Where to stay in Denver without a car: 6 Best areas

Hi guys, as usual, on my website, I cover topics for travelers without a car. Today, we will explore Denver and help you find the best places to stay in Denver without a car. 

I will share my recommendations for the top areas to stay in Denver without a car, along with a helpful map. Additionally, I’ll tell you where I stayed in Denver and suggest the best hotels in Denver for all budgets.

Denver, also known as Mile-High City, is the capital and largest city of the state of Colorado in the United States. It is located in the South Platte River Valley in the western part of the High Plains, just east of the Rocky Mountains.  

Denver is situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains, making it a popular gateway to outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, skiing, and mountain biking.

The city is home to numerous museums, art galleries, theaters, and music venues including The Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Denver has an extensive transportation network, including an international airport (Denver International Airport), light rail, and a system of major highways.

It is possible to get around Denver without a car. Denver offers a variety of transportation options, making it accessible without the need for a personal vehicle. Some ways to navigate Denver without a car include public transit, biking, walking, Uber and Lyft.

Denver has an extensive public transportation system operated by the Regional Transportation District (RTD). This includes buses and light rail services that cover a large part of the Denver metro area. You can use the RTD website or mobile apps to plan your routes and buy tickets.

Union Station is the transport hub of Denver where you can find light rail, regional/ local buses, Amtrak trains, the free MallRide (16th Street Mall shuttle) and free downtown MetroRide buses. 

Denver has a growing network of bike lanes and bike-sharing programs like B-cycle, which allows you to rent bikes for short trips. Electric scooters are a popular mode of transportation in Denver, and several companies offer scooter-sharing services.

The city has a walkable downtown area, and many neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly, making it easy to explore on foot. You can also use Services like Uber/Lyft, and traditional taxi.

Denver International Airport is well-connected to the city via the A Line commuter rail, making it easy to travel between the airport and Denver Union Station in the Downtown area without a car.

This airport rail line, aka University of Colorado A Line, also has a station at 38th & Blake station offering easy access to River North Art District (RiNo).  

Where to stay in Denver without a car?

The best areas to stay in Denver without a car are Union Station/Lower Downtown (LoDo), Central Business District (CBD), Capitol Hill, RiNo, Uptown, and Cherry Creek.

If you want easy access to public transportation and a wide range of dining and shopping, Union Station/LoDo and the CBD are strong choices.

Union Station/LoDo, without a doubt, is the best overall area for car-free travelers. It’s the transportation hub of Denver, with Union Station serving as a major transit center. You can easily access light rail, buses, and the free 16th Street MallRide shuttle.

Union Station/LoDo is known for its historic architecture, restaurants, and nightlife. Plenty of shops, restaurants, and attractions are within walking distance.

If you prefer a more eclectic or residential vibe, you can consider staying in Capitol Hill, RiNo (River North Art District), Uptown, and Cherry Creek. 

On my trip to Denver, I stayed at the Hotel Indigo Denver Downtown – Union Station. It has a central location, within walking distance to the central train station, Coors Field, and lots of nice restaurants nearby. Comfortable room and great breakfast.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Denver for car-free travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Denver
Map of the best areas to stay in Denver

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Denver, especially for travelers without a car. I’ll explain to you how to reach each area and how to get around. I’ll also provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Denver have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

6 Best areas to stay in Denver without a car:

1. Union Station/Lower Downtown (LoDo)

Union Station/Lower Downtown (LoDo) is an excellent base for car-free visitors to Denver, especially if you prefer a vibrant and centrally located neighborhood.  

Union Station is a major transportation hub in Denver. You’ll have easy access to the city’s light rail system, commuter trains, and buses, making it convenient to explore both the city and the surrounding areas without a car.

LoDo is known for its historic architecture, including beautiful brick buildings that have been repurposed into shops, restaurants, and lofts. It offers a unique blend of old and new Denver.

This area is home to a wide range of restaurants, bars, and breweries. You can enjoy diverse culinary experiences and a lively nightlife scene within walking distance of your accommodation.

Just a short walk away from LoDo is the 16th Street Mall, a pedestrian-friendly outdoor mall lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. You can hop on the free MallRide shuttle for easy transportation up and down the mall.

LoDo is close to cultural attractions like the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and the Colorado History Center. You can explore these museums and galleries without needing a car.

If you’re a sports fan, you’re in luck. Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies, is located in LoDo. You can catch a baseball game during the season. Additionally, the area hosts various events and concerts throughout the year.

The neighborhood is highly walkable, with many attractions, shops, and restaurants within easy reach. You can explore the area on foot, rent a bike from a B-cycle station, or use rideshare services for longer trips.

