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Moving to Denver

Those moving to Denver will find that the ‘Mile High City’ is energetic, dynamic and welcoming to new arrivals. Denver residents are not only treated to panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains but get to enjoy a great climate of moderate temperatures and abundant sunshine all year round.

Living in Denver as an expat

Job opportunities are plentiful and varied in Denver and the city has a thriving business climate. There is a wide range of industries that play a prominent role in Denver’s economy, including aerospace, mining, IT, healthcare and financial services. New arrivals taking up employment in Denver will find that companies in the city are willing to invest in their workforce and there are excellent opportunities for further education and training.

Denver is an incredibly diverse city, from the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the downtown area to tight-knit suburban communities. There's a neighbourhood to suit every type of newcomer. Accommodation can be a challenge to find and may be on the expensive side but those who have done their research should be able to find a home that suits their budget and hopefully their lifestyle. 

New arrivals in Denver won't need to worry when it comes to healthcare as the city is home to some of the country’s finest hospitals and medical research facilities. That said, getting around in Denver may be an issue for new arrivals without a car. Transport options are limited, but they are efficient and the road network is extensive and well-maintained. 

Cost of living in Denver

The cost of living in Denver is above the national average but it's far lower than that of other major US cities, such as New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. Accommodation in Denver is expensive due to high demand but other everyday expenses are reasonable, including groceries, utilities and transport. 

Expat families and children

Denver is a family-friendly city. Not only will kids in Denver have plenty of opportunity to spend time outdoors with their families in the city's parks and the surrounding mountains, they will also benefit from access to the city's good schools. Parents will find that there are plenty of education options open to their children, including public, charter, magnet, private and international schools.

Climate in Denver

Denver has a semi-arid climate, with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. Although the daytime temperatures are warm for most of the year, they plummet at night. Spring brings the wet weather, although this generally doesn't last long. Denver residents enjoy up to 300 days of sunshine each year, plenty of time to take in the city's range of outdoor spaces and activities. 

There are many reasons to move to Denver, but its major drawcard is its lifestyle. Denver has one of America's healthiest and most active communities. The city and its surroundings offer residents the opportunity to enjoy stunning hiking and mountain biking trails, snow skiing in winter and endless attractions in the city itself, such as the many parks, museums and art galleries. New arrivals in Denver will find there's no shortage of activities and events to keep them entertained.

Weather in Denver

Denver experiences a semi-arid climate. The weather is heavily influenced by the Rocky Mountains to the west, and can be unpredictable. Winters in Denver tend to be cold with temperatures averaging between 17°F (-8°C) and 46°F (8°C). Snow is common in December and January, which makes Denver ideal for winter sports enthusiasts.

Summers in Denver are hot and dry. The temperatures range between 50°F (10°C) and 89°F (32°C). Rainfall is low and days are cloudless and sunny. The relatively mild weather is partly due to the city's altitude – 5,280 feet above sea level.

Late spring and early summer bring massive storms to the Mile High City. Fronts, moisture and strong winds all build together creating thunder and hailstorms that can sometimes cause severe damage.

 

Pros and cons of moving to Denver

Denver is quickly increasing in popularity and, with so much on offer, it’s no wonder. As with any city, there are downsides to life in Denver. Although these are far outweighed by the pros, new arrivals should still be prepared for what to expect when arriving in the Mile High City, which is why we’ve put together a list of pros and cons of moving to Denver.


Cost of living and accommodation in Denver

+ PRO: Denver is relatively affordable

Although slightly above the national average, the cost of living in Denver won’t break the bank. Excluding accommodation, everyday costs are inexpensive, and the lifestyle is also affordable. Denver is packed with free and fun things to do, and even visiting museums, theatres and other attractions is fairly cheap.

- CON: Finding accommodation can be a challenge

Denver’s population is growing, and due to its location alongside the mountains, there is not much space for the city to expand. As the increasing population snatches up the available accommodation in the city, housing is in short supply, and we recommend .

- CON: Accommodation can be expensive

The influx of people into Denver has flooded the housing market, resulting in skyrocketing prices for once affordable homes, which means many people are now struggling to afford the increased housing prices in Denver and are forced to move further afield. Along with the limited options available, this makes finding accommodation even more difficult for new arrivals in the city.


Location and environment in Denver

+ PRO: Proximity to the mountains

Denver’s location right alongside the Rocky Mountains means incredible views from the city, but also great opportunities for exploration. Hiking, mountain biking, skiing and more are at the fingertips of Denver residents. All it takes is a short drive out of the city and they’ve arrived among the hundreds of gorgeous peaks.

