheat Ridge, and the W line west to Lakewood and the Denver Federal Center. A ninth line, the R line, travels along I-225 on the east side of Denver, connecting the E/F/H lines with the A line via Aurora. In Downtown, all rail lines either terminate at Union Station or travel through central Downtown via the Convention Center. Rail tickets must be purchased (cash or credit card) from vending machines at the stations before boarding the trains and cost between $2.60 and $4.50 one-way, depending on how far you travel, with service to the airport costing $9. Day passes cost $9 (even when traveling to or from the airport) and include bus fare.

The backbone of Denver's transportation system is the buses. RTD buses are $2.60 (cash only; exact change required) for a one-way local trip, and with payment you receive a transfer that's valid for three hours from when you board the bus. Day passes are also available and include light rail fare. There is also a free shuttle, the MallRide, which runs along the 16th Street pedestrian mall through Downtown and is a handy way of traveling between Downtown attractions. More information about RTD can be found at the Union Station and Civic Center bus stations at either end of 16th Street in Downtown, or on the RTD website. Local routes crisscross the city, supplemented by 'Limited' buses that stop less frequently on major arteries like Colfax and Colorado Boulevard; these buses are denoted by an 'L' after the route number, and cost the same as a Local route.

RTD also operates limited intercity coach service, mostly to the north suburbs and the more distant communities of Longmont and Boulder. These services are denoted by letters and tend to leave from Union Station or Civic Center Station at either end of the 16th Street Mall. Fares are $4.50 one-way, with a day pass costing $9. The Flatiron Flyer offers a fast service along express highway lanes between Denver and Boulder. If you're in Colorado to ski or board on a budget, Eldora Mountain Resort in Nederland can be reached via the N bus from Boulder. RTD also operates SkyRide service to the airport.

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 has a large network of bike trails leading all over the city. The city has a fiercely loyal cycling culture, and it's reflected in the abundance of bike lanes and trails in and around downtown. Main trails run along both Cherry Creek and the Platte, and bike lanes run down many downtown streets. The lanes are sometimes dedicated and sometimes run with traffic, and are marked by a stencil of a bike in the street. The city's designated routes are signed, and you can pick up a bike map at the info centers downtown and at many bike shops.

Denver was one of the first US cities with a modern bike share program; you can purchase a membership online or at any of the 81 stations throughout the city, choose a bike, and start exploring. After the purchase of a membership rides of less than 30 minutes incur no additional fee, while there is a small fee for longer rides.

Don't be afraid to assert yourself in traffic when there is no bike lane - the drivers are, while impatient sometimes, for the most part respectful. Bikes are treated legally like traffic in Denver, and (while admittedly rare), you can get tickets for running red lights and stop signs. Bikes are also expected to ride as far to the right as practicable, unless you're riding in a group of 3 or more - in which case you are considered (and can behave like) a car. Neat, huh?

Bikes are required to have front lights at night, and a good lock is recommended in areas around downtown. Bike theft happens frequently.

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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.

