The 7 Best Cheap Hotels in Banff

Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. With towering snow-capped Rocky Mountains, turquoise blue lakes, world-class hiking and skiing, everyone should visit Banff at least once in their lives.

Given a visit to Banff is a bucket-list destination for millions around the world, it’s no surprise that Banff has been named the most expensive place to visit in Canada. Finding cheap accommodations in Banff is key to visiting Banff on a budget, but this can be challenging. Not to worry, we have done tons of research to help you find the best cheap hotels in Banff.

Visit Banff Canada and save money on Banff hotels

During COVID-19, some of the hotel amenities described below may be unavailable. This post contains compensated links.

What to Look for in a Cheap Hotel in Banff

It’s easy to get freaked out when looking at the cost of hotels in Banff, especially during the high season. Even the cheap hotels in Banff are quite expensive during high season!

When looking for inexpensive accommodation in Banff, try to remember what’s truly important for your trip to Banff. Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, so you’ll be spending most of your time away from your Banff hotel enjoying yourself outside.

With scenery like Peyto Lake, millions visit Banff making it hard to find cheap accommodation in Banff
Peyto Lake – Banff National Park

Given you’ll be away from your hotel a lot, you don’t need a lot from your hotel. All you need from your inexpensive Banff accommodation are clean rooms and comfortable beds. A history of good reviews from a large number of guests helps assure you that you won’t be staying at a flea trap.

When we are not at home near Banff, we travel on a budget around the world and have a ton of experience finding a good deal on a nice hotel. We’ve used our skills to separate the good affordable Banff hotels from the bad. The 5 hotels and 2 hostels below meet our high standards for inexpensive places to stay in Banff.

September larch hikes in Lake Louise
Sheol Valley – Banff National Park

The Best Cheap Hotels in Banff

Staying at budget hotels in Banff doesn’t mean you have to stay in a total dump. It’s true, there are some cheap hotels in Banff I wouldn’t stay at, but thankfully these are rare. In fact, many of the best cheap hotels in Banff are very nice places to stay with happy, satisfied clientele.

The inexpensive hotels listed below are among the cheapest accommodations in Banff. They are all inexpensive (relative to other Banff hotels), so they are not ranked in order of cost. These inexpensive Banff hotels are ranked in order of average guest satisfaction.

1. The Dorothy Motel

The Dorothy Motel is the best affordable hotel in Banff. Newly renovated, the guests at the Dorothy Motel in Banff have given it some of the best guest reviews of any hotel in Banff, not just among its affordable Banff hotel peers.

On the edge of town, backing onto a forest, the Dorothy Motel is an excellent cheap hotel in Banff for visitors without a car

One of the reasons the Dorothy Motel is an affordable Banff hotel is its location. It’s located right on the very eastern edge of the Banff townsite. Being ‘far’ away from downtown makes this Banff motel more affordable, but to put it in perspective, it’s only a 4 minute drive or an 18 minute walk to downtown Banff. It’s location is hardly an inconvenience – I love walking along Banff Avenue!

If the location of the Dorothy Motel is a concern, you can take advantage of the free Roam bus passes guests receive for their stay. Conveniently, there is a Roam public transit stop right by the motel, making the Dorothy Motel an ideal place to stay for visiting Banff without a car.

Two other advantages of the Dorothy Motel location are that it backs onto the forest and its close to the Banff Legacy Trail. This paved bike trail between Banff and Canmore is one of my favorite bike rides in Banff.

The Dorothy Motel is one of the best cheap motels in Banff Canada

Being an affordable Banff hotel, you won’t find a pool or fitness room at the Dorothy Motel, but it’s clean and has all the basic amenities you require in a Banff hotel room, such as a coffee/tea station, flat-screen TV, a microwave and mini-fridge.

Each motel room has a small table and chairs, so you can save even more money on your Banff vacation by self-catering or eating take-out from some of the nearby Banff restaurants.

The Dorothy Motel is one of the best cheap places to stay in Banff, Canada

The Dorothy Motel also warmly welcomes pets. They provide water and food bowls, a bed, treats and a take-home toy for your treasured family pet.

The only real complaint I see from guests at the Dorothy Motel is that you need to pick up your keys at the nearby Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa. This isn’t ideal, but it’s only a 2 minute drive from the Dorothy Motel. This issue is being addressed with mobile check in/check out and mobile key access coming soon.

