Getting to and from the city center at a major airport can take more time and money than you think.
When all you want to do is start your vacation, long waits for cabs, ride shares, and expensive drives to the city center can take the wind out of your sails.
It was easy and affordable to travel from the Denver International Airport to downtown Denver on the Denver Airport Train. It was so easy that it pushed Denver even higher on my visit-again- soon list.
If you have never ridden the Denver Airport Train and are wondering how it might make your next trip easier, here's how it works.
There is a guide to the Denver International Airport.
All you have to do is follow the signs to get on the train.
The main part of the airport is home to the baggage carousels and ground transportation, so if you follow the signs you will get to the Westin airport hotel area.
The Point's Gully is named after Summer HULL.
You will head down the escalator to the transit center if you go into the Westin.
You can see the ticket machine and the train platform at the ground level.
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Full-fare tickets are $10.50 and can be purchased either at the machine or in an app if you prefer.
Credit cards for trains are related.
Conspiracy theories about the airport.
Normally, the train runs every 15 minutes from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and every 30 minutes after that. It was running every 30 minutes all day long during my October ride because of some ongoing repairs.
It only took 37 minutes for us to arrive at Denver's Union Station, which was the seventh stop on the A Line.
There's a place to eat and drink at the airport.
The train was clean when I rode it. It wasn't crowded, but there were a number of people on it. We didn't have to share the two-by- two seats with anyone if we didn't want to.
There was a luggage rack near the train exit doors, as well as padded seats.
You can use the 16th Street MallRide hybrid shuttle buses, get a cab, or use a ride-sharing service if you want to go to the nearby attractions.
Depending on the day and the weather, it can be difficult to drive to the mountains from Denver, even if you have a car.
One of the reasons I was so excited at the simplicity of the Denver Airport Train was that it made the prospect of riding the Ski Train that departs from Union Station on weekends that much more appealing.
We could fly into Denver on a Friday, take the train to Union Station that night, stay downtown nearby at a hotel like The Crawford in Union Station or the nearby Rally Hotel, and then take the Ski Train from Union Station on Saturday morning.
There is a guide to the airport lounges.
You can hop the Ski Train back to Union Station in the afternoon, get the Airport Rail back to the airport, and fly home without having to deal with traffic, driving or car rentals.
Take the ski train to Winter Park just for the day and stay in Denver.
If you have a little time to kill inside Denver's Union Station, that's not a bad outcome. It's a great place to eat and drink while waiting.
The process of getting to and from the city to the airport can be difficult in some areas. I'm thrilled when I see a city that has figured it out and Denver is one of them.