A Travel Price Comparison for Canada Banff vs. Calgary for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Banff or Calgary?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Banff or Calgary? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Banff or Calgary?


Nestled in the pristine and gorgeous mountains of the Alberta Rockies is the popular town of Banff. This town sits right in Canada's Banff National Park and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

While the surrounding nature may give the impression of a quiet, little town, Banff is typically crowded with tourists. The beauty of this area is irresistible for travelers from all over the world. This may not be the place for solitude or even an authentic, country experience, you'll still find an unforgettable vacation.


Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and, located at the edge of the prairie and foothills, it is a gateway to the Rocky Mountains. If you're headed to Banff or Jasper, this is likely to be your first stop. It's also Canada's fourth largest city and worth a few days visit. Calgary's economy is diverse, but includes energy, financial services, film and television, transportation, technology, manufacturing, and much more.

Which city is cheaper, Calgary or Banff?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Banff is $69, while the average daily cost in Calgary is $125. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Banff and Calgary in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banff $31
    Calgary $59
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banff $62
    Calgary $118
Compare Hotels in Banff and Calgary

Looking for a hotel in Banff or Calgary? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Banff

Hotels in Calgary

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Banff Hotel Prices and Calgary Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banff $4.24
    Calgary $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Banff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Banff:

  • Alberta Transfer: Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Calgary and Kananaskis: $63
  • Private Departure Transfer: Banff to Calgary International Airport: $433
  • Private Transfer: Banff to Calgary International Airport (YYC): $340
  • Private Transfer: Banff to Calgary by Sedan: $339

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Calgary

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Calgary:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Calgary International Airport to Calgary Downtown: $29
  • Private Departure Transfer: Calgary Downtown to Calgary International Airport: $29
  • Private Airport Transfer: Calgary International Airport (YYC) to Calgary: $39
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Calgary to Calgary International Airport (YYC): $39
  • Transfer in Private Car from Calgary Airport (YYC) to Calgary Downtown: $41
  • Transfer in Private Car from Calgary Downtown to Calgary Airport (YYC): $41
  • Private Calgary Airport - Calgary City Round-Trip Transfer: $59
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Airport (YYC) to Calgary Downtown: $59
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Downtown to Calgary Airport (YYC): $59
  • Calgary Airport (YYC) to Calgary hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • Calgary hotel or address to Calgary Airport (YYC) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Transfer between Calgary International Airport and Banff: $61

Is it cheaper to fly into Banff or Calgary?

Prices for flights to both Calgary and Banff change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Banff $23
    Calgary $25
Typical Food prices in Banff

Some typical examples of dining costs in Banff are as follows:

  • Tea House Lunch for Two
  • Hostel Breakfast
  • McDonalds

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Banff

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Banff.

  • Lake Louise & Moraine Lake Evening Tour with Dinner: $126
  • Deluxe Evening Tour to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake with Dinner: $129

Typical Food prices in Calgary

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Calgary:

  • Bread, Chips, Cheese

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banff $10
    Calgary $13
Typical Entertainment prices in Banff

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Banff are as follows:

  • Hot Springs

Tours and Activities in Banff

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Banff are as follows:

  • Listen to a Tour Guide as you Drive between Banff and Calgary: $4.84
  • The Sights of Banff GPS-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $4.84
  • Listen to a Tour Guide as You Drive between Sunshine Village and Calgary: $6.44
  • Listen to a Tour Guide as You Drive & Walk with our Discover the Rockies Package: $8.86
  • Returning in 2021 is the Banff Guided Walking Tours: $32
  • Nature Walking Tour: $35
  • Evening Wildlife Safari Guided Tour: $48
  • Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour: $49
  • Banff Gondola Admission Ticket: $57
  • Winter Tour: Banff and Its Wildlife: $63
  • Summer Tour: Banff and its Wildlife: $64
  • Banff Photo Night Tour: $66

Typical Entertainment prices in Calgary

Here are a few typical costs in Calgary for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:

  • Stampede Admission (for 2)

Tours and Activities in Calgary

Here are a few actual costs in Calgary for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Discover Downtown Calgary GPS-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $4.84
  • Downtown Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.50
  • Calgary's Beltline District GPS-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $5.63
  • Listen to a Tour Guide as You Drive between Calgary and Lake Louise: $6.44
  • Calgary Tower General Admission Ticket: $15
  • Calgary Downtown: 2-Hour Introductory Walking Tour: $23
  • 2 Hour Stampede Park Art & Wild West Tour: $23
  • Private Tour with a Local: $29
  • Mohkinstsis Walking Tour - Explore Calgary's Indigenous History: $34
  • Mohkinstsis Winter Walking Tour of Calgary's Indigenous History: $34
  • Self-Guided Kayak Tour on the Bow River: $41
  • Winter-Banff/ Sulphur Mountain One Day Tour: $104

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banff $7.65
    Calgary $8.99

Sample the Local Flavors in Calgary

Also in Calgary, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Calgary Bar Crawl: Cruisin' Calgary: $12

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Banff and Calgary, we can see that Calgary is more expensive. And not only is Banff much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Banff would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Banff and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Calgary would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Calgary than you might in Banff.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Banff vs. Calgary Travel Comparison

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