It’s very easy to visit Banff without a car. With millions of annual visitors, Banff has a bit of a vehicle congestion issue, so by coming to Banff without a car, you’ll be helping the environment and helping the congestion issue. Plus, coming to Banff without a car is a great way to visit Banff on a budget!
Plan A Trip to Banff Without a Car
Your first step to planning a trip to Banff without a car is to pick one of the convenient options to get from the Calgary Airport to Banff. Once you arrive in Banff National Park, you’ll find it easy to get around Banff without a car, including these excellent Banff hikes without a car.
Visiting Banff without a car requires a little more thought about logistics. Your next step in trip planning is to find the most convenient Banff hotel for getting around town and the national park. To help you with this, we’ve looked at all the ways to get around Banff National Park, evaluated nearby hotels, and identified the best hotels in Banff for you to stay at.
Our selection criteria was simple:
- The recommended Banff accommodations must be within a 3-minute walk from a bus or shuttle stop (unless otherwise stated)
- The hotel must get an 8+ out of 10 visitor rating on Booking.com
This post contains compensated links.
Best Banff Hotels – Downtown Banff Hotels
All the public transportation options around Banff National Park run through downtown Banff. To ehlp narrow down the best hotels in downtown Banff without a car, we’ve added an extra search criterion of being within easy walking distance of multiple decent restaurants and shopping options.
The most walkable downtown Banff hotels are:
Moose Hotel & Suites
Located right on Banff Avenue, Moose Hotel & Suites features an onsite spa, an indoor pool and two rooftop hot pools. It’s only a three-minute walk from the Banff High School Transit hub. As a bonus for visitors to Banff without a car, the Moose Hotel & Suites offers guests complimentary Banff Roam passes!
The Moose Hotel is also one of the best pet-friendly Banff hotels.
Banff Aspen Lodge
On the corner of Rabbit St. and Banff Avenue, the Banff Aspen Lodge offers a sauna, two outdoor hot tubs, balconies and free breakfast. It’s also only a 3-minute walk along Banff Avenue to the Banff High School Transit hub.
See Banff hotels with a private hot tub.
Banff Ptarmigan Inn
Also conveniently located on Banff Avenue, the Banff Ptarmigan Inn offers free transit passes, free breakfast, a steam room and two hot tubs. Bike rentals are available.
Banff Park Lodge
Located on Lynx Avenue, just two blocks away from transit stops on Banff Avenue, the Banff Park Lodge is a 1-2 minute walk away from tons of great restaurants and shopping on Bear Street. Enjoy a swim in their heated indoor pool, or a dip in their large Jacuzzi.
Even with their great location and lots of amenities, the Banff Park Lodge made our list of the best affordable places to stay in Banff.
Elk + Avenue Hotel
On the corner of Elk St. and Banff Avenue, the Elk + Avenue hotel is right across the street from the Banff supermarket and the Banff High School Transit hub.
Brewster’s Mountain Lodge
On the corner of Caribou Street and Bear Street, Brewster’s Mountain Lodge is in the heart of the restaurant district and only a few steps from Roam bus stops on Banff Avenue. Enjoy a free continental breakfast before heading out to explore Banff.
Banff Vacation Rentals
If you prefer to stay in a vacation rental instead of a Banff hotel, there are several Banff Airbnb options to choose from. The most walking friendly Banff vacation rentals can be found 1-2 blocks east or west of Banff Avenue, between Wolf Street and Buffalo Street.
See our list of the best Best Airbnb rentals
Tunnel Mountain Hotels
The Tunnel Mountain hotel district rests to the east of the Banff Townsite. On the lower slopes of Tunnel Mountain is a cluster of hotels served by Roam Transit. Being slightly outside of town, it’s got a more wilderness feel to it than downtown Banff, and it’s only a 6-minute bus ride away. All three of our recommended Tunnel Mountain hotels offer free Banff Roam bus tickets to guests.
Tunnel Mountain Resort
Enjoy sweeping mountain views of Banff National Park from your balcony or patio. Kids will enjoy the playground and indoor swimming pool, making the Tunnel Mountain Resort one of the best kid-friendly hotels in Banff. If you’d prefer a more rustic feel, the Tunnel Mountain Resort also has several Banff cabins to rent.
The Roam bus stop is right in front of the Tunnel Mountain Resort.