- CON: Denver is landlocked

Although there are many benefits to the location of the city, Denver being situated inland means access to water is limited. While Denverites make up for this in a big way with plenty of other activities available in the city, a trip to the beach requires quite a journey and water sports are certainly not a draw card for visitors to this landlocked city.

- CON: High altitude

Called the Mile High City for a reason, Denver is situated 1,673 meters above sea level. Although new arrivals will adjust quite quickly to the decrease in available oxygen at this altitude, they may experience headaches, nosebleeds and dry skin and hair. Exercising is also made more difficult initially with the decreased oxygen.


Weather in Denver

+ PRO: There are 300 days of sunshine a year

Although the weather in Denver can be somewhat unpredictable, new arrivals in the city are guaranteed to experience around 300 days of sunshine every year. This allows for plenty of time spent outdoors and enjoying the city's natural environment.

- CON: Huge storms can cause damage

Late spring and early summer can bring some major storms to Denver. These storms are the result of fronts, moisture and strong winds building together and resulting in thunder and hailstorms that can sometimes cause severe damage.


Lifestyle in Denver

+ PRO: Plenty to see and do 

Denver is blessed with a lot of good weather, and its location means people are easily able to go out and explore the surrounding mountains. The city itself is also packed with parks and an active population that takes full advantage of them. The activities don't stop there, as there are plenty of attractions to enjoy on a beautiful day in Denver. Festivals and events also abound in the Mile High City, as locals go all out to celebrate everything from St Patricks Day to Cinco de Mayo.  

+ PRO: Professional sports teams

Denver is home to eight professional sports teams, and it has leagues for all four of America’s favourite sports right in the city. American football, basketball, hockey and baseball league games are hosted in Denver, and the city also has lacrosse and rugby teams and clubs. Sports lovers are sure to feel right at home in Denver and will certainly enjoy getting involved in the fanfare and support surrounding Denver’s major teams.

- CON: Everything closes early

Denver has strict noise ordinances in place between 7am and 10pm. This means that after 10pm, no noise can be made that will disturb members of the public, including music and loud conversations. While some neighbourhoods have extended this to 11pm or midnight on weekends, these laws result in restaurants and bars closing earlier than some people would like.


Working in Denver

+ PRO: Plenty of job opportunities

With one of the best economies in the entire country, Denver has a thriving job market and people with the right skill sets shouldn’t struggle to find work in the Mile High City. Mining and agriculture, IT and aerospace are great industries to search for job opportunities in Denver. The healthcare and education sectors are also major employers.

+ PRO: Great work-life balance

Many people move to Denver for the lifestyle and employers therefore encourage their workers to make the most of it. Businesses in Denver often have unique benefits such as unlimited leave, flexible schedules and the ability to work from home. They provide these benefits to attract employees and encourage them to stay. It also tends to lead to a happier work force and a stronger company in the long run.


Healthcare in Denver

+ PRO: Excellent healthcare facilities

Denver is home to some of the top-ranked hospitals in America, and new arrivals in the city have nothing to worry about when it comes to their medical needs. This is thanks to Denver’s award-winning medical research institutions, such as those at the University of Colorado.

- CON: Without health insurance costs can be backbreaking

As in the rest of the US, Healthcare in Denver is incredibly expensive. It is therefore necessary for new arrivals to have a comprehensive health insurance plan to cover any medical costs that may crop up while living in the city. With this in place, newcomers in Denver can rest assured they’ll have access to the best medical treatment the US has to offer.


Transport in Denver

- CON: Public transport is limited

Although the city is working on expanding its public transport routes, the current options available are limited. Those living in the downtown area and the suburbs closest to it will most likely have good access to buses and the RTD light rail, but as they move further from the centre of the city, options get fewer. This results in most locals and new arrivals having to own a private car to get around in Denver.

- CON: Traffic can be a problem

Due to most people in Denver driving their own cars to get around the city, traffic is a major issue and results in long rush hours. The city’s park-and-ride options may be one way to avoid the major city centre traffic, provided the ride into the centre from the car park is via the light rail and not buses, which will inevitably be stuck in traffic too. Driving outside of peak rush hour traffic times is another option, although this may not be possible for people working standard 9-to-5 jobs.

+ PRO: Parking is abundant

As opposed to most city centres, Denver has an abundance of parking. This is a major pro for people who prefer to drive to work, rather than use public transport. New arrivals who are willing to sit in the crazy morning traffic will not have to stress about finding a parking space when they arrive at their destinations. More often than not, they will be able to find a space to park extremely close by, if not right outside the door.

Working in Denver

People relocating to the ‘Mile High’ city will find that Denver has a diverse economy, and there are plenty of job opportunities for people from different backgrounds and with varied skill sets. That said, those looking to land themselves a job in Denver will need to have skills and attributes that set them apart from the competition.

