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Where to stay in Banff

Exploring Banff

The remarkably stunning outdoors of Alberta, Canada, comes to the fore when talking about the small town of Banff. Situated at about 4,800 feet above sea level, Banff is one of the two towns incorporated within the very scenic Banff National Park. The country’s first national park spans a vast 2,600 square miles, making it the largest national park in Canada. Located in the park's southern area, Banff is one of the best bases to explore Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies, some of Canada's highest mountains.

Banff and the national park have been popular tourist destinations for Canadians, Americans and international travellers for many years. This is unsurprising given the relatively developed infrastructure and the conveniences Banff offers visitors. However, it also means a lot of tourists come here during the high seasons. Summer sees people arrive to enjoy the sceneries and engage in outdoor activities, while others come in winter to go skiing on the many slopes which are easily accessible from Banff.

Sights nearby

It is easy to understand why so many tourists come to Banff. Hotels, resorts, and lodges abound. They include Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa and the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort, both set amid beautiful backdrops. Attractions and activities are numerous enough to fill itineraries day in and day out.

Outdoor activities
Outdoor activities are especially popular with tourists visiting in the summer. Visitors can easily arrange guided or independent hiking trips along the many scenic trails around Banff. Visitors to Banff also have the opportunity to see the Columbia Glacier Icefield up close. Canoeing on the Bow River and white-water rafting on rapids are other great activities.

Winter is a good time to visit as Banff is close to many skiing slopes, such as those at Sunshine Village, Nakiska, Norquay, and Lake Louise. Sunshine Village is particularly good for skiing because it lies at a high elevation, which means more snow and a longer ski season.

Banff Upper Hot Springs
One of the most popular activities for those who want to relax in these beautiful alpine surroundings is to head to Banff's hot springs.

Banff Sightseeing Gondola
Those wishing to take in the views without hiking or walking for long periods may take the Banff Sightseeing Gondola. It takes visitors to an elevation of over 2000 metres, thus providing breathtaking views of the Rockies.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

Though it can be expensive, especially during high season, it is worth exploring Banff's culinary scene. Being a popular tourism town means Banff has a wide selection of excellent places to eat, drink, and shop. Balkan Restaurant is a Banff institution serving fantastic Greek food since 1982. Another excellent place to wine and dine is Eden, which is located within The Rimrock Resort Hotel. The restaurant serves fine French cuisine in a dining area with stunning views. Visitors looking to shop can begin their hunt for the best deals at the Cascade Plaza Mall. From here, they can walk towards Bow River along Banff Avenue. The river area has a good smattering of shops as well as cafés and restaurants.

Public transport

The popularity of Banff as a tourist destination is due in part to its accessibility. The international airport of Calgary, the largest city in Alberta, is only 1 hour, 30 minutes away by car. There are dedicated shuttle buses, such as the Banff Airporter, as well as the Brewster Airporter and Resort Connector, which ferry visitors directly from the airport to Banff. The town itself is small enough to cover on foot or by bicycle. There is a bus system with three routes covering most of the town. There are taxis in Banff as well.

Banff travel guides

Banff Travel Guides