2. Banff Boutique Inn

The Banff Boutique Inn is another of the best inexpensive hotels in Banff. Tucked away in a well-treed residential neighborhood on the road to the historic Cave and Basin, the Banff Boutique Inn is a another affordable Banff hotel with excellent reviews.

cheapest hotels in banff canada - Banff Boutique Inn

A short 5 minute walk from downtown Banff, the recently renovated Banff Boutique Inn has many elements of a bed & breakfast. There is a fully equipped kitchen for guests to use during their stay, along with a common living room and dining room.

A Banff hotel with a kitchen is perfect for visiting Banff on a budget

If you are looking to visit Banff on a budget, cooking your own meals will reduce the money you spend on restaurant food. When you take these food savings into account, the Banff Boutique Inn becomes even more affordable Banff accommodation.

Guests of this budget Banff hotel will enjoy a light bite in the morning, with a selection of cereal, oats and hot beverages to choose from.

cheap hotels in banff alberta - Banff Boutique Inn

The Banff Boutique Inn keeps its rooms affordable by limiting full housekeeping service to once every 7 days. Personally, I don’t view this as a negative – I frequently keep my “Do Not Disturb” sign on my hotel room door for days on end to keep housekeeping out. If you’d like more frequent cleaning, it is available at an extra cost.

3. High Country Inn

With an excellent location just two blocks from downtown Banff, the High Country Inn is one of the cheapest hotels in Banff with a pool. Not only does the High Country Inn have a heated indoor pool, but it also has two hot tubs and a cedar dry sauna. You get a lot of amenities for your money at this affordable Banff hotel!

The High Country Inn is one of the cheapest hotels in Banff with a pool

The rooms at this inexpensive Banff hotel are all climate controlled with microwaves, refrigerators and coffee makers. All rooms at the High Country Inn enjoy a mountain view, and most have a private balcony to enjoy the view.

cheap hotels in banff ca with a pool

If you’d prefer to save money on your trip to Banff by avoiding an expensive rental car, there are Roam bus stops in both directions just outside the High Country Inn.

cheap hotels in banff alberta - High Country Inn

The High Country Inn is also an inexpensive Banff Hotel which allows pets.

4. Banff Park Lodge

Of all the cheap Banff hotels on this list, the Banff Park Lodge has the best location. The Banff Park Lodge is nestled in-between downtown Banff and the beautiful Bow River, offering guests of this inexpensive Banff hotel the best of both worlds – nature and urban amenities.

banff national park cheap hotels - Banff Park Lodge

There’s plenty of things to do near this inexpensive Banff hotel. A short walk north on the Bow River walking path will lead you to the popular Fenlands Loop Trail. If you go south on this easy Banff walk, you can go all the way to the Bow Falls and the iconic Banff Springs Hotel. In addition, two of the best Banff museums are just a short walk along the Bow River.

inexpensive hotels in banff ca - Banff Park Lodge

The Banff Park Lodge has a long list of amenities, giving you excellent value for your money. This inexpensive Banff hotel offers guests a heated indoor pool, a hot tub, steam room and a fitness centre.

cheap Banff accommodations with a pool and hot tub - Banff Park Lodge

5. Banff Rocky Mountain Resort

Hidden away in a forest setting at the corner of Banff Avenue and Tunnel Mountain Road, the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort offers its guests a ton of amenities at a very affordable price.

affordable hotel at banff alberta

This inexpensive Banff hotel has an indoor swimming pool, an indoor & outdoor hot tub, a health and fitness club, squash courts, tennis courts and a basketball court. There’s even a play area for the kids!

cheapest hotels in Banff Alberta with a tennis court

With the beautiful setting and the long list of amenities, we wouldn’t blame you for spending all your time at this affordable Banff resort hotel. When it’s time to go into town, the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort offers a free shuttle service to town, or you can drive yourself – it’s only 6-minutes away.

cheap hotels in banff ca with a pool

In addition to the standard hotel rooms, guests at this affordable Banff hotel can stay in a loft, or a 1-bedroom apartment or even a 2-bedroom apartment. Many of the rooms feature a full kitchen, enabling you to stretch your Banff travel budget even further by cooking a few meals.

The Best Cheap Hostels in Banff

If you are willing to give up a little privacy and perhaps be willing to share a bathroom, you can save a ton of money on your trip to Banff at one of these affordable Banff hostels.

1. Samesun Banff

Just a few blocks away from downtown Banff, the Samesun is a popular Banff hostel which has earned very good reviews.