Denver is well-known for its highly educated workforce, with a large segment of the city’s adult population having a tertiary education. Furthermore, with all its amenities and great quality of life, Denver continues to attract and retain a smart, talented and experienced workforce.


Job market in Denver

The United States Government is the largest employer in Metro Denver. Thanks to the city’s central location, one will find a large number of federal agencies based here. The US defence industry also has a prominent presence in Denver and there are some military bases located close to the city.

Historically, mining and energy have played a prominent role in Denver’s economy. Located near the mineral-rich Rocky Mountains, a large number of major mining and energy companies have chosen to base themselves in Denver to allow for easy access to the abundance of coal, oil and natural gas in the region.

Other major industries in Denver include aerospace, IT, finance, manufacturing, telecommunications and healthcare. Other than in these industries, many new arrivals are also employed in the education sector in Denver. 


Finding a job in Denver

People who move to Denver generally do so with a job already in hand. For those who still need to secure work in the city, online job portals are a good place to start. It could also be beneficial to research local companies and enquire about any openings. Those already in the city will discover that making connections and networking is paramount to securing employment, especially in the tech and startup industries.


Work culture in Denver

Unlike many other large cities in the USA, Denver has a great work-life balance. Many people move to Denver for the lifestyle and employers therefore encourage their workers to enjoy it. Businesses in Denver often have unique benefits such as unlimited vacation, flexible schedules and the ability to work from home. While work hours are generally from 8am to 5pm, many companies close at 3pm on Fridays. They provide these benefits to attract employees and encourage them to stay. They tend to lead to a happier work force and a stronger company in the long run. 

The work culture also reflects the laid back attitude of the locals in Denver. For example, work dress tends to be much more casual in Denver than in some of the eastern states. It's not uncommon to see people arrive to work in jeans and a t-shirt. That said, some offices do expect business suits to be worn, and it's therefore best to enquire about about this. 

Cost of living in Denver

The cost of living in Denver is higher than the national average but still relatively low compared to the likes of New York City and San Francisco. Excluding the high price of accommodation, the cost of living in Denver is actually quite reasonable and even lower than the national average in some areas. Those who can afford a home in Denver will find the rest of their costs to be inexpensive and extremely manageable.


Cost of accommodation in Denver

Due to an increase in Denver’s population, there has been a surge in the demand for housing and prices have skyrocketed as a result. Residents and new arrivals in Denver are now struggling to afford accommodation in their desired neighbourhoods. Many people are also choosing to rent rather than buy a home in Denver.

Luckily there are many job opportunities in Denver and new arrivals with the right skill set should be able to land themselves a lucrative position in one of the city’s major companies, which would afford them a good home in a desirable neighbourhood.   

That said, the city has more affordable neighbourhoods to choose from, and new arrivals may therefore be able to find a place at a reasonable price if they are willing to sacrifice things such as proximity to the city centre or good access to amenities.


Cost of utilities in Denver

Despite the high cost of accommodation, utilities are incredibly cheap in Denver. Sitting at 20 percent less than the national average, the amount newcomers will spend on utilities is also assisted by the mild winter weather and abundance of sunshine. Although it does snow, it tends to melt quickly and running heaters will therefore not be necessary for most of the cold season. 


Cost of food in Denver

Although new arrivals will be able to find expensive fine dining spots, Denver’s food scene consists predominantly of cheap and tasty eats that can be enjoyed while standing or sitting out in the sunshine. Experiencing the city’s most popular food spots won’t break the bank and can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their budget.

Newcomers will also discover that groceries are incredibly affordable in Denver. In fact, the cost of groceries is five percent lower than the national average. Those on a tight budget will therefore be able to save even further by cooking at home instead of dining out.


Cost of transport in Denver

While transport costs in Denver aren't exorbitant, they are slightly more expensive than in some big US cities. Driving, as opposed to using public transport on a daily basis, is relatively affordable but owning a car in Denver is not cheap. Car maintenance can be expensive due to the all-weather tires required for the mountain passes in winter. Owing to the cities gorgeous weather for the majority of the year, however, new arrivals may be able to get around with a bicycle or on foot if living close to work and major amenities. If this is the case, they could save money by using public transport or driving only on days when the weather doesn’t permit walking or cycling.


