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Things to do in Banff

Things to do in  Banff

Welcome to Banff

Nestled among the soaring peaks and pines of Banff National Park in Canada, the town of Banff is an ideal base from which to explore the mighty Rockies. With Calgary 85 miles (136 kilometers) to the east and the shimmering waters of UNESCO–listed Lake Louise 36 miles (58 kilometers) to the west, Banff is a beautiful slice of Alberta. You can take in sweeping views from the Banff Gondola at Sulphur Mountain, and be on the lookout for hoodoos (tall pillars of rock_. Outdoor adventure is the name of the game, and visitors can see the sights on a guided bus tour with narrated highlights, or enjoy active pursuits ranging from horseback riding to kayaking. If you’re visiting Banff in search of adrenaline-pumping thrills, hit Kicking Horse River on a white-water rafting trip. The river swells in the summer months, providing challenging currents and exhilarating class IV and up rapids—some tours end in a barbecue lunch. Alternatively, take to the skies on a sightseeing helicopter flight for uninterrupted views over the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains, or tackle the heights on a via ferrata tour, in which fixed iron ropes assist climbers of all abilities. Animal lovers can trek by horseback along rugged trails through the wilderness; or spot native bears, elk, and moose on a dusk wildlife safari.

Top 10 attractions in Banff

#1
Banff National Park

Banff National Park

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Within the boundaries of Banff National Park lie some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes. The park, which showcases Canada’s Rocky Mountains in all their glory, offers world-class skiing, hiking, biking, and outdoor attractions. It’s a year-round haven for day-trippers from nearby Calgary and for international visitors galore.More
#2
Columbia Icefield Skywalk

Columbia Icefield Skywalk

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Jutting out from the side of a Jasper National Park cliff, the elevated, glass-bottomed Columbia Icefield Skywalk, also known as Glacier Skywalk, is an exhilarating—if somewhat unnerving—way to experience the epic, untouched landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. From this vantage point, the view of the park’s ice-hatted peaks and glacial valleys is nothing short of spectacular.More
#3
Banff Gondola

Banff Gondola

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The Banff Gondola promises gasp-worthy views of the Canadian Rockies. After an 8-minute ride to Sulphur Mountain’s 7,500-foot (2,286-meter) summit, visitors arrive at a complex with several viewing areas, interactive exhibits, and restaurants. Also here are hiking trailheads and access to an elevated boardwalk leading to Sanson’s Peak.More
#4
Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

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Hemmed in by the dramatic Valley of the Ten Peaks, Banff National Park’s glacier-fed Moraine Lake is renowned for its bright blue-green waters. The surreally vivid color results from light refracting off of tiny glacial rock particles. Stunning Lake Moraine was famously featured on the back of Canada’s $20 bill between 1969 and 1979.More
#5
Banff Upper Hot Springs

Banff Upper Hot Springs

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Bubbling up from beneath the Canadian Rockies at a toasty temperature of around 102°F (39°C), Banff Upper Hot Springs have been drawing visitors to Western Canada since the late 19th century. For weary travelers, a soak in the warm mineral-rich waters of the pools, which overlook Mount Rundle, is the ultimate tonic for sore muscles.More
#6
Athabasca Glacier

Athabasca Glacier

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Part of the vast Columbia Icefield that straddles the border between Alberta’s Banff and Jasper National Parks, the Athabasca Glacier—a huge swath of moving ice—is one of the most accessible and awe-inspiring glaciers in North America. Like most glaciers, Athabasca is shrinking, though the slowly moving ice mass is still impressively large: It covers an area of about 2.3 square miles (six square kilometers) and measures up to 980 feet (300 meters) at its thickest point.More
#7
Icefields Parkway (Highway 93)

Icefields Parkway (Highway 93)

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Every twist and turn of the spectacular 143-mile (230-kilometer) Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) reveals cloud-piercing peaks, valley-carving glaciers, teal lakes, and dense forests. Running from Jasper to Lake Louise, this scenic Alberta drive offers stunning views of the Canadian Rockies, with lots of roadside lookouts and trailheads along the way.More
#8
Takakkaw Falls

Takakkaw Falls

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Takakkaw Falls—whose name means “it’s magnificent” in the indigenous Cree language—tumble 1,260 feet (384 meters) down a rocky mountain, making it one of the highest waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies. Located outside Field, British Columbia, the glacier-fed falls are the gateway to some of the best hiking trails in Yoho National Park.More
#9
Columbia Icefield

Columbia Icefield

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Step onto the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefield and imagine what it was like during the last ice age. Located midway along the scenic Icefields Parkway connecting Canada’s Banff and Jasper national parks, the Columbia Icefield gives visitors a chance to experience how the landscape may have looked when glaciers covered the land.More
#10
Sulphur Mountain

Sulphur Mountain

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Named after its gushing thermal springs, Sulphur Mountain rises to a height of 8,041 feet (2,450 meters), towering over the town of Banff and Bow Valley. Banff Upper Hot Springs sit on its lower slopes, while the Banff Gondola carries you up to the summit ridge for views out across the peaks of the Canadian Rockies.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Banff

