Denver, the capital of Colorado and the most populous city in the country, sits one mile above sea level. Hence the name the Mile High City. Located just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is one of the best cities to live in the United States.
The low crime rate, convenient public transportation, cheaper cost of living, and the low unemployment rate make Denver the second-best city to live in the States. Although a pretty walkable city, there are plenty of convenient and affordable means of transportation that make getting around Denver a breeze. You will find any ride you can think of in Denver, starting from the rail system, taxis, and buses to horse carriages, pedicabs, and tuk-tuks.
But before you start your journey, don't forget to drop your belongings at one of our locations for luggage storage in Denver. Once you are all set, you can explore which way of commuting in Denver is the best for you and your family.
How to get around Denver by train
One of the best ways to get around Denver is hopping on the Airport rail and the light rail system. Bus and rail services in Denver, Colorado, are part of the Regional Transportation District or the RTD. The rail system comprises nine lines, making stops at more than 50 light rail stations across downtown Denver and its suburbs, including Boulder, Arvada, and Aurora, as some of the most visited.
With the light rail system having trains that run every day from 4 am till 2 am and fares as low as $3 for up to two zones locally, this rail system is by far the best option to get around the city.
The airport rail takes you from Denver International Airport directly to Union Station and back in about 40 minutes one way. You can get a ride on the trams every day, from 5 am to 8 pm. During these times the trains run every 15 minutes, and every half an hour outside these hours.
This line is known as the University of Colorado A Line and offers services to eight rail stations. While it is the best way to get downtown from the airport, for about $10.50 each way, it can be a little expensive for those traveling with big families.
You can get RTD passes in a few ways. You can either download the MyRide app and download all your fares and passes in no time or use the RTD Mobile Ticket App, which is more suitable for visitors. In addition, some light rail stations and transit hubs help you purchase fares and passes physically. You can find all the locations for physical purchasing on the RTD sales outlet page.
For passengers over 65, RTD discount fares apply. In addition, riders with disabilities and Medicare recipients are eligible for discounted fares. If you are traveling with children ages 6 to 19, further discounts apply to them too. Riding the RTD is free for all children under five and active-duty military personnel carrying ID.
How to get around Denver by bus
Like any city in the States, Colorado has a super convenient bus system, and it's the primary mode of public transportation for most Denverites. All buses and rails are part of the RTD ( Regional Transportation District) and operate nearly 24 hours every day, commuting to eight counties in the Denver metro area, stopping at 9,000 bus stops across the city.
Planning a trip around Denver using the RTD system is easy. There are a few ways to get the bus schedule and all bus-related information, and one of them is to visit RTD's website. Here you will find a Trip Planner, and you can search for bus stops, routes, fares, services, and more using their system map.
The RTD services also include special rides and services for passengers with limited mobility and free rides for active-duty military personnel. All buses in Denver have lifts. For up to $10.50 or so, you can take the SkyRide (bus service to and from Denver International Airport) at any of the Park-n-Rides, and the bus drivers assist you with the luggage.
SkyRide is a shuttle bus service that operates to and from Denver International Airport. It is a fast, convenient and affordable way of transportation. You can catch the SkyRide throughout the RTD service area at SkyRide stops and most Park-n-Rides.
They leave each stop on an hourly basis every day of the year. The cost is about $10.50 from anywhere in the RTD service area.
16th Street MallRide
Another popular RTD bus service is the MallRide or the Free 16th Street Mall Ride, which operates every day of the week, starting at 5 am with the last round trip leaving at 1 am from Union Station to Civic Center Station. It is one of the best rides every tourist needs to hop on. It is free and takes you all around downtown Denver to see the sights, fantastic shops, restaurants, theatres, and more!
How to get around Denver by car
Although most Denverites use public transport, many opt to drive around the city by car. Renting a car in Denver only comes in handy if you want to take a day trip to the Rocky Mountains or explore Fort Collins or whatever outdoor adventure you are planning to do on your trip to Denver. Other than that, you are better off without a car.