Cost of living in Denver chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Denver in August 2021.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,400 – 2,300

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,100 – 1,800

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,500 – 4,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 2,000 – 3,000

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

USD 2.65

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.85

Rice (1kg)

USD 3.45

Loaf of white bread

USD 2.80

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 9.40

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 7.50

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 8.50

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.15

Cappuccino

USD 4.85

Local beer (500ml)

USD 6

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

USD 67

Utilities/household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

USD 0.22

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

USD 63

Basic monthly utilities (includes electricity, water and refuse)

USD 125

Transportation

Taxi rate per km

USD 1.40

Public transport fare

USD 3

Gasoline/petrol (per litre)

USD 0.75

Accommodation in Denver

Finding accommodation in Denver is one of the major challenges facing new arrivals in the city. With increased job opportunities in Denver, the city has become a popular destination for both people from abroad and those from elsewhere in the US.

Due to this increase in new arrivals, the demand for property has risen and although there is lots of new housing being developed in Denver, supply is unable to keep up with the ever-increasing demand. As a result, both property prices and rental rates are on the rise.

That said, newcomers will be pleased to know that both the cost of accommodation and the general cost of living in Denver are far lower than in many major US cities such as New York, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago.


Types of accommodation in Denver

There are a range of different housing options available in Denver. From luxury apartments and condominiums in the city centre to larger ranch-style family homes in the suburbs. There truly is something to suit any expat’s requirements.

Whether renting or buying, new arrivals would need to act fast if they want to secure a home in the city, and being flexible on one's requirements will make it easier to find a suitable place.

Generally, most expats want to live in metropolitan Denver and they have to pay a premium for the privilege of living close to the city’s major attractions and amenities. Exploring areas and suburbs of Denver that are a little further afield would give house hunters more choice and better value for money.


Finding accommodation in Denver

The majority of expats relocating to Denver opt to rent rather than buy a home, at least initially.

The internet is usually a good starting point in one’s accommodation search, though many of the properties advertised online get snapped up very quickly. Hiring a real estate agent can be useful in getting a jump on the competition and is particularly useful if expats aren't sure of what areas will best suit their needs. 


Renting accommodation in Denver

Once newcomers have found their ideal home, they would need to submit an application along with the required documentation. We recommend acting fast, as rentals in Denver are snapped up quickly.

Rental process

The first step in the rental process is filling out a rental application form. This isn't the same as a rental agreement. The landlord will use this application to determine whether the prospective tenant meets their requirements.

The rental application form will typically require information like references, identity numbers, credit card information, sources of income and monthly disposable income. These questions may vary depending on the landlord.

Background checks

The landlord will then ask for permission to perform a background check which includes checking the prospective tenant's credit score and criminal history.

When handing in the completed application form, the applicant will be charged an application screening fee. This fee is meant to cover the costs of obtaining a credit report and verifying the information that was given in the application. It is the applicant's responsibility to check what these fees are before applying as fees may vary.

Deposits

It is the norm for landlords in Denver to ask for a security deposit to be put down. The amount for a security deposit varies widely depending on the type of rental and the monthly rental fee.

Security deposits are usually no more than one month's rent, but if a tenant has a bad credit score, the deposit could be as high as two months' rent. Tenants with pets may also be asked to pay a higher security deposit.

Prospective tenants may also be charged a holding deposit while they're busy with the application process.

Leases

A six-month or one-year rental lease is typical when renting in Denver, but with the market being as competitive as it is, tenants may want to consider staying in the apartment they've found for as long as possible.

In some cases, estate agents and landlords may suggest signing a two- or three-year lease. In this case, new arrivals shouldn't be afraid to negotiate a discount on the rent. Signing a long-term lease not only benefits the tenant; it also benefits the landlord.

Utilities

Regardless of whether expats are looking to buy or rent property in Denver, it's important to factor in the cost of setting up utilities and paying the necessary bills.

Those renting property in Denver should check the conditions of their lease to find out more about their utility payments. In most cases, landlords assume responsibility for setting up utilities such as gas, electricity and water and tenants deal with optional extras such as internet and cable television packages. Those buying property in Denver will have to arrange for utilities to be set up themselves.

Waste management and recycling

Residents moving into their new home can visit the city of Denver's official website to find out about the trash and recycling schedule in their area. Residents can also sign up for recycling services on the same website.

There are no fees charged for trash or recycling services provided by Denver Solid Waste Management. Residents have the option to also join the composting collection service, which is a fee-based programme.

Areas and suburbs in Denver

The best places to live in Denver

The areas and suburbs of Denver are diverse; from luxurious Cherry Creek and historic Capitol Hill to family-friendly Stapleton, there is something to suit every newcomer. Most of these neighbourhoods also have a range of housing options, including everything from luxury condominiums to trendy loft conversions and historic Victorian houses.

House hunters will need to be fairly flexible in their requirements and shouldn't set their heart on finding a home in one particular neighbourhood, as the demand is high. Instead, they should make a list of suitable neighbourhoods and then start searching for accommodation within their budget.

Here is a list of popular neighbourhoods in Denver.