HI-Banff Alpine Centre
The only Banff hostel to make this list, the Hi-Banff Alpine Centre offers private and dorm style rooms. Guests enjoy an onsite restaurant, along with foosball, billiards and darts. There are not many cheap hotels in Banff, so if you are on a budget, this highly rated Banff hostel is worth a look.
Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets
Families will love the indoor play area, the children’s pool and a small pool with two waterslides. With fully equipped modern kitchens, an onsite grocery store, liquor store and laundromat, you may not even need to go to the Town of Banff!
Sulphur Mountain Hotels
Sulphur Mountain looms over the Banff Townsite from the south. Two of the best hotels in Banff National Park are found on the lower slopes of Sulphur Mountain. In fact, both of these Banff resorts appear on Travel + Leisure’s Top 10 Resort Hotels in Canada list.
Fairmont Banff Springs
The world-famous Castle in the Rockies is one of the best luxury hotels in Banff. Everything about the Banff Springs Hotel is world class, from its award-winning golf course, the Willow Stream Spa, it’s 6 restaurants and 3 bars, skating rink and bowling alley. The list of amenities at the Banff Springs could go on and on… And yes, the Banff Roam bus goes right to the Banff Springs Hotel.
Worried about the cost of a stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs? Check out our review of the most affordable room at the Banff Springs and read our best tips for finding a deal at the Fairmont.
Rimrock Resort Hotel
The Rimrock Hotel is home to the Eden Restaurant, the only restaurant in Western Canada granted a 5 Diamond rating from AAA – a designation given to only the top 0.3% of all restaurants. The hotel itself is no slouch either, being given a 4 Diamond rating – putting it in the top 4% of all hotels ranked by AAA.
Lake Louise Hotels
Not all Banff National Park hotels are in the Banff Townsite. Lake Louise is one of the most stunning places to visit in Banff National Park. Lake Louise is 60 km west of the Banff Townsite, but it can be reached by Roam Transit route 8X.
Chateau Lake Louise
Another of Travel + Leisure’s Top 10 Resort Hotels in Canada, the Chateau Lake Louise sits on an incredible piece of real estate on the shores of the world-famous Lake Louise and the towering mountains which surround it. You will be treated to all the luxury one expects from a Fairmont hotel. The Roam bus stops in the parking lot, about a 5-minute walk from this iconic Lake Louise hotel.
Post Hotel and Spa
Located in the Lake Louise Village, the Post Hotel and Spa features an indoor Roman-styled saltwater pool and a full-service spa. It’s an 8-minute walk from the bus stop, but it’s one of the highest rated hotels in Banff National Park and it’s another one of the Top 10 Resort Hotels in Canada, so it’s worth an extra few minutes of walking.
See the rest of the best hotels in Lake Louise.
Canmore is a mountain resort town located just minutes outside the gates of Banff National Park. It’s less touristy than Banff, but there’s still lots of shopping and restaurants to enjoy. It’s often cheaper to stay at a hotel in Canmore over Banff and it’s easy to take the Roam bus from Canmore to Banff.
The Canmore hotels suggested here are all near the transportation hub near the Coast Canmore Hotel. From here you can catch a bus to Banff, downtown Canmore or the Calgary International Airport (YYC).
Coast Canmore Hotel
With a variety of airport shuttles stopping here and a Roam bus stop at its front door, the Coast Canmore Hotel is the most convenient hotel in Canmore to visit without a car. It’s a short walk to downtown Canmore and a new shopping complex with many restaurant and shopping options.
Canmore Downtown Hostel
Located in the new Shops of Canmore next to the Coast Canmore Hotel, the Canmore Downtown Hostel offers a well-connected, easy location to budget-conscious visitors.
Canmore VRBO Rentals
Canmore doesn’t allow many vacation rental properties, but there is a cluster of them within a few blocks of the transportation hub near the Coast Canmore Hotel. The most walking friendly Canmore VRBO rentals can be found along Bow Valley Trail between Sidney St and Lincoln Park.
Planning Your Banff Vacation
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Dan Brewer, a life-long Alberta resident, calls Canmore home along with his wife and two kids. He is the co-owner of Travel Banff Canada, where he gets to share his passion for the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Dan, along with his family, love being outdoors doing one of the many activities they enjoy in the mountains: hiking, mountain biking, paddleboarding, skiing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
When he's not in Canmore enjoying one of his favourite local hikes, you can find him hoping on a plane to explore a new country with his family or working on one of their other two travel sites: Family Can Travel and Baby Can Travel.