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

Should you visit Banff or Ottawa?

Should I visit Banff or Ottawa? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Banff

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.

Ottawa

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, located on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River. A city of many ethnic populations, Ottawa is uniquely bilingual with English as the first language of the population's majority and French as a close second. It is best known as the nation's capital, which is centered on Parliament Hill, an architectural landmark as well as the seat of government.

Which city is cheaper, Ottawa or Banff?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Banff is $77, while the average daily cost in Ottawa is $121. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Banff and Ottawa in more detail.




Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $35. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Banff the cost is $70 on average.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $52 in Ottawa For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banff $35
    Ottawa $26
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banff $70
    Ottawa $52


Food

In Banff travelers spend around $26 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

The average traveler spends about $15 per day in Ottawa for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Banff $26
    Ottawa $15
Typical Food prices in Banff

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


  • Tea House Lunch for Two
    $37
  • Hostel Breakfast
    $31
  • McDonalds
    $5.29

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: $123
  • Deluxe Evening Tour to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake with Dinner: $129

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ottawa

For Ottawa, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Oh Canada Eh Dinner Show Ottawa: $73


Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Banff is $4.73 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

Ottawa's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $6.58 per person, per day on transportation in Ottawa.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banff $4.73
    Ottawa $6.58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Banff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Banff:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ottawa

Also for Ottawa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier Int. Airport (YOW) to Ottawa: $47
  • Private Airport Transfer: Ottawa to Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier Int. Airport (YOW): $47
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport YOW: $55
  • Private Departure Transfer to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport YOW: $55
  • Ottawa to Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier Airport (YOW) - Departure Private Transfer: $62
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier Airport (YOW) to Ottawa City - Arrival Private Transfer: $62
  • Private Departure Transfer from Ottawa City to YOW Ottawa Airport: $75
  • Private Arrival Transfer from YOW Ottawa Airport to Ottawa City: $75
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier Airport (YOW) to Ottawa - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $124
  • Private Transfer: Ottawa International Airport (YOW) to Ottawa: $622
  • Private Transfer: Ottawa to Ottawa International Airport (YOW): $622


Entertainment

Banff's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $11 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Ottawa can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $36 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banff $11
    Ottawa $36
Typical Entertainment prices in Banff

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


  • Hot Springs
    $6.06

Tours and Activities in Banff

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

  • 2 Hour Banff Horseback Riding Adventure: $109
  • 2-Day Okanagan Chinook Tour from Banff finish Vancouver: $309
  • 3-Day Rocky Mountains Athabasca Tour from Banff: $418
  • 6-Day Rocky Mountains Wapiti Tour from Banff finish Vancouver: $728
  • Abraham Lake and Banff Winter Photography Tour: $463
  • Banff At First Light Private Tour: $887
  • Banff City Sightseeing Tour - Roundtrip from Banff: $135
  • Banff Clue Solving Adventure - Treasures of Banff: $69
  • Banff National Park Tour with Lake Louise and Moraine Lake: $76
  • Banff Photo Night Tour: $66
  • Banff Winter Sightseeing Tour with Banff Gondola: $114
  • Banff to Jasper One-Way Tour: $225

Tours and Activities in Ottawa

For Ottawa, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Explore Canada Through Ottawa's Eyes with Walking Tours Through The City: $4.84
  • Pioneering Days: An audio tour of the captivating history of Ottawa's pioneers: $5.00
  • Ottawa River Tour: $26
  • Rideau Canal Cruise: $27
  • Ottawa-Gatineau Experience Express: $28
  • Ottawa Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $29
  • Rideau Canal Cruise: $30
  • Boat Tour in the Ottawa River: $32
  • Ottawa Tourist Scavenger Hunt: $36
  • Ottawa Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour: $37
  • 2-Hour Ottawa Express City Bike Tour: $38
  • Ottawa Bike Tour: The Essentials: $41


Alcohol

The average person spends about $8.52 on alcoholic beverages in Banff per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting Ottawa spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banff $8.52
    Ottawa $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Ottawa

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Ottawa:

  • Epic Ottawa Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12



When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Banff and Ottawa, we can see that Ottawa 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 Ottawa would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Ottawa than you might in Banff.

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Banff vs. Ottawa Travel Comparison

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