Things to do in Banff

Top Things to Do in Banff

Things to Do in Banff

Top Attractions in Banff

These rankings are informed by traveller reviews—we consider the quality, quantity, recency, consistency of reviews, and the number of page views over time.


From quick jaunts to full-day outings.




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Tours, activities and experiences bookable on Tripadvisor, ranked using exclusive Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, popularity, user preferences, price, and bookings made through Tripadvisor.
*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

What travellers are saying

  • palmer2023
    Calgary, Canada1 contribution
    Kind and friendly staff, equipment and buildings kept in good clean condition, just wish the ticket was cheaper.
    Written 3 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kevin L
    Tiny, Canada244 contributions
    Beautiful lake between Banff and Canmore. The hike out to the bridge is fairly level and not too rocky and has some beautiful views all along the way. The drive out is not that scenic but the lake area is quite nice. Great spot for a picnic. Good bathrooms at the site
    Written 30 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Rod H
    1 contribution
    Banff is a perfect centre for exploring the Rockies - rivers, mountains, wildlife and wonderful people all make a stay in Banff an enriching experience. Although very crowded during the holiday season, it is easy to get out and about away from the crowds by walking, using the Roam bus services or tours. There is plenty of accommodation possibilities and a wide choice of eateries. If you go off the beaten track, make sure you stay safe - take advice and take bear spray!
    Written 19 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jan M
    550 contributions
    I had always neglected Sunshine Meadows on my way across the Rockies for many years until last summer - don’t make the same mistake.

    Sunshine Meadows is an absolutely stunning place. The views are amazing and so are the hikes. I think you could spend days hiking the area but if you’re coming a for a day, you’ll find plenty of suitable places to visit.

    Be sure to bring enough water and snacks because there is no store once you leave the upper station of the gondola and it can get very hot up there.

    Truly an amazing place, definitely recommend.
    Written 15 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Martin C
    Thornhill, Canada17 contributions
    In November, this was a mostly deserted drive through trees and lakes and mountains. It's not fast and it's not crowded, which was perfect for our purposes. If you have the time, this is a much more relaxed and scenic way to go between Banff and Lake Louise.
    Written 29 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • tinaNtravel
    San Jose, CA1,883 contributions
    The main avenue in Banff is both cute and also crowded. Just about every place on the main street is either a souvenir shop, a restaurant, a bakery or an ice cream shop. Now and then we saw some street performers. The evenings are quite crowded with everyone out and about for dinner. All in all, in spite of the crowds, it had an overall quaint feel.
    Written 10 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Henry L
    6 contributions
    I started this hike at around 10 AM. The parking lot was not full, although there were a little over 10 cars, so I found a parking spot pretty easily. For the first 15 minutes or so, the trail is surrounded by trees. Once you go up a bit, the views open up and you can see the panoramic view of the Icefields Parkway, Mount Athabasca, and Hilda Peak.

    The trail gains its height with several switchbacks but it gets steeper fairly gradually, so even if you haven't done many hikes before, take several breaks and use hiking poles if needed, and you will eventually reach the top of the hill.

    The trails gets fairly flat on top of the hill, and soon you will be encountered with the amazing view of the Saskatchewan Glacier in the far distance, which is the largest outflow glacier in the Columbia Icefields.

    When you encounter an intersection, do NOT go right, as you will lose the view of the glacier. Instead, keep going straight or if you want a better view of the glacier, go left by following the yellow markers. In less than 10 minutes, you will see the complete view of the glacier with nothing blocking the view.

    I personally think this trail can be classified as "family friendly." My parents who are 65+ years old also did this hike with me. They had to take several breaks but even with those breaks, it took 1 hour for us to reach the top of the hill and see the glacier and nearly 2 hours to finish the entire hike (including stops for photos). Anyone who has done lots of hiking should find this trail very easy and should be able to finish the hike way less than 2 hours. FYI, my parents used hiking poles but I didn't find any need to use them, although you may want to use them when there is snow on the trail.

    This hike is a MUST if you are visiting Banff/Jasper because the trail is short and not steep but you can enjoy an amazing view (You cannot see the Saskatchewan Glacier on any road). You can also combine this hike with another if you are able and time permits. I did this hike in the morning and then Big Beehive hike at Lake Louise in the afternoon on the same day, and it was totally doable.

    Highly recommend!

    P.S. When I came down to the parking lot at around noon after hike, there were TONS of cars. Arrive well before noon if you want to get a good parking spot.
    Written 12 August 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Robert W
    Corvallis, OR306 contributions
    The Tunnel Mountain Trail is very nice trail that has the advantage of being accessible from downtown Banff. The distance is just over three miles round trip from the trailhead with about 1000 feet of elevation gain. The surface is in very good condition. You will be rewarded with a wonderful view.
    Written 17 October 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sharon P
    8 contributions
    The information was very helpful, however everyone should be told when arriving how difficult it is to get into Lake Louise. We could have reserved a shuttle ticket for the following day but we had no idea how small the parking lot is and how fast the shuttle fills up. We did manage to get in at 5:00 pm just to take a few pictures.
    Written 26 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • luv4phood
    Marietta, GA810 contributions
    This garden is simply stunning. When we first approached the garden, we thought it was a little fountain and some pretty flowers. But, then we walked deeper into the garden and kept finding more bridges, falls and flowers. From most anywhere in the garden, there are expansive views of the towering Canadian Rockies. There are lots of places to sit and enjoy the gardens. This is a do not miss in Banff.
    Written 17 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Vincent C
    253 contributions
    Don't just do the lookout from the highway; do the scenic drive just below. A few nice stops to get the best views of the Banff mountain range and lakes together.

    We did not go during sunset as the weather was not great but I imagine it would be incredible.
    Written 11 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Stewarts Vacation
    996 contributions
    We did not go into the historic site. We were keen to explore the area outdoors. The Roam bus (Yellow route 4) was efficient transport from our hotel to the Cave and Basin bus stop, right outside the information building at the car park. It was an uphill walk to the historic site and the start of the Marsh boardwalk - our intended walk. We had read that the warm spring water makes the plant and animal life in this area unique. We didn't see any birds (even from the bird hide) or aquatic life, but did see the white and green algae and a little squirrel posing on a fence! It was a pleasant walk. The path was well maintained and clearly signposted, with informative boards along the way. There were 4 trails of differing lengths which would be great to explore if time allowed.
    Written 19 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Vincent C
    253 contributions
    Spectacular view but can get crazy busy. Have some patience and it will be worth it. Go to the upper platform first and then stroll along the trail along the road afterwards to get pictures including the water below.
    Written 11 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • SeniorTravelerTF
    Fort Atkinson1,199 contributions