Young and trendy neighbourhoods in Denver

Neighbourhoods for young professionals in Denver

Cheesman Park

This picturesque part of Denver is located close to the Capitol Hill district and is especially popular among young professionals in Denver. There is a wide array of accommodation in Cheesman park, including old Victorian homes, modern condominiums, townhouses and apartments. Properties in Cheesman Park differ widely in price, style and age. For those who want spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains, the best option is a towering condo. Loft apartments are also popular in this area. Residents of Cheesman Park have good access to amenities such as restaurants, bars and clubs, as well as the park itself which provides a great space with loads of leisure activities. 

Cherry Creek

Cherry Creek is an upscale neighbourhood in Denver. While it is somewhat popular with older couples looking to downsize, it's also a common spot for new arrivals moving to Denver for an active lifestyle. The area is a self-contained oasis for its residents who have art galleries, coffee shops, retail outlets, bars and restaurants right on their doorstep. In the summer, Cherry Creek becomes a hive of activity with musicians and artists having regular performances at Filmore Plaza. Accommodation in this neighbourhood mainly consists of modern housing and apartments. 

Lower Downtown

Lower Downtown, known among Denver's residents as LoDo, is the perfect neighbourhood for newcomers looking to have all of what Denver has to offer right on their doorstep. It's the perfect area for those with an active social life, who don't own a car. All the city's best bars, restaurants and nightlife spots are in LoDo, as well as cultural sites such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and outdoor settings like Commons Park. New arrivals will be close to work but far from the city's best schools, making this area ideal for young professionals without children. 


Family-friendly neighbourhoods in Denver

Family-freidnly neighbourhoods in Denver

Stapleton

Stapleton is a popular area among families in Denver. It was once home to the city’s municipal airport but now consists of a mix of residential properties, retail buildings and sprawling parks. Stapleton is also home to a large bohemian crowd of artists, and this is evident in the public murals and interactive artwork on display throughout the neighbourhood. New arrivals will find a range of housing options in Stapleton, including lofts, condominiums, townhouses and larger single-family homes.

Littleton

With it's quintessential small town feel, this family-friendly neighbourhood is a great place to raise children. Littleton is home to a number of good restaurants, shops and plenty of green spaces to relax and play with the kids. Having won Colorado's highest academic accreditation for seven years running now, new arrivals living in Littleton can also rest assured that they'll be close by to some of the best public schools in the state. With good RTD light rail access, the 12-minute commute to the city centre has never been easier. Craftsman-style houses are littered throughout the neighbourhood amid some gorgeous new builds. 

Mayfair

Mayfair is a great place for those on a budget. The predominant type of architecture that can be found in the area is 1950s ranch-style homes. Alongside these modest properties, new arrivals can also find some newer homes. The area is particularly popular with students and medical professionals working at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and National Jewish Hospital. Mayfair is also located close to Lindsley Park which is great for those with children and those who enjoy an active lifestyle. While there are just a handful of restaurants and shops in the area, Mayfair is only a 15-minute commute from downtown Denver and a few minutes away from Cherry Creek.

Healthcare in Denver

Denver is home to excellent healthcare facilities, and new arrivals have nothing to worry about when it comes to their medical needs. Some of Denver's hospitals are ranked among the best in the country. Thanks to the presence of award-winning medical research institutions, such as those at the University of Colorado, Denver has become a prominent player in the USA’s healthcare industry.  

Pharmacies can be found throughout the city, along any main shopping street or mall. Many pharmacies are open 24/7. New arrivals should familiarise themselves with their nearest one in case there is an emergency.

As is the case throughout the US, new arrivals in Denver must ensure that they have a comprehensive health insurance plan so that they can access the city’s medical facilities.

Here is a list of the most prominent hospitals in Denver:


Hospitals in Denver

Children's Hospital Colorado

Website: www.childrenscolorado.org
Address: 13123 East 16th Avenue, Aurora

Porter Adventist Hospital

Website: www.porterhospital.org
Address: 2525 South Downing Street, Denver

Saint Joseph Hospital Denver

Website: www.sclhealth.org
Address: 1375 East 19th Avenue, Denver

University of Colorado Hospital

Website: www.uchealth.org
Address: 12605 East 16th Avenue, Aurora

Education and Schools in Denver

People relocating to Denver with children will be pleased to find that education is highly valued in the state of Colorado, evidenced in the fact that Denver has one of the highest per capita education levels in the US.

There is plenty of choice when it comes to schooling options in Denver. There are several primary and secondary school options at both private and public institutions, including charter and magnet schools. There are also some international schools in Denver that follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme and various other foreign curricula.


Public schools in Denver

Public schools in Denver are free to attend and open to all students, including expats. New arrivals will also be please to know that Denver is home to some of the best public schools in the state of Colorado.