Don’t forget to take a stroll along the Platte River and enjoy the scenic views. The Millennium Bridge provides a great vantage point for capturing photos of the Denver skyline.

Best places to stay in Union Station/ Lower Downtown without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Rally Hotel at McGregor Square, 4-star hotel, situated on 20th Street, Downtown Denver, central location, easy access to Union Station, River Art District, and the stadium.
  • Luxury ($$$): Limelight Hotel Denver, great 4-star hotel, located on Wewatta Street, short distance from The Ball Arena, and 16th Street Mall. The hotel offers  free use of bicycles for guests which is great for car-free travelers.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Indigo Denver Downtown – Union Station, an IHG Hotel, 3-star hotel, conveniently located within a short walk from Union Station, easy access to Coors Field, Denver Performing Arts Complex, and Larimer Square.
  • Budget ($): Hostel Fish, great backpacker hostel, featuring an onsite bar and restaurant, within a short walk from Coors Field and 16th Street Mall.

2. Central Business District (CBD)

The Central Business District (CBD) is the heart of Denver’s downtown area, so you’ll have easy access to a wide range of attractions, restaurants, shops, and cultural sites. Many of Denver’s top destinations are within walking distance or a short ride away.

The CBD is well-connected to public transportation, including light rail and buses. This makes it easy to explore other neighborhoods and attractions in Denver without the need for a car.

If you’re in Denver for business or attending a convention, the CBD is likely a convenient choice. The Colorado Convention Center is located in this area, and many business offices are nearby.

The Civic Center area, just south of the CBD, is home to Civic Center Park, the Colorado State Capitol, and various cultural institutions like the Denver Art Museum. It’s a great place to explore art and history.

The CBD offers a variety of dining options, from casual to upscale restaurants. You can also find shopping areas like the 16th Street Mall and Larimer Square, where you can shop for clothing, gifts, and more.

The CBD is known for its entertainment options, including theaters, music venues, and bars. You can catch a show, live music performance, or enjoy a night out without venturing far from your accommodation.

In addition to the Denver Art Museum, you’ll find other cultural attractions like the Clyfford Still Museum, the History Colorado Center, and the Byers-Evans House Museum nearby.

If you’re a sports enthusiast, the CBD is not far from sports venues like Coors Field (baseball) and the Ball Arena (basketball and hockey). You can catch a game during the season.

The CBD can be quite busy during the workweek, but it tends to quiet down on weekends. It’s a great choice for those who want to be in the heart of Denver’s urban scene, with easy access to all that downtown has to offer. 

Best places to stay in Denver Central Business District without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver, great 5-star hotel located on Champa ST in Denver CBD, easy access to Denver Performing Arts Complex, Pepsi Center, and Larimer Square
  • Mid-range ($$): Grand Hyatt Denver, popular 4-star hotel, located within a short walk from  16th Street Mall, and  Colorado Convention Center.
  • Budget ($): Homewood Suites- Denver Downtown Convention Center, 3-star accommodation, located in the heart of Denver, a short walk from the United States Mint at Denver.

3. Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill has several accommodations for budget travelers and backpackers. It is adjacent to the CBD, so it’s close to many downtown attractions and amenities. You can easily walk or take public transportation to explore downtown Denver.

It is known for its historic architecture, including beautiful Victorian and Queen Anne-style homes. The neighborhood’s streets are lined with tree-covered sidewalks, creating a picturesque setting.

The neighborhood is home to the Colorado State Capitol, which you can visit for free tours and to see the Mile High Marker on the steps. 

Additionally, you can explore the Molly Brown House Museum, Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Dora Moore School, and the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.

Capitol Hill has a lively nightlife scene with a variety of bars, restaurants, and clubs. You’ll find options for different tastes and budgets, from casual eateries to upscale dining establishments.

The neighborhood has a thriving arts scene, and you can often find live music events, art galleries, and small theaters showcasing local talent. Venues like the Fillmore Auditorium and Ogden Theatre are nearby.

Capitol Hill is close to Cheesman Park/Denver Botanic Gardens and Civic Center Park. These areas are great for picnics, jogging, or simply enjoying some outdoor relaxation.

The neighborhood boasts a mix of vintage shops, boutiques, and specialty stores. It’s a great place to explore and discover unique items.

Best places to stay in Denver in Capitol Hill without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Patterson Inn, 4-star accommodation, located in Capitol Hill, within a few mins walk from the Colorado State Capitol, Governor’s Park, and Governor’s Mansion.  
  • Budget ($): 11th Avenue Hostel, popular backpacker hostel in Capitol Hill, great location, easy access to bus to Downtown Denver and Union Station.
  • Budget ($): Ember Hostel, good value for money accommodation, great location close to Downtown Denver.