The Samesun hostel may be the cheapest place to stay in Banff Canada

Private rooms are available at the Samesun Backpacker Lodge with 1 or 2 double beds. These rooms may well be the cheapest hotel rooms in Banff. The private rooms at Samesun Banff are nicely appointed, but very basic with shared bathrooms.

If you are looking for a single bed in a dormitory style room, you can get a very cheap place to stay in Banff. The Samesun Banff has a selection of mixed and female-only dorm rooms with anywhere from 6 to 14 beds per room.

A single bed in a dorm room at the Samesun Banff Backpacker Lodge may be the cheapest place to stay in Banff, Alberta

You can save even more money on your trip to Banff by using the shared kitchen to cook your own meals. The Banff IGA grocery store is just a few minutes walk down Banff Avenue.

Visiting Banff on a budget is easier when you cook your own meals at your Banff hostel

A big draw for many of the visitors to Banff on a budget who stay at this hostel are the public meeting areas and of course, the on-site bar where you can get cheap meals and drinks. At the Samesun, it’s easy to meet other budget Banff travelers and fun to exchange stories and ideas for Banff adventures!

2. Banff International Hostel

The Banff International Hostel also has an excellent location, just a few blocks away from downtown Banff. As a nice coincidence, it’s only a block away from the Samesun hostel, so there’ll be no shortage of travelers to meet in the area!

Hostels are great cheap accommodation in Banff Alberta

You’ll have everything you need at this inexpensive Banff hostel. Guests of the Banff International Hostel have access to a full kitchen or can use the BBQ outside. There is a computer station, an onsite liquor store and lots of indoor and outdoor gathering places to hook up with other Banff travelers.

hostels like the Banff International Hostel are cheap places to stay in Banff Canada

You can choose from a wide variety of rooms at the Banff International Hostel. Private rooms with private bathrooms are available with anywhere from 2-to-8 beds.

a shared dorm room is the cheapest place to stay in Banff Canada

Renting a bed in a shared dorm is one of the cheapest ways to stay in Banff. Shared dorm rooms are available in male-only, female-only or co-ed, with 4 to 9 bunks per room.

Mount Rundle from the Vermillion Lakes in Banff National Park
Mount Rundle from the Vermillion Lakes

We hope you found an affordable play to stay in Banff within our recommendations above. If you’d like more selection, check out the rest of the affordable Banff accommodations on Booking.com. Simply plug in your dates and sort by price. Easy!

Finding Cheap Places to Stay in Banff FAQ

How can I stay in Banff for cheap?

A single bed in a dorm room at the Samesun Banff Backpacker Lodge may be the cheapest place to stay in Banff, Alberta

Banff is one of the most expensive places to travel in Canada. You can stay in Banff for cheap by staying in low season, or by finding an inexpensive hotel or hostel. Affordable accommodations in Banff typically sacrifice a downtown location or expensive amenities like a pool in order to keep costs down for guests. We have listed the best affordable places to stay in Banff within this post.

How much does it cost to stay in Banff?

The cost of a hotel room in Banff varies quite a bit with season. In the low season, you can find a really nice affordable hotel for less than $100 CAD per night, or a bed in a shared dorm room for less than $40 CAD. In the high season, even the affordable Banff hotels can cost upwards of $300 per night. That’s not exactly cheap, but it’s much better than the $700+ you’ll spend at the Banff Springs Hotel.

Is Banff Canada expensive?

The world-famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Banff is a bucket-list destination for travelers around the world and is therefore one of the most expensive places to visit in Canada. The cost of a Banff hotel is a large part of the cost of a trip to Banff. Save money on your trip to Banff with one of our recommended inexpensive Banff hotels and hostels.

When is Low Season in Banff?

A hiker enjoys larch trees and looming views of Mount Haddo whike hiking Sheol Valley in Lake Louise

Staying during low season in Banff is an excellent way to find a cheap place to stay in Banff National Park. Banff has two low seasons:

1) From late March to June, the ski season winds down and the snow starts to melt. You can enjoy some beautiful spring weather during this time, yet the mountains will still look incredible with snow-capped peaks.

2) A visit to Banff in the fall (September – November) is an excellent time to visit the national park. The crowds are mostly gone, but the warm weather can still linger. Be aware that for 2 weeks every fall, Alberta goes crazy for the larch trees and prices of hotels spike.

Find a Place to Stay in Banff

Visit Banff National Park

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Banff can be expensive, before you book your trip check out these best cheap hotels in Banff. These budget friendly hotels in Banff are worth a look and will help you save money in Banff for all the other fun things to do in Banff National Park.