A guide to Denver International Airport (DEN)

Denver Airport got off to a rocky start when it first opened in 1995, with baggage handling and other problems. Within 10 years, though, it was ranked no. 1 in the U.S. for on-time arrivals.

Aerial view of DEN. Image credit: Denver International Airport
Aerial view of DEN. Image credit: Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport has sparked a series of conspiracy theories since it opened, with some people claiming there are bunkers under the airport and others declaring murals in the airport feature hidden messages aimed at bringing about the “new world order.” Even with these odd claims circling around the airport, Denver International Airport manages to rank in the top 10 for busiest U.S. airports, serving 65 million passengers a year, thanks to its location near the geographic center of the country. 

Plans are in place to expand Denver Airport to handle up to 110 million passengers annually. Use this helpful Denver Airport map to navigate this busy airport.

Airlines flying from Denver International Airport

Denver Airport sends passengers to 215 destinations non-stop, one of the few U.S. airports flying to more than 200 cities. All of Denver Airport’s concourses are in the Jeppesen Terminal, which is one of the most architecturally striking terminals in the country. Check this list to see which concourse you should head to for your flight.

Concourse A

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • Boutique Air
  • British Airways
  • Cayman Airways
  • Copa Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Denver Air Connection
  • Edelweiss
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • Norwegian
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • Volaris
  • WestJet

Concourse B

  • United Airlines

Concourse C

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines

Airport lounges at Denver International

You’ll find many airport lounges that provide space for you to relax in both the A and B Concourses.

Concourse A

American Airlines Admirals Club / British Airways Executive Club

Members of American Airlines’ Admirals Club enjoy access to this small lounge, which is co-branded as a British Airways Executive Club, so BA members also can use it. Everyone else can purchase passes at the door.

This Admirals Club features a dedicated play area for kids, with a computer to encourage quiet play. Members of the staff are friendly, especially at the full-service bar, where you can order premium food if you want more than the cold snack buffet. A small business center features a computer and printer if you need to get some work done. Power sockets are abundant, but you’ll have to leave the club to find a restroom.

Delta Sky Club

Delta Sky Club members enjoy access to this lounge, as do American Express Platinum cardholders and holders of several Delta Airlines-branded credit cards. Delta passengers flying first or business class may also use the club.

Oversized chairs provide comfortable seating throughout the lounge, and a small business center is available. Wi-Fi is fast and free, and members of the staff are friendly and helpful. Expect a continental breakfast spread in the mornings and a cold snack buffet through the day. As with the Admirals Club, you’ll have to leave the lounge to find a restroom.

USO Lounge

Active members of the U.S. military or reserves, along with family members traveling with them, can relax at the USO Lounge in Concourse A. Retired military members also enjoy access to the lounge when space is available.

The USO Lounge provides coffee, tea, and snacks to guests. A multimedia lounge features TVs and Xbox One gaming, and a separate children’s play area is also available. If you’re looking for a little down-timw, head to the quiet area for a nap. Luggage storage is available, as are computers with Internet access.

DEN interior. Image credit: Denver International Airport
DEN interior. Image credit: Denver International Airport

Concourse B

United Clubs

You’ll find two United Clubs in Concourse B, one near Gate B30 and one near B44. Members of United Club can access both lounges, as can Star Alliance Gold members. United passengers with same-day boarding passes may purchase one-day passes when space is available.

The United Club at B30 features a small business center with internet access and printers, and you’ll find plenty of outlets throughout the lounge. The buffet offers a continental breakfast in the morning, with salads and snacks plus hot soups later in the day.

The Gate B44 United Club, which has been recently renovated, is more spacious but is otherwise a duplicate of the Gate B30 United Club.

Denver Airport hotels

Denver Airport hosts one hotel within the airport, but you can also find several other excellent choices within a short drive.

Westin Denver International Airport Hotel

The Westin Denver International Airport Hotel, which is connected directly to the airport’s terminal, is a high-tech haven that features amazing modern design. Enjoy views of the Rocky Mountains from the wall-to-wall windows, and sleep in peace thanks to the triple-paned windows that keep airport noise out.

Flexible meeting spaces featuring state-of-the-art technology allow you to host any size meeting with clients or your own team, and three dining options let you enjoy coffee, drinks, or a classic meal without having to travel. Unwind at the fitness studio or indoor pool.

Exterior of Westin Hotel. Image credit: Denver International Airport
The exterior of Westin Denver International Airport Hotel. Image credit: Denver International Airport

Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center

Once you arrive at the Gaylord Rockies Resort, which is about 10 miles from the airport, you’ll find everything you need waiting for you, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure.

Astonishing views of the Rocky Mountains greet you when you wake up, and the resort can arrange for any outdoor activity the mountains offer. Take your clients to watch the game on the 75-foot LED TV at the resort’s sports bar, or entertain at any of the hotel’s eight restaurants. When it’s time to relax, the hotel’s spa offers body treatments that provide true pampering or head to the pool area to unwind as you float in the lazy river.

Woolley’s Classic Suites

This all-suite luxury hotel is an ideal spot for a business retreat as every guest room features a spacious living area that makes it easy to meet with colleagues. Enjoy the complimentary full breakfast buffet and bottled water so you can get right to work, and gather with your team at the nightly cocktail reception. Woolley’s Classic Suites offer a wide variety of meeting spaces, and the hotel can arrange for all sorts of outdoor adventures.

Shopping at Denver International Airport

You’ll find shopping options in all three concourses at Denver Airport, as well as in the central core area of Jeppesen Terminal.

Jeppesen Terminal Center Core

Upgrade your travel electronics — or your high-end sound system at home — with a new headset or speakers from BOSE or BluWire. You can find (and try out) every travel gadget you ever dreamed of at Brookstone, and head to Peak News and Gifts for travel essentials and reading material. Denver’s beloved independent bookstore, Tattered Cover, has two outposts here.

