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5 BEST Calgary to Banff Shuttles for a Stress-Free Transfer

5 BEST Calgary to Banff Shuttles for a Stress-Free Transfer

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If you’re searching for the easiest way to get from Calgary to Banff, we’re going to go over the best shuttles for a stress-free trip.

Since living here, we have helped friends, family, and fellow travelers select the best shuttle to Banff depending on their budget, group size, and needs. We know how much of a hassle it can be to get here and that’s not how we want you to start your trip!

Having the inside scoop, we put together this list of the best choices depending on what you need. Keep reading to find your perfect option for an easy transfer from Calgary to Banff! 

What are the best shuttles from Calgary to Banff?

1. Round Trip Private Shuttle – Calgary Airport to Banff (and Banff back to Calgary)

Arial shot of a road in Banff National Park
An epic drive for sure

I find this private round-trip shuttle to Banff incredibly stress-free because, well, it’s round-trip! That means there’s no need to set up or worry about a ride back to the airport because you already have one.

This shuttle gets cheaper the more people you have (up to 14) so it’s a fantastic option for larger groups who want a premium experience while not breaking the bank. Another great feature is that it has 24-hour pick-up from not only the airport but a few other hotels nearby as well. 

The only thing you have to figure out is when you want a ride back to Calgary from Banff. Provide them with the date, time, and name of your accommodation and they will be there ready to take you back whenever you want. Details for your trip back can be provided after booking so if you don’t know yet don’t worry about it!

Taking care of two trips with one shuttle booking? That’s what I call stress-free! 

2. Budget-friendly Shared Shuttle from Calgary to Banff

People on the shuttle from Calgary to Banff
A comfy ride

This shared shuttle to Banff is a great option for people, solo or in groups, who want to save money, but also have comfort amenities like WiFi and spacious seats during the ride. 

What I love about this public shuttle compared to others is that it drops off at just about every hotel in Banff and makes the transfer completely stress-free. Picking up from the Calgary Airport or Downtown Calgary daily, this shuttle has departures from 9:30 am all the way to 8 pm.

Once you make it to the meeting point, staff will handle your luggage for you and answer any questions. Luggage is limited to one piece of checked baggage and a carry-on per person, with additional bags subject to extra charges at the discretion of the driver. If you’re bringing any outdoor equipment it can be accommodated, but at an extra cost as well.

If you don’t want to sacrifice comfort and convenience and also want a cheap transfer to Banff, this shared shuttle is an easy choice. And for only $90 CAD it’s a steal of a deal!

Plus, if you’d like to book transfers to Lake Louise or Jasper and a return shuttle to Calgary, you can do that too!

Related Read: Make sure you’re prepared for your Banff trip by checking out our list of the best things to do in Banff. We have 50 things on there!!

3. One-Way Private Shuttle: Calgary to Banff

Wildlife crossing from shuttle from Calgary to Banff
You’ll see plenty of wildlife crossings on the way

I love this one-way private shuttle to Banff for its 24-hour service, multiple pick-up points, and flexible group pricing. It makes the journey to Banff an absolute breeze!

If you’re staying in Calgary, this shuttle can collect you right at your hotel, just pick a time and you’re good to go! If you’re flying in, your private driver will meet you and collect your luggage in the arrivals area of the airport.

One of the big perks of a private shuttle is that they will wait if your flight is late. While our flights haven’t been super late, we’ve heard of others with four-hour delays and their driver was still waiting for them!

What else can I say? It’s the service and comfort you would come to expect from a highly-reviewed shuttle service. They make sure your experience from Calgary to Banff is stress-free and uncomplicated.

I recommend this shuttle for groups since it’s cheaper the more people you have. For reference, a group of 6 will pay $170 CAD per person, not bad at all if you ask me! 

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

4. Public Shuttle from Calgary to Banff

People look out a window on a shuttle beetween Calgary and Banff
Enjoying the views!

If you’re traveling solo or only with a couple of people I recommend this public shuttle to Banff for a cheap, straightforward, and stress-free experience.

