6.4 out of 10

Downtown (Central Business District)

Ranked 26th best neighborhood in Denver
39.7442502826794 -104.992524447656
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Pest Free
  • Medical Facilities
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Parking
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
2yrs+

"A cool place to just walk around"

The Central Business District of Denver is a nice area with a professional but casual vibe to it. There are tons of things to see and do here, including art galleries and museums, and some good restaurants. Back when I had more time on my hands I used to love to come down here to just people watch for a while. It's a great area for transportation and there is a free shuttle ride along the 16th Street mall.

I'd recommend this area to anyone visiting the Denver area for a stroll around the city to do some shopping or just to see what Denver is all about.
Pros
  • Always something to do
  • Casual urban vibe
  • Easy access to downtown arts, museums, and businesses
  • Historic and upscale housing
  • Mall Ride Shuttle - free transportation
Cons
  • Lack of parking
  • Pricey area to live in
Recommended for
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
2yrs+

"An urban hub - Culture, Arts, a City Feel"

Downtown Denver makes me proud to call Colorado home. It's so easy to pop into downtown on the Light Rail or bus, that it's worth many quick visits. Easy in, easy out. Stop in for lunch or a quick bit of wandering and window shopping. Parking isn't too bad if you're willing to walk a few blocks to where you're going, but why bother when you can use one of the many park-and-rides around the metro area?
Pros
  • Mall Ride Shuttle - free transportation
  • Always something to do
  • Casual urban vibe
  • Easy access to downtown arts, museums, and businesses
  • Historic and upscale housing
4/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
2yrs+

"Wonderful mix of commercial, retail, residential, tourist urban environment"

Denver's downtown district is a really great urban area with the casual vibe that makes it a true Western city. Steel and glass skyscrapers stand shoulder-to-shoulder with historic brick buildings. The mix of laid-back and civilized is ever-present in each block of downtown, with the mountain backdrop serving as a constant reminder that a wilderness adventure is nearby whenever you get tired of the city crowds. It has been a joy to watch this area come into its own over the past few decades.
There was a time when downtown was a place to do business, with some shopping and dining options, but it wasn't a friendly place to live or to hang out after dark. All of that has changed completely.
It began in the early 80's with the redevelopment of 16th Street. This corridor was transformend into a pedestrian mall. Many predicted that it would not be able to sustain itself, because, at 13 blocks long, this was far longer than other major cities' efforts of this kind. The mall, with the diamond pattern designed by famed architect I.M. Pei to be reminiscent of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, has beaten the odds, seeing increasing foot traffic from morning to night. Rents here are on the high side compared to many other neighborhoods, but those moving here from other major cities migh be pleasantly surprised. Compared to other mid-large cities, rents are competitive considering that this is obviously prime real estate. As of this writing, it's still possible to rent downtown for as low as roughly $1200, and they go up from there to many thousands per month.
Traffic and parking are predictably rough, as might be expected for a downtown area. Fortunately, Denver's light rail and bus service to downtown offer pretty good service. Getting around downtown itself is very easy thanks to the free 16th St. mall shuttle, which runs every minute up and down the central street, affording easy access from one end of downtown to the other.
You can find shopping at all price ranges here. Along 16th, there are low-mid priced stores, from drugstores to discount stores like Ross and TJ Maxx to more typical mall stores and a large movie theater. Larimer Square offers boutiqe shopping, a wonderful mix of restaurants, and a corridor of small white lights after dark. There are plenty of bars, whether you want to play a game of pool (Tarantula Bar), have a beer after seeing a baseball game, watch a cabaret show (basement of the D&F tower) or have a sophisticated cocktail while watching the sun set behind the mountains (try the Peaks lounge for a view that is worth the high-priced drinks--27th floor of the Hyatt Regency). There always seems to be a festival or parade going on. The Performing Arts Complex hosts conventions, and has theater and cultural events. There are touristy things to do here besides shopping. You can tour the nearby state capitol building, or the Denver Mint, which is one of only five in the nation. If you are looking for a lively area to live, work, and play, downtown will be a great fit.
Pros
  • Always something to do
  • Casual urban vibe
Cons
  • Lack of parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Business by Day, Culture in the Evening, Empty at Night"

