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Top things to do in Banff

Attractions, tours, and activities in Banff

About Banff

Including tips for the best time to visit Banff

Snow-covered peaks of the Canadian Rockies dominate the skyline of Banff and its strategic location within Banff National Park makes the city an ideal base for exploring the natural beauty of the area.

From relaxing in hot springs to taking scenic road trips, there’s a wealth of things to do in Banff. You can shop and dine along Banff Avenue or spot wildlife like bears and elk in the parklands just outside of the city. A drive down to Columbia Icefield, a glacial mass in the Rocky Mountains, will provide landscape views and several picturesque stops along the way. After all the adventures, treat yourself to a soak in the geothermally heated Banff Upper Hot Springs, which are open year-round.

Easy access to mountains, lakes and forested areas makes Banff an ideal base from where to indulge in outdoor activities. Cross-country skiing on groomed trails is a popular way to explore Banff National Park’s wintry landscape while mountain biking through dense vegetation or pedalling along lakefront paths on a traditional or e-bike can be enjoyed all year round. Hiking, rafting and rock climbing are other activities to try here.

Add a dash of history and culture to your Banff holiday by visiting the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, which has original artworks and photographs showcasing the heritage of the region. Banff Park Museum National Historic Site – set in an early 20th-century log cabin – offers a peek into the diversity of plant and animal life in western Canada.


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Most popular time to visit October-December
Cheapest time to visit January-March
Local currency CAD 10 = $7.46
Language French
Average weekend price $23 per night
Average weekday price $21 per night
Average stay 2 nights

Points of interest in Banff

Stay near the top sightseeing spots in Banff

Banff reviews

What other travelers say about Banff


This is Banff - it is a uniquely beautiful place on the...

June 7, 2023

This is Banff - it is a uniquely beautiful place on the planet. If everything went wrong with your trip, it is still Banff. You will love it, and you must go. It is getting crowded, and your must plan accordingly. Parks Canada is working hard to preserve the park, so some things have stringent controls. For example, go to Lake Louise early in the day. Moraine Lake is closed to individual travelers.

Martin Canada

Banff was unreal!

June 6, 2023

Banff was unreal! The week we went was right before peak season and it was perfect crowd wise and weather wise. Every worker we met was so helpful and nice. We rented a car but transportation without one is super easy. Short walk to most hiking trails and a short trip to all of the major lakes. Beautiful downtown area. 10/10 recommend!

Ashlye United States of America

Banff is a very attractive winter and summer resort.

June 3, 2023

Banff is a very attractive winter and summer resort. There are shuttle buses to take you to Lake Louise and other popular destinations. The area is popular for hiking in summer and skiing in winter. There are many restaurants and other places to eat. It’s easy to get around Banff with the frequent bus services.

Trevor Australia

Banff is such a beautiful town with so much charm and...

May 24, 2023

Banff is such a beautiful town with so much charm and character. The size is just perfect for a nice little walk around. Come here with an On It bus from Calgary and you get to use the Roam buses free on a same day ticket. Its a great way to get you around to some of the popular spots like Lake Minnewanka or Johnston Canyon. Keep in mind that to go to far away places like Lake Louise (1 hour away), its 10$ per person per trip. I have been there thrice at different times of the year and can't wait to go back each time. Its the perfect break to escape the hustle and bustle of Calgary. Side tip: Banff's weather is just as crazy as Calgary. It was super super hot +30 degrees on Sunday when we arrived and was cold (11 degrees) with a crazy shower throughout the day so plan your outfits accordingly so you're well prepared.

Tash Canada

Lively place;

May 23, 2023

Lively place; lots to do, plenty of tours, shops, museums, a variety of ethnic restaurants. Easy to get around town. I would not come during peak season; it was almost too crowded (for me) the week we were here, just as "summer" season was opening in May.


Great bars and restaurants with a great variety of food.

May 15, 2023

Great bars and restaurants with a great variety of food. Fabulous cocktails! The town is lovely with great walks and hikes within walking distance from the main centre. Sunshine village and Lake Louise close by are fabulous ski resorts!

Susan United Kingdom

Popular places to stay in Banff

Stay in some of the best accommodations Banff has to offer