  • Bennie Blanco's, 616 E 13th Ave, ☎ +1 303 831-1346. Bennie Blanco's is a classic hole-in-the-wall pizza joint, and in this case the phrase is literal. There's no seating, but big, New York-style slices fresh from the oven can be had for as little as $2.50 a slice.
  • Blue Bonnet, 457 S Broadway, ☎ +1 303 778-0147. A noisy bar featuring southwest/Tex-Mex in Denver with most items under $10. There is patio seating and two separate dining rooms that are a bit quieter than the main bar. Consistently rated a "Best Of" in various local polls.
  • Breakfast King, 300 W Mississippi, ☎ +1 303 733-0795. The Breakfast King is a late night staple of Denver, and one of the best greasy spoons. Open 24 hours and it's also walking distance from the Broadway light rail station.
  • Buenos Aires Pizzeria, 1319 22nd St, ☎ +1 303 296-6710. An Argentinian-style pizza joint with unusual topping choices and plenty of $2 empanada (small savory turnovers) offerings.
  • Cherry Cricket, 2641 E 2nd Ave, ☎ +1 303 322-7666. Once featured on the Travel Channel's Man vs. Food, the Cherry Cricket is known for having a massive variety of toppings to put on your burger, including such oddities as melted peanut butter, fried eggs, and cream cheese.
  • Denver Diner, 740 W Colfax Ave, ☎ +1 303 825-5443. 24 hours daily. In an otherwise deserted stretch of an otherwise hoppin' Colfax, this is pretty much everything you would want of an iconic urban diner—the sort that achieved just the right balance of neon, grime, tattoos, and cheap greasy food, with an ample dose of authenticity. And crucially, it is open around the clock to feed the morning downtown crowd and the late night intoxicated revelers $3.50-9.
  • Illegal Pete's, 1530 16th St #101, ☎ +1 303 623-2169. A local favorite hangout with great, cheap burritos! Its patio is located directly on the 16th St Mall, making it a great place to people watch.
  • Jerusalem, 1890 E Evans Ave, ☎ +1 303 777-8828. Open until 3AM, and within walking distance of the University of Denver, this small but excellent Middle Eastern restaurant offers great no-frills food in a laid-back and hip atmosphere.
  • Far East Center, Federal Blvd (between Alameda and Mississippi). Several southeast Asian restaurants located in this area offer a wide variety of pho, noodle houses, upscale Vietnamese, dim sum and other Asian cuisines. Pho 95, Pho Duy, Super Star Asian and Saigon Bowl are a few of the places to try in this diverse and delicious culinary corridor.
  • Leela European Cafe, 820 15th St, ☎ +1 303 534-2255. Leela's is a combination bar/coffeehouse/cafe which is a favorite among the college crowd. There's good Italian coffee, great music (live on some nights), and great panini sandwiches. Leela's is open 24 hours as well, and free wireless internet is available, so you can be productive (or not) while waiting for your friends to arrive.
  • Pete's Kitchen, 1962 E Colfax Ave, ☎ +1 303 321-3139. This combination Greek restaurant and short-order diner is open 24 hours a day and has a great Greek salad and French toast. It's a favorite of local celebrities as well.
  • Sam's No. 3, 1500 Curtis St, ☎ +1 303 534-1927. Just a block off the 16th Street Mall and across the street from the Denver Center of Performing Arts Complex, this family-owned restaurant has been feeding Denver and its visitors since 1927. Featured on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives for their Famous Kickin' Pork Green Chili, it's not a spot to be missed.
  • El Taco de Mexico, 714 Santa Fe Dr, ☎ +1 303 623-3926. This small Mexican lunch-counter offers many delicious food choices for the adventurous palate.
  • Taqueria Patzcuaro, 2616 W 32nd Ave, ☎ +1 303 455-4389. This neighborhood favorite has the most amazing tacos and green chili.
