The 10 Best Things to Do in Banff, Canada

March 5, 2018 Jacquiline Delozier

Flanked on all sides by the Rockies, Banff offers an irresistible combination of perfect powder, luxury lodges, fine dining and lively nightlife. A thriving arts scene and proximity to Lake Louise and Kananaskis County add to its allure. Don’t miss the hoodoos, intriguing rock spires, in Banff National Park.
Restaurants in Banff

1. Parker Ridge Trail

Icefields Parkway 93, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T0L 0C0, Canada +1 403-762-1550
Excellent
84%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 458 reviews

Parker Ridge Trail

Reviewed By Immerenga - Luxembourg

The climb was short and not too difficult. It had snowed when we were here, so it took us a bit of time to make it up here. The wind was brutal above the tree line yet it was absolutely amazing. Really a must hike when passing by, about 2 hours up and down

2. Sunshine Meadows

1 Sunshine access Rd | Trailhead at Sunshine Village, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1J5, Canada
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 348 reviews

Sunshine Meadows

Located only a short distance, 16km/10m, from the Town of Banff, the pristine beauty of Sunshine Meadows is easily accessible for everyone, and can be best experienced and enjoyed through the relaxed comfort of our facilities. Take a ride up to the skies in Banff’s biggest gondola (8-passenger cabin capacity) with room for the whole family. Start at the base at an elevation of 1,660 m and ride the gondola 4.6km to the top gondola village terminal at 2,164 m where the Alpine Village is located. Take in all the views of the valley, mountain peaks and wildlife. Once you have reached the top – the Sunshine Village area, or just “the Village” – stop in at our new interpretive center before embarking on an exploration of the six diverse, graveled hiking trails, that wind their way through three alpine lakes, Waterfalls and flower filled meadows covering more than 12 Km through the Sunshine Meadows. For a more revealing experience, join one of our hosted trail tours and enjoy learning about the wonders of the alpine world of Sunshine Meadows and more as you through some of Banff National Park’s most spectacular spots. Feel on top of the world when you summit Mt Standish via our Standish Express Sightseeing Chairlift. With an elevation of 2,400m/7,875ft, it will give you a full 360 degree view of the area. From here you can enjoy an unobstructed view the famous Mount Assiniboine – the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies at 3,618m/ 11,871ft – as well as other joys on the horizon, such as Rock Isle, Laryx and Grizzly Alpine lakes. There are three retail stores awaiting you for all your hiking essentials and Canadian Rockies souvenirs. After taking in the captivating views, indulge in one of our six licensed food outlets, including four fully serviced restaurants, including a BBQ deck of outside Mad Trapper’s Smokehouse. Come by to wind down with a drink before making your way back down the gondola.

Reviewed By YeeHaa - Sydney

We were lucky enough to do this in the snow and it truly was the most stunningly beautiful walk we have ever done.
We walked for 3 hours around all the lakes and could not believe the picture perfect scenery everywhere we looked. You definitely need hiking boots if you are doing it in snowy/icy conditions like we did today, and we are now convinced that we need walking poles as well - which a lot of people were using.
We cannot recommend this walk more highly - just do it!!!

3. Johnson Canyon Trail

Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Excellent
66%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 150 reviews

Johnson Canyon Trail

Reviewed By OntarioCanuck1 - Toronto, Canada

Love this hike although in the summer i recall it is very busy. We did it in March and equally beautiful then , both falls pretty with ice climbers on the upper falls. In winter and early spring take cleats, it can be slippery. I suspect they are rentable in town, but u can buy them cheaply at home before u come. Uphill hike, not too difficult.

4. Banff National Park

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada +1 403-762-1550
Excellent
86%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 270 reviews

Banff National Park

Reviewed By BenLar137 - Calgary, Canada

The big seasons in Banff are summer (of course) and winter (with all the snow for winter sports), but the Park does offer visitor fascinating experiences all year. We did go in December, and enjoyed some winter sports like cross-country skiing and winter hiking - these are lower-cost options for enjoying Banff. The townsite offers a lot great shopping, including excellent art galleries, restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Don't miss the gorgeous views from the viewpoint on the road to the Mt Norquay ski area, or from the top of Tunnel Mountain if you can manage a short easy hike. We enjoyed watching people skate on Johnson Lake and Two Jack Lake, and the vistas lakeside at Lake Minnewanka. Lake Louise is on the north end of the Park, and a must-see for any visitor. We've never had a bad time visiting Banff NP, and think it should be on everyone's bucket list.

5. Banff GondolaBanff & Lake Louise Tourism5 Must-See Summer Attractions in Banff National Park

Mountain Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B2, Canada +1 403-762-2523
Excellent
65%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Banff GondolaBanff & Lake Louise Tourism5 Must-See Summer Attractions in Banff National Park

Soar to the top of Sulphur Mountain to experience a stunning bird's-eye view of six incredible mountain ranges. With breathtaking vistas in every direction, your adventure begins with an eight-minute journey to the summit of Sulphur Mountain in a modern, fully enclosed four-passenger gondola cabin. Glide up over the treetops to the crest of a steep-sided Rocky Mountain peak and step out into a jaw-dropping mountaintop experience at an elevation of 2,281 metres (7,486 feet). Stroll along the ridgetop boardwalk where the views get better with every step. Then warm up in our newly transformed, state-of-the-art summit facility. With new restaurants, interactive interpretive exhibits, a multi-sensory theatre and a breathtaking 360-degree rooftop observation deck, the new Banff Gondola summit heightens every sense.

