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The small but buzzing town of Banff is dominated by the towering mountains of Banff National Park. The landscape is dramatically transformed in the winter when it snows, creating plenty of opportunity for winter adventure in the Rockies. The town itself has a wide range of facilities, including plenty of shops and restaurants, but is still small enough to walk around easily.

Banff’s high street flourishes in the colder months, with lots of warm clothing to buy from reputable brands and locally made souvenirs and seasonal gifts. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to drinking and dining, enjoying anything from comforting poutine to sophisticated alpine cuisine and fine dining. At night, it comes alive and you’ll find Banff Avenue filled with people wrapped up to keep off the winter chill, popping into bars and restaurants along the Avenue. There’s a good variety of nightlife during the winter months, including live bands, dancing, karaoke and even mechanical bull riding.

The vast majority of Banff’s visitors spend their days skiing and snowboarding, so the town can be relatively quiet. There are several museums in town which operate throughout the winter and we can recommend the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies and the Luxton Museum for learning about the First Nations of North America.

Winter in Banff means days spent enjoying the great outdoors, with activities like snowshoeing, dogsledding and ice skating. Don't miss the views of the Rockies from the Banff Gondola, the snowy hike to the top of Tunnel Mountain and skating on Banff’s outdoor rink after dark, warmed by log fires burning next to the ice.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Lucy

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Banff by contacting one of our Canada specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Banff

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Banff, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Banff

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Banff

    Ideas for experiencing Banff

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Banff, and which use the best local guides.

    • Maple syrup snow candy on snowshoe tour, Banff National Park

      Snowshoe adventure at the Continental Divide

      Banff

      Get off the beaten track on a snowshoe adventure at the Continental Divide, hiking through the peaceful wilderness with your guide and making maple taffy on a secluded frozen lake.

    • Johnston Canyon near Banff

      Johnston Canyon ice walk

      Banff

      Strap ice cleats to your boots and experience the ancient rock, frozen waterfalls and snowy woodland trails of Johnston Canyon on a guided ice walk.