Things to do in Banff

Banff is a small resort town, located in the Alberta province of Canada. It is placed along the Trans-Canada Highway in Alberta’s Rockies. Banff resort town is the second highest elevation in the Alberta, followed by Lake Lousie. It is a quite popular spot for tourists in Canada because of its mountainous landscape and hot spring weather. The natural beauty here calls for outdoor sports like skiing, hiking, biking, and scrambling. The are many popular resorts here in Banff including Lake Louise Mountain Resort, Ski Norquay, and Sunshine Village.

This area of Banff as a resort was built to support the new railways around here. Later, it became a Rocky Mountain Park and then finally George Stephan named it Banff just like his birthplace in Scotland, Banff. The Canadian Pacific authorities built many grand resorts here to make this an international tourist resort. With the passage of time, a town was developed in the surroundings as a service center for the people who are visiting this resort town. Later this resort town of Banff became the first municipality to incorporate within a Canadian national park. Now, This Banff National Park is surrounded by five more parks that are Glacier, Jasper, Yoho, Waterton Lakes and Mount Revelstoke. This was declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The weather here is subarctic and snow is recorded whole year. This place is full of natural wonders and experience snowy winter and mild summer so activities here can be different in both winter and summer. Let’s check out some of the best Things to do in Banff in this article.

#1 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Roam into the Banff Resort Town

Whether you visit Banff in Summer or Winter, the scenery of this small Alpine town is very beautiful. The whole town has the different beautiful vibe which you can’t have in your city. Its main street is filled with many local food restaurants and shopping stores. You can roam around and get acquainted with this resort town without any hassle as this is not a crowded vacation spot. We recommend walking because the town is small and walk is quick and easy solution.

banff main road, Things to do in Banff

Credit: Kevin Dooley

#2 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Biking Tours of Banff

Bike tours are also popular here. They offer many kinds of mountain bikes to choose from. You can do the bike tour the Banff.

bike tours, Things to do in Banff

#3 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Enjoy the Whole Banff National Park Area in A Gondola Ride

There is common gondola ride for those who do not have a long time to explore the scenic beauty of this town. Hop on an enclosed cabin of the gondola with windows and enjoy your ride of 8 minutes.  They will take you along the whole Banff National Park Area and you can visit the resort town in so less time.

gondola ride, Things to do in Banff

#4 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Enjoy Skiing at Sunshine Village

Although this resort town offers many outdoor activities but skiing here in winter season has a status of being the king of all outdoor activities. The Sunshine Village here has the extensive area for skiing and the peak elevation of above 89oo feet along with 12 lifts. Sunshine village also sees more snow than the other parts of the Banff so it has the longest season for skiing which starts from November and ends in May, all because of its great location. People of all levels can do ski here on snowy terrain. Sunshine Mountain Lodge is also a great spot for wine and dine.

skiing, Things to do in Banff

If you are visiting Banff in Summer season, still Sunshine Village is a great spot for hiking and exploring the nature.

#5 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Enjoy at Lake Louise Ski Resort

The Lake Louise Ski Resort is a heart of Banff resort town because of its breathtaking beauty and popular ski area. It has the largest and the highest elevation skiing area in the whole North America. It is named after the Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter Louise. In the whole ski area, it encompasses 3 mountains, 11 lift, a terrain park, numerous top-level lodges and eating spots. This Lake Louise Ski Resort also hosts the longest skiing period here just like the Sunshine Village. Lake Louise offers many other outdoor sports activities including:


If you are done with skiing here and looking for other outdoor sports than Lake Louise Ski Resort offers snowshoeing activities here.

Snow Tubing

Snow Tubing has great fun here. You can do this with your kids and have non-stop fun.

If you are in Banff, you can’t miss this. It is the best of all Banff.

