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

Should you visit Banff or Vancouver?

Should I visit Banff or Vancouver? 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.

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 city 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 $73, while the average daily cost in Vancouver is $122. 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 Vancouver in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $33. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Banff the cost is $66 on average.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Vancouver, $148 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Vancouver, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $74, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banff $33
    Vancouver $74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banff $66
    Vancouver $148

Food

In Banff travelers spend around $25 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.

Vancouver food costs typically run travelers around $27 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Banff $25
    Vancouver $27
Typical Food prices in Banff

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


  • Tea House Lunch for Two
    $35
  • Hostel Breakfast
    $29
  • McDonalds
    $5.03

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

Typical Food prices in Vancouver

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


  • All You Can Eat Sushi Lunch
    $9.55

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Vancouver

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

  • Little Italy Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Private Little Italy Walking Food Tour in Vancouver: $75
  • Private Historical Food Tour of Gastown: $75
  • Gastown Historic Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Private MultiCultural Vancouver Vegan Food Tour: $83
  • Vancouver Harbor Sunset Dinner Cruise: $84
  • Cooking Classes: $109
  • Bowen Island Dinner and Zodiac Tour: $118
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Vancouver: $156
  • Secret Food Tour of Vancouver w/ Private Tour Option: $156
  • Shuttle to Zodiac Nature Tour, Seaside Dinner, and return to Vancouver by Seaplane: $261
  • Best of Vancouver Highlights /Suspension Bridge/ Free Pizza Party Tour Private: $331

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Banff is $4.50 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.

To get around in Vancouver, the average visitor spends $10 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banff $4.50
    Vancouver $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Banff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Banff:

  • 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
  • Alberta Transfer: Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Calgary and Kananaskis: $63

Typical Local Transportation prices in Vancouver

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


  • SkyTrain from Airport
    $6.90
  • Taxi from Airport to Downtown
    $23
  • 15 min Taxi Ride
    $9.46
  • SkyTrain DayPass
    $7.09

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): $34
  • Private Airport Transfer: Vancouver to Vancouver International Airport (YVR): $39
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Vancouver City to Airport: $60
  • Coach Transfer from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Victoria: $62
  • Private Transfer from Canada Place Cruise Terminal to any Hotel: $64
  • Transfer in private vehicle from North West Vancouver to Vancouver Airport: $70
  • Canada Place Cruise Port to Vancouver Airport (YVR) - Departure Private Transfer: $72
  • Vancouver hotel/address to Vancouver Airport (YVR) - Departure Private Transfer: $72
  • Departure Private Transfer Vancouver to YVR Airport or Cruise Port- Business Car: $73
  • Coach Transfer from Downtown Vancouver Hotels to Downtown Victoria: $73
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Vancouver City to Airport: $73
  • Departure Private Transfer Vancouver to Vancouver YVR or Cruise Port -Luxury SUV: $79

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.





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.

In Vancouver, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $31 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banff $11
    Vancouver $31
Typical Entertainment prices in Banff

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


  • Hot Springs
    $5.76

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 Vancouver

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

  • Cycling the Seawall: A relaxing audio tour cycle along the Stanley Park Seawall: $5.00
  • Walking Tour Along Stanley Park's Seawall: $5.21
  • Discover Gastown GPS-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.44
  • Downtown Vancouver All Day Cruise Luggage Storage: $8.06
  • Vancouver Self-Guided Audio Tour: $16
  • 2-Hour Vancouver Gastown Self-Guided Walking Tour: $20
  • Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tour: $20
  • Electric Boat Tour of Coal Harbour: $23
  • Evening Tour of Vancouver: $23
  • Vancouver Secrets of Stanley Park Walking Tour: $25
  • The Forbidden Downtown and Gastown Walking Tour: $27
  • Interactive Pirate Cruise from Granville Island: $31

Alcohol

The average person spends about $8.11 on alcoholic beverages in Banff per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Vancouver, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $14.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banff $8.11
    Vancouver $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Vancouver

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Vancouver:

  • Epic Vancouver Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • Vancouver Craft Brewery Tour Led by a Local: $68
  • Vancouver Behind-the-Scenes Brewery Tour: $78
  • Vancouver Wine Tour (Fraser Valley): $119
  • Stawamus Chief Hike & Local Brewery Tasting: $141
  • Oregon Coast Tour and Wine Tasting- Private Full Day Tour: $179
  • Vancouver Island Cycling Tour including Lunch and Wine Tasting: $186
  • Vancouver Private Wine Tasting Tour: $218
  • Fraser Valley Social Wine Tasting Private Tour: $256
  • Vancouver City Finest and Social Wine tasting Private Tour: $422
  • Private Fraser Valley Wine Tour: $1,000
  • Small-Group Fraser Valley Wine Tour with Lunch from Vancouver: $1,008


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.

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Banff vs. Vancouver Travel Comparison

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