Banff Travel Guide

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

Banff Highlights

  • Pro
    londonlover profile photo

    londonlover says…

     Great resort town, with lots of shops and restaurants, in a gorgeous mountain setting! 

  • Con
    zrim profile photo

    zrim says…

     people, people everywhere 

  • In a nutshell
    Jareotto profile photo

    Jareotto says…

     City conveniences in a rustic, mountain setting! 

Banff Things to Do

See all 152 Things to Do in Banff
  • The Cascade Gardens

    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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  • Mountains/Lakes / Falls

    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 Avenue

    Don't miss the chance to have a walk on its streets. It is a fairy tale town and you get to have great views and chances are you ran into a bear! Much of what happens in Banff happens on Banff Avenue, the main street, full of restaurant, shops, the Banff Park Museum, etc.

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Banff Hotels

See all 53 Hotels in Banff

Banff Restaurants

  • The Grizzly House

    I think that the ole Griz is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere period. Not only do you get to try all sorts of exotic meats, you get to cook it as well. While there is a full menu of different dish's that you can try, if your going to the Grizzly House the only way to go is with the full meal combo's. Minimum Two Persons Your meal starts...

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  • Buffalo Mountain Lodge

    By far the best meal we had in Canada was at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge--right across the street from our rooms at the Tunnel Mountain Lodges. The dining room is rustic yet elegant. The room has cathedral ceiling and big windows and is made of lengthy logs. The staff is meticulous and knowledgable and very attentive. Meanwhile, the diners are...

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  • Balkan Restaurant.

    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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Banff Nightlife

See all 19 Nightlife in Banff
  • Night Clubs in Town

    Banff nightlife is plentiful. The cheapest place is the saloon at the HI Hostel on Tunnel Mountain Road. Bear in mind this is NOT in the town center so if you have been drinking you will need to take a cab back downtown. Buses do get up there but I don't know how late at night. Along Banff Avenue there are plenty of nightclubs. While we were...

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  • rose and crown

    I was a cool place with both tourists and locals. This ois a medium large pub with a British favor. This is not a dance club but there was live music . Good option to start a nighttime in Banff!! Casual

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  • '' Wid West '' Saloon

    Wild West Saloon fills up later in the evening - around midnight. The band is live and country. Huge dance floor! The cowboys seemed a little more urban then just off the ranch but that could of been the big engineering conference in town. I can't two-step but I stayed on the dance floor all night fakin' it. Causal.

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Banff Transportation

  • By Car./Motorhome

    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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  • Trolley/Bus

    Greyhound operates buses to Banff from the station at 327 Railway Avenue. It used to share the bus terminal with the local tour bus company until a few years ago. Honestly, checking the greyhound site it seemed a whole lot easier to take the shuttle bus to Calgary and go from there. (1.75 hours, $27)

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  • Horse drawn Carriage.

    You can hire these elegant BANFF CARRIAGES for a personal tour around Banff or along the Bow river . The cost is $13 per person for a 15 minute ride, a two person minimum. Longer or charter tours are available . Blankets are provided. The carriage stand is usually located near the Trail Rider Store on 132 Banff Avenue, but pick-up can be arranged.

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Banff Shopping

See all 20 Shopping in Banff
  • Novelty /Souvenir Store.

    You will see what looks like First Nation artifacts, beadwork etc look carefully, not all of these are made by local craftsmen, The easy way to tell- the more expensive stuff is more likely to be handmade, and possibly local. Some of the rest of the stuff might even be made in China.

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  • Specialty Stores

    This is a wonderful little shop.... On the opposite side of banff Avenue to most of the other shops. Is a store which is part of the friends of Banff national park charitable organization. These are committed to increasing the awareness and appreciation of Banff National Park, which I think is a worth place to go spend my money over many of the...

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  • First Nations handicrafts

    You will see what looks like First Nation artifacts, beadwork etclook carefully, not all of these are made by local craftsmen, The easy way to tell- the more expensive stuff is more likely to be handmade,and possibly local. Some of the rest of the stuff might even be made in China.

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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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  • 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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  • Car accidents frequent on mountain road

    Their is a section of highway near Banff that is very dangerous for car accidents - we saw three in one day! Inside Banff national park it is ok, because the speed limit is 70 km.per hour and enforced, but outside of the park there is a considerable area where there are few passing areas and the speed limit is higher. Many drivers go very fast and...

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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

  • 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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  • Always take some gloves

    Im lucky, my snowboaridng gloves have a warmer inner layer that i can take out to use as normal gloves. The are light, easy to put in pockets, but ever soo warm as well even on a sunny day, you may wish you had packed some as can soon turn more chilly to the hands!!!

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Banff Off The Beaten Path

  • Falls/mountains

    MARTIN STABLES HAS THE BEST HORSEBACK RIDE. IT IS A 3 HR. BREAKFAST RIDE. YOU RIDE FOR AND HOUR THEN EAT FOR AN HOUR THEN RIDE A DIFFERENT TRAIL BACK FOR AN HOUR. WHAT A BLAST. A MUST TRY FOR HORSE LOVERS OR NOT

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  • Canadian Veterans Memorial

    THEY WILL NEVER KNOW THE BEAUTY OF THIS PLACE, SEE THE SEASONS CHANGE, ENJOY NATURE'S CHORUS. ALL WE ENJOY WE OWE TO THEM, MEN AND WOMEN WHO LIE BURIED IN THE EARTH OF FOREIGN LANDS AND IN THE SEVEN SEAS. DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF CANADIANS WHO DIED OVERSEAS IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY AND SO PRESERVED OUR HERITAGE

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  • BREAKFAST RIDE

    MARTIN STABLES HAS THE BEST HORSEBACK RIDE. IT IS A 3 HR. BREAKFAST RIDE. YOU RIDE FOR AND HOUR THEN EAT FOR AN HOUR THEN RIDE A DIFFERENT TRAIL BACK FOR AN HOUR. WHAT A BLAST. A MUST TRY FOR HORSE LOVERS OR NOT

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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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  • 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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  • 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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Banff Favorites

See all 44 Favorites in Banff
  • Parks/General information

    its feel like youre in a fairytale town its beautiful with the mountains and rivers....fantastic! riding horses in the mountains with some real cowboys...never going to forget it you just have to do it when youre in banff.

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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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  • 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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Working Holiday
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Hikes In Banff
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Map of Banff

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