Downtown Denver is abuzz with activity, both night and day. Go kayaking on the Platte River, shop at the downtown boutiques and malls and revel in the lively atmosphere in the latest wave of hip bars and brewpubs.

The downtown district has long been the core of the city of Denver. It is still the beating heart of the state capital. It’s also the city’s busiest shopping quarter. Stroll down the mile-long 16th Street Mall and browse the stores in the Denver Pavilions, a retail and entertainment complex that also features several dining options as well as a movie theater.

For some culture, stop at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, which is housed in a striking contemporary building that resembles a glass box. Inside, it hosts ever-changing exhibits and features a rooftop café garden.

Look for the golden-domed Colorado State Capitol building on the southern edge of downtown. Watch as tourists pose on the front staircase, where one step is inscribed with the words: “One mile above sea level.”

Follow the 16th Street Mall all the way to the north end to reach Commons Park, a pretty green space along the river. Explore the neighboring historic Lower Downtown (Lodo) district, known for its elegant Victorian architecture. The historic buildings feature trendy bars, restaurants and boutiques. It’s particularly well-known for its brewpubs, some of which feature on the downloadable Denver Beer Trail. While here, watch a baseball game at the iconic Coors Field and visit the neoclassical Union Station, a renovated, fully functioning train station housing independent stores, a hotel and restaurants.

Free parking in Downtown Denver is very hard to find on weekdays, so it’s better to travel on foot or by public transportation. Use light rail or RTD buses to get downtown from the suburbs. Once here, ride the free 16th Street Mall shuttle. It’s also possible to get around using Denver’s B-cycle bike-sharing program.

Known for

Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

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Top Hotels in Downtown Denver

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
4 out of 5
650 15th St., Denver
$290/night
Aug 1 - Aug 2
4.6/5Wonderful! (5,064 reviews)

"The hotel was great, they were just doing some work in the lobby."…"

Reviewed on Jul 17, 2019

Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
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Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
4 out of 5
1550 Court Place, Denver
$127/night
Aug 2 - Aug 3
4/5Very Good! (2,093 reviews)

"I liked everything perfect location everything u need is only walking distance away"…"

Reviewed on Jul 17, 2019

Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
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Grand Hyatt Denver
4.5 out of 5
1750 Welton St, Denver
$110/night
Aug 11 - Aug 12
4.5/5Wonderful! (3,612 reviews)

"Great location. Amazing breakfast. Beautiful facility. Great location"…"

Reviewed on Jul 18, 2019

Grand Hyatt Denver
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Hilton Denver City Center
4 out of 5
1701 California St, Denver
$142/night
Aug 16 - Aug 17
4.3/5Excellent! (1,438 reviews)

"The hotel and staff were great. Elizabeth at check in was super friendly and very accommodating. I would definitely stay here again and highly recommend this hotel."…"

Reviewed on Jul 17, 2019

Hilton Denver City Center
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Holiday Inn Express Denver Downtown
3 out of 5
1715 Tremont Place, Denver
$115/night
Aug 1 - Aug 2
4/5Very Good! (726 reviews)

"I liked the location but the service at the hotel was ok."…"

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2019

Holiday Inn Express Denver Downtown
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Crowne Plaza Denver
3.5 out of 5
1450 Glenarm Place, Denver
$140/night
Aug 18 - Aug 19
4.2/5Very Good! (892 reviews)

"Location was excellent. Very friendly staff particularly Farah the bartender."…"

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2019

Crowne Plaza Denver

Popular things to do in Downtown Denver

Red Rocks Amphitheater
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Red Rocks Amphitheater

This legendary rock concert venue boasts outstanding acoustics thanks to soaring rock walls that hug the stage. 

Denver Zoo
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Denver Zoo

This zoo started with a single bear. Now, it’s an award-winning tourist destination housing more than 3,500 animals.

Denver Art Museum
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Denver Art Museum

This eclectic museum is impressive not only for its vast collection of artwork but as an architectural masterpiece.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
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Denver Museum of Nature and Science

You’ll find everything from Ancient Egypt, to dinosaurs, to space travel in a mix of hands-on and informative exhibits. 

