Skip to Content

9 Best Cheap Places to Stay in Banff (that are actually nice)

9 Best Cheap Places to Stay in Banff (that are actually nice)

Share with your friends!

Trying to plan a trip to Banff on a budget?

It’s no secret Banff National Park is one of the most expensive places in Canada to visit, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any affordable accommodation options.

In fact, you might be surprised by the number of budget hotels there are in Banff, Canada.

After over a dozen visits to Banff and the Canadian Rockies in the last few years, we’ve hand picked our favorite cheap places to stay in Banff.

And guess what, they’re actually nice and not run down!

Plus, at the end of the article I’ve added some bonus tips on how to stay cheaply in Banff and get the best deals.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission. I only share information about things I know, love and trust!

Top 9 Cheap Places to Stay in Banff

Banff Ptarmigan Inn

Best for: friends or family trip

A classic choice situated in the middle of downtown Banff.

Easily walkable to all the action, but just far enough away for a quiet stay. 

Why we love it: 

  • 2 hot tubs, sauna & steam room
  • Free bus passes (stops include the Banff Gondola, the Upper Hot Springs, Lake Minnewanka and more).
  • Quick access to the ski-shuttle
  • Complimentary heated underground parking
  • Pet friendly rooms
  • Hot breakfast buffet (extra fee)

View prices on

View prices on Expedia

Banff Park Lodge

Best for: couples on a budget

Located only one block behind the downtown core and picturesque Bow River, the Banff Park Lodge is the cheapest hotel you’ll find that’s closest to everything. 

Every night the pool is reserved for adults only from 9 to 11pm.

This makes it a great budget hotel choice for couples visiting Banff (and you can also order room service).  

Combine a stay at this hotel with a sunrise visit to magical Moraine Lake, and you’ve just planned yourself a perfect romantic getaway.

Why we love it: 

  • 1 minute walk from Bear Street, famous for being picturesque & pedestrian-only 
  • Every room has a balcony or patio
  • Indoor pool (including adult-only hours from 9-11 pm nightly)
  • Fitness center
  • eucalyptus steam room
  • 3 onsite restaurants & room service
  • Ski rentals direct from the hotel lobby

View on

View on Expedia

The Dorothy Motel

Best for: traveling with a pet

This boutique motel is located on the edge of town in a quiet neighborhood, and is one of the newest renovated hotel/motels in Banff.

Why we love it: 

  • Rooms are modernly renovated
  • Every room has a mini-refrigerator and microwave
  • Located in a quiet, forested area
  • One of the most pet friendly hotels in Banff

View on

View on Expedia

The Rundlestone Lodge

Best for: Budget luxury

While it’s a little bit of a walk to the downtown core, the Rundlestone Lodge is one of the cheapest hotels in Banff with unobstructed mountain views from its  balcony rooms.

Besides, the walk along Banff Ave is so beautiful, you won’t mind, I promise! 

Why we love it

  • Mountain peak views from balcony rooms
  • Hotel theme offers a cozy, cabin getaway feel
  • Indoor atrium with pool and hot tub 
  • Heated underground parking included 
  • Choose a king suite with a jacuzzi tub and fireplace for a romantic getaway

View on

View on Expedia

Bonus tip: I love using Hotwire deals to find cheap, last-minute hotel rooms in Banff. Since there’s a limited number of hotels in town, it’s easy to guess which hotel you might get. 

Red Carpet Inn

Best for: budget travelers or a 1 or 2 night stay

If your main goal is to find the cheapest hotel in Banff on the main strip, the Red Carpet Inn is it. 

Why we love it: 

  • Most affordable hotel in high season
  • Convenient location, 5 minute walk from downtown & plenty of restaurants along the way
  • Coffee makers and mini refrigerators in all rooms
  • Indoor hot tub
  • Pet friendly

View on

View on Expedia

Tunnel Mountain Resort

Best for: families, groups or longer stays in Banff

For a true Banff getaway, a few nights in a condo or cabin up on peaceful Tunnel Mountain offers a truly breathtaking mountain experience. 

Why we love it:

  • Tucked away in a forested area, away from busy downtown 
  • Chalet-style spacious rooms (some of the largest you’ll find in Banff)
  • Condos have full kitchens and fireplaces
  • Indoor pool, sauna & steam room
  • Bike rentals
  • Complimentary bus passes to town & nearby attractions
  • Pet friendly

View on

View on Expedia

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort

Best for: long stays & those looking for a true resort feel with lots of amenities

The Banff Rocky Mountain Resort is our top choice for an affordable mountain resort getaway.