Lake Louise, Things to do in Banff

#6 of the 29 Things to do in Banff –  Visit the Lake Minnewanka

This Lake Minnewanka is the largest lake in the Banff National Park area. It is located on the northeast side of this resort town. The surrounding areas of this glacial lake have much wildlife including eagles and deers.  You can also see the Devil’s Gap which is a popular mountain gateway marks of the transition from the Rocky Mountains to the flatlands of the Prairies.

Lake Minnewanka, Things to do in Banff

#7 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Visit The Columbia Icefield

Another different rather unique place to visit in Banff is the Columbia Icefield which is located at the southern tip of Jasper National Park. It is considered as the largest body of ice in the whole Canadian Rockies. This Columbia Icefield is a triple divide between 3 continents which is a rare geographical phenomenon. The water here flows in three directions into 3 different oceans,  the Arctic, the Atlantic, and the Pacific ocean. You can go to this spot via special designed glacial vehicles. The area is dangerous and wherever you see you will find snowy turquoise lakes, snowflakes, and glaciers.

columbia icefields, Things to do in Banff

In this area, Athabasca Glacier is located too.

#8 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Zipline Tours of Banf Resort Town

Banff offers a zipline tour of the whole area just like in Mont Tremblant. Enjoy this different kind of ride here in Banff resort town.

#9 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Try the Glacier SkyWalk 

There is an ultimate experience of Glacier skywalk on a glass-floored bridge over a Glacier Valley of Banff. The clear views from this bridge are very intimidating. You will feel a little fear but it will pass as you walk on it.

Glacier skywalk, Things to do in Banff

Credit: Wikipedia

#10 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – See the Mt Norquay

Mount Norquay is the smallest of all the ski resort in Banff. It has the steepest slope in the whole North America. This one is great for night time skiing plus this offers a great aerial view of the whole resort town of Banff.

#11 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Go See the Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is located in the Valley of Ten Peaks. The lake is surrounded by the beautiful hiking trails of this area.  Moraine Lakeshore path is the easiest and the flat hiking trail here. You can also see the peaks of Mount Fay and Fay Glacier while hiking on these trails.You can witness the mirroring blue water of this lake, high alpine meadows, the Quadra Glacier, and many talus slopes here.

moraine lake, Things to do in Banff

The adjacent Lodge and park offer rental canoes. They also have many options in the park for the whole family.

#12 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Try Canoeing in Banff’s Lakes

Banff’s lakes are so beautiful that you would want to explore them. Try Canoeing in these lakes for the memorable experience.

canoeing, Things to do in Banff

#13 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Enjoy Kayaking

When you have the opportunity to explore the waters of Banff, don’t hesitate. Enjoy Kayaking in the cold calm waters of Banff’s lakes. You can get rental sporting equipment from the here as well.

kayaking, Things to do in Banff

#14 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Enjoy the Skydiving Experience

Most People don’t realize that there is an amazing opportunity for skydiving in Banff. You have the opportunity for skydiving here with the support of professionals so must try this safe and thrilling experience over the glacial peaks of Banff.

skydiving, Things to do in Banff

#15 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Go for Hiking

If you visit Banff in Summer season,  then try hiking around this resort town. After skiing, this place is a perfect for hiking trails. You can do hiking around Lake Louise, Sunshine village, Moraine Lake, and many other spots.  It offers hiking trails along with the view of snow-capped mountains and meadows that makes it more interesting. Feel your soul satisfying from these extraordinary views.

#16 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Check the Cave & Basin National Historic Site

For history lovers this historic site is perfect. It is said that this is the birthplace of Banff National Park. For many years, the hot springs have attracted a lot of people though the original hot springs are not open for public. They have built some new Banff Upper Hot Springs for the public. It also displays the history of this area through the years. Some may say that they smell sulfur but still it is must go place in Banff.

cave & basin Historic site in banff, Things to do in Banff

Credit: Flicker

#17 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Have a Spa day at the Banff Upper Hot Springs

These springs were discovered by the ancient people of Canada as the sacred waters cure for the illness. Now, these are popular spa springs in the summer season. The designs of this Banff Upper Hot Springs resembles the thermal baths in Budapest. These springs are facilitated with all the modern day needs of the spa.

