How to get to Denver by train
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Denver is the capital of Colorado, as well as the most populous city in the state. With buildings dating back to the 19th century, Denver is considered one of the most exemplary cities of the Old West era in the United States.
Denver’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains makes it a preferred destination for young travelers seeking the thrill of the slopes during the day and the vibrant nightlife activities only an urban setting can provide. In fact, Denver is among the biggest party cities in the U.S. and one of the craft beer capitals in the country. In addition, thanks to the diverse local crowd, Denver’s restaurant scene offers top-notch options from various world cuisines.
If you’re looking for a more quiet time during your stay, head to one of the many unique museums in town such as the Denver Art Museum, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Arts, or the Molly Brown House Museum. Craving a feast to the eyes and some fresh air? Check out the spectacular Denver Botanic Gardens.
As the biggest city in the Mountain states, Denver is a busy travel hub. Even though the Denver airport is on the city’s outskirts, it is still easily accessible. If you are traveling to Denver by bus or train, you’ll be conveniently dropped off at Union Station in the heart of downtown Denver from where you can easily get anywhere in the city.
Image credit: Unsplash
Denver’s Union Station first opened in 1881, and houses some of the city’s best shops, bars, and restaurants, making it a popular destination for locals and travelers alike. There is even a seasonal farmers market at the station! But first and foremost, Union Station is the primary transport hub for Denver. The station is served by Amtrak trains, and intercity buses operated by Greyhound, Burlington Trailways, Jefferson Lines and Express Arrow. From Union Station, travelers can also easily access Denver International Airport on the A Line commuter rail.
Popular train stations in Denver:
Union Station - 1701 Wynkoop Street
What train companies travel to Denver, Colorado?
Located in Colorado, Denver is accessible by train from 201 other cities. You can choose from 318 daily scheduled trips when you search for trains to Denver on Wanderu. Amtrak usually has the most trains on any given day.
Looking for other ways to get there? Bus tickets to Denver are also available..
Train companies serving Denver
Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to hundreds of destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats with extra legroom, as well as several four-seat areas with tables in the middle. In addition, each car has a freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi and power outlets at every seat. There are also snack bars where you can purchase drinks or food during your journey.
Amtrak’s California Zephyr travels over 2,400 miles to connect Chicago to the San Francisco area. The full journey takes over 50 hours, so many passengers upgrade to a sleeper cabin for added privacy and comfort. The Zephyr is one of Amtrak’s most scenic routes, and the sightseer lounge’s panoramic windows offer the best views of the Rockies, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Great Salt Lake along the route.
Which train service has the best service to Denver?
Based on customers travel reviews, travelers who booked on Wanderu rave about traveling to Denver by train with Amtrak California Zephyr giving them a 3.9 rating out of 5.
Travelers also mentioned that Amtrak had the most comfortable train service to Denver taking into account the seats and amenities that Amtrak offers. They rate Amtrak a 4.4 out of 5 when it comes to just how relaxing and enjoyable their experience was onboard.
If you are looking to arrive to Denver punctually, travelers suggest that Amtrak has the best on time performance on their train schedules to Denver, rating them a 3.6 based on their on time arrivals.
Frequently Asked Questions
The main train station in Denver is Union Station - 1701 Wynkoop Street. As the busiest station, it has the most train arrivals, although some trains may make other stops in and around Denver.
Amtrak trains serve Denver from over 30 other cities, and while they don’t have a drop-off at Denver International Airport (DIA), it’s easy to get there once you’re in the city.
Nearly all trains drop passengers at Union Station downtown. From there, the best way to get to DIA by train is to board the University of Colorado “A Line” train, which departs every 15-30 minutes almost all day, from 3:15am to 12:30am. The train runs until 1:30am on Fridays and Saturdays. The ride is exactly 37 minutes and takes you to the Airport Transit Center, just a short walk from the main terminal.
- Compare train trips and prices on Wanderu.com or the Wanderu app.
- Select your preferred trip and checkout on Wanderu.
- Download or print your ticket from the train carrier.
- Show your ticket to board the train and find a seat.
- Sleep, read, work, or play on the journey to Denver.
- Deboard at your arrival station and begin your adventure in Denver.
How to Get Around Denver
Denver is a wonderful city to visit with or without a vehicle. Aside from being highly walkable, there are several transportation options for easily and conveniently getting around.
Denver has an expansive light rail system, with 12 individual lines and 78 stations scattered across 113 miles. The light rail takes you directly to most of the city’s popular attractions and landmarks, including Coors Field, Elitch Gardens theme park, and Empower Field at Mile High (home of the Denver Broncos NFL team), plus to many outlying suburbs such as Golden and Littleton.