Reviewed By Renae M

We enjoyed a trip up the gondola on our way ti dinner. Sadly, the view was obscured by snowfall. Overall, the experience was pleasant with friendly staff. However, it was very cold so I would recommend dressing for the weather on your ride up and ask for a blanket as they do not offer them.

6. Tunnel Mountain Trail

lower trailhead on St. Julien Road, near the Banff Centre | upper trailhead on Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada +1 403-762-8421
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 556 reviews

Tunnel Mountain Trail

Reviewed By deathracerJH - Okotoks, Canada

If you want a hike that provides great views, a good workout and you can access on foot if you are staying in town, go here. It is Banff...it is tourist and it is busy...I prefer quiet trails with less people but this one fit what I wanted. Trail is maintained very well and easy to find and follow. Banff town views are beautiful. Don't forget your camera!

7. Roam Public Transit Service

221 Beaver Street, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1A1, Canada +1 403-762-0606
Excellent
70%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 297 reviews

Roam Public Transit Service

Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission The BVRTSC is a government agency, made up of the towns of Banff and Canmore and Improvement District #9, and is authorized to provide public passenger transportation services in the Bow Valley. We currently offer 3 routes 2 local routes in Banff - (Route 1 - Banff Ave to Banff Springs Hotel via Downtown Banff) (Route 2 - Tunnel Mountain to Sulphur Gondola via Downtown Banff) 1 regional route - (Route 3 providing service between the mountain towns of Banff and Canmore.)

Reviewed By Erkimi - Wollongong, Australia

This is a great way to get around Banff and surroundings for a few dollars per ride. The only problem is that the bus doesn't stick to the timetable. We tried to plan our days based on the published timetable and got caught out many times. This meant standing around in the -30C winter weather for upto 40 minutes waiting for the next bus. This is not how we wanted to spend our holiday, so we resorted to taxis a few times. That's indicative of a failed public transport system.

8. Bow Valley Parkway

Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada +1 403-762-1550
Excellent
64%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Bow Valley Parkway

Reviewed By M2249UWdaves - Edmonton, Canada

Have done this drive many times summer and winter. Beautiful mountain and glacier vistas. Lakes river and streams abound as well. Be sure to pack a lunch and take your time. Go for short or longer hike if u can. Camping available if you like as well as rustic mountain cabins. Busy in summer so don’t be in a hurry just go with the flow. A truly gorgeous drive that I always enjoy.

9. Lake MinnewankaBanff & Lake Louise TourismTop 5 Most Breathtaking Lakes in Banff National Park

24km (15 miles) north of Banff, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada +1 403-762-3473
Excellent
53%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Lake MinnewankaBanff & Lake Louise TourismTop 5 Most Breathtaking Lakes in Banff National Park

There’s no comparing the Emerald green waters of Minnewanka with any urban landscape. Mountain ridges stretch as far as the eye can see, eventually blurring into a blissful cascade of colours.

Reviewed By GintamaZ - California

Relaxing lake close proximity to Banff downtown. It can be overlooked amongst the other world renowned scenic lakes.

10. The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1H5, Canada +1 403-762-6100
Excellent
63%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 341 reviews

The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

The Banff Centre presents over 400 public Concerts, performing arts events, festivals, and gallery exhibits each year. Premier events include the Banff Summer Arts Festival, the Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival, the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and Banff Jazz. The Banff Centre is the largest arts and creativity incubator on the planet. Our Mission is inspiring creativity! Tickets to all events may be purchased on our website.

Reviewed By W W - Calgary, Canada

I’ve stayed here three times. My most recent visit was the worst and I’ll never stay here again. This was my first time I was given a room in Lloyd Hall, a separate building from the Professional Development Building. The first thing I noticed as I walked down the hallway was how close the doors are to each other, it’s because the rooms are so small. There’s a double bed that faces a large window with about 2-3 feet around each side of the bed. You can’t really put your luggage on the floor or you’d have a hard time walking around. I was on the fourth floor and the room was really hot, the heat was already off but there is no air conditioning. I went to open the window but it only opens 2 inches. There’s a fan in the room but there is so little air circulation that even leaving the fan on high all day the room never cools down. I’m guessing the other rooms were also as hot because you could easily hear people in the building, everyone has their windows open. I was in a recently renovated room but you could see areas that were already falling apart: water leaks in the ceiling that had been circled with pencil, bathroom grout falling out, bathroom door that wouldn’t open properly. Parking is terrible even during slow times. Check in time is 4pm but by 3pm there was only about six available spaces. There are very few options to get anything to eat and it’s all over priced. I tried one place at 5pm, but it was closed due to staff shortages. The common areas are still being renovated, lots of painting, exposed ceilings, construction debris and all the noise that comes with it. There is no working fire alarm system in the building. Don’t expect anyone at the front desk to ask how your stay was.

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.