On top of this, public schools in Denver offer open enrolment, which means that students can apply for the school of their choice. In effect, parents who choose to send their child to a public school in Denver won’t be limited by geographic location and can instead select a school for their child based on individual student needs. As part of the application process, parents submit forms listing their top five school choices. Schools then admit students based on space availability.

Charter and magnet schools

Charter schools are institutions that receive funding from the local district and the state of Colorado. While these schools uphold the state curriculum, they have a greater degree of freedom when it comes to teaching methods. Charter schools tend to be more innovative and flexible than traditional public schools.

Magnet schools are public schools with specialised courses or curricula, in areas such as science or the arts. They're associated with high achievement and cultural diversity. These schools attract a range of students from all over the Denver metro area.

Both Charter and Magnet schools are good options for parents looking for an affordable but elevated standard of education for their children. That said, admission can be competitive and waiting lists can be long – lottery systems are often used to confirm enrolment.


Private and international schools in Denver

There are a large number of private schools in metro Denver which tend to offer a wider range of facilities than are usually found at public schools. Many of these schools offer education based on a particular religion or alternative teaching philosophy. There are also those which teach a foreign curriculum, known as international schools.

International schools are often a good choice for expats, particularly those who are only planning to stay in Denver for a short period. Though fees are typically high, attending an international school allows expat children to meet other international students and assists them in being better equipped in making the transition to life in Denver.

The majority of international schools in the Denver metro area follow the International Baccalaureate curriculum and a number of these schools offer language immersion classes.


Homeschooling in Denver

The state of Colorado provides parents with some flexibility in how they choose to homeschool their children, but it's important to understand the requirements families need to follow before choosing an option.

The basic laws for homeschooling in Denver is that all students aged 6 to sixteen need to attend school 172 days a year. Reading, writing, speaking, maths, history, literature, science, civics and US constitution are all compulsory classes. Aside from these musts, parents will have three options when it comes to homeschooling.

The first option is to enrol the child in an independent school, which serves as an 'umbrella' for homeschoolers. Though the child is enrolled at the school, they can still be taught at home. The school must keep records of the child's education. Under this option, parents won't have to send notices to the school district, keep attendance or worry about testing and evaluation.

Secondly, there's the traditional home-based programme. For this option, parents are required to file a homeschool letter of intent to their state school district at least two weeks before homeschooling begins. They then have to file this letter annually until their child finishes school. Students also need to be tested regularly by taking a standardised test or being evaluated by a certified teacher or licensed psychologist to show their academic progress. Parents will also have to keep strict records of attendance and testing or evaluation results.

Finally, parents can choose to hire a Colorado state-certified teacher to teach their children at their home. With this option parents are exempt from requirements like recording attendance and testing.

Homeschooling in Denver may feel like a daunting task, but there are many groups and organisations that can support parents in this journey like the Northern Colorado Homeschool Association.


Special-needs education in Denver

Denver's education system is well equipped to provide for students with learning and developmental disabilities. There are multiple federal laws in place to ensure that children with disabilities have fair access to quality education at no cost.

Both public and private schools in the city have special programmes in place to support students with learning difficulties and disabilities. In cases where a person’s disability is too severe for them to benefit from mainstream education, there are special education facilities that are able to offer students with a special-needs programme tailored to meet their specific requirements.


Tutoring in Denver

Whether a child has fallen behind in maths class, needs help with adjusting to English language instruction, or is in need of additional support to help prepare them for their college entrance exams, there are plenty of private tutors in Denver. There are also many schools in the city that offer tutoring or academic assistance to their students either for free or at a discounted rate. 

It’s wise to start the search for a tutor by asking the child’s school or other parents in the area for a recommendation. Alternatively, one could utilise the services of established tutoring companies. These companies offer an array of packages from subject-specific intensive programmes to one-on-one home tuition and small group sessions. Wash Park Tutors and Varsity Tutors are two such companies. 

Lifestyle in Denver

New arrivals in Denver will discover that, while they might be relocating for work, they'll certainly have plenty of time for leisure. Whether new residents are looking for some retail therapy, dining out or partying the night away, there are plenty of opportunities in Denver.

Denver has a huge outdoor culture thanks to the region’s mild climate. With plenty of national parks and world-class ski resorts, new arrivals to the city will enjoy taking in the beautiful surroundings and spending time in nature.


Shopping in Denver

While most Denverites prefer to spend their money on camping and sports equipment, newcomers looking for opportunities to spend their hard-earned dollars won’t struggle in the Mile High City. Whether one is looking for luxury labels or bargain finds, there's a shopping experience to suit everyone’s requirements in Denver.

