6

If one has a 5-hour layover in Denver, is there enough time to go to the city and wander around for some time? Or is there a better way to spend those 5 hours? The flight is domestic.

  • My carry-on bag ended up being checked at the gate, so I felt obliged to go to the city. I spend around 1h 30m around the Union Station, and when I returned, I had 1 hour before boarding after going through security. Also, I've seen some people returning to the airport offer their 1-day passes for free to those near the vending machines (I got a ticket in this way as well). Otherwise a 1-day pass costs $10.50. The way tickets get checked is an officer goes through the train and asks to show the tickets. There are no automated systems like in subways. – user77409 Jun 2 at 18:28
  • Also, I've seen a huge "Luggage Storage" sign near the security point entrance, but it seems it was closed. – user77409 Jun 2 at 18:30
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Not much. You'll have to take a train (RTD A line) to downtown (Union Station). It is about a 40 minute trip with trains at intervals of 15 or 30 minutes depending on the time of day. Plus, it takes some time to get from your gate to the train station (there is an underground people mover). On the return, you'll have to allow time to go through security, which can be long. Also, I'm not sure that there is any place to store your luggage during the journey. (There are conflicting reports online as to whether storage is available; I've never checked it out myself.)

Taxi or car would not be very much faster, and a lot more expensive.

I think you'd be lucky to be able to spend 1 hour in the vicinity of Union Station. It's a moderately interesting city center, but I don't think there is anything really iconic that you'd be able to do or see in that time.

If you stay within the airport (airside), there is a fairly good selection of food, drinks, etc, including some bars with local beer. Note that you can move between the A,B,C concourses via the underground people mover (but don't go to the "terminal / ground transportation / baggage claim" stop, as you will find yourself landside and have to go back through security). The airport has free wifi which is pretty fast, and you can usually find a quiet place to sit (I like the upstairs waiting area of the C concourse). You can get some exercise by walking the long concourses - the B concourse is nearly a mile from end to end and must surely be one of the longest buildings in the US.

  • 2
    Yep. Definitely not worth the time & hassle just to bum around LoDo for an hour. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas May 23 at 7:41
  • OTOH, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge looks awesome – Strawberry May 23 at 12:34
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    @Strawberry - It's a bit of a bleak place, but good to go round in a car with a long wildlife lens on your camera. Doubt it'd be worth the car hire for a 5 hour layover though, so you're probably reduced to the hikes (I've not tried them). – AndyT May 23 at 15:52
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    @AndyT: Renting and returning a car at the Denver airport would be quite time-consuming, so OP probably wouldn't have time for that anyway. – Nate Eldredge May 23 at 16:36
  • I would suggest staying at the airport and heading directly to Steve's Snappin Dogs in Terminal B Gate 24, since the Denver airport is so dang far away from anything cool. – AussieJoe Jul 11 at 3:28

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