Aerial view of Denver skyline at sunset, where to stay in Denver without a car

Where to Stay in Denver Without a Car (By a Local)

👉 Jump to: Best Places to Stay in Denver Without a Car | Tips | FAQ

I’m a Denver local who can help you determine where to stay in Denver without a car! 

This guide covers several areas near key Denver attractions, perfect for first-time visitors. I also share places to stay for luxury travelers, families, and those interested in a more local feel.

If you want to dive in more, you can also reference Nate’s more general guide to where to stay in Denver.

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Best Places to Stay in Denver Without a Car

View inside the The Crawford Hotel overlooking the Union Station
The Crawford Hotel overlooks Union Station

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Denver without a car? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Denver without a car: 

Union Station / Lower Downtown (LoDo)

The author Laura Falin, posing for a photo at the Dairy Block in Lower Downtown
Dairy Block is a LoDo micro-district with great bars, restaurants, and shops — as well as The Maven Hotel

👉 Best Area For Tourists | ✨ Best Union Station/LoDo Hotels: The Maven Hotel at Dairy BlockThe Crawford HotelThe Oxford Hotel

Union Station and the LoDo neighborhood are the best places to stay if this is your first time visiting Denver. You’ll be near many of the city’s top restaurants and bars — several are found in the Dairy Block micro-district. Coors Field is also nearby, home of the Colorado Rockies baseball team. 

The Crawford Hotel is a splurge, but it’s quite an elegant experience staying at Union Station! Its light rail system can get you all over the Denver metro region. The Crawford also offers private, complementary auto transport within a 2-mile radius. The Hilton Garden Inn Downtown is just down the street and is a more affordable alternative.  

Pros of Staying in Union Station/LoDo Neighborhood:

  • The best way to see Denver for the first time
  • Walking distance to restaurants, nightlife, and sports stadiums 
  • Can get to most Denver attractions via public transportation, just a short rideshare trip to the rest

Cons of Staying in Union Station/Lodo Neighborhood:

  • Hotels can be pricey
  • Can be more noisy than other neighborhoods

📚 Union Station/LoDo Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Tourists
Google Map


Exterior view of the waterfront The Source Hotel in Denver
The Source Hotel has several on-site restaurants and retailers…
View inside the lobby of The Source Hotel
along with an industrial aesthetic

👉 Best Area For Nightlife | ✨ Best RiNo Hotels: Catbird HotelThe Ramble HotelThe Source Hotel

The River North Art District (RiNo) is just north of Union Station and LoDo. It has a funky, artsy feel and plenty of nightlife. Historic warehouses and factories are now decorated with colorful murals and street art. They house breweries, galleries, shops, and restaurants. 

The same features lie within The Source Hotel! It’s attached to a retail complex housing some of the best RiNo eateries. Visit Israeli restaurant Safta and The Woods rooftop for New American fare. 

Staying for a while? The Catbird Hotel is an extended-stay condo hotel. Check out its Playroom where you can borrow everything from an Instant Pot to a fly fishing rod. 

Pros of Staying in the RiNo Neighborhood:

  • Lots of great restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and music venues
  • Funky, artsy vibe
  • More of a local feel, fewer tourists 

Cons of Staying in the RiNo Neighborhood:

  • Farther from popular Denver attractions 
  • Not as well suited for families, more of a young professional vibe 

📚 RiNo Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Nightlife
Google Map

✨ Best HotelsCatbird HotelThe Ramble HotelThe Source Hotel

🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Denver

🍽️ Where to Eat Beckon ($$$$), Hop Alley ($$$), Mister Oso ($$)

🍸 Where to DrinkDeath & Co., Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Number Thirty Eight

🎟️ Top Attractions Denver Central Market, RiNo ArtPark, Forney Museum of Transportation, Plinth Gallery

Capitol Hill

Exterior view of the Patterson Inn in Denver
The exterior of the Patterson Inn
View inside the suite of Patterson Inn in Denver
One of several historic suites

👉 Best Area For Budget Travelers | ✨ Best Capitol Hill Hotels: Patterson InnThe Art Hotel DenverHampton Inn & Suites Denver-Downtown

The Capitol Hill neighborhood is, unsurprisingly, near Colorado’s State Capitol building. Touring this site is one of the best free things to do in Denver

In addition, Capitol Hill is near several of the city’s top museums. These include the Molly Brown House Museum and the Denver Art Museum. There’s also the History Colorado Center, which lies across the street from The Art Hotel Denver

Alternatively, consider staying at the Patterson Inn. It’s a historic (and perhaps haunted!) chateau with a complimentary happy hour each afternoon. 

