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 place 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 $85, while the average daily cost in Calgary is $155. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Banff and Calgary in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banff $38
    Calgary $73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banff $76
    Calgary $146
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 $5.20
    Calgary $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Banff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Banff:

  • Banff Thermal Resorts to Calgary Airport (YYC) Departure Transfer: $141
  • Private Banff National Park Tour with Hotel Transfers: $879
  • From Banff/Canmore: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise Shared Transfer: $81
  • From 1-Way Private Transfer to Calgary Airport (YYC): $512
  • From Private One-Way Transfer to Calgary: $366
  • Moraine Lake: Round-trip Shared Transfers from Banff/Canmore: $121
  • Private Airport Transfer to Banff: $289
  • Private Transfer: Banff or Canmore to Calgary: $485
  • Private Transfer: Banff to Calgary by Sedan: $362
  • Sunshine Village to Calgary Airport (YYC): Departure Transfer: $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Calgary

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Calgary:

  • Private Departure Transfer: Calgary Downtown to Calgary International Airport: $38
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Calgary International Airport to Calgary Downtown: $38
  • Private transfer from Calgary City Center to Calgary Airport(YYC): $54
  • Private transfer from Calgary Airport(YYC) to Calgary City Center: $54
  • Private Transfer from Calgary Airport to Sunshine Village : $61
  • Alberta Transfer: Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Calgary and Kananaskis: $63
  • Private Transfer from Calgary Airport to Calgary Hotels: $64
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Calgary Downtown - Calgary Airport (YYC): $71
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Calgary Airport (YYC) - Calgary Downtown: $71
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Downtown - Calgary Airport (YYC): $77
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Airport (YYC) - Calgary Downtown: $77
  • Calgary Int Airport (YYC) to Fernie - Arrival Private Transfer: $78

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 $29
    Calgary $31
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.

  • Banff Food Tour: Eat the Castle: $154

Typical Food prices in Calgary

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

  • Bread, Chips, Cheese

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Calgary

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

  • Light Brunch & Food Tour at Calgary Farmers' Market WEST: $81

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banff $12
    Calgary $16
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:

  • Tunnel Mountain Trail: Nature Tour with Audio Guide: $5.12
  • Tunnel Mountain Trail: a Smartphone Audio Nature Tour : $5.22
  • The Sights of a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $6.22
  • Calgary & Lake Louise: Smartphone Audio Driving Tour: $6.22
  • Smartphone Audio Driving Tour between Banff and Calgary: $6.34
  • The Sights of a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $6.34
  • The Sights of Canmore: a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $6.34
  • Banff Hot Springs and Trails GPS-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Historic Cave & Basin Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Listen to a Tour Guide as You Drive & Walk with our Discover the Rockies Package: $15
  • Self-Guided Scenic Driving Tour: $15
  • Banff Townsite Self-Guided Driving Tour - Explore the Rockies: $15

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:

  • Bow River Trail Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.12
  • Downtown Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.12
  • 3-hour Tips-Based City Walking Tour: $5.13
  • Calgary's Beltline District: a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.22
  • Bow River Trail: a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.22
  • Discover Downtown a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.22
  • 3-Hour Tips Based Walking Tour of Calgary: $5.23
  • Calgary Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.00
  • Explore the Stampede City with Walking Tours in Calgary: $6.72
  • Discover Calgary with 3 Unique Smartphone Audio Walking Tours: $13
  • Calgary Tower General Admission Ticket: $15
  • Rocky Mountains: Smartphone Driving and Walking Audio Tours: $15

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banff $9.37
    Calgary $11

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
  • Calgary Brewery Tour: $90

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.

Which is Bigger, Banff or Calgary?

Calgary is bigger, and its population is about 136 times larger than the population of Banff. When comparing the population of Banff vs. Calgary, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Banff vs. Calgary Travel Comparison

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