Banff Travel Guide

  • Banff Ave with Cascade Mountain
    Banff Ave with Cascade Mountain
    by CndnSugarPlum
  • Castle in the Rockies: The Fairmont Banff Springs
    Castle in the Rockies: The Fairmont...
    by CndnSugarPlum
  • Banff
    by Twan

Banff Things to Do

See all 158 Things to Do in Banff
  • The Cascade Gardens

    4 out of 5 stars

    I was told the Cascade Gardens are beautiful, and that I must see them as I enjoy gardening and flowers. I think I must have been here at the wrong time, as there were hardly any flowers in bloom, I was disappointed. The lawns were nice, as was the setting, and I loved the stone building which is the headquarter's of Parks Canada. I have seen...

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  • Banff Avenue

    The town lies in the middle of Banff National Park, in the valley of the Bow River and resembles a small town in the Alps. In the summer time it is mostly visited by hikers, and winter is a place for skiers, the bustling city center is very contradictory with his quiet nature and beauty. Visits Banff certainly do not get bored Shopping in Banff is...

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  • Sulphur Mountain Gondola

    Let's go hike Sulphur Mountain - Note to self, this is uphill all the way! The hike up Sulphur Mountain is 5.5km, and not done easily. You criss cross as you go up the mountain. The elevation of the hike is 742 meters. It will take between 2 - 5 hours to hike the mountain. Once you get to the top there is a gift shop, restaurant and cafeteria. You...

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Banff Hotels

See all 53 Hotels in Banff

Banff Restaurants

  • The Grizzly House

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    If you want to spend 180 on dinner and sit beside obnoxious drunks then this is the place for you. We complained to the waiter because we were being harrassed who really didn't care. Never done it before but filed a complaint with ALGC about extreme over serving. Run away from the crap service. Food was ok at best. Worst restaurant experience I can...

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  • Balkan Restaurant.

    4 out of 5 stars

    June 12, 2011 I (we) have enjoyed the Balkan Restaurant over the years, great food, awesome service and relaxing atmosphere UNTIL TODAY...never have I (we) been so so thoroughly disgusted and mortified by the behaviour of not only a patron with horrid language, loud and obnoxious voice but the waitstaffs (the two of you know who you are)...

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  • Wild Bill's Legendary Saloon

    3 out of 5 stars

    Special: right in the middle of Banff, with 3 areas where you can sit outside on a balcony 'with a view'. Not so special: Staff: greeting very friendly, but then got a table (outside) covered with Ketchup. When I requested a towel so I (yes, not THEM) could clean it they looked very annoyed. Our beer had lipstick prints, the wraps were average and...

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Banff Nightlife

See all 20 Nightlife in Banff
  • Rose & Crown

    If you are between the ages of 18 - 35??? and know the staff, your evening here will be good. I am 56 years of age and female and I went for a drink with a friend and because some young girl??? knew the so called security, I was beaten by them and put into distress by a certain bouncer who went above and beyond the call of taking out any DANGER by...

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  • HooDoo Lounge

    Had a good time there the first night. My buddy went the night prior and had a good time, however, when we went together for our second time it was just okay. I was more into dancing and that night the floor seemed dead. I would definately recommend going. Besides, it's banff and not New York City so your choices are limited. I would call to see...

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  • Aurora Nightclub

    While Banff is full of pubs, Aurora is one of the few authentic nightclubs in town. I visited Aurora with coworkers of mine back in May on a Saturday night. There was a line-up when we arrived, but we had VIP passes, so we could skip by the line-up and get in without paying the $10 cover. The dance floor was packed and the mix was a unique blend...

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Banff Transportation

  • Trolley/Bus

    Even though Banff townsite is small but there are buses running around the center. Banff has an extensive public transit bus system that runs through town for $2 a ride. It connects up with all the area hotels and attractions. Transportation is available every day between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm. Roam Bus passes are available at the hotel front desk...

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  • Horse Drawn Carriage

    I tried to book these Carriages for a stagette, just wanting to make the event special and have the carriage ride from the red carpet inn to the rose and crown. when I originally called they quoted me $120 per carriage as I was looking for 2 carriages. when I called back to book they said they had no record of that quote and it was incorrect and...