Pros of Staying in Capitol Hill Neighborhood:

  • Accommodations can be cheaper than other areas of Denver
  • Walking distance to several Denver attractions
  • Easy access to public transportation
  • Lots of nightclubs, restaurants, and bars

Cons of Staying in Capitol Hill Neighborhood:

  • Can be more noisy than other areas  
  • This neighborhood sees a higher rate of crime; see our Denver safety guide for more information  

📚 Capitol Hill Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Budget Travelers
Google Map

Central Business District

A big blue bear statue peeking outside the Colorado Convention Center
The Big Blue Bear peers into the Colorado Convention Center (photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Conventions | ✨ Best Central Business District Hotels: Renaissance City Center HotelThe Slate DenverLe Méridien Denver Downtown

The Colorado Convention Center lies within the Central Business District. It hosts the Great American Beer Festival, one of the best events in Colorado, plus trade shows and company conventions. Le Méridien Denver Downtown is an excellent choice if you’re traveling for business. 

There are several restaurants and retailers along 16th Street Mall. CBD is also home to the Denver Performing Arts Center, the premier spot to see a show. 

Pros of Staying in the Central Business District Neighborhood:

  • Close to the Colorado Convention Center
  • Near top Denver attractions
  • Public transportation is easy to access 

Cons of Staying in the Central Business District Neighborhood:

  • Can be noisier than other neighborhoods 
  • More crowds than other areas 

📚 Central Business District Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Conventions
Google Map

Lower Highlands

View of the Little Man Ice Cream shop from the outside
Little Man Ice Cream is impossible to miss in LoHi (photo: jenlo8 / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Families | ✨ Best LoHi Hotels: Kasa Comma LoHi DenverFairfield Inn & SuitesHampton Inn & Suites Denver-Speer Boulevard

The Lower Highlands (LoHi) neighborhood is adjacent to LoDo, but it’s a quieter area and a great choice for families. There are parks with playgrounds and several great eateries. Little Man Ice Cream is one of the most fun places to go in Denver with kids! The Children’s Museum and Elitch Gardens amusement park are easy to get to by bike or a quick Uber ride. 

Kasa Comma LoHi Denver apartments have kitchens and laundry machines so they make a great home base for families!

Pros of Staying in LoHi Neighborhood:

  • Amazing restaurants and dessert shops
  • Relaxed, family-friendly vibe with parks 
  • Walking distance to LoDo attractions 

Cons of Staying in LoHi Neighborhood:

  • Not as centrally located as other neighborhoods
  • Hilly, so walking with tired kids can be challenging

📚 LoHi Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Families
Google Map

Cherry Creek

View of the kids cycling around the Cherry Creek Trail
Cherry Creek Trail runs through this affluent neighborhood

👉 Best Area For Shopping & Luxury | ✨ Best Cherry Creek Hotels: Halcyon HotelHyatt Place Denver Cherry CreekThe Jacquard, Autograph Collection

I wouldn’t recommend Cherry Creek to first-time Denver visitors. It’s far enough from downtown that you’ll need a rideshare to get to museums and attractions. 

But return travelers wanting a luxury vibe will love Cherry Creek. Visit for dining at stellar restaurants, shopping, and relaxing. The Jacquard, Autograph Collection hotel has free bikes for guests to use. There’s also an outdoor swimming pool that’s open during warmer months.

