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What to see and do in Denver

The Red Rocks in Colorado, pictured on a bright sunny day with a body of water in the foreground

Best time to travel

The best time to fly to Denver is from June through October, when visitors can enjoy summer days on the hiking trails and longer days for driving through the mountain passes.

Although the summer months do get hot, you can always escape to the mountains to cool off.

If you want slightly cooler days, we recommend visiting in the shoulder seasons that run from April to May and September to October. This is the perfect time to avoid the crowds, find affordable accommodation, and book cheap flights to Colorado.

Whenever you decide to visit, flights to Denver from the UK and Ireland are made possible with Icelandair. You also have the option to add a stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.

Things to do in Denver, Colorado

When it comes to things to do in Denver, you’ll be spoilt with a plethora of nature and cultural activities. From hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park to visiting the Denver Centre of the Performing Arts, there is something for everyone.

Visit Denver Art Museum for a wide variety of exhibitions spread out over seven floors. The museum's Hamilton Building is an angular modern masterpiece. Inside, exhibits include one of the largest American Indian art collections in the USA.

There is also some fun and head-turning public and street art scattered around downtown, making this city feel like a cultural hub.

Another of Colorado's highlights is taking in a concert at Red Rocks, 15 miles west of Denver. This natural amphitheater sits between towering red sandstone monoliths and is one of America’s most iconic music venues.

A performer takes to the stage at the Red Rocks amphitheater in Denver, with a large crowd watching
A family of four stand at the top of a ski slope in Denver, holding hiking poles and looking out over the stunning vistas

Outdoor activities in Colorado

From the airport, a 20-minute drive takes you to Colorado Springs, the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, for a variety of outdoor activities.

In summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, rafting, kayaking, fishing, and mountain climbing, plus excellent golf courses. Meanwhile, come winter, skiing and snowboarding is enjoyed by travellers and locals alike.

Colorado boasts some of the world’s finest ski resorts, and within a two-hour drive from Denver you'll find winter wonder at places like Keystone, Breckenridge, and Winter Park. Press a little further west and you'll reach the jewel in the crown: Vail. This is the state's largest resort, and one of its most celebrated.

There are countless other super-scenic natural attractions. To reach road-tripping nirvana in summer, drive North America’s highest paved road up to the 14,264ft summit of Mt Evans. To head onwards to Grand Junction, rejoin Route 70 and head west.

Eating and drinking in Denver

Just northwest of downtown is the historic neighbourhood known as LoDo (Lower Downtown). Many buildings here have been restored and the now-revitalized area is filled with fine restaurants, bars, boutiques, and galleries situated alongside a bumper crop of breweries and brewpubs.

LoDo's Union Station Building dates from 1914, and it's been restored to house several restaurants, bars and even a hotel. It's a great place to check out the works of some of the city's best chefs.

Chic Highlands is another area for dining and drinking fun. Stop by the Avanti food hall, a culinary collective that brings together seven different restaurant operators.

Alternatively, under blue skies it's hard to beat a picnic at either the view-enriched City Park or the majestic Botanic Gardens.

A stunning scene of City Park in Denver, with lush greenery in the fore of the picture and red brick buildings in the background

FAQs about travel to Denver

Helpful information for travellers to Denver, Colorado

How long are flights from Europe to Denver?

Icelandair offers several flights to Denver from the UK and other European cities every single day. Where you are flying from will depend on how long the flight will be. For example, Glasgow to Denver flights can take around 12 hours. Add layover time, and the trip to Colorado can take a little longer.

Which Denver airport should I fly to?

Denver has two main airports – Denver International (DEN) and Denver Arapahoe Co (APA). DEN is the main airport that services the city and the greater Front Range Urban Corridor. It's easy to get from here to downtown Denver on the airport rail line.

Several airlines fly to Denver Arapahoe Co Airport (APA), but Icelandair offers flights to Denver International Airport (DEN), making your trip to downtown Denver that bit easier.

Do you need a visa to visit Colorado?

If you’re travelling from the UK, you’ll need a visa to get into the US. We recommend checking the US State Department website to see which type of visa you need and how to get it before booking a flight ticket to Colorado.

What’s the best way to get around Denver?

Thanks to its layout, Denver is a walkable city and is easy to get around. Many of its most popular things to do can be found within walking distance of one another in the downtown area.

There are taxis and uber services available throughout the city, and it has an excellent light rail and bus system if you would prefer to use public transport.