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  • Driving

    We hired our PT Cruiser at Calgary Airport and returned it to Alamo / National Car Rental in Banff ( cnr Lynx & Caribou St) 8 days later. The vehicle performed well and was covered in mud and dirt when we returned to the depot. No extra fees, there is no car wash in Banff and the staff were not concerned about the dirt.

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Banff Shopping

See all 22 Shopping in Banff
  • Banff Avenue

    This is the main street in town that's lined with various restaurants and shops. You'll see your normal stand-by's, such as Starbucks, Gap, McDonald's, but there are also many quaint local shops. There's also a lot of tourist gift shops-keychains, shirts, refrigerator magnets and the like.

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  • A Bit of Banff

    Never have difficulty to find a souvenir shop in Banff town, this town is pretty small and there is only one street where everything to find. We were looking for some gifts and it didn't take long before we found a shop. This shop sells clothing, jewelry and etc., the shop is quite deep inside looks small from the outside Searching for a gift...

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  • Cows

    Cows is an ice cream/souvenier shop on Banff Avenue. As soon as you walk in the door there is a giant smiling cow looking back at you. The ice creeam is on one side of the store and the souveniers mostly on the other, but pretty much mixed in all around. They have delicious ice cream at a reasonable price in quite a few flavors. A one scoop cone is...

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Banff Local Customs

  • A very young crowd

    Banff has a very high number of young people staffing the hotels, restaurants and bars and tourist sites. You will find young people from Canada's eastern provinces as well as a lot of Australians, English and others from the Commonwealth countries. Apparently, a Commonwealth passport allows you to work for a up to two years without the need for a...

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  • Whyte Museum Of The Canadian Rockies

    For those visitors to Banff who wish to know how it was in the early days just walk down town to 111 Bear Street where you will see a display of mountain history, art and culture. There is also a very good display of local Indian history and culture, plus posters advertising the "Indian Days", shows put on by the indians during the early 20th...

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  • First Nations Cultural Dance

    Walking through Banff Town early evening we came across some First Nations people demonstrating some of their dance culture. They were dressed in full traditional costume, the ladies looking beautiful and the young men handsome.A considerable crowd gathered to watch the demonstration which took 20 minutes and was well worth the time. The dance...

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Banff Warnings and Dangers

  • Wild Animals

    Yes they may be cute - you may feel the desire to take pictures of them - you may want to even pet them. Always remember that they are wild animals. The animals in the park always seem to be in their rutting time. Each animal has it's own time. Never feed the animals. A fed bear is a dead bear! Not only are they dangerous wild animals but it's...

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  • Climbing

    Be careful if you decide to climb up little mountains...or rock formations, they can be quite dangerous...even if they are unbelievably alluring!! Where I'm standing with my cousin in this picture was quite narrow...but I have no self-control and had to climb it!!

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  • Do Not Feed The Animals!

    Yes they may be cute - you may feel the desire to take pictures of them - you may want to even pet them. Always remember that they are wild animals. The animals in the park always seem to be in their rutting time. Each animal has it's own time. Never feed the animals. A fed bear is a dead bear!Not only are they dangerous wild animals but it's...

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Banff Tourist Traps

  • ATV Tours/zipline - Don't do it

    I wasted a day of my holiday by driving 90 minutes out of the Park to go on an ATV tour only to find along with another couple they'd given us the wrong rendezvous point, after waiting over an hour we managed to track them down at a new site 8 miles away. After this debacle imagine my disgust when they asked me for a further 50 dollars on top of...

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  • Calforex Best Foreign Exchange Office

    Best Foreign Exchange Office in town!! They have great customer service, a flat fee and very competitive rates...Best in town, definitely!!! They cash also traveler's checks. Address 117 Banff Av. - very close to the Baie- I came all the way to find out how different the rates were from one Foreign Exchange Office to the other and also the...

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  • argh, kitsch!

