Banff is a small town in the Canadian Rockies that is teeming with tourists year-round. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure holiday or a relaxing mountain getaway, Banff has something to offer everyone. And when it comes to finding a place to stay, the best hostels in banff have got you covered.

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What are the best hostels in Banff

HI Banff Alpine Centre

HI Banff Alpine Centre is one of the best hostels in Banff for those looking for an action-packed holiday. Located in the heart of Banff National Park, HI-Banff Alpine Centre is a great base for exploring all that the park has to offer. With a variety of rooms to choose from, including dorms private rooms and cabins available.

  • 4 - 6 bed mixed dorms with ensuite
  • 4 - 6 bed mixed dorms
  • Private cabin suite
  • Private queen
  • Private double
  • Free WI-FI
  • Common room
  • Games room
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Sports equipment storage
  • Laundry on site
  • Bar on site
  • Restaurant

Samesun

Samesun backpackers is one of the best hostels in Banff for those looking for a social and fun-filled experience. With a variety of common areas and activities, such as nightly dinners, pub crawls, and movie nights, there is always something to do at Samesun. It is a centrally located hostel that is only a 5-minute walk from Banff Avenue.

  • 6-bed mixed dorms with ensuite
  • 8-bed mixed dorms with ensuite
  • 6 and 8-bed female-only dorms with ensuite
  • 14-bed mixed dorms with ensuite
  • Private double room with shared washroom
  • Private two double room with shared washroom
  • Free WI-FI
  • Free breakfast
  • Common room
  • Storage
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Laundry on site
  • Bar and restaurant
  • On-site parking

Banff International Hostel

The Banff International Hostel is located three blocks from the centre of town and has a great location near many of Banff's activities, restaurants, and bars. It is also only a 2-minute walk to a local bus stop. This hostel is suitable for both short-term and long-term stays if you are looking for work in town.

  • 4 - 6 bed female-only dorms with ensuite
  • 8-bed male-only dorms with ensuite
  • 4 - 9 bed mixed dorms with ensuite
  • 4, 6 and 8-bed private rooms with ensuite
  • Free WI-FI
  • Computers
  • Common rooms
  • Courtyard with BBQ
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Laundry on site
  • Liquor store
  • On-site parking

Hostels outside Banff but inside Banff National Park

HI Lake Louise

HI Lake Louise is a great choice for those looking for a hostel inside Banff National Park. Located just minutes from the village of Lake Louise, HI Lake Louise is perfect for hikers and nature lovers. With stunning views of the Victoria Glacier, HI Lake Louise is a hostel you will never forget.

  • 4 - 6 bed mixed dorms
  • 4 - 6 bed female-only dorms
  • 4 - 6 bed male-only dorms
  • Private double room with ensuite WC
  • 4 - 6 bed family room
  • 5 bedroom private room with ensuite
  • 2 - 3 private rooms
  • Free WI-FI
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Games room
  • Common room
  • BBQ
  • Sauna
  • Restaurant
  • Patio
  • Laundry on site
  • On-site parking

HI Castle Mountain Wilderness Hostel

HI Castle Mountain is located halfway between Banff and Lake Louise, on the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A), a less travelled route where you may be lucky enough to spot some animals. The hostel offers a taste of wilderness joined with a cosy lounge and a wood-burning stove, all in the midst of views of Castle Mountain.

  • 14-bed female-only dorms
  • 14-bed male-only dorms
  • Free WI-FI
  • Free tea and coffee
  • Common room
  • Games room
  • Storage lockers
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Fire pit
  • BBQ
  • On-site parking

HI Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel

HI Mosquito Creek is a wilderness hostel in the middle of Banff National Park, only 20 minutes from Lake Louise, that has a remote feel to it. This hostel is perfect for those looking for a wilderness experience, as it is surrounded by forest and wildlife. Not to mention, it is a rustic hostel with outhouse toilets! You can warm up by the fireplace or an outdoor fire pit after a full day of fun in the Rockies.

