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.
During the summer months, the Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola offers an easy way to get up into the alpine landscape. The gondola ascends to 2,088 meters, where there are opportunities to tackle some day hikes or short walks, or simply enjoy a meal.
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.