While it’s only a 5 minute drive to town, you’ll never have to leave the resort with the amount of amenities here

Why we love it: 

  • Receive a free discount card for dozens of Banff restaurants, shops, activities and spas
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Indoor and outdoor hot tubs
  • Tennis, Pickleball and Squash courts
  • Immediate access to nearby trails
  • Wood burning fireplaces
  • Free hotel shuttle to downtown
  • High likelihood of seeing wildlife roaming the property (elk, deer & more)
  • Pet friendly

View on

View on Expedia

Charltons Banff

Best for: a quiet & chill vibe

A classic, cozy alpine hotel, Charltons Banff is one of the most reasonably price hotels in Banff.

Why we love it:

  • All rooms come with 2 fluffy robes
  • Complimentary bike rentals
  • Free golf club/ski storage
  • Indoor pool open late (11 pm)
  • Hot tub & steam room

View on

View on Expedia

Hostel International Banff Alpine Centre

Best for: social and solo travelers

Savvy travelers will love this highly-rated budget friendly option in Banff.

While it offers traditional shared rooms, guests can also book private rooms or individual cabins.

This makes HI Banff Alpine Centre the most affordable option to rent cabins in Banff.

Why we love it:

  • Choose from shared or private rooms or cabins
  • Cabins offer privacy, with all the benefits of hostel travel
  • Group hikes, karaoke nights, yoga classes & more
  • Nightly drink specials during happy hour at the onsite bar & restaurant
  • Complimentary transit passes
  • Wildlife love roaming this property 
  • Games room, lounges and backyard hangout area

View on

View on Expedia

Inside tip: one of the best (and cheapest) ways to experience Banff is to download the Gypsy Guide audio tour. For $6, you’ll receive a half day guided tour of all the must-see sights and viewpoints in Banff. 

How to Save Money on Hotels in Banff

Book as Early as Possible

The first and foremost way you will save the most money on hotels & lodging in Banff is by booking as early as you can.

Book a year ahead if possible.

This is when you’ll get not only the cheapest hotel room prices, but the most selection. 

Take Advantage of Kitchenettes

Secondly, if you’re going to be in the area (Banff, Lake Louise, etc.), for 3 or more nights, I recommend booking a hotel room with a kitchenette.

This way you can save money on meals by cooking your own.

If you plan to be out adventuring all day, you can save a ton of money by making breakfast and packing your lunch for the day. 

Utilize Free Cancellation

Finally, I love booking hotel rooms through Booking or Expedia, because they usually offer free cancellation.

If I’m several months away from my trip, sometimes I book two different hotels to lock in the rate, and then decide where to stay at a later date. 

Use Hotwire

Hotwire deals can save you a ton of money on accommodations in Banff.

Not only can you get steep discounts, I like letting Hotwire make the final choice about where to stay when I can’t decide between a few options.

Is it Worth it to Stay in Banff?

With hotel prices being outrageous, especially in the summer, you might be wondering if it’s even worth it to stay at a hotel in the town of Banff. 

Are You A First Time Visitor?

If it’s your first time visiting, it’s absolutely worth it to stay in Banff instead of staying somewhere cheaper, outside of the national park, such as Canmore, for example. 

Even one or two nights will be enough time to soak up the essence of this magical mountain town.

The views of the mountains as you stroll along Banff Ave are strikingly beautiful, especially first thing in the morning. 

Experiencing at least one sunrise and one sunset in Banff is a bucket list item for many, and if you stay in Banff you’ll be able to witness these phenomena easily. 

Parking Issues

Not to mention parking is horribly hard to find in Banff.

But most hotels have parking available for guests.

Being able to leave your car at the hotel and walk around town, stress-free is one of the biggest advantages to staying in Banff over Canmore. 

Winter Travel

If you’re visiting Banff in the winter, I highly recommend staying in Banff and not outside of town.

Roads can become slick and treacherous in the winter, and you don’t want to be needlessly traveling back and forth.

What is the Cheapest Time to Go to Banff?

The cheapest time to visit Banff is always during the shoulder seasons during the second half of April and throughout October.

Just watch out for holidays (like Easter and Thanksgiving) as these will skyrocket hotel prices.

Read more about the best time to visit Banff and what to expect in each season.

More Banff Blog Posts:

Dog Friendly Hotels in Banff: Tips & Advice to Help You Choose the Best One

17 Banff Hidden Gems That Locals Don’t Even Know About

Your Ultimate Guide to Best Things To Do in Banff in Summer

Banff vs Jasper: Which One Is Best For You? (Tips From a Local)

Places Like Banff: Canadian Rockies Off the Beaten Path

Pet Friendly Banff: Where to Eat, Stay & Play with Your Dog

Before you go…

If you want to stay up to date, get behind the scenes content, or connect with me directly – you can follow my YouTube channel, Facebook Page, Instagram or Twitch channel!

New photos, videos and live streams!