Denver Duty-Free is home to all the customs-free luxury items you want to take home, including the most popular brands of fragrances, liquors, cosmetics, and high-end fashion and accessories. More high-end accessories can be found at Johnston & Murphy, and you’ll find the luxury skincare items you need at Kiehl’s or MAC Cosmetics. Let yourself be fascinated by the hand-crafted sculptures, ceramic pieces, glass art, and jewelry at Mosaic, or turn to Way Out West for Native American pottery and other gifts.

Concourse A

Head to BluWire to pick up accessories for your Apple products, including chargers and headphones. Souvenirs of your trip to the Rockies and gifts for those back home await you at Colorado Limited and Greetings from Colorado, and books for your flight are available at Flight Stop. A gift of See’s Candies is always welcome, or bring home Native American treasures, including sterling silver jewelry, from Spirit of the Red Horse.

Concourse B

Looking for a unique gift? Stop in at Climax Jerky for gourmet jerky choices that include buffalo, elk, and venison, or head to Earth Spirit for intriguing, hand-crafted jewelry. Women who need to update their outfits should head to Tuleh Ruche for a range of fashion choices, and you can pick up a new carry-on or upgrade your luggage at Tumi. The reading material and travel necessities you need for the flight are available at Connections, Larimer Street Market, SkyMarket, or Hudson, and you can fill in the gaps in your travel electronics at InMotion Entertainment. Make those kids back home happy with a visit to Kazoo & Company Toy Store.

Concourse C

When you’re ready to stock up on reading material for your flight, stop in at the CNBC Smartshop, The Arts District Market or Say Si Bon. Grab a pair of sunglasses to handle the glare off the snow (or replace your reading glasses) at NYS Collection, and prepare for your Rocky Mountain adventures with outdoor gear from No Boundaries. SoHo takes care of any last-minute needs for hair accessories, and The Body Shop and Urban Decay supply the skin-care products and cosmetics you need.

Dining at Denver International Airport

Foodies and restaurant critics, including national restaurant reviewer site Zagat, consider the restaurants at Denver Airport to be among the top airport dining destinations in the country. Consider arriving a little early to dine at one of the following spots (or make a tasty choice if you’re in a hurry to board).

Jeppesen Terminal

Look to these options if you want to dine with someone who isn’t flying.

  • Boulder Beer Tap House: This famed microbrewery sits outside security, serving up refreshing and innovative seasonal brews and comfort food.
  • Grill & Vine: Okay, technically this table-service restaurant is just outside the terminal (at the Westin), but it’s worth the short stroll to enjoy the buffalo chili, Colorado bass, and delectable mac and cheese.
Boulder Beer Tap House exterior. Image credit: Denver International Airport
Boulder Beer Tap House exterior. Image credit: Denver International Airport

Concourse A

You’ll find plenty of standard fast food in Concourse A, along with an always-welcome Ben & Jerry’s, but consider checking out these options instead.

  • Denver Central Market: Think of this as the ultimate food hall, with Vero Italian, SK Provisions, Culture Meat & Cheese, and Sushi-Rama among its top offerings. An ideal place to stop on that rush to the gate.
  • Snarf’s Sandwiches: All the classics plus gluten-free options as well.

Concourse B

If you’re flying on United Airlines, you have plenty of good dining options, including the following:

  • Elway’s: This outpost of the popular Denver steakhouse serves up excellent red meat choices accompanied by everything you’d want from a bar. But don’t skip it at breakfast time (chicken-fried-steak breakfast burrito, anyone?).
  • Crú Food & Wine Bar: The diverse wine selection here should intrigue you — and yes, you can get flights if you can’t decide. Small plates and panini fill out the menu.
  • Etai’s: Sandwich aficionados often insist that the quality of the bread makes the sandwich. If that’s you, head to this bakery/sandwich shop that packs the meats high.
  • New Belgian Hub: Organic coffees and wines are poured at this full-service sit-down bar, along with some of Colorado’s most acclaimed microbrews. Pair your drink with the mix-and-match rice bowls to enjoy a full meal, or opt for Belgian classics such as waffles and French fries.
  • Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs: Hot dog fans all know to head to Steve’s. Try the Denver Dog, which comes wrapped in a tortilla rather than a bun.

Concourse C

There’s Vino Volo for wine and the Coors Silver Bullet Sports Bar if you want to watch the game, but those are far from your only dining options in Concourse C.

  • Tapas Sky Bar: Innovative cocktails, a wide selection of wines, and a dozen Colorado beers on tap are the draw here, along with elevated pub food.
  • Modern Market: This quick-serve spot uses locally sourced ingredients to create fresh grab-and-go choices, with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available.
  • Root Down: This outpost of the popular Denver restaurant serves up farm-to-table fare, which you can chase down with top-shelf liquor from the whimsical cocktail menu or a huge choice of craft beers. Grab a traveler’s bento box if you need to catch your flight.
  • Happy Cakes Cafe & Allegro Coffee: The breakfast pastries that everyone loves at this Denver bakery are here, along with coffee from the much loved, Boulder-based chain.
  • The Magic Pan: Indulge in savory or sweet crepes at this eaterie that puts a fun French twist on its offerings.
  • SMASHBURGER & Bar: Sure, they sell chicken sandwiches and salads here, but why would you want anything other than the famous burgers from this Denver original?

Because Denver International Airport is 25 miles from the city itself, your journey isn’t over when your plane touches down on the runway. Book a reliable Blacklane airport transfer for Denver Airport (DEN) to enjoy the final leg of your trip in comfort and style.