Banff , Canada

Banff is set within the spectacular and unspoilt Banff National Park. Everywhere you look you see a landscape filled with glaciers, jagged peaks and valleys which are brim full with wildlife.

The slopes (accessed by local bus service) have something for everyone, from steep couloirs to gentle cruising runs. Renowned for its excellent snow record and long season, the snow is some of the coldest, driest and most reliable you'll find anywhere in the world.

The locals are friendly and welcoming and the food (as with the rest of the resort) is great value. We recommend Banff for those who want to experience the wide open spaces of the National Park and a ski holiday atmosphere that is far removed from a European experience.

Resort Statistics

Pros & Cons

  • Pros

  • Spectacular high mountain scenery
  • Good value lodging as the winter is low season in the area
  • Spotting wildlife around the valley
  • Late season skiing
  • Extensive skiing with something for everyone
  • Cons

  • Split up ski area with lengthy journeys to Sunshine and Lake Louise
  • Can be very cold
  • Lack of ski resort atmosphere in Banff despite being fairly attractive
  • Quite British


Resort Restaurants

In Banff there are over 100 restaurants with a lot of choice. Italian at Giorgio's is recommended as is Korean at Seoul Country and Mediterranean in the Caramba at Banff Ptarmigan Inn is worth trying. The Magpie and Stump serves Mexican with a Wild West theme. Earl's is popular and lively for burgers and ethnic dishes as is Wild Bill's where there is dancing and live entertainment. Good steak restaurants include Melissa's, Caboose at the train station (also great crab) and Bumpers for ribs. Grizzly House serves fondues and a good selection of meats; The Old Spaghetti Factory is a good family choice and Tommy's Neighbourhood Pub has good reviews. The Banff Springs Hotel is one of the best for fine dining but also serves good Sunday brunch. Saltlik is a designer cool restaurant good for game, steak and fish.

Mountain Restaurants

Sunshine Village has a good choice of restaurants at its mid-mountain base. The Day Lodge offers quite a choice in 3 different restaurants. Mad Trapper's Saloon provides a western-style atmosphere in Old Sunshine Lodge. The Sunshine Inn hotel provides some of the best in the Chimney Corner Lounge for snacks or the Eagle's Nest dining room for a full lunch. At the base of Norquay the Cascade Lodge has a good reputation.

Apres Ski

Mad Trapper's Saloon at the top of the Sunshine gondola is lively as the skiing finishes with a happy hour and they also do evenings with tobogganing, a buffet, live music and dancing followed by the gondola ride down. Apres-ski bars are generally pretty limited, but it gets lively later on in town.


There is a good choice from live country and western music and line dancing at Wild Bill's to Aurora for more serious clubbing. The Rose and Crown has live music and is pretty popular. The St James Gate Irish pub has a great atmosphere with good food and a wide selection of beers. Melissa's and Saltlik are popular. The Barbary Coast nightclub and the Outabounds are both pretty lively.

Resort Map

  • Funicular 3545022401d4cbcd363e07397500eb11e3c0a8b9938ecfc1bd44a5c240306315 Funicular
  • Cable car 262438c5626f68940e156df868b18890cdda3d131cdffa026f19e15448a2f3ea Cable Car
  • Gondola 08fc130c360bf663b5723567aab3384edc88bcec2e297e955865a20bc8050cb2 Gondola
  • Chair lift 207bbb7ef0c7c3f5458d8e1b5bb1a59b179909dbc96c70cbc66d08927a59c61f Chair lift
  • Drag lift 9649c8f20eb92153651608a16dced21b25b21acd3ad6ca90cea261c90ea44648 Drag lift
  • Chalet e74a3b79ab6c7c9200e443bb0a5a0ba591d5a08b249288e6336bcbb2fd95d64d Property
Tourist info 1ccba101c7d867ab4d919a0f2c5463b9ee729c6d3da623dea051a21f1de8dcd2