Denver’s 17th Street has been called “the Wall Street of the West” ever since it became the regional center for financial transactions in the 1980s. This is also when the area began to take on its current appearance, with high-rise towers springing up and blighted historic buildings being renovated. Today, 17th Street is a canyon of steel and glass, bustling with office workers and traffic during the day. At night, the wind funnels down the empty street. Denver’s Central Business District (CBD) centers around 17th Street, though extending from 14th to 20th.

Most nightlife downtown gravitates around LoDo, the northwest half of Denver’s downtown. Yet, the CBD also hosts a number of eateries, bars, and nightclubs. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is nestled along the district’s southern edge. A powerhouse of art and culture, the DCPA’s integrated complex of theaters and concert halls, built and renovated over the last century, hosts the opera, ballet, symphony, and theater.

Many local culture lovers have situated themselves right in the heart of it all by living (as well as playing and sometimes working) downtown. Housing offerings are predictably high-end. Many of the historic brick buildings and warehouses have had their upper stories converted into posh, high-ceilinged lofts. In recent decades, glassy towers of luxury condominiums have also been built, with one striking addition to the Denver skyline being the new, LEED-certified SPIRE building on 14th street, which is appropriately impressive and glows blue at night.

Given this rather swanky picture of the CBD as a whole, 16th Street can sometimes feel like a bit of an anomaly. This was one of Denver’s first redevelopment projects, completed in 1982. It has gotten a lot of hype, and as a result, this is what many residents of the metro area, and many tourists, think of when they think of “downtown Denver.” While it succeeded in beginning the transformation of what used to be a blighted area, in many respects the 16th Street redevelopment project backfired. Most of the businesses situated along 16th are the kind of chains that can be found in any mall: clothing retailers, the gamut of fast-food places, about a dozen Starbucks, and droves of indistinguishable souvenir shops. Some of the fast-food places have taken to playing classical music in an effort to keep away the bands of rather thuggish young adults and teenagers that loiter there loudly and scare off potential customers. A redevelopment of the redevelopment is currently being planned.

Some culture lovers and urbanites may relish living close to the best of Denver’s museums, music, performance art, nightlife, and even their jobs, but the tradeoff is that the residential population is very small in proportion to all those big buildings. The area can feel abandoned after the office workers go home for the day and the diners, drinkers, and theater patrons go home for the evening.
Pros
  • Easy access to downtown arts, museums, and businesses
  • Historic and upscale housing
Cons
  • Pricey area to live in
  • Lack of parking
  • Mostly a business district; empties out after hours
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish

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Best Streets in Downtown (Central Business District)

1

Curtis St

4.5/5
"Bustling city all around"
39.7466085034918 -104.995561541867
2

Larimer St

4.5/5
"A perfect place to have a joy ride "
39.7495602722583 -104.996969088151
3

16th St

4/5
"Part of what makes Denver Great - Social, Cultural Venues - a whole street full!"
39.7455701345881 -104.992702249904
4

14th St

3/5
"14th Street - Performing Arts and Convention Center"
39.7439881651129 -104.995483345786

Unranked Streets in Downtown (Central Business District)

Glenarm Pl

2.5/5
"Nice for an afternoon drive but I hate the traffic"
39.7405050958602 -104.994772463289

Welton St

2.5/5
"Take a moment and enjoy the sky scrapers but enjoy the homes as well "
39.7401046408977 -104.997016552438

13th St

2.5/5
"One-way Heaven in Big-City, well..."
39.7436194022213 -104.997393072533

15th St

4/5
"Off of Colfax, downtown Denver!"
39.7447866481201 -104.994092494854

17th St

4/5
"City park and denver zoo"
39.7470227614236 -104.992176523087
"Street name not like the reall place but still loved it "
39.7444991387703 -104.993093757504

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