Tucked into the Rocky Mountains of Canada, Banff sparkles in the snowy wonderland of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Renowned for first-class ski resorts, Banff also shines in the summer, surrounded by pristine glacial lakes and five equally impressive national parks, including Jasper and Glacier parks.
Things to do in Banff
Banff exudes the charm of a quaint alpine village, with a lively main street overflowing with cosy cafes and European-style pubs offering local brews and live music. Cuisine from around the world competes with local favourites, such as Alberta steak and Canadian bison.
Small boutiques line Banff Avenue and Bear Street in the heart of town. Looking for a special memento to take home? Head over to Bison Courtyard to find an array of trinkets, native art and Canadian-made jewellery.
Skiing takes centre stage in the winter months, with thrilling loops and runs at Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay and Lake Louise Ski Resort. The awe-inspiring scenery is also open to non-skiers, who can take an eight-minute gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain or cross the Glacier Skywalk to a suspended glass observation platform.
Don't miss the geographical phenomenon known as the Columbia Icefield, home to the Athabasca Glacier. Learn about local wildlife and regional history at Cave and Basin National Historic Site, one kilometre outside town, or soak your weary muscles in the “sacred” Banff Upper Hot Springs at Mountain Avenue.
Getting around Banff
Calgary International Airport is about 145 kilometres away, where you can pick up a rental car or take the public shuttle. Within Banff, it’s easy to get around on foot. Buses and complimentary hotel shuttles offer services throughout town and to the ski areas.