Budget travel in Denver can be just as fun as enjoying the city on a large budget. You can enjoy some fabulous sights in the city without spending much. Art-lovers, families with kids, and even shoppers can enjoy the so-called Mile High City (yes, it’s nicknamed so because it’s exactly a mile high), without breaking the bank. 

    The city is known for its artistic and cultural offerings. You can enjoy free visits to some of its museums on certain free days. There’s also an art walk that you can join in for free through its popular art district. If you’re here in the summer, don’t miss the free concerts and movies in its public spaces. Here are some fun tips for travelling Denver on a budget, so you can spend more on other pleasures.


    Make use Denver’s free museum days

    A frugal way to admire art

    • Families
    • Budget

    Did you know that you can enjoy access to various museums in Denver on certain days of the week or year, without the usual admission fee? It’s possible, thanks to Denver’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, which distributes funds to support cultural facilities in Colorado’s 7 counties. Great spots you can visit include the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, which offers free days on different dates (contact them for further info). If you’re an art lover, the Denver Art Museum is free on the first Saturday of every month. 

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    Location: 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 303-370-6000


    photo by Sarbjit Bahga (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Try a brewery tour

    Taste beers or wines, for free!

    Colorado is home to a good variety of beer breweries and wine distilleries, most of which offer free tours and tastings. Coors Brewery is one of the most popular spots, which happens to be among the largest beer breweries in North America. You can reach it within a half-hour drive west from Denver, in Golden – one of the former gold rush towns at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The place has produced some of the country’s most popular beers since 1873.

    Location: 13th St & Ford Street, Golden, CO 80401, USA

    Open: Thursday – Monday from 10 am to 4 pm (Sundays from 12 pm to 4 pm), closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

    Phone: +1 800-642-6116


    photo by Eli Duke (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Tour the Colorado State Capitol

    A striking landmark in the heart of Denver

    • Budget
    • History

    Make your way to Denver’s Capitol Hill and admire one of the city’s most stunning landmarks. The Colorado State Capitol building features Corinthian-style architecture, with a copper-and-gold dome that dominates the city’s skyline. You can visit the statehouse for free, where you can learn about the history of the building and how the city’s General Assembly goes about. Note that tour dates are unavailable on national holidays and the dome is usually off-limits for self-guided tours. 

    Location: 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203, USA

    Open: Monday – Friday from 7.30 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 303-866-2604


    Enjoy a free City Park Jazz concert

    Spend an afternoon set to cool music

    • Families
    • Budget

    If you’re a fan of jazz and you’re visiting Denver in the summer, you can enjoy your Sunday afternoons in the city with various gigs near Ferril Lake in City Park. The free concerts allow you to pack a picnic, lay out a blanket on the spacious lawn, and soak up the grooves as the sun dips below Denver’s city skyline. The City Park Jazz events are great for families. The park itself offers a cool getaway from the hubbubs of the city.

    Location: 1700 N. York St., Denver, CO 80202, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 720-913-0799


    Hike up Red Rocks Park

    Stunning red cliffs with an amphitheatre

    • Photo
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Head 15 miles west from Denver to Jefferson County along Highway 6, and you’ll reach one of Colorado’s most interesting geological formations. It’s called Red Rocks Park, which is notable for its red stone cliffs, most of which is hike-able. The park spans over 700 acres wide between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, with palaeontological fields as well as pine forests and prairies in between. It’s also famous for its amphitheatre, which regularly draws concert-goers to world-class gigs. 

    Location: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465, USA

    Open: April – October daily from 7 am to 7 pm, November – March daily from 8 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 720-865-2494


    Skate at Denver Skate Park

    Big riverside playground for skaters in Denver

    • Families
    • Budget

    Skaters of all ages and skillsets bring their own skates, rollerblades, bikes, and skateboards daily for fun times at this big outdoor facility on the bank of Denver’s South Platte River. Denver Skate Park is open to the public and features plenty of bowls, ramps, and flat and rideable concrete surfaces throughout these 60,000-sq ft grounds. You must bring your own gear as there are no rentals available on site. By day, the park offers skyline views, and it’s also well-lit for late-night skating fun.

    Location: 2205 19th St, Denver, CO 80202, USA

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 720-913-1311


    photo by Xnatedawgx (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Go on art walks through Santa Fe Arts District

    Gallery and studio-filled drive in downtown Denver

    • Photo
    • Budget

    Denver’s Santa Fe Drive is a street that spans over 1.5 miles, north to south, in downtown Denver. It’s known for being lined with hundreds of art galleries and studios, big and small. Santa Fe Arts District offers its signature art walks every first Friday of the month. From 5.30pm to 9.30pm, the District becomes a vibrant place where you can view a huge variety of art on display. A free shuttle service makes exploring a breeze. 

    Location: Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80202, USA

    Open: First Fridays, from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +1 720-773-2373


    photo by Jeffrey Beall (CC BY 4.0) modified


    Hop on the Free MallRide

    Convenient transport through Denver’s shopping district

    • Shoppers
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Downtown Denver is a shopping paradise with an abundance of retail experiences. Visiting all its malls in a duration of your single visit would be a great feat. One of the hubs to hit is along 16th Street, with its namesake mall at the end of Larimer Square. To help you save more for dining and shopping, the Free MallRide bus services the route, which you can hop on and off at your leisure.

    Location: 1601 Chestnut Pl, Denver, CO 80202, USA

    Open: Monday – Friday from 5 am to 2 am, Saturday – Sunday from 6 am to 2.30 am

    Phone: +1 303-299-6000


    Picnic at Centennial Center Park

    One of the best city parks in Colorado

    • Families
    • Budget

    For families visiting Denver, this 11-acre city park is worth the half-hour drive south from Denver. This main public space of the city of Centennial is considered among the best in Colorado, featuring well-landscaped playgrounds for kids, including fun splash pads. There’s also a rope jungle gym, a massive multi-story fort, and rock climbing walls that even the most active of kids can enjoy. You can pack a picnic and enjoy plenty of shade where you can relax while watching the kids play.

    Location: 13050 E. Peakview Ave., Centennial, CO 80112, USA

    Open: May 1 – October 31 daily from 5 am to 10 pm, November 1 – April 30 daily from 6 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 303-325-8000


    Watch outdoor movies in a park

    Pack a picnic, bring your own popcorn

    • Budget

    Denver has a great collection of public parks and green spaces where outdoor entertainment highlights are scheduled throughout the year. Infinity Park regularly hosts outdoor summer movie events. It’s in Glendale, around 15 minutes’ drive southeast of downtown Denver. In the summer, you can expect its Monday Movie Madness series with movies that were picked by the community. Movies usually screen from 7.30pm. Founders Green Park on 29th Ave & Roslyn St also shows the latest blockbusters in its Movie on the Green series, which usually kick off in June.

    Location: 950 S Birch St, Glendale, CO 80246, USA

    Phone: +1 303-692-5799

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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