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

Should you visit Banff or Vancouver?

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

Should I visit Banff or Vancouver? 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 Vancouver?

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.

Vancouver

Vancouver is a beautiful and cosmopolitan city in Western Canada. It is also the largest city in British Columbia, and is dramatically positioned between the coast and mountains. It's a very international city, with a high level of energy and countless activites that you can enjoy while you're in town. In addition to offering all of the activities and entertainment of a modern city, it is also in jumping off distance to any number of outdoor activities.

Which place is cheaper, Vancouver or Banff?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Banff is $86, while the average daily cost in Vancouver is $144. 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 Vancouver in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banff $39
    Vancouver $88
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banff $78
    Vancouver $176
Compare Hotels in Banff and Vancouver

Looking for a hotel in Banff or Vancouver? 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 Vancouver


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 Vancouver Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banff $5.29
    Vancouver $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Banff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Banff:

  • Private Banff National Park Tour with Hotel Transfers: $889
  • From 1-Way Private Transfer to Calgary Airport (YYC): $518
  • From Private One-Way Transfer to Calgary: $370
  • Banff Thermal Resorts to Calgary Airport (YYC) Departure Transfer: $140
  • From Banff/Canmore: Moraine Lake Round-Trip Shared Transfers: $122
  • From Banff/Canmore: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise Shared Transfer: $82
  • Sunshine Village to Calgary Airport (YYC): Departure Transfer: $61

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Vancouver

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Vancouver are as follows:


  • SkyTrain from Airport
    $6.49
  • Taxi from Airport to Downtown
    $21
  • 15 min Taxi Ride
    $8.90
  • SkyTrain DayPass
    $6.67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Vancouver

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Vancouver Airport (YVR): $32
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Vancouver Airport (YVR): $32
  • Vancouver Airport-Cypress/Grouse Mountain Private Transfer: $39
  • Cypress/Grouse Mountain to Vancouver Airport - Departure Transfer: $39
  • Private Transfer from Vancouver Airport (YVR) to White Rock City: $46
  • Vancouver Airport (YVR) to White Rock - Arrival Private Transfer: $46
  • White Rock to Vancouver Airport (YVR) - Departure Private Transfer: $46
  • Vancouver Airport (YVR) to Canada Place Port - Arrival Transfer: $55
  • Canada Place Port to Vancouver Airport(YVR) - Departure Transfer : $55
  • Canada Place Cruise Port to Vancouver Arrival Private Transfer: $55
  • Vancouver to Canada Place Cruise Port Departure Private Transfer: $55
  • City Highlights Tour with Hotel Transfers: $58

Is it cheaper to fly into Banff or Vancouver?

Prices for flights to both Vancouver 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
    Vancouver $32
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
    $4.73

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Banff

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

  • Take a Bite out of Banff ~ Rocky Mountain Banff Food Tour: $76
  • Banff Food Tour: Eat the Castle: $155

Typical Food Prices in Vancouver

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Vancouver:


  • All You Can Eat Sushi Lunch
    $8.99

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Vancouver

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

  • A Wok Around Food Tour of the Granville Island Public Market: $85
  • North Vancouver Shipyards Food Tour: $94
  • Gastown Historic Walking Food Tour: $97
  • Vancouver Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $97
  • Private Historical Food Tour of Gastown : $109
  • 3-Hour Bowen Island Boat Cruise with Dinner: $127
  • Vancouver Authentic Chinese Food Tour: $136
  • Bowen Island Dinner and Zodiac Boat Tour by Vancouver Water Adventures: $142
  • 4-Hour Bowen Island Festival of Lights Boat Tour with Dinner from Vancouver: $195
  • Private Food Tour Tailored to You by a Local: $231
  • Attractions by Twilight Guided Tour with Dinner: $266
  • Vancouver Small Group Night Tour w/Capilano + Grouse Mtn Dinner: $285

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banff $13
    Vancouver $37
Typical Entertainment Prices in Banff

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


  • Hot Springs
    $5.42

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
  • Skybridge Adventure Golden BC from Canmore & Banff: $167
  • 2 Hour Banff Horseback Riding Adventure: $142
  • 4 Days Tour to Banff & Jasper National Park with Hotels: $2,632
  • 4 Days Tour to Banff & Jasper National Park without Hotels: $1,483
  • Banff & The Icefields Parkway | Small Group Full Day Adventure: $217
  • Banff Highlights & Wildlife | Small Group Adventure: $75
  • Banff Highlights: Full Day Tour: $171
  • Banff Hot Springs and Trails GPS-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Banff National Park Big Canoe Tour: $57
  • Banff National Park Snowshoeing Adventure | Small Group Guided Tour: $78
  • Banff National Park Tour with Lake Louise and Moraine Lake: $85

Tours and Activities in Vancouver

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

  • Vancouver self-guided tour App - multilingual AudioGuide: $4.33
  • Self-Guided Smartphone Walking Tour of Gastown: $4.81
  • Self-Guided Smartphone Walking Tour of Gastown: $4.89
  • Discover Stanley Park with a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.18
  • Discover Stanley Park with a Smartphone Audio Tour: $5.26
  • Fort Langley: a Film & Television Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.26
  • Cycling the Seawall: A Self-Guided Audio Tour Along the Stanley Park Seawall: $5.46
  • 3-Hour Tips-Based Walking Tour of Vancouver: $5.54
  • Bloedel Conservatory Admission Ticket: $6.57
  • Walking Tour Along Stanley Park's Seawall: $6.77
  • Historic Walking Tours of Vancouver with Then & Now Images!: $6.77
  • Vancouver Downtown: Espionage Adventure Outdoor Escape Game: $7.03

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banff $9.53
    Vancouver $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Vancouver

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Vancouver:

  • Vancouver - Granville Pub Crawl: $26
  • Gastown Pub Crawl: $26
  • 3.5-Hour Craft Brewery Tour: $85
  • Vancouver Craft Brewery Tour: $90
  • Vancouver Craft Brewery Tour Led by a Local: $90
  • Vancouver Behind-the-Scenes Brewery Tour: $94
  • Vancouver Wine Tour (Fraser Valley): $124
  • Taste of the Valley Wine Tour: $127
  • Fraser Valley Wine Tour with a light Lunch from Vancouver: $136
  • Fraser Valley Wine Tour: $136
  • From Half-Day Fraser Valley Wine Tour: $140
  • Fraser Valley & White Rock Premium Public Wine Tour: $150


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

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


Which is Bigger, Banff or Vancouver?

Vancouver has a larger population, and is about 240 times larger than the population of Banff. When comparing the sizes of Banff and Vancouver, 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.