4. RiNo (River North Art District)

RiNo is known for its vibrant and ever-evolving street art scene. The neighborhood is filled with colorful murals, sculptures, and art installations that make it a visual feast for art enthusiasts.

RiNo is close to downtown Denver. You can easily access downtown attractions, including Coors Field, by walking or using public transportation.

RiNo district hosts First Friday Art Walks, a monthly event where galleries open their doors to the public, offering a chance to meet artists and see their work.

The neighborhood features a mix of eclectic boutiques, specialty shops, and craft stores, making it a great place to shop for unique and handmade goods.

RiNo is often referred to as Denver’s “brewery district.” You’ll find a plethora of craft breweries, cideries, and distilleries, making it a paradise for beer and spirits aficionados.

The neighborhood offers a diverse range of dining options, from trendy restaurants to food halls and food truck gatherings. RiNo is a food lover’s dream, with many eateries featuring creative menus and unique dining experiences.

RiNo has a lively music scene, with venues like the Mission Ballroom and Larimer Lounge hosting concerts and live performances. You can enjoy local and touring bands in intimate settings.

The neighborhood’s industrial past is evident in its architecture, with repurposed warehouses and factories adding character to the area. It’s a great place for urban exploration and photography.

RiNo is home to several parks and outdoor spaces, including the scenic RiNo Promenade, where you can relax, have a picnic, or take a leisurely walk.

The neighborhood hosts the Crush Walls street art festival and the RiNo Music Festival, providing plenty of entertainment options.

Best places to stay in Denver in RiNo without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Catbird Hotel, 4-star hotel located in the RINO district, a short walk from a restaurant, bars, and train from the airport.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Source Hotel, 4-star hotel located on Brighton Boulevard, close to Great Divide Brewing and public transportation, which is a bonus for car-free travelers.
  • Budget ($): Vīb Hotel by Best Western Denver RiNo, 3-star hotel located within walking distance from a Grocery store, restaurants and bars.

5. Uptown/ North Capitol Hill

Uptown/North Capitol Hill offers a comfortable and charming place to stay with easy access to both downtown attractions and the natural beauty of City Park. It’s a suitable choice for those who prefer a quieter neighborhood but still want to be close to the heart of Denver.

It is a predominantly residential neighborhood with tree-lined streets and historic homes, providing a more relaxed and residential atmosphere compared to downtown Denver.

The neighborhood is adjacent to Denver’s City Park, one of the largest and most beautiful urban parks in the city. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll, picnics, paddle boating, or visiting cultural attractions like the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Denver Zoo.

Best places to stay in Denver in Uptown without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$):  Hampton Inn & Suites Denver, 3-star hotel, located on Sherman Street, Capitol Hill, 10 mins walk from Colorado State Capitol, easy access to Downtown Denver.
  • Mid-range ($$): Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 4-star hotel located very close to the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, easy access North Capitol Hill and Downtown Denver. 

6. Cherry Creek

Cherry Creek provides a more upscale and relaxed experience. Cherry Creek is renowned for its shopping scene. The Cherry Creek Shopping Center features a wide array of high-end boutiques, department stores, and luxury brands. 

The neighborhood offers a variety of dining options, including upscale restaurants, bistros, and cafes. You can enjoy fine dining experiences and diverse cuisine choices.

Cherry Creek North is a charming district with tree-lined streets, boutique shops, art galleries, and outdoor cafes. It’s a great place for leisurely strolls and discovering local art.

Cherry Creek is home to the Cherry Creek Arts District, where you can explore contemporary and traditional art collections.

The neighborhood is situated near the Cherry Creek Trail, a scenic urban pathway that’s perfect for walking, running, and biking. It provides access to Denver’s extensive trail system.

Nearby parks like Pulaski Park offer green spaces for picnics and relaxation. The neighborhood also has pocket parks where you can unwind.

While not within the neighborhood itself, Cherry Creek State Park is a short drive away and offers outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, boating, and swimming.

Best places to stay in Denver in Cherry Creek without a car:


In conclusion, Union Station/ Lower Downtown, Central Business District, Capitol Hill, RiNo (River North Art District), Uptown, and Cherry Creek are the best places to stay in Denver without a car. These areas offer easy access to public transportation, restaurants, and attractions.

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas that you can stay during your car-free trip to Denver. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday! If you have any other questions or comments, please let me know in the form below!

If you travel to Denver as a family, I recommend reading this: Best areas to stay in Denver with kids. If you are new to Denver, you can also check this: safe areas to stay in Denver for first time.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality travel guides.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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