A Travel Price Comparison for Canada Banff vs. Hope for Hiking, Couples, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Banff or Hope?

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

Should I visit Banff or Hope? 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.

Banff

Banff is a adventurous, scenic, and outdoorsy town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and skiing.

Hope

Hope is a friendly, local, and small town. And you can't forget about the hiking.

Banff and Hope: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Banff or Hope?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Banff. Although Banff and Hope are popular destinations, Banff has more sights and attractions for tourists. Banff is very popular for its skiing, food, nightlife, hiking, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Hope attracts visitors for its museums. Banff is more touristy than Hope and is popular for its stunning beauty, pristine nature, and nearby lakes. It is also well known for Lake Louise. Hope is famous for its chainsaw carvings and being the filming location of "Rambo."

How is Banff different from Hope?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Hope and Banff. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Banff or Hope Better for Skiing?

Banff
Hope

Banff is a world-class destination for skiing. However, Hope is not a skiing destination.

Banff is among the world's best ski destinations. The town makes a great base for experiencing the three nearby ski resorts: Banff Sunshine, The Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt Norquay. You can purchase a SkiBig3 Lift Ticket and experience the area's best skiing. There's a long ski season and a stunning setting within the Canadian Rockies.

Hope is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Banff or Hope?

Banff
Hope

Hope is a moderate town for its sights and museums. However, Banff does not have museums and landmarks.

Hope offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. You can check out Hopes Art Gallery, The Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum, or the Hope Museum.

Banff does not have museums and landmarks.

Is the Food Better in Banff or Hope? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Banff
Hope

Banff is a great town for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Hope is not known for its local cuisine and restaurants.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Banff. The downtown has bistros, taverns, and many casual eateries. For a more fine dining experience, you can go to one of the luxury hotels, which have nice dining areas. Throughout town you'll find classic Canadian food like poutine, as well as pizza and bar food.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Hope. There's a decent selection of casual restaurants with basic dishes and local cuisine.

Is Banff or Hope Better for Nightlife?

Banff
Hope

Banff is a great town for nightlife. However, Hope is not known for nightlife and partying.

The nightlife in Banff has something for everybody. It's a great town for partying and it's compact and easy to barhop if you want. For the town's size, you'll find a huge number of bars and breweries to choose from, and there's always something going on.

Most people don't head to Hope specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. It's a small town but there are some local pubs and bars.


Is Banff or Hope Better for Hiking?

Banff
Hope

Banff is a world-class destination for hiking. Also, Hope is not as popular, but is still a nice town for the nearby hiking options.

Many people visit Banff specifically for its hiking. The town is set within Banff National Park, and is surrounded by world class hiking. There are more than 1,000 miles of trails that wander alongside rivers, lead to waterfalls, or climb mountain peaks. You may also see local wildlife.

Hope is a popular spot for hiking. There are a range of hikes in the area, like more challenging routes such as Hope Mountain and Wells Peak. For a more casual hike you can check out Rotary Trail, Thacker Marsh Trail, and the Othello Tunnels.

Is the Shopping Better in Banff or Hope?

Banff
Hope

Banff is very good for shopping. However, Hope is not known for its shopping opportunities.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Banff. There are tons of downtown shops that sell local items, art, sports gear, or clothing.

If you're looking to go shopping, Hope has some nice offerings. It's a small town, but there are places to peak up anything you may have forgotten.

Is Banff or Hope Better for Families?

Banff
Hope

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Banff or Hope.

Banff is a very kid-friendly town. Kids will enjoy the low key hikes like Tunnel Mountain hike. There's also the Banff Gondola and several playgrounds in downtown Banff. For adventure activities, check out the Golden Skybridge or Lake Louise.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Hope. Kids will love enjoying the outdoors just as much as the adults. You can also visit the Hope Museum or the Coquihalla Gorge.


Is Banff or Hope Better for Couples?

Banff
Hope

Banff is a world-class destination for romance. Also, Hope is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its romantic activities.

For those traveling as a couple, Banff has plenty to offer. It's a beautiful destination for a honeymoon or anniversary trip. There are countless hikes and stunning natural beauty. There are also spas, horseback riding, and many great restaurants.

Hope is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples who enjoy adventures and nature will love a few days in this beautiful area.