#18 of the 29Things to do in Banff – Rafting in Bow River

Banff resort town has many lakes and rivers and they call for their adventure. So try rafting in the Bow River. It has the calm water and you will experience a great time in this whitewater. The rafting tours are guided by the staff of authorities here. If someone is not interested in rafting they can go for the floating tours here and paddle in the calm river as long as they want.

rafting, Things to do in Banff

#19 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Go to the Whyte Museum

This small museum portrays the culture of the Canadian Rockies in the Banff Resort Town. It is named after its patrons Peter and Catherine Whyte. You will find history, art, and folklore of this place in here. In case you are a fan of landscape paintings then you have come to the right place. there are multiple landscape paintings as Peter and Catherine loved them in both historic and contemporary art.

#20 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – See the Canadian Rockies via Helicopter Flights

Helicopters flights of the whole Banff National Park is like a dream coming true for the photographers. It is a thrilling experience for everyone though. Explore the Banff resort town’s glacial beauty from a different angle.

helicopter flight, Things to do in Banff

#21 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum

Another small cultural museum in Banff is the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum. It was opened in 1952 and a lot of native families have contributed many artifacts in this museum. It has many artifacts that display the historic era throughout the further eras before and after European encounter with their cultural ways.

#22 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Canadian Ski Museum West

Since Skiing is a thing for this place, there has to be a museum of ski in these Canadian Rockies. So, the ski museum is placed in the Cascade Plaza in downtown Banff. This museum demonstrates the history of skiing in Banff throughout the years.

On the plus side, Cascade Plaza is the biggest shopping mall in the area so you can do shopping and eating after the museum visit.

#23 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Visit the Banff Park Museum

Are you looking for more things to do in Banff resort town?  How about Banff Park Museum Historic Site. This museum has a lot of stuff unlike the other museums in the area. You can learn a lot by knowing the history, biology, ecology, and wildlife of this very area. You will have a chance to see the stuffed animals of this area. They will also display the exhibits of how behavior has changed in this area. This one is recommended by us.

#24 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Try Horseback Riding

There is nothing more beautiful than horseback riding in the beautiful Canadian Rockies. These tours are usually one to two hour long. They also offer cookout and lodging in the mountains for the best experience.

horse riding, Things to do in Banff

#25 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Take your Kids for Wildlife Tours

Banff has many different landscapes and the Banff National Park Area offers wildlife tours for the public. Take your kids with you and this will be an exciting experience for them.

elk, Things to do in Banff

#26 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Fishing Adventure in Banff

Since this place is filled with many lakes, waterfalls, and rivers, try fishing in summer days. They offer boat fishing and also a regular fishing opportunity. It is to be noted that Catch and Release fishing is recommended in Banff.

fishing, Things to do in Banff

#27 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Drive ATV in Alpine Roads of Banff

There are many opportunities for outdoor activities. One of them is driving an ATV on the Alpine roads of Banff. You can enjoy the attractive scenery along the way.

ATV ride, Things to do in Banff

#28 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Enjoy Cave Tour

There are guided cave tours of the tunnel mountains in the summer to explore the ancient sites of rock and mineral formation.

cave tour, Things to do in Banff

#29 of the 29 Things to do in Banff – Climbing Experience Via FERRATA

You may have experienced the mountain climbing in many places but in Banff, you can experience a different type of mountain climbing via FERRATA. This is done and led under the supervision of their professionals. They also provide all the related training and equipment.

mountain climbing, Things to do in Banff

Also, check out our other articles of Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, and Mont Tremblant in Canada.



One thought on “Things to do in Banff

  1. Your article is basically the best. Banff is in a National Park… 🙂

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