  • Two-Fisted Mario's Pizza, 1626 Market St, ☎ +1 303 623-3523. Two-Fisted Mario's has excellent East-coast style pizza on the cheap ($2 a slice, and it's a big slice), and is open until 3AM, so you can grab a pie after drinking microbrews into the wee hours of the morning.
  • Azucar Bakery, 1886 S Broadway, ☎ +1 720-283-3294. 10AM-7PM. Café, dessert restaurant and bakery. Sit-down area with LavAzza coffee, fruit smoothies, pastries, Inca Kola, tarts, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream.
  • D Bar Desserts, 494 E 19th Ave (opening summer 2014), ☎ +1 303 861-4710. Dessert is the main course at d Bar, especially with celebrity chef Keegan Gerhard making the delectable desserts. The menu does includes savory items as well as Allegro Coffee to go with your sweets.
  • Empress Seafood, 2825 W Alameda Ave, ☎ +1 303 922-2822. Empress has long been the queen of dim-sum and affordable yet flavorful seafood selections from all over Asia.
  • Imperial Chinese, 431 S Broadway, ☎ +1 303 698-2800. Simply put, the Imperial is Denver's premier Chinese restaurant and has been for the over 20 years its been in existence. Dinner entrées range from $10-30, with all but the Peking Duck and various specials under $22.
  • Jack n Grill, 2524 Federal Blvd, ☎ +1 303 964-9544. Excellent New Mexico-style food with heaping portions usually soaked in your choice of a green or red chili or for the indecisive, both.
  • New Saigon, 630 S Federal Blvd, ☎ +1 303 936-4954. Denver is home to a sizable Southeast Asian population that shows off its unique culinary talents at this great Vietnamese community institution.
  • Racine's, 650 Sherman St, ☎ +1 303 595-0418. The restaurant for Denver's power brokers and proletarians with its simple yet elegant American menu and casual yet sophisticated decor.
  • Snooze, 2262 Larimer St, ☎ +1 303 297-0700. M-F 6:30AM-2:30PM, Sa Su 7AM-2:30PM. Inventive, trendy (and really good) breakfast is the show-stopper at the east edge of LoDo, and you can expect the place to get extremely crowded on weekends. The thick, rich hot chocolate is definitely worth ordering. $8-20.
  • TAG, 1441 Larimer St, ☎ +1 303 996-9985. Continental food, house-made tonic for drinks.
  • 1515 Restaurant, 1515 Market St, ☎ +1 303 571-0011. Fine dining. Reservations are recommended.
  • The 9th Door, 1808 Blake St, ☎ +1 303 293-2111. Spanish tapas and wine, desserts and atmosphere.
  • Barolo Grill, 3030 E 6th Ave, ☎ +1 303 393-1040. Decadent Italian.
  • Buckhorn Exchange, 1000 Osage St (next to the Lincoln Park light rail stop), ☎ +1 303 534-9505. Lunch: M-F 11AM-2PM; dinner: M-Th 5:30PM-9PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Denver's oldest restaurant, from 1893, played host to famous guest after famous guest, arguably starting with one President Teddy Roosevelt in 1905. Without a doubt, this is as touristy as it gets, but it is nonetheless absolutely worth a visit. Famous for its game meat, both prosaic and rare, the buffalo tenderloin is exceptional, but more adventurous palates can go after the rattlesnake dip, alligator tail, ostrich medallions, or even yak steak! (Call ahead to check ostrich and yak availability.) The place is saturated in Old West kitsch, aging wood, and animal heads, and Th-Sa nights Roz Brown stops by to croon old cowboy tunes accompanied by his autoharp. $25-60.
  • Venice Ristorante, 1700 Wynkoop St. Amazing, authentic Italian. Very expensive. Very romantic. Very good. Reservations highly recommended.
  • Vesta Dipping Grill, 1822 Blake St, ☎ +1 303 296-1970. Each menu item at this hip LoDo restaurant comes with your choice of three dipping sauces for a unique and interactive meal.
  • Zengo Restaurant, 1610 Little Raven St, ☎ +1 720 904-0965. Fusion dining in a trendy establishment.