Pros of Staying in Cherry Creek Neighborhood:

  • Quiet, safe area
  • Restaurants and bars within walking distance
  • Lots of boutiques and one of Denver’s best malls 
  • Spas and luxury services within walking distance, possibly at your hotel 

Cons of Staying in Cherry Creek Neighborhood:

  • Farther from downtown Denver
  • More expensive than in other areas 

📚 Cherry Creek Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Shopping & Luxury
Google Map

✨ Best HotelsHalcyon HotelHyatt Place Denver Cherry CreekThe Jacquard, Autograph Collection

🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Denver

🍽️ Where to Eat Matsuhisa ($$$$), Cherry Cricket ($$), Olive & Finch ($$)

🍸 Where to DrinkForget Me Not, B&GC, Milwaukee St Tavern

🎟️ Top Attractions Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Cherry Creek Trail, local art galleries

Tips for Staying in Denver Without a Car

Scenic sunset view behind the airplane at Denver International Airport
if you have an early or late flight

Only Stay Near Denver International Airport to Catch a Flight

Denver International Airport is a half hour drive (without traffic) from downtown, and even farther from the mountains. You may want to book a night at The Westin attached to the Denver airport if you have a very early flight or land late at night. Otherwise, look for hotels in downtown Denver to make the most of your stay. 

Book a Rideshare to Red Rocks

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre features concerts, yoga classes, hiking, and the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. It’s a must-see but unfortunately, there isn’t a great way to get there via public transportation. 

There are shuttles from downtown Denver to Red Rocks before and after concerts. Book a rideshare service if you want to visit during the day. You could also book a Denver Foothills Explorer tour and spend a day in the beautiful foothills of the Rockies!

Research Your Routes

View of the railway at the Union Station in Denver
Catch a bus or train from Union Station

You may have to do a little more planning without a car! Be sure to check out Abigail’s advice on getting around Denver with or without a car

Check Out Budget Options

Some Denver transportation is free! The 16th Street Mall shuttle is free to ride. Also, RTD buses and light rail trains are free for youth 19 and under until August 2024. Seniors 65 and older, people with disabilities, and several other groups can get a discounted fare

Get a CityPASS

The author Laura Falin, sitting outside The Denver Art Museum with the iconic sculpture in the background
The Denver Art Museum is one place where you can get discounted passes with a CityPASS!

A Denver CityPASS is a great option for anyone planning to visit a few of Denver’s attractions. You can get discounted admission to the History Colorado Center, the Children’s Museum of Denver, the Denver Botanic Gardens, and more! 

Get Acclimated

Getting around by walking or riding a bike? Make sure you take the Mile High City’s altitude into account! It helps to spend a day acclimating when you first arrive. You’ll also want to drink plenty of water because the combination of altitude and exercise can be dehydrating! See our Denver travel tips for more info. 

Access the Mountains Without a Car

You can get to several Colorado mountain towns without a car! Take the Epic Mountain Express shuttle from Denver International Airport to Vail or Breckenridge. You can also reach Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park via shuttle or private tour

​​FAQs About Where to Stay in Denver Without a Car

What are the best areas to stay in Denver for first-timers?

Union Station and Lower Downtown (LoDo) are the best areas to stay for first-timers. You’ll be within walking distance of lots of great Denver restaurants, sports stadiums, and the performing arts center. 

What are safe areas to stay in Denver?

Cherry Creek is a very safe area to stay in Denver. Congress Park, about 3 miles west of downtown, is a safe neighborhood, as is the Highlands neighborhood. 

Can I get around Denver without a car?

You can get around Denver without a car. Downtown Denver has a light rail and bus system. There’s also a free shuttle that runs from Union Station to the Colorado State Capitol Building along 16th Street Mall. There are many bike and walking paths throughout the area, as well as rideshare services. 

What is the best part of Denver to stay in?

The best part of Denver to stay in is the Union Station/LoDo area. RiNo and Capitol Hill are also great neighborhoods. These areas will put you close to great restaurants, bars, shops, and Denver attractions. 

Is Denver walkable?

Denver is walkable, especially within the Union Station/LoDo area. There, you can walk to Coors Field, local bookstore The Tattered Cover, Union Station, and many great Denver bars and restaurants. 


Thanks for reading my guide on where to stay in Denver without a car! Be sure to check out our additional guide on places to stay in Denver for even more suggestions. 

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