Many joke that Denver International Airport is actually in the neighboring state of Kansas. The white tent-clad airport may only be 25 miles from the Mile High City’s center, but it certainly can be a challenge to get downtown after touching down.
After hitting the tarmac, here’s how to get from the Denver airport to downtown.
Possibly the best way to get from the Denver airport to downtown is via The A Line commuter train. Like most public transit in the area, it is run by RTD. The train runs 23 miles between the airport and Denver Union Station, taking 37 minutes. A train departs every 15 minutes during peak travel times and every half hour during off-hours. Tickets cost $10.50 and can be purchased at machines at each station or on the RTD app.
To catch your train, you’ll head down to the Transit Center, located on the ground level outside the Westin and accessed at the south end of the terminal.
There are eight stations along the A Line
- Denver International Airport
- 61st and Peña Boulevard
- 40th Avenue and Airport Boulevard
- Central Park
- 40th and Colorado Boulevard
- 38th and Blake Street
- Denver Union Station
Several A Line stations offer overnight parking for cheaper rates than airport lots, including 61st and Peña; Central Park and 38th and Blake for those that want to park and ride.
Down at the Transit Center, you can also catch a bus. RTD routes AB, AT, 104L, 145X and 169L stop there and the Bustang, which can take you across Colorado.
The easiest path in the car to get from the Denver airport to downtown is by using a few major roads. First, you’ll leave the airport on Peña Boulevard; then you will merge onto Interstate 70 west until its junction with Interstate 25 south, which will take you toward downtown.
If you’re getting picked up by someone in a car, head toward level 4 of the West or East Terminal sides, and your friend or family member will meet you there, so long as they’ve followed the arrivals signs.
If you’re driving yourself, DIA has several different parking lots. Some can be reached with a walk; others require a short trip on a shuttle which will pick you up at the DEN Transit Center, located on the ground level outside the Westin Denver International Airport and accessed at the south end of the terminal. You can check the status of the often packed and sometimes filled airport parking lots here.
Shuttles to all 10 major car rental services can be found on level 5, island 4, outside doors 505-513 on the east side and doors 504-512 on the west side.
Lyft and Uber serve Denver’s airport, with pickup being on level 5 at island 5. Passengers requesting rides on those apps will follow signs for ground transportation then exit the terminal through doors 506-510 on the west side or 507-511 on the east side. That’s level 5 near baggage claim, and then you will head out to island 5 to meet your driver.
Officials say you should wait to request your ride until after you’ve claimed your luggage at baggage claim or have arrived on the fifth level.
Cabs are ready to get you from the Denver airport to downtown or other points across the metro area. There’s a zone system with a flat one-way fare that includes fees.
- Downtown (Zone A) – $56.03
- Denver Tech. Center (Zone B) – $62.03
- Boulder (Zone C) – $89.03
- Tower Road (Zone D) – $29.03
- Broomfield and Louisville Area: $71.03 (Yellow Cab only)
All other areas taken via taxi are based on a meter.
Taxicabs pickup and drop-off from Jeppesen Terminal is at level 5, island 1, outside doors 505, 507 and 511 on the east side and doors 506, 510 and 512 on the west.
There are bike racks on the east and west sides of the transit center or at the north end of the arrivals road, on either the east or west side.
It’s seemingly more likely that a cyclist would be bringing their bike with them for public transit rather than making the entire journey to the airport on two wheels.
Peña Boulevard is technically a cycling route in Denver, but the near highway conditions of the road makes it a challenging ride. Colorado Public Radio attempted to find somebody who had cycled to the airport and found the ride more novelty than convenience.
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