Things to do in Banff

THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Banff

Things to Do in Banff


Book these experiences for a close-up look at 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.
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Located only a short distance, 16km/10m, from the Town of Banff, the pristine beauty of Sunshine Meadows is easily accessible for everyone, and can be best experienced and enjoyed through the relaxed comfort of our facilities. Take a ride up to the skies in Banff’s biggest gondola (8-passenger cabin capacity) with room for the whole family. Start at the base at an elevation of 1,660 m and ride the gondola 4.6km to the top gondola village terminal at 2,164 m where the Alpine Village is located. Take in all the views of the valley, mountain peaks and wildlife. Once you have reached the top – the Sunshine Village area, or just “the Village” – stop in at our new interpretive center before embarking on an exploration of the six diverse, graveled hiking trails, that wind their way through three alpine lakes, waterfalls and flower filled meadows covering more than 12 Km through the Sunshine Meadows. For a more revealing experience, join one of our hosted trail tours and enjoy learning about the wonders of the alpine world of Sunshine Meadows and more as you through some of Banff National Park’s most spectacular spots. Feel on top of the world when you summit Mt Standish via our Standish Express Sightseeing Chairlift. With an elevation of 2,400m/7,875ft, it will give you a full 360 degree view of the area. From here you can enjoy an unobstructed view the famous Mount Assiniboine – the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies at 3,618m/ 11,871ft – as well as other joys on the horizon, such as Rock Isle, Laryx and Grizzly Alpine lakes. There are three retail stores awaiting you for all your hiking essentials and Canadian Rockies souvenirs. After taking in the captivating views, indulge in one of our six licensed food outlets, including four fully serviced restaurants, including a BBQ deck of outside Mad Trapper’s Smokehouse. Come by to wind down with a drink before making your way back down the gondola.
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What travellers are saying

  • champion2920
    Sudbury, Canada1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We were nervous that there wouldn’t be much to see as it had been snowing all day but thankfully we could see the many beautiful mountains mixed in with the clouds. Absolutely breathtaking views during the gondola ride and especially at the top! Highly recommend!
    Written March 1, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • goodmanboy
    Cork, Ireland70 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lake Minnewanka is a short trip outside Banff which can be driven in a pleasant loop that also takes in Two Jack Lake. On the day we visited, the weather was overcast but the scenery was still wonderful. Boat trips are available which can take you far down the lake but we just walked around the closest part. It was peaceful and provided a real escape from the busy world.
    Written January 6, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Stephen & Sue
    Canberra, Australia2,488 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sunshine Meadows would be the least publicised of the 4 chairlifts or gondolas in this area, but wow, what an absolute gem.
    It’s about half an hour out of town, and starts with a gondola ride, then change to a chairlift, then a short walk to a viewing platform that brings you to just about the most beautiful spot in the Rockies.
    From there you can walk a short distance into the wildflower meadows and back, or continue on to the longer 2 hour circuit down to the lower lakes, and then back around to the gondola (no need to walk back up the steep slope to the chairlift).
    And the lack of publicity means no crowds. We couldn’t believe how few people knew about this place.
    There was heaps of free parking, no queue for the gondola or the chairlift, or the cafes at the base station or chairlift station.
    And if, as we did, you extend the walk beyond the first platform, you will rarely encounter another person.
    Instead you get waterfalls, running streams, lakes, stunning views and wildflower meadows.
    As the little boy next to us said when he reached the lookout “mum, I can’t believe it’s real”. Neither could we.
    Weather plays a big part here so, choose a sunny day, but if you can only do one gondola or chairlift, ditch the rest and journey out to Sunshine Meadows.
    Written December 15, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Cynthia N
    Sacramento, United States10 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Was beautiful and very peaceful in the middle of winter. Was just a short stop for the view, but well worthwhile. The information boards were interesting and worth stopping to read. I would guess in the summer it would be lovely and offer some hiking around the river/falls and canoeing or kayaking on the river.
    Written February 15, 2024
    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
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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 November 29, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.