After landing at the Calgary Airport, you can find the meeting point on the arrivals level next to exit door five. Shuttles are available from 12:30-6:30 pm, but I suggest booking one at least 1.5 hours after your plane is set to land so you aren’t rushed. Since it’s a public shuttle they won’t wait if you’re late!

Each passenger is allowed one piece of luggage and a carry-on, but I appreciate that you can pay $10 CAD for an extra bag if you need to. This is of course subject to how much room is available, so multiple extra bags might be an issue if it’s a full ride.

Unless you’re staying at Mount Royal Hotel in Banff you will need to figure out how to get to your accommodation once you arrive. I like Uber because it’s always available and reasonably priced, but Banff isn’t too big so if you feel like walking you can save money and get a little exercise! 

Considering how convenient this shuttle is, I find the fact that it’s only $59 CAD a steal! 

Related Read: Since you’re taking a shuttle, make sure you check out the best tours in Banff that include transport so you don’t have to worry about renting a car!

5. Minivan Airport Shuttle Calgary to Banff 

Wildlife crossing in Banff

What makes this private shuttle to Banff stand out from the rest is that it has a fixed rate, making it a cheap, convenient, and comfortable option for groups. Plus it’s available for last-minute bookings – including same-day or next-day service!

When I say groups, I should specify that this minivan can hold up to 6 people and whatever room is left over for luggage. There aren’t any bicycle or snowboard racks, but what you can fit inside is yours to bring. So keep that in the back of your mind if you’re traveling with 6 people who like to bring multiple suitcases. It might get a little tight!

Something I appreciate about this shuttle is that it offers 24-hour service, meaning regardless of when you need to get to Banff they will make it happen. And not just from the airport, but multiple hotels around Calgary too!

However, I think the thing that makes this shuttle stress-free is that your driver will wait for you at the airport if your flight is delayed! That’s 5-star service right there. If you’re comfortable with it, I recommend giving the driver your cell number before arrival so you can easily find them and stay in communication.  

I recommend this transfer for groups of 6 and under who travel semi-light and are looking for a convenient and cost-effective way to get to Banff. It costs $460 CAD per group, so if you have 6 people, that works out to $76 CAD per person!

How long is the drive from Calgary to Banff?

A shuttle from Calgary to Banff
Most shuttles to Banff look like this

I’ve found going from Calgary to Banff takes about 1.5-2 hours depending on traffic. Banff is 143 kilometers (89 miles) away and for the most part, it’s pretty uneventful getting there. Granted, the Canadian Rockies getting bigger and bigger as you drive towards them is a pretty awesome sight!  

I recommend using the restroom and filling up your water bottle before taking whichever shuttle you pick since they don’t make stops on the way unless it’s a private transfer. Oh, and a good playlist or book never hurts!

Things to do While You’re in Banff

Cable cars travel up the Banff Gondola
The Banff Gondola is a must-do!
Bailey at the Upper Falls at Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park
Upper Falls at Johnston Canyon!

Once you arrive, there are so many things to do in Banff. But with so much to choose from, it might feel overwhelming. So below, I’ve picked some of my favorite activities in the area!

  • Look for wildlife – Banff is home to some incredible wildlife. You might just spot elk, bears, deer, foxes, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and more! The best chance you have of seeing the most critters is on a wildlife tour. We really liked this small group tour where the guides tailor the itinerary to recent wildlife spottings, and you get to see highlights of the national park along the way.
  • Banff Upper Hot Springs – Relax in Banff’s very own hot springs with mountain views. The Banff Upper Hot Springs is one of the best hot springs in Alberta, it can get busy though so it’s best to go first thing in the morning or the last hour before they close.
  • Hike Johnston Canyon – There are tons of amazing hikes in and around Banff, but I especially loved hiking Johnston Canyon and seeing its spectacular waterfalls. You can drive to the trailhead on your own or book a tour. This e-bike and hiking tour is excellent for those who want to combine both activities. Or if you just want transport, take the hop-on-hop-off bus that stops here.
  • Ride up a gondola – If you want an incredible vantage point in town, riding up the Banff Gondola is our pick! You’ll climb to the top of Sulphur Mountain where you’ll have a view of six different mountain ranges. Tickets for the Banff Gondola do sell out in the busy season, but you can purchase yours ahead of time here!
  • Visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake – If you want to see more stunning lakes in the area, check out these two! Parking at Lake Louise can be tricky (and impossible at Moraine Lake!), so we’d recommend this Banff National Park Tour. You’ll get to visit Lake Louise as well as Moraine Lake in one go – with enough time to walk around, learn the local history, and snap postcard-worthy photos.