Riding Denver’s trains couldn’t be easier, with affordable fares (just $3 for up to two zones and a variety of day or longer passes available), the option to bring a bike on board, and convenient station locations. Many stations also have free park-n-ride lots with additional access to local buses.
Denver’s bus system, the Regional Transportation District (RTD), is super convenient, affordable, and easy. RTD covers eight counties throughout the Denver metro area and has 125 separate bus routes with a whopping 9,000-plus stops. In Denver proper, there are hundreds of stops throughout the city and the main transportation hub is the Union Station Bus Concourse. Notably, you can also access Amtrak trains and the light rail from Union Station.
The RTD also operates a few free buses. Free MallRide runs up and down the 16th Street Mall, stopping at every block. Free MetroRide caters more to commuters, offering an express service from Union Station to Civic Center Station downtown with limited stops.
Finally, SkyRide buses run between Denver park-n-ride lots and the airport, with hourly departures throughout the day.
Rideshare Apps & Taxis
Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are widely available throughout the city. Taxis are not quite as common, but still easily available, especially at hotels, the airport, and downtown.
Denver is a walkable city and very easy to get around without a vehicle, but there are times when you just want access to a personal vehicle. This is especially helpful when it comes to exploring the Rocky Mountains and some of the amazing lakes just outside of Denver.
The city has dozens of rental car locations all over, plus a large rental car terminal at the airport. To lock in a great deal on a rental car, check the available options on Wanderu.
Must-See Places in Denver
When you step off the train in Denver, you step into a historic beaux-arts station and a Denver landmark in its own right, Union Station. Allow a little extra time or make a special trip to explore the station’s restaurants (some of the city’s best, in fact) and shops. On summer and fall weekends, there’s a local farmers’ market and recently, the entire upper level was converted into a luxury hotel.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Known as one of the best music venues in the world, Red Rocks should be at the top of your Denver itinerary. The stage is set right into a natural massive sandstone formation, giving the venue incredible acoustics and a picture-perfect scene. There are also several hiking and biking trails at Red Rocks, all open on non-event days from one hour before sunrise to one hour before sunset, so you can catch those magical golden hours at the start and end of the day.
16th Street Mall
This vibrant, tree-lined, pedestrian-only mall is a wonderful way to enjoy Denver’s perpetually sunny weather. There are dozens and dozens of shops, restaurants, and bars, plus frequent live music or street performances.
It’s no secret that Colorado loves its brews, and it’s why Denver is one of the country’s best craft beer cities. There are some big players based right in town, like Great Divide and Breckenridge Brewery, plus countless micro-breweries worth checking out. If you’re willing to head just outside of town, you’ll find global powerhouses including Coors, New Belgium, and Odell.
Colorado State Capitol
In the heart of downtown Denver, the Colorado State Capitol is one of the country’s most picturesque and elaborate Capitol buildings. It was designed to look like the U.S. Capitol and is topped with a shiny gold dome, a nod to Colorado’s Gold Rush history. It’s free to visit and tour, with tours running most weekdays.
USA Travel Tips for International Visitors
There are a few things that international visitors to the United States should keep in mind:
Currency: U.S. dollar ($)
Tipping: 15-20% is customary at restaurants & bars
Legal drinking age: 21 years old
Useful English phrases:
Denver Tips for Travelers
There are a few Denver-specific norms that visitors may not be familiar with.
Don’t be alarmed if you see people smoking marijuana out in the open. Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana back in 2012, so smoking is a big part of the Denver culture. You must be 21 or older to buy and use marijuana in all of its forms.
Most of the country prohibits the consumption of alcohol on the street and while driving. Denver is no exception, so only imbibe in bars, restaurants, or at home. You will likely be asked to show ID at bars and liquor stores if you look younger than 30.
Denver is known as the “Mile High City.” The high elevation may take a while to get used to, so take it easy on strenuous activity for the first few days if you can. The high elevation also means that you are closer to the sun, so layer on the sunscreen - especially in the summer!
Wanderu is the simplest way to book coach and train travel.
With just a quick search on Wanderu, you can compare coach and train schedules and prices from hundreds of travel companies in one convenient place to find the trip that works best for you. Wanderu’s simple checkout process makes it easy to book cheap coach and train tickets hassle-free and with no additional fees. Most importantly, as Wanderu is an official partner of all leading bus and train companies, we always have the best coach and train deals out there.