    Main street on Banff is lined with tourist shops, millions of the things. Avoid at all costs. Unless you like foam hats and sweaters with pencil drawings of wild cats emblazoned on them. Get cool little things like alberta numberplates or wierd stuff like that.

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Banff What to Pack

  • Cameras

    With my other tip about taking a great camera, if you are snowboarding or skiing, unless you are fantastic, I advise leaving that at home. I have an old Sony P10 digital camera(still a not bad camera to be fair, just 5 years old) and also my partners camera in my jacket. Yes, i had a few falls, but they were never in risk of getting damaged or...

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  • Camera for Snowboarding/Skiing

    With my other tip about taking a great camera, if you are snowboarding or skiing, unless you are fantastic, I advise leaving that at home. I have an old Sony P10 digital camera(still a not bad camera to be fair, just 5 years old) and also my partners camera in my jacket. Yes, i had a few falls, but they were never in risk of getting damaged or...

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  • DSLR... please do take

    If you have a great Camera, take it. If its really cold, make sure you keep it wrapped up as you will not want to miss any photo opportunities that You might come across. i have a digital SLR with several lenses to change, its well worth taking them all to get them shots that you want.These photos you will get, will last a life time of memories,...

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Banff Off The Beaten Path

  • Johnston Canyon

    This was one of the most spectacular hikes/ walks we did during our week in Banff. On our last day in Banff we decided to drive the 25 km to the canyon along the Bow Valley Parkway and as we approached we were astounded to see the number of vehicles parked on the side of the road. We thouight we would try the parking area but it was completly full...

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  • Bankhead - Ghost Town

    When coming off the Highway from Calgary - instead of turning left into Banff - TURN RIGHT! You will enter BANKHEAD, an historic site. Bankhead was a coal mine in the early 1900's that became a town, until the coal mine shut down. Very interesting history here. All residents were eventually forced to leave their homes. You'll have to visit and...

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  • Lake Louise

    Lake Louise is about 1 hour North of Banff. It's talked about pretty commonly if you are in the area as a place to check out. Essentailly, it's just big pretty lake (depending on when you go). During the summer, the lake takes on a light green color, that which you typically see on the post card. The winter isn't as pretty but if the sun is out...

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Banff Sports & Outdoors

  • Lake Louise Ski Resort

    My canadian friend has skied and snowboarded at nearly every mountain in the Rockies, living in Calgary its rude not to. This is one of her favourite mountains to baord out of them all. But, put simply, it is the best mountain to board in all the areas around banff. Several lifts to take you up to the runs you want to do, and plenty of variation...

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  • Sunshine Village

    Sunshine Village is a great skiing destination and off all the ski destinations I have visited, Sunshine had by far the most natural snow. It was actually hard for me to ski, there was so much. I guess by saying that you now know what level of skiing I am at!!

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  • Ski Mount Norquay

    Mount Norquay is a great skiing destination. I thought I'd just mention a couple of cool features you can ski right to the base of the mountain where you can stay at the Timberline Inn so that is convenient and the rooms are affordable there. I remember the road was winding to get to the ski lifts and my picture is on that road of some mountain...

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Banff Favorites

See all 44 Favorites in Banff
  • Banff /Banff Avenue

    I'm going in October and I'll just be turning 27. If it does turn out to be 'very young' we can go and buy a pipe and a pair of slippers and be old gits together lol. I do undstand where you're coming from though as the maturity difference between 18 and 25 is paramount but I'm hoping there'll be a nice mixture :)

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  • Snow /Mountains/Lakes.

    This photo was just lucky truthfully. Most of the time when I take a picture from a moving bus the photos end up being well, not that great usually. The light was magnificent and with the background of the mountains. Didn't even have to pay the driver extra to drive slower:)

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  • Wildlife.

    You will hear stories of bears strolling down residential streets and such. Most of the time you would not think twice, but if you look closely, the trash cans are all bear resistant, so they must have bears with enough regularity to warrant that sort of expense. I personally didn't see any bears in Banff, though locals said they did see them often...

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worst experience anywhere in years
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Map of Banff

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