With the expensive and hard-to-find parking, renting a car in Denver is the least favorite option. But if you are determined to rent a car, you can do so at the Denver International Airport. The daily rates for a small car are up to $40, with weekly rates going up to $200. And the bigger the vehicle, the higher the rate. But if you want to save some money, you can always find great deals online or add rent a car option when booking your flight.
How to get around Denver by taxi
If you are in a rush, taxis are one of the best ways to get you to your destination fast. But this comes at a cost. So yes, while they are a convenient way to get you around Denver, be prepared to pay. With a meter starting at about $2.50 and adding another $2.30 or so with every additional mile, you better pray you don't get stuck in rush hour.
Uber and Lyft also offer their services in the city, but if you are looking for a taxi, look for Metro Taxi and Yellow Cab. The two are the major taxi companies in Denver and offer door-to-door service. While you can hardly see taxis on the street, you can hail one or call the taxi company in advance.
Pedi-cabs are mountain-bike-style tricycles pulling passenger cabs that you can see all around Denver, especially downtown and Lower Downtown or LoDo (a great place to stay). You can get a ride for as little as $2 per block or tip as you wish. This way of transport could be fun for the entire family or riding with your loved one.
Sit back and relax while you are being pedaled across town - what makes for a better day or night? The two primary pedicabs services are Mile High Pedicabs and Denver Pedicabs, with the first one being the oldest, pedaling since 1988.
If you have traveled in southeast Asia, chances are you have seen or ridden a tuk-tuk. This cool three-wheeled electric vehicle is a great way to get around town. They can carry up to six passengers and feature seat warmers and see-through windscreens for those chilly Denver nights.
The ride is excellent, but the price is even better. Most tuk-tuk drivers will take you anywhere around downtown Denver for about $3.00.
Riding Horse and Carriage
This is another excellent way to explore downtown and LoDo as it's fun for the entire family. Your kids especially will love the ride on a horse and a carriage. But it is also perfect for a romantic night out with your loved one.
Sit back and relax while the drivers take you around the most popular places in Denver. If you are interested in this type of transportation, you can find many carriage drivers along 16th Street Mall or book one online.
How to get around Denver by bicycle
Most residents in Denver enjoy leading a fit and healthy lifestyle, and it is no surprise to see many dedicated bike paths throughout the city, 85 to be more precise. If you enjoy long rides with a bicycle, go down the 15-mile paved path starting from Cherry Creek State Park, pass the South Platte River, all the way to Cuernavaca Park. Renting a bike can be done from any local bike shop.
Some hotels even offer complimentary bicycles to their guests. Also, many guided tours use bikes to get around. If you want to try an electric bike, you can rent one anywhere from one hour to a full day or longer.
However, you have to familiarize yourself with the regulations and the environment before your ride. For example, if you plan to ride outside the city, you can only use designated trails as bikes are not allowed to enter wilderness areas. But you can ride in state parks and state forests.
If you want to carry your bike on the RTD bus and trains, you can do so by downloading a free permit online. Also, before you set on your journey across Denver, make sure to download the Denver bike map.
Can I get around Denver by foot?
Unlike most big cities in the United States, Denver is a walkable city. Most tourist attractions are within walking distance from downtown Denver, so it is easy to explore the town on foot. Or you can take the light rail system to the closest rail station and then continue your walk.
Walking around the Mile High City, you can use the same paths that bikers use, just don't forget to keep an eye on the riders coming behind you and keep walking to the right of the lane. For those who want to carry a map of the city close by, you can download Denver's map for free on the official Visit Denver website. This way you will know which museum or tourist attraction is near you.
If you are determined to walk the city, you will need a good pair of shoes, a sweater, or a scarf, even an umbrella, as the weather in Denver, Colorado, can always surprise you.
Exploring the City Center and More
Finally, with so many options to get around this gorgeous city, there is no excuse to stay in your hotel bed, even on rainy days! The excitement of the downtown area can be seen by walking or hopping on a convenient bus. The RTD light rail is another terrific option, with over 50 stations in the city. From a day pass to a monthly pass, see this fantastic city through several great modes of transit.