  • 12-bed mixed dorms
  • Family room
  • Common room
  • Fire pit
  • Games room
  • Sauna
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • On-site parking
Lake louise

How to choose the right hostel for your needs

When choosing a hostel, it's important to consider your needs and what you're looking for in a stay. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Location

When choosing a hostel, it's important to consider its location. Is it close to the town centre or other attractions? Is it in a quiet or busy area?

Reason for visiting

Are you here to party or to hike? The reason for visiting will affect your decision because it will make your trip a better experience if the people at the hostel share your reasons.

Room types

Hostels offer a variety of room types, from dormitories to private rooms. Be sure to choose one that fits your needs and budget.

Amenities

Many hostels offer amenities such as free breakfast, WiFi, and laundry facilities. Be sure to check the amenities before making your decision.

Price

Price is also an important consideration when choosing a hostel. Be sure to compare the prices of different hostels before making your decision.

How to make the most of your stay in a hostel

Although hostels can be a great way to save money on your trip, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your stay. Here are a few tips:

Make friends with your roommates

Hostels are a great opportunity to meet new people from all over the world. Make friends with your roommates and explore the town together.

Get involved in activities

Many hostels offer activities such as movie nights, hikes, and bar crawls. Get involved in as many activities as possible and meet new people that way.

Take advantage of the free amenities

Most hostels offer free WiFi, breakfast, and laundry facilities. Take advantage of these amenities and save money on food and laundry costs.

Be social

Hostels are a great place to meet new people and socialize. Be outgoing and chat with your roommates and other guests at the hostel.

Respect the hostel rules

Hostels have rules in place for a reason, so be sure to respect them. This will ensure that you and other guests have a great stay.

Banff national park

The benefits of staying in a hostel

Hostels provide an affordable way to travel, especially for young people and students. Staying in a hostel is a great way to meet new people from all over the world and learn about new cultures.

Most hostels have communal kitchens, so you can save money by cooking your own meals. Many hostels are located in central areas, so you can walk to attractions and save on transportation costs.

In addition, many hostels offer activities such as walking tours and pub crawls, so you can socialize and explore your surroundings without spending a lot of money. Whether you're travelling on a tight budget or just looking to meet new people, staying in a hostel can be a great experience.

Common misconceptions about hostels

There are many misconceptions about hostels, which often deter people from staying in them.

The first misconception is that hostels are unsafe. This is simply not true; most hostels have security measures in place, such as keycard access and security cameras. In addition, many hostels now offer private rooms, so you don't have to worry about sharing a room with strangers.

The second misconception is that hostels are dirty. Again, this is not the case; most hostels are clean and well-maintained.

Finally, some people believe that hostels are only for young people. This is false; people of all ages stay in hostels, and many offer amenities like Wi-Fi and laundry facilities that appeal to all travellers.

So don't let these misconceptions stop you from staying in one of the best hostels in Banff on your next trip; they're safe, clean, and welcoming to all.

Peyto lake

Tips for first-time hostelers

For the uninitiated, hostel living can be a bit of an adjustment. But for many travellers, hostels offer an affordable, social way to see the world.

Cleanliness is key

Hostels are communal spaces, so it's important to clean up after yourself and respect the property and your fellow guests.

Don't forget to pack your own toiletries

Most hostels don't provide shampoo, soap, or towels so make sure you have yours!

Be prepared to share a room with strangers

While this can be a great opportunity to meet new people, it also means that you'll need to be respectful of other people's privacy and personal space.

Don't be afraid to socialize

Hostels are a great way to meet people from all over the world, so strike up conversations and exchange travel stories with other solo travelers.

Be prepared for an early wake-up call

If you are sharing a dorm room with others you may be woken up by early risers so earplugs are a good idea if you are a light sleeper.

Hostels are generally much more relaxed and laid-back than hotels. There's no need to tiptoe around or be quiet all the time - but do keep in mind that other people may be trying to sleep, so try not to make too much noise late at night or early in the morning.

Read our blog post about Canmore hostel options.