Denver Botanic Gardens
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Denver Botanic Gardens

Designed as an urban oasis, you’ll find a peaceful respite among the hustle and bustle of the Mile High City.

Elitch Gardens Theme Park
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Photo provided by Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park

Elitch Gardens Theme Park

This theme park in downtown Denver has been a family-friendly playground for over a century.

Top activities in Downtown Denver

Rocky Mountain National Park Full-Day Tour
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Rocky Mountain National Park Full-Day Tour

$129

Make the most of Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine with a journey into the beautiful Rocky Mountains. This tour shows off some of our favorite sights, with a comfortable ride in an upscale vehicle and plenty of time to stop and admire the incredible views.

6-Zipline Adventure in the Rocky Mountains
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6-Zipline Adventure in the Rocky Mountains

$106

OPEN YEAR ROUND! Ride down Colorado’s longest and fastest ziplines ranging from 850ft to over 1,900ft long, with speeds up to 60mph and up to 250ft above ground! Our zipline course is located in a beautiful nature park nestled in the Rocky Mountains only 30 minutes from Denver.

Downtown Denver Food Tour
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Downtown Denver Food Tour

$63

Come see why Zagat just ranked Denver the 4th Hottest Food City in America. Explore the city's best dining and learn fun and unique history from the Mile High City on this signature downtown Denver food tour.

Denver Haunted Pub Walking Tour - LoDo
Image for Denver Haunted Pub Walking Tour - LoDo

Denver Haunted Pub Walking Tour - LoDo

$25

Experience a haunting mixture of ghostly sights and pub crawling on this walking tour of Denver. Explore haunted bars and buildings and listen to creepy stories about the city's former red light district while sipping on a drinks at 4 local pubs.

Denver Foothills Explorer
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Denver Foothills Explorer

$69

Overview Explore Colorado in its greatest beauty on a half day tour to Red Rocks Amphitheater and the foothills of the Rockies. Disconnect for a few hours and enjoy driving along the scenic Lariat Loop in an upscale vehicle that has panoramic views for miles.

Guided Clear Creek Intermediate Whitewater Rafting Tour
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Guided Clear Creek Intermediate Whitewater Rafting Tour

$64

*Most popular choice for parties whose members are all 13 years of age or older! Put your whitewater rafting skills to the test with this guided intermediate run on Colorado's beautiful Clear Creek. Overflowing with class III and occasional class IV rapids, this 8-mile (12.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Downtown Denver

Epic ways to ring in the Denver solstice
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Epic ways to ring in the Denver solstice

Chasing the sun in the Mile High City

The weirdest winter festivals in Colorado
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The weirdest winter festivals in Colorado

Celebrating the wacky during the cold-weather months

What’s new in Denver
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What’s new in Denver

Checking out new spots for eating and overnighting in the Mile High City

Other neighborhoods in Denver

Cherry Creek
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Trover photo by Ryan Coleman

Cherry Creek

Shopping, Dining, Rivers

Cherry Creek is a welcoming neighborhood with many tasty options for restaurants and coffeehouses. Many visitors come to enjoy the natural beauty of the riverfront, while others visit for the local shopping.

LoDo
Image for LoDo

LoDo

Urban, Bars, Dining

A vibrant neighborhood, LoDo offers a variety of options for bars and restaurants. In addition to its architecture, the neighborhood has many charming qualities. You can satisfy your cultural palate with the shopping and live music.

Stapleton
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Trover photo by Dan Rose

Stapleton

Shopping, Sports, Cafes

Stapleton is a welcoming neighborhood.

Denver West
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Trover photo by Jim

Denver West

Mountains, Shopping, Tours

Denver West is a welcoming neighborhood that's popular for its restaurants and bars. Many visitors come to enjoy the natural beauty of the mountain views, while others visit for the local shopping.

Capitol Hill
Image for Capitol Hill
Trover photo by Holly Russell Godard

Capitol Hill

Dancing, Live Music, Architecture

The Capitol Hill neighborhood welcomes visitors with convenient options for bars. The neighborhood's architecture and natural features are just a couple of its charming qualities. Broaden your horizons with the local museums.

North Westminster
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Trover photo by Monika Reyes

North Westminster

North Westminster is a neighborhood that welcomes all visitors.