Denver has become a popular place for tourists and locals alike to spend time and explore in the center of Colorado. The fast-growing city near the mountains has a lot to offer regardless of when you choose to visit – major sports teams, world-renowned theater productions, impressive museums, a great dining scene, and more. But what if you’re on a budget and can’t spend a ton of money on – well, all of that?
You’re in luck. Fortunately, Denver is a place you can easily explore on a budget. While many of the city’s activities do come with a cost, there are plenty of things to see and do that don’t cost much at all – if anything. Here are just a few of my favorite cheap or free things to do in Denver:
Walking around a city is often the best way to really see what it’s all about. For a great way to soak up some of Denver’s best sights, spend some time exploring on foot. The 16th Street Mall is a well-known pedestrian-only street, lined with loads of different shops and restaurants. Home to many street performers and a favorite spot for tourists, it’s a great spot to people-watch, and the free tram service that runs the length of the street is a great way to get from Point A to Point B. However, there are many other parts of Denver that are highly walkable, including Cherry Creek, RiNo, and LoDo.
Visit the U.S Mint
Most of us don’t spend much time wondering where our money comes from. Locals and visitors alike are often surprised to learn Denver is home to a U.S. Mint that still produces coins for circulation! The Mint offers six guided tours each day, that are entirely free to the public. All you need to do is show up on time and grab your spot in line. You’ll learn about the history of the Mint, the process that goes into making the coins you use today, and more.
Tour The Hammonds Candy Factory
If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss a chance to tour Denver’s very own candy factory. You’ll learn all about the history of candy, and you’ll get to see how some of your favorite sweet treats are made up close, including lots of classics like lollipops, candy canes, and ribbon candy. These tours are only offered during the week, and they’re quick – only 30 minutes long – so they’re the perfect way to fill a little gap in your itinerary.
See What’s Happening in Hudson Gardens
Situated just south of downtown Denver in Littleton, Huston Gardens is a stunning outdoor space where you’re almost guaranteed to find something going on. During the warmer spring and summer months, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy some nature, sit down for a picnic lunch, or admire the sculptures scattered throughout. When the weather cools, it becomes a great destination to photograph the fall foliage or admire twinkling Christmas light displays.
There’s so much to see and do in Denver for the budget-savvy traveler. Incorporate a few of these items into your itinerary if you’re hoping to explore the city without blowing your budget, and you won’t be disappointed.