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Alana
Spokane

Banff, Alberta, Calgary

Is Banff worth seeing?

Driving with my sister and her daughter to drop her off at school in Calgary. My sister and I are thinking about doing a road trip afterwards to Banff. Can anyone tell me if it’s worth the drive, or is it so much like Calgary that it’s not worth it? What is there to actually see in Banff? We keep hearing how great it is but we don't really know why to tell you the truth. Any insight would be helpful!


13 Answers

top answer by
Melissa from St. John's, Newfoundland

I was just there last month for the first time and let me tell you, it's definitely worth it. Banff isn't anything like Calgary: one being an urban city and the other a small mountain town. It's only 90min away so it's even a possible day trip location.

If you go, I'd recommend a little hike at  Johnston Canyon (20 min up the road from Banff). It's stupidly beautiful. In Banff You can go horseback riding at Warner Stables or do a covered wagon ride and cookout. If you want to relax you could head to Banff Upper Hot Springs. If you want a great view of the town, drive up Mount Norquay (turn right off the highway away from the town centre) and there'll be a lookout point. There's also the Banff Gondola (though I didn't take it myself). When I was in town I stayed at The Juniper Hotel & Bistro on Mt. Norquay Rd, which is just outside the town but the distance is hardly worth talking about. They have a nice outdoor hot tub where you can look at the mountains.

My favourite part of Banff was just being in the middle of the mountains as I hadn't experienced that before.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Johnston Canyon (country)
  2. Banff Upper Hot Springs (attraction)
  3. Banff Gondola (attraction)
  4. Warner Stables (attraction)
  5. The Juniper Hotel & Bistro (hotel)
12 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Michel from Antibes

Definitely worth the trip and there are some great proposals listed already.  I can only add that a visit to the The Fairmont Banff Springs should be on your list as this is one of the classiest hotels in Canada (like the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City except set in the middle of the Rockies).  I'd also suggest a visit to Moraine Lake (near Lake Louise) and a trip to the Columbia Ice Fields (2h30 minute drive).  Here you can take a bus tour up onto the glacier.  Have a good time, eh!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Fairmont Banff Springs (hotel)
  2. Moraine Lake (attraction)
  3. Lake Louise (attraction)
  4. Columbia Ice Fields (attraction)
5 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Kenin from Florida

Banff is a wonderful place to visit if you like to Ski in the winter or enjoy hiking biking and other outdoor activities. There are also some great restaurants to check out. There's a great place called Grizzly House Restaurant (blog review here) and you can take a look at some awesome hikes with this blog post we wrote about hiking in Banff.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Grizzly House Restaurant (restaurant)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Julien

You should love the Banff National Park : I strongly recommend hiking to Lake Louise, to the site of the Hoodoos and a difficult one but clearly amazing is the Aylmer Pass.

Julien


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lake Louise (attraction)
  2. Hoodoos (attraction)
  3. Aylmer Pass (attraction)
3 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Will from On The Road

Banff is one of the greatest places on Earth and cannot be missed! :-)

In addition to the excellent suggestions listed in the answers below about things to do and see in the area, I also highly recommend visiting Banff Centre as well as Paradise Valley in the Lake Louise region.

No doubt about it you will absolutely love your time spent here.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Banff (city)
  2. Banff Centre (attraction)
  3. Lake Louise (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Lana from Alberta

Banff is definitely worth the short trip from Calgary, it is one of the most charming places in Canada and nothing like Calgary 


2 thanks


answered by
Gaurav from Calgary, Alberta

Banff is completely different from Calgary. It's more like a small Swiss town in terms of architecture and layout. You're also right in the mountains, and there's hot springs, hiking, a gondola, great foods from around the world, and generally a fair bit to see and do if you go down for a day.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Banff (city)
  2. Calgary (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Nancy from Alberta

There is no question that it is worth the drive to Banff from Calgary.  Calgary is a beautiful city with a population of over 1 million people.  Once you head west on the TransCanada Highway to Banff the drive is approximately 90 minutes in length and the views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains are spectacular.  If you love beautiful scenery, this is a must visit!  Banff (the townsite) is a beautiful resort town located in Banff National Park.  There are many great shops to browse, restaurants to discover and hotels to stay at.  If you enjoy outdoor activities the opportunities are endless!  Check out the website www.banfflakelouise.com for ideas


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Banff (city)
  2. Calgary (city)
  3. Banff National Park (park)
2 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Corbin from Toronto

Short Answer: GO TO BANFF

Its so beautiful and very different than Calgary.  Calgary is in the foothills an hour from the mountains, And Banff is nestled in right up close with the stunning rockies. 

Check out a travel Alberta Centre along your drive for some more info and help planning your adventure. 

Enjoy your trip! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Calgary (city)
  2. Banff (city)
2 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Patti from Canada

Calgary and Banff are so completely different I hardly know where to begin.  Banff is a beautiful town in the heart to the Canadian Rockies and Calgary is basically a prairie city. The air smells great there and the scenery can not be beat. It is worth the drive for sure!  Have fun!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Calgary (city)
  2. Banff (city)
2 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Ken

Oh no, Banffis very different from Calgary.  It's a mountain town, and it's very quaintly styled.  There are lots of activities there as well, from relaxing in the hot springs to hiking the craggy mountains.  Natural beauty abounds and it is very relaxing to recharge in the surroundings.  There is lots of history in the area with a couple of national historic sites, and the Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Banff Springs.  If you are there in the winter, there are plenty of winter sports.  In summer there is lots of hiking, with Lake Louise and Johnston Canyon being a couple of personal favourites.  It's also in the national park, so you can visit the national park office in the Banff townsite and learn about Canada's oldest national park and ask the Parks Canada staff where to go.  They are always glad to provide recommendations and provide other safety related information (like where to avoid because of bears or other hazards).  From Spokane, you will likely know mountain scenery, but the scenery around Banff can be especially dramatic.  It's a beautiful area and I would recommend a visit to anyone who likes natural beauty and the Great Outdoors.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Banff (city)
  2. Calgary (city)
  3. Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Banff Springs (attraction)
  4. Lake Louise (attraction)
  5. Johnston Canyon (country)
1 thanks


answered by
Theodore from Calgary

Yes, its awesome!

The Fairmont Banff Springs is a wonderful place to check out and there are lots of places to go hiking near by. You can check out the wonderful Lake Louise, which is roughly an hour or so away, and there is also Moraine Lake, which is absolutely gorgeous.

Banff is a super touristy place but it has picturesque mountains in the background, you will love it!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Fairmont Banff Springs (hotel)
  2. Lake Louise (attraction)
  3. Moraine Lake (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Bente from Haarlem

Simple answer: Banff is definitely worth it! 


5 thankscomments (1)




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