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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. Notable breweries in Denver and environs include:

  • Coors Brewery.
  • Great Divide Brewing Co., 2201 Arapahoe St, ☎ +1 303-296-9460. Offers 30 minute tours on the hour 3pm-5pm M-F, 2pm-6pm S-S.

Breckenridge Brewery.

  • Wynkoop Brewing Company.
  • Bull & Bush.
  • Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey, 200 S Kalamath St (1/2 block north of Alameda, NE corner), ☎ +1 303-296-7440.
  • New Belgium. Maker of the very popular Fat Tire, is based to the north in Fort Collins.
  • Rock Bottom. A national chain of brewpubs, is based in Louisville (near Boulder).

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Sleep

  • 11th Avenue Hotel and Hostel, 1112 Broadway (at 11th Ave), ☎ +1 303 894-0529. Dorms $20-24, privates $44+.
  • Ramada Denver Midtown, 2601 Zuni St (across I-25 from downtown), ☎ +1 303 433-6677, fax: +1 303 455-1530.
  • Hostel Fish, 1217 20th St, ☎ +1 303 954-0962, e-mail: reservations@hostelfish.com. Upscale hostel that opened in July 2015 in a historic building in downtown Denver that occupies top 2 floors of the building and a restaurant and bar on the ground floor of the historic building. The 2 story hostel has 67 dorm beds and 2 private rooms available with free continental breakfast, free wi-fi, guest lounge, bar and kitchen. $45-48 dorms, $150-200 private rooms.
  • Courtyard Denver Stapleton, 7415 E 41st Ave, ☎ +1 303 333-3303, fax: +1 303 399-7356. Between the airport and downtown Denver. 24-hour market on-site.
  • Crowne Plaza Denver Downtown, 1450 Glenarm Pl, ☎ +1 303 573-1450. Rooms are reasonably spacious and have free broadband internet access and a desk. Breakfast is modestly priced and modest in style. The lobby is typical Holiday Inn. Given the size of the hotel, reception and concierge staff numbers are small but there still seem to be no queues for their services. Stay high in a room on the Glenarm St. side if you want a mountain view. Airport shuttles ($21 to international) serve the hotel.
  • Embassy Suites Denver Southeast, 7525 East Hampden Ave, ☎ +1 303 696-6644. Near Denver Tech, hotel offers complimentary hot cooked-to-order breakfast and nightly Manager's Reception featuring complimentary cocktails and appetizers.
  • Magnolia Hotel Denver, 818 17th St, toll-free: +1-888-915-1110. Downtown Denver hotel featuring guestrooms and suites, a restaurant and bar, and event space for meetings, weddings, and special occasions.
  • Sheraton Denver Downtown, 1550 Court Pl, toll-free: +1-866-716-8134. On the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown, 3 1/2 blocks from the Denver Convention Center.
  • SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown, 1190 Auraria Parkway, ☎ +1 303 705-7300, toll-free: +1-877-249-9279. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Across from the Pepsi Center in LoDo.
  • Hyatt Place Denver Cherry Creek, 4150 East Mississippi Ave, ☎ +1 303 782-9300. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
  • Hyatt House Denver Tech Center, 9280 E. Costilla Avenue Englewood, ☎ +1 303 706-1945.
  • Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center, 8300 East Crescent Parkway, ☎ +1 303-804-0700.
  • Brown Palace Hotel, 321 17th St, toll-free: +1-800-321-2599. An elegant, historic hotel in downtown Denver, the Brown Palace has catered to congressmen, US presidents, and countless foreign dignitaries.
  • Denver Marriott City Center, 1701 California St, ☎ +1 303 297-1300, toll-free: +1-800-228-9290, fax: +1 303 298-7474. A beautiful hotel in downtown Denver offering panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and the city skyline.
  • Embassy Suites Downtown, 1420 Stout St. An all-suite, full service hotel.
  • Grand Hyatt Denver, 1750 Welton St (downtown), ☎ +1 303 295-1234, fax: +1 303 292-2472. 512 rooms with city views. Features the Hyatt Grand Bed, free 24 hour fitness facility, indoor pool, room service around the clock, well-lit work stations and high-speed internet access.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown, 1400 Welton St, ☎ +1 303 603-8000. Onsite restaurant, fitness center and complimentary high-speed Internet access.
  • Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th St, ☎ +1 303 436-1234, fax: +1 303 486-4450. 37-story downtown hotel, adjacent to the Colorado Convention Center. 1,100 guest rooms, with views of the mountain and downtown.
  • The Oxford Hotel, 1600 17th St, ☎ +1 303 628-5400. The historic hotel provides a romantic retreat located in the midst of Denver’s lively LoDo district.
  • Westin Denver Downtown, 1672 Lawrence St, ☎ +1 303 572-9100, toll-free: +1-866-716-8137. Four-diamond hotel in downtown Denver.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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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.

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This is version 45. Last edited at 13:28 on Sep 30, 19 by Utrecht. 103 articles link to this page.

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