Where to Stay in Banff

the hot tub at Banff Inn
Relaxing in this hot tub is perfect after a day out exploring Banff. Photo Credit: Banff Inn

Where you stay is one of the most important parts of your trip and in Banff, the selection can be overwhelming and expensive. To help you decide, we’ve detailed the pros and cons of different areas in Banff National Park here. There are also plenty of great hotels in Banff town to consider. Below are some amazing hotels we recommend for a variety of budgets!

Fairmont Banff Springs – $$$

The Fairmont Banff Springs is by far the most luxurious hotel in Banff. It’s definitely not cheap, but the place is simply incredible – it seriously looks like a castle! Inside this one-of-a-kind hotel, you’ll find 11 restaurants, 14 shops, bowling, bars, a top-rated spa, a couple of pools, and so much more.

If you’re celebrating something special, such as a honeymoon, then this should be the hotel you choose! A one-night stay starts at around $744 CAD, and you can check prices and room availability for Fairmont online here.

Banff Inn -$$

The Banff Inn is a great midrange hotel that combines comfort with an incredibly welcoming atmosphere. I love staying here as not only is the hotel located right on Banff Ave, but all rooms are air-conditioned, and the staff is so friendly! In the hotel, you’ll find a hot tub, steam room, and sauna, as well as a restaurant and bar.

Rooms here at the Banff Inn start at around $266 CAD per night, and I highly recommend booking well in advance, as this is one of the most popular hotels in Banff.

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort – $$

Another fantastic midrange hotel is Banff Rocky Mountain Resort, which has a swimming pool, hot tub, gym, and all the rooms have kitchenettes or full kitchens. It’s the perfect place for families since they also have two and three-bedroom units to pick from.

The Banff Rocky Mountain Resort is located in a peaceful spot on Tunnel Mountain that’s only a 5-minute drive from Banff town! With rooms starting at around $143 CAD, you can check availability and book Banff Rocky Mountain Resort online here.

Samesun Banff Hostel – $

Samesun Banff Hostel is a great budget hostel with dorm rooms – perfect for those on a tight budget who want to stay in the heart of Banff town. Their common room is ideal for meeting like-minded travelers, and they also have an on-site restaurant where you can grab a meal.

As this is a backpacker place, you won’t find any private rooms available, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great stay here. Dorms start from $53 CAD in the low season, but this does rise come summer! That’s why it’s a great idea to check your dates ahead of time and to book your space on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.

Important info: Accommodation in Banff can be tricky. For starters, you need to book well in advance if you want to have a large selection. I suggest booking a place ASAP! Using Booking.com is great too because lots of hotels offer free cancellation, so just lock in a place (or two) for now and make the final decision later!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie ith drinks on a rooftop bar in Banff, Canada
Thanks for reading!

There you have it, our top five picks for shuttles from Calgary to Banff! Since Calgary has an international airport, that’s likely where you’ll arrive if you’re flying into Alberta for your trip to the Rockies. Luckily all the shuttles on our list offer airport pickup and some will pick up from hotels in Calgary if you want to stay in the city for a bit before you leave!

While you’re planning your trip to Banff, let us be your personal travel guides! Check out all our blogs on Banff here and a few of our most popular ones below.

How to Spend 1, 2, or 3 Days in Banff

How to Get from Banff to the Columbia Icefield + Best Tours

16 MOST Instagrammable Places to Visit in Banff National Park