Is Banff or Hope Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Banff
Hope

Both Banff and Hope are great destinations for backpackers.

Banff is a great town to visit for backpackers. There are a couple of hostels around town and plenty of natural beauty that appeals to backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Hope. There are many camping and backpacking opportunities in the area.

Is Banff or Hope Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Banff
Hope

Banff is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Hope is not known for its public transit.

While Banff offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a bus system, Roam, that connects the towns of Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Hope. There is no public transit in town.


Is Banff or Hope a more walkable city?

Banff
Hope

Banff is a great town for its walkability. However, Hope is not known for its high level of walkability.

Banff is very walkable. The downtown is very walkable and there are trailheads nearby as well.

Hope is generally not very walkable. The town is relatively walkable, but you'll likely want to get into the surrounding area where most of the activities are.

For even more information, also check out Is Banff Worth Visiting? and Is Hope Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hope or Banff?

How long in Banff or Hope?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Banff and Hope. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Banff than in Hope. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Banff, and 2-3 days is enough time in Hope.

Families should spend more time in Banff than Hope. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Banff, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Banff than Hope. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Banff that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Banff than Hope if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Banff.


  • How many days in Banff or Hope? Ideal Length of Stay
    Banff 2-5 
    Hope 2-3

One day in Banff or Hope?

Banff is a small town where visitors enjoy the nightlife and food. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

In Hope, many people enjoy the that this local destination offers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Banff or Hope?

Banff is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Hope. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Banff or Hope?

Banff might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. This town offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Hope is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the when visiting the destination of Hope. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Banff or Hope?

Because Banff is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

You'll find around the small destination of Hope. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in Canada, The Best Camping Tours in Canada, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Canada, and The Best Northern Lights Tours in Canada.


Which place is cheaper, Hope 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 Hope is $31. 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 Hope in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banff $38
    Hope $8.91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banff $76
    Hope $18
Compare Hotels in Banff and Hope

Looking for a hotel in Banff or Hope? 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 Hope


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 Hope Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banff $5.19
    Hope -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Banff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Banff:

  • Private Banff National Park Tour with Hotel Transfers: $872
  • Calgary Airport to Banff - Private Transfer: $850
  • Banff to Calgary YYC Airport (Private Transfer with Tesla): $273
  • Canmore/Banff to Calgary Airport (YYC) Private Transfer: $267
  • From Banff/Canmore: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise Shared Transfer: $81

Is it cheaper to fly into Banff or Hope?

Prices for flights to both Hope 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Banff $29
    Hope $22
Typical Food Prices in Banff

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


  • Tea House Lunch for Two
    $33
  • Hostel Breakfast
    $27
  • McDonalds
    $4.64

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banff $12
    Hope -
Typical Entertainment Prices in Banff

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


  • Hot Springs
    $5.32

Tours and Activities in Banff

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

  • Banff National Park Big Canoe Tour: $57
  • Private Tour: The Best of Banff National Park - Full Day: $224
  • Skybridge Adventure Golden BC from Canmore & Banff: $166
  • 1 Hour Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Tour in Banff National Park: $66
  • 2 Hour Banff Horseback Riding Adventure: $145
  • 4 Days Tour to Banff & Jasper National Park with Hotels: $2,581
  • 4 Days Tour to Banff & Jasper National Park without Hotels: $1,454
  • Banff : Day Tour : Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Peyto Lake: $185
  • Banff Cave and Hot Springs Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Banff Evening Ebike Wildlife Tour: $83
  • Banff Highlights & Wildlife | Award-Winning Small Group Adventure: $82
  • Banff Highlights Tour : Gondola, Fairmont & Johnston Canyon: $77

Tours and Activities in Hope

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Hope.

  • Bay of Fundy: Smartphone Audio Driving Tour: $7.26
  • Vancouver to Sun Peaks 2 days outdoor adventure tour: $1,235

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banff $9.35
    Hope $10


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Banff and Hope, we can see that Banff is more expensive. And not only is Hope much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Hope would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hope 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 Banff would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Banff than you might in Hope.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Banff Expensive? and Is Hope Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Banff or Hope?

Banff has a larger population, and is about 63% larger than the population of Hope. When comparing the sizes of Banff and Hope, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.