How to Spend 1 Day in Banff

How to Spend 2 Days in Banff

How to Spend 2 Days in Banff

Top activities in Banff

Banff Gondola Ride Admission

Banff Gondola Ride Admission

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$59.29
Lake Louise and the Icefield Parkway - Full-Day Tour
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Experience Ice Climbing

Experience Ice Climbing

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$152.20
Evening Wildlife Safari

Evening Wildlife Safari

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$51.12
Discover Grizzly Bears from Banff

Discover Grizzly Bears from Banff

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$202.69
Winter Tour: Banff and Its Wildlife
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1 Hour Bow River Ride

1 Hour Bow River Ride

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$72.26
Snowshoeing Tour to Marble Canyon
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Recent reviews from experiences in Banff

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This tour is worth the...
Armando_A, Dec 2021
Banff Area 1-Day Tour from Calgary or Banff
You get to see the best of Banff in 1 day!
star-5
We were driving to the...
Donna_M, Oct 2021
Evening Wildlife Safari
We were driving to the Banff Springs Hotel and saw a hugh male Elk walking across the road on his way to the golf course.
star-5
Great Tour
George_K, Sep 2021
Lake Louise and the Icefield Parkway - Full-Day Tour
Great tour, best way to see the area regardless if you have a car or not.
star-5
Awesome tour
Dolly, Aug 2021
Lake Louise and the Icefield Parkway - Full-Day Tour
Highly recommended that you go for this tour for it will save you time to see the beauty of Banff if you are staying for a limited time.
star-5
Beautiful!
Andrew_S, Aug 2021
Lake Louise & Yoho N.P & Moraine Lake 1-Day Tour from Calgary or Banff
Beautiful and easy way to see some of the top attractions in Yoho NP and Banff NP.
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the best lakes tour
Lourdes_H, Aug 2021
Rocky Mountain Day Tour: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Emerald Lake
He speaks english very well.
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You want to take this tour!
Jamieson_D, Aug 2021
Lake Louise & Yoho N.P & Moraine Lake 1-Day Tour from Calgary or Banff
It took us to all the main lake attractions in Banff along with a few other hidden hens.
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Must do !
Brian_K, Aug 2021
Discover Grizzly Bears from Banff
Lots to see and discover ..
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Wonderful experience
Wei_L, Jan 2022
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
She carried the cookies and hot cocoa to the upper Falls for everyone to enjoy.
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Amazing activities with Erin
Fatima_M, Dec 2021
Grotto Canyon Icewalk
My mom and I booked two activities with viator (johnston canyon and grotto icewalk), which was with the Discover Banff company.
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amazing food in a historic building
Trena_R, Dec 2021
Banff Food Tour: Eat the Castle
The Fairmont Banff Springs is a huge property with a fantastic culinary program where ingredients are grown on site or sourced locally.
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Winter Hike with Incredible Views
Katie_S, Dec 2021
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
The views were incredible throughout the hike and we definitely appreciated the hot chocolate and maple cookie treat when we made it to the upper falls.
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Amazing time!!!
Daniel_S, Aug 2021
Banff Area 1-Day Tour from Calgary or Banff
We didn’t feel it was worth it so we went to the hot springs.
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Great evening to look for wildlife
Uttam_B, Jul 2021
Evening Wildlife Safari
We managed to see some group of elks and deer but no bears - it was still a lot of fun and a lot of nice spots for pictures around Banff national park.
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A fun evening out
Angela_R, Sep 2020
Banff Ghost Walks
It was a great way to see a different side of Banff.
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Max was a great tour guide!!
Cole_D, Aug 2020
Banff Ghost Walks
Its a great little tour to see banff and some amazing stories about banff history.
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Day trip to Banff was splendid
Vinod_B, Jan 2020
Winter-Banff/ Sulphur Mountain One Day Tour
Spectacular views of Rocky Mountain range and a beautiful Banff town with a natural Hot spring.
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Wonderful Day
Gerald_N, Jul 2019
Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Day Trip from Banff
We really enjoyed our tour of the beautiful mountain lakes and waterfalls from Banff.
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Highly recommended
Raquel_L, Jun 2019
Banff Gondola Ride Admission
Although it was a terrifying ride and experience for me I did enjoy the amazing views of the town of Banff, Fairmont Banff Springs Resort and the beautiful mountains and lakes.
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Fantastic!
Alexandra_C, Jul 2018
Hop-On and Hop-Off Banff Bus
It was so easy to see all of the sights without having to deal with parking.

All about Banff

When to visit

Located amid the snowcapped peaks and extraordinary scenery of the Canadian Rockies, the town of Banff (and the UNESCO-listed national park of the same name) number among Canada’s top ski and snow destinations. That said, Banff is also popular among summer hikers and outdoorsy types.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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