Banff is in the province of Alberta in Canada. It is also in Banff National Park and is part of the Rockies. It has the Bow falls and Spray and Bow rivers near by. Banff ranks as Canada’s most popular tourist destination. It also has hot springs. Its most important attraction is outdoor sports. These include skiing, hiking and bike scrabbling.

The nearest airport is Calgary and it has a regular “roam” bus service. The overall permanent population is comparatively small ranging from around 8000 to 9000.

It is most likely that you will visiting Banff as a tourist, but you could be there on a working holiday.

Overall Banff is more expensive than the Canadian average However, food, transportation, housing and health care all come out lower in the overall average. So, being some distance from major centers of population, costs do not seem to be too much of a problem.

The first set of costs are basic “basket” of items which broadly follow the same broad trends across most of Canada. These prices will be in Canadian Dollars.


  • Cost of a meal in an in expensive restaurant will be $17.00. This ranges $10.00 to $23.50.

  • A three course meal for two in a “mid range” will cost on average $70.00. This can average out between $44.00 and $80.00.

  • A McDonald’s “Mac Meal” or similar combination meal, will be $9.00. This can vary between $7.00 and $10.00.

  • Half a liter of Canadian draft beer will be $5.25. This averages between $4.00 and $7.00.

  • A 33cl imported beer averages out at $6.50. This can range from $5.00 to $8.00.

  • Regular cappuccino will cost $3.88. This varies between $2.00 and $4.50.

  • A 33cl bottle of Pepsi or Coke will cost you $2.15. This ranges from $1.00 to $2.75.

  • A 33cl of bottled water will cost $1.82. This averages between $1.00 to $2.19.

  • A mid range bottle of wine will cost $17.00. This can vary between $10.00 to $20.00.

  • A packet of Marlboro will cost $13.47 on average. These cigarettes can range from $5.67 to $15.00. Again, another big difference.


  • Starting price at a normal tariff averages at $3.65. This varies between $3.20 and $5.00.

  • A taxi ride for 1 km on average equals $1.70. A taxi charge can vary between $1.36 and $3.00.

  • Waiting times for an hour, average out at $33.80. Again this varies quite a lot between $12.00 and $45.00!!

General Markets

  • 1 liter of regular milk. Costs on average $2.36. This difference can be between $1.19 and $3.35.

  • 500 grams of white bread will average out at $2.45. This ranges from $0.99 to $3.37.

  • 1 kg of white rice costs $3.50 on average. This can vary between $1.00 and as much as $6.00.

  • A dozen or 12 regular eggs, works out at $3.33. This ranges from $1.75 to $4.50.

  • 1 kg of local Canadian cheese costs $11.74. This can vary between $6.00 and $20.00!

  • 1 kg of boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost on average $11.34. This ranges all the way from $4.00 to $16.00.

  • 1 kg of beef round or similar back leg of beef costs $6.61. This can average between $4.00 and $16.00.

  • 1 kg of apples averages out at $3.00. These can range between $2.00 to $5.05.

  • 1 kg of bananas are $1.70. These vary between $0.78 and $3.00.

  • 1 kg of oranges equal $3.71. This can be between $2.00 and $6.00.

  • 1 kg of tomatoes is $2.84. This varies between $1.85 and $5.00

What is interesting with these figures is the range in prices of different products. This may be more extreme than else where in Canada. So, given Banff is a fairly small town, it would be an idea to hunt around stores and markets, if you are staying in an apartment and can cook. This way you should get a good deal and keep living expenses down.

Renting an apartment in Banff per month.

Again these are prices in Canadian dollars.

  • A 1 bed apartment in the city center averages out at $1,275.00. This can range between $1,200.00 and $1,400.00.

  • A 1 bed apartment outside the city center would be $900.00 on average. This can vary between $800.00 and $1,400.00 a month.

  • A 3 bed apartment in the center of the city will cost you $2,633.33 a month. This ranges from $2,400.00 to $3,000.00.

  • A 3 bed apartment outside the center will be $2,133.33 a month. This can vary between $2,400.00 and $3,000.00.

Cheap Hotels

There are rooms on offer at $70.00 US, a night, if you look for them.

Night life in Banff


If you think that Banff is a quiet out of the way holiday resort, you could not be more wrong. It has a thriving night life. For those visiting or on work visas, it would be an idea checking this out. The newly opened Dancing Sasquatch runs all week. It has two bars and a great DJ.

The Hoodoo lounge is a quieter version of the Dancing Sasquatch. Closed on Wednesdays and Sundays, it is open between 9 pm and 2 am.

Aurora Night club and lounge has a large dance floor with visiting international DJ s, as well as live entertainment.


After partying, you will need some where to eat. There is an excellent Italian restaurant called the Aardvark Pizza and Sub.

In contract there is Wild Bill’s Legendary saloon with a distinct “country and western” flavor. This serves up fajitas, burgers and steaks.

St Jame’s Gate Olde Irish Pub has 30 draft beers, 50 Scotches and 10 real Irish Whiskey.

Live Music

If you are into Jazz and R&B, this is on offer every Thursday at the Saltlik Lounge. The

Elk and Oarsman, show cases local bands. Metal heads can go to the Devil’s Gap.


For those that want a quiet time there are many good coffee shops in Banff. Evelyn’s Coffee bar is noted for it’s home grown products and good coffee.

The Cost of Enjoying Yourself.

With a population of around 8000, Banff has 4 million plus visitors a year. If you are staying in a cheap hotel certain parts of the year are cheaper than others. This can vary between $200US during peak, for a hotel room for the night. Holiday seasons from mid June through to September. However, mid October through to start of the Christmas period see hotel rooms drop to as low as $80 to $115.00 US.

As for booze, prices do average out at around $4 to $6 and $5 plus for a pint in Canadian dollars. As with many places, check out if there is a “happy hour”, for seasoned drinkers.

Specialist imported beers and spirits such as whiskey, will cost more. If you have time in Banff find out where the locals go and avoid the obvious tourist spots.

Getting to Banff

You can get a deal as cheap as just over $300.00 AUS, return to Banff from Australia. This will take you to Calgary, Red Deer, Castlegar and Lethbridge, the nearest airports.

All inclusive holiday deals including hotels and flights seem to start at around $1200 plus AUS, for a week.

For those who are combining a trip to Banff, with a work visa, then it would make a lot of sense if you contacted a good visa company, that will be able to sort out all the details necessary.

Canadian working holiday visas are very straightforward and logical, with the proper help and paper work there should not be a problem.


The Canadian US dollar rate is .80. The Australian and Canadian dollar rates are pretty close. It pays to keep an eye on currency rates as this could impact your financing.