For designer names, shoppers can head to the luxury stores at Cherry Creek, while those on a tighter budget are likely to find what they are looking for at Colorado Mills. Larimer Square is also a winner when it comes to Denver's distinct character and flavour. The square is great for shopping, but is also packed with restaurants and bars that are perfect for a post-shopping treat. 


Nightlife in Denver

Although Denver isn't famous for the bright lights, the city actually has a great after-hours culture with everything from chic cocktail lounges to trendy craft breweries and unique wineries. Neighbourhoods like Cherry Creek are full of sophisticated partygoers while the Lower Downtown (LoDo) area and South Broadway (SoBo) are more popular with a younger crowd. Unfortunately, thanks to strict noise ordinances, much of the city’s nightlife spots close earlier than most of the revellers would like.


Eating out in Denver

Denver has a lively and thriving dining scene. Each of Denver’s neighbourhoods has its fair share of eateries but the most dynamic restaurant scene can be found in the city centre. Denver’s downtown restaurants take advantage of the Mile High City’s beautiful weather with plenty of al fresco dining options.

New arrivals in Denver can enjoy dining on a wide variety of options, including Chinese, Indian, Thai, Italian, French and various African cuisines.


Outdoor activities in Denver

Denver is perfectly located for outdoor enthusiasts and the city boasts an extremely athletic population. With the Rocky Mountains to the west and the High Plains to the east, Denver residents are blessed with access to naturally beautiful landscapes and a whole host of exciting outdoor activities.

First and foremost, Denver is considered a great spot from which to explore the Rockies. From hiking and mountain biking trails to pleasant camping spots, there are plenty of opportunities to spend time in nature. Golf and fishing are also popular activities among Denver’s population. In the winter months, residents head to the slopes to take part in a variety of winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. 

See and Do in Denver

New arrivals in Denver will find that the city offers plenty of activities to keep them occupied in their spare time. Whether they prefer interacting with the animal world at the city's zoo and aquarium, or just spending the day lazing in the sun at one of the city's parks, the Mile High City has something to suit everyone.


Recommended attractions in Denver 

Denver Zoo

This zoological garden covers an area of about 80 acres and is located in City Park. It is a popular attraction in Denver with over 2.2 million visitors each year. The Denver Zoo houses more than 4,000 animals from across the globe and is a fun-filled outing for the whole family. Denver Zoo practises conservation and aims to raise awareness about threats to biodiversity through educating their visitors. They have also been ranked as one of the most ethical zoos in the US. 

Denver Botanic Gardens

Newcomers with green fingers will find lots of gardening inspiration at the Botanic Gardens. Despite the dry climate found in Colorado, the gardens have one of the most diverse plant collections in North America, consisting of over 32,000 types of plant species. The gardens also provide a fabulous setting for a picnic or family day out, particularly in the summer when outdoor concerts are held in the amphitheatre.

Colorado State Capitol Building

A spectacular example of 19th-century classical architecture, complete with its distinctive gold-leaf-covered dome, Colorado's State Capitol is a must-see. The building is situated a full mile above sea level, lending Denver its nickname of the ‘Mile High City’. Visitors can tour the building, including the dome, and learn about the history of the Capitol and the city. 

Denver Art Museum

Art lovers will get the chance to admire collections consisting of more than 70,000 diverse works from throughout history and across the globe at the Denver Art Museum. The museum is especially well known for its excellent collection of Native American art. There are also imaginative hands-on exhibits and games to keep the little ones entertained.

Downtown Aquarium

A trip to the aquarium is a delight for the whole family. Young visitors can enjoy interactive experiences such as the touch pool and the old shipwreck while also learning about the 5,000 marine animals housed in the aquarium. Afterwards, families can enjoy a meal at the aquarium restaurant seated beside a 150,000-gallon tank filled with all sorts of sea creatures. The aquarium is committed to conservation and educating their visitors on the importance of being respectful to the world around them. They have partnered with many worthwhile organisations and assist in their efforts to preserve the natural environment. 

What's On in Denver

New arrivals in Denver will be treated to a busy events schedule. Whether it's sports events, food festivals or family-friendly days out, Denver has something to suit everyone.

Here are some of Denver’s most popular yearly events.


Annual events in Denver

St Patrick’s Day Parade (March)

Attracting around 400,000 people a year, this is Denver’s biggest annual parade, as well as being one of the biggest in the country. It features horses, stagecoaches, marching bands and eclectic floats. It's sure to be a fun day out for the whole family.

Cinco de Mayo 'Celebrate Culture' Festival (May)

Denverites enjoy celebrating Cinco de Mayo in a big way. This annual extravaganza also draws more than 400,000 people to Civic Center Park where hundreds of different stalls sell Latino food, crafts and memorabilia. Two stages provide plenty of live entertainment, while attendees can also attend events like the Community Parade, taco-eating contest and the green chilli bowl cook-off. The little ones can also head over to the Children's Carnival where they will be spoilt for choice with plenty of activities and rides to enjoy. 

Denver Summer Brew Fest (July)

This event gives residents a chance to sample some of the best local craft beers, with plenty of options from Denver and beyond. Festival goers can also enjoy the line-up of bands playing live music, and can head over to the food stalls for a tasty treat. This fun day out is enjoyed by beer lovers across Denver and the wider Colorado area.

Pumpkin Festival (October)

A highlight of the fall season, this festival is held at the Denver Botanic Gardens and is an ideal family excursion. There are plenty of activities for kids, from hayrides and carnival games to pumpkin picking and face painting. The festival also offers live music, food trucks and vendors, as well as local craft stalls. 

Denver International Wine Festival (November)

This festival is a delight for wine lovers, consisting of tastings, local winery tours, and even a food-and-wine-pairing competition between local chefs. A superb selection of wine will be on offer, with hundreds of wines from around the world available for tasting. Festival goers will also be treated to live music and entertainment throughout the week. 

Getting Around in Denver

Transport options are a little more limited in Denver than what new arrivals may expect from a large American city. While Denver has a public transport network that is relatively efficient and continuously improving, the services it provides aren't sufficient outside the city centre. Most residents living in Denver own vehicles and find that driving is often the fastest way to get from A to B.


Public transport in Denver

Public transport in Denver is overseen by the Regional Transportation District (RTD). While there are ongoing plans to improve and expand the city’s public transport network, it is presently lacking outside Denver’s downtown area.

Buses

RTD buses are the backbone of Denver’s public transportation network. It operates around 1,000 buses on 125 routes, and serves more than 9,000 bus stops in the Denver Metropolitan Area.

Travelling by bus in Denver is comfortable and fairly convenient, unless one is travelling to or from one of the city’s more distant suburbs. New arrivals should consult the bus timetable when planning their journey as the frequency of services varies from one route to the next.

Light rail

Denver's light rail system is comprised of eight lines across more than 50 stations. Light rail tickets must be purchased from ticket machines which can be found at the stations before boarding the train. The price of the ticket varies according to the distance travelled. 

Train

There are currently four commuter rail lines in Denver. The A Line provides a direct link from downtown Denver to the city's airport and can be easily accessed via light rail and bus routes, while the B Line travels from Union Station to Westminster, with further extensions underway. The G Line connects downtown Denver with the northwest suburbs of Arvada, Adams County, and Wheat Ridge, and the brand new N line connects Union Station with Commerce City, Northglenn, Thornton, and North Adams County. 

These trains carry more passengers than the light rail trains, operate at higher speeds and make fewer stops. The development and extension of commuter rail lines is therefore extremely exciting as it will influence how the residents of Denver get around the city in the future. 


Taxis in Denver

Taxis are readily available in Denver. They can be found at the airport and main transport hubs, such as Union Station. Taxis in Denver are metered but firms set their own rates. Prices are generally similar, as taxi companies need to remain competitive. Fares do, however, increase in the evenings.

Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft also have a presence in Denver and are useful and easy to use.


Driving in Denver

The majority of newcomers in Denver own a car and find driving to be the most convenient way to get around the city. Having a car is especially important for those who don't live near the city centre and those who want to travel outside Denver.

The quality of roads and signage in Denver are good. While most new arrivals have no difficulty getting around, traffic can be horrendous during peak hours. Parking is fairly easy to find but fees are high within the downtown area of Denver.

Expats resident in Denver will need to convert their driver's licence from home to a local licence. The state of Colorado has reciprocal agreements with some countries, meaning that a licence from that country can be exchanged for a Colorado licence without having to retake a driver's test. Citizens of countries not party to such an agreement will need to pass a local driver's test in order to legally drive in Denver.


Cycling in Denver

The city has an excellent network of cycle trails that cover a great deal of the city. Cycling is an integral part of Denver’s culture and this is apparent in the number of bike lanes and secure cycle storage facilities that can be found in the city centre. The city has also just launched a new bike and scooter share programme with Lyft and Lime, which has been extremely successful.

Drivers in Denver are generally mindful of cyclists, so the roads tend to be far safer here than in other cities. That said, cyclists must be aware that the rules about cycling in Denver are strictly upheld. It's common for cyclists to be fined for ignoring stop signs or running a red light. Cyclists are also required to wear a helmet and have lights at the front and back of their bikes.

Reports of bike theft are quite common in Denver